txb ch15

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John Bassili

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 processinvolved 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 processby 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 individual’s environment that can affect thoughts feelings and behaviours Internal factors: an individual’s 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 person’s behaviour is www.notesolution.com 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 people’s 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 easewith 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 www.notesolution.com • Mere exposure effect: formation of a positive attitude towards a person, place or thing, based solely on repeated exposure to that person, place or thing Behavioural: tendency to act • People do not always behave as their expressed attitudes and beliefs would lead us to expect • Attitudes do not always affect behaviour • Attitudes and behaviour relationship is influenced by many factors: o Degree of specificity: more specific, more predicable o Motivational relevance: expressing a particular attitude takes less effort than expressing a commitment o Accessibility o Constraints on behaviour: circumstances Cognitive: set of beliefs about a topic • We acquire most beliefs about a particular topic quite directly • Two aspects of persuasion have attained special attention: source of message and message itself o The source: Credible attractive o The message itself: If know little, one sided argument If know a lot, 2 sided argument • Scare tactics: need instructions to be effective • Cognitive dissonance: o Our behaviour also affects our attitudes o Cognitive dissonance theory: theory that changes in attitude can be motivated by an unpleasant state of tension caused by disparity between a person’s
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