3 Social perception“This subject concerns the qualities that people perceive in others and the factors...that contribute to these perceptions”Zebrowitz (1995, p. 583)
4 Nonverbal behaviorThe six innate and universal basic emotions (SHAFDS)
5 Attribution theoriesAttribution theories describe how people attempt to explain the causes of behaviour.Heider (1958) differentiated between ‘personal’ and ‘situational’ attributions.Another common distinction is between stable and unstable causes of behaviour.Another is made in terms of controllability.
6 Correspondent inference theory (Jones & Davis, 1965) What is a correspondent inference?Influenced byPerceived choice (CI if high)Intended effects (CI if few benefits to actor)Expectedness (CI if unexpected)
7 Kelley’s (1967) covariation theory We attribute causality to factors that co-vary with behaviours.Behaviour can be attributed to the actor, a stimulus they are reacting to, or the situation they are acting in.Three types of covariation information may be used.ConsensusSame stimulus: Different people.DistinctivenessSame person: Different stimuli.ConsistencySame person: Same stimulus.
8 Kelley’s (1967) covariation theory LOWOther peopledo notstroke Defor.LOWYou tend tostroke anydog you see.HIGHYou strokeDefor everytime you meet.PERSONALATTRIBUTIONYou like dogs.You strokeDefor (adog).HIGHOther peopletend tostroke Defor.HIGHYou tendnot tostroke dogs.HIGHYou strokeDefor everytime you meet.STIMULUSATTRIBUTIONDefor is cute.LOWOther peopledo notstroke Defor.HIGHYou tendnot tostroke dogs.LOWYou have neverstroked Deforbefore or since.SITUATIONATTRIBUTIONYou werelocked in aroom with Defor.CONSENSUS DISTINCTIVENESS CONSISTENCYx-persons x-stimuli x-situations
9 Cognitive heuristics Cognitive heuristics (“rules of thumb”) effective often adequatea greater chance of being wrongE.g., The availability heuristic
10 The fundamental attribution error (Ross, 1977) In explaining another’s behavior, we over-emphasise personal factors and downplay situational factors.Jones & Harris (1967)
11 Individualism and the correspondence bias Miller (1984)Individualism and the correspondence bias
12 A two-step model of the attribution process Gilbert & Malone (1995)A two-step model of the attribution process
13 The actor-observer effect (Jones & Nisbett, 1972) Actors tend to attribute their behaviour to situational factors while observers tend to attribute the same behaviours to dispositional factors.Differential information explanation.Differential focus explanation.
14 Primacy effectThe tendency for information presented early in a sequence to have more impact on impressions than information presented later.Asch (1946)“Intelligent, industrious, impulsive, critical, stubborn, and envious” leads to more positive impressions than the other way around.‘Lazy’ and ‘stubborn’ explanations.‘Lazy’ explanationOnce an impression is confidently formed, perceivers pay less attention to subsequent information, especially when motivation or resources to enable further ‘investigation’ are low (e.g., high need for closure). Primacy effects may be diminished by motivated perceivers with adequate cognitive resources.‘Stubborn’ explanationThe ‘change of meaning hypothesis’. Once an impression is confidently formed, perceivers actively interpret subsequent information to make it as consistent as possible with the impression formed. E.g. “calm” is taken to mean “serene” when describing a nice person but “calculating” when describing someone cruel (Cf. Asch’s Implicit Personality Theory, later in this lecture or maybe in the next one).Note both explanations lead us into the area of stereotype endurance and resistance to (empirically provoked) change. Once it is decided that this person is “intelligent” (or whatever), evidence potentially conflicting with this stereotype is ignored or reinterpreted as stereotype-consistent.Later, in ‘Attitudes’, we will learn about a recency effect and its relationship to the primacy effect.For me only: Question: Might perceivers assume that the list order itself is important, as people usually start descriptions with the most important first, followed by minor characteristics and qualifications?Note that the pictures on the previous slide occupied the ‘prime’ spots.
15 Implicit personality theories The network of assumptions commonly made about relationships among types of people, traits and behaviours.Knowing one trait a person has leads us to assume or infer the person has other traits and behaviors.e.g., blondes...Asch (1946)“Intelligent, skillful, industrious, _____, determined, practical and cautious.”
16 PrimingThe tendency for frequent or recent concepts to easily come to mind and influence the way we interpret new information.Higgins et al. (1977)Impressions of same adventurer affected by positive or negative primes.Bargh & Pietromonaco (1982)Subliminally presented primes have most influence on subsequent impression formation.Bargh & Chartrand (1999)Primes affect subsequent behaviour.Bargh et al. (1996)Primes influence subsequent social behaviour too.
17 Priming of social behavior Bargh et al. (1996)Priming of social behavior
18 Biases confirming expectancies from stereotypes Darley & Gross (1983)Viewing Hannah’s mixed performance led to perceived verification of both low and high expectations, with evidence of the opposite ignored or rationalised
19 Confirmatory hypothesis testing Darley & Gross (1983)demonstrate that people will interpret ambiguous or mixed information in ways to confirm existing theories.Snyder & Swann (1978)demonstrate that people with existing theories will bias the information they collect when evaluating those theories.The evidence collected is biased enough to cause others shown it to ‘confirm’ the original person’s existing theory.Cf. Adorno et al.’s (1950) validation of the authoritarian personality.
20 Resisting confirmation biases Elaborate alternative theories, reasons they might be true, and potential evidence for them.Be sceptical about the truth of existing beliefs and seek accuracy instead of confirmation.Be wary of information and information-seeking tools provided by others.Bias information-seeking in favour of trying to disconfirm your expectations.
21 The self-fulfilling prophecy Perceiver’s expectations can lead to their own fulfilment (Merton, 1948).Rosenthal & Jacobson (1968)Pygmalion in the ClassroomTeachers told ‘late bloomers’ had IQ scores indicating an imminent growth spurt.Eight months later, these randomly selected children had higher IQ increases and received better teacher evaluations than control children.Remember Darley & Gross (1983) and Snyder & Swann (1978).
23 Challenging the self-fulfilling prophecy Rosenthal (1985)Teacher expectation successfully predicts student performance 36 percent of the time.Brehm et al. (2002) report this as confirmation of the self-fulfilling prophesy.Jussim et al. (1996)Point out that - unlike in Rosenthal & Jacobson (1968) - teachers often have good reasons for their expectations.Students perform in accordance with these expectations because both the performance and the expectations are caused by some third factor, e.g. talent and application.Is Rosenthal (1985) evidence against the self-fulfilling prophesy, i.e., only 36% (with 64% of expectations not being fulfilled)?