Lecture on February 5th: Attributions

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University of Massachusetts Amherst
Psychology & Brain Sciences
John Bickford

Social Psychology, Lecture on February 5 th Gestalt psychology: Each trait is influenced by its context. Solomon Asch: Central traits (some are more important than others). Harold Kelley (1950):  Guest lecturer  Independent variable: trait description used (warm or cold)  Dependent variable: student favorability  Result: “warm” produced more favorably Early information colors perception of later information  Remember Harold Kelley  Primacy effect o Jones (1968) o Test of intellectual ability o Independent variable: order of right/wrong questions o Dependent variable: intelligence rating o Results: ratings were higher when correct answers came mainly from first half (earlier information) When someone rushes, tailgates you and cuts you off you immediately think, “What an asshole/jerk” – this is considered an attribution. Attributions: Causal attribution is an assumption about why a person acted the way he/she did. Two major kinds of attributions: 1) dispositional, something about the person himself made him act that way 2) situational, something about the situation made the person act that way People tend to make attribution errors! Fundamental attribution error: Ten
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