PSY 306 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Spike Jonze, Ikea, Georg Simmel

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Class 5: Attribution
Heider & Simmel (1946)
Shows triangles and circles moving around but people will
attribute emotions to the shapes
Spike Jonze Ad for Ikea
Makes everyone feel bad for a lamp, and then reminds
everyone that it is just a lamp
(Invisible) Mental
Natural to describe movements in terms of intentions, desires, and
affective states
But we can’t see these, all we can see is the behaviors
What is reasonable to infer?
Trait → State → Intention → Behavior
What do we actually infer? (erroneously)
Behavior → Intention → State → Trait
We infer for empathy to understand others and for predicting
future behavior
We infer automatically by best guess (nave or lay theory,
pseudo-hypothesis testing
Dispositional Facts, also called traits
Situation factors, also called context
A good way to determine if a behavior is the cause of a situation
or trait, it is smart to track it or look back
Whether it is constant (trait) or happens every once in a
while (situation)
Hal Kelley’s (1967) Covariation Model” of Attribution
Distinctiveness (subject of the act)
Consensus (object of the act)
Consistency (across time or situations)
Limitations of Covariation Analysis
Model of what we should do, not necessarily what we
actually do (normative model)
Correspondent Inference Theory Ned Jones (1965)
Allows for attributions based on single behavior
Behavior = Dispositions + Situational Factors
Situational Constraints
No dispositional inference can be made when a social
norma creates the behavior
Counter Normative Behavior
Suggests a correspondence between the behavior and
one’s internal dispositions
Discounting and Augmenting Ned Jones (1965)
The more plausible reasons there are for someones actions, the
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