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Chapter 16

Chapter 16 Notes

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York University
PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

Readings- Chapter 16 Social Psychology A branch of psychology concerned with the way individuals thoughts, feelings & behaviours are influences by others 6 main topics in this section person perception, attribution processes, interpersonal attraction, attitudes, conformity & obedience, behaviour in groups Social psychologists study how people are affected by the presence of others Person Perception: Forming Impressions of Others Person perception: the process of forming impressions of others Perceptions are often inaccurate due to biases Effects of Physical Appearance Judgements of personality are based on appearance; their physical attractiveness Good-looking people grab our attention almost immediately & hold onto it longer than less attractive People ascribe desirable personality characteristics to good-looking people (more sociable, friendly, poised, warm) Scientifically, there is little correlation between attractiveness & personality traits Attractive people are overrepresented in the entertainment media People tend to view those with baby-faced features as more honest & trustworthy while being warm, submissive, helpless & naive however there is no real association Attractive people are seen to be more happy & successful in life Cognitive Schemas Social schemas: organized clusters of ideas about categories of social events & people People have social schemas for events such as dates, picnics, committee meetings, family reunions , & for people such as dumb jocks, social climbers, frat rats, wimps People routinely place others in a category Stereotypes Are widely held beliefs that people have certain characteristics because of their membership in a particular group www.notesolution.com Most common stereotypes are based on sex, age & membership in occupational or ethnic groups Gender stereotype s women are emotional, submissive, illogical & passive; men are unemotional, dominant, logical & aggressive Age stereotype s elderly are slow, feeble, rigid, forgetful & asexual Ethnic stereotype s Jews are mercenary, Germans are methodical & Italians are passionate Occupational stereotyp eslawyers are manipulative, accountants are conforming, artists are moody etc Stereotyping is automatic & saves time/effort to get a handle on ones individuality Peoples expectations may lead them to misperceive individuals Perception is subjective; people see what they expect to see Our perception of others relates to the self-fulfilling prophecy In a study, when the job applicant was black, the interviewers sat further away, ended the interview quicker & made more errors in speech Immediate styl e sit closer, more eye contact; non-immediate stslt further away, more errors in speech, looking away) In another study people who are treated towards the non-immediate style seemed more anxious & did not perform as well in the interview If you hold strong beliefs about the characteristics of another group, you may behave in a way that brings out this persons characteristics Subjectivity & Bias in Person Perception People tend to overestimate how often they see what they expect to see Illusory correlation: occurs when people estimate that they have encountered more confirmations of an association between social traits than they have actually seen It only takes one incident of unusual or memorable behaviour to create an illusory correlation between that behaviour & that group People tend to only recall activities of a subject that fit their perceptions Evolutionary psychologists argue that some of the biases seen in social perception were adaptive in humans ancestral environment www.notesolution.com They also claim that humans are programmed to immediately classify people as members of an ingroup (a group that one belongs to/indentifies with) or an outgroup (a group that one doesnt belong to/indentify with) Attribution Processes: Explaining Behaviour Attributions: are inferences that people draw about the cause of events, others behaviour & their own behaviour People make attributions to understand their experiences; they want to make sense out of their own behaviour, others actions & the events in their lives Internal vs. External Attributions Fritz Heider was the first to describe how people make attributions People tend to locate the cause of behaviour either within a person (personal factors) or outside a person (environmental factors) Internal attributions: the causes of behaviour to personal dispositions, traits, abilities & feelings External attributions: the causes of behaviour to situational demands & environmental constraints Ie, if a friends business fails you might attribute it to their lack of business intelligence (internal/personal factor) or to negative trends in the nations economic climate (external/situational explanation) Ie, crashing car is due to teenagers carelessness (internal) or roads slippery conditions (external) Attributions for Success & Failure Bernard Weiner concluded that people often focus on the stability of the causes underlying behaviour Ie, you wonder why you failed to get the job you wanted. Stable Internal F actlarcsk of ability. Unstable Internal Factors inadequate effort to put together a good resume. Stable External factors too much outstanding competition. Unstable External fac torad luck. Bias in Attribution People often arrive at inaccurate explanations even when they contemplate the causes of their own behaviour Guesses tend to be slanted in certain directions 3 types of biases www.notesolution.com
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