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Lecture

PSY 120 Lecture Notes - Fundamental Attribution Error, Social Cognition, Social Influence


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY 120
Professor
Donna Darbellay

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Psychology 110
November 26th 2009
1
III. Social Influence on Beliefs
A. Social cognition
1. how people’s perceptions of themselves and others affect their relationships
2. how the social environment influences your thoughts, beliefs, and values
B. Attributions
1. Attribution theory the theory that people are motivated to explain their own and other’s
behaviour by attribution causes the behaviour to a situation or disposition
- Attempts to explain behaviour
- No critical thinking
2. Two types of attributions
a. Situational attribution we are identifying the cause of an action as something in the
situation or environment
- Due to the situation
b. Dispositional Attributions we are identifying the cause of an action as something in
the person, such as a traitor motive
- Trait of the individual
c. Fundamental attributions error the tendency, in explaining other people’s
behaviour, to overestimate personality factors and underestimate the influence of the situation
d. Self-serving bias the tendency, in explaining our own behaviour, to take credit for
our good actions and rationalize our mistakes
e. group-Serving bias the tendency to explain favourably the behaviours of members
of groups to which we belong
f. Just-World Hypothesis the notion that many people need to believe that the world is
fair and that justice is served; that bad people are punished, good people are rewarded [can
lead to blaming an honest victim]
Attributions
"why is Aurelia behaving like a dimwit?"
Situational
"she is under pressure"
Dispostional
"she's self-involved and
cluless
Fundamental Attribution Error
ignoring influence of situation on behaviour and
emphasizing personallity traits alone
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