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Chapter 15

Chapter 15 Study Guide

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYA02H3
Professor
John Bassili

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Chapter 15 Social Psychology
Social Cognition: how people attend to, perceive, interpret, and respond to the social world
A major task of social psychology is to understand how we form impressions
Study impression formation: the way in which we integrate information about anothers traits into a
coherent sense of who the person is
[Asch]: our impressions of others are formed by more complex rules than just simple sum of
characteristics that we use to describe people
Schema: mental framework of body of knowledge that organizes and synthesizes information about a
person, place or thing
Schemas help us aid us in interpreting the world
Once you know the context of a passage you would interpret the passage easily
Central Traits: Personality attributes that organize and influence the interpretation of other traits
[Asch] performed warm-cold test. Found that warm’’ formed more positive impressions than those
who heard cold’’
Primacy Effect: tendency to form impressions of people based on first information we receive about them
[Asch] presented two list of words, one in the reverse order, same words but different impressions
(intelligent, industrious, impulsive, critical, stubborn, envious)
We observe what a person does and says then purposefully think about what those behaviors
reveal about his/her qualities
[Brown and Bassili] suggested that people may generate trait like labels from observing a persons
behaviour
Self: a persons distinct individualitySelf Concept: ones knowledge, feelings and ideas about oneself
(self-identity)
How you perceive yourself and interpret events that are relevant to defining who you are
Self-schema: mental framework that represents and synthesizes information about yourself
Self concept is dynamic, it changes with experience
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
Cross-Cultural Psychologists: a branch of psychology that studies the effects of culture on behaviour
Culture: group of people who live together in a common environment, who share customs and
religious beliefs and practices, and who often resemble each other genetically
www.notesolution.com
Culture is no synonymous with country or continent, many can exist within a single geographic
zone
Cultures differ with respect to two major classes: biological and ecological
Biological variables: diet, genetics, endemic diseases
Ecological variables: geography, climate, political systems, population density, religion, cultural
myths, education
Culture and psychological processes are fundamentally intertwined (cross-cultural research)
Western cultures often emphasize the uniqueness of the individual and an appreciation of being
different from others. In contrast, Japanese and other Eastern cultures often emphasize paying
attention to others and the relatedness of the individual and others.
Attribution: the process by which people infer the causes of other peoples behaviour
Primary classification that we make concerning causes of a persons behaviour is the relative
importance of situational (external) and dispositional (internal) factors.
External Factors: stimuli in the physical and social environment, living conditions, other people,
societal norms and laws.
Internal Factors: persons traits, needs and intentions
one of the tasks of socialization is to learn what behaviours are expected in different kinds of
situations
once they are learned, schemata are formed to expect how people act in those situations
if a persons behaviour is very different from the way most people would act, we attribute his
behaviour to internal causes.
Kelley’s Theory of Attribution: we attribute behaviour of other people to external (situational) or
internal (personal) causes on three types of information: consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency
Consensual behaviour: behaviour enacted by a large number of people in a particular situation
(usually attributed to external causes)
Distinctiveness: extent to which a person performs a particular behaviour only during a particular
type of event of toward a particular person or thing
Consistency: whether a persons behaviour occurs reliably over time
Attributional Biases two kinds: fundamental attribution error and the false consensus
Fundamental Attribution Error: observer tends to overestimate significance of dispositional factors
(internal) and underestimate the significance of situational factors (external)
www.notesolution.com
Ex. when a goalie misses a save, we are more likely to conclude that the goalie lacks skill than to
consider the possibility that his sightlines were blocked.
[Jones and Harris] Experiment on fundamental attribution error: Fidel Castros rule of Cuba
found that people did not take into account the situational demands on the writer who was
assigned a position, if the writers statements about Castro were positive, people took those
statements to match the writers beliefs
Associated with victim blaming belief in a just world
Actor-observer effect: tendency to attribute ones own behaviour to external factors but others
behaviour to internal factors
When we explain our own behaviour, we are not likely to make the fundamental attribution error
[Orvis, Kelly & Butler] study of university-age male-female couples demonstrates actor-observer
effect
Two Reasons for this bias: 1) different focus of attention when we view ourselves. We do not see our
own behaviour as clearly as it would with other people. We would focus more on our environment
and focus less on theirs (wont read situations) 2) more info about our behaviour and realize that
its often inconsistent, better notion of which stimuli we are attending to in a given situation
Self-serving bias: tendency to attribute our accomplishments and success to internal causes and
our failures and mistakes to external causes, we do this to protect our self-esteem and vice versa to
enhance it
False Consensus: tendency of an observer to perceive his or her own response as a representative of a
general consensus
[McFarland and Miller] asked psychology students to indicate in which of two unpleasant
experiments they would prefer to participate. Regardless of their choice, they believed that the
majority of other students would select the same experiment they had.
One explanation accounts is in terms of self-esteem. Another is that people tend to place
themselves in the company of others who are similar to themselves.
Representativeness Heuristic: general rule for decision making by which people classify a person, place or
thing into category to which it appears to be the most similar.
By noticing clothes, hairstyle, posture, manner of speaking, hand gestures, and other
characteristics, we can match people with stereotypes and conclude that they fit in that category.
Based on our ability to categorize information, we observe that characteristics tend to go together
and can predict peoples behaviour fairly accurately
Base rate fallacy: failure to consider the likelihood that a person, place of thing is a member of a
particular category on the basis of mathematical probabilities
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Chapter 15 Social Psychology Social Cognition: how people attend to, perceive, interpret, and respond to the social world A major task of social psychology is to understand how we form impressions Study impression formation: the way in which we integrate information about anothers traits into a coherent sense of who the person is [Asch]: our impressions of others are formed by more complex rules than just simple sum of characteristics that we use to describe people Schema: mental framework of body of knowledge that organizes and synthesizes information about a person, place or thing Schemas help us aid us in interpreting the world Once you know the context of a passage you would interpret the passage easily Central Traits: Personality attributes that organize and influence the interpretation of other traits [Asch] performed warm-cold test. Found that warm formed more positive impressions than those who heard cold Primacy Effect: tendency to form impressions of people based on first information we receive about them [Asch] presented two list of words, one in the reverse order, same words but different impressions (intelligent, industrious, impulsive, critical, stubborn, envious) We observe what a person does and says then purposefully think about what those behaviors reveal about hisher qualities [Brown and Bassili] suggested that people may generate trait like labels from observing a persons behaviour Self: a persons distinct individuality Self Concept: ones knowledge, feelings and ideas about oneself (self-identity) How you perceive yourself and interpret events that are relevant to defining who you are Self-schema: mental framework that represents and synthesizes information about yourself Self concept is dynamic, it changes with experience 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 Cross-Cultural Psychologists: a branch of psychology that studies the effects of culture on behaviour Culture: group of people who live together in a common environment, who share customs and religious beliefs and practices, and who often resemble each other genetically www.notesolution.com
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