Textbook Notes (381,212)
CA (168,403)
UTSC (19,325)
Psychology (10,054)
PSYA02H3 (984)
Chapter 15

Chapter 15

12 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYA02H3
Professor
Oren Amitay

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Chapter 15 Notes – Social Psychology
x
Social Psychology
the branch of psychology that studies our social nature how the actual,
imagined, or implied presence of others influences our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours
x
Social Cognition
the processes involved in perceiving, interpreting, and acting on social
information
x
Impression formation
the way in which we integrate information about another’s traits into a
coherent sense of who the person is
x
Schema
a mental framework or body of knowledge that organizes and synthesizes information
about a person, place, or thing
o
They are predetermined frameworks of knowledge about what you think of certain
things
x
Central traits
personality attitudes that organize and influence the interpretation of other
traits; proposed by Asch
o
These are automatic assumptions; usually key focus is on the warm-cold trait dimension
o
When one describes someone who is warm, it is more likely to speculate that they are
also generous and happy
o
Traits such as polite and blunt, which can be substituted for warm and cold, are known
as peripheral traits
o
However research shows that the negative influence of the “cold” trait is stronger than
the positive influence of the “warm” trait
This imbalance may occur because there is already a bias toward positivity in
impressions of people
x
Primacy effect
the tendency to form impressions of people based on the first information we
receive about people; proposed by Asch
o
Brown and Bassili suggested that people may generate trait-like labels from observing a
person’s behaviour, and that these descriptions may become associated with almost
any stimulus
x
Self-concept
self-identity. One’s knowledge, feelings, and ideas about oneself
x
Self
a person’s distinct individuality
x
Self-schema
a mental framework that represents and synthesizes information about oneself; a
cognitive structure that organizes the knowledge, feelings, and ideas that constitute the self-
concept; developed by Markus
o
The self-concept is dynamic; it changes with experience
o
Markus and Nurius argue that we should think of ourselves in terms of a working self-
concept that changes as we have new experiences; each of us has many potential selves
that we might become, depending on experience
o
Thinking of ourselves only in terms of who we are at present does not accurately reflect
how we will think of ourselves in the future or the kind of person we might become
x
Cross-culture psychology
a branch of psychology that studies the effects of culture on
behaviour
o
“Culture” is not synonymous with country or continent
o
Cultures differ with respect to two major classes of variables: biological and ecological
Biological variables include such factors as diet, genetics, and endemic diseases
Ecological include geography, climate, political systems, population density,
religion, cultural myths, and education
www.notesolution.com
o
Behavioural differences among people of different cultures result in differences in
biological and ecological variables
x
Psychologists who do cross-cultural research stress that culture and psychological processes are
fundamentally intertwined
o
Fiske, Kitayama, Markus, and Nisbett propose that cultural psychology strives to better
understand the psychological principles that inform cultural practice and in turn, how
these practices affect various psychological processes
o
A good question from the cultural perspective focuses on the formation of the self-
concept, the perceptions one forms of others, and the extent to which others may
influence the development of one’s self-concept
o
Markus and Kitayama have conceptualized two construals of the self that reflect such
cultural difference
The independent construal emphasizes the uniqueness of the self, its autonomy
from others, and self-reliance
The interdependent construal emphasizes the interconnectedness of people
and the role that others play in developing an individual’s self-concept
o
Campbell suggested that on the basis of similar reasoning that clarity of self-concept
might also differ between eastern and western cultures
Clarity refers to how confident people are that they possess particular
attributes, how sharply defined they believe those attributes are, and how
internally and temporally consistent they think their attributes are
They proposed that high self-concept clarity more closely matches an
independent construal of self than an interdependent construal
x
Attribution
the process by which people infer the causes of other people’s behaviour
o
We use schemata that often lead us to the correct conclusions
o
External factors (situational)
people, events, and other stimuli in an individual’s
environment that can affect his or her thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behaviours
o
Internal factors (dispositional)
an individual’s traits, needs, and intentions, which can
affect his or her thought, feelings, attitudes, and behaviours
x
As we get to know other people, we also learn what to expect of them as individuals; we learn
to characterize people as friendly, generous, suspicious, etc. by observing their behaviour in a
variety of situations
x
Kelley suggested that we attribute the behaviour of other people to external or internal causes
on the basis of three types of information: consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency
o
Consensual behaviour
behaviour that is shared by many people; behaviour that is
similar from one person to the next. To the extent that people engage in the same
behaviour, heir behaviour is consensual
E.g. if you hear Bill praise a new club and have heard many other people say the
same things (high consensus), you will be tempted to understand Bill’s praise as
caused by the qualities of the club (an external attribution)
x
If everyone disagrees with Bill (low consensus), you will be tempted to
see Bill’s review as something personal (an internal attribution)
o
Distinctiveness
the extent to which a person behaves differently toward different
people, events, or other stimuli
E.g. if you never heard Bill praise a club as highly as he praises the new one, his
behaviour is high in distinctiveness
www.notesolution.com
x
If Bill praises every club the same, you would attribute his evaluation to
something internal
o
Consistency
the extent to which a person’s behaviour is consistent across time toward
another person, an event, or a stimulus
E.g. Bill’s behaviour is characterized by high distinctiveness and high consensus;
both signs point to an attribution to the external, the club
x
Bill likes this new club more than he likes any others, and most people
agree
x
If Bill likes the club every time he goes (high consistency), then your
conclusion is clear; it’s a great club
x
Bill goes to the club, he tells you that he hates it, but then he goes
again, and tells you it’s the best place he’s ever been
o
The result of low consistency is confusion
x
Fundamental attribution error
the tendency to overestimate the significance of internal
factors and underestimate the significance of external factors in explaining other people’s
behaviour
o
E.g. when we do something bad, it’s the situation. But when someone else does
something bad, we think they’re terrible people
x
Belief in a just world
the belief that people get what they deserve in life; a fundamental
attribution error
o
One result of this belief is that people tend to blame the victim when misfortune or
tragedy strikes because an innocent victim threatens the stability of the perceiver’s just
world belief
x
Actor-observer effect
the tendency to attribute one’s own behaviour to external factors but
others’ behaviour to internal factors
o
When trying to explain our own behaviour, we are much more likely to attribute it to
characteristics of the situation than to our own personal characteristics, while we see
behaviour of others as more stable and de to personal causes
x
Self-serving bias
the tendency to attribute our accomplishments and success to internal
causes and our failures and mistakes to external causes
x
False consensus
the tendency of a person to perceive his or her own response as
representative of a general consensus
x
Representative heuristic
a general rule for decision making by which people classify a person,
place, or thing into the category to which it appears to be the most similar
o
E.g. you see a big, buff middle-aged man in a pool with a bunch of teenagers. He is more
likely a gym professor than a psychology professor
o
Base-rate fallacy
the failure to consider the likelihood that a person, place, or thing is
a member of a particular category on the basis of mathematical probabilities
E.g. even though the man is buff, he is more likely to be a psychology professor
because there are more psychology professors than gym professors
x
Availability heuristic
a general rule for decision making by which a person judges the
likelihood or importance of an event by the ease with which examples of that event come to
mind
o
E.g. there is a terrorist attack on either the Eaton’s centre or the CN tower. People to go
the Eaton’s centre
This is a result of 9-11 media coverage. It is more likely that the terrorist will
attack Eaton’s centre because it is easier to hit, and history dictates
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Description
Chapter 15 Note sSocialPsy chology N Social Psychologythe branch of psychology that stdies our social naturehow theactual, imagined, or i plied presence of others influes our thoughts,felings, and ehaviours N Social Cognitionthe processes ivolved in pereiving, interpreti, and actingon social information N Impression formationthe way in which w e integrate information aout anothers tratis into a coherent senseof who the person is N Schemaa mental framework or body of knowledgethat organizesand synthesizes infom r ation about a person, place,or thing o They are predetemr ined frameworksof knowledge a bout what you thinkof certain things N Central traitspersonality attitudes that orize and influence the intertation of other traits; proposedyAsch o These are automaticassumptions; usualyl key focus ison the warm-cold traitdimension o When one describ es someone who iswarm, it is more likely to eculate that ey are also generous andhappy o Traits such as polite andblunt, which canbe substituted for warm and cold, areknown as peripheral traits o However research sh ows that the neative influenceof the cold trait is stronger than the positive influenceof the warm trait This imbalance may occur because there is already a bias toward positivtiy in impressions of pople N Primacy effectthe tendency to form impressions ofpeople based on the firt informationwe receive about peopl; proposed by Asch o Brown and Bassili sugested that people may generate trait-like lal from observing a persons behaviour, ad that these decriptions maybecome associae t d with almost any stimulus N Self-conceptself-identity. Ones knowledge, feelings,and ideas aboutoneself N Selfa persons ditinct individuality N Self-schemaa mental framework that repre sents and synthesizs information bout oneself; a cognitive structurethat organizes the knowledgefelings, andideas that constite the self- concept; developed by Markus o The self-concept isynamic; it changeswith experience o Markus and Nurius argue that weshould think of ourelves in terms of aworking self- concept that changesaswehavene w experiences; ach of us has many potential selves that we might become, depending on experience o Thinking of ourseles only interms of who we ar atpresent does not accuratelyreflect how we will thinkof ourselves in the futr or the kind of person we mighecome N Cross-culture psyhologya branch of psych ology that studies theeffects of cre on behaviour o Culture is not sonymous with country orcontinent o Cultures differ withrspect to two major classes ofvariablesi logical and ecolical Biological variles include such fatrs as diet, genis, and endemic diseases Ecological includeeography, cli ate, politicystems, popual tion density, religion, culturalmyths, and education www.notesolution.com o Behavioural differnces among peope l of different ct res result in differes in biological and eological varials N Psychologists whodo cross-cultural research strss that culture andpsychologicl processes are fundamentally intetrwined o Fiske, Kitayama,Markus, andNisbett propose thatcultural psych ology strives tobetter understand the psychological pri ciples that inm cultural practice and in tu, how these practices afct various psychological rocesses o A good question from the cultural perspectivefocuses on the fr ation of the sefl- concept, the pereptions one forms ofothers, and theextent to whichothers may influence the deelopment of ones self-oncept o Markus and Kitayama have conc eptualized two cons truals of theelf that reflectsuch cultural differeec The independent cons trual emphasizes the uniqueness of the self, itstnomy from others, and self-relince The interdependent c onstrual emphasizesthe interconnectedness of peope l and the role thatothers play in develping an individuals self-concept o Campbell suggestedthat on the basisof similar reaoning that clart of self-concept might also differ bt een easternand western cu ltures Clarity refers to w confident people arethat they possessparticular attributes, how sharply defined they believethoseattributes are, and hw internally and tmporally consistent they think theirattributes are They proposed tha t high self-conceptclarity more l sely matches an independent construalof self than an intrdependent construal N Attributionthe process b y which people inferthe causes of other poples behaviour o We use schemata thatoften lead us ot the correct conclusions o External factors ituational)people, events, and other stimuli in an iividuals environment thatcan affect his orher thoughts, f elings, attits, and behaviours o Internal factorsdispositional)an individualstraits, needs, andintentions, which can affect his or herought, feelings, attitudes, and baviours N As we get to knowother people, we also learn what to expect of them asindividuals; we learn to characterize pople as frienly, generous, susicious, etc. byobserving theirbehaviour in a variety of situations N Kelley suggested thatwe attribute thebehaviour ofother people to external or internal caes on the basis of tre types of infomation: consensus,distinctiveness, ad consistency o Consensual behavio ur behaviour that is sharedby many people; behaviour tha t is similar from one peron to the next. To the extentthat people engae in the same behaviour, heir behviour is consensual E.g. if you hear Billpraise a new club and haveard many oth er people say te same things (high consensus), you will e tempted to understand Bills praiseas caused by the qualitis of the club (an externalattribution) N If everyone disagres with Bill (w consensus), you wlil be tempted o see Bills rew as somethingpersonal (an internal a ttribution) o Distinctivenessthe extent to which a peron behaves differentyl toward differnt people, events, orother stimuli E.g. if you never heardBill praise a club ashighly as he praisesthe new onei hs behaviour is high indistinctiveness www.notesolution.com
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