Lecture 5 AP
Personality dynamics ; the dynamics that occur btw individuals, the processes/ mechanisms that equip
us for inferring the traits that other people have.
How is it that someone comes to know the personality traits of another individual?
Today we’ll be talking about the direct face to face processes.
When we talk about person perception or personality perception we should begin by asking whether or
not the topic is worthy of consideration in its own right…
How is person perception in any way meaningfully different from object perception?
There are several reasons of why person perception should be considered separately from object
There are at least 4 ways in which person perception is different from object perception:
Person perception is a reciprocal process – when we are perceiving inanimate objects, the object is not
perceiving us. This is not the case when people are perceiving people. When you are perceiving
someone, that person is perceiving you. In other words, person perception is a transactional process, it’s
not unidirectional. When people are perceiving each other, it is a reciprocal fashion.
Not only is person perception a transactional, reciprocal process where you are evaluating one person
and that other person is evaluating you. You know that, that other person is evaluating you at the same
time that person is aware that you are evaluating them. There is a metacognitive component of person
perception where it is not outside of your awareness that the perceptual processes are occurring.
The reciprocal transactional evaluative process is likely to be more related to how we see ourselves than
object perception. Under most circumstances we perceive inanimate objects, the process of this is not
likely to involve or influence how we see ourselves. The kinds of things we perceive in other people are
likely to be more consequential with respect to our self perception. The kinds of attributes we see in
other people may well be attributes you yourself have or attributes you yourself wish to have. There is
much a greater level of ego involvement when we are in the process of perceiving others. The act of
perceiving others is likely to involve or act upon our self perception in ways that object perception does
People are more dynamic targets than objects. By and large, often the case for a great number of
objects ; these are invariant attributes. The kinds of attributes we see in other people may change from
location to location to situation to situation.
Interpersonal perception refers to those specific interactional processes that occur between people as
they come to form impressions of each other (when they’re appraising, rating, or evaluating each other)
There are additional questions of how person perception is distinguished from object perception. There
are 9 basic questions when it comes to interpersonal perception.
There are several questions we can ask when it comes to this perceptual process (one person (x) rates
another (y) on some traits (z)) ; the evaluative mechanisms that are involved.
1 question we can ask is what does x bring to the process? X is in the process of evaluating y on some
attribute z. to what extent does x tend to see everyone in the same way that he or she perceives y? it is
possible that x sees y in the same way that x sees everybody. For ex. he might perceive y to be a friendly
person as he sees everyone to be friendly. To the extent that x sees y in the same way as with everyone
is – assimilation process at work. That x is assimilating across a wide range of people and inferring the
same attributes across all of them. The tendency which varies across individuals to perceive all others in
the same way, as either high or low on a given attribute.
When x is in the process of rating y what does y bring to the process?
What does the target of evaluation bring to bear on the process of interpersonal perception?
Perhaps x sees y as a friendly individual because y is seen by many other people as a friendly individual.
To the extent that y receives the same ratings across many different perceives, a consensus process is at
work. Consensus is the phenomenon whereby a target receives similar ratings on some attributes from
all raters. To the extent that all individuals perceive the same target in the same way, we say there is
consensus; agreement across various perceivers.
These 2 q above does not exhaust the range of processes involved.
Additionally, setting aside what x and y brings to bear, it may be that there are unique features in how x
and y see each other that are not captured by assimilation and consensus alone. The relationship of x to
y; the unique way of which x perceives y that can’t be explained by assimilation and consensus
(uniqueness refers to the unique perception that x has of y).
All 3 processes can all addressed by looking at how groups of people rate each other on a given
characteristic. All you need to study this is have a group of people rate each other on some
The final Q requires more than a group of people rating each other on some attribute. That is question
of whether or not x’s rating of y is correct – target accuracy. To what extent has a target been accurately
perceived by a given perceiver. Accuracy goes beyond just people rating each other. Accuracy requires a
external criterion to determine whether or not the impression is accurate.
The foundation of research for those first 3 processes is based on the round robin design.
The defining feature of a round robin design; every member of a given group has some interaction or
appraisal of every other member. This design brings in about 3 or more people simultaneously with
groups of unacquainted individuals or groups of previously acquainted individuals. The critical feature of
a round robin is that every person will be rating every other person. As a result, every person in a round
robin fulfills 2 roles. Every person is a perceiver, bringing his/her perceptions/ evaluations of all other
individuals in the groups, and a target, receiving appraisals/evaluations from every other individual.
When we look at the obtained data – the display has perceivers – rows, target – columns.
Every participant is both a perceiver and a target.
Reciprocity; when there is a correlation between the ratings that x gives y and the ratings that y gives x.
reciprocity is expected in certain kinds of ratings, ratings of liking tend to be reciprocal. Others such as
dominance are not reciprocal. These questions can be answered with the correlation..
Social relations model slide
It formalizes the ideas and relationships discussed.
The formula says that x’s rating of y on trait z = # of factors that determine this. A function of 4
parameters. The first is a constant “the average ”. This represents that first point* about what ratings
are like in general. The constant captures the idea of what the average levels of ratings in the group is on
the trait or on the rating dimension in the group. If we’re talking about a group of old friends rating each
other, the constant will be high.
In addition to the constant, we need to about what effect the perceiver is bringing to the equation. We
refer to the perceiver effect as the extent to which person x rates everyone as high or low on z.
We must consider the target effect too, which is the extent to which the target is rated by all perceivers
in the same way, as high or low on the trait.
We also need to include error because we are making a measurement ; imperfect. We say that x’s rating
of y on z will more or less equal to how everybody sees everybody in addition to how x generally sees
everyone else in addition to how y is seen by everyone and relationship (the contribution of the
relationship between the target and receiver) (3 contributions altogether), and then error
(measurement). We fit the model and its parameters in such a way as to try to minimize error. We solve
this equation with goal of minimizing error.
What’s important is to understand that we conduct the analyses (the social relations model analyses),
every person gets at the very least 2 scores; 1 score denoting perceiver effect (what kinds of ratings do
you tend give out as a perceiver, as if on the higher end of ratings or lower end), and 1 score denoting
target effect (do you tend to get high or low scores).
Personality dynamics ; the dynamics that occur btw individuals, the processes/ mechanisms that equip us for inferring the traits that other people have. Today we"ll be talking about the direct face to face processes. When we talk about person perception or personality perception we should begin by asking whether or not the topic is worthy of consideration in its own right . There are several reasons of why person perception should be considered separately from object perception. There are at least 4 ways in which person perception is different from object perception: Person perception is a reciprocal process when we are perceiving inanimate objects, the object is not perceiving us. This is not the case when people are perceiving people. When you are perceiving someone, that person is perceiving you. In other words, person perception is a transactional process, it"s not unidirectional. When people are perceiving each other, it is a reciprocal fashion.