34 terms

Social Psych Social Perception


Terms in this set (...)

What does this have to do with today's topic?
Most of us are obsessed with understanding the behavior, thoughts, and emotions of others
People watching
Reality TV
Trashy magazines
Social psychology!
Social perception
the process of how we form impressions of other people and how we make inferences about them
What are we trying to understand?
Information about the person
-Cause for behavior
-What the person might do
Information conveyed by the person
-Focus of attention
the expression of emotions/thoughts
the interpreting of emotions/thoughts
Verbal communication
communicate with words or specific sounds (e.g. nah-uh)
Nonverbal communication
how people communicate, intentionally or unintentionally, without spoken or written language
Nonverbal cues
channels of nonverbal communication
What Types of Nonverbal Cues Do We Have?
Facial Expressions
Body Positioning
Tone of Voice
Rate of Speech
6 Universal Nonverbal Facial Cues





Darwin(evolution),Susskind (bio), & Eckman (cultural)
Darwin- humans have evolved to be able to express emotions universally
Suskind- biotriggers when experiencing emotions
Eckman- all cultures display all 6
Newly Discovered Universal Gestures?
Pride and Contempt are fairly universal
E/Q (Emotional intelligence
the ability to understand our own emotions and better read the emotions of others
Note: a lot of these expressions might need to be learned, unlike the previous 6 that we discussed
How can we perfect this ability to read facial expressions?
Facial expression recognition tools (video), computers recognize facial expressions, automated facial analysis
Note: this is related to Susskind's work
Affect blend
a mixing of multiple emotions in a response
Are we the only ones that can do this?
Other species have been shown to understand a wide range of nonverbal communication, some even better than humans
Dogs and...
Tail communication
Facial expressions
the process of mimicking the facial or body postures of others through macro or micro expressions
Mirror neurons
neurons that activate when we see others perform a nonverbal action (found in other primates too)
Note: most psychologists believe that our ability to empathize (feel what another person is feeling) is based on these mirroring skills
Research on people with autism and aspergers- no mirror neuron activity
Across Cultures?
So we have some sense that we can at least have universal body and hand gestures for some concepts

But what happens when people come from different areas? Are these as universal as facial gestures?

What do you think the following pictures mean in different cultures?
different meanings across cultures in hand gestures, non verbal communication not always the same, egocentric when judging others miscommunication can happen
Display rules
culturally determined rules about which nonverbal behaviors are appropriate to display
What emotions you can and cannot display
- nonverbal gestures that have well-understood definitions within a given culture
What to use to display an emotion
Primacy effect
the first information learned about someone influences us more that later information
- best friend example
Self-fulfilling prophecies
expectations that change one's own behavior in such a way as to increase the probability of the predicted event
"Dress to impress"
Schemas- perceptions shaped by
mental structures that organize information about our social world
Stereotypes - details about the connection between or critical components of groups/individuals
Scripts - details about the series or collection of appropriate social events
Most of these schemas are socially developed
Experience differences
Cultural differences
the set of thought processes we use to assign causes to behavior
Internal attributions
explaining behaviors based on the internal characteristics of the person in question, focus on individual
External attributions
explaining behaviors based on the situation and surrounding environment
The Logical Way to Make Attributions (The Covariation Model)
External Attribution (about The Acted Upon) (H,H,H)
Internal Attribution (about Actor) (L,L,H)
Situational Factor of the Moment (H, L, L)
The Correspondence Bias (aka the fundamental attribution error)
our tendency to attribute behaviors to internal attributions when looking at the behaviors of others
Pro/Anti-Castro essay example
Differences amongst cultures
Perceptual Salience
The seeming importance of information that is the focus of people's attention
Taylor & Fiske (1975) he had people observe convos throughout room different people had different views based on where they were in room of who was more dominant in convos
The implicit personality theory
a type of schema people use to group various kinds of personality traits together; e.g. shy and creative, or athletic and aggressive
Note: each culture has its own collection of personality links
Artistic in western cultures - creative, intense, temperamental
"Shi gὺ" in Chinese cultures - worldly, devoted to family, socially skilled, reserved
Story reading language and assumptions experiment
Note: this identifies the power that language has in activating schemas
The representative heuristic
judging the probability of something based on how close it is to a typical case (Kahneman and Tversky, 1973)
judging on gut based on schema instead of looking at % of pop
Actor-observer effect
the tendency to make internal attributions for others, while making external attributions for ourselves
This actor effect can be found in the descriptions of familiar others as well
Self/Best Friend/Father/Walter Cronkite example
Jones and Nisbett, 1970
Why? Perceptual salience? More information?
Self-serving attributions
the tendency to attribute personal failures to the situation, while attributing personal successes to the ourselves
Cultural Effects Again? Asian opposite than western