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Chapter 15

PSYA02 chapter 15 notes

17 pages52 viewsSummer 2011

Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYA02H3
Professor
John Bassili
Chapter
15

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Chapter 15 Social Psychology
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 behaviors
Social Cognition
Social cognition: processes involved in perceiving, interpreting, and acting on
social information
Schemata and Social Cognition
Impression formation: the way in which we integrate information about anothers
traits into a coherent sense of who the person is
Schema
oMental framework or body of knowledge that organizes and synthesizes
information about a person, place, or thing
oAids us in interpreting the world
Central Traits
oPersonality attributes that organize and influence the interpretation of other
traits
oImpart meaning to other known traits and suggest the presence of yet other
traits that have yet to be discovered
The Primacy Effect
oThe tendency to form impressions of people based on the first information we
receive about them
oReflects greater attention to trait information presented early than to that
presented late
oMore pronounced for participants who were mentally fatigued than for those
who were relatively alert
oPeople may generate trait like labels from observing a persons behavior
Brown & Bassili
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The Self
Self-concept: self-identity; ones knowledge, feelings, and ideas about oneself
oHow you perceive yourself and interpret events that are relevant to defining
who you are
Self: a persons distinct individuality
Self-schema: a mental framework that represents and synthesizes information
about yourself
oCognitive structure that organizes the knowledge, feelings, and ideas that
constitute the self-concept
Self-concept is dynamic; it changes with experience
Culture and Social Psychology
Cross-cultural psychology: studies effects of culture on behavior
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
Cultures differ with respect to 2 major classes of variables biological and ecological
Biological variables diet, genetics, and endemic diseases
Ecological variables geography, climate, political systems, population density,
religion, cultural myths, and education
Behavioral differences result from differences in biological and ecological variables
Construe interpret something or to explain its meaning
Independent construal emphasizes the uniqueness of the self, its autonomy from
others, and self-reliance
Interdependent construal emphasizes that interconnectedness of people and the
role that others play in developing an individuals self-concept
Clarity 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
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Attribution
The process by which people infer the causes of other peoples behavior
Disposition vs. Situation
oThe primary classification that we make concerning the causes of a persons
behavior is the relative importance of situational (external) and dispositional
(internal) factors
oExternal factors: people, events, and other stimuli in an individuals
environment that can affect his or her thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and
behaviors
oInternal factors: an individuals traits, needs, and intentions, which can
affect his or her thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behaviors
Kelleys Theory of Attribution
oWe attribute the behavior of other people to external (situational) or internal
(personal) causes on the bases of 3 types of information: consensus,
distinctiveness, and consistency
oConsensual behavior: behavior that is shared by many people; behavior
that is similar from one person to the next. To the extent that people engage
in the same behavior, their behavior is consensual
oDistinctiveness: the extent to which a person behaves differently toward
different people, events, or other stimuli
oConsistency: the extent to which a persons behavior is consistent across
time toward another person, an event, or stimulus
Attributional Biases
The Fundamental Attribution Error
oWhen attributing an actors behavior to possible causes, an observer tends to
overestimate the significance of dispositional factors and underestimate the
significance of situational factors
oPeople seem to prefer internal/ dispositional explanations to
external/situational explanations
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