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Chapter 16

CHAPTER 16.doc

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Carolyn Ensley

CHAPTER 16: Social Behaviour Social Psychology- the branch of psych concerned with the way individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are influenced by others There are 6 topics of Social Psychology… 1. PERSONAL PERCEPTION: Forming Impressing of Others Person perception- the process of forming impressions of others Physical Attractiveness- a person’s appearance influences personal perceptions - people tend to assign personality characteristics to those who are good looking vs. those who are deemed less attractive - Good Looking People: the beautiful = the good, obtain better jobs, “baby-faced” = honesty, trust - Less Attractive People: less competent - Observers are quick to draw conclusions of people based on their style of nonverbal expressiveness Schema- cognitive structures that guide information processing - social schema: organized clusters of ideas about categories of social events and people o people depend on these because the schemas help them to efficiently process and store wealth of information that they take in by others interactions Stereotypes- widely held beliefs that people have certain characteristics because of their membership in a particular group - products of personal experiences, also part of their shared cultural background - gender, age, ethnic, and occupational are different types - ignores diversity  inaccurate perceptions of people - self-fulfilling prophecy Illusionary Correlation- occurs when people estimate that they have encountered more confirmations of an association between social traits than they have actually seen - illusion of asymmetric insight- the finding that people tend to think that their knowledge of their peers is greater then their peers’ knowledge of them Social perception’s biases were adaptive in humans’ ancestral environment. Humans are programmed by evolution to immediately classify people as members of an… - in-group: a group they belong to, or identify with - out-group: a group that does NOT belong or identify with - the human tendency is to automatically categorize others, may reflect the primitive need to quickly separate friend from foe 2. ATTRIBUTION PROCESSES: Explaining behaviour Attributions- are inferences that people draw about the causes of events, others’ behaviour, and their own behaviour - people make attributions because they have a strong need to understand their own experiences  make sense of their own behaviour Internal Attributions- ascribe the causes of behaviour to personal dispositions, traits, abilities and feelings External Attributions- ascribe the cause of behaviour to situational demands and environmental constraints Personal (internal) Behaviour Situational (external) Bernard Weiner’s model of attributions for success and failure: assumes that people’s explanations for success and failure emphasize… - internal vs. external causes (dimensions) - unstable vs. stable causes Unstable Cause Stable Cause (temporary) (permanent) Internal Cause effort ability mood intelligence fatigue External Cause luck chance task difficulty opportunity Example: Getting a job. I-U … your hard work to assemble a superb resume I-S … your excellent ability E-U … good luck E-S … lack of “top-flight” competition Fundamental Attribution- observers’ bias in favour of internal attributions in explaining others’ behaviour - example: actors favour external attributions for their behaviour, while the observers are more likely to explain the same behaviour with internal attributions Defensive Attribution- tendency to blame victims for their misfortunes, so that one feels less likely to be victimized in a similar way - people don’t want to face the reality that this might just happen to them - Belief in just world theory: we want to restore evidence of the world being unjust Self-serving bias- the tendency to attribute one’s successes  personal factors … one’s failures  situational factors Individualism- putting personal goals ahead of group goals; defining ones identity in terms of personal attributions rather then group memberships (ex. marriage for love) Collectivism- putting group goals ahead of personal goals; defining ones identity in terms of the groups they belong to (ex. marriage arranged) 3. CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS: Liking and Loving Interpersonal Attraction- positive feelings toward another Matching hypothesis- proposes that males and females of approximately equal physical attractiveness, are likely to selection each other as partners  Similarity causes attraction - Attitude alignment- dating partners gradually modify their attitudes in ways that makes thems more congruent Reciprocity- liking those who show that they like you Romantic relationships are characterized by two kinds of love… 1. Passionate Love- complete absorption in another that includes tender sexual feelings and agony and ecstasy of intense emotion 2. Compassionate Love- warm, trusting, tolerant affection for another whose life is deeply intertwined with its own o Intimacy: warmth, closeness and sharing in a relationship o Commitment: an intent to maintain a relationship in spite of difficulties and costs that may
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