Chapter 4, Social Psych Learning Objectives
Terms in this set (37)
Define social perception and what its purpose is
Def: the processes by which people come to understand one another. In life we are both perceivers and targets of others' perceptions.
Social perceivers come to know others by relying on indirect clues (elements of social perception) such as: persons, situations, and behavior.
People evaluate and form impressions of others quickly (in seconds or less), spontaneously, and unconsciously whether a face indicates that a person is introverted or extroverted, trustworthy or untrustworthy, or dominant vs. submissive.
We begin to judge others as young as ages 3 and 4.
Explain the importance of first impressions in social perception
Our first impressions are influenced in subtle ways (usually physical appearance), by a person's height, weight, skin color, hair color, tattoos, piercings, eyeglasses, and other physical appearances.
Also, first impressions can be influenced by indirect telltale cues, such as one's Facebook identity, the books that are on their shelves, types of music they play, TV shows they watch.
What are the cues (facial features, name, style of dress) that contribute to these snap judgments in our Social Perception. Baby faced features, adult face features, untrustworthy vs. trustworthy
Facial Features: Study done by Hassin and Trope (2000) found that people pre-judge others in photos as kind-hearted or mean-spirited based on features like a full, round face, curly hair, long eyelashes, large eyes, a short nose, full lips, and an upturned mouth.
People also read into faces based on prior info, like if someone was told that a man was kind, the individuals would judge that man's face later as fuller, rounder, and more attractive, than if told if he was mean.
-Baby Faced features: large, round eyes; high eyebrows; round cheeks; large forehead; smooth skin; and a rounded chin. These individuals with those features are usually seen as warm, kind, naive, weak, honest, and submissive.
We tend to associate baby features with helplessness traits. Same regions of the brain are activated when seeing both baby-faced babies and baby-faced adults.
-Adult Faced Features: Small eyes, low brows, small forehead, wrinkled skin, and an angled (strong) chin. Seen as stronger, more dominant, and more competent.
-People perceive less familiar faces as untrustworthy or trustworthy based on whether that individual has features that resemble the expressions of happiness:
Trustworthy face has a: U-shaped mouth and raised eyebrows
Untrustworthy face has a: mouth that curls down and eyebrows that form a V
Define script and discuss examples of social scripts. Explain the function of scripts in social perception.
Scripts: We hold preset notions about certain types of situations that enable us to anticipate the goals, behaviors, and outcomes likely to occur in a particular setting. These also can naturally influence how we behave and perceive things.
If people have prior experience they can easily imagine the sequence of events that are likely to happen at a mall, dinner, or tennis match (because they have a script for what is most likely going to occur). The more experience you have in a situation, the more detail your script will be.
Examples of cultural scripts: In Bolivia, dinner guests are expected to eat everything on their plate to show that they enjoyed the meal. In an Indian home, however, most native guests will leave some food on the plate to show the hosts they had enough to eat. (varying social scripts for the same situation).
Example 2: US College student sequence of dating list, found people who had more dating experience can list the sequences more accurately than others with less experience.
People who have a familiar script of event "the events fall in place like pieces of a puzzle"
Knowledge of a social setting provides important context for understanding other people's verbal and nonverbal behaviors such as being aware of joy, anger, pride, sad, disgusted, fear and other facial expressions are usually quick and automatic QUICK AND AUTOMATIC.
Example: when told that the person in the photo was being threatened by a vicious dog, they saw that person's facial expressions as more fearful.
Example: this knowledge of a social setting can lead us to expect someone to be polite during a job interview, rowdy at a football game.
Discuss the expectations and beliefs people tend to have with regard to "mind perception"
Mind Perception: The process by which people attribute humanlike mental states to various animate and inanimate objects, including other people.
Identifying someone's actions in high-level terms rather than low-level terms are also more likely to attribute humanizing thoughts, feelings, intentions, consciousness, and other states of mind to that person.
People perceive minds (of inanimate or animate objects) along two dimensions:
1. agency (a target's ability to plan and execute a behavior)
2. experience (the capacity to feel pleasure, pain, and other sensations)
The perception of mind is an important aspect in how we perceive, connect with, and behave towards one another. People are more likely to attribute mind to others with whom share a social connection that distant others.
Example: found that research participants were asked to reflect on someone close to them in their life (a spouse, good friend, family member) were then less likely to attribute humanizing (giving something human characteristics) mental qualities to other people.
Discuss the perception of behavior, how it is broken into units, and the effects of this unit-breakdown on social perception
We derive meaning from our observations by dividing the continuous stream of human behavior into discrete "units."
The manner in which we divide a stream of behaviors can influence our perceptions. People who broke an event into smaller units rather than large units, found more meaningful actions and remembered more details about the actor's behavior than of people who broke the event into large units.
Example: If you're asked to press a button every time a meaningful happens, you'll see people will differ in what is meaning. While watching a baseball game, you might press the button after each pitch, after each batter, after each inning, or only after runs are scored.
Explain the role of nonverbal cues in social perception.
Behavioral cues cannot only identify a person's physical actions but also can be used to determine a persons inner states.
Nonverbal cues allow us to sometimes make quick and accurate judgements of others based on THIN SLICES of expressive behavior:
-You can find out how much eye contact a person gives in a conversation from a mere 30, 60, 90 seconds of just observing their nonverbal cues (also can be nodding, shaking head, smiling).
-Accurately can tell someone's intelligence based on only hearing them utter a few sentences.
-Our judgements from thin slicing is "intuitive" and "efficient" and a central part of being a human
Summarize the research concerning perception of angry faces.
Darwin claims we read facial expression as a survival technique. This is supported, by the way.
Example: it may be more adaptive to be wary of someone's face who is angry, and therefore prone to violence, than someone's face who is happy (a type of non-threatening emotion).
Deriving the Anger superiority effect" that people are quicker to spot and slower to look from angry faces in a crowd, than of neutral faces with non-threatening facial emotions.
Disgust comes from an offensive stimulus, such as a foul odor, spoiled food, poop, rotting flesh, the sight of mutilation, people physically express disgust by wrinkle those nose, raise the upper lip, and gape. Often accompanied by nausea. (Food poisoning can be seen if one has a disgust on their face).
The Insula (part of the brain) was activated when participants sniffed a foul odor and even when they watched others participants sniff the foul odor (showing disgust happens on a neural level)
Discuss the roles of other nonverbal cues, including body language, eye contact, and touch.
Eye contact or gaze: is a powerful form of nonverbal communication. People are highly attentive to eyes, often following the gaze of others. Even 1 year olds intend to follow gaze
People who look at us straight in the eye quickly draw and hold our attention, increase our arousal, and activate key social areas of the brain, this response is present at birth (in nature). This even happens when others gaze while wearing sunglasses.
Eyes are considered the "windows of the soul"
Cultural Differences in Eye Contact:
1. one AVOIDS eye contact they are seen as evasive, cold, fearful, shy, or indifferent.
2. In cultures where on GAZES OFTEN, they are seen as intimacy, sincerity, self-confidence, and respect
3. A person who STARES is seen as angry, tense, and unfriendly.
Describe the research on people's ability to detect deception. Contrast the channels of communication that are most likely to reveal that someone is lying with the channels that perceivers typically try to use to detect deception.
Judgement of one's deception accurately is influenced by certain nonverbal cues we focus on.
The body cues can tell more about deception than of reading facial cues. Easier to control facial emotions (facial cues), but harder to control nervous movements of the hands and feet (body cues). Also, people often accept others at face value. All types of people (college students, FBI, CIA lie detectors) are all prone to error.
Four Channels of communication to detect deception:
-the spoken word
-the voice (most telling, usually people hesitate, then speed up and raise the pitch of their voice).
How to detect more perceivers RESEARCH
Vrij, Granhag, and others, theorized that lying is harder to do and requires more thinking than telling the truth:
-He said to tell deception, we must focus on behavioral cues that betray (evidently show) cognitive effort. They used eye contact and more challenging interviews to find who is lying and who is telling the truth.
-To detect more deceivers, there have been more challenging types of interviews to find liars, force them to think harder, and therefore expose their deception.
-People telling the truth hold more eye contact (and make it harder to deceive and lie), versus those who are deceiving.
Lastly, we often fail to recognize deception because none of the behavioral cues people look for are very telling. Not much differing amongst college students and motivated people in detecting deception.
Define what is meant by attribution. Distinguish between personal and situational attributions
Fritz Heider (1958), said we are all scientists of some sort. He said we are motivated to understand others well enough to manage our social lives, we observe analyze, and explain their behaviors. The explanations we come up with are called ATTRIBUTIONS, and this process is the attribution theory.
-Attribution Theory: By observing, analyzing, and explaining one's behavior that leads to an attribute. People use these theories to share how people explain one's causes for a behavior.
Example: By watching and observing and interpreting we are using prior info to make a somewhat educated decision on a person's attribute. There's two types of causal attributes people give, situational and personal.
-Personal Attribution: Attribution to internal qualities (characteristics) of a person, such as ability, personality, mood, or effort/motivation.
Example: Some prosecutors blamed Oscar Pistorius, an intensely driven young man overheard yelling at his girlfriend (personal attribution, because the traits evoked the behavior)
-Situational Attribution: Attribution to factors that are external to a person, such as the task (flipping burgers), other people, or luck.
Example: Some prosecutors thought Oscar Pistorius's actions were evoked by what he thought was the sound of an intruder in his house which created a state of confusion that ensued the murder (situational attribution)
Describe Jones' correspondent inference theory; define correspondent inference, non-common effects, and discuss what factors influence the attribution process according to this theory
Jones's Correspondent Inference Theory: Seeks to describe how perceivers try to discern (recognize) an individual's personal characteristics from a slice of evidence.
Jones and Davis Theory (1965) said that: A personal or dispositional attribution (correspondent inference) means that the behavior is believed to be caused by the person's enduring characteristics.
Three factors are the basis of people's inferences: choice of an action, expectedness of behavior, and intended effects or consequences of someone's behavior.
-Person's Degree of Choice: behavior that is freely chosen is more informative about a person than a behavior that is coerced (persuaded or obtained) by a situation.
Example: People were asked to judge the student's true attitude when either assigned or freely chosen a topic to write about. When judging student's true attitude (real attitude), the judgers were more likely to assume a correspondence between the essay (behavior) and the student's attitude (disposition, a person's natural qualities) when the student had a choice to choose what they write about.
-Expectedness of Behavior: An action tells us more about a person when it departs from the norm than it when it is typical, part of a social role (being a kid, but acting like an adult), or otherwise expected under the circumstances the person is in.
Example: People think they know more about a student who wears a three-piece suit to school or someone who has tattoos on are face.
-Intended Effects or Consequences: The perceiver accounts for the intended results of one's behavior. Acts that produces many desirable (and different) outcomes do not reveal a person's specific motives as clearly as acts that produce a singular desirable outcome.
Example: you are likely to be unsure about exactly why a person stays at a job that is enjoyable, high paying, and in an attractive location (3 DESIRABLE OUTCOMES, can be any of three). Each of those desirable outcomes can be sufficient enough to present why the individual stays at a job. Versus someone who stays at a job which is in a low paying job, boring job, but in a nice location (1 desirable outcome, EASIER to perceive).
Kelley's Covariation Theory
Covariation Principle Theory: In order for something to be the cause of a behavior, it must be present when the behavior occurs and absent when the behavior does not occur. We use 3 types of information we use: consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency:
- Consensus Information: To see how different persons react to the same stimulus.
High Consensus: Stimuli
Low Consensus: Personal
Example: If others rave about that same movie, then the stranger's behavior is high in consensus, but if others don't like the movie, then it is low in consensus information.
-Distinctiveness Information: To see how the same person reacts to different stimuli.
High distinctiveness: stimuli.
Low Distinctiveness: Personal.
Example: We may want to see how that same person reacts to different movies. If the person is critical of other movies then the behavior is HIGH IN DISTINCTIVENESS. If the person likes many other movies, then it is LOW IN DISTINCTIVENESS.
-Consistency Information: To see what happens to the behavior at another time or occasion when the person and the stimulus both remain the same.
LOW is CONSISTENCY. HIGH CONSISTENCY: STIMULI, WHEN DISTINCTIVENESS AND CONSENSUS ARE ALSO HIGH. LOW CONSISTENCY: WHEN THERE ARE TRANSIENT (MOMENTARY) CIRCUMSTANCES (LIKE MOVIE THEATRE TEMPERATURE), WHEN DISTINCTIVENESS AND CONSENSUS ARE LOW, CONSISTENCY IS LOW.
Example: If that person raves about the same film but on his TV (not in the theater and not regarding the surroundings), it is HIGH in CONSISTENCY. But if a person does not like the same film outside the theatre it is
Issues and results of Kelley's Covariation Theory
1. Perceivers vary in the extent to which we believe behaviors are caused by personal traits that are fixed (everyone is a certain person; can't change much) or by traits that are malleable (that person can change their most basic qualities).
2. Some of us are more likely than others to process new information in differing ways that are influenced by our self-serving motives.
-We make an EXTERNAL (SITUATION) attribution when: High distinctiveness, High Consensus, and High Consistency
-We make INTERNAL (DISPOSITIONAL) attributions when: Low Distinctiveness, Low Consensus, High Consistency
-We make JOINT attributions (SITUATIONAL and DISPOSITIONAL) when: High Distinctiveness, Low Consensus, High Consistency
Describe cognitive heuristics in general and the availability heuristic in particular. Explain the relationship between the availability heuristic and the False-Consensus Effect
Cognitive Heuristics: information-processing rules of thumb that enable us to think in ways that are quick and easy, but often lead us to error.
Availability Heuristics: (a rule of thumb). A tendency to estimate the odds that an event will occur by how easily instances of that event pop in our mind.
Our estimates that something will happen are influenced by events that currently available in our memory. This can lead to a type of bias called the False-Consensus Effect and Base-Rate Fallacy
-False-Consensus Effect: a tendency for people to overestimate the extent to which others share their opinions, attributes, and behaviors.
-False-Consensus Effect is a byproduct (consequence) of availability heuristics because we usually associate with others who are similar to us in important ways, so we are more likely to notice and recall times of similar behaviors between two people rather than 2 different behaviors between 2 people.
Example: Whether someone is asked about their favorite music, favorite celebrity, best football player; PEOPLE EXAGGERATE THE PERCENTAGE OF OTHERS WHO BEHAVE SIMILARLY OR SHARE THEIR VIEWS.
Explain the relationship between availability heuristics and the Base-Rate Fallacy
Base-Rate Fallacy: The fact that people are relatively insensitive to numerical base rates, or probabilities; individuals are more influenced by graphics, dramatical events (seeing someone win 2 billion dollars on TV), or bodies pulled out of plane crash.
This leads to people overestimating deaths in shooting, fires, floods, and other ordinary events. Perceptions of fear (such as economic collapse or terrorism) and risk are influenced more by fear, anxiety, and other emotions than by cold and objective probabilities.
People tend to fear things that sound unfamiliar. Participants rated food additives as MORE dangerous if they could not pronounce it, whereas the food additives that were easier to pronounce were seen as LESS dangerous.
Statistics and numbers summarize a more logical way to obtain info, but it doesn't influence people as much IMAGERY
Define counterfactual thinking and identify when it is likely to occur.
Counterfactual Thinking: This often influences people's emotional reactions. A tendency to imagine alternative outcomes that might have occurred but NEVER ACTUALLY OCCURRED.
Type 1 of counterfactual thinking: if we imagine a result that is better than the actual result, then we will experience disappointment, regret, and frustration
Type 2 of counterfactual thinking: If we imagine a result that is worse than the actual result, then we react with relief, satisfaction, and to elation.
According to Summerville and Roese (2005), COUNTERFACTUAL THINKING MOST COMMON IN THESE 3 DOMAINS, THESE top three regrets, in order are: EDUCATION ("I should have stayed in school), then CAREER ("If I only I had taken that one job"), and ROMANCE ("If only I had asked her out").
Studies and Support on situations with Counterfactual Thinking
Kray (2010) shares that reflecting on "what might have been" can help define ourselves and derive meaning in our lives.
-Research found that college students who reflected on these counterfactual what if's saw their college choices and friendships as more meaningful than those who did not ask these what if questions. Example: "what if I worked harder"
-Research also shows that people are more likely to think about what might have been, often with feelings of regret, after negative outcomes that result from actions we take rather than don't take.
-People who believe in free-will (we can control our fate by the choices we make) are more likely to wonder "what if" than those who believe their fate is predetermined or unpredictable.
-Also, being on the verge of a better or worse cutoff point, can also conjure up many "What if's". Feeling better about a bronze medal than silver because you were on the verge of getting no medals
Define the fundamental attribution error (correspondence bias) and describe the factors that make this error more or less likely to occur
-Fundamental Attribution Error: When people explain the behaviors of others, they tend to overestimate the role of personal factors and overlook the impact of the situations on the behavior. This bias is quite pervasive (prevalent) and misleading.
-First reported by Jones and Harris (1967):
In a study done, participants were more likely to infer the student's true attitude when the position taken had been freely chosen than when they thought that the student had been assigned it. (applicable to any essay topic). BUT EVEN WHEN THE STUDENT HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO ASSERT A POSITION, PERCEIVERS STILL USED THE SPEECH TO INFER THAT PERSON'S ATTITUDE.
-People fall victim to this error even when they are fully aware of the situation's impact on the behavior
Example: The TV Show quiz. Where people were assigned either to participate or be the questioner, while others watched. The contestants only answered about 40% of the questions correctly. After the viewers were asked to rate the questioners and participants general knowledge. The results were the questioners were smarter. But there was disadvantage between the two groups, the questioner had the answer.
Gilbert and Malone's (1995) Two-Step Process Theory: How does Fundamental Attribution Error Happen? AND THE ACTOR-OBSERVER EFFECT
The problem stems from how we make attributions. Attribution Theorists used to gather all the evidence and then decide on whether to make a personal or situational attribution.
Instead social perception is a two-step process:
1. we identify the behavior and make a quick personal attribution to the person
2. we correct or adjust our inference to account for situational inferences.
-For western cultures identifying and attributing a behavior quickly is simple and automatic, like a reflex, the second step requires attention, thought, and effort.
-The fundamental attribution errors happens in the second step when the perceiver is UNMOTIVATED, cognitively busy or distracted rather than paying full attention.
Reasons why the 2nd step is harder and ACTOR-OBSERVER?
Heider claims that people see others' dispositions in behavior because of a perceptual bias, similar to an optical illusion:
He says when you listen to a speech or watch a show, the actor is the conspicuous FIGURE of your attention; the situation fades in the BACKGROUND (out of sight, out of mind). Heider (1958) also says that people attribute events to factors that are perceptually conspicuous (clear to see), or SALIENT (important).
Discuss research illustrating the role of culture in the attribution process.
Sapir, Whorf (1956) theorized that the language people speak (the words, grammar, rules, and so on) can influence the way they conceptualize (form an idea) the world.
Example: English and Filipino speakers differ in how many words they have for rice. US has 2, Hanunoo Philippines has 82.
-People's language and culture can influence the way people think about time, space, objects, and other parts of the physical world around them.
Example: In New Guinea, Berinmo speakers distinguish between green and brown (they single out a form "khaki" as the color of dead leaves), an object that reflects light at 450 nanometers would be considered green. On other hand, many English speakers who distinguish between colors that cross the blue-green color on the spectrum, might see that same object as blue.
-Culture can also influence the way we view individuals and their place in the social world around them.
Culture and the Fundamental Attribution Error
Do the differences between individualist (independent, autonomous unique) and collectivist (holistic, relationships, conformity) cultures influence the attributions we make? Is the fundamental attribution error a uniquely Western Phenomenon?
Miller (1984) answers this question with her experiment:
She asked Americans and Asian Indians of different ages to describe the causes of positive and negative behaviors they had observed (saw and watched) in their lives. Among young children, there were no cultural differences. As age increased, however, the American participants made more personal attributions, while the Indians made more situational attributions. Other studies show that the people create habits of thought, learning to make attributions according to their cultural formed beliefs about what causes human behavior to occur.
-SOCIAL CLASS CAN BE SEEN AS ANOTHER CULTURAL INFLUENCE ON HOW PEOPLE MAKE ATTRIBUTIONS, SINCE PEOPLE IN SOCIETY VARY IN WEALTH, MATERIAL POSSESSIONS, EDUCATION, AND PRESTIGE (RANK IN SOCIETY). PEOPLE IN UPPER SOCIAL CLASSES HAVE MORE CHOICES TO MAKE, MORE OPPORTUNITIES, AND GREATER CONTROL OVER THEIR LIVES.
-ALSO, PEOPLE IN UPPER SOCIAL CLASSES ARE MORE LIKELY THAN THOSE IN THE LOWER SOCIAL CLASSES TO SEE BEHAVIOR IN GENERAL AS CAUSED BY INTERNAL PERSONAL TRAITS (PERSONAL ATTRIBUTIONS)
Explain how attribution biases may stem from motivational factors, such as the desire to take more credit for success than for failure
Motivational Biases: Sometimes we color our perceptions (unknowingly at times) by our own person hopes, needs, wishes, and preferences.
Examples: officiating in competitive sports, judging talent contests can be influenced by our own personal biases.
Need for Self-esteem: Self-esteem strength can lead us to make favorable, self-serving, and one-sided attributions for our own behaviors. Research results show that with students, teachers, parents, workers, athletes, and others these individuals tend to make more credit for success than they do blame for failure.
-People seek more information about their strengths than weakness, overestimate their contributions to group efforts, exaggerate their control, and predict an optimistic and strong future. This was found in all cultures except in some Asian cultures. Pervasive (common) to the general population though.
-People tend to judge favorably of others who are similar to themselves in key characteristics rather than different. (even while being unaware).
-Ideological motives can also color our attributions for the behaviors of others. Political ideology is a type of ideological motive (Conservative or Liberal).
Example: In the US conservatives blame or attribute poverty, crime, and other social issues on an underclass of people who are seen as uneducated, lazy, or self-indulgent (self-centered). In contrast, Liberals often blame or attribute these same issues to social and economic institutions that favor powerful groups over others.
Examples: Liberals are more likely to blame someone's job loss on a company's poor financial state (situational), rather than that person sucked at their job (personal). Conservatives are more likely to attribute a prisoner being paroled (released, but watched from jail), to the jail being overcrowded (situational) than the prisoner was reformed and has become a better person (personal)
Define what is meant by the "belief in a just world," and identify the factors that lead to defensive attributions.
Definition: the tendency for people to be critical of victims is deep-seated because people need to view the world as a just place, where we "get what we deserve" and "deserve what we get."
Example: In a world where hard work and clean living always pays off and sinful and laziness is seen as bad and punished.
Research shows that belief in a just world can help victims cope and serves as a buffer against stress.
How does this influence others perceptions?
-Apparently, the more threatened we feel by a possible (apparent) injustice, the greater is the need to protect ourselves from the dreadful implication that this could happen to us - an implication (problem) we defend by putting down the victim. Example: Accident victims are held more responsible for their fate when the damages from the accident are severe rather than mild
-If people cannot help or compensate the victims who are suffering, then those people turn on the victims.
-Poorer countries believe LESS in Belief in a Just World, than more affluent countries (believe more in belief in a just world).
-Liberal's believe that there is less social mobility (movement in different races, genders, and shit) than Conservatives do so liberals tend to believe less
-Sometimes we make attributions that enhance disadvantaged individuals in society to restore social justice "obese people are sociable" or "black people are extremely successful"
Describe wishful seeing, and give an example of when you have engaged in the behavior.
Wishful Seeing: People have a tendency to see what they want to see.
Example: Emily Balcetis and David Dunning (2006) showed a weird shaped "B" to college students who thought they were going to participate in a taste testing experiment. Students were randomly assigned and told that they would either be assigned to the bad drink group (organic veggy drink) and good drink group (orange juice). With letters or numbers flashing on a computer, participants were assigned to groups. For those who told that a letter would assign them to the orange juice group 72% saw the letter "B." For those told that a number would be assigned them to the orange juice group 61% saw the number 13.
Example 2: Researchers found that when people are hungry they are quicker to identify rapidly quick presented food pictures on a screen
Time where I engaged in wishful seeing. One time I liked this one girl and so every time i saw her head turn i thought she was always staring at me.
Impression Formation and Impression Formation Models. Anderson's Studies
Definition: The process of integrating (putting together) information about a person to form a coherent (consistent) impression. In other words, the we are putting together the attributions we made about a person to form a consistent and logical impression of that person.
Two types of impression formation models:
-Summation Model: The more positive traits there are, the better. (if we follow this model)
-Averaging Model: The higher the average value of all the various traits (bad, neutral, moderately good, high) that we attribute to an individual averaged out, the better that person is in our eyes (if we follow this model)
Anderson (1968) did a study by calculating 555 traits on a 7 point scale. By calculating the average ratings of each trait, Anderson obtained a scale value for each trait (sincere highest, liar lowest)
Earlier study by Anderson (1965): He did a similar study where he compared the summation and averaging models. He found that the averaging model, that the moderate traits diluted (weakened) from rather than added to the positive impact of the highly positive and negative traits.
LETTERS OF REC ADVICE: APPLICANTS ARE BETTER OFF IF THEIR LETTERS OF REC ONLY INCLUDE THE MOST POSITIVE, GLOWING COMMENTS AND OMIT FAVORABLE REMARKS THAT ARE SOMEWHAT GUIDED BY NATURE.
People do not tend to combine traits by average, the process is more complicated.
Information Integration Theory and factors, embodiment effects, perceivers mood
Information Integration Theory: Proposed by Anderson (1981). Impressions formed of others is based on an INTEGRATION of:
1. perceivers dispositions
2. a WEIGHTED average, not a simple average based on the target person's characteristics.
-We use ourselves as a standard or frame of reference when perceiver and evaluating others, so perceiver's vary on what characteristics they deem important. Example: Some people measure others with an intellectual yardstick. Other people look for physical beauty, a nice warm smile, funny, or a firm handshake.
-Perceivers moods as well can influence our impressions formed, when people received positive or negative feedback on a test, it influenced how they saw others. When given info about a person, they spent more time looking at more positive facts and formed a more positive impression of that individual than those participants given negative feedback (because they were sad).
-We use these embodiment effects in social perception by considering the physical sensations of warmth and cold:
This tells us that people equate physical and social temperature, such as when we describe someone as having a "warm personality" or "giving the cold shoulder." These two dimensions (warm and cold) are one of the most power dimensions in how we judge others.
Physical sensations such as holding a hot cup of coffee or an iced coffee has an embodiment effect. Those people holding the hot coffee were seen as more generous and more caring than the one's holding the iced coffee. Physically warm or cold rooms have the same effect. Reported feeling more interpersonally closer in warm rooms.
-Embodiment Effects are rooted in the brain. Research shows that physical warmth and social closeness active neural activity in the same regions: The structure that regulates body temperature may also regulate feelings of social warmth or social coldness.
Priming in regard to Information Integration Theory
Priming Effects Definition: The tendency for frequently or recently used concepts (on a blog, tv, school, friends, etc.) to come to mind easily and influence the way we interpret new information.
E. Tory Higgins (1977) study. Researchers presented participants with a list of trait words. The words were designed to prime each participant. The participants were randomly assigned to groups, one group was primed with positive traits (brave, independent, adventurous, funny) and the other group was primed with a list of negative traits (annoying, loud, obnoxious, rude). Later those participants were given info about a man named Donald who climbed mountains, camped outside for 3 months, and drove in a demolition derby. The participants primed with positive traits formed a more positive impression of him, than those primed with negative traits.
Priming seems to work best when the priming words are presented so fast that people are not consciously aware of the exposure to those priming words. (Automatic)
What accounts for the effects of priming, not just our social perceptions, but also on our own behavior?
-The link between perception and behavior is automatic; it happens like a mindless reflex.
Example: People presented scrambled words that spelled ELDERLY STEREOTYPES (BINGO, OLD, SLOW), THEN THOSE PARTICIPANTS PRIMED WITH THOSE WORDS WALKED OUT OF THE ROOM MORE SLOW AS IF MIMICKING AN OLD PERSON.
Target Characteristics in regard to Information Integration Theory
individuals can reliably be distinguished from one another along five broad traits or factors:
-extrovert (most distinguishable of the 5), emotional stability, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.
-People tend to exhibit trait negativity bias, the tendency for negative information to weigh more on our impressions than positive information.
Example: Kervyn (2012) found that when people read brief but strong evaluations of a person that only focuses on warmth or only on competence can lead people to draw negative inferences about the other dimension that was left out (or omitted).
Competence was in the evaluation, but the person left out one's warmth
People are quicker to sense their exposure to subliminally presented negative words (bomb, thief, gun, shark, shooter) than positive words (baby, massage, sleeping). Found in infants less than a year old too. Certain parts of the brain are activated to when this is done, negative info is processed faster. "Negative information weighs more heavily on the brain"
Stigma by association: if one of your friends introduces you to one of her other friends you're more likely going to like her friend.
Explain how people's implicit personality theories affect their impressions of other people
Implicit Personality Theory: A network of assumptions about the relationships among various types of people, traits, and behaviors. Knowing that someone has one trait leads us to infer that he or she have other traits as well.
Example: you might assume that someone who is unpredictable may also be dangerous or that someone who speaks slowly is slow-witted (slow to think, slow to understand info).
Example: You might also assume that certain traits and behaviors are linked together (Example: that a celebrity with a sweet and loved persona, could not possibly have skeletons in her closet)
Describe Asch's studies of the effects of central traits and the primacy effect on these impressions.
Central Traits: Cold and Warm. Meaning that these traits imply a presence of certain other traits (warm and cold have multiple traits that fall under each) and exert a powerful influence on final impressions.
Example: Solomon Asch (1946) switching a person's trait from "Warm" to "cold" on a list that people are reading, those people will view that person different if told he's "COLD" or "WARM" and form a different impression. Other traits like polite and blunt when switched had little to no impact on peoples formation of that person
Anything special about warm and cold traits?
Rosenberg (1968) gave participants cards with traits where they had to organize them into a pile relating specifically to those traits held by friends, co-workers, acquaintances, or celebrities. The results show that on the MAP, positive and negative traits were captured in two dimensions: social and intellectual traits.
Based on research by Fiske, Cuddy, and Glick (2007) found that people differentiate people first by their WARMTH (friendly, helpful, and sincere), and second in terms of their COMPETENCE (smart, skillful, and determined) THESE ARE "UNIVERSAL DIMENSIONS OF SOCIAL COGNITION"
moral traits weigh the most
Two Reasons for the Primacy Effect
The Primacy Effect: Information often has a greater impact when presented early in a sequence rather than later. Info at the beginning has a bigger impact on our perception than information we learn about that situation or that person later on.
2 Reasons for Primacy?
-Need for Closure: The desire to reduce ambiguity, which heightens the importance of forming a first impression "seizing it."
People who are low in Need for Closure are open-minded, deliberate, and perhaps even reluctant (unwilling) to draw firm conclusions about others.
People who are high in Need for Closure tend to be impulsive, impatient, and quick to form long and lasting judgements about other people.
-Change-of-Meaning Hypothesis: Once people have formed an impression, they interpret (explain) inconsistent (erratic) information in light of that impression we first formed.
Asch shows how malleable the meaning of a trait can be. When people are told a person is calm, they assume that on top of that he is gentle, peaceful and serene. But when people are told a CRUEL person is calm the same word is interpreted to mean cool, shrewd, and calculating. Other examples: based on your first impression "proud" can mean self-respecting or conceited (cocky). Or "critical" can mean astute or picky. And "impulsive" can mean spontaneous or reckless.
Example of Change-of-Meaning: A brilliant-foolish person may be seen as "very bright on abstract (an idea that's not concrete or solid) matters, but silly when doing daily tasks." or a sociable-lonely person may be seen as "many superficial ties (very basic relationships) but is unable to form deep relations with other people." A cheerful-gloomy person can be seen as just "moody."
Define confirmation bias and describe how Belief Perseverance contributes to this bias
-Confirmation Biases: The tendencies for people to interpret, seek, and create information in ways that verify that persons already existing beliefs.
People apparently form early impressions that interfere with their subsequent ability to "see straight" when they are presented with improved evidence about the impression you formed. This is why first impressions seem to stick like glue because disengage from post information after forming an initial impression.
-Belief Perseverance: a tendency to keep to one's initial beliefs even after they had been discredited.
Example: I thought that therapy wasn't useful, even after people told me the benefits and what it can do to improve people's lives i still found it to be unhelpful. (i'm persevering my beliefs still, after they have been discredited by new evidence)
Why do people do this?
Once people form an opinion, that opinion becomes strengthened just by thinking about the topic.
SOLUTION: By asking people to consider why an "alternative theory" might work for their already existing belief it can actually REDUCE OR ELIMINATE the BELIEF PERSEVERANCE effects to which the person is vulnerable (subjected) to.
Describe how the Confirmatory Hypothesis Testing and Biased Experience Sampling relates to Confirmation Bias
By going with questions that are asked by the interviewer, you are in many ways confirming their bias by giving them information that supports their bias and questions. Thus by thinking someone has a certain trait, they engage in a one-sided search for information. By doing this they create a reality that ultimately supports their own beliefs.
Biased Experience Sampling: Jack Denrell (2005) said that even when we form a negative first impression of someone on the basis of all available evidence and even when we interpret that evidence accurately, our impressions still may be misleading.
Reason why? People who are presented with positive but then negative see it differently and adjust their perception or impression of that person because "attraction breeds interaction." It persists in negative first impressions because if someone initially does not like you they won't go out of their way or try and interact with you and will avoid you.
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and Confirmation Bias
A perceiver's expectation can actually lead to its own fulfillment. It's a three step process:
1. a perceiver forms an impression of a person they want to observe, which can be based on interactions with the target or other info
2. the perceiver behaves in a manner that is consistent with the first impression the perceiver formed
3. the target person unknowingly adjusts their behavior to the perceiver's actions towards them.
The RESULT IS A BEHAVIOR CONFIRMATION OF THE PERSONS INITIAL IMPRESSION
SOLVE THIS BY LOOKING AT THE 3 STEPS:
1. When perceivers are highly motivated to find the truth they become more objective and often do not try and confirm their preexisting expectations of that person being observed
2. In step 2, target people are not aware of the false impressions the perceiver has of them. If they knew about it then they would correct the perceiver to show that they are an introvert rather than an extrovert because of self-verification
Example OF SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY: In 1948, sociologist Robert Merton told a story about Cartwright Millingville, the president of the Last National Bank during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The bank was solvent and working, but a rumor began to spread that the bank was failing. Within hours, hundreds of depositors were lined up to withdraw their savings before no money was left to withdraw. The rumor was false, but eventually the bank failed and floundered because of this story Merton proposed
The rejection prophecy
The Rejection Prophecy by Danu, Stinson, and Cameron. Found multiple things:
1. People who are insecure are fearful of rejection, which makes them tense and awkward in social situations
2. Their resulting behavior is off-putting to others
3. Which then increases the likelihood they will be rejected and will reinforce their initial insecurity of rejection.
Solve: That when people are provided an early opportunity in social situations to affirm (declare) the self to others by writing about values they found important to themselves. After doing that, those individuals become more secure over time and more relaxed in their social interactions.
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