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Chapter 4

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PSYC 241
Roderick C L Lindsay

Chapter 4- Perceiving Persons - Social perception- the process by which people come to understand one another - You are both a perceiver and a target of other peoples perceptions - It only takes seconds to form an impression of a stranger from looking at their face - People read traits from faces as well as assigning traits to people because of the way they look o Ex. People that have babyish faces are seen as helpless, kind, and more vulnerable - Due to evolution people are programmed to treat people with baby features with tender love and care - Faces are seen as trustworthy if they look happy and untrustworthy if they look angry - We have ‘scripts’ that enable us to anticipate the goals, behaviours, and outcomes of a particular setting - Knowledge of social settings provides an important context for understanding other people’s verbal and non verbal behaviour - You learned more about a person if their behaviour is different than the norm - Mind perception- the process by which people attribute humanlike mental states to various animate and inanimate objects, including other people - The more humanlike a target object is the more likely we are to attribute to it qualities of ‘mind’ - People perceive minds along two dimensions: agency (targets ability to plan and execute behaviour) and experience (capacity to feel pleasure, pain, and other sensations) - The more ‘mind’ something is said to have, the more valued it is - Nonverbal behaviour- behaviour that reveals a person’s feelings without words, through facial expressions, body language, and vocal cues - People can identify six primary emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust - People are better at recognizing facial expressions on people of their same ethnic background rather than foreign people - It is adaptive to recognize facial expressions such as anger (more so than happy); this helps people avoid someone who may be violent - Structure in the brain called the insula is activated when people smell foul odours or when they watch someone else smelling a foul odour - Eye contact/gaze and touch are another form of nonverbal communication - When someone lies it is easy to conceal it through the face but body language may give it away - Being able to tell when someone is lying is not an easy task - Four channels of communication: the face, spoken words, body language, and voice - Inner dispositions- stable characteristics such as personality traits, attitudes, and abilities - Attribution theory- a group of theories that describe how people explain the causes of behaviour - Personal attribution- attribution to internal characteristics of an actor, such as ability, personality, mood or effort - Situational attribution- attribution to factors external to an actor, such as the task, other people or luck - Jones and Davis’s correspondent inference theory predicts that people try to infer from an action whether the act corresponds to an enduring personal characteristic of the actor o A few factors influence this: choice (did the person chose to do it, or was it forced on them), expectedness (you learn more about someone who does things that are not expected rather than expected), and effects (or consequences of someone’s behaviour) - Correspondent inference theory seeks to describe how perceivers try to discern an individual’s personal characteristics from a slice of behavioural evidence - Covariation principle- a principle of attribution theory that holds that people attribute behaviour to factors that are present when a behaviour occurs and are absent when it does not o Kinds of covariation: Consensus- how different people react to the same stimulus o Di
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