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Chapter 16

PSYC 1200 Chapter 16: Chapter 16 - Social psychology

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PSYC 1200
Dawson Clary

CHAPTER 16 – Social Behaviour  Social psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the way  individuals’ thoughts, feelings and behaviours are influenced by others  7 broad topics: o Person perception o Attribution processes o Interpersonal attraction o Attitudes o Conformity and obedience o Behaviour in groups o Social neuroscience  Social psychologists study how people are affected by the actual, imagined or implied presence of others    Person Perception: Forming Impressions of Others:  Out impressions of others are affected by a variety of factors including physical appearance   Gather many pieces of information about another person   Our final impressions can often be dramatically affected by just one piece of information   Solomon Asch: importance that what he called central traits can have on  the impressions we form of others  Person perception is the process of forming impressions of others   Impressions are often inaccurate because of the many biases and fallacies that occur in person perception Effects of Physical Appearance:  Judgments of others personality are often swayed by their appearance, especially  physical attractiveness  Little correlation exists between attractiveness and personality traits Cognitive Schemas:  Even though every individual is unique, people tend to categorize one another    Schemas are cognitive structures that guide information processing  Individuals use schemas to organize the world around them including their social world cSD  Social schemas are organized clusters of ideas about categories of social events and people   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 in their  interactions  These categories influence the process of person perception 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 group  Most common based on sex, age, and membership in ethnic or occupational groups   Gender stereotypes: women are emotional, submissive, illogical, passive, while men are unemotional, dominant, logical, and aggressive   Age stereotypes: elderly people are slow, feeble, rigid, forgetful, asexual   Ethnic stereotypes: Jews are mercenary, Germans are methodical, Italians are passionate   Occupational stereotypes: Lawyers are manipulative, accountants are conforming and artists are moody   Frequently automatic    Save energy by simplifying our social world  Broad overgeneralizations that ignore the diversity within social groups and foster  inaccurate perceptions of people  Perception is subjective, and people often see what they expect to see   Our perception of others is also subject to self-fulfilling prophecy – Mark Zanna   If you hold strong beliefs about the characteristics of another group, you may behave in such as way so as to bring about there characteristics   Our stereotypes also affect us, they influence out conceptualizations of out social environment   Also directly affect our own behaviour   Bargh: when schemas are made active by priming, they can automatically and unconsciously affect behaviour and higher mental processes such as self-evaluation and judgment Subjectivity and Bias in Person Perception:  Stereotypes and other schemas create biases in person perception that frequently lead to confirmation of peoples expectations about others oSDP  People not only see what they expect to see, but also tend to overestimate how often they see   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  Individuals selectively recall facts that fit with their schemas and stereotypes An Evolutionary Perspective on Bias in Person Perception:  Krebs: some of the biases seen in social perception were adaptive in humans ancestral environment   Humans are programmed by evolution to immediately classify people as members or an ingroup or outgroup   Ingroup is a group that one belongs to and identifies with o Members views in a favourable light  Outgroup is a group that one does not belong to of identify with  o Members viewed with many negative stereotypes  Evolutionary psychologists ascribe much of the bias in person perception to cognitive mechanisms that have be shaped by natural selection     Attribution Processes: Explaining Behaviour:  Attributions are inferences that people draw about the causes of events, others’ behaviour, and their own behaviour   People make attributions mainly because they have a strong need for understand their experiences   They want to make sense out of their own behaviour, others actions and events in their lives Internal Versus External Attributions:  Heider: first to describe how people make attributions   He said people tend to locate the cause of behaviour either within a person, attributing it to personal factors, or outside a person, attributing it to environmental  factors  Internal attributions ascribe the causes of behaviour to personal dispositions, traits, abilities, and feelings   External attributions ascribe the causes of behaviour to situational demands and environmental constraints OSDP  Internal and external attributions can have a big impact on everyday interpersonal interactions Attributions for Success and Failure:  Weiner: people often focus on the stability of the causes underlying behaviour   The stable-unstable dimension in attribution cuts across the internal-external  dimension, creating four types of attributions for success and failure  Unstable= temporary    Stable= permanent  4 categories: o Internal-unstable o Internal-stable o External-unstable o External-stable Bias in Attribution:  Only inferences   Your attributions may not be the correct explanations for events   Guesswork about the causes of events, and these guesses tend to be slanted in certain directions Actor-Observer Bias:  The fundamental attribution error refers to observers bias in favour of internal attributions in explaining others behaviour   Observers have a curious tendency to overestimate the likelihood that an actors behaviour reflects personal qualities rather than situational factors   Observers are often unaware of historical and situational considerations so they tend to make internal attributions for another’s behaviour   Actors favour external attributions for their behaviour, whereas observers are more likely to explain the same behaviour with internal attributions Defensive Attribution:  Defensive attribution is a tendency to blame victims for their misfortune, so that one feels less likely to be victimized in a similar way   Hindsight bias probably contributes to this tendency, but blaming victims also helps people maintain their belief that they live in a just world, where they’re unlikely to experience similar troubles    Lerner: believe in a just world theory  Blaming victims for their setbacks causes them to be seen in a negative light Culture and Attributional Tendencies: cSD  Cultural differences in individualism versus collectivism influence attributional tendencies and other aspects of social behaviour   Individualism involves putting personal goals ahead of group goals and defining ones identity in terms of people attributes rather than group memberships  o North America, Western Europe   Collectivism involves putting group goals ahead of personal goals and defining ones identity in terms of the groups one belongs to (family, tribe,  work group, social class, caste, etc) o Asia, Africa, Latin America   Collectivist cultures place a higher priority on shared values and resour
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