PSYA02 - CH 15 - NOTES.docx

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19 Apr 2012
Social Psych studies social nature-how the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others influences
our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.
Social Cognition process of perceiving, interpreting, and acting on social info.
Impression Formation how you integrate one’s traits into coherent sense of who person is.
Schema mental framework that organizes info about person,place or thing.
Central traits are the main ones that greater influence you about the person compared to other traits
(if he’s this, then it leads to him also being this).
Peripheral Traits do not change the overall impression on a person, it is more like a synonym
of a trait. Eg. Warm and cold vs polite and blunt. However, there is research saying that negative
influence is stronger than positive since positive is seen so biased to the world; negative influences are
prominent in the positive context.
Primacy Effect- we tend to form first impression based on the initial info we learn from the person. (this
is more found in ppl who weren’t mentally alert, compared to those who were)
People may generate trait-like labels from observed behavior these labels can become auto
associated in memory with w/e stimulus happens to have been around.
Self-Concept knowledge, ideas, feelings about oneself. (who are you?). It is influenced through culture
consists of two construals based on Markus and Kitayama: Independent (uniqueness of self,
autonomy from others, self-reliance) vs. Interdependent (interconnected to ppl, ppl play role in
influence in char)
clarity is how confident ppl are in their beliefs and attributes. Campbell referred those with high
clarity with independent construals.
Heine believes independent construals are stable and hard to change in constrast to the
malleability of traits and abilities for interdependent.
The Self is a person’s distinct individuality. Self-schema is the framework that represents info about
yourself. Self-Concept changes with experience/dynamic.
Attribution to infer causes of ppl’s behavior
Attributists believe that situational and dispositional factors (external or internal) are the causes
of ppl behavior.
External Factors stimuli in physical/social environment (living conditions, ppl, societal norms,laws)
Internal Factors the needs,traits and intention of person.
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We are dictated in a sense to act in a certain way that follows social custom (rules of
socialization). If someone’s behavior is different than majority behavior = internal cause. (not holding
door for person in wheelchair)
Attribution in Kelley’s Terms
She says we attribute behavior to external or internal causes based on
1. Consensual Behaviour
a. follow majority on high consensus = external attribution
b. follow majority on low consensus = internal attribution
2. Distinctiveness perform a particular behavior during a particular type of event
a. External attribution distinctive association with particular sit
b. Internal attribution indistinctive association (same thing)
3. Consistency-behaviour occurring reliably?
a. External high consistency, high consensus, high distinctiveness
b. Internal-low consistency, high consensus, high distinctiveness
i. Table 15.1
Attributional Biases can affect our conclusions about the actor
1. Fundamental Attribution Error you tend to overestimate significance of dispositional
(internal) factors and underestimate the significance of situational (external) factors.
Eg. goalie misses save therefore he sucks, rather than thinking of possibility his
sightlines were blocked.
We tend to lean more towards the internal factors rather than the external.
Belief in a just world you get what you deserve. Why do we say this? In order
to protect our belief that the world is a fair and safe place. It reassures ppl that
their long-term goals will soon be rewarded.
Actor-Observer Effect-to attribute our behavior externally and others internally
(factorwise) eg.why does my relationship suck? I would say my financial
problems, and selfish for her!
Self-Serving Bias we want to protect/enhance our self-esteem. (we blame
environment to protect, and we give credit to ourselves to enhance it)
2. False Consensus to see your response as repping a general consensus. (we strive to
avoid being too different from other people, act in the way they do)
General rules of Heuristics (2 most important are)
1. Representatives Heuristic we tend to match what we see with stereotypes classify
object into category to which it appears to be most similar.
Base-rate fallacy paying too much attention to the image . To not consider the
likelihood that a person is a member of a particular category on basis of
mathematical probabilities.
2. Availability Heuristic the things that come to mind first (most easily memorable) are
most important. (eg. kiss vs lake)
Priming- variables that affect the availability of a concept.
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