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Chapter 15

PSYA02 chapter 15.docx

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Jordan Bel

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: the process involved in perceiving, interpreting, and acting on social information. Schemata and Social Cognition Impression information: The way in which we integrate information about anothers traits into a coherent sense of who the person. o Our impressions of other people are formed by more complex rules than just a simple sum of the characteristics that we use to describe people. Schema Schema: A mental framework or body of knowledge that organize and synthesizes information about a person, place or a thing. Central Traits Central traits: personality attributes that organize and influence the interpretation of other traits. o Example: witty, smart, and warm- more positive than, witty, smart, and cold- less positive The Primary Effect Primary Effect: the tendency to form impressions of people based on the first information we receive about them. o to some extent, the information we receive earlier than later has a bigger impact on our impression. o The primary effect was more pronounced for participants who were mentally fatigued than those who were reactively alert. o Trait labels from behavioral descriptions may become associated with almost any stimulus, including inanimate ones. Ex. A firefighter eating a banana while explaining his story. You associate a banana with bravery The Self Self concept: Self-identity. Ones knowledge, feelings, and ideas about oneself. Self: A persons distinct individuality o Dynamic changes with experience. Self-schema: A metal framework that represents and synthesizes information about oneself; a cognitive structure that organizes the knowledge, feelings, and ideas that constitute the self-concept. o A cognitive structure that organizes the knowledge, feelings, and ideas that constitute the self-concept. Culture and social psychology Cross-cultural psychology: a branch of psychology that studies the effects of culture on behavior. o Allows for psychologists to test the generality of the results of a study preformed with members of a particular culture. If similar studies preformed with members of different cultures produce similar results, we can become more confident that we have discovered general principle that applies broadly to members of our species. Cultures differ with respect to two major classes of variables: biological and ecological. o Biological variables include such factors as diet genetics, and endemic disease. o Ecological variables include such factors as geography, climate, political systems, population density, religion, cultural myths, and education. o Behavioral differences among people of different cultures result from differences in biological and ecological variables. The independent construal emphasizes the uniqueness of the self, its autonomy from others, and self-reliance Although other people have an influence on a persons behavior, a persons self-concept is largely define independently of others. The interdependent construal emphasizes the interconnectedness of people and the role that others play in developing an individuals self-concept. What others think of the individual or do to the individual matters. o Study found that students from India judge themselves more similar to others, whereas, students from America found themselves to be dissimilar to others. 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. Attribution Attribution: The process by which people infer the causes of other peoples behavior. Disposition versus Situation A primary classification that we make concerning the causes of a persons behavior is the relative importance of situational (external) or dispositional (internal) factors. o External factors: people, events, and other stimuli in an individuals environment that can affect his or her thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behaviors. o Internal factors: An individuals traits, needs, and intentions, which can affect his or her thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behaviors. One of the tasks of socialization is to learn what behaviors are expected in various kinds of situations. Once we learn that in a certain situation most people act in a specific way (example, greeting people is done in a specific way), then we develop a schemata for how we expect people to act in those situations. If a person does not act in a certain way that we normally would act (for example holding the door open) then we associate the person with some negative personal characteristics (internal causes) Kellys Theory of Attribution Suggested that we attribute the behavior of other people to external (situational) or internal (personal) causes on the basis of thee types of information: 1) Consensual behavior : behavior that is shared by many people; behaviors that is similar from one person to the next. To the extent that people engage in the same behavior, their behavior is consensual. Normally attributed to external causes. 2) Distinctiveness: the extent to which a person behaves differently toward different people, events, or other stimuli. Behaviors that are distinctively associated with a particular situation are attributed to that external cause. Example is if you have never heard Bill praise a club as much as he has the new one. In this case, you would find that Bills praise for the new club to reflect the quality of the club itself (external attribution). 3) Consistency: the extent to which a persons behavior is consistent across time toward another person, an event, or a stimulus. Consistency must be high in order to support both internal and external attributions. The Fundamental Attribution Error Fundamental Attribution Error: The tendency to overestimate the significance of internal factors and underestimate the significance of
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