10-29 & 11-3 InferenceProcesses

10-29 & 11-3 InferenceProcesses - Inference Processes...

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1 Inference Processes • Inference – another way we go beyond (elaborate on, use) information. Inferring other properties, characteristics of target. • Where do inferences come from? – Cognitive structures – the “knowledge, beliefs and expectancies” stored in memory, relevant to some domain. – Cognitive structures guide inference processes, just like every aspect of information processing. Inference Processes • Early examples of inference in social perception research: Implicit Personality Theories . First approach to studying cognitive structures in person perception. If person has Trait X, how likely also has Trait Y? – Asch – research on forming first impressions. Ss completed checklist indicating other traits describing target. These are inferences. Inference Processes Correspondent Inference Theory – Theory of dispositional inferences – “From Acts to Dispositions” – inferring trait of actor from behavior (incl. traits, attitudes, motives) • What is correspondent inference? – Inferred trait corresponds directly to behavior (e.g., helpful behavior b helpful trait) • Why make correspondent inferences? – To understand, to anticipate • When make correspondent inferences? – Usually, unless…… • When not make correspondent inferences? • “Noncorrespondent” trait inferences?
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2 Inference Processes • Why/when would correspondent inference not be made? • Answer: when something else might account for behavior – Norms of situation – Behavior desirability, diagnosticity – Choice – Ulterior motives Inference Processes – When make correspondent inferences? D B S - normativeness - desirability - choice Inference Processes • Test of correspondent inference theory (Jones & Harris, 1967) – Ps read essay written by target person – Pro or con position on issue (supporting or not supporting Castro regime in Cuba) – Choice vs. no choice (assigned) – Question – what is author’s true attitude on issue? Rated on attitude scales. • CIF Theory predictions: – Ps will make correspondent inferences (based on postion argued)…. . – Except when they had no choice
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3 Inference Processes Essay Direction Condition Pro-Castro Anti-Castro Choice 59.62 17.38 No Choice 44.10 22.87 • Evidence of CIs, choice made difference (as predicted) • But – difference, though reduced, still there; Why? • Correspondent inference occurs even when it “shouldn’t” • Apparently oblivious to situational influences • Robust finding Correspondence bias Inference Processes • “…oblivious to situational influences….” -- what does that mean? Several possibilities: – May believe situation has little impact on behavior – May not be aware of situational constraints on behavior – May underestimate power of situational factors – May fail to sufficiently adjust or correct initial inferences Inference Processes • Correspondence bias – a pervasive tendency
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This document was uploaded on 12/07/2009.

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10-29 & 11-3 InferenceProcesses - Inference Processes...

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