Chapter 13 Social Behavior Outline Notes

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Professor Stephen Killianski

PersonPerception:Forming Impressionsof Others Tuesday,November 27, 2012 12:23PM • Social Psychology- branch of psychology concerned with the way individual thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by others • PersonPerception- the process of forming impressionsof others • Effects of Physical Appearance ○ Research has found that people have a strong tendency to view good-looking individualsas more competent than less attractive individuals  Thisbias literally pays off for good-looking people □ Tend to secure better jobs and earn higher salaries than less attractive individuals ○ Based on little bits of behavior, observers can make accurate judgments of individuals' racial prejudice, social status, and intelligence • Stereotypes ○ Stereotypes- widelyheld beliefs that people have certain characteristics because of their membership in a particular group  Most common stereotypes in our society are those based on gender, age, and membership in ethnic or occupational groups  Gender Stereotypes tend to assume that women are emotional, submissive, illogical, and passive while men are unemotional, dominant, logical, and aggressive  AgeStereotypes suggest that elderly people are slow, feeble, rigid, forgetful, and asexual  Ethnic Stereotypes: ex. Jews are mercenary, Germans are methodical, and Italians are passionate  Occupational Stereotypes: ex. Lawyers are manipulative, accountants are conforming, artists are moody ○ Normal cognitive process that is usually automatic and that saves on the time and effort required to get a handle on people i ndividually  Save energy by simplifying our social world □ However, comes at a cost in terms of accuracy • Subjectivity in Person Perception ○ Stereotypes create biases in person perception that often lead to confirmation of people's expectations about others  People not only see what they expect to see, they 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 tend to underestimate the umber of disconfirmations they have encountered  People tend to recognize people better according to their stereotype • An Evolutionary Perspective on Bias In Person Perception ○ Evolutionarytheorists attribute the behavior to automatically categorize others to our distant ancestors' need to quickly se parate friend from foe ○ Ingroup- a group that one belongs to and identifies with  Tend to be viewed in a favorable light ○ Outgroup- a group that one does not belong to or identify  Tend to be viewed in terms of various negative stereotypes ○ Evolutionarypsychologists ascribe much of the bias in person perception to cognitive mechanisms that have been shaped by natural selection AttributionProcesses:Explaining Behavior Tuesday,November 27, 2012 9:18PM • Attributions- inferences that people draw about the causes of events, others' behavior, and their own behavior • Internal vs External Attributions ○ Fritz Heider (1958) asserted that people tend to locate the cause of behavior either within a person, attributing it to personal factors, or outside a person, attributing it to environmental factors ○ Internal Attributions- ascribe the causes of behavior to personal dispositions, traits, abilities, and feelings ○ External Attributions- ascribe the causes of behavior to situational demands and environmental constraints • Attributionsfor Success and Failure ○ Bernard Weiner studied the attributions that people make in explaining success and failure  Concluded that people often focus on the stability of causes underlying behavior  The stable-unstable dimension in attribution cuts across the internal-external dimension, creating four types of attributions for success and failure • Bias in Attribution ○ Attributionsare only inferences that may not be the correct explanations for events ○ Attributionsultimately represent guesswork about the causes of events  Guesses tend to be biased in certain directions ○ Actor-Observer Bias  Fundamental AttributionError- refers to observers' bias in favor of internal attributions in explaining others' behavior □ However, observers have a curious tendency to overestimate the likelihood that an actor's behavior reflects personal qualities rather than situational factors □ Actors favor external attributions for their behavior, whereas observers are more likely to explain the same behavior with internal attributions ○ Defensive Attribution  Defensive Attribution- a tendency to blame victims for their misfortune, so that one feels less likely to be victimized in a similar way □ Hindsightbias: blaming victims to help maintain belief that you live in a just world □ Blaming victims for their setbacks ○ Culture and Attributional Tendencies  Harry Triandis: cultural differences in individualism versus collectivism influence attributional tendencies as well as other aspects of social behavior  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 □ Family, tribe, work group, social class, etc  Collectivistcultures place a higher priority on shared values and resources, cooperation, mutual interdependence, and concern for how one's actions will affect other group members CloseRelationships: Liking andLoving Tuesday,November 27, 2012 9:50PM • Interpersonal Attraction- positive feeling toward another • Key Factors in Attraction ○ Physical Attractiveness  Importance was shown in a study in which unacquainted men and women were sent off on a "get-acquainted" date □ Found that the quality of communication during the date did have some effect on females' interest in friendship  Matching hypothesis- proposes that males and females of approximately equal physical attractiveness are likely to select each other as partners □ Supported by evidence that dating and married couples tend to be similar in level of physical attractiveness  Similarity Effect □ Research shows that married and dating couples tend to be similar in age, race, religion, social class, education, intelligence, physical attractiveness, values, and attitudes □ Dating partners gradually modify their attitudes in ways that make them more congruent, a phenomenon they called attitude alignment • Perspectives on the Mystery of Love ○ Passionate and Companionate Love  Passionate Love- complete absorption in another that includes tender sexual feelings and the agony and ecstasy of intense emotion □ Has its ups and downs  Associated with large swings in positive and negative emotions  Companionate Love- warm, trusting, tolerant affection for another whose life is deeply intertwined with one's own  Passionate and companionate love may coexist, but don't necessarily go hand in hand □ Companionatelove is more strongly related to relationship satisfaction than passionate love ○ Love as Attachment  Romantic love is an attachment process  People's intimate relationships in adulthood follow the same form as their attachments in infancy  Attachment style also appear to be intimately related to people's patterns of sexual interaction ○ Culture and Close Relationships  Cultures vary in their emphasis on love--especially passionate love ○ An Evolutionary Perspective on Attraction  Evolutionary psychologists assert that physical appearance is an influential determinant of attraction because certain aspects of good lookscan be indicators of sound health, good genes, and high fertility, all of which can contribute to reproductive potential  Facial symmetry seems to be a key element of attractiveness in highly diverse cultures  Another facet of appearance that my transcend culture is women's waist-to-hip ratio Attitudes:Making SocialJudgments Tuesday,November 27, 2012 11:01PM • Attitudes- positiveor negative evaluations of object of thought • Components and Dimensions of Attitudes ○ Social psychologists have traditionally viewed attitudes as being made up of three co
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