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Psychology 2720A/B Midterm: Chapter 4

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Psychology 2720A/B
Mike Morrison

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Chapter 4: Social Perception Social Perception = the study of how we form impression of and make inferences about other people  Uses o What we see in others o What we see in ourselves o What others see in us NON VERBAL BEHAVIOUR Body Language and Gestures  Much emotional expression is nonverbal  Primary uses of nonverbal behaviour o Expressing emotion o Conveying attitudes o Communicating personality o Substitution for verbal messages Discrete Emotions Theory: Emotions as Evolved Expression  Theory that people experience a small number of distinct emotions o Distinct biological roots o Sevres as evolutionary function  Primary emotions identified by Ekman: o Fear o Anger o Sad o Joyness o Surprise o Disgust o Contempt Cultural Differences in Emotional Expression  The finding that certain emotions exist across most of all cultures doesn’t mean that culture are identical in their emotional expressions  Display rules = cross cultural guidelines for how and when to express motions What we see in others: Detecting Deception  Do others know when you are lying? o There are reliable nonverbal indicators of lying  Voice pitch increases when lying  Eye blinks increase when lying  Posture shifts and gestures increase when lying  However, no one nonverbal behaviour is associated perfectly with lying, and lies can be told successfully without these behaviours Lying and Lie Detection  Lie detection methods: o Humans as lie detectors  Federal officers, sheriffs, clinical psychologists o Polygraph test: physiological responses to questions designed to expose falsehoods (risk of high false-positive) o Guilty knowledge test: criminals know something that innocent people don’t ( high false-negative) o Brain scanning technique o Integrity tests ATTRIBUTION THEORIES What We see in others: Attribution Theories  We are invested in understanding the reasons for people’s behaviours o We want to know why people act the way they do  Attribution theory examines how we answer this “why” question  Attributions: casual judgements about why an event or behaviour occurs o Internal (person) vs. eternal (situational) causes or attributions Kelley’s Covariation Model of Attribution  People are “intuitive scientists” when trying to make attributional decisions for a behaviou: o Much like at trained scientist, laypeople gather evidence, weigh possibilities, form hypotheses, to understand others o Covariation model of attribution summarizes these steps:  Is it correlated with internal factors?  Is it correlated with external factors?  Is it correlated with a combination of both?  Depending on this analysis, you will attribute the behaviour differently What information is used during analysis?  Consensus: do other people do this behaviour? o Behaviour is correlated with the situation  Distinctiveness: does this person do this behaviour in other situations? o Behaviour is correlated with the person  Consistency: does this person usually do this behaviour in this situation? o Behaviour is correlated with situation AND the person combined Attribution Theories  Covariation model assumes we know something about the situation and the person  What happens when we don’t know anything? o Internal attributions come first (person) o External attributions come later (situation)  Similar to anchoring and adjustment – we usually use both types of information Problems when we rely on attribution  False consensus effect: the tendency to overestimate the extent to which others agree with us o Ross et al. (1977): asked students to walk around campus wearing unusual signs, but could still decline and receive credit o Also predicted how many would make the same decision as them CORRESPONDENCE BIAS = the tendency to assume that people’s actions and words reflect their personality, their attitudes, or some other internal factor rather than external or situational factors  Also called the fundamental attribution error What Causes the correspondence Bias?  We may overlook or be unaware of situational information  We may underestimate the power of the situation  Fully taking the situation into account requires cognitive resources, which may or may not be available Problem When we Rely on Attribution  Exception to the bias: we don’t apply it to ourselves  Actor-observer difference o Observers tend to make internal attributions for another actors behaviour o We tend to make external attributions for our own behaviour  We think we drive to fast because of “special circumstances”  Others think we drive too fast because we’re jerks  Reasons for the actor-observer difference: o Perceptual salience
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