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ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Perceiving Persons Tom Farsides: 08/10/03 Tom Farsides: 08/10/03.

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Presentation on theme: "ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Perceiving Persons Tom Farsides: 08/10/03 Tom Farsides: 08/10/03."— Presentation transcript:

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2 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Perceiving Persons Tom Farsides: 08/10/03 Tom Farsides: 08/10/03

3 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Lecture Overview Attribution theories Cognitive heuristics, errors, and biases Priming effects Implicit personality theories Primacy effects Confirmation biases

4 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Social perception “This subject concerns the qualities that people perceive in others and the factors...that contribute to these perceptions” Zebrowitz (1995, p. 583)

5 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Nonverbal behavior The six innate and universal basic emotions (SHAFDS)

6 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Attribution theories Attribution 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.

7 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Correspondent inference theory (Jones & Davis, 1965) What is a correspondent inference? Influenced by  Perceived choice(CI if high)  Intended effects(CI if few benefits to actor)  Expectedness(CI if unexpected)

8 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons 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.  Consensus  Same stimulus: Different people.  Distinctiveness  Same person: Different stimuli.  Consistency  Same person: Same stimulus.

9 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Kelley’s (1967) covariation theory LOW Other people do not stroke Defor. LOW You tend to stroke any dog you see. HIGH You stroke Defor every time you meet. You stroke Defor (a dog). PERSONAL ATTRIBUTION You like dogs. HIGH Other people tend to stroke Defor. HIGH You tend not to stroke dogs. HIGH You stroke Defor every time you meet. STIMULUS ATTRIBUTION Defor is cute. CONSENSUS DISTINCTIVENESS CONSISTENCY x-persons x-stimuli x-situations LOW Other people do not stroke Defor. HIGH You tend not to stroke dogs. LOW You have never stroked Defor before or since. SITUATION ATTRIBUTION You were locked in a room with Defor.

10 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Cognitive heuristics Cognitive heuristics (“rules of thumb”)  effective  often adequate  a greater chance of being wrong E.g., The availability heuristic

11 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons The fundamental attribution error (Ross, 1977) In explaining another’s behavior, we over-emphasise personal factors and downplay situational factors. Jones & Harris (1967)

12 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Miller (1984) Individualism and the correspondence bias

13 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Gilbert & Malone (1995) A two-step model of the attribution process

14 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons 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.

15 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Primacy effect The 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.

16 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons 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.”

17 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Priming The 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.

18 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Bargh et al. (1996) Priming of social behavior

19 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons 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

20 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons 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.

21 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons 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.

22 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons The self-fulfilling prophecy Perceiver’s expectations can lead to their own fulfilment (Merton, 1948). Rosenthal & Jacobson (1968)  Pygmalion in the Classroom  Teachers 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 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons Rosenthal & Jacobson (1968) Average gain in IQ

24 ATP 3: Social Psychology 3: Perceiving Persons 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)?


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