How do we form impressions of others? Appearance, Verbal behaviour and
nonverbal behaviour (The way in which we communicate, intentionally/unintentionally
Nonverbal cues: Facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures, interpersonal distance, body
position/movement, use of touch, eye contact.
Some nonverbal cues actually contradict the spoken words
•Communicating sarcasm is the classic example of verbal-nonverbal contradiction
•Think about how you'd say “I'm so happy for you” sarcastically.
•When verbal and nonverbal cues directly conflict, people rely on nonverbal cues to
Information we use when we form impressions of others:
Verbal + non-verbal behaviour
They can be: Stable or unstable
Automatic or controlled
Internal or external
Kelley’s Co-variation model of Attribution
•People take 3 factors into account
•Consensus: How do others behave in same situations?
•Consistency: How frequently does the person behave similarly in the same situation?
•Distinctiveness: Does the person behave like that in other situations?
We are most likely to make attributions when:
•Behaviour is unexpected
•Events are personally relevant
•Other's motives are suspicious
Our perceptions of others are influenced by Schemas
•Aid in the categorization of events
•Influence our interpretation of events
•Aid in the predictability of events
•Encompass our knowledge about many things:
•Ourselves, other people, social roles (What a librarian, engineer or professor is like)
•specific events (What usually happens when people eat a meal in a restaurant) How do Schemas act as memory guides?
•Facilitates our memory for info we encounter
•but may cause us to mistakenly recall info that we didn't actually encounter.
Our perceptions of others are influenced by expectations.
eg: People who read their
horoscope generally indicate that it is fairly accurate. Why? (Use of biased questions!)
•Biased questions seek to confirm a hypothesis.
•Diagnostic questions seek to test the accuracy of a hypothesis.
Cognitive Distortions Stereotypes
Stereotypes about race
Prejudice and Discrimination
•Contact hypothesis Other Cognitive
•Increase awareness of similarities
•Info inconsistent with stereotypes
•Challenge outgroup homogeneity view
•work together toward shared goals
•Cooperative learning technique. Causes of the Fundamental Attribution Error Other Cognitive Distortions
•A change in behaviour requested by another person/group.
•Social psychologists have identified a # of techniques that
• people use to induce compliance.
•Involves asking for a small favour, then escalating the compliance by asking for increasingly larger
•Involves obtaining a commitment & then raising the cost of the commitment
•Involves asking 1 for something large and outrageous, and when refused, then asking for a
What is abnormal behaviour?
It is characterized as:
•maladaptive (Interferes with a person's ability to function)
•Distressing to the person who exhibits it or to the person's
•friends + family
The DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) System for
Diagnosing Psychopathology: The DSM-5 A note about Mental Illness
•Contains more than 300 psychological disorders
•Also cites the prevalence of each disorder
•The % of the population displaying the disorder.
Anxiety Disorders, OCD and PTSD–class of disorders
marked by feelings of excessive fear/ apprehension.
•May be related to a particular situation/object. Generalized anxiety
•Often accompanied by increased physiological arousal.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
•Persistent, uncontrollable thoughts that cause compulsive
•rituals that interfere with daily life.
•Common obsessions include: Fear of contamination,
•repeated doubts, fear for harm of others/self.
•Common compulsions include: checking, washing,
•ordering/counting, hoarding. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
•Temporarily anxiety brought on by obsessions
•Lifetime prevalence 2.5%
Etiology of Anxiety Disorders
•Inherited temperament may be a risk factor for anxiety
•e.g., “Anxiety sensitivity” theory – some people are
•more sensitive to internal physiological symptoms
•of anxiety and overreact with fear when they occur
•The brain's neurotransmitters may underlie anxiety
•e.g. Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) Mood disorders
•May include delusions
•False (often (-)) beliefs inconsistent with reality
•May be triggered by a specific event or have no identifiable
•Attempted by ~30% of depressed people.
Bipolar Disorder (formerly “manic depression”) Etiology of mood disorders.
•People with the disorder vary between 2 extremes Genetic/Biological Factors
•Manic phase – Rapid speech, inflated self-esteem, - Concordance rates suggest
that there is a
•impulsiveness, euphoria, decreased need for sleep. Genetic basis for mood disorders
•Depressed phase- gloomy mood, hopelessness, loss of -% of twin pairs/
other pairs of relatives
•energy. That have
the same disorder.
•Lifetime prevalence: 1%