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Social Psych Lec 3.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Elizabeth Page- Gould

Social Psych Lec 3  What goes into person perception? o Behaviour  Verbal Behaviour  Language, spoken behaviour  Nonverbal Behaviour  Emblems o So well understood that they’re nonverbal “words” o Very culturally bound o Gestures that have well-understood meaning within a culture  Effectively: nonverbal language  Power of Behavioural Input “This Slices” o An approach within social psychology focused on the attributional power of brief exposure to others o People are very accurate at detecting personality traits and what not with only a “thin slice” of meeting a person  Socio-economic Status was accurately detectable in study from brief exposures  High SeS – more likely to doodle, groom self, manipulate objects, essentially not work directly on the task at hand.  Can you categorize a person into an ambiguous group from their face alone?  Ambiguous social groups are groups that you belong to but you do not know whether or not someone belongs in that group  Ex: detecting if someone is gay or straight  64% of population accuracy for ambiguous groups  However not a single face in the database is rated 100% straight or 100% gay. No target is 100% accurate. o Context  Provides additional input  Can completely change attribution  These are important because person perception is so complex o Schemas  What you expect from another person is usually what you receive from them  Attribution theory o Refers to an explanation that a person will make for a behaviour that a person has observed o How automatic is attribution?  very  Humans have a fundamental desire to understand other people and make explanations to the behaviour of other people o Attributions = pattern matching  If you had never heard of a love triangle, then heider’s video (shapes: big triangle, small triangle, circle video) would not click in as a love triangle to you o Primary question:  Do we attribute behaviour to something about the person (“internal”) or something about the situation (“external”)?  Internal = about the human/social object o The behaviour remains with the person across different situations  External = explaining the behaviour in terms of the situation in which they found themselves o Correspondence bias  The tendency in general for us to infer that a person’s behaviour is a result of their internal disposition  You usually make an internal instead of an external attribution  One of the first biases observed o Fundamental attribution error  When perceiving others: tendency to overestimate the influence of internal causes for behaviour and underestimate external causes  When perceiving self: much more likely to attribute own behaviour to external causes  Ex: pro or anti castro essay, then told the author’s position (either assigned to write pro or anti castro essay, or free to chose). Then asked participants if they think the author is pro or con castro. Even when they were told the external attribution for the choice of writing pro castro, they still assumed the author was pro castro. o Explanation for FAE:  Perceptional Salience  Part of the reason that we have FAE has to do with the salience we are perceiving when we observe a particular behaviour o What we pay attention to in the environment when the behaviour occurs affects our explanation for particular behaviour o Because you cant see yourself, you underestimate your role on in a certain behaviour  Two-step process of attribution  FAE occurs through the same process as Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristic o 1. Make an internal attribution o 2. Attempt to adjust away from internal attribution by considering situational constraints o If we could adjust away further, we would make better assumptions o How fundamental is the FAE?  Gang Lu  Recent Physics Ph.D. from University of Iowa  He was passed up for a dissertation award that he felt he deserved, so in 1991 he walked into the physics department and shot 4 faculty members, 1 phd student (the one who beat him) and paralysed a student  Peng and Morris then analysed Chinese- and English-language newspaper articles written about Gang Lu o All Chinese-american writers, but Much more internal attributions made in English o Co-variation theory  Assumptions  People are lay stati
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