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social perception

constructing an understanding of the social world from the data we get through our senses

social perception

the processes by which we form impressions of other people's traits and personalities


our tendency to perceive stimuli as members of groups or classes rather than as isolated, unique entities


an abstraction that represents the "typical" or quintessential instance of a class or group


a well-organized structure of cognitions about some social entity such as a person, group, role, or event

person schemas

cognitive structures that describe the personalities of others


structures that organize our conception of our own characteristics

group schemas, stereotypes

schemas regarding the members of a particular social group or social category; also called _____

role schemas

indicate which attributes and behaviors are typical of persons occupying a particular role in a group

event schemas, scripts

schemas regarding important, recurring social events; also called _____.


Human memory is largely ____; we do not usually remember all the precise details of what transpired in a given situation, then rely on the appropriate schema to fill in the details.

complexity-extremity effect

states that the greater the complexity of our schemas about groups of people, the less extreme our evaluations of persons in those groups

implicit personality theory

a set of unstated assumptions about which personality traits are correlated with one another

social, intellectual

what are the two distinct dimensions on mental maps?

halo effect

the tendency for our general overall liking for a person to influence our subsequent assessment of more specific traits of that person

group schema, stereotype

a set of characteristics attributed to all members of some specific group or social category; also called a ___.

stereotype threat

when a member of a group believes that they might be judged based on group stereotypes; result can be poor performance.

higher; lower

research shows that people of a ____ status tend to use stereotypes more than people of a ____ status.

impression formation

The process of organizing diverse information into a unified impression of the other person

trait centrality

we say a trait has a high level of ____ when it has a large impact on the overall impression we form of that person.

primacy effect

___ : the fact that observers forming an impression of a person give more weight to information received early in a sequence than to information received later

recency effect

____ : the fact that under certain conditions, the most recent information we acquire exerts the strongest influence on our impressions.

self-fulfilling prophecies

Our impressions become ____ when our behavior toward people causes them to react in ways that confirm our original impressions.


____ : provide a quick way of selecting schemas that-- although far from infallible-- often help us make an effective choice amid considerable uncertainty.

representativeness heuristics

___ : when we take the few characteristics we know about someone or something and select a scheme that matches those characteristics well.

anchor, adjustment

When trying to figure out what schema to use, we select a particular standard as a starting point (the ___ ), then make a modification relative to it ( ____ ).


____ : refers to the process that an observer uses to infer the causes of another's behavior: "why did that person act as he or she did?".

dispositional attribution

____ : attributing a behavior to the internal state(s) of the person who performed it

situational attribution

___ : attributing a behavior to factors in the environment of the person who performed it


the extent to which we expect the average person to perform a behavior in a particular setting; includes conformity to social norms and to role expectations in groups


actions that conform to norms are _____ about personal attributions.

social desirability

observers interpret acts low in ____ as indicators of underlying dispositions.


Observers who wish to discern the specific dispositions of a person try to identify effects that are unique to the action chosen.

principle of covariation; covaries

____ : we attribute the behavior to the factor that is both present when the behavior occurs and absent when the behavior fails to occur-- the cause that ___ with the behavior.

consensus, consistency, distinctiveness

the three types of information we rely on in the principle of covariation


refers to whether all actors perform the same behavior or only a few do


refers to whether the actor behaves in the same way at different times and in different settings


refers to whether the actor behaves differently toward a particular object than toward other objects

fundamental attribution error

the tendency to overestimate the importance of dispositional factors and to underestimate situational influences as causes of behavior

focus-of-attention bias

the tendency to overestimate the causal impact of whomever or whatever we focus our attention on

actor-observer difference

___ : Observers tend to attribute actors' behavior to the actors' internal characteristics, whereas actors see their own behavior as due more to characteristics of the external situation (beer in cart)

self-serving bias

the tendency to take credit for acts that yield positive outcomes but to deflect blame for bad outcomes and attribute them to external causes

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