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Psychology 8th Edition

Psychology (8th Edition)

Book Edition8th Edition
Author(s)Hockenbury, Nolan
PublisherMacmillan Publishing, Inc
Prologue: The "Homeless" Man
Think LIke a Scientist
The Social Psychology of Attitudes
Figure Question
Conformity: Following the Crowd
Figure Question
Obedience: Just Following Orders
Myth or Science
Critical Thinking Questions
Section AAA:HAHB: Altruism and Aggression: Helping and Hurting Behavior
Figure Question
The Influence of Groups on Individual Behavior
Section PFYL: TPG: Psych for Your Life: The Persuasion Game
Myth or Science

Chapter 12, Prologue: The "Homeless" Man, Key Questions, Exercise 01

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Here is a tip:

Person perception is a reflexive process. 


For example, consider this interaction between three people (Don, Bob and Alice).

  • Getting on the subway train, Don glances at and (automatically) forms a negative impression of Bob, who has a grumpy look on his face and is dressed shabbily. Bob is normally a pretty cheerful and nice person, but he has not been feeling well, which explains the grumpy look and shabby dress. Don's negative perception of Bob is incorrect.
  • Alice, standing near Bob, unknowingly drops some money from her pocket.
  • Bob leans over to pick up the money.
  • Don thinks Bob is about to take the money and starts to move towards him to prevent the theft.
  • Bob grabs the money, taps Alice on the shoulder, and hands it back to her.
  • Don embarrassingly retreats, thinking that perhaps Bob is not so bad, but still feeling unsure if he's a trustworthy person (because negative impressions are hard to correct). Alice thinks that Bob is a nice person for returning the money, but she's not so sure about Don. The way he just lunged towards her was very unconventional.

Verified Answer

Person perception is a psychological process in which one person forms impressions about another. Some basic principles underlying this process are: 

  • Person perception seems to occur automatically.
  • Initial perceptions that people form about others are frequently incorrect.
  • First impressions, once formed, can be hard to adjust. It can be difficult to form a positive perception of a person who has already been perceived negatively.
  • How a person is perceived by others can be shaped by the extent to which the person enacts appropriate social norms and customs (behaviors considered acceptable in a given social context).
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