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Steve Joordens

CHAPTER 15 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Social psychology: branch of psychology that studies our social nature how the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others influences our thoughts, feelings and behaviours SOCIAL COGNITION: the processes involved in perceiving, interpreting, and acting on social information Schemata and Social Cognition Major task of social psychology is to understand how we first form impressions of others To answer how perceptions thoughts and motives of one person become known to other persons they study: impression formation: the way in which we integrate information about anothers traits into a coherent sense of who the person is Schema Schema: mental framework or body of knowledge that organizes and synthesizes information about a person place or thing Central Traits Central traits: personality attributes that organize and influence the interpretation of other traits Central traits impart meaning to other known traits and suggest the presence of other traits that have yet to be revealed Aschs tests of this focused on the warm/cold trait dimension Those told the person is warm had a more positive view of the person than the others who were told the person was cold. Polite/Blunt did not result in a difference as above and as such are peripheral traits, not central The negative effect of the cold trait is stronger than the positive effect of the warm trait because there is bias towards positivity in impressions of people The Primacy Effect Primacy effect: the tendency to form impressions of people based on the first information we receive about them Webster, Richter and Kruglanski found this was more pronounced for people mentally fatigued than those relatively alert Brown and Bassili found that when you first encounter someone, for example a firefighter, who talks about their heroic rescue, you associate bravery with them in the future, and if youre eating a banana at the time, you associate banana with bravery The Self Self concept: self-identity. Ones knowledge, feelings, and ideas about oneself Self: a persons distinct individuality At the core of self-concept is self-schema: a mental framework that represents and synthesizes information about oneself; a cognitive structure that organizes the knowledge, feelings, and ideas that constitute the self-concept Self concept is dynamic Markus and Nurius: suggest we should think ourselves as working self-concepts that change through experience Culture and Social Psychology Cross-culture psychology: a branch of psychology that studies the effects of culture on behaviour If results of a study are replicated through different cultures we can be more confident what has been discovered applies broadly to our species Many cultural psychologists believe basic psychological processes may be universal but that the processes are informed by culture Markus and Kitayama conceptualized two construals of the self that reflect cultural differences: independent construal and interdependent construal Independent construal are more likely to persist on a task after success while interdependent less likely for those who are difficult to change attempt for more success, those malleable want to improve their deficiencies Well-being in eastern students found to be strongly associated with interpersonal attributes such as friendliness Well-being in western students more strongly associated with individual achievement/success and self reflective emotions such as pride Attribution Attribution: the process by which people infer the causes of other peoples behaviour Disposition versus Situation According to attribution theorists, primary classification we make concerning causes of peoples actions is the relative importance of situational (external) and dispositional (internal) factors External factors: people, events, and other stimuli in an individuals environment that can affect his or her thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behaviours Internal Factors: an individuals traits, needs, and intentions, which can affect his or her thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behaviours Kelleys Theory of Attribution Kelley suggested we attribute the behaviour of other people to external or internal causes on the basis of three types of information: consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency Consensual behaviour: behaviour that is shared by many people; behaviour that is similar from one person to the next. To the extent that people engage in the same behaviour, their behaviour is consensual 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 consistent across time toward another person, an event, or a stimulus Attributional Biases The Fundamental Attribution Error Fundamental attribution error: the tendency to overestimate the significance of internal factors and underestimate the significance of external factors in explaining other peoples behaviours Jones and Harris told people to read essays supposedly written by other students, some pro Fidel Castro, some against, and on top of that, half were told the position was assigned, the other half was told it was chosen by the author. Either way, after reading when asked they attributed the view of the essay to be the view of the author Victim-blaming is another example, because people tend to subscribe to a:
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