SOCIAL PERCEPTION

SHIERLY A. PROTACIO PSY 647 – Advanced Social Psychology 8AM to 11AM

SOCIAL PERCEPTION
• The processes through which we seek to know and understand other persons and events. • Not a single, instantaneous event, but comprises a number of on-going processes. • Paying attention NOT only to WHAT people say but also to HOW they say it. • Not only deals with explanations of people’s past behavior, but also how this past behavior can predict future actions.

COGNITIVE PROCESSES OF SOCIAL PERCEPTION .

I. . • First step of social perception. IMPRESSION FORMATION • Based on rapid assessments of salient and observable qualities and behaviors in others. • Obtained by attending to nonverbal cues as well as incorporating more detailed and descriptive characteristics into an overall impression.

ATTRIBUTION PROCESS • Goes beyond discerning current moods and feelings and attempts instead to infer causal relationships underlying behavior by attending to various social cues.II. . • This search for causal explanations often requires that we observe people’s actions over time and across situations.

IMPRESSION FORMATION .

Suppose you are visiting a city for the first time and have car trouble in the dead of the night. .

.You begin to scan the faces of passing motorists. looking for someone who will help you out of this jam.

How can you tell who will be your good samaritan? .

Can you seek help from the carload of teenagers who have passed by twice in the past five minutes? .

Or should you take a chance and try to flag down the neatly dressed and pleasant-looking young man driving the 1965 Chevy… .

on second thought.Who. bears an uncanny resemblance to the character of Norman Bates in the movie Psycho? .

. something in the distance catches your eye.Just as you are bemoaning the fact that you don’t know anything about the people whom you are about to ask for help.

and a panel of light flashers on the roof.It is a white car with lettering and an emblem on the door. Inside are two people wearing blue uniforms and badges. .

.Despite the fact that you are certain they are carrying loaded guns and wooden clubs. you immediately step out in the street and signal them to stop.

Why? . yet you believe they will help you.Are you crazy? You have never seen these two people before in you life.

.DEFINITIONS: • The process by which one integrates various sources of information about another into an overall judgement. • It is dynamic. and integrative. 1946). Asch. • The process through which we form impressions of others (S.

PREMISES OF IMPRESSION FORMATION .

A. 1988. . FORMING IMPRESSION THROUGH STEREOTYPING • The social categorization process – the classification of people into groups based on their common attributes (Hampson. 1981). Taylor. • Research indicates that readily apparent physical features are the most common way to classify people.

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it becomes habitual and automatic. and motives. 1988. often occurring without conscious thought or effort (Brewer. Fiske & Neuberg. abilities.• Because categorizing others by these physical features is done so frequently. There often already are beliefs about the individuals’ personalities. • From social categories to stereotypes social categorization does not end with merely grouping people. . 1990).

a fixed way of thinking about people that puts them into categories and doesn’t allow for individual variation. • Once a stereotype is activated from memory.• Stereotype . • Probability Judgement – they estimate the likelihood that individuals in specific social groups possess certain attributes. . we have a tendency to see people within that social category as possessing the traits or characteristics associated with the stereotyped group.

LABELS ARE DEVICES FOR SAVING TALKATIVE PERSONS THE TROUBLE OF THINKING. J. MORLEY. 1886 • Stereotypes are “shortcuts to thinking” that provide us with rich and distinctive information about individuals we do not personally know. .

. posture and touching. NONVERBAL BEHAVIORAL CUES • Nonverbal behavior – communicating feelings and behaviors without words. and body movements. eye contact.B. • Nonverbal channels of communication – facial expressions.

sadness. • Charles Darwin (1872) – facial expressions are innate and is universal. surprise.FACIAL EXPRESSIONS • Marcus Cicero – wrote that the face is the image of the soul. • Six primary emotions: happiness. and disgust. anger. . fear.

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. • Staring . the more often they gaze into one another’s eyes (Rubin. 1970).EYE CONTACT • The more in love two people are. the more often they will attempt to engage in prolonged eye contact with their opponents in competitive situations (Exline. 1972).recognized as a sign of dominance seeking and aggression (Tomkins. • The more competitive people are. 1963).

BODY MOVEMENTS • Research indicates that people who walk with a good deal of hip sway. 1988). . loose jointedness. knee bending. and body bounce are perceived to be younger and more powerful than those with less pronounced gaits (Montepare et. al.

WHAT NONVERBAL CUES ATTRACT ASSAULT? VICTIMS STRIDE Long or short strides NONVICTIMS Medium Strides WEIGHT SHIFTS Pelvis shifts from side to sides Moves one side at a time – right arm and right leg. then left arm and right leg Swings feet when walking WHOLE BODY MOVEMENT FEET Lifts feet when walking . making a figure 8. then left arm and left leg Pelvis operates in an spiral. The two sides of the body move in counterpoint – right arm and left leg.

not touch-oriented. • Touching – North Americans and Asian.CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN CERTAIN NONVERBAL CUES • Shaking hands – North Americans are taught to shake hands as a friendly sign of greeting. • Space Relationships • Eye Contact Source: Based on Axtell. Latin Americans and Middle Eastern often embrace and hold hands as a sign of friendship. 1991 .

DO PEOPLE DIFFER IN USING NONVERBAL CUES? .

1988). Tucker & Riggio. 1992.• Research indicates that people recognize the important role that such nonverbal behavior plays in impression formation and often consciously employ nonverbal cues in their selfrepresentation strategies (DePaulo. .

DETECTING DECEPTION Erving Goffman (1959) Two different types of social stimuli (Expressions) • Expressions given – consist of verbal and nonverbal symbols that people are consciously aware of transmitting. • Expressions given off (nonverbal leakage) – cover a wide range of unintentionally transmitted and of which people are much less aware (Goffman.C. 1959). .

1986). fidgety movements of hands and feet. . “uhms”). restless shift in body posture. pitch of voice often rises slightly and speech is filled with many pauses (“ahs”. movements of the body – when people deceive.• Microexpressions – fleeting facial signals lasting only a few tenths of a second. • Sound of voice. • Eyes can also reveal a lie – individuals avoiding the gaze of others. or one who blinks frequently (Kleinke.

D. FORMING PERSONALITY IMPRESSIONS

• Additive or averaging model – based on a number of studies, averaging model is more accurate than additive model. • Central traits – traits that exert a disproportionate influence on people’s overall impressions, causing them to assume the presence of other traits.

E. BIASES IN PERSONALITY JUDGMENT

• Implicit Personality Theory – assumptions or naïve belief systems people make about which personality traits go together. There is a strong tendency for people to assume that all good things occur together in persons and that all bad things do so as well, with little overlap between the two.

• Self Concept – One’s self-identity, a basic schema consisting of an organized collection of beliefs and attitudes about oneself.
• False Consensus Bias – the tendency to exaggerate how common one’s own characteristics and opinions are in the general population. • Positivity Bias – the tendency for people to evaluate individual human beings more positively than groups or impersonal objects.

• Recency Effect – the tendency for the last information received to carry greater weight than earlier information.• Negativity Bias – the tendency for negative traits to be weighted more heavily than positive traits in impression formation. . • Primacy Effect – the tendency for the first information received to carry more weight than later information on one’s overall impression.

MAKING ATTRIBUTIONS .

they use it to search for explanations of social events.ATTRIBUTION • The process by which people use information to make inferences about the causes of behavior or events. • Fritz Heider (1958) – naïve psychology – everybody has a general theory of human behavior. .

• External Attributions .DIMENSIONS OF CAUSAL EXPERIENCE • Internal Attribution – locates the cause of an event to factors internal to the person. such as personality traits. or effort. such as luck. abilities. or the situation. or other people. moods. .locates the cause of an event to factors external to the person. attitudes.

Janet might come up with different explanations for his behavior. What are some possible explanations for Michael’s behavior? . at the end of the evening. but Michael doesn’t call. Tomorrow comes along. In thinking about this situation.EXAMPLE Jill and Jack go on a date and. he promises to call her tomorrow.

. • Edward Jones and Keith Davis (1965) – interested on how people infer the cause of a single instance of behavior.CORRESPONDENT INFERENCE THEORY • In an inference that the action of an actor corresponds to. a stable characteristic. or is indicative of.

.EXAMPLE If Jill acts compassionately towards Bob. his correspondent inference would be that Jill is a compassionate person.

• Degree of Choice – actions freely chosen are considered to be more indicative of an actor’s true personal characteristics than those that are coerced. • Unique. Noncommon effects of dispositions .people are much more likely to make dispositional attributions about behavior that is socially undesirable than about behavior that is desirable.RULES TO BE CONSIDERED • Social desirability of behavior .

it must be present when the behavior occurs and absent when it does not occur – the presumed cause and observed effect must “covary”. .COVARIATION MODEL • Harold Kelley (1967) – states that for something to be the cause of a particular behavior.

.EXAMPLE If your boyfriend or girlfriend becomes cold and irritable only when you spend extended time with others. that is low covariation. If he or she is only occassionally cold and irritable likewise. that is high covariation.

people tend to be much less likely to attribute the effect to any particular cause. . • Whenever there are several possible causal explanations for a particular event.DISCOUNTING PRINCIPLE • Harold Kelley (1972) – confidence in assigning a cause to some effect will be adversely affected if we cannot distinguish significant differences in the covariation.

different stimuli .DISCOUNTING PRINCIPLE 3 Basic Kinds of Information 1. Consistency – person reacts to stimulus in the same way on other occassions 3. Distinctiveness – person reacts in the same way on other. Consensus – others react in the same way as the person of interest reacts 2.

professors’ classes. Circumstance: the student didn’t sleep well last night. 2 3 . classes of mine. professors’ professor. H-He doesn’t fall asleep in other professors’ classes. L-He has not fallen asleep in previous classes of mine. classes. H-He has fallen H-He doesn’t fall Entity: I’m a asleep in previous asleep in other boring classes of mine.EXAMPLE: WHY DID THE STUDENT FALL ASLEEP IN MY CLASS CONDITION CONSENSUS CONSISTENCY DISTINCTIVEN ESS MOST COMMON ATTRIBUTION 1 L-No other students fall asleep in my class H-Many students fall asleep in my class L-No other students fall asleep in my class H-He has fallen L-He falls asleep Internal: the asleep in previous in other student is lazy.

• The actor-observer effect – tendency of people to attribute their own behavior to external causes but that of others to internal factors.BIASES IN ATTRIBUTION • The fundamental attribution error – tendency to make internal attributions over external attributions in explaining the behavior of others. . • The self-serving bias – tendency to assign an internal locus of causality for our positive outcomes and an external locus for our negative outcomes.

MINIMIZING THE IMPACT OF ATTRIBUTIONAL ERRORS .

THE CORRESPONDENCE BIAS . there are many external factors that played a role in their behavior. .FAE • Try to see the world through their eyes.

This may help you appreciating the internal causes.ACTOR-OBSERVER EFFECT • “I behave as I do because of situational causes. try to imagine yourself in others place and ask yourself. .” • To minimize this. “Why would/have I acted that way?”. you behave as you do because you are that kind of person.

once you know it exists.SELF-SERVING BIAS • This may lead to overestimation of your own contributions to group tasks which may lead to friction to others. • You can minimize this by simply being aware of it. . you may realize that all your positive outcomes don’t stem from internal causes.

• Social Psychology. Wisconsin: Brown & Benchmark Pub. Baron. Donn Byrne.REFERENCES • Social Psychology. USA. Franzoi – Madison.. Allyn and Bacon. -10th ed. Robert A. Stephen L. c1996. .

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