Psychology Chapter 16: Social Behaviour
Social psychology: is the branch of psychology concerned with the way individuals’
thoughts, feelings, and behaviour is influenced.
Person Perception: Forming impressions of others
Person perception: the process of forming impressions of others.
The more attractive the person, the tendencies one has to attribute them with
desirable and positive personality traits.
Schemas: are cognitive structures that guide information processing.
Social schemas: are organized clusters of ideas about categories of social events
These are widely held beliefs that people have certain characteristics because of
their membership in a particular group.
Most common stereotypes are based on age, sex, and ethnic or occupational
Gender stereotypes: tend to assume that women or less dominant than men.
Age stereotypes: suggest that elderly people are slow, forgetful and asexual.
Occupational stereotypes: suggest that lawyers are manipulative, and artists are
Illusory correlation: occurs when people estimate that they have encountered
more confirmations of an association between social traits than they have actually
Ingroup: a group that one belongs to and identified with
Outgroup: a group that one does not belong to or identify with
People use social schemas to categorize others
Attribution Processes: Explaining Behaviour
Attributions: are inferences that people draw about the causes of events, others’
behaviour, and their own behaviour.
Internal vs. External Attributions:
Fritz Heider was first to describe how people make 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. (Example: A kid who smashed their parents car,
internal attributions are he was careless, external attribute is the roads are
slippery.) ActorObserver bias:
Fundamental attribution error: which refers to observers’ bias in favour of internal
attributions in explaining others’ behaviour.
Defensive attribution is a tendency to blame victims for their misfortune, so that
one feels less likely to be victimized in a similar way.
The belief in a just world: evidence telling us that the world is not a just place is
threatening and that we feel compelled to restore the belief that it is a just world.
Culture and Attributional Tendencies:
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 of the groups one belongs to.
Collectivist cultures place a higher priority on shared values and resources,
cooperation, mutual interdependence.
Canada ranks 4 in individualism, behind the United States, Australia, and Great
Selfserving bias: is the tendency to attribute one’s success to personal factors and
one’s failures to situational factors.
Close Relationships: Liking and Loving
Interpersonal attraction: refers to the positive feelings toward another
Key determinant of romantic attraction for both sexes
Matching hypothesis: proposes that males and females approximately equal
physical attractiveness are likely to select each other as partners.
Passionate and Companionate Love:
Two kinds of love:
1. Passionate love: is a complete absorption in another that includes tender sexual
feelings and the agony and ecstasy of intense emotion.
2. Companionate love: is warm, trusting, tolerant affection for another whose life is
deeply intertwined with one’s own.
Robert Sternberg suggests companionate love subdivides into intimacy and
Intimacy: refers to warmth, closeness, and sharing in a relationship. Commitment: is intent to maintain a relationship in spite of the difficulties and
costs that may arise.
Love as Attachment:
Romantic love is an attachment process
People with an anxiousambivalent attachment: the infancy will tend to have
romantic relationships marked by anxiety and ambivalence in adulthood.
Three forms of adults’ love relationships:
1. Secure adults: find it relatively easy to get close with others, love relationships are
2. Anxiousambivalent adults: love accompanied by expectations of rejection and
described their love relationships as volatile and marked by jealousy.
3. Avoidant adults: found it difficult to get close to others and described their love
relationships as lacking intimacy and trust.
Attachment anxiety: reflects how much people worry that their partners will not
be available when needed.
Attachment avoidance: reflects the degree to which people feel uncomfortable
with closeness and intimacy and therefore tend to maintain emotional distance
from their partners.
Males place an emphasis on physical attractiveness and females putting a higher
priority on social status and financial resources.
Attitudes: Making Social Judgments
Attitudes: are positive or negative evaluations of objects of thought (objects of
thought may include: social issues, groups (liberals, farmers), institutions, and
Components and Dimensions of Attitudes:
Attitudes as being made up of three components:
1. Cognitive component: is made up of the beliefs that people hold about the object
of an attitude
2. Affective component: of an att