PSY220H1 Study Guide - Availability Heuristic, Illusory Correlation, Observer-Expectancy Effect

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28 Jun 2011

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Andrew (youngjik) Lee
Social beliefs and judgements
Attribution theory is how we explain other!s behavior whether it be for internal
dispositions or external situations
Dispositional attribution is attributing behavior to the person!s dispositions or traits
(just how they are)
Situational attribution attributing behavior to environment or circumstance
We often infer that other people!s intentions and dispositions correspond to their actions
When we explain behavior we observe consistency (do they usually behave this way),
distinctiveness (do they behave differently in other situations), and consensus (do
others behave this way in this situation). If yes to any, situational attribution, if no then
internal attribution
Fundamental attribution error (correspondence bias) is the tendency for observers
to underestimate situational influences and overestimate depositional influences on
other!s behavior
Ex. People believe that debaters actually believe the positions they defend even
knowing that they had been told to take a certain position.
Fundamental attribution error seems to serve our self-interest and we tend to presume
that others are the way they act.
Actor-observer difference
When we act. The environment commands our attention while when we watch another
person act, that person occupies the centre of our attention and situation becomes less
visible. If we were able to see world through their eyes, attribution error could be
At first we tend to see people to be primary cause of an event but in time we appreciate
the role played by situation
Self-awareness is a self-conscious state in which we focus attention on ourselves and
thereby attribute more responsibility to ourselves.
The less opportunity we have to observe people!s behavior in contexts, the more we
attribute to their personalities
People everywhere perceive media and mediators as biased against their position
People are less critical of information when it supports their preferred conclusions
"Kulechov effect! is when filmmakers control people!s perceptions of emotions by
manipulating the setting in which they see a face
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