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PSYA02H3 (931)
John Bassili (149)
Chapter 15

chapter 15 notes detailed

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University of Toronto Scarborough
John Bassili

Chapter 15 Social Psychology Social Cognition Social Psychology: The field of psychology that studies our social nature How the thoughts, feelings and behaviour of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others Social Cognition: how people attend to, perceive, interpret, and respond to the social world Schemata and Social Cognition We form impressions of others through interaction or based on reports with others We assign characteristics to people - task of social psychology is to understand how we form these impressions Impression Formation: the way in which we integrate information about anothers traits into a coherent sense of who the person is Schema Schema: a mental framework or body of knowledge that organizes and synthesizes information about a person, place or thing They aid us in interpreting the world Because of schema it makes it easier for a person to interpret a random passage when the title of a known subject is given (ex. washing clothes p. 487) Central Traits Certain traits called Central Traits organize and influence our understanding of other traits of a person to a greater extent than do other traits (they impart meaning to other known traits and suggest the presence of other traits that have yet to be revealed.) E.g. Aschs warm-cold trait dimension: smart, witty, warm is positive and smart, witty and cold is the total opposite (peripheral traits)Polite and blunt when substituted for warm and cold had no effect on the impressions but warm and cold had major effects (central traits) The Primacy Effect To determine whether first impressions might overpower later impressions, Asch presented a list of words to each of two groups of people When presented with 2 list of words to determine 1 impression intelligent, industrious, impulsive, critical, stubborn, envious and envious, stubborn, critical, impulsive, industrious, intelligent , the first list gave nd impression of someone who was positive, and the 2 list someone who was negative Primacy Effect: the tendency to form an impression of a person based on the initial info we learn about them (more pronounced for people who were mentally fatigued) We observe what a person does and says and we purposefully think about what those behaviours reveal about his/her personal qualities - we develop lists about people ourselves People may generate trait-like labels from observed behaviour and that those labels become rather automatically associated in memory with whatever stimulus happens to have been around at the same time the info about the behaviour became available www.notesolution.com Trait labels from behavioural descriptions may become associated with almost any stimulus, including inanimate ones (e.g. ppl associated traits to bananas. An outcome both illogical and nonsensical because people dont consider bananas to be persons) The Self Self-Concept: your knowledge, feelings, and ideas about yourself Self: A persons distinct individuality Self-concept = self identity - how you see yourself and interpret events that are relevant to defining who you are Self-Schema: at the core of self-concept; a mental framework that represents and synthesizes information about oneself (cognitive structure that organizes the knowledge, feelings, and ideas that constitute the self-concept) The self concept is dynamic and changes with experience Thinking of ourselves only in terms of the present doesnt accurately reflect how we will think in the future Each of us has many potential selves that we might become depending on experience Culture plays powerful role in individual and social development In North America, parents sometimes encourage their children to eat all their diner - think about all the starving children and how lucky you are not to go hungry Japan - think of the farmer who worked so hard to produce this rice for you Japanese and other eastern cultures stress paying attention to others and the relatedness of the individual and others Westerners stress the uniqueness of the individual & appreciation of being different Two construals of the self that reflect cultural differences (Markus and Kitayama): Construe = interpret something or explain its meaning The Independent Construal (US): emphasizes the uniqueness of the self, its autonomy from others, and self reliance -persons self concept is defined independently of others even though other people have an influence on a persons behaviour -it corresponds to a self view of ones traits and abilities as relatively stable and difficult to change -Canadian students of European descent will persist on a task after a successful experience than after failure The Interdependent Construal(India): emphasizes the interconnectedness between people and the role that others play in developing an individuals self concept -person is extremely sensitive to others and strives to form strong social bonds with them -yields a self view of traits and abilities as relatively malleable to the extent that they must be responsive to relationship demands -Japanese persist after a failure than a success Clarity: refers to how confident people are that they possess particular attributes, how sharply defined they believe those attributes are, and how internally and consistent www.notesolution.com they think their attributes are -clarity of self-concept might differ between Eastern and Western cultures High clarity of self-concept matches independent construal of self (Canadians rather than low-Japanese) Attribution - Disposition Vs. Situation and Kelleys Theory of Attribution Attribution: The process by which people infer the causes of other peoples behaviour The primary classification that we make concerning the causes of peoples 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, social norms and laws) Internal Factors: are a persons traits, needs, and intentions Once we learn that in certain situations most people react in the same way we form schemata of how we expect people to act in those situations E.g. when people are introduced they are expected to look at each other, smile, say something like How do you do? and perhaps shake the persons hand If people act in conventional ways were not surprised & this behaviour is dictated by social custom (the characteristics of the situation) By observing peoples behaviour in different situations we characterize them as friendly, suspicious, etc. If someones behaviour is different from the way most people would act in a particular situation, we blame it on internal causes (ex. Not holding a door open for someone) Kelleys Theory of Attribution: suggested we attribute the behaviour of other people to external or internal causes on the bases of 3 types of information: consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency Consensual Behaviour: a behaviour enacted in common by a large number of people in a particular situation, usually attributed to external factors (if you hear Bill praise a club and you have heard lots of other people say the same thing (high consensus) you will attribute Bills praise as caused by the qualities of the club (external attribution). But if there is a low consensus (every1 disagrees with Bill) you will see bills review as reflecting something personal about him (internal attribution) Distinctiveness: the extent which a person performs a particular behaviour only during a particular type of event or toward a particular person or thing (If you never heard Bill praise a club as highly as he did for the new one, his behaviour is high in distinctiveness) -behaviours that are distinctively associated with a particular situation are attributed to external cause - the quality of the club = external -If Bill praise every club the same way as he does the new one it would be Internal to him (ex. Hes easily entertained) Consistency information: whether the persons behaviour occurs reliably over time (Bills behaviour is characterized by high distinctiveness and high consensus - both signs point to an external entitythe club) -this is important because low consistency causes confusion; if Bill says he hates the www.notesolution.com club, then goes to it again then says he loves it - low consistency, high distinctiveness, high consensus Did something happen at the club to make it better or is there something strange about Bill? See table 15.1 page 491 Attributional Biases There are biases in the attribution process that affect our conclusions about the actor (the person performing a behaviour) There are two kinds of biases: fundamental attribution error and false consensus Fundamental Attribution Error: When attributing a persons behaviour to possible causes a person tends to overestimate the significance of dispositional factors and underestimate the significance of situational factors (e.g. when a goalie misses a goal we think he sucks and lacks skill, than the possibility that his sight was blocked) People tend to prefer dispositional explanations to situational ones Victim-blaming is another example of fundamental attribution error, particularly when the victim is not at fault for the misfortune Belief in a just world: people generally subscr
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