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Social Psych Exam 2 Notes

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Keith Maddox

Chen 1 Chang-Po Philip Chen Social Psychology Test Prep - Notes for Chapters 4, 6-8 6 November 2012 I. Chapter 4 - Perceiving Persons/Social Perception – a general term for the processes by which people come to understand one another a. Observation: The Elements of Social Perception – Persons, Situations, Behavior i. Persons: Judging a Book by Its Cover 1. First impressions are influenced in subtle ways by a person’s physical features 2. Are often accurate when forming impressions of people based on indirect telltale cues 3. The human face attracts more than its share of attention 4. People read traits into faces based on prior information as well 5. Baby-faced features a. Seen as warm, kind, naïve, weak, honest, submissive b. Judged more favorably on intentional wrongdoing, but not negligence/seen as day-care teachers 6. Mature features a. Seen as stronger, more dominant, and more competent b. Seen better suited for work as bankers 7. Humans programmed by evolution to respond gently to infantile features – why babies are treated with tender loving care 8. Social perceivers have a tendency to overgeneralize in making snap judgments a. Quick to perceive unfamiliar faces as more/less trustworthy b. Trustworthy face – U-shaped mouth (happy) c. Untrustworthy face – V-shaped mouth (angry) ii. Situations: The Scripts of Life 1. Scripts – enable us to anticipate the goals, behaviors, and outcomes likely to occur in a particular setting 2. More experience you have in a given situation, more detail your scripts will contain 3. Roger Axtell (1993) says many scripts can be culture specific 4. Behavioral scripts can be quite elaborate a. “First Date” Script b. People with more experience able to organize statements more quickly 5. Important context for understanding other people’s verbal and nonverbal behavior 6. Influences social perceptions in two ways: a. See what we expect to see in a particular situation Chen 2 b. Use what they know about social situations to explain the causes of human behavior iii. Behavioral Evidence 1. First step: recognizing what someone is doing at a given moment 2. People derive meaning from their observations by dividing the continuous stream of human behavior into “units” 3. Mind perception a. The process by which people attribute humanlike mental states to various animate and inanimate objects, including other people b. The more humanlike a target object is, the more likely we are to attribute to it qualities of “mind” c. People see inner qualities of mind in target objects that superficially resemble humans in their speed of movement d. The more “mind” respondents attributed to a character, the more they liked it, valued it, wanted to make it happy, and wanted to rescue it from destruction 4. The Silent Language of Nonverbal Behavior a. Behavior that reveals a person’s feelings without words, through facial expressions, body language, and vocal cues b. Darwin proposed that the face expresses emotion in ways that are innate and understood by people all over the world c. 6 “primary” emotions i. Happiness ii. Sadness iii. Anger iv. Fear v. Surprise vi. Disgust d. We enjoy an “in-group advantage” when it comes to knowing how those who are closest to us are feeling i. 9% more accurate at judging faces from their own national, ethnic, or regional group compared to members of less familiar groups e. Angry faces arouse us and cause us to frown even when presented subliminally and without our awareness f. Disgust is experienced in neural level as well (insula) g. Emoticons h. Eye contact/gaze – powerful – windows of the soul i. Gaze disengagement forms negative impressions j. Touch – expression of friendship, nurturance, and sexual interest – also expression of dominance/control 5. Distinguishing Truth from Deception a. Social Perception tricky b/c people try to hide/stretch truth b. From a study, only 54% accuracy in judging truth/lies c. 2 Reasons for this Problem: Chen 3 i. Mismatch between the behavioral cues that actually signal deception and those we use to detect deception ii. People tend to assume that the way to spot a liar is to watch for signs of stress in their behavior – truth tellers also likely to exhibit signs of stress iv. Attribution: From Elements to Dispositions >higher grades of students i. Covert communication (initial impression) ii. Then altering behavior that is consistent with impression c. Perceiver’s expectations>>perceiver’s behavior toward the target>>target’s behavior toward the perceiver iv. Social Perception: The Bottom Line 1. 4 reasons to be optimistic about our competence as social perceivers a. More experience people have with each other, more accurate they are b. Able to make more precise circumscribed predictions of how others will behave in our own presence c. Certain social perception skills can be improved who are taught the rules of probability and logic d. People form accurate impressions of others when motivated by concerns for accuracy and open-mindedness II. Chapter 6 - Attitudes a. The Study ofAttitudes i. Attitudes 1. Apositive, negative, or mixed reaction to a person, object, or idea 2. Positive affect, negative affect, apathy, and indifference ii. People high in need for evaluation are more judgmental iii. Help us to judge quickly iv. Preexisting attitudes toward persons, objects, and ideas can lead us to become closed-minded, bias the way we interpret new information, and make us more resistant to change v. HowAttitudes are Measured Chen 9 1. Self-Report Measures a. Attitude scales i. Amultiple-item questionnaire designed to measure a person’s attitude toward some object b. Bogus pipeline i. Aphony lie-detector device that is sometimes used to get respondents to give truthful answers to sensitive questions 2. Covert Measures a. Another approach to fox self-report problem b. Use observable behavoir, but not always accurate c. Facial electromyograph i. An electronic instrument that records facial muscle activity associated with emotions and attitudes d. EEG - records brain waves 3. Implicit Association Test a. Implicit attitudes i. An attitude, such as prejudice, that one is not aware of having b. IAT i. Acovert measure of unconscious attitudes derived from the speed at which people respond to pairings of concepts - such as black or white with good or bad c. We did this test in class! vi. HowAttitudes are Formed 1. Twin studies suggest that people may be genetically predisposed to hold certain attitudes 2. However, research shows that attitudes are formed by experience and learning, as when people develop strong attitudes toward neutral objects because of their association with positive/negative stimuli vii.The Link BetweenAttitudes and Behavior 1. Theory of Planned Behavior a. The theory that attitudes toward a specific behavior combine with subjective norms and perceived control to influence a person’s actions b. Attitude toward a behavior/Subjective norm/Perceived behavior control>>Intention>>Behavior 2. Strength ofAttitudes a. People tend to behave in ways that are consistent with their attitudes when they are well informed b. The strength of an attitude is indicated not only by the amount of information on which it is based but also by how that information was acquired Chen 10 c. An attitude can be strengthened by an attack against it from a persuasive message d. Highly accessible to awareness, which means that they are quickly/easily brought to mind b. Persuasion by Communication i. Persuasion - The process by which attitudes are changed ii. Two Routes to Persuasion 1. The Central Route to Persuasion a. The process by which a person thinks carefully about a communication and is influenced by the strength of its arguments b. Reception>>Acceptance c. Intermediate Step: Elaboration i. The process of thinking about and scrutinizing the arguments contained in a persuasive communication d. The process is eminently rational e. Overcorrection 2. The Peripheral Route to Persuasion a. The process by which a person does not think carefully about a communication and is influenced instead by superficial cues 3. Route Selection a. Depends on whether the recipients of a persuasive message have the ability and motivation to take the central route or whether they rely on peripheral cues b. Three factors: i. Source (who) ii. Message (what and in what context) iii. Audience (to whom) iii. The Source 1. Credibility a. Competence b. Trustworthy Beware of those who have somethign to gain from successful persuasion c. People are impressed by others who take unpopular stands/argue against their own interests 2. Likability a. Similarity b. Physical attractiveness 3. When What You Say is More Important Than Who YouAre a. Recipient’s level of involvement (relevance) b. Sleeper Effect i. Adelayed increase in the persuasive impact of a noncredible source c. Discounting cue hypothesis Chen 11 i. Remember the message but forget the source iv. The Message 1. On the peripheral route, lengthy messages are persuasive 2. On the central route, length works only if the added information does not dilute the message 3. Primacy/recency effect 4. Whether it is best to present an argument first or second depends on how much time elapses - both between two arguments and between the second argument and the final decision 5. Messages that are moderately discrepant from an audience’s attitudes will inspire change, but highly discrepant messages will be scrutinized and rejected 6. High-fear messages motivate attitude change when they contain strong arguments and instructions about how to avoid the threatened danger 7. Positive emotion al
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