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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 1000
Professor
Dr.Mike
Semester
Winter

Description
Social thinking and perception: how we think about and perceive our social world Social influence: how other people influence our behaviour Social relations: how we behave towards other people SOCIAL THINKING AND PERCEPTION THREE ASPECTS OF SOCIAL THINKING AND PERCEPTION: ATTRIBUTION: Attribution: judgments about the causes of our own and other people’s behavior and outcomes Ex. in the courtroom, attributions about the defendant’s behaviour will determine if they are innocent or guilty Personal versus situational attributions: (Heider) Personal (internal) attributions: people’s behaviour is caused by characteristics (Ex. being a rude person) Situational (external) attributions: aspects of the situation cause behaviour (Ex. he was provoked) 3 Types of information determine the attribution we make: (ex. using others advice on taking a course) 1) Consistency: if someone is asked the same question later, will they answer the same? 2) Distinctiveness: does the person only think that course is bad (high distinction) 3) Consensus: if other people agree that the course is bad then consensus is high Consistency, distinctiveness, consensus = high = situational attribution Consistency = high, distinctiveness, consensus = low, = personal attribution Attribution Bias: -sometimes people make snap judgments that bias their attributions Fundamental attribution error: -underestimate the impact of the situation and overestimate the role of personal factors when explaining other people’s behaviour (how we perceive other’s behaviour, not our own) Reasons: (Ex. when someone is driving fast they are a “maniac”, but when we drive fast we aren’t a “maniac”) -we have more information about the current situation to make judgments about ourselves than we do when we are driving fast to make an appointment -figure ground relations: we watch other (the figure) against the background; when were in the situation we are the “background” and the situation stands out -when we have time to reflect on the judgments, the fundamental error is reduced Self-serving bias: when explaining our own behaviour we tend to protect our self-esteem by making more personal attributions for success and more situational attributions for failure Culture and Attribution: -culture affects how we perceive the social world Ex. fundamental attribution error is thought to reflect a Westernized emphasis on individualism -culture influences attribution for our own behaviour Ex. modesty is highly valued in china; Chinese take less credit for successful social interactions than Americans -culture influences the way we make attributions Ex. East Asians have the view that all events are connected there they have more complex causes of behaviour -those who thought more holistically (connected) took more information into account when making attributions FORMING AND MAINTAINING IMPRESSIONS -attributions plays a role in impression formation; does behaviour say something about the person or is it caused by the situation? Primacy vs., Recency: Experiment: when reading two paragraphs about the same person; participant’s impression was influenced more by whichever paragraph they read first Primacy effect: our tendency to attach more importance to the initial information that we learn about a person -new information can change our opinion but it has to work harder for two reasons: 1) We tend to be most alert to information we receive first 2) Initial information may shape how we perceive following information -primacy effects decrease and Recency effects (giving greater value to more recent information) may occur Mental Sets and Schemas: -the same stimulus can be perceived in different ways; our mental set shapes how we interpret a stimulus -a mental schema (frameworks that organize and interpret information) creates our mental sets Ex. someone not talking a lot could mean they are cold or shy based on what the person who introduced you said Stereotype: generalized belief about a group or category of people represents a powerful schema Self-fulfilling prophecies: -seeing what we expect to see confirms our initial expectations Self-fulfilling prophecy: occurs without conscious awareness when peoples expectations lead them to act in a way that brings out the expected behaviours ATTITUDES AND ATTITUDE CHANGE Attitude: a positive or negative evaluative reaction toward a stimulus (ie. A person) Do our attitudes influence our behaviour? Experiment: a Chinese couple went to restaurants and was normally served (even with the prejudice going on); when they called to make reservations to the same places, 90% said no (prejudice attitudes- nondiscriminatory behaviour) Concluded: attitude does not control behaviour consistently 3 reasons why the attitude behaviour relationship is not consistent (only strong some times): 1) Attitudes influence behaviour more strongly when counteracting situational factors are weak -theory of planned behaviour: our intention to engage in behaviour is strongest when we have a positive attitude toward the behaviour, when subjective norms support our attitudes, and when we control the behaviour Ex. with the Chinese couples entering the restaurants; income could have influenced over attitude 2) Attitudes have greater influence when we are aware of them and when they are strongly held -When we “act without thinking”- act impulsively -Attitude-behaviour relationship increases when they think about their attitudes before acting -stronger when they are formed through direct personal experience 3) General attitudes are better at predicting general behaviours; specific attitudes are better for specific behaviours Ex. found no relationship between general attitudes toward religion and 70 specific religious behaviour Does our behaviour influence our attitudes? -we develop attitudes that are consistent with the way that we behave Self-justification: Theory of cognitive dissonance: -people strive for consistency in their cognitions; when two or more cognitions counteract each other (Ex. being a truthful person and being told to lie), a person experiences cognitive dissonance- a state of tension (heightened physiological conditions) and becomes motivated to reduce this dissonance ( -in order to reduce dissonance, people will change one of their cognitions or add a new one -counterattitudinal: behaviour that is inconsistent with our attitudes; produces dissonance if the actions are perceived to be freely chosen -dissonance is maximized when behaviour threatens our sense of self worth -dissonance does not always lead to attitude change; can reduce dissonance by rationalizing their attitude/behaviour Self-perception -we assume that other people’s attitudes must be causing their behaviour Self-perception theory: -we make assumptions about our own attitudes by watching how we behave; you watch how you acted and infer how you must have felt (explains the same thing as cognitive dissonance in a different way) Which theory is right? Cognitive dissonance or self-perception? -when students had a choice to write a positive statement even though they had negative attitudes; arousal increased -when participants had increased arousal from cognitive dissonance they were told it was a side effect from a pill; they didn’t change their attitudes (the pill was an external justification for arousal) Therefore the dissonance theory better explains why people change their attitudes However: when a situation does not threaten the person, there is no change in arousal, and attitudes still change Therefore both the dissonance and self-perception theory explain how our behaviours influence attitudes Persuasion: -persuasion involves a communicator who delivers a message through a channel to an audience The Communicator: Communicator credibility: how believable the communicator is; the key to effective persuasion Credibility has 2 components: 1) Expertise 2) trustworthiness: -the communicator should be an expert, unbiased, and the most effective is one who present a point contrary to their own self interest -people who are physically attractive, likable, and similar to us are more effective The Message: -the two sided refutation approach is more effective (presenting opposing views and refuting them); especially when the audience initially disagrees with your points -moderate degree of discrepancy is more effective (not so extreme) -the message evokes moderate fear is more effective (little fear arousal with effective ways to reduce the threat) The Audience: -2 basic routes of persuasion: 1) Central route of persuasion: -people think carefully and are influenced since the arguments are compelling -attitude change is deeper, lasts longer, predicts future behaviour more successfully -when the message will affect us personally -used by people with high need for cognition (enjoy analyzing issues) -uncertainty oriented (look for new info that is unpredictable) 2) Peripheral route of persuasion: -people don’t scrutinize the message, but are influenced by other factors (Ex. attractiveness, emotional appeal) -used by people with a low need for cognition -Certainty-oriented (avoid new information especially when self relevant) SOCIAL INFLUENCE THE MERE PRESENCE OF OTHERS Triplett: the presence of other emerges performance The mere presence of coactors (other people) or a passive, silent audience, increased performance Social facilitation: -the physical presence of another person increases arousal; as arousal increases we are more likely to perform our dominant response (our typical response) to that situation -simple task or well learned = performance increases in front of people -complex task or not learned = dominant makes errors; in front of people impairs performance Social facilitation: the tendency to perform one’s dominant response in the presence of people -the most basic of all social influence processes SOCIAL NORMS: THE RULES OF THE GAME Social norms: shared expectations about how people should think, feel, and behave; many are implicit and unspoken Social rule: consists of a set of norms that characterize how people in a given social position must behave Role conflict: when the norms accompanying different roles clash (being a worker and a mother) Culture and Norm Formation: -social customs that we view as “normal” are arbitrary -norms regulate our social behaviour (ex. Japanese sit farther away when conversing) Experiment: even randomly created groups develop norms CONFORMITY AND OBEDIENCE Conformity: the adjustment of individual’s attitude, behaviours, and beliefs to a group standard Why do people conform? -our desire to understand and respond to the world effectively motivates conforming Informational social influence: we follow opinions of other because we believe they have the knowledge and what they are doing is “right” Normative social influence: conform to obtain rewards that come from being accepted by other people Factors that affect conformity: 1) Group size: increasing the group to a certain size increased conformity; after that size, conformity remained the same 2) Presence of dissenter: when someone disagrees with the groups idea, conformity decreases for other members 3) Correct answer: when the correct answer is obvious, conformity decreases Minority influence: -in some cases a minority of the group may influence the majority; minority influence increases when… -minority is highly committed to their view, remain independent even when the majority puts pressure on them, consistent over time, and appear to keep an open mind -when the minority is too unreasonable, deviant, or negative; majority may shift ideas even further away from minority Obedience to authority: -obedience to an authority figure is neither good or bad (Ex. bad = Nazis to Hitler) Factors that influence destructive obedience: -remoteness of the victim: obedience was greater when the learner was out of sight -closeness and legitimacy of the authority figure: highest when the authority was close and legitimate -cog in a wheel: obedience increases when someone else (not the authority) does the dirty work -personal characteristics: no differences in characteristics between obedient and non-obedient; gender not consistently related to obedience rates Lessons learned: Holocaust to airline safety -most people can follow orders from authority that they believe to be legitimate even if it means harming others Ex. co-pilots are reluctant to challenge pilot’s commands even if they could pose danger Detecting and resisting compliance techniques: Compliance techniques: strategies that may manipulate you into saying yes when you want to say no; Norm of reciprocity: -the expectation when others treat us well, we should respond in kind (Ex. do something nice to get the person to comply) Door-in-the-face technique: -a persuader makes a large requesting expecting you to reject it, and then makes a smaller request; refusing the first creates guilt and complying with the second will reduce guilt Foot-in-the-door technique: -a persuader gets you to comply with a small request first and then presents a larger gift; not sure why this technique is effective Lowballing: -a persuader gets you to commit to some action and then before you perform the behaviour, they increase the cost of that same behaviour -the stakes for the same behaviour are raised after you commit but before you perform CROWD BEHAVIOUR AND DEINDIVIDUATION Deindividuation: a loss of individuality that leads to disinhibited behaviour (ex. cheating and stealing); Factors: -Anonymity to outsiders: conditions that make people feel less identifiable to people outside the group reduce feelings of accountability and increase anti-social actions GROUP INFLUENCES ON PERFORMANCE AND DECISION MAKING -people form groups to make decisions that are too hard to do on their own; factors that interfere with group productivity: Social Loafing: failing to pull your own weight: Social loafing: the tendency for people to expend less individual effort when working in a group than when alone -involves collective performance -social loafing is more likely to occur when… -people believe that individual performance within a group isn’t being monitored -the task has less value or meaning to the person -the group is less important to the person -the task is simple; the person’s input in redundant with other group members -fatigue -depends on culture and gender; occurs more strongly in male group Collective effort model: on a collective task, people put forth effort only to the extent that they expect their effort will contribute to obtaining a valued goal Group polarization: going to extremes Group polarization: when a group of like-minded people discusses an issue, the “average” opinion of the group tends to be more extreme (Ex. if they start out liberal, the decision will be more liberal) -Why does it occur? Normative social influence: individuals attrac
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