Social Perception

Social Perception - Social Perception Attribution Theories...

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Social Perception
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Attribution Theories § Attribution theories: Theories that describe how people explain the causes of others behaviors. § Can help predict future
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Attribution § Explanations of behavior (“why did she/he do that?”) § How people understand, explain, and predict social behavior. § For ourselves, and other people. § Our attributions have consequences
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The “Players” § Actor = person whose behavior is being explained § Observer = person who is doing the explaining. § one person can be both: we explain our own behavior
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Types of Explanations § Internal- (“dispositional”) § The inference that a person is behaving in a certain way because of something about the person, such as attitude, character or personality. § Not aware of situational factors that cause them to behave in that way. § reflects personality and tells something about the person § behavior is voluntary § facilitates prediction of future behavior (provides a sense of control )
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Types of Explanations § External –(situational) explanation based on the envoronment; says little about person § The inference that a person is behaving a certain way because of something about the situation he or she is in. § The assumption is that most people would respond the same way in that situation § does not facilitate prediction of future behavior § don’t know much about the actor’s personality
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The Nature of the Attribution Process Satisfied spouses tend to show one pattern: § Internal attributions for their partners positive behaviors(e.g., “She helped me because she’s generous”). § External attributions for their partners negative behaviors (e.g., “He argued with me because he’s stressed at work”). § (Bradbury & Fincham, 1991; Fincham, Bradbury, Arias, Byrne, & Karney, 1997; Karney & Bradbury, 2000).
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The Nature of the Attribution Process In contrast, spouses in distressed marriages tend to display the opposite pattern: § External attributions for positive behaviors (e.g.,
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course PSYC 2012 taught by Professor Michellestock during the Fall '11 term at GWU.

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Social Perception - Social Perception Attribution Theories...

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