Social Thinking

icer215's version from 2016-08-24 20:28


Question Answer
Attribution Theory Describes how we attach meanings to our own and other’s behavior. Also it explains how we interpret events around us, which relates to our own thought process and behavior
Two types of attributionsInternal attribution and External attribution
Internal attributionDispositional. The attitude, characteristics, motivation, emotions, personality, beliefs and etc. about a person explains why that person behave certain way
External attributionSituational. The way that person behaves is because of a particular situation
Three stage process of attributionBehavior is observed, Behavior is determined to be deliberate, Behavior is attributed to internal or external causes
Achievement can be attributed toEffort, Ability, Level difficult in task, Luck
Attribution is classified along three casual dimensionsLocus of control, Stability, Controllability
Fundamental attribution errorAlso known as correspondence bias or attribution effect. Describes that people tend to judge others based on their dispositional factors (internal attributions) rather than situational factors (external attributions). We often make unethical decisions and judgments because of such tendency
How to avoid fundamental attribution error“Put yourself in the other person’s shoes”
How culture affects attributionsIndividualist cultures & Collectivist cultures
Individualist culturesInclude northern America and western Europe, People from such cultures have high value on uniqueness and independence, This culture emphasizes on individual goals, People define themselves in terms of personal attributes
Collectivist culturesInclude Asia, Latin America, and Africa, People from such cultures have high value on conformity and interdependence, This culture emphasizes on group goals, People define themselves in terms of their membership in groups, People in this culture are less susceptible to the fundamental attribution error than those in individualist culture


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Self-perceptionsThe way we see our self. Our beliefs, past experiences, gender, age, culture and etc. affect our perception of self
Self-perception theory says that people develop their own perception by observing themselves, interacting with others, and behaving in different circumstances
The way we perceive ourselvesaffect how we perceive others
Our own self-perceptions work as a foundation to form impression of othersDepending on how you perceive your own roles, social norms, physical cues, and class, you perceive others differently. Let say one perceives oneself to be not very successful because of poor pay at work. Thus this person may perceive others who have a better pay at work more successful.
Perceptions of the EnvironmentInvolves more complex, large-scale scenes. Perception of the environment
Perception of the environment includesSocial situation, Work, Time, Settings,These influence how one perceives others
The time one observes a situation can change one’s attentionFor example, a guy sees a bunch of girls dressed in gold dresses as beautiful and sexy on Saturday night at a club. However, when the same guy sees a bunch of girls dressed in gold dresses at his work, he would perceive them differently.
PrejudiceNegative belief and unjustified attitude toward people in a specific social group. Some defines it as prejudgment of members of a group. Involves stereotyped beliefs, negative feelings, and tendency to discriminate against others
Different types of prejudices includeRacism, Classicism, Sexism, Nationalism, Agism , Religious prejudice, Homophobia
Processes that Contribute to Prejudice Power, prestige and class
PowerAbility to control other people’s behavior
Political powerthe power held by a political group. Favoring a certain political view and enforcing laws to support certain groups of people. Bribes, vetting candidates, etc.


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Economical powerthe power held by wealth. Ability to take control over in organizations, properties, etc. Low wage jobs for minority groups
Personal powerthe power held by an individual. Variety of power can be held by a person including economic, defensive, and destructive power
PrestigeRefers to a good reputation, People with different occupations: Lawyers, doctors vs. service works
ClassLower, middle, and upper class, Lower class is poor because they are lazy, Upper class is rich because they work hard
The role of emotion in prejudiceAroused by expression or thoughts
The role of cognition in prejudiceWhat people believe is true and Faulty memory processes
StereotypesA shared belief about people into a specific categories
Psychologist Gordon Allport proposed as a result of human thinking and categorizing information and knowledge, prejudice and stereotypes emerge.
Advantages of stereotypesAllow us to process new information rapidly because we have had similar experiences in the past. Enable us to predict other people’s behavior
Disadvantage of stereotypesMake us generalize others (ignore/acknowledge the differences). Drive people to exaggerate differences among groups


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Types of stereotypes (Based on race, nationality, culture, gender, social class, and etc.)Positive and Negative
PositiveGood characteristics of a group
Positive Examples includeAsians are smart, Blacks are good at basketball, Indians are spiritual, Latinos can dance well
NegativeOverly simplified group
Negative Examples include: Girls are not good at sports, Guys are messy, All teenagers are rebels
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EthnocentrismThe view that believes one culture/ethnic group is superior than the others. Judgment based on other’s language, religion, behavior, and customs relative to one’s own. Can lead to misjudgment of others and discrimination
In-groupSocial group that one identifies his or herself as a member. Associated with in-group favoritism, people prefer in-group over the out-group
Out-groupSocial group that one does not identify as a member. Associated with out-group derogation, people from out-group is observed as a threat to the in-group


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Cultural relativismNo culture is superior than the other. No one can judge other’s culture, one’s language, religion, behavior and customs are relative to the individual within a cultural identity
Self-fulfilling ProphecyAlso known as Pygmalion effect. An expectation about circumstances, events, or people that affect person’s behavior toward them eventually confirms that expectation
Studies done by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore JacobsonAn elementary school teacher told students that they were very clever although they were actually around average. The next day when those students were tested, they scored better than those who were not ‘expected’ or told to do well
Steps to self-fulfilling prophecyPerson A expects a certain behavior from person B, Person A behaves in such a way to elicit the expected behavior from person B, Person B behaves as person A expected, Person A observes expected behavior ➙ person A is self-fulfilled. For example, stereotype threat about one’s race or gender before taking a test result in poor score
Stereotype ThreatA psychological phenomenon of one feeling at risk of confirming negative stereotypes. Causes anxiety and result in poor performances in people
Steven Spencer’s studies have shown thatWomen performed worse on a math test than did man with similar intelligence level, although women were equally intelligent as men, they performed not as well because of stereotype threat. There is negative stereotype about women that they are not as intelligent as men. Women performed similar to men when they were led to believe that women perform similar to men before the test. Women performed better when tested within all women group than in mixed-gender group