PSYB10H3 Lecture Notes - Fundamental Attribution Error, Ultimate Attribution Error, University Of Iowa Shooting
ProfessorElizabeth Page- Gould
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PERSON PERCEPTION: what goes into person perception are a) behavior b) context c) schemas
Behavior input: this consist of; verbal behavior and non-verbal behavior- which is subdivided
a) Emblems: which are hand gestures that have well understood meaning within a
culture which are essentially non-language. E.g. the thumbs up sign, O.K. sign&
peace sign. However, it can change within culture entirely e.g. O.K. sign might be
different in North America and u.k. Also, sign language isn’t a form of emblem
because it’s different.
b) Thin slice: An approach within social psychology focused on the attribution power
of brief exposure to others aka understanding the impact of non-verbal behaviors
on very minute thin slices of non-verbal behaviors. Research on thin slice by Kraus&
keltner (2009) showed that naïve observers were accurately able to detect family
income, parent’s education& subjective SES. Also, relatively to high SES
participants, low SES participants spent less time grooming, doodling and
manipulating objects. Ambiguous group is a social group which one may/not
belong. Furthermore, another research by Nicholas rule showed that 64% of pop.
Are about to recognize ambiguous group by faces.
c) Context: context matters when interpreting people. It also provides additional
input, and can completely change attribution.
SCHEMA: what you expect is what you get. This means that we expect people to act in a particular way
and feel disappointed when it starts to fall apart.
ATTRIBUTION: Explanation for an observed behavior of a social object. Research by heider& simmel
(1944) on the ease of attribution was the idea that because we make attribution so easily, there are
some functional purpose in us that is trying to explain the world. Attributions are very automatic aka
pattern matching in different areas of the brain.
ATTRIBUTION THEORY: this poses the question whether we attribute behavior on something about the
person “internal” or something about the situation “external”? Internal attribution theory: Attributing a
person’s behavior to something intrinsic to that person e.g. personality, disposition, attitude &
character, always consistent in any situation. External attribution theory: Attributing a person’s behavior
to something about the situation in which the behavior occurred, especially not changing belief
regarding the person’s characters. This specific to the situation that someone is currently in.
CORRESPONDENT BIAS: Tendency to infer that a person’s behavior corresponds to their disposition,
personality, or attitude. This means that we lay emphasis on internal attribution more than external
attribution and tend to underestimate other factors.
FUNDAMENTAL ATTRIBUTION ERROR: When perceiving others we tendency to overestimate the
influence of internal causes for behavior and underestimate external causes, When perceiving self: Much
more likely to attribute own behavior to external causes AKA, “FAE” fundamental attribution error. A
study on fundamental attribution error by jones& harris 1967 showed that participants attributed their
essay based on the choice of article they read meaning if forced/not forced to read about pro/anti-
Castro, they based their essay on the particular article they read. Explanation for FAE: perceptual
salience; Tendency to overestimate the causal role of information that grabs our attention. This means
that whatever factor whether internal or external that’s more salient when explaining a behavior, those
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