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PSYA02H3 Study Guide - Fundamental Attribution Error, Cognitive Dissonance, Representativeness Heuristic


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYA02H3
Professor
John Bassili

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Psych chapter 15 -- social psychology
Social psychology: studies our social nature how the actual, imagined or implied
presence of others influences our thoughts, feelings and behaviours
Social cognition
The process involved in perceiving, interpreting and acting on social information
Schema: a mental framework or body of knowledge that organizes and synthesizes
information about a person place or thing
o
Central theme in cognitive psych
Central traits: personality attributes that organize and influence the interpretation
of other traits
The primacy effect: the tendency to form impressions of people based on the first
information that we receive about them
The self
o
Self concept: self identity, ones knowledge and ideas about one another
o
Self schemata: a mental framework that represents and synthesizes information
about oneself
o
Circumstances induce change
o
Culture plays powerful role in individual and social development
o
Interconnections of people plays a role in identifying self concept
Attribution
o
Attribution: the process by which people infer the causes of other peoples
behaviours
o
Disposition vs. Situation
External or internal factors driving behaviour?
External factors: people, events and other stimuli in an individuals
environment that can affect thoughts feelings and behaviours
Internal factors: an individuals traits, needs, intentions which can
affect his or her thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behaviours
Also expected behaviours in certain situations
Consensual behaviour: behaviour that is shaped by many
people, people engage in the same behaviour
Distinctiveness: the extent to which a person behaves
differently towards different people events or other stimuli
Consistency: the extent to which a persons behaviour is
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consistent across time toward another
Believe important for advancement of personal interests to
understand the cause of others behaviours
o
Fundamental attribution error: the tendency to overestimate the significance of
internal factors in explaining other peoples behaviour, and underestimate the
significance of external factors.
o
Lemer: belief in a just world people get what they deserve in life, fundamental
attribution error
We blame poor for their own predicament, we maintain a sense of
justice and avoid having to deal with difficult underlying causes of
poverty
Actor observer bias: tend to attribute their own behaviour to their
circumstances (i.e., situation causes), but tend to attribute the
behaviours of those we observe to their dispositions (i.e., person
causes)
Different focus of attention when we view ourselves
Different types of information are available to us
o
Self servicing bias: the tendency to attribute our accomplishments and success
to internal causes and our failures to external behaviours
o
False consensus: the tendency of a person to perceive his or her own response as
representative of general consensus
heuristics
o
Representativeness heuristic: general rule for decision making by which people
classify a person place or thing into the category to which it appears to be the
most similar
o
Availability heuristic: general rule for decision making by which a person judges
the likelihood or an importance of an event by the ease with which examples
of that event come to mind
o
Medical student syndrome
o
Hypochondrias
Attitudes and their formation
Attitude: an evaluation of a person, place or thing
o
Have three components
Affective: kinds of feelings
Direct social conditioning
Vicarious classical conditioning
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