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PSY100Y5 Study Guide - Agreeableness, Robert Sternberg, Richard Petty


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY100Y5
Professor
Dax Urbszat

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Chapter 16: Social Behaviour
Introduction
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms establishes equality before and under the law and equal
protection and benefits of the law
oProvides the standard for treatment of persons in Canada
oOf critical important when considering racism, stereotyping, and prejudice which occurs at
all levels in Canada
1/6 Canadians reported being victims of racism
Race and ethnicity emerge as the most common cause of reported hate crimes
Blacks are the most common target of racially oriented hate crimes
Jews are the most frequent victims of religion based hate crimes
Aboriginals often been targets of racism and stereotyping
Ethnic composition of Canada is changing but there is also an increase in the visible minorities
oIncrease in visible minorities resulted from immigration
oMembers of visible minorities are often targets of racism
Emigrating from another country may challenge immigrants to weigh traditional values against
the new values they find
Social Psychology: branch of psychology concerned with the way individuals thoughts, feelings, and
behaviours are influenced by others
Social psychologists study how people are affected by actual, imagined, or implied presence of
others
Social psychologists often study individual behaviour in a social context
Six broad topics of social psychology:
Person Perception: Forming Impressions of Others
Our impressions of others are affected by variety of factors including physical appearance
Solomon Asch demonstrated the importance that central traits can have on impressions we form
of others
Person perception: process of forming impression of others
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Impressions are often inaccurate because of many biases and fallacies that occur in person
perception
Effects of Physical Appearance
studies have shown that judgments of others personality are often swayed by their appearance,
specially their physical attractiveness
people tend to ascribe desirable personality characteristics (more sociable, friendly, warm and well
adjusted) to those who are good looking
in reality, research shows that there is little correlation between attractiveness and personality
traits
one reason that people inaccurately correlate good looks with personality is that extremely
attractive people are vastly overrepresented in media where they are mostly portrayed in highly
favourable ways
people have surprisingly strong tendency to view good looking people are more competent that less
attractive people
othis bias works in the favour of good looking people as they tend to get better jobs and earn
higher salaries than those who are less good looking
baby faced features (large eyes, smooth skin) viewed as being more honest and trustworthy,
relatively warm, submissive, helpless and naïve
ohowever, no association has been found between baby-faced features and these traits
studies indicate that social perception based on facial appearance are formed in a blink of an eye ;
studies show that it takes a tenth of a second to draw inferences about people based on facial
features
Cognitive Schemas
people end to categorize one another
such labels reflect use of cognitive schemas in person perception
schemas: cognitive structures that guide information processing
social schemas: organized clusters of ideas about categories of social events and people
depend on social schemas because the schemas help them to efficiently process and store the
wealth of information that they take in about others in their interactions
people routinely place one another in categories, and these categories influence the process of
person perception
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Stereotypes
special types of schemas
defn: widely held beliefs that people have certain characteristics because of their membership in a
particular group
most common stereotypes in our society are based on sex, age, and membership in
ethnic/occupational groups
stereotyping is a cognitive process that is frequently automatic and that saves time and effort
required to get to know people individually
conservation of energy often comes at cost in terms of accuracy
broad overgeneralizations that ignore diversity among members of group and imply inaccurate
perception of people
Example: Group of girls stereotyped to be fashion conscious. This is not necessarily true, but it is
more likely for them than others to be fashion conscious
Stereotypes make people think in terms of slanted probabilities, so they are more likely to imply
their expectations (the stereotype that they hold) when they meet people
oPerception is subjective and people see what they want to see
our perception of others is subject to self-fulfilling prophecy
oThis was clearly demonstrated in a classic study by Word, Zanna, & Cooper (1974). (Mark
Zanna, a professor of psychology at the University of Waterloo, received the CPA's Donald
O. Hebb Award in 1993.) The research had two studies. In the first study, researchers had
white undergraduate males interview either a black or white job applicant. The applicant
was, in fact, an experimental accomplice or confederate. It was found that when the job
applicant was black, the interviewers tended to sit farther away, end the interview more
quickly, and make more speech errors (e.g., stuttering, stammering). Clearly, then, the
white interviewers changed how they acted depending on the race of the interviewee. In
interviewing a white accomplice, they adopted what was referred to as an immediate style
(i.e., sitting closer, more eye contact), but when they interviewed a black accomplice they
used a nonimmediate style (i.e., sitting farther away, making more speech errors, looking
away). In the second study, Word, Zanna, and Cooper attempted to find out how it would
feel to have someone behave toward you in a nonimmediate style. In the study, white
experimental accomplices interviewed other white students while adopting either the
immediate or nonimmediate style. Students who had been interviewed in the nonimmediate
style seemed more anxious and did not perform as well in the interview. The study was
designed to show the operation of self-fulfilling prophecy. If you hold strong beliefs about
the characteristics of another group, you may behave in such a way so as to bring about
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