PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Fundamental Attribution Error

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9 Aug 2016
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PSY100 Week 6
Behaviour is Determined by Multiple Factors III: Cultural Influences
What is Culture?
- Any kind of information acquired by individuals through imitative or social
learning
- Is culture unique to humans? Yes and no – Animals have their own culture
(apes using tools, bears learning to hunt). Humans are able to add onto
culture
- Theory of mind- understanding that people have mental states, perspectives,
using tools and understanding the goal trying to be achieved
Cultural Psychology
- Study of how culture shapes psychological processes (all psychological
research is done in a type of culture)
- Cultural vs. Social environments: difficult to leave the culture you grew up in
because of its influences on you, how it made you perceive the world (fish
recognizing the water it is in, even though it never leaves)
- Psychological experiences are both similar and different across cultures.
Some examples of universalities:
Males more aggressive
Marriage
Children fear strangers
Facial expressions
- The mind cannot exist without culture (and vice versa), they make up one
another (relationship/interwoven) and rely on each other to exist
Individualistic and Collectivist Culture
Collective: Eastern culture (Japan, China)
- Group goals, relationships, maintaining harmony.
- Stress the sense of being part of a collective.
- The group, rather than the individual, is special.
- Modern self-serving bias.
Individualistic: Western cultures
- Personal freedom and achievement of personal success,
- Expressing your self, individuality, diversity, pursuing goals.
- Large self-serving bias
- Individuals vs. the groups, which should come first?
- Self –serving bias: people who take personal credit for success but blame
failure on others
Impression Formation
- Forming impressions of other people
- Example: Someone falling down (behaviour). Explanations that focus on:
Disposition: their personality/something about them (Why did they fall?
Because they are clumsy)
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