Chapter 4, Social Psych Learning Objectives

Terms in this set (37)

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.
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).
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
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)
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.
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."
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