Perception – Chapter 3
Perceiver, target, and situation are the three components to perception. Past
experience often influence the perceiver.
Social Identity Theory – we categorize ourselves in terms of characteristics and
memberships in social categories, such as our nationality, religion, occupation,
Perception is selective – the perceiver doesn’t use all the available cues, and is
constant over time, forming a homogeneous picture of the target person.
– the tendency for a perceiver to rely on early cues.
Recency Effect – the tendency for a perceiver to rely on recent cues or last
Central Traits – personal characteristics of a target person that are of particular
interest. Appearance is one of those traits, and research shows that taller, more
attractive, and non-overweight people are more likely to get promoted and
paid more. This is an example of a bias in the workplace.
Implicit Personality Theory – which personality characteristics go together, e.g.
you expect hardworking people to be honest, or a funny person to be lazy.
Projection – the tendency to attribute one’s own thoughts to others
Stereotyping – generalizing about other people in a social category
Attribution Theory – making judgements about others
Attribution – the process by which causes or motives are assigned to explain
people’s behaviour, explaining their actions. They can be dispositional
(attributed to their characteristic such as intelligence, greed, etc.) or
situational (external environment), such as bad weather, poor advice, etc.
The cues that help us determine the cause of behaviour are:
Consistency cues – high consistency leads to dispositional attributes (just who
Consensus Cues – reflect how a person’s behaviour compares to others’. Low
consensus behaviours are more dispositional
Distinctiveness Cues – when something occurs across a variety of situations, it
lacks uniqueness so it might be dispositional, whereas if it varies across different
situations, it’s situational.
Of course, there are biases in attribution:
Fundamental Attribution Error – we overemphasize dispositional explanations
(e.g. it’s that PERSON’s fault, not the Situation).
Actor-Observer Effect – actors emphasize the situation in explanation, such as
the cause of a car accident.
Self-Serving Bias – People tend to take credit for suc