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Lecture 3

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Elizabeth Page- Gould

Perceiving and Predicting Others (Lecture 3) SOCIAL INFORMATION What Goes Into Person Perception? -Behaviour -Context -Schemas! Person Perception-how we perceive peoples behaviour BEHAVIOURAL INPUT -Verbal Behaviour (Speaking) -Nonverbal Behaviour Emblems Power of Behavioural Input: “Thin Slices” Emblems -Gestures that have well-understood meaning within a culture -Effectively: nonverbal language -Very culturally bound “THIN SLICES” Approach within social psychology focused on the attributional power of brief exposure to others -humans are very good at detecting things from very small sprouts of “knowing” the person Experiment: how quickly can you detect a person’s social economic status? Results: Naive observers who viewed the clip for 30 secs accurately detected parents’ income, mothers’ education, and subjective SES Relative to high SES participants, low SES participants spent less time: Grooming, doodling, manipulating objects CONTEXT -Context (situation) matters Provides additional input Can completely change attribution -behaviour on its own doesn’t say much about an individual without context SCHEMAS What you expect is what you get -A set of expectations you have for any given person ATTRIBUTION Explanation for an observed behaviour of a social object -you can make attributions of your own behaviour and of the behaviour of others ATTRIBUTION -How Automatic is Attribution? -Attribution Theory Internal/External Attributions Fundamental (?) Attribution Error Covariation Theory EASE OF ATTRIBUTION -even though they are just circles, triangles, and lines, we get a rich social context from this video and we attribute behaviour to what we see. AUTOMATICITY OF ATTRIBUTIONS How Automatic is an Attribution? Very Attributions = Pattern Matching ATTRIBUTION THEORY Primary Question: Do we attribute behaviour to something about the person (“internal”) or something about the situation (“external”)? - A description of the way in which people explain the causes of their own and other people’s behaviour INTERNAL ATTRIBUTION Attributing a person’s behaviour to something intrinsic to that person Personality, disposition, attitude, or character EXTERNAL ATTRIBUTION Attributing a person’s behaviour to something about the situation in which the behaviour occurred Specifically not changing beliefs regarding person’s character or personality -people generally prefer the internal attributions over external ones CORRESPONDENCE BIAS Tendency to infer that a person’s behaviour corresponds to their disposition, personality, or attitude -we tend to assume that their behaviour is due to internal attribution and not external FUNDAMENTAL ATTRIBUTION ERROR “FAE” When perceiving others: Tendency to overestimate the influence of internal causes for behaviour and underestimate external causes When perceiving self: Much more likely to attribute own behaviour to external causes Experiment: Fundamental Attribution Error The experimenter made the subject read a pro or anti castro essay and was either rtold that the author was given the topic or chose the topic. Then the experimenter asked the subject what they think the view of the author is on Castro. Most people said that the person who wrote a pro castro essay had a pro castro view and the author who wrote a anti-Castro essay had a anti-Castro view even though the person had no choice in what topic to chose. ACTOR/OBSERVER DIFFERENCE The tendency to see other people’s behaviour as dispositionally caused, while focusing more on the role of situational factors when explaining one’s own behaviour CULTURAL VARIABILITY IN FAE -Western cultures emphasize individual freedom and autonomy –internal atrributions -Asian cultures emphasize group membership, interdependence, and conformity- situational factors Experiment: Asian vs US newspaper on Chinese University student murderer EXPLANATIONS FOR THE FAE -Perceptual Salience - Anchoring & Adjustment Heuristic PERCEPTUAL SALIENCE Tendency to overestimate the causal role of information that grabs our attention -when you look at a situation, you focus on the person; the thing you pay attention to is what you place the cause to -when you are in a situation and you think about yourself, you are looking at the environment for people around you TWO-STEP PROCESS OF ATTRIBUTION FAE occurs through the same process as Anchoring & Adjustment Heuristic: 1. Make an internal attribution (quick and spontaneous) 2. Attempt to adjust away from internal attribution by considering situational constraints (requires more effort and conscious attention COVARIATION THEORY Assumption: People are lay statisticians 3 Factors of Attribution: -Consensus -Distinctiveness -Consistency CONSENSUS Do other people behave in this way? Behaviour unique to person DISTINCTIVENESS Does this person behave like this with other stimuli? Behaviour unique to situation CONSISTENCY Does the person behave like this over time? Behaviour unique to this moment in time COVARIATION THEORY 3 patterns lead to 3 attributions: SELF-SERVING BIASES -Self-Serving Attributions -Defensive Attributions: Unrealistic Optimism Just World Hypothesis -False Consensus Effect -Ultimate Attrib
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