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Lecture

PSYCH 1000 Module 43.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 1000
Professor
Dan Meegan

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Stephanie Oliveira 1 Module 43: Social Psychology Social Thinking Social Psychology- the scientific study of how we think about, influence and relate to one another. Social psychologists:  Focus on the situation  Study the social influences that explain why the same person will act differently in different situations Attribution theory: the theory that we explain someone’s behaviour by crediting the situation or the person’s disposition.  Can attribute behaviour to… o The person’s stable, enduring traits (a dispositional attribution) o The situation (a situational attribution) Fundamental attribution error: the tendency for observers, when analyzing another’s behaviour, to underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate the impact of personal disposition.  Demonstrated in an experiment with Williams College students o Students talked with women one at a time who acted either cold or friendly o Half were told her behaviour was spontaneous; the other half were told that she was going to act a certain way. o This did not affect the impressions of the woman in any way.  If she was friendly, both groups thought she was a warm person o They attributed her behaviour to her personal disposition even when told that her behaviour was situational (she was told to act that way)  Appears more often in some cultures that others o Individualistic Westerners more often attribute behaviour to people’s personal traits.  Most likely to commit this error when a stranger acts badly o We are sensitive to how behaviour changes with the situation when we explain ourselves or someone that we know well and have seen in different contexts.  Social and economic effects of attribution o Poverty and homelessness: because of person or situation? Attitude: feelings, often influences by our beliefs, which predispose us to respond in a particular way to objects, peopl
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