PSY321H1 Lecture Notes - Physical Attractiveness, Contact Hypothesis, Homicide

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Published on 15 Apr 2013
School
UTSG
Department
Psychology
Course
PSY321H1
Professor
Chapter 14 Culture and Social Behaviour 1
Culture and Person Perception
Person Perception
- refers to process of forming impressions of others
o includes judgments of appearance, attractiveness, personality traits
- greater height (considered attractive) associated with leadership ability,
competence, and high salary
- size generally associated with strength and dominance perceptions held even by
infants
- people across cultures tend to agree on their judgments of personality
o demonstrated through statements of personality based on pictures of facial
expression
- experiment: American and Japanese people made judgments of traits from faces of
US and Japanese political candidates
o high agreement across cultures
o predictive of percentage of votes each candidate received
o each culture was better at predicting the election outcome of their own
culture
- experiment: American and Japanese observers were shown smiling faces that
differed in the intensity for the eyes or the mouth
o Americans trusted face with more intensity in the mouth (smiling mouths)
believed smiling faces to be more intelligent
o Japanese trusted face with more intensity in eyes
believed neutral faces to be more intelligent than smiling faces
- nonverbal behaviours are important cues, lead to impression formation
- study found that there were more negative nonverbal behaviours towards black tv
characters than white
o exposure to pro-white nonverbal bias increased viewers bias unconsciously
Culture and Face Recognition
- same-race bias in ability to recognize faces (better recognition of faces from one’s
own race than other races)
o exists in children as young as 3 months
- same-race bias could be b/c of greater interaction with ones own race
Culture and Attractiveness
- evolutionary theories predict that there is a universal standard of attractiveness
(b/c attractiveness increases chances of reproduction
- leg-to-body ration is associated with attractiveness
o short and excessively long legs judged as less attractive
- men prefer low female waist-to-hip ratio (shown to be true for blind men as well!)
o suggesting that this may be an innate preference and not a visually learned
one
- there are cultural differences in the meaning of attractiveness
o North Americans tend to link physical attractiveness to desirable personality
traits (nice, trustworthy, smart, good social skills)
o Koreans rated attractive faces as more socially and intellectually competent,
better adjusted, and more sexually interesting
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Chapter 14 Culture and Social Behaviour 2
difference was that they also said attractive faces were more
empathetic
- slim women tended to elicit positive nonverbal behaviours
- unconscious verbal cues in a culture will influence how a person thinks
Love, Sex, and Marriage Across Cultures
Culture and Mate Selection
- 36/37 countries females rated financial prospects more importantly than males did
o 29/36 countries females rated ambition and industriousness more
importantly than males
- all 37 cultures males preferred younger mates and females older
- 34/37 males rated good looks as more important than females
- 23/37 cultures males rated chastity as more important than females
- therefore females value traits related to resource acquisition and males value traits
related to reproduction
- study: Americans prefer expressivity, openness, sense of humor more than Russians
who preferred them more than Japanese
o Russians said skill as a lover (good at sex) as most important and Japanese
said it was least important
- mate poaching: stealing someone else’s mate
o most common in Southern/Western/Eastern Europe and South America
o less common in Africa, South/Southeast/East Asia
o in all, males were more likely to do this and to be the victims of mate-
poaching attempts by others
o in all, poachers were comfortable in talking about sex, more disagreeable,
less trustworthy, unfaithful
o cultures with more economic resources had higher rates of mate poaching
attempts
Culture and Love
- study: French and Americans had higher ratings than Japanese on love commitment
and disclosure maintenance
o Americans higher on relational ambivalence
o Japanese and Americans higher than French on conflict expression
- romantic love seems to be more valued in US and Germany than in Japan
o more valued in cultures with few strong family bonds
o less valued in cultures where strong kinship networks influence relationship
b/w marriage partners
Culture and Sex
- people from many non-Western cultures value chastity very highly in a potential
mate whereas people from western Europe do not care
- homosexuality tends to be more accepted in cultures that are more industrialized,
and affluent
- one study: widespread acceptance of premarital sex across the 24 countries studied
o but teen sex and extramarital sex were not accepted
- cultures with fewer resources and more stress are linked to more insecure romantic
attachments and higher fertility rates
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Chapter 14 Culture and Social Behaviour 3
- jealous is a universal reaction to infidelity of one’s mate
o men more jealous when their mates have sex with another man
o women more jealous when their mates have an emotional attachment with
another female
Culture and Marriage
- 90% of people in most cultures get married
- South/Southeast/East Asia tend to score higher on preoccupied romantic
attachment, attachment to others are relatively more dependent on value that they
provide to others and that others provide to themselves
- many cultures want women to have children before 30 but this conflicts with
cultures that are high on educational importance
- individualistic cultures are more likely to rate love as essential to marriage and
therefore the disappearance of love is a good reason to end a marriage
- arranged marriages are very common in many cultures
o seen as a union of families
o people often report that they grow to love the marry they marry
Intercultural Marriages
- partners come from two different cultural backgrounds
- conflicts arise in major areas: expression of love/intimacy, nature of commitment,
approaches to child rearing, division of male/female roles, relationships with
extended family
- sometimes the differences do not show up until children come into the picture
- children with stronger ethnic identities are more likely to marry within their own
ethnic group
- for success both partners need to be flexible and committed
Culture and Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience
- conformity means yielding to real or imagined social pressure
- compliance is yielding to social pressure in one’s public behaviour even though
one’s private beliefs may not have changed
- obedience is a form of compliance that occurs when people follow direct commands
(usually from a person in a position of authority)
- experiment: 36.8% would conform by giving a wrong answer to an easy question
after hearing the majority of people (all confederates of the study) give wrong
answers
- another famous study is the giving a shock to a person experiment
o 65% of people went to the danger zone shock
- conformity tends to be higher when the majority consists of ingroup members and
when the stimuli is ambiguous
o also higher in collectivistic countries
- source of cultural difference may be in historical prevalence of pathogens: cultures
where pathogens were more prevalent may have facilitated cultural norms
promoting greater conformity in order to deal with increased risk of disease
- all depends on what cultures values, in some to conform is “weak” whereas in others
to conform is required for successful relationships
Culture and Cooperation
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Document Summary

Person perception refers to process of forming impressions of others includes judgments of appearance, attractiveness, personality traits. Greater height (considered attractive) associated with leadership ability, competence, and high salary size generally associated with strength and dominance perceptions held even by infants. People across cultures tend to agree on their judgments of personality: demonstrated through statements of personality based on pictures of facial expression. Experiment: american and japanese people made judgments of traits from faces of. Us and japanese political candidates: high agreement across cultures, predictive of percentage of votes each candidate received, each culture was better at predicting the election outcome of their own culture. Experiment: american and japanese observers were shown smiling faces that differed in the intensity for the eyes or the mouth: americans trusted face with more intensity in the mouth (smiling mouths) Believed smiling faces to be more intelligent. Japanese trusted face with more intensity in eyes.

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