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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 Notes.docx

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Elizabeth Page- Gould

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Social Psychology; Chapter 4 - Social Perception  social perception - the study of how we form impressions of and make inferences about other people Nonverbal Behaviour  physical characteristics such as attractiveness influence the way we judge others  we also pay a great deal of attention to what people say  nonverbal communication - the way in which people communicate, intentionally or unintentionally, without words  nonverbal cues include facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures, body position and movement, the use of touch and eye gaze  we are not the only species that can read nonverbal communication  we automatically mimic other people's facial expressions, such as happiness, sadness and disgust - they are pronounces when we like the other person  our tendency to mimic other people's facial expression may reflect empathy - the capacity to feel what someone else is feeling  humans and primates have a brain cell called mirror neurons - these neurons respond when we perform an action AND when we see someone else perform the same action  nonverbal cues help people express their emotions, their attitudes and their personality  some nonverbal cues repeat or complement the spoken message or others contradict (sarcasm)  nonverbal cues can also substitute for a verbal message Facial Expressions of Emotions  Charles Darwin - all human beings can encode - to express or emit nonverbal behaviour, such as smiling or patting someone on the back or decode - to interpret the meaning of the nonverbal behaviour other people express, such as deciding that a pat on the back was an expression of condescension and not kindness  6 major emotions are universal: 1. anger 2. happiness 3. sadness 4. surprise 5. fear 6. disgust Are Facial Expressions of Emotion Universal  not all theorists have agreed that the 6 major emotions are universal  one issue concern the level of accuracy that participants must achieve in order to conclude that a given facial expressions is being perceived in the same way across cultures  another concern is that basic facial expressions of emotion should be easily identified regardless of the context in which they are perceived 1 Social Psychology; Chapter 4 - Social Perception  people in Asian cultures are more influenced by the context when interpreting the facial expression of emotion  ex. facial expressions of people in the background influenced the intensity of emotion that Japanese participants perceived in a target individual's face  context effects (such as the presence of other facial expressions) can have powerful influences on the perception of emotion Why is Decoding Sometimes Inaccurate?  people display affect blends - a facial expression in which one part of the face is registering one emotions and another part of the face is registering a different emotion  people try to appear less emotional than they are so that no one will know how they are really feeling  third reason has to do with culture Culture and Nonverbal Communication  display rules - culturally determined rules about which nonverbal behaviours are appropriate to display  ex - North American cultural norms discourage emotional displays in men such as crying but all the facial display in women  In Japan - women should not exhibit a wide, uninhibited smile - they will generally hide their wide smiles behind their hands  in collectivist cultures - the expression of strong negative emotions is discouraged because to do so can disrupt group harmony  eye contact and eye gaze are powerful nonverbal cues  in North America, most people become suspicious when a person doesn't "look us in the eye" while speaking  cultures vary in what is considered normative use of personal space - differences in personal space can lead to misunderstandings when people of different cultures interact  emblems - nonverbal gestures that have well-understood definitions within a given culture' they usually have direct verbal translations, such as the "okay" sign  emblems are NOT universal - each culture has devised its own  a gesture that has meaning in one culture may not mean anything in another  the same nonverbal behaviour can exist in two cultures, but have different meanings in each  many forms of nonverbal behaviour are specific to a given culture Gender and Nonverbal Communication  studies show that women are better at both decoding and encoding - however, there is an exception:  although women are more accurate in interpreting nonverbal cues when a person is telling the truth, men are better at detecting lies 2 Social Psychology; Chapter 4 - Social Perception  while women have the ability to decode - they tend to turn off this skill in the face of deception, in polite deference to the speaker  social role theory - the theory that sex differences in social behaviour derive from society's division of labour between the sexes - men work outside the home, while women work within the home  this division of labour has two consequences:  gender role expectations arise -members of the society expect men and women to have certain attributes that are consistent with their role - women are expected to be more motherly than mean because of their primary role as caregivers to children  men and women develop different sets of skills and attitudes, based on their experiences in their gender roles  gender role expectations and sex-types skills combine to produce sex differences in social behaviour Implicit Personality Theories: Filling in the Blanks  implicit personality theory - a type of schema people use to group various kinds of personality traits together  ex. many people believe that if someone is kind, he/she is gorgeous as well  implicit personality theories serve the same function as any schemas - 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 that person is like  this way you can form impressions quickly without having to spend weeks with people to figure out what they're like  this efficiency can come at some cost and sometimes be fatal - ex. university students relied on implicit personality theories to determine whether they should use condoms - so if a sex partner didn't dress provocatively or wasn't from a large city, participants assumed that a condom wasn't necessary - this causes risks because relying on such implicit personality theories are not accurate indicators of whether a sexual partner has HIV or AIDS Culture and Implicit Personality Theories  implicit personality theories are passed from generation to generation in a society  one culture's implicit personality theory might be very different in another culture  ex. a strong implicit personality theory in our culture involves physical attractiveness - we presume that "what is beautiful is good" - that people with physical beauty will also have other wonderful qualities  different cultures have different ideas about personality types  how our culture and language shape our impressions of other people ...experiment:  people formed impressions of characters in stories that were consistent with the implicit personality theory contained in their language - when Chinese-English bilinguals read stories about people in English, they were likely to form impressions consistent with a Western implicit personality theory, the artistic personality - when Chinese-English bilingual participants read the same stories in Chinese, they were likely to form impressions consistent with a Chinese implicit theory 3 Social Psychology; Chapter 4 - Social Perception  one's culture and one's language produce widely shared implicit personality theories, and these theories can influence the kinds of inferences people make about each other Causal Attributions: Answering the "Why" Question  "why did someone behave that way?" - to answer this question, we use our immediate observations to form more elegant and complex inferences about what people really are like and what motivates them to act as they do  attribution theory - a description of the way in which people explain the causes of their own and other people's behaviour The Nature of the Attributional Process  Fritz Heider - father of attribution theory  in his view, people are like amateur scientists trying to understand other people's behaviour by piecing together information until they arrive at a reasonable explanation or cause  one of his contributions: when trying to decide why people behave as they do - we can make one of two attributions  internal attribution - the inference that a person is behaving in a certain way because of something about him/her, such as his/her attitude, character or personality  external attribution - the inference that a person is behaving a certain way because of something about the situation he/she is in; the assumption is that most people would respond the same way in that situation  another one of his contributions: his observation that people generally prefer internal attributions over external ones - we are perceptually focused on people, they are who we notice, while the situation, which is often hard to see and describe, can be overlooked The Covariation Model: Internal vs. External Attributions  we notice and think about more than one piece of information when we form an impression of another person  ex. let's say you ask your friend to lend you her car, and she says no - naturally you wonder why  covariation model - in order to form an attribution about what caused a person's behaviour, we systematically note the pattern between the presence (or absence) of possible causal factors and whether or not the behaviour occurs  ex. has your friend refused to lend you her car in the pas? does she lend it to other people? does she normally lend you other possessions of hers?  when we are in the process of forming an attribution, we gather information/data that will help us reach a judgement - the data we use are how a person's behaviour "covaries" or changes across time, place, different actors and different targets of the behaviour  by discovering covariation in people's behaviour, you are able to reach a judgement about what caused their behaviour 4 Social Psychology; Chapter 4 - Social Perception  there are 3 key types o
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