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PSYC 102 Chapter Notes -Fundamental Attribution Error, Elaboration Likelihood Model, Ingroups And Outgroups


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 102
Professor
Delroy Paulhus

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Social psychology-how people think about, influence, relate to others
13.1 Social Cognition
Impressions/Perceptions of Others
=how people use cognitive processes (perception, memory, thought) to make sense
of others + selves
-usually we expect ppl to be some way based on sex, looks, race, clothes (this is
adaptive to use background knowledge to anticipate possibilities)
Physical Appearance (age, gender, race, looks)
-produces strongest expectancies (b/c from first impression, we use salient
information)
-not good for long-term, but adaptive as short-term strategy b/c looks so apparent
eg. dirty vs. clean (at least clean follows some of society’s standards/norms)
Social Schemas
= in LTM, relates to social experiences/people; reconstructs past +
interprets/organizes experience
eg. dirty man activates negative social schema (scraggly+ dirty = criminal)
-> we alter behavior
Stereotypes
=collection of beliefs + impressions about a group (commonly based on gender,
race, age)
=social schemas concerning traits + behaviours of group (some are true)
Prototype theories- we store typical features of group, then judge based on
similarity to prototype
Exemplar theories-we store memories of individuals/exemplars (eg. blacks athletic-
based on Woods)
-automatically activated, especially if just exposed to stereotypic belief (more
exposure if simple/salient)
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Effect
=expectations about actions of person lead to person behaving that way
eg. phone call -> man expects woman to be hot so talks nice -> woman is nice too
Prejudice: The Canadian Context
-stereotypes focus on differences between groups (eg. men and women) instead of
within groups
Prejudice-unrealistic, negative evaluation of group (prompted by negative
stereotypes)
Discrimination-behave in unfair way to group (don’t hire b/c black)
Besides stereotype prompt, 3 others (independent of each other):

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1. Symbolic beliefs about out-group (eg. they violate family values/respect for
law)
2. Emotional responses to out-group (group you don’t belong to)
3. Past experiences with out-group
-conservative, right wing ppl more prejudiced, favour in-group more (symbolic,
rather than stereotype)
Ethnocentrism-regard your own group more positively than other groups
“contact” and “mere exposure” effects lead to greater comfort around different
groups
The Personal/Group Discrimination Discrepancy
=minority individuals agree their group is discriminated against, but have little
experience of it themselves (maybe they refuse to acknowledge it)
Auto-stereotype-belief system about discrimination, widely shared by group
members
-but not from individual experience of discrimination -> ppl think cause of
media
Meta-stereotype-person’s beliefs about the stereotypes others have about their
group
Attribution Theory
Attributions-inference processes people use to relate cause and effect to behavior
Covariation model of attribution:
Covaries-happens with behavior change (eg. aerobics class -> happy after)
-model says, look to 3 things to make inference:
1. Consistency-change always occurs with event (eg. always happy after
aerobics)
2. Distinctiveness-change only occurs with event (eg. only with aerobics)
3. Consensus-do other people change too with event?
Internal vs. External Attributions
External Attribution-cause of behavior due to external event (eg. aerobics) -> high
in above 3 (C, D, C)
Internal attribution-due to internal personality trait -> high in consistency, low in
other two
Fundamental Attribution Error
=when making attributions to behavior, we underestimate external and
overestimate internal
eg. driver behind tailgating -> you think they’re jerk -> maybe they’re taking
sick kid to hospital
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