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Person perception Lecture 2 Differences between person perception and perception of physical objects Complexity of inferences –„going beyond the information.

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Presentation on theme: "Person perception Lecture 2 Differences between person perception and perception of physical objects Complexity of inferences –„going beyond the information."— Presentation transcript:


2 Person perception Lecture 2

3 Differences between person perception and perception of physical objects Complexity of inferences –„going beyond the information given” (Jerome Bruner) –Indirect inferences (observable cues  inferences about dispositions) Influence of affect and emotions The perceving and the perceived are of the same kind – both humans –Source of biases or accurate perceptions „I know that you know that I know” – the perceiving is being perceived and reacted to –Self-fulfilling prophecies –Labeling effects –Source of bias

4 What is being perceived Appearance, skin color, gender Nonverbal behavior Verbal communications Behaviors (shyness, self-confidence, anxiety, etc.)

5 Nonverbal messages Gestures Physical distance Eye contact Others (touch, intimacy of conversational content, tone of voice etc.) Behaviors (blushing, trembling, fidgeting etc.)

6 Gestures



9 Physical distance

10 Spontaneous distance dependent on type of interaction

11 Spontaneous distance dependent on age and type of relationship

12 Spontaneous distance dependent on age and gender

13 Eye contact

14 Focusing on a face...

15 Frequency of eye contact during a conversation

16 Physical distance and amount of eye contact

17 Impression formation

18 Role of affect in impression formation

19 Robert B. Zajonc

20 Affect as basic form of cognition Affective appraisal –Approach-avoidance –Good-bad Cognition –True – false The majority of categorizations are underlain by affective bi-polar categorizations (liked – disliked, positive-negative, desirable-undesirable)

21 Two types of perceptual cues Preferenda  cues of how to feel Discriminanda  cues of how to distinguish between objects

22 Evaluation as the basic component of meaning Charles Osgood (1957): „The measurement of meaning” Connotation vs. denotation Semantic differential as instrument for measurement of meaning

23 Semantic differential goodbad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 hardsoft fast slow lightheavy rough smooth Father

24 goodbad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 hardsoft fast slow lightheavy rough smooth Future

25 goodbad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 hardsoft fast slow lightheavy rough smooth Love

26 goodbad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 hardsoft fast slow lightheavy rough smooth Poland

27 Other dimensions and results of factor analysis

28 Three dimensions of meaning Evaluation (good-bad) (50% variance) Potency (strong-weak) Activity (active-passive) Potency+Activity = Dynamism Evaluation + Dynamism = two basic dimensions of AFFECT

29 Dimensions of semantic space

30 James Russell & Albert Mehrabian – „circumplex” of affective reactions High arousal (dynamism) Excitement Pleasant Relaxation Low arousal (dynamism) Boredom Unpleasant Fear

31 hectic exciting alive exhilirating interesting arousing stimulatingsensational pleasing pretty beautiful pleasantnice serene restful peaceful calm tranquil rushed intense frenzied panicky tense forceful uncomfortable dissatisfying displeasing repulsive unpleasant unstimulating dull dreary boring inactive idle monotoneous active lazyslow drowsy High arousal Low arousal unpleasant pleasant After: Russell, Lanius, 1984

32 Affective and descriptive rules of trait inference

33 Two meanings of a social information Affective meaning (evaluation): –Is it good or bad: –Do I like it or not? Descriptive meaning –What does it mean?, –What property does it describe?

34 Two types of inferences According to affective similarity –Eg. economical  generous; careful  courageous According to descriptive similarity –Eg. generous  extravagant; careful  cowardly

35 Affective representation (affectively balanced structure) + + + - +- - - + - +

36 Descriptive representation (affectively imbalanced structure) + + + - -+ - + - + -

37 Affective inferences used: When little information is available When we don’t understand the situation –Discriminanda cannot be applied When the cognitive set is to evaluate and not to diagnose/describe When quick decision is required –Need for approach or avoidance reaction When the situation is emotionally involving With lower level of cognitive development (e.g. children)

38 Descriptive inferences used: When enough information When looking for explanation and not evaluation In a neutral situation that enables distancing Higher level of cognitive devlopment, cognitive complexity

39 Trait inferences: principles and effects

40 Going beyond the information given Effects in impression formation –halo effect, –leniency effect Implicit theories of personality Jerome Bruner

41 Halo effect + + + + + + +

42 Leniency effect -- + + + +

43 Other effects in person perception Primacy / recency Information set effect Evaluation effects –Polarization effect: more extreme evaluations influence general impression more –Negativity effect: Negative evaluations influence general impression more than positive evaluations –Positivity effect Positive evaluations influence general impression more than negative evaluations

44 Asch study – primary vs. recency effect List AList B IntelligentEnvious IndustriousStubborn ImpulsiveCritical Impulsive StubbornIndustrious EnviousIntelligent

45 List AList B Generous Wise Happy Good natured Humorous Sociable Popular Reliable Important Humane Good-looking Persistent Serious Strong 24 18 32 18 52 56 35 84 85 36 74 82 97 94 10 17 5 0 21 27 14 91 90 21 35 87 100 73

46 Explanations of primacy effect Solomon Asch: change of the information meaning dependent on the expectations created after the first information Norman Anderson: attention declines with successive information

47 Information set effect Number of information pieces evaluation Logarithmic function between overall evaluation and number of univalent information

48 Trait inferences Implicit theories of personality

49 Solomon Asch (years 40s/50s) Central and peripheral traits –warm vs. cold

50 Solomon Asch: central and peripheral traits List A –Intelligent –Skillful –Industrious –Warm –Determined –Practical –Careful List B –Intelligent –Skillful –Industrious –Cold –Determined –Practical –Careful

51 Effects of differences on the „warm- cold” dimension generous wise happy kind humorous sociable popular humane altruistic Imaginative No differences for the dimension: Polite - blunt

52 Seymour Rosenberg (1968) Multidimensional scaling of personality traits Semantic space of personality traits Two main dimensions of implicit personality theories: Social good-bad vs. Intellectual good-bad

53 Positive intellectual traits Negative intellectual traits Negative social traits Positive social traits persistent scientific determined skilful Industrious intelligent imaginative serious important discriminating daring reserved cautious practical artistic cold unsociable humorless unpopular unhappy dominating vain honest modest tolerant helpful sincere happy popular sociable humorous good-natured warm naive submissive impulsive clumsy superficial unreliable foolish unintelligent After: Rosenberg, Nelson, Vivekanathan, 1968

54 Rosenberg et als. (1968) – original results


56 Self- and other-profitable traits Theory of Guido Peeters

57 Guido Peeters Catholic University of Leuven, Belgia

58 Self-profitable traits vs. other-profitable traits Self-profitable (S-P): Competence, abilities, skills – traits profitable/unprofitable for the owner of the trait Other-profitable (O-P): Moral and social traits – profitable or unprofitable for other people

59 Guido Peeters: Self-profitable (SP) vs. other- profitable (OP) traits SP –Intelligent –Active –Passive –Enterprising –Clumsy –Slow –Thrifty –Self-confident –Flexible –Unpunctual –Talented –Diligent –Extravagant OP –Honest –Evil –Friendly –Dishonest –Selfish –Helpful –Responsible –Reliable –Mean –Generous –Cold –Ruthless –Modest

60 OP (other-profitable) vs. SP (self- profitable) generous (OP+) mean (OP-) extravagant (SP-) economical (SP+) Spends money Does not spend money Other-profitable Self-profitable

61 OP (other-profitable) vs. SP (self- profitable) conceited (OP-) modest (OP+) self-confident (SP+) shy (SP-) Self-confidence Lack of self-confidence other-profitable Self-profitable

62 Whom do you prefer? A.Honest friend B.Dishonest friend A.Intelligent friend B.Stupid friend

63 Whom do you prefer? A.Honest enemy B.Dishonest enemy A.Intelligent enemy B.Stupid enemy

64 SP vs. OP Positive object & SP+  positive evaluation –Friend + intelligent  positive evaluation Negative object & SP+  negative evaluation –Enemy + intelligent  negative evaluation Positive object & OP+  positive evaluation –Friend + honest  positive evaluation Negative object & OP+  positive evaluation –enemy + honest  positive evaluation

65 SP vs. OP and context dependence SP traits change their meaning dependent on the context (different in vitro than in vivo) OP traits are context-independent (the same in vitro and in vivo) OP traits are better manifestations of approach- avoidance than SP traits (we avoid/approach others not ourselves) OP is the real evaluative dimension

66 Morality vs. competences (theory of Glenn Redder)

67 Glenn D. Reeder University of Illinois Behavior  trait inference schemata

68 Morality vs. competences Morality: –honest, moral, truthful, responsible, sincere, loyal, faithful –dishonest, immoral, hypocritical, irresponsible, corrupt, traitor Competences: –Skilled, intelligent, resourceful, pragmatic, talented, diligent, enterprising –clumsy, loser, unintelligent, incompetent, lazy, helpless

69 What is more probable? (A) That an intelligent person will behave stupidly ? (B) That a stupid person will behave intelligently?

70 What is more probable? (A) That an honest person will behave dishonestly? (B) That a dishonest person will behave honestly?

71 + - + -- + - + Competences Morality Intelligence Lack of intelligence Inference schemata Intelligent behavior Stupid behavior Honesty Dishonesty Honest behavior Dishonest behavior

72 + - + -- + - + Intelligence Lack of intelligence Inference schemata Intelligent behavior Stupid behavior Honesty Dishonesty Honest behavior Dishonest behavior Diagnostic behaviors

73 -- ++ + Positivity effect -- ++ Negativity effect

74 Morality vs.competences and evaluation effects Intelligent behavior + stupid behavior  trait ‘intelligence’ Loyal behavior + disloyal behavior  trait ‘disloyalty’

75 Inferring traits of self vs. others Studies by Bogdan Wojciszke

76 Self vs. others Self – descriptions in terms of competences Description of others – in terms of morality

77 After: Wojciszke, 1994


79 MoralUnmoral Competent Virtuous successSinful success Uncompetent Virtuous failureSinful failure

80 After: Wojciszke, 1994

81 The biggest sins of Polish people Survey PBS – 10 February 2005

82 The biggest sins Pole Drinking and gluttony 24,0% Dishonesty 19,8% Greed 11,7% Laziness11,3% Envy 11,0% Jealousy8,0% Stealing8,0% Boorishness5,5% Corruption5,5% Intolerance5,5% Conceit 5,6% Complaining4,4% Egoism3,5% Callousness2,9% Stupidity2,5% Myself Laziness16,0% Drinking and gluttony9,0% Smoking 4,6% Dishonesty4,0% Lack of self-confidence3,5% Lack of perseverance 3,2% Anger3,0% Naivete2,4% Talking too much2,4% Workaholism2,3% Unpunctuality 1,9% Envy 1,6% Dissolution1,5% Jealousy 1,5% Nervousness 1,5%

83 The biggest sins Pole Don’t know7,8% Poles have no sins, drawbacks 2,8% Myself Don’t know10,0% I have no sins, drawbacks 23,1%

84 Sins and age Sin Age Dishonesty Pole Self Laziness Pole Self Envy Pole Self 18-2411,9 11,517,1 34,64,4 5,2 25-3918,4 4,613,6 19,010,4 0,0 40-5919,7 1,410,8 11,513,7 1,8 60 and more27,3 2,25,2 6,911,9 0,8

85 I have so sins/ drawbacks Age18-2412,0 25-3921,8 40-5921,6 over 6034,7 educationElementary19,0 Professional33,0 High22,4 University12,1 Residence placeOver 200,00016,9 50 – 200,00016,3 Below 50,00027,1 country27,5

86 Moralization of the social world Accounting for people’s behavior in terms of their moral intentions Negative image of others (negativity effects) Suspicion and conspiracy theories (dispositional attributions) Evaluation and not explanation of people’s behaviors

87 Warmth vs. competences Theory by Susan Fiske

88 Stereotypes built on two dimensions Warmth Competence


90 After: Joanna Konieczna (2003) Stereotypes of Poles and Ukrainians held by Ukranians (compensation mechanisms)

91 Dimensions of person perception; summary S. Rosenberg: intellectual good-bad vs. social good-bad G. Peeters: self-profitable vs. other- profitable G. Reeder: ability vs. morality Susan Fiske: competence vs. warmth

92 Integration of partial evaluations into overall impression

93 Models of information integration: cognitive algebra Linear models (bottom up) –Additive models (Triandis & Fishbein) –Averaging –Weighted average (N. Anderson) Configurational model (S. Asch) (top down) –Impression: Holistic: the whole is more than sum of elements Meaning of individual parts dependent on the whole

94 Asch vs. Anderson: which model is more accurate? Both may be true S. Fiske & Neuberg (1990): two modes of information integration: category-based integration versus piece-meal integration. –Category-based: evaluation of an object derived from global evaluation of the category (e.g. stereotype) –Piece-meal: global evaluation a product of partial evaluations of specific features of an object

95 The continuum model of person perception

96 Category-based vs. piece-meal Time pressure  category-based Interdepedence  piece-meal Position in hierarchy –Subordinates  piece-meal –Superiors  category-based

97 Subordinate when in front of a superior should have a miserable and a dumb appearance in order not to embarass the superior with his comprehension ability

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