PSYCHOLOGYCHAPTER 16 - CHAPTER 16 Behaviour in a Social...

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CHAPTER 16: Behaviour in a Social Context Social Thinking and Perception Attribution: Perceiving the Causes of Behaviour - Attributions: judgments about the causes of our own and other people’s behaviour and outcomes - Personal vs. Situational Attributions o Fritz Heider: pioneer of the attribution theory o Personal (internal) attributions: infer that people’s behaviour is caused by their characteristics o Situational (external) attributions: infer that aspects of a situation cause the behaviour o Three types of information determine the attribution we make… Consistency Distinctiveness Consensus o When consistency, distinctiveness and consensus are high, we are most likely to make a situational attribution - Attributional Biases o Fundamental attribution error: we underestimate the impact of the situation and overestimate the role of personal factors when explaining other people behaviour o The fundamental attribution error applies to how we perceive other people’s behaviour, rather than our own o When people have time to reflect on their judgments or are highly motivated to be careful, the fundamental attribution error is reduced o Self-serving bias: when explaining our own behaviour, we make relatively more personal attributions for successes and more situational attributions for failures - Culture and Attribution o Individualistic cultures make more personal attributions o Collectivistic cultures make more situational attributions o Culture also influences attributions of our own behaviour o Modesty is highly valued in China’s collectivistic culture o East Asians tend to hold a more holistic view of the universe They take more information into account when making attributions Farming and Maintaining Impressions - Primacy vs. Recency: Are First Impressions More Important? o Primacy effect: our tendency to attach more importance to the initial information that we learn about a person o New information has to “work harder” to make an impression for 2 reasons… We tend to be most alert to information we receive first Initial information may shape how we perceive subsequent information o Primacy effects decrease - and recency effects increases (giving greater weight to most recent information) – when we are asked to avoid making snap judgments, are reminded to carefully consider evidence, and are made to feel accountable for our judgments - Mental Set and Schemas: Seeing What We Expect to See o Our mental set, which is a readiness to perceive the world in a particular way, powerfully shapes how we interpret a stimulus o Schema: mental frameworks that help us organize and interpret information o Stereotype: generalized belief about a group or category of people Represents a powerful type of schema - Self-fulfilling Prophecies: Creating What We Expect to See
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o Seeing what we expect to see is one way of confirming our initial expectations and impressions o A self-fulfilling prophecy usually occurs without conscious awareness, when people’s
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PSYCHOLOGYCHAPTER 16 - CHAPTER 16 Behaviour in a Social...

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