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Chapter 11 Social Psychology

Chapter 11 Social Psychology - Chapter 11 Social Psychology...

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social psychology: the study of how people think about, influence, and relate to other people - social psychologists examine perception, cognition, emotion, and personality in a social context - social cognition: the area of social psychology that explores how people select, interpret, and use social information; the way in which individuals think in social situations - person perception: the processes by which we use social stimuli to form impressions of others - important social cue = the face - attractive individuals are generally assumed to have other positive characteristics, such as being: better adjusted, socially skilled, friendly, likable, extraverted, and superior job performance - "beautiful is good" stereotype - powerful social cue = physical attractiveness - stereotype: a generalization about a group's characteristics that doesn't consider any variations from one individual to another - stereotypes can influence individuals through a phenomenon called self-fulfilling prophecy: expectations cause individuals to act in ways that serve to make the expectations come true - since attractive people may receive differential treatment from others, the likelihood that they develop enhanced social skills and be more self confident is increased - first impressions are important because of the primacy effect: people's tendency to attend to and remember what they learned first - attribution: the process by which we come to understand the causes of others' behavior and form an impression of them as individuals - internal/external causes: internal attributions include causes inside and specific to the person (ex. traits and abilities); external attributions include causes outside the person (ex. social pressure, aspects of the social situation, the weather) - stable/unstable causes: is the cause relatively enduring and permanent or is it temporary? (ex. did Aaron blow up at his girlfriend because he is a hostile guy or because he was in a bad mood that day?) - controllable/uncontrollable causes: we perceive that we have power over some causes (ex. preparing food for a picnic) but not others (ex. rain on picnic day) - attribution theory: views people as motivated to discover the underlying causes of behavior as part of their effort to make sense of the behavior - actor: in attribution theory, the person who produces the behavior to be explained; often explain their behaviors in term of external causes - observer: in attribution theory, the person who offers a causal explanation of the actor's behavior; often explain their behaviors in term of internal causes - fundamental attribution error: observers' overestimation of the importance of internal traits and underestimation of the importance of external situations when they seek explanations of an actor's behavior - stereotypes can be considered a type of heuristic because they allow us to make quick judgments using very little info - availability heuristic: the tendency to confuse the probability of an event's occurrence with the ease with which you can imagine it -
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