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Chapter 4

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PSYC 2120
Ward Struthers

Chapter 4 Notes What we see in others Social PerceptionAttribution theories o Attributions causal judgments about why an event or behavior occurred o Judgments about the causes of peoples actions and outcomes are made constantly and have important implications for our own behavior o Attribution theories are models that attempt to outline the processes underlying judgments of cause o Intuitive scientistIntuitive scientist untrained scientists who try to make causal judgments in a rational scientific mannerCovariation model of attribution y An attribution theory proposing that we make causal judgments by determining whether a particular behavior correlated with a person situation or some combination of persons and situations o False consensus effectWhen individuals have personal experience with a situation they usually assume that most other people would respond similarly to themselves and they draw conclusions about the cause of behavior based on this assumptionFalse consensus effect y Tendency to assume that other people share our own attitudes and behaviors to a greater extent than is actually the case y One reason for the bias is that we tend to interact mainly w other people who agree with us y Another reason is a motivational onewe want to believe that others agree with us Believe that our opinions are accurate and our actions are appropriate o Discounting and augmentationWhen we make attributions about a person based on just one observation we rely on our knowledge of plausible causes in the situation y We use our general knowledge to infer one or more causes that might explain the behavior and then simply look to see whether those plausible causes were in fact presentThe attribution process based on a single observation frequently involves looking to see whether a plausible external cause is present If an external cause is present then the behavior is attributed at least partly to that cause but if there is no external cause present then the behavior is attributed to an internal cause
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