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PSYCH 338 (48)
Doug Brown (22)
Chapter 3

Chapter 3

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Doug Brown

Chapter 3: Perception, Attribution, and Diversity Learning Objectives: 1. Define perception and discuss some of the general factors that influence perception a. Perception: process of interpreting the messages of our senses to provide order and meaning to the environment b. Factors: i. Perceiver: experience  expectations, emotions 1. Perceptual defence: tendency for the percetual system to defend the perceiver against unpleasant emotions ii. Target being perceived: interpretation, meaning iii. Situational context for perception 2. Explain social identity theory and Bruner’s model of the perceptual process a. Social identity theory: people form perceptions of themselves based on their characteristics and memberships in social categories (i.e. gender, nationality, religion, occupation) b. Personal identity: personal characteristics  interests, abilities, traits c. Perceptual Process Model (Bruner): i. Model: unfamiliar target encountered  openness to target cues  familiar cues encountered  target categorized  cue selectivity  categorization strengthened 1. Perception is selective: do not use all available cues 2. Perceptual constancy: tendency for target to be perceived in same way over time or across situations 3. Perceptual consistency: tendency to select, ignore, distort cues in manner that they form homogenous picture of target 3. Describe the main biases in person perception a. Primacy effect: tendency for perceiver to rely on early cues or first impressions b. Recency effect: tendency for a perceiver to rely on recent cues or last impressions c. Central traits: personal characteristics of a target person that are of particular interest to a perceiver d. Implicit personality theories: personal theories that people have about which personality characteristics go together e. Projection: tendency for perceivers to attribute their own thoughts and feelings to others f. Stereotyping: tendency to generalize about people in a certain social category and ignore variations among them i. Distinguish category ii. Assume certain traits iii. Perceive everyone in category with these traits 4. Describe how people form attributions about the causes of behaviour a. Attribution: process by which causes or motives are assigned to explain people’s behaviour b. Dispositional attribution: explanations for behaviour based on an actor’s personality or intellect c. Situational attributions: explanations for behaviour based on an actor’s external situation or environment d. Consistency cues: attribution cues that reflect how consistently a person engages in a behaviour over time e. Consensus cues: attribution cues that reflect how a person’s behaviour compares with that of others f. Distinctiveness cues: attribution cues that reflect the extent to which a person engages in some behaviour across a variety of situations 5. Discuss various biases in attribution a. Fundamental attribution error: tendency to overemphasize dispositional explanations for behaviour at the expense of situational explanations b. Actor-observer effect: propensity for actos and observers to view the causes of the actor’s behaviour
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