understanding others.txt

  1. social cognition
    the study of how people understand and make sense of others and themselves
  2. attribution theories
    theories of how people go about explaining others and their own behavior
  3. external attributions
    (situational causes) – all causes are external to the person (pressure from others, money, the situations, etc)
  4. internal attribution
    (dispositional causes) – all causes are internal to the person (moods, attitudes, personality traits abilities, etc.)
  5. covariation principle
    the idea that we should attribute behavior to potential causes that co-occur with the behavior
  6. consistency
    : does the person usually behave this way in this situation?
  7. distinctiveness
    does the person behave differently in different situations?
  8. consensus
    do others behave similarly in this situation?
  9. explanatory style
    a persons habitual way of explaining events, typically assessed along 3 dimensions; internal/external, stable/unstable, global/specific
  10. pessimistic explanatory style
    • the tendency to see negative events as cause by internal and stable factors.
    • Associated with depression, risk for disease, low self-esteem, helplessness, and loneliness
  11. fundamental attribution error
    tendency for observers to underestimate situational influences and overestimate dispositional influences on others’ behavior ( and vice versa for the self)
  12. Why does the fundamental attribution error occur?
    • Belief in a just world –People “get what they deserve”
    • This suggests that other people cause their own outcomes (dispositional), whereas we are the victims of circumstance
  13. actor-observer differences
    • when we act, we notice the situation, when others act, we notice the person
    • Attention on the person rather than the situation
Card Set
understanding others.txt
psyc 140