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Chapter 13

PSYC 1002 Chapter 13: Chapter 13 Textbook notes

Course Code
PSYC 1002
Bruce Tsuji

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PSYCH 1002 R
Chapter 13 Social Behaviour Textbook Notes
Social psychology a ah of psholog oeed ith the a idiiduals’ thoughts,
feelings and behaviours are influenced by others.
Seven Broad Coverages of social psychology:
o Person perception
o Attribution processes
o Interpersonal attraction
o Attitudes
o Conformity
o Obedience
It deals with examination of how structures and processes of the brain are associated with social
phenomena such as prejudice and stereotyping.
Social psychologists study how people are affected by the actual, imagined, or implied presence
of others.
Thei iteest is ot liited to idiiduals’ iteatios ith othes, as people a egage i
social behaviour even when they are alone.
Social psychologists often study individual behaviour in a social context.
This interest in understanding individual behaviour should be readily apparent on person
Person Perception: Forming Impressions on Others
While we often gather many pieces of information about another person, our final impressions
can often be dramatically affected by just one piece of information.
Solomon Asch demonstrated the importance of what he called central traits that can have on
forming impressions of others which is also known as person perception.
When you interact with people, you are constantly engaged in person perception the process
of forming impressions of others
o People sho osideale igeuit i pieig togethe lues aout othes’
o However, impressions are often inaccurate because of the many biases and fallacies
that occur in person perception.
o We oside soe of the fatos that ifluee ad ofte distot people’s peeptios of
Cognitive Schemas
Schemas cognitive structures that guides information processing.
Individuals use schemas to organize the world around them, including their social world
o Social schemas organized clusters of ideas about categories of social events and
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People have social schemas for events such as dates, picnics, committee
meetings, and family reunions as well as for certain categories of people such as
du joks, soial lies, fat ats, ad ips.
Individuals depend on social schemas because the schemas help them to
efficiently process and store the wealth of information that they take in about
others on in their interactions.
o Self- Schema a itegated set of eoies, eliefs ad geealizatios aout oe’s
behaviour in a given domain.
They were first described by Hazel Markus.
She found that people with self-schemas in particular domains, (EX: Self-
schema as athletic), people who are self-schematic for that domain,
people would show differences in how they processed and remembered
information about themselves in that domain, affecting how efficiently
they process information related to the domain, how easily they can
make judgments about themselves in the domain, and how resistant
they are to counter information about themselves in that domain.
o If you do not have a self-schema relevant to a particular domain, you are referred to as
schematic in the domain.
Stereotypes special types of schemas that fall into the latter category. Stereotypes are widely
held beliefs that people have certain characteristics because of their membership in a particular
The most common stereotypes in our society are those based on sex, age and membership in
ethnic or occupational groups
It is a cognitive force that is frequently automatic and that saves on the time and effort required
to get a handle on people individually.
o Gender stereotypes tends to assume that women are emotional, submissive,
illogical, and passive while men are unemotional, dominant, logical and aggressive.
o Age stereotypes suggests that elderly people are slow, feeble, rigid, forgetful and
o Ethnic stereotypes EX: Jews are mercenary, Germans are methodical, and Italians are
o Occupational stereotypes suggests that lawyers are manipulative, accountants are
conforming, artists are moody and so forth.
When we think of stereotypes, we often focus on the effects our stereotypes have on others
and how self-fulfilling prophecy processes might serve to confirm those stereotypes
But the ifluee of steeotpes o us does’t end there, they can also directly affect our own
o EX: Joh Bagh’s research shows prevailing stereotypes of the elderly to influence
studets’ ehaiou.
o I Bagh’s eseah, atiated o pied stereotypes of the elderly in a group of
university students by having the students as part of a laboratory experiment, complete
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several scrambled sentence tasks in which participants were presented with 30 sets of
words and were asked to write down a grammatically correct sentence using some of
the world from each set. The set of worlds in the critical experimental condition
included worlds such as worried, Florida, lonely, grey, wrinkly, cautious, forgetful,
retired, old, ancient and so on.
o According to Bargh, when schemas are made active by priming, they can automatically
and unconsciously affect behaviour and higher mental processes such as self-evaluation
and judgement.
Subjectivity and Bias
“teeotpes ad othe sheas eate iases i peso’s peeptio that feuetl lead to
confirmation of people’s epetatios aout othes.
According to James Olson if soeoe’s ehaiou is aiguous, people ae likel to itepet
in what they see in a way that is consistent with their expectations.
Illusory correlation occurs when people estimate that they have encountered more
confirmations of an association between social traits than they have actually seen.
Memory processes can contribute to confirmatory biases in person perception in a variety of
Evolutionary Perspective on Bias in Person Perception
Deis Kes agued that soe of the iases see i soial peeptio ee adaptie i huas’
ancestral environment.
o EX: the ague that peso’s peeptio is saed  phsial attatieess eause
Ingroup a group that one belongs to and identifies with.
Outgroup a group that one does not belong to or identify with.
According to Krebs and Denton, classifying others as ingroup or outgroup members activates
two quite different brain circuits.
Attribution Processes: Explaining Behaviour
Attributions ifeees that people da aout the auses of eets’ othe’s ehaiou ad
their own behaviour.
People make attributions mainly because they have a strong need to understand their
Internal vs. External Attributions
Fritz Heider was the first to describe how people make attributions. He asserted with people
tend to locate the cause of behaviour either within a person attributing it to personal factors, or
outside a person, attributing to environmental factors.
Internal attributions ascribe the causes of behaviour to personal depositions traits, abilities
and feelings.
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