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Chapter 16

Chapter 16 PS102.docx

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Carolyn Ensley

PS102 Chapter 16 – Social Behaviour Week 10 Person Perception: Forming Impressions of Others -Person perception is the process of forming impressions of others Effects of Physical Appearance -Judgments of others’ personality are often swayed by their appearance, especially their physical attractiveness -In reality, research findings suggest that little correlation exists between attractiveness and personality traits -Attractive people are viewed more positively -You might guess that physical attractiveness would influence perceptions of competence less than perceptions of personality, but the data suggest otherwise -This bias literally pays off for good-looking people, as they tend to secure better jobs and earn higher salaries than less attractive individuals -Intelligence is more strongly related to earnings than goods looks Cognitive Schemas -Even though every individual is unique, people tend to categorize one another -Social schemas are organized clusters of ideas about categories of social events and people -Ex. “dumb jocks” “frat rats” Stereotypes -Stereotypes are widely held beliefs that people have certain characteristics because of their membership in a particular group -There are: age stereotypes, gender stereotypes, ethnic stereotypes, and occupational stereotypes -Stereotyping is a cognitive process that is frequently automatic and that saves on the time and effort required to get a handle on people individually -Save time by simplifying our social world -Immediate style – sitting closer, more eye contact -Nonimmediate style – sitting farther away, making more speech errors, looking away -Stereotypes influence our conceptualizations of our social environment -Being exposed to the elderly-related words served to activate or prime schemas/stereotypes associated with the elderly Subjectivity and Bias in Person Perception -Stereotypes and other schemas create biases in person perception that frequently lead to confirmation of people’s expectations about others -People not only see what they expect to see, but also tend to overestimate how often they see it -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 have encountered -Memory processes can contribute to confirmation biases in person perception in a variety of ways An Evolutionary Perspective on Bias in Person Perception -Some of the biases seen in social perception were adaptive in humans’ ancestral environment -Ingroup – a group that one belongs to and identifies with -Outgroup – a group that one does not belong to or identify with PS102 Chapter 16 – Social Behaviour Week 10 -Ingroup members tend to be viewed in favourable light, whereas outgroup members tend to be viewed in terms of various negative stereotypes Attribution Processes: Explaining Behaviour -Attributions are inferences that people draw about the cause of events, others’ behaviour, and their own behaviour Internal vs. External Attributions -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 -Internal and external attributions can have a tremendous impact on everyday interpersonal interactions Attributions for Success and Failure -People often focus on the stability of the causes underlying behaviour -Figure 16.3 Bias in Attribution -Attributions are only inferences -Attributions ultimately represent guesswork about the causes of events, and these guesses tend to be slanted in certain directions Actor-Observer Bias -Your view of your own behaviour can be quite different from the view of someone observing you -The fundamental attribution error refers to observers’ bias in favour if internal attributions in explaining others’ behaviour -Observers have a curious tendency to overestimate the likelihood that an actor’s behaviour reflects personal qualities rather than situational factors -Attributing others’ behaviour to their dispositions is a relatively effortless, almost automatic process, whereas explaining people’s behaviour in terms of situational factors requires more thought and effort -Observers are often unaware of historical and situational considerations so they tend to make internal attributions for anothers’ behaviour -Actors favour external attributions for their behaviour, whereas observers are more likely to explain the same behaviour with internal attributions Defensive Attribution -Defensive attribution is a tendency to blame victims for their misfortune, so that one feels less likely to be victimized in a similar way -Ex. Your friend gets mugged and you attribute the mugging to his carelessness or stupidity so you feel safe -Hindsight bias probably contributes to this tendency, but blaming victims also helps people maintain their belief that they live in a just world, where they’re unlikely to experience similar troubles -Blaming victims for their setbacks causes them to be seen in a negative light PS102 Chapter 16 – Social Behaviour Week 10 Cultural and Attributional Tendencies -Cultural differences in individualism vs. collectivism influence attributional tendencies as well as other aspects of social behaviour -Individualism involves putting personal goals ahead of group goals and defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group memberships -Collectivism involves putting group goals ahead of personal goals and defining one’s identity in terms on the groups one belongs to -Canada ranks fourth in individualism, behind the U.S, Australia, and the Netherlands -People from collectivist societies tend to be less prong to the fundamental attribution error -The self-serving bias is the tendency to attribute one’s successes to personal factors and one’s failures to situational factors -The self-serving bias attribution comes into play when people attempt to explain success and failure -This bias may either strengthen or weaken one’s normal attributional tendencies, depending on wheter one is trying to explain positive or negative outcomes -Japanese subjects exhibit a self-effacing bias in explaining success, as they tend to attribute their successes to help they receive from others or to the ease of the task, while downplaying the importance of their ability Close Relationships: Liking and Loving -Interpersonal attraction refers to positive feelings toward another Key Factors in Attraction Physical Attractiveness -Attractive people of both sexes enjoy greater mating success than their less attractive peers -The matching hypothesis proposes that males and females of approximately equal physical attractiveness are likely to select each other as partners -Married couples tend to be very similar in level of physical attractiveness Similarity Effects -Married and dating couples tend to be similar in age, race, religion, social class, personality, education, intelligence, physical attractiveness, and attitudes -The similarity principle operates in both friendships and romantic relationships, regardless of sexual orientation Pe
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