Chapter 3 Understanding Perceptions and Attributions

     

The Perceptual Process* (esp. Figure 3.1, p. 68) Perceptual Selection* Person Perception* Perceptual Errors* Attributions: Perceived Causes of Behavior* Exercise: Truth or Consequences?

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organize. and processing information in the mind in an attempt to make sense of the world  Selection and organization often account for differences in interpretation/perception between individuals observing the same stimuli 2 .Perception  Definition: The process by which people select. obtaining. interpret.  Perception (consciously and unconsciously) involves searching for. and respond to information from the world around them.

Basic Elements in the Perceptual Process* (See Figure 3.1. page 68) Environmental Stimuli Observation * Taste * Hearing * Touch * Smell * Sight Perceptual Selection * External factors * Internal factors Perceptual Organization * Perceptual grouping Interpretation * Perceptual errors * Attributions Response * Covert * Overt 3 .

closure. an effect of motivation on perception Perceptual Grouping: tendency to form individual stimuli into a meaningful pattern by continuity.Concepts Manifest in the Princeton Case     Selective Screening: the process by which people filter out most information so they can deal with the most important matters Perceptual Set: an expectation of a perception based on past experience with the same or similar objects Pollyanna Principle: the notion that pleasant stimuli are processed more efficiently and accurately than unpleasant stimuli. or similarity 4 . proximity.

closely related to attribution Implicit personality theories: personal beliefs about the relationships among other¶s physical characteristics. and specific behaviors Impression Management: the attempt people make to manipulate or control the impressions others form about them 5 .Person Perception    Definition: the process by which individuals attribute characteristics or traits to other people. personality traits.

objects.Common Perceptual Errors      themselves against ideas. and people are actually perceived  Perceptual defense: the tendency for people to protect Self-fulfilling prophecy: expecting certain things to happen will shape the behavior of the perceiver in such a way that the expected is more likely to happen 6 . or situations that are threatening Stereotyping: the tendency to assign attributes to someone solely on the basis of the category of people. objects. either favorable or unfavorable Projection: the tendency for people to see their own traits in others Expectancy effects: extent to which expectations bias how events. of which that person is a member Halo effect: the process by which the perceiver evaluates another person solely on the basis of one attribute.

. people are not normally aware of making attributions) People are constantly attributing the behavior of themselves and others to either internal (i. personal) or external (i.Nature of the Attribution Process*    Definition: The ways in which people come to understand the causes of their own and others¶ behaviors Most often an unconscious process (i. situational) causes...e. 7 .e.e.

The Attribution Process Antecedents-factors internal to the perceiver ‡Information ‡Beliefs ‡Motivation Attributions made by the perceiver ‡Perceived external or internal causes of behavior Consequences for the perceiver ‡Behavior ‡Feelings ‡Expectations 8 .

Theory of Causal Attributions Consistency Does person usually behave this way in this situation? Distinctiveness External Attribution (to person¶s situation) Yes Does person behave differently in different situations? No Internal Attribution (to person¶s disposition) Consensus Do others behave similarly in this situation? 9 .

Frequent Attribution Errors*   Fundamental Attribution Error = overestimating the personal causes for other¶s behavior while underestimating the situational causes Self-Serving Bias = attributing personal success to internal factors and personal failure to external factors 10 .

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