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Chapter 13

Chapter 13- Behaviour in a Social Context.docx

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Psychology 1000
Laura Fazakas- De Hoog

Chapter 13­ Behaviour in a Social Context SOCIAL THINKING AND PERCEPTION ATTRIBUTION: PERCEIVING THE CAUSES OF BEHAVIOUR Attributions- judgments about the causes of our own and other people’s behaviour and outcomes Personal vs. Situational Attributions • Personal (internal) attributions infer that people’s behaviour is caused by their characteristics • Situational (external) attributions infer that aspects of situation cause behaviour • 3 types of info determine attribution we make: consistency, distinctiveness, consensus o When all 3 are high, we’re likely to make situational attribution o When consistency is high and other factors low, we make personal attribution Attributional Biases Fundamental attribution error- we underestimate the impact of the situation and overestimate the role of personal factors when explaining other people’s behaviour Ex.- Expecting actors behaviour on screen to be their actual personalities • Applies to how we perceive other people’s behaviour rather than our own. Reasons: o We have more info about present situation about ourselves o Perceptual principle of our figure-ground relations come into play • Error is not inevitable—when people have time to reflect on judgments/are highly motivated to be careful, the fundamental attribution error is reduced Self-serving bias- making relatively more personal attributions for successes and more situational attributions for failures • Strength of self-serving bias depends on various factors (psychological state, cultural norms, etc.) Culture and Attribution • Tendency to attribute other people’s behaviour to personal factors reflects Westernized emphasis on individualism • Culture influences attributions for our own behaviour • More holistic thinkers take more information into account when making attributions FORMING AND MAINTAINING IMPRESSIONS Primacy vs. Recency Primacy effect- our tendency to attach more importance to initial information we learn about a person • New info can change opinion, but must ‘work harder’ to overcome initial impression because: o Tend to be most alert to info we receive first o Initial info may shape how we perceive subsequent info • Evaluating stimuli quickly was adaptive for our survival • Recency effects may occur sometimes also Mental Sets and Schemas • Our mental (readiness to perceive something) set powerfully shapes how we interpret a stimulus Stereotype- generalized belief about group/category of people  powerful schema Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Self-Fulfilling Prophecy- occurs usually without conscious awareness, when people’s erroneous expectations lead them to act towards other in way that brings about expected behaviours ATTITUDES AND ATTITUDE CHANGE Attitude- positive/negative evaluative reaction toward a stimulus, such as a person, action, object or concept Do Attitudes Influence Behaviour? • 3 factors explain why attitude-behaviour relationship is both strong and weak: 1. Attitudes influence behaviour more strongly when counteracting situational forces are weak Theory of planned behaviour- our intention to engage in behaviour is strongest when we have a positive attitude toward that behaviour, when subjective norms support our attitudes, and when we believe that the behaviour is under our control 2. Attitudes have a greater influence on behaviour when we are aware of them and when they are strongly held Chapter 13­ Behaviour in a Social Context  Stronger and more predictive of behaviour when formed through direct personal experience 3. General attitudes are better at predicting general classes of behaviour and specific attitudes are better at predicting specific behaviours Do Behaviours Influence Attitudes? Self-justification Theory of cognitive dissonance- people strive for consistency in their cognitions • Person experiences state of tension called cognitive dissonance and becomes motivated to reduce this dissonance • Predicts that to reduce dissonance, people will change one of their cognitions/add new cognitions • Counterattitudinal behaviour- Inconsistent behaviour with our attitude o Maximized when behaviour threatens our sense of self-worth or produces negative consequences that were foreseeable • Dissonance can be reduced by rationalizing that their attitude/behaviour wasn't important, finding external justification, making other excuses Self-Perception Self-perception theory- we make inferences about our own attitudes by observing how we behave • You observe how you have acted and infer how you must have felt to have behaved in this fashion • Both theories predict that counterattitudinal behaviour will produce attitude change • Dissonance theory assumes we experience heightened physiological arousal when we engage in counterattitudinal behaviour • If unpleasant arousal motivates attitude change, factors that reduce arousal should reduce attitude change • Dissonance theory better explains why people change their views after behaving contradictory to their attitudes Persuasion • Communicator  delivers message  through channel  to an audience  within surrounding context The Communicator Communicator credibility- how believable the communicator is, often the key to persuasion • Two components: credibility and trustworthiness The Message • Two-sided refutational approach more effective—audience will perceive a two-sided message is less biased • Moderate degree of discrepancy (don't go with extreme discrepancy)- more effective • Fear arousal works best when message evokes moderate fear and provides people with effective, feasible ways to reduce the threat The Audience Central route to persuasion- occurs when people think carefully about the message and are influenced because they find the arguments compelling Peripheral route to persuasion- occurs when people do not scrutinize message but are influenced mostly by other factors • Central route has deeper foundation, lasts longer, predicts future behaviour more successfully • Process a message more closely when it is personally relevant o People differ in their need for cognition o Uncertainty-oriented people follow the central route when issues are personally relevant SOCIAL INFLUENCE PRESENCE OF OTHERS • Presence of coactors/passive, silent audience enhanced performance o 1. Mere physical presence of person increases our arousal o 2. As arousal increases, we become more likely to perform whatever behaviour is our dominant response to specific situation  Beginner at complex task—make errors  Experienced at complex task/simple task—enhanced performance Social facilitation- an increased tendency to perform one’s dominant response in mere presence of others SOCIAL NORMS: RULES OF THE GAME Chapter 13­ Behaviour in a Social Context Social norms- shared expectations of how people should think/feel/behave, bind social systems together Social role- set of norms that characterizes how people in given social position ought to behave • Role conflict can occur when norms accompanying different roles cash • Can compel person to act uncharacteristically Culture and Norm Formation • Regulate big and subtle forms of social behaviour (e.g., distance while interacting) CONFORMITY AND OBEDIENCE Why do People Conform? Informational social influence- following the opinions or behaviour of other people because we believe they have accurate knowledge and what they are doing is ‘right’ Normative social influence- conformity motivated by gaining social acceptance and avoiding rejection • Presence of a dissenter and group size affect conformity • Minority influence is strongest when it maintains a highly consistent position over time • Obedience to an authority figure is neither good/bad • Factors that influence destructive obedience: o Remoteness of the victim—when the learner is out of sight o Closeness and legitimacy of the authority figure o Cog in a wheel- obedience increases when someone else does the ‘dirty work’ o Personal characteristics • By arranging situation appropriately, most people can be induced to follow orders from an authority figure they perceive as legitimate, even when doing so contributes to harming innocent people Detecting and Resisting Compliance Techniques Compliance techniques- strategies that manipulate you into saying yes Norm of reciprocity- expectation that when others treat us well, we should respond kindly Door-in-the-face technique- persuader makes a large request, expecting rejection, following by a smaller request Foot-in-the-door technique- persuader gets you to comply with a small request first and later presents larger request Lowballing- persuader gets you to commit to some action and before you perform behaviour increases ‘cost’ of same behaviour CROWD BEHAVIOUR AND DEINDIVIDUATION Deindividuation- anonymity that exists in mobs leads to loss of personal identity and weakening of restraints that prompt people to engage in behaviours they would not perform as individuals • Anonymity to
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