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Dax Urbszat (681)
Chapter 16


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Dax Urbszat

Chapter 16: Social Behaviour Notes social psychology - the branch of psychology concerned with the way individuals’ thoughts,feelings,and behaviours are influenced by others. Person Perception: Forming Impressions of Others person perception - the process of forming impressions of others. 1. Effects of Physical Appearance: • studies show that judgements of others’ personality are often swayed by their appearance,especially their physical attractiveness • good-looking people grab our attention almost immediately and hold on to our attention longer than less attractive individuals • people tend to ascribe desirable personalities to those who are good looking,seeing them as more sociable, friendly,poised,ward,and well adjusted • study has found that not only were the attractive targets ascribed all those positive characteristics,but they were also expected to have better lives,to be better spouses, and to be more successful in their chosen careers • in reality, research findings suggest that there is little correlation b/w attractiveness and personality traits • attractive people are vastly overrepresented in the media,where they are mostly portrayed in a highly favourable light • another study showed that people have a strong tendency to view good-looking individuals as more competent than less attractive individuals • good looks have a little impact on perceptions of honesty and integrity • baby-faced individuals are seen as more honest and trustworthy,warm,submissive,helpless,and naive, but evidence suggests that there’s not association b/w baby-faced features and these traits 2. Cognitive Schemas: social schemas - organized clusters of ideas about categories of social events and people. • people have social schemas for events such as dates,picnics,committee meetings,and family reunions, as well as for certain categories of people,such as “dumb jocks,” “social climbers,” “frat rats,” and “wimps” • people routinely place one another in categories,and these categories influence the process of person perception 3. Stereotypes: stereotypes - widely held beliefs that people have certain characteristics b/c of their membership in a particular group. • the most common stereotypes are those based on sex,age,and membership in ethnic or occupational groups people who subscribe to gender stereotypes tend to assume that women are • emotional,submissive,illogical, and passive, while men are unemotional,dominant,logical,and aggressive stereotyping is a cognitive process that is frequently automatic and that saves on the time and effort required • to get a handle on people individually • stereotypes frequently are broad overgeneralizations that ignore the diversity within social groups and foster inaccurate perceptions of people • our perception of others is also subject to self-fulfilling prophecy • if you hold strong beliefs about the characteristics of another group,you may behave in such a way so as to bring about these characteristics 4. Subjectivity and Bias in Person Perception: • stereotypes and other schemas create biases in person perception that frequently lead to confirmation of people’s expectation about others • people are likely to interpret what they see in a way that’s consistent with their expectations illusory correlation - occurs when people estimate that they have encountered more confirmations of an association b/w social traits than they have actually seen. • people not only see what they expect to see,but also tend to overestimate how often they see it • people tend to underestimate the disconfirmations that they have encountered, as illustrated by statements like “I’ve never met an honest lawyer.” • memory processes can contribute to confirmatory biases - often people selectively recall facts that fit with their schemas and stereotypes • evolutionary psychologists argue that some of the biases seen in social perception were adaptive in humans’ ancestral environment: • they argue that person perception is swayed by physical attractiveness b/c attractiveness was associated with reproductive potential in women and with health,vigour,and the accumulation of material resources in men • evolutionary theorists attribute the human tendency to automatically categorize others to our distant ancestors’ need to quickly separate friend from foe they assert that humans are programmed by evolution to immediately classify people as members of an • ingroup or as a members of an outgroup ingroup - a group that one belongs to and identifies with. outgroup - a group that one does not belong to or identify with. Attribution Processes: Explaining Behaviour attributions - inferences that people draw about the causes of events,others’ behaviour,and their own behaviour. 1. Internal versus External Attributions: 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 constrains. •Example: if a friend’s business fails, you might attribute it to his/her lack of business acumen(an internal, personal factor) or to negative trends in the nation’s economic climate(an external,situational explanation) internal and external attributions can have a tremendous impact on everyday interpersonal interactions • 2. Attributions for Success and Failure: • people often focus on stability of the causes underlying behaviour Stability Dimension Unstable cause Stable cause (temporary) (permanent) Effort • Example: image Ability you are Internal cause --> Mood Intelligence Fatigue Internal-External contemplating why you failed to Dimension get a job that you wanted: • internal Luck External cause --> Chance factors Task Difficulty that are Opportunity stable = lack of ability •internal factors that are unstable = inadequate effort to put together an eye-catching resume •external factors that are stable = too much outstanding competition •external factors that are unstable = bad luck 3. Bias in Attribution: a) Actor - Observer Bias: 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 actor’s behaviour reflects personal qualities rather than situational factors •one reason is that situational pressures may not be readily apparent to an observer • attributing others’ behaviour to their dispositions is a relatively effortless,almost automatic process,whereas explaining people’s behaviour in terms of situational factors requires more thought and effort • 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 b) Defensive Attribution: defensive attribution - a tendency to blame victims for their misfortune, so that one feels less likely to be victimized in the same way. • hindsight bias probably contributes to this tendency,but blaming victims also help people maintain their belief that they live in a just world,where they are unlikely to experience similar troubles • one way we in which we can restore the belief in a just world is to see victims as deserving their consequences c) Self - Serving Bias: self-serving bias - the tendency to attribute one’s successes to personal factors and one’s failures to situational factors • this bias grows stronger as time passes after an event,so that people tend to take progressively more credit for their successes and less responsibility for their failures • in explaining failure, the usual actor-observer biases are apparent: •actors tend to make external attributions,blaming their failures on unfavourable situational factors •observers attribute the same failures to the actors’ personal shortcomings in explaining success,the usual actor-observer differences are reversed • 4. Culture and Attributional Tendencies: individualism - involves putting personal goals ahead of groups goals and defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group memberships. collectivism - involves putting group goals ahead of personal goals and defining one’s identity in terms of groups one belongs to. • collectivist cultures place a higher priority on shared values and resources,cooperation,mutual interdependence, and concern for how one’s actions will affect other group members • child-rearing patterns in collectivist cultures emphasizes the importance of obedience,reliability,and proper behaviour, whereas individualistic cultures emphasize the development of independence,self-esteem,and self- reliance • increase in a culture’s affluence,education,urbanization,and social mobility tend to foster individuality • collectivist cultures may promote different biases than individualistic cultures: •people from collectivist societies appear to be less prone to the fundamental attribution error than those from individualistic societies •Westerners typically explain behaviour in terms of people’s personality traits and unique abilities,whereas collectivists are more likely to assume that one’s behaviour reflects adherence to group norms Close Relationships: Liking and Loving interpersonal attraction - refers to positive feelings toward another. 1. Key Factors in Attraction: a) Physical Attractiveness: • a study shows that the key determinant of romantic attraction for both sexes is the physical attractiveness of the other person • attractive people of both sexes enjoy greater mating success matching hypothesis - proposes that males and females of approximately equal physical attractiveness are likely to select each other as partners. b) Similarity Effects: • married and dating couples,as well as friends,tend to be similar in age,race,religion,social class, personality, education, intelligence,physical attractiveness,and attitudes • laboratory experiments on attitude similarity suggest that similarity does cause attraction however,attraction can cause similarity - dating partners gradually modify their attitudes in ways that make • them more congruent, a phenomenon called attitude alignment c) Reciprocity Effects: • in interpersonal attraction, reciprocity involves liking those who show that they like you • reciprocating attraction generally entails providing friends and intimate partners with positive feedback that results in a self-enhancement effects d) Romantic Ideals: people’s ideals spell out the personal qualities such as warmth,good looks,loyalty,high status,a sense of • humour, and so forth people routinely evaluate how close their intimate partners come to matching these ideal standards, and these • evaluations influence how relationships progress • when people are highly invested in a relationship,they can reduce the discrepancy b/w their ideals and their perceptions either by lowering their standards of by making charitable evaluations of their partners 2. Perspectives on the Mystery of Love: a) Passionate and Compassionate Love: passionate love - a complete absorption in another that includes tender sexual feelings and the agony and ecstasy of intense emotion. compassionate love - warm,trusting,tolerant affection for another whose life is deeply intertwined with one’s own. • Robert Sternberg subdivides compassionate love into intimacy and commitment intimacy - warmth,closeness,and sharing in a relationship. commitment - an intent to maintain a relationship in spite of the difficulties and costs that may arise. • research suggests that passionate love is a powerful motivational force that produces profound changes in people’s thinking,emotion,and behaviour • brain-imaging research indicates that when people think about someone they are passionately in love with, these thoughts light up the dopamine circuits in the brain that are know to be activated by cocaine and other addictive drugs b) Love as Attachment: • according to Hazan and Shaver, romantic love is an attachment process,and people’s intimate relationships in adulthood follow the same form as their attachments in infancy • according to their theory, a person who had an anxious - ambivalent attachment in infancy will tend to have romantic relationships marked by anxiety and ambivalence in adulthood • secure adults find it relatively easy to get close to others,describe their love relationships as trusting,rarely worried about being abandoned,and reported the fewer divorces anxious - ambivalent adults report a preoccupation with love accompanied by expectations of rejection and • describe their love relationships as volatile and marked by jealousy avoidant adults - find it difficult to get close to others and describe their love relationships as lacking intimacy • and trust • recent research suggests that attachment is best conceptualized in terms of where people fall on 2 continuous dimensions: attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance • attachment anxiety reflects how much people worry that their partners will not be available when needed • attachment avoidance reflects the degree to which people feel uncomfortable with closeness and intimacy and therefore tend to maintain emotional distance from their partners • people who score high or low on the 2 dimensions can be divided into 4 attachment styles: Attachment anxiety (about abandonment) ✴Also look at Figure Low High # 16.7 on page 713 Low Secure Preoccupied • research - Comfortable with - Preoccupied with shows that securely attached intimacy and relationship individuals have more authority Attachment avoidance Avoidant Avoidant fearful dismissing - Fearful of - Dismissing of intimacy rejection High - Unconcerned - Socially avoidant about rejection committed,satisfying,interdependent, well-adjusted,and longer-lasting relationships compared to people with anxious-ambivalent or avoidant attachment styles • attachment anxiety promotes excessive reassurance seeking - the tendency to persistently ask for assurances from partners that one is worthy of love • people with secure attachment tend to be more comfortable with their sexuality,more motivated to show love for their partners during sex,more open to sexual exploration,more likely to have sex in the context of committed relationships,and less accepting of casual sex people high in attachment anxiety tend to have sex to reduce their feelings or insecurity and are more likely to • consent to unwanted sexual acts and less likely to practice safe sex people high in avoidant attachment tend to engage in more casual sex in an effort to impress their peers and • they are more likely to use sex to manipulate their partners 3. Culture and Close Relationships: • cultures vary considerably in terms of how they understand and conceptualize love and relationships • some of this variability is attributable to differences in societal and psychological differences in individualism and collectivism • people all over the world value mutual attraction,kindn
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