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Reading 6.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 332
Professor
Richard Koestner
Semester
Winter

Description
Reading 6:Attribution and Interpersonal Perception Attribution - Attribution theories describe what psychological operations take place that lead people to embrace situational or dispositional interpretations of other people’s behavior, but not why these happened. The Logic ofAttribution • Attributional Equation  CORE: Behavior = Situation + Disposition - Decision Rule  Discounting Principle:An observer should not conclude that a person has a unique predisposition to behave when the person does exactly what the situation demands.  An observer shouldn’t assume that D is positive or negative when S and B are equal. - Nondiagnostic Behavior: the sort of behavior that the situation demands.  It tells us nothing about the person’s dispositional tendencies to behave. The Correspondence Bias • People SORT OF obey the discounting principle. - Right: when the essayist was free to write, subjects took his essay as direct evidence of his opinion. - Wrong: when the essayist was following, subjects still took his essay as direct evidence of his opinion.  Apro-Castro essayist who chose his own topic was judged to have a more favorable opinion of Castro than was a pro-Castro essayist who was merely following orders.  Apro-Castro essayist who was merely following orders was judged to have a more favorable opinion of Castro than was an anti-Castro essayist who was merely following orders. • Correspondence Bias/FundamentalAttribution Error: the tendency to conclude that a person has a disposition that corresponds to his behavior even when that behavior is attributable to the situation. The Causes of Correspondence Bias - The damning 确确确 objectionssuggestthat somefunny quirk 确确 of theexperimental setting causedsubjects to makejudgmentsthat they wouldn’t normally make; which hasbeenruled out. - Theinteresting objectionssuggest general psychological mechanismsthat might causepeopleto make dispositional attributionswhenthey shouldn’t. Waiting Dispositions - “No estimate is more in danger of erroneous calculations than those by which a man computes the force of his own genius”.  Human beings tend to see the world as they wish to see it. • 1 Reason: people PREFER to make dispositional attributions, because it gives us a sense of control. 1. General Dispositionalist Worldview: what happens to them is pretty much their own doing.  Correspondence bias is actually less pervasive in collectivist cultures that don’t share this worldview. 2. Need for Predictive Control: of another’s actions.  Players: played the game with the target.  Normal Observers: watched the player and the target as they played the game.  Expectant Observers: watched the game with the belief that they would play against the target on the 2 nd round. st  Post-expectant Observers: watched the game without expecting to play it, but when the 1 round was over, they were suddenly told that they would play the target in the 2 round. - Although all subjects viewed the same competitive / cooperative behavior, players, expectant players, and post-expectant players clearly made more dispositional attributions than did normal observers. - Playing or expecting to play a game should increase one’s desire to predict another’s behavior. Misunderstanding Situations • 2 Reason: the tendency for people to underestimate the power of situations. 1. Situations are often invisible. - People often don’t realize that there’s a constraining situation to be considered.  Observers considered the quizmaster to be more knowledgeable than the contestant.  Quizmasters and contestants rated themselves in just the same way.  Everyone showed correspondence bias. - Because the role-conferred advantage is not a thing that can be seen. 2. People underestimate the capacity of situational forces to alter behavior. - Why is there a disparity between what we think we would do and what we actually do in situations? - Because when we’re asked how we would behave in a certain situation, our psychological construal of that situation doesn’t usually include all its intricate 确确确确确 details. Misperceiving Behavior • Things aren’t always how they feel. - Although it feels like we can see what behavior is, such seeing is actually a complex inferential process.  Behavior such as helping isn’t an action but an action identification, which can go wrong. - Our expectations exert a particularly strong influence on what we perceive others to do.  Oftentimes we don’t even know we have expectations until they’re violated. rd • 3 Reason: the power of expectations influences our identifications of another’s behavior. - PerceptualAssimilation: the psychiatrist “read in” to the behavior what he expected to see there.  It’s the nature of perception that we often see behaviors as conforming more to our expectations than they actually do. • Two-Stage Model ofAttribution: - Action identification precedes attributional inference.  Having information about the situational constraints on a target can increase the accuracy of our attributions (by preventing us from underestimating S) and decrease the accuracy of our identifications (by causing us to overestimate B). - Unambiguously calm target to be less dispositionally fearful when he was calm while being chased by bees than when he was calm while awarded a bundle of cash. - Ambiguous target to be more dispositionally fearful when they were in a scary than a nonscary situation (overestimated B).  Good, solid information can have negative as well as positive consequences.  Good, solid information can promote as well as prevent correspondence bias. • The effect of a situation may be subtracted out during attribution, but the two-stage model shows that this effect can sne
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