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PSYB10H3 (700)
Chapter 4

PSYB10 Chapter 4

Course Code
Elizabeth Page- Gould

of 5
Chapter 4
Social Perception
Non verbal cues
-How people communicate intentionally or unintentionally, without word
nonverbal cues include facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures, body
position, movement, use of touch and eye gaze.
-Help express their emotions, attitudes and their personality.
-People automatically mimic other peoples expressions (ex. Happiness, sad,
angry, etc)
These effects are especially pronounced when we like the other person
or consider him or her to be a member of a group.
Tendency to mimic other people may reflect empathy- the capacity to
feel what someone elses is feeling.
Nonverbal contradiction- Sarcasm Ex “I am so happy for you!!
Display rules
-Are particular to each culture and dictate what kind of expression people
are supposed to show.
-Ex men cannot grieve or cry, but its acceptable for women to grieve or
-Nonverbal gestures that have well understood definitions within a given
culture; they usually have direct verbal translations, such as “okay” or “up
yours” (middle finger) or peace
-However it is not universal within every culture.
Social Role Theory
-the theory that sex differences in social behaviour derive from
societys division of labour between the sexes; this division leads to
differences in gender role expectations and sex types skills, both
which are responsibility for differences in men and womens
social ??
Implicit Personality Theory
-A type of schema people use to group various kinds of personality traits
together; for example many people believe that if someone is kind, he or
she is also generous as well.
-People use schemas to form impressions on people. If I think youre
nice, you will also be generous in lending me some money because I I
think youre nice
-Or you might think that a stingy person is also irritable.
-You can extrapolate from a small to a much larger amount of information.
In this case, you can use just a few observations of a person as a starting
point, and then, using your schema, create a much fuller understanding of
what a person is like.
-Even though nonverbal communication is sometimes easy to decode and
implicit personality theories can streamline the way we form impressions, there is
still substantial ambiguity as to what a persons behaviour really means.
Attribution theory
-a description of the way in which people explain the causes of their own
and other peoples behaviour
-What people are really like and what motivates them to act as they do.
-When trying to decide why people behave as they do, we can make one of
two attributions:
1) Internal Attribution- inference that a person is behaving in a certain way
because of someone about him or her, such as his or her attitude,
character, or personality. Dividing that the cause of a persons behaviour
was something about him-his disposition, personality, attitudes or
character, is an explanation that assigns the causes of his behaviour
2) External Attribution- the inference that a person is behaving a certain way
because of something about the situation he or she is in; the assumption
is that most people would respond the same way in that situation. Its
deciding that something about the situation, not the personality or attitudes
of a person, that causes his behaviour.
-people generally prefer internal attributions over external ones. We tend to
see the causes of a persons behaviour as residing in that person.
-We are perceptually focused on people-they are who we notice-while the
situation, which is often hard to see and hard to describe.
Covariation Model
-a theory stating that in order to form an attribution about what caused a
persons behaviour, we systematically note the pattern between the
presence (or absence) of possible causal factors and whether or not the
behaviour occurs.
-You will examine multiple instances of behaviour, occurring at different
times and in different situations. Ex asking your friend to borrow the car
and she says no. Has your friend refused to lend you the car before?
Does she lend it to other people? Does she normally lend you other stuff?
There are three types of information:
1) Consensus Information- information about the extent to which other
people behave the same way as the actor does toward the same stimulus.
Ex do other people at work yell at Hannah too or just the boss?
2) Distinctiveness Information-information about the extent to which one
particular actor behaves in the same way to different stimuli. Ex does
the boss yell and demeans other employees as well?
3) Consistency Information- information about the extent to which the
behaviour between one actor and one stimulus is the same across time
and circumstances. Ex does the boss yell at Hannah regularly and
-When these three sources of information combine into one of two distinct
patterns, a clear attribution can be made.
-People are most likely to make an internal attribution when consensus and
distinctiveness of the act are low and consistency is high
-People are likely to make an external attribution if consensus,
distinctiveness and consistency are all high.
-If consistency is low, we cannot make a clear internal or external
attribution and so resort to a special kind of external or situational
attribution- one that assumes something unusual or peculiar is going on
in these circumstances. Exthe boss just received very upsetting news
and lost his temper on the first person he saw.
-People do what they do because of the kind of people they are, not because of
the situation they are in.
Correspondence Bias
-The tendency to infer that peoples behaviour corresponds to or matches
their own disposition (personality)
Fundamental Attribution Error
-the tendency to overestimate the extent to which peoples behaviour is
attributable to internal, dispositional factors, and to underestimate the role
of situational factors. This is due to the fact that we tend to focus our
attention on the person itself, rather than the environment the person is
-People think that the cause of someones behaviour is from the person
rather than the situation that person is in. They tend to overlook it and not
consider situational factors when explaining a persons behaviour. People
usually persist in making internal attributions.
Perceptual Salience
-Information that is the focus on peoples attention; people tend to
overestimate the causal role of perceptually salient information.