social psyc textbook summary chap 4

social psyc textbook summary chap 4 - Chap 4: Perceiving...

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Chap 4: Perceiving persons There are two ways one can perceive a situation. For example: When Todd Bertuzzi hit Steve Moore from behind late in a hockey game, it resulted in a broken neck. People believe it was revenge from an incident earlier in the season. Bertuzzi gave a statement and apology stating that he had no intention of hurting him; do you believe he was sincere, or had in fact intended to get back at Moore? We don’t know. Another example describes a situation where a father suffocated his 12-year-old daughter with car exhaust into the cab where she sat. His daughter suffered from cerebral palsy, a debilitating disease of the brain and had to undergo many painful surgeries. Was the father compassionate, desperate to put his daughter out of her daily misery and suffering? Or was he selfish, trying to rid himself from the tiresome routine needed to keep his daughter alive? Whatever the topic be, there are always different ways in which we can perceive a situation. Social perception is a process by which people come to understand one another. Observation: The Elements of Social Perception Persons: Judging a Book by Its Cover T/F – The impressions we form of others are influenced by superficial aspects of their appearance? True. Back in 500 BCE, Pythagoras looked into the eyes of his prospective students to determine if they were gifted or not. In the 19 th century, a man named Franz Gall coined term phrenology by which he would assess people’s character according to the shape of their skull. And in 1954, psychologist William Sheldon tried and failed to make a correlation between physique and personality. We might not use these techniques to assess people’s characters, but we use other subtle ways to go about it. For example, weight, tattoos, and facial beauty might be some of the aspects that influence our impressions we form about people. We may even be influenced by people’s names. In one study by Robert Young and others, found that people with old names such as Harry, and Edith are judged less popular and intelligent than those with younger names such as Kevin and Michael. In a study conducted by Ran Hassin and Yaacov Trope, it was found that people prejudge others in photographs as either being kind hearted if they had full round faces and curly hair and mean-spirited if they didn’t have those facial features. These researchers also found that people not only read traits from faces as described above, but they also read traits into faces. For example, people were told that a certain man was kind; he to have a fuller, rounder face, compared to the people who were told he was mean. In another similar study, Grant, Button et al (2002) conducted a series of studies that focuses on the attributes that we infer just by looking at someone’s face. Students were shown pictures of men and women ranging in age from their late teens to late seventies. Men were attributed to be conservative on topics such as homosexuality and child
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PSYC 215 taught by Professor Michaelsullivan during the Spring '08 term at McGill.

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social psyc textbook summary chap 4 - Chap 4: Perceiving...

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