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Attribution and Person Perception

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Hilary B Bergsieker

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Attribution and Person Perception What is social cognition? - How we select, interpret, and remember info about ourselves and our social world - How this info influences judgments, behaviours - Social cognition is about construal Person Perception - Motivated Anthropomorphism o Induced a mood  Lonely (Cast Away)  Control (Major League)  Afraid (Silence of the Lambs) o Ascription of human vs. general traits to pets  Participants led to feel disconnected anthropomorphized - Gestalt Person Perception Model (Asch) o Factors shaping impression formation  Order in which a word (information) occurs  Context of the other words (information)  Centrality of certain works (i.e. Cold/warm) o Asch claimed we form a “Gestalt” of the person  The sum is greater than the parts o Revision to centrality effect  Warm, social, industrious, good-natured, humorous  Warm, social, lazy, good-natured, humorous - Thin-slice accuracy o Many false alarms/false misses with the chance of guessing/detection Attribution theories - Understanding why (and who) o Interpreting others’ acts accurately aids survival - Functions of Attributions o Help predict and control environment o Help determine thoughts and feelings, and behaviours o Influence expectations for future o Impact on own performance - Two basic types of attributions (Heider) o Internal/person attributions  i.e. personality, ability, attitude o External/situational attributions  i.e. other people, luck, pressure - Correspondent inference theory (Jones) o People often infer that behaviours correspond to [traits/dispositions of] the people enacting them  If Mitchell treats Cameron kindly, the correspondent inference would be that Mitchell is a kind person o But will Cameron actually make this inference?  Non-common effects arise from a specific behaviour and not from alternative behaviours  Expectations depend on whether behaviour is typical  Common dispositions (i.e. dislike of pain) are less informative than unique dispositions (i.e. masochism) - Covariation model (Kelley) o Multiple observational points o Process for making internal/external attributions o Cause and
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