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Forming Impressions - Module

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McMaster University
Joe Kim

Forming Impressions  For every observed behaviour, there are many possible motivating factors  Attribution = how you assign cause and effect to certain circumstance Attribution Theories  Situational attribution = behaviour attributed to the situation  Dispositional attribution = behaviour attributed to the disposition or traits of the individual  Jones and David’s Correspondent Inference Theory o You actively analyze a person’s behaviour to make inferences based on three variables: o Degree of Choice, Expectation, and the Intended consequences of the Behaviour  Degree of Choice o Did they choose the behaviour?  Expectation o Uncommon behaviour gives us more information than common behaviour  Intended Consequence  Kelly’s Covariation Theory: o Is a behaviour due to an individual’s personal disposition or the situation and circumstances o 3 Variables: Consistency, Distinctiveness, and Consensus  Consistency: Does the individual usually behave this way in this situation?  Distinctiveness: Does the individual behave differently in different situations? o Yes = behaviour probably driven by the situation o No = behaviour driven my their disposition  Consensus: Do others behave similarly in this situation? o Yes = behaviour probably due to the situation o No = different behaviours probably due to each individual’s disposition Fundamental Attribution  You often overestimate the role of dispositional factors and underestimate the role of situational factors  Fundamental Attribution Error = the tendency to over-value dispositional factors for the observed behaviour of others while under-valuing situational factors  Actor Observer Effect = consider the situational factors of your own behaviour, but not of others  Fundamental Attribution Error more observed in Western culture  Western = more focus on individuals  Eastern = more focus of relationships  Self-Serving Bias = tendency to perceive yourself favourably  Above Average Effect = causes you to identify dispositional causes for successes and situational causes for failures Cognitive Heuristics  Representativen
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