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Social Psychology - Social Psychology Exploring connections...

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Social Psychology Exploring connections between people by scientifically studying how we think about , influence , and relate to
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Attribution Theory Fritz Heider (1958) The explanation we make of our behavior and the behavior of others fall into two categories:
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Situational Attribution Identifying the cause of an action as something in the situation or environment (external). Example: Joe stole the money because his family is starving.
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Dispositional Attribution Identifying the cause of an action as something in the person (internal), such as a trait or a motive. Example: Joe stole the money because he is born a thief.
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The Effects of Attribution Crediting the Situation Happily married couples attribute their spouse’s hurtful remark to a temporary situation: “He must have had a bad day.” Crediting the Person’s Disposition Unhappily married couples attribute the same remark to a mean disposition: “Why did I marry such a hostile person?”
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Fundamental Attribution Error The tendency for observers, when analyzing another’s behavior, to underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate the impact of personal disposition.
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Fundamental Attribution Error - It is especially prevalent in Western nations, where middle class people tend to believe that individuals are responsible for their own actions. - In Japan, China, and Hong Kong, where people are more group oriented than the West, people are more likely to be aware of situational constraints on behavior.
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Fundamental Attribution Error - Westerners do not always prefer dispositional attributions. When it comes to explaining their own behavior, they often reveal a self-serving bias: they tend to choose attributions that are favorable to them, taking credit for their good actions (a dispositional attribution), but letting the situation account for their bad or embarrassing actions (a situational attribution).
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Fundamental Attribution Error Most Westerners, when angry, will say, “I am furious for a good reason.” When they do something admirable, such as donating to charity, they are more likely to attribute their motives to a personal disposition, “I am so generous.”
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Attitudes Beliefs and feelings that predispose one to respond in a particular way to objects, people, and events.
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Our Attitudes Guide Our Behavior If: - outside influence on what we do and say is minimal. - the attitude is specifically relevant to the behavior. - we are keenly aware of our attitudes.
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The Foot-in-the-Door Phenomenon - The tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request. - Act as if you like someone, and you soon will. - Succumb to a temptation and you will find the next temptation harder to resist. Example: The Korean War and captured American soldiers
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Role Playing Stanley Milgram (1963-1974) “We are all fragile creatures entwined in a cobweb of social constraints.” The constraints are the social norms.
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