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Chapter 4

PSYB10H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Daniel Kahneman


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB10H3
Professor
Elizabeth Page- Gould
Chapter
4

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PSYB10
Chapter 4: Perceiving Persons (p. 96 138)
o Social perception the processes by which people come to understand one another
OBSERVATION: THE ELEMENTS OF SOCIAL PERCEPTION
o The social perceiver comes to know others by relying on indirect cluesthe elements of social perception
o These clues arise from three sources: persons, situations, and behavior
Persons: Judging a Book by its Cover
o Willis & Todorov
- showed undergraduate students photographs of unfamiliar faces for one-tenth of a second, half a second, or a full second
- It takes a mere fraction of a second to form an impression of a stranger from his or her face
o First impressions are influenced in subtle ways by a person‖s height, weight, skin colour, hair colour, tattoos, eyeglasses, facial beauty, and other aspects
of appearance
o Gosling
- Showing that people‖s personalities can be revealed in the knickknacks found in their offices and dormitory rooms, the identity claims they
make on Facebook pages, the books that line their shelves, and the types of music that inhabit their iPods
o Kluemper
- found that raters could reliably predict student grade point averages based on information posted on students‖ Facebook pages
o human beings have practiced physiognomythe art of reading character from faces
o Hassin & Trope
- Found that people prejudge others in photographs as kind-hearted rather than mean-spirited based on such features as a full round face, curly
hair, long eyelashes, large eyes, a short nose, full lips, and an upturned mouth
- Found that just as people read traits on faces, at times they read traits into faces based on prior information
o Berry and Zebrowitz-McArthur
- Adults who have baby-faced features tend to be seen as warm, kind, naïve, weak, honest, and submissive
- Adults who have mature features-are seen as stronger, more dominant, and more competent
o Rule & Ambady
- Participants rated each face on a number of traits such as competence, maturity, dominance, and likeability
- Blending competence, dominance, and facial maturity measure of ‗Power
- The firms with the greatest financial success also tended to have leaders who were rated highly on competence, dominance, and facial
maturityand those ratings were based only on a photograph!
o Grant
- Demonstrates, sometimes we even infer attitudes that we assume an individual holds, just on the basis of their face
- Conservative attitudes men in the photos for issues such as homosexuality and child rearing and women in the photos
- Liberal attitudes Attractive people were deemed to be the most liberal
- Conservative attitudes older adults
o Oliviola & Todorov
- Participants far more often decided the person in the photo had ―been arrested‖ or ―did drugs‖ than would have been predicted based on the
likelihood of these events occurring in the general population
o Lorenz
- Infantile features in many animal species seem to trigger a special nurturing response to cuteness
- Brain-imaging study showing that a frontal brain region associated with love and other positive emotions is activated when people are
exposed, even fleetingly, to pictures of babies‖ faces but not to pictures of the faces of other adults
o Zebrowitz
- We associate infantile features with helplessness traits and then over-generalize this expectation to baby-faced adults
- The region of the brain that was activated by pictures of babies‖ faces was also activated by pictures of baby-faced men
o Todorov
- a trustworthy face has a U-shaped mouth and raised eyebrows; in an untrustworthy face, the mouth curls down and the eyebrows form a V

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PSYB10
Situations: The Scripts of Life
o each of us has preset notions about certain types of situations—‗scripts‘ that enable us to anticipate the goals, behaviours, and outcomes likely to occur
in a particular setting
o The more experience you have in a given situation, the more detail your scripts will contain
o Axtell
- describes many scripts that are culture specific
- ex. Bolivia guests fully clean their plate to show they enjoyed the meal
- Social scripts can influence perceptions and behavior
o Pryor & Merluzzi
- ‗first date script‘ 16 steps
- Those with extensive dating experience were able to organize the statements more quickly than those who had less dating experience
o Knowledge of social settings provides an important context for understanding other people‖s verbal and nonverbal behavior
o Scripts influence social perceptions in two ways
1. We sometimes see what we expect to see in a particular situation
2. People use what they know about social situations to explain the causes of human behavior
Behavioural Evidence
o An essential first step in social perception is to recognize what someone is doing at a given moment
o People derive meaning horn their observations by dividing the continuous stream of human behavior into discrete units
o Newston
- Research participants who are told to break an event into fine units rather than gross units attend more closely detect more meaningful actions,
and remember more details about the actor‖s behavior than do gross-unit participants
o Mind Perception the process by which people attribute humanlike mental states to various animate and inanimate objects, including other people
- People who identify someone‖s actions in high-level terms rather than low-level terms are also more likely to attribute humanizing thoughts,
feelings, intentions, consciousness, and other states of mind to that actor
o Morewedge
- People see inner qualities of mind in target objects that superficially resemble humans in their speed of movement
o Gray
- Showed that people perceive minds along two dimensions: agency (a target‖s ability to plan and execute behavior) and experience (the
capacity to feel pleasure, pain, and other sensations)
- The more ‗mind‘ respondents attributed to a character, the more they liked it, valued it, wanted to make it happy, and wanted to rescue it from
destruction
- When participants are asked to focus on a target‖s physical characteristics, attributions regarding the target‖s agency decrease, but attributions
of his or her experience increase. They see the target as less capable, but more likely to experience pain or pleasure
The Silent Language of Nonverbal Behaviour
o Behavioural cues are used not only to identify someone‖s actions but also to determine his or her inner states
o Nonverbal Behaviour Behaviour that reveals a person‖s feelings without words— through facial expressions, body language, and vocal cues
o Darwin
- Proposed that the face expresses emotion in ways that are innate and understood by people all over the world
- People can reliably identify at least six ‗primary‘ emotions: happiness, fear, sadness, anger, surprise, and disgust
- J ability to recognize emotion in others has survival value for all members of a species
o Elfenbein & Ambady
- People all over the world are able to recognize the primary emotions from photographs of facial expressions
- On the other hand, people are 9 percent more accurate at judging faces from their own national, ethnic, or regional groups than from members
of less familiar groups—indicating that we enjoy an ‗ingroup advantage‘ when it comes to knowing how those who are closest to us are
feeling
o Hansen
- ‗anger superiority effect,‘ researchers have found that people are quicker to spotand slower to look away fromangry faces in a crowd
than faces with neutral and less threatening emotions
o In nature, food poisoning is a real threat, so it is adaptive for us to recognize disgust in the face of others
o Wicker
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PSYB10
- A structure in the brain known as the insula was activated not only when participants sniffed the disgusting odour but also when they watched
others sniffing it
- This result suggests that people more than recognize the face of disgust; they experience it at a neural level.
o When email first became popular, the written word was often misinterpreted emoticons
o Other nonverbal cues can also influence social perception, enabling us to make quick and often accurate judgments of others based on ‗thin slices‘ of
expressive behavior
o In communicating with others, people use conversational hand gestures
o Eye contact, or gaze, is another common form of nonverbal communication
- ‗eye contact effect‘ show that people who look us straight in the eye quickly draw and then hold our attention, increase arousal, and activate
key ‗social‘ areas of the brain and that this sensitivity is present at birth
o Another powerful, primitive form of nonverbal behavior is touch
- Henley: touching may be an expression not only of intimacy but of dominance and control
- Hall: although we tend to believe that people touch others more when they are dominant than when they are subordinate, there is no
behavioural support for this hypothesis
- Research suggests that the first impressions we form of others may be influenced by these qualities of a simple handshake
o Axtell
- Nonverbal communication norms vary from one culture to the next
- Ex. In Bulgaria, nodding your head means ‗no‘ and shaking your head sideways means ‗yes.‘
- Personal-space habits also vary across cultures
- Different cultures also have vastly different lies for greeting someone
Distinguishing Truth from Deception
o Social perception is tricky because people often try to hide or stretch the truth about themselves
o Ekman & Friesen
- Proposed that some channels of communication are difficult for deceivers to control, while others are relatively easy
- The face can communicate emotion, but it is relatively easy for deceivers to controlunlike nervous movements of the hands and feet
o Four channels of communication provide relevant information: words, the face, the body, and the voice
o Problems with distinguishing between a truth or a lie?
- There is a mismatch between the behavioural cues that actually signal deception and those used by perceivers to detect deception
Yet when people have a reason to lie, the words they choose cannot be trusted, and they are generally able to control both their face
and body (the voice is the most telling channel; when people lie, they tend to hesitate, then speed up and raise the pitch of their
voice)
- People tend to assume that the way to spot a liar is to watch for signs of stress in his or her behavior
Vrij: theorizes that lying is harder to do and requires more thinking than telling the truth. Therefore, he argues, we should focus on
behavioural cues that betray cognitive effort
They asked truth tellers and liars to recount their stories in reverse chronological order. This task was a lot harder and more
effortful for the deceivers to do, which made the interviewers better able to distinguish between truths and lies
ATTRIBUTION: FROM ELEMENTS TO DISPOSITIONS
o To understand people well enough to predict their future behavior, we must also identify their inner dispositions: stable characteristics such as
personality traits, attitudes, and abilities. Since we cannot actually see dispositions, we infer them indirectly from what a person says and does
Attribution Theories
o To make sense of our social world, we try to understand the causes of other people‖s behavior
o Heider
- To Heider, we are all scientists of a sort. Motivated to understand others well enough to manage our social lives, we observe, analyze, and
explain their behavior. The explanations we come up with are called attributions, and the theory that describes the process is called
attribution theory
- Heider found it particularly useful to group the explanations people give into two categories: personal and situational attribution
- Women more likely attribute to a person attribution; whereas men would likely to endorse the societal explanation (a situational attribution)
o Attribution Theory A group of theories that describe how people explain causes of behavior.
o Personal Attribution Attribution to internal characteristics of an actor, such as ability, personality, mood or effort
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