PS102 Chapter Notes - Chapter 16: Ovulation, Bc Partners, Classical Conditioning

17 views13 pages
Published on 18 Apr 2013
School
WLU
Department
Psychology
Course
PS102
Chapter 16 Social Behaviour
Social Psychology: the branch of psychology c9oncerned w/ the way individuals’ thoughts, feelings and
behaviours are influenced by others
-social psychologists study how people are affected by the actual, imagined or implied presence of
others
Person Perception: Forming Impressions of Others
Person Perception: the process of forming impressions of others
Effects of Physical Appearance
-studies have shown that good-looking people grab our attention almost immediately and hold on to our
attention for longer than less attractive people
-research shows there is little correlation between attractiveness and personality traits
-but we assume otherwise
-perceptions of personality based on facial features are associated w/ objective measures of successful
performance in important areas of life
-a study shows that it only takes a tenth of a second to draw inferences about individuals based on facial
features
-first impressions based on faces can occur almost instantly
Cognitive Schemas
-people tend to categorize one another
-people use schemas to organize the world around them including their social world
Social Schemas: organized clusters of ideas about categories of social events and people
-people routinely place one another in categories, and these categories influence the process of person
perception
Stereotypes
Stereotypes: widely held beliefs that people have certain characteristics b/c of their membership in a
particular group
-most common stereotypes are age, sex, ethnic group, or occupational group
-they save energy by simplifying our world
-but they are usually very broad generalizations that ignore diversity in social groups
-our perception of others is also subject to self-fulfilling prophecies
-if you hold strong beliefs about the characteristics of another group, you may behave in such a
way as to bring about these characteristics
Subjectivity and Bias in Person Perception
-stereotypes and other schemas create biases in person perception that frequently lead to conformation
of people’s expectations about others
Illusory Correlation: occurs when people estimate that they have encountered more confirmations of an
association between social traits than they have actually seen
-people also tend to underestimate the number of disconfirmations that they see
-they routinely make contributions to stereotypes of various groups
-memory processes can contribute to confirmatory biases in person perception in many ways
-individuals selectively recall facts that fit with their schemas and stereotypes
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 13 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
-some say that some of the biases seen in social perception were adaptive in humans’ ancestral
environment
-person perception is swayed by attractiveness b/c it’s associated w/ health
-also, humans are programmed by evolution to immediately classify people as members of an ingroup or
outgroup
I. First Impressions
Various factors affect the first impressions we make.
For example, we tend to think physically attractive people are better people; we attribute
positive qualities to them (halo effect). It’s not necessarily true that pretty people are better
people, but this assumption starts early: Even babies prefer faces that adults have rated as
attractive. Why might this be the case? Possibly the availability heuristic is an explanation: we
see pretty people in the media all the time. One of the consequences of this first impression of
pretty people is the self-fulfilling prophecy: attractive people get treated better (because of the
halo effect) which gives them the idea that they deserve positive attention. Consequently,
research shows that pretty people get better jobs and more money!
Stereotypes also affect how we see others the first time we meet them. Here too the self-
fulfilling prophecy applies. For example, let’s say we hold a stereotype that accountants are
boring. When we meet someone at a party and they tell us they’re an accountant we treat them
like they’re boring (we dismiss him/her quickly, we disengage from the conversation, looking for
someone more interesting in the room etc). If we treat someone like they’re boring, they
become more quiet, shy, realizing that they’re not impressing you so they back away. As such,
they confirm your belief that they’re boring; hence a self-fulfilling prophecy. We expected them
to be boring, and they were.
Interestingly, there are differing views on why we use stereotypes. The evolutionary perspective
suggests that we developed these stereotypes as short-cuts for processing information; we
waste less time at the party if we use our stereotype of the accountant to guide us to a more
interesting prospect. However, there is little information for this cognitive/evolutionary reason
we use stereotypes. In contrast, there is a motivational perspective that argues we use
stereotypes because we are motivated to keep ourselves in our powerful positions. Evidence
shows that those in more powerful positions stereotype and discriminate more so than those in
low-power positions: in a study by Goodwin & Fiske (1995), half the participants were given the
power to make hiring decisions while the other half were not. They then read applications from
ethnic minority applicants. Those given power attended to and used stereotypes, while those
who had no power used individuating information. Thus, the use of stereotypes may be
motivated, rather than a cognitive norm.
First impressions however, are not accurate. There are several biases that we use when
processing information that affect the accuracy of our impressions. For example, illusory
correlations lead people to overestimate the times things go together. For example, a baseball
player wins a game wearing a pair of shorts and now calls them his/her ‘lucky shorts’; there is an
overestimation of how much luck is associated with shorts.
Consider the following questions:
1. Assuming you did well on the test, what is the most likely reason?
a. I’m good at studying
b. The test was unusually easy
c. I got a really good night’s sleep
d. I’m pretty smart
2. What if you did poorly on the test what is the most likely reason?
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 13 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
a. The test was unusually hard
b. I’m not a good studier
c. I didn’t get a good enough night’s sleep
d. I’m not very smart
Attribution Processes: Explaining Behaviour
Attributions: inferences that people draw about the cause of events, others’ behaviour, and their own
behaviour
Internal vs. External Attributions
-people tend to locate the cause of behaviour either within a person, attributing it to personal factors,
or outside a person, attributing it to environmental factors
Internal Attributions: ascribe the causes of behaviour to personal dispositions, traits, abilities, and
feelings
External Attributions: ascribe the causes of behaviour to situational demands, and environmental
constraints
Attributions for Success and Failure
-people focus on the stability of the causes underlying behaviour
-the stable-unstable dimension in attribution cuts across the internal-external dimension, creating four
types of attributions for success and failure
Bias in Attribution
-attributions are only inferences
-they may not be the correct explanations for events
-these guesses tend to be slanted in certain directions
Actor-Observer Bias
-when an actor and an observer draw inferences about the causes of the actor’s behaviour, they often
make different attributions
Fundamental Attribution Error: observers’ bias in favour of internal attributions in explaining others’
behaviour
-a common form of bias seen in observers
-observers have a tendency to overestimate the likelihood that an actor’s behaviour reflects personal
qualities rather than situational factors
-could be b/c situational factors aren’t readily present to observer
-in general, actors favour external attributions for their behaviour, whereas observers are more likely to
explain the same behaviour with internal attributions
Defensive Attribution
Defensive Attribution: a tendency to blame victims for their misfortune, so that one feels less likely to be
victimized in a similar way
-hindsight bias probably contributes to this tendency
-and blaming victims also helps people maintain their belief that they live in a just world
Self-Serving Bias
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 13 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Document Summary

First impressions based on faces can occur almost instantly. Social psychology: the branch of psychology c9oncerned w/ the way individuals" thoughts, feelings and behaviours are influenced by others. Social psychologists study how people are affected by the actual, imagined or implied presence of others. Person perception: the process of forming impressions of others. Studies have shown that good-looking people grab our attention almost immediately and hold on to our attention for longer than less attractive people. Research shows there is little correlation between attractiveness and personality traits. Perceptions of personality based on facial features are associated w/ objective measures of successful performance in important areas of life. A study shows that it only takes a tenth of a second to draw inferences about individuals based on facial features. People use schemas to organize the world around them including their social world. Social schemas: organized clusters of ideas about categories of social events and people.

Get OneClass Grade+

Unlimited access to all notes and study guides.

YearlyMost Popular
75% OFF
$9.98/m
Monthly
$39.98/m
Single doc
$39.98

or

You will be charged $119.76 upfront and auto renewed at the end of each cycle. You may cancel anytime under Payment Settings. For more information, see our Terms and Privacy.
Payments are encrypted using 256-bit SSL. Powered by Stripe.