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Chapter 16

Chapter 16 Dynamics of Behaviour Notes

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PSYC 2310
Anneke Olthof

Psych Chapter 16 Behaviour in a Social ContextSocial ThinkingPerceptionAttribution Perceiving the Causes of Behaviour In everyday life we make attributions judgments about the causes of our own and other peoples behaviour and outcomes Attributions influence our behaviour and emotionsPersonal Versus Situational DemandFritz Heider 1985 a pioneer of attribution theory maintained that our attempts to understand why people behave as they do typically involve either personal attributions or situational attributions Personal Internal Attributions infer that peoples behaviour is caused by their characteristics Eg rude etc Situational External Attributions infer that aspects of the situation cause a behaviourAccording to Harold Kelly 3 types of information determine the attribution we make ConsistencyIs this consistentstable over time distinctivenessDoes this apply to this situation or all situations and consensusDo others agree When consistency distinctiveness and consensus are all high we are likely to make a situational attribution When consistency is high and the other 2 factors are low we make a personal attributionAttributional BiasTend to make a fundamental attribution error We underestimate the impact of the situationoverestimate the role of personal factors when explaining other peoples behaviourApplied to how we perceive other peoples behaviour rather than our own Slow driver is morondriver trying to pass you is a maniac but you dont comment on yourself1 We have more info about the present situation when making judgments about selfas when we are driving slowly in order to follow unfamiliar directions2 The perpetual principle of figureground relations comes into play When you watch others behave they are the figure that stands out against the background But when we behave we are not watching ourselvesWhen people have time to reflect on their judgments or are highly motivated to be careful the fundamental attribution error is reduced When it comes to explaining our own behaviour we tend to protect our selfesteem by displaying a selfserving bias making relatively more personal attributions for successesmore situational attributions for failuresCulture and AttributionCulture affects how we perceive the physical as well as the social world Culture also influences attributions for our own behaviour Modesty highly valued in China Our culture background also seems to affect the way we go about making attributions The same underlying psychological principle a link between holisticreflected in belief that all events are interconnected and therefore cannot be understood in isolation thinking and beliefs about casualty seems to account for informationseeking differences between cultures as well as among individuals within each cultureFormingMaintaining Impressions Attributions play important role in impression formation Other factors also affect how we form and maintain impressionsPrimacy versus Recency Are First Impressions More ImportantPrimacy Effect refers to our tendency to attach more importance to the initial info that we learn about a person First we tend to be more alert to info we receive first Second initial info may shape how we perceive later info Primacy is the general rule of thumb in impression formation especially for people who dislike doubt and uncertainty We often make snap judgments based on small amounts of initial information
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