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PSYC 1010
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Chapter 13- Behavior in a Social Context January-28-12 9:05 PM SOCIAL THINKING AND PERCEPTION • Attribution : perceiving the causes of behavior ○ Attributions-judgementsabout the causes of our own and other people's behavior and outcomes  Attributions influence our subsequent behavior and emotions ○ Personal vs. situational attributions  Personal (internal attributions infer that people's behavior is caused by their characteristics □ My a on the exam reflects my high ability  Situation (external) attributions infer that aspects of the situation cause a behavior □ I received an a because it was easy  3 types of informationdetermine the attribution we make: □ Consistency  Still hate the artwork? □ Distinctiveness  Dislikes only that artwork □ Consensus  Other people agree artwork is horrible  When consistency,distinctiveness, and consensus are all high, we are likely to make a situational attribution  But if consistency is high and the other 2 are low, we make a personal attribution ○ Attributional biases  Fundamental attribution error-we underestimatethe impact of the situation and overestimatethe role of personal factors when explaining other people's behavior  Self-serving bias- making relativelymore personal attributions for success and more situational attributions for failure ○ Culture and attribution  Many studies suggest that the tendency to attribute other people's behavior to personal factors reflects a Westernized emphasis on individualism  Culture also influences attributions for our own behavior □ Modestyhighly valued in Chinese culture, and take moreresponsibility for their failures  Cultural background also seemsto affect the way we go about making attributions □ Holistic thinking among east Asians • Forming and maintaining impressions ○ Attributions play a key role in impression formation:does a person's behavior say something about her or him, or is it caused by the situation? Other factors, however, also affect how we form and maintain impressions ○ Primacy vs. Recency:Are First impressions moreimportant?  Primacyeffect-tendency to attach more importanceto the initial informationthat we learn about a person □ New info can change our opinion, but it has to work harder to overcomethe initial impressionsbecause:  We tend to be most alert to the information we receive first  Initial informationmay shape how we perceive subsequent information □ General rule in impression formation □ Primacy effects decrease, and recency effects may occur- when we are asked to avoid making snap judgements, are reminded to carefully consider the evidence, and are made to feel accountable for our judgements Mental sets and Schemas,: seeing what we expect to see ○ Mental sets and Schemas,: seeing what we expect to see  Our mental set , which is a readiness to perceive the world in a particular way, powerfully shapes how we interpret a stimulus  What creates our mental set? □ Schemas, out mental frameworksthat help us organize and interpret information  Stereotype- generalized belief about a group or category of people, represent s type of schema ○ Self fulfilling prophecies: creating what we expect to see  Self fulfillingprophecy- occurs usually without conscious awareness, when peoples erroneous expectationslead them to act toward others in a way that brings about the expected behaviors, thereby confirming the original impression □ Act differently based on what you were told about that person (smile less, more distance) • Attitudes and Attitude Change ○ Attitude - positive or negative evaluative reaction toward a stimulus, such as a person, object, action or concept ○ How do attitudes affect our behavior?  Attitude behavior relationship is strong, but weak in some cases: □ Attitudes influence behavior more strongly when counteracting situational factors are weak  Financial incentives, conformityand obedience pressure may lead to people behaving in ways that are at odds with their inner convictions  Theory of planned behavior-our intention to engage in a behavior is strongest when we have a positive attitude with that behavior □ Attitudes have a greater influence on behavior when we are aware of them and when they are strongly held □ General attitudes are better at predicting general classes of behavior, and specific attitudes are better at predicting specific behavior ○ Does our behavior influence our attitudes?  Self justification □ Theory of cognitivedissonance-people strive for consistency in their cognitions □ Theory predicts that to reduce dissonance and restore a state of cognitive consistency,people will change one of their cognitions or add new cognitions  Person with 20 bucks could justify their behavior by adding a new cognitions "who wouldn’t lie for 20 bucks?  The person who had the 1 dollar could not use this money to justify their behavior. But they can convince themselvesthat the tasks were actually enjoyable then they wouldn't have lied after all  Self perception □ Self perception theory- we make influences about our own attitudes in much the same way: by observing by how we behave ○ Persuasion  The communicator □ Communicator credibility-howbelievable the communicatoris □ Credibility had two components:  Expertise  Trustworthiness □ Communicatorswho are physically attractive,likable, and similar to us also persuade us more effectively  The message □ Meta analysis indicates that the two sided refutational approach is more effective,especially when the audience disagrees with the message or they are aware of both sides, the audience will see the two sided message as less biased □ Messages that attempt to persuade by arousing fear can be effectiveunder □ Messages that attempt to persuade by arousing fear can be effectiveunder certain conditions ○ The audience  Central route to persuasion-occurs when people think carefully about the message and are influenced because they find the arguments compelling  Peripheral route to persuasion- occurs when people do not scrutinize the message but are influenced mostly by other factors such as the speaker's attractivenessor a message's emotionalappeal  We tend to process a message more closely when it is personally relevant: when it will actually affect us in some way  People with a high need for cognitions tend to followthe central route to persuasion SOCIAL INFLUENCE • The mere presence of others ○ The presence of others energizes performance  average speed in cyclist was faster in a group than individual times ○ Social facilitation- increased tendency to perform one's dominant response in the mere presence of others  The presence of the audience improved the performanceof the accomplished players but worsened for the less skilled players • Social norms: the rules of the game ○ Social norms- shared expectations about how people should think, feel and behave and they are the cement that binds social systems ○ Social role- set of norms that characterizes how people in a given positions ought to behave (police, spouse) ○ Norms and roles can influence behavior so strongly that they compel a person to act characteristically (prison and guard experiment) • Conformityand obedience ○ Why do people conform?  Informational social influence- we follow the opinions or behavior of other people because we believe they have the accurate knowledge and what they are doing is right  Normative social influence-conformto obtain rewards that come from being accepted by other people, while at the same time, avoiding their rejection ○ Factors that affect conformity  Group size and presence can measure the effects of conformity ○ Minority influence  Moscoviciproposes that to maximizeits influence, the minority must be highly committedto it's point of view, remain independent in the face of majority pressure, and consistent over time, yet appear to keep and open mind ○ Factors that influence destructiveobedience  Remotenessof victim □ Obedience greater when the learning was out of sight  Closeness and legitimacy of the authority figure □ Obedience highest when authority was close and perceived as legitimate  Cog in a wheel □ Obedience increases when someoneelse does the "dirty work"  Personal characteristics □ No relation ○ Detecting and resisting compliance techniques  Norm of reciprocity-expectationthat when other treat us well. We should respond in kind  Door in the face technique-persuader makes a large request, expecting you to reject, and then presents a smaller request  Foot in the door-persuader gets you to comply with a small request first and later presents a larger request  Lowballing-persuadergets you to committo some action and then- before you  Lowballing-persuadergets you to committo some action and then- before you actually perform the behavior- he or she increases the cost of that same behavior • Crowd behavior and deindividuation ○ Diindividuation- loss of individuality that leads to disinhibited behavior  Anonymityto outsiders was key • Group influences on performance and decision making ○ Social loafing: failing to pull your own weight  Social loafing-tendency for people to expend less individual effort in a group than when working alone  Collective effort model-on a collective task, people will put forth effort only to the extent that they expect their effort to contribute to obtaining a valued goal □ People believe that individual performancewithin the group is not being monitored □ The task has less value or meaning to the person □ The group is less important to the person □ The task is simple and the person's input is redundant with that of the group members □ Fatigue seems to increase social loafing □ Social compensation- work harder in a group than alone if they expect that their colleagues either don't have enough ability or will slack off ○ Group polarization: going to extremes  Such decisions often rests in the hands of juries and they are entrusted in groups because they are assumed to be more conservativethan individuals and less likely to "go off the deep end"  Group polarization-when a group of like-minded people discusses an issue, whether face to face, or through email, the average opinion of group members tends to becomemore extreme  Group polarization occurs because □ Normal and social influence-individuals who are attracted to a group may be motivatedto adopt a more extremeposition to gain the group's approval □ Informational social influence-during group discussions people hear arguments supporting their positions that they have not previously considered. makes the decision even more valid ○ Groupthink: suspending Critical thinking  Group think- the tendency for group membersto suspend critical thinking because they are striving to seek agreement  Most likely to occur when a group □ Is under high stress to reach a decision □ Is insulated from outside input □ Has a directive leader who prom
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