PSYCH 104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 25: Social Desirability Bias, Psych, Social Comparison Theory
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● Kelley’s Cube: 3 dimensions
● A lot of times we have more information about a person than we can use to make an
● Consensus (social desirability)
○ some of this information comes from comparing this person compared
to other people.
○ If they’re behaving differently than other people, we’re likely to make
an internal attribution
○ If they’re behaving the same as everyone else, then were’ unsure,
we’re less likely to make an internal attribution.
○ Within consensus information, behavior that is more socially
undesirable (its different and most people would be offended or
outraged by this behavior) the greater the intensity of the internal
■ When somebody does something that’s very different or weird,
then we really think they must have meant to do it, it must have
been internal to them.
○ Kelley said something that is socially desirable would disallow to
make us a strong internal attribution.
○ If a crime was particularly undesirable, different and different in a
weird way, people will find it easier to make a strong internal
attribution, and we tend to ignore the external reasons for why they
may have done that.
○ Consistency information is, oftentimes we see the target in the same
situation multiple times, and if we see the target in the same situation
multiple times and they behave the same way every time, we’re more
likely to attribute this to an internal attribution. If they behave one way
only one time, we may be more likely to search for an external reason
for why this occurred.
■ If a student who is normally calm comes in and is on the verge
of tears, the observer is more likely to search for an external
reason for why he is on the verge of tears, and not calm as he
○ If there is something distinctive about this particular situation in time,
or is there some type of pattern in other situations in which they act the
■ A student was always late for meetings, consistently. Then he
had the student in class, and he always seemed to be 10
minutes for class. Distinctively, having lab meeting evidence
and having class evidence, he made an internal attribution