Person Perception * Person perception refers to the processes by which we use social stimuli to form impressions of others * The face being one of the most important social stimuli * Research: Alexander Todorov asked people to choose the candidates they would've voted for from past elections based on photographs of the candidate's face * People accurately predicted 70% of the election result because the face gave away information about the candidate
Physical Attractiveness and Other Perceptual Cues * Infants as young as 3-6 months showed a preference for looking at attractive faces * Attractive people are assumed to have other positive characteristics or the "beautiful is good" stereotype * Better adjusted * Socially skilled * Friendly and likable * Extroverted * Superior job performance * Stereotype is a generalization about a group's characteristics that does not consider any variation from one individual to another * When we categorize people, it is often based on stereotypes * Self-fulfilling prophecy is when expectations cause individuals to act in ways that serve to make the expectations come true * Research: Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobsen picked out 5 students from a classroom and told the teacher that those 5 would be late bloomers (better than the rest) * The teacher's expectations for those students based on self-fulfilling prophecy actually made them academically superior to their classmates * What makes a face attractive or unattractive? Researchers have shown that "averageness" is an essential component to activeness
First Impressions * Can have lasting effect because people remember what they learned first * Research: Only takes 100-millisecond exposure of an unfamiliar face for a person to form an impression * Attribution is the process by which individual comes to understand the causes of others' behavior and form an impression of them
* Interferences means to determine the underlying cause for an individual's behavior then taking that information and coming up with a guess about who someone is * Attribution theory is people's motivation to discover the underlying causes of behavior in order to make sense of it * The three dimension of attribution: * Internal/external causes * Internal attributions are the individual's traits and abilities * External attributions are things that are out of the individual's control * Example: Did she get an A on the test because she is smart (internal) or because the test was easy (external)? * Stable/Unstable causes * Examines the individual's behavior whether as being permanent or temporary * Example: Was he rude to his girlfriend because he's naturally hostile (stable) or did he have a bad day (unstable)? * Controllable/Uncontrollable causes * People only have power over certain things * Example: Bob planned to go hang out with his friends at the mall (controllable) but his car broke down (uncontrollable), so his friends won't hold it against him.
Attributional Errors and Biases * Actor is the person who produces the behavior to be explained * Observer is the person who offers an explanation of the actor's behavior * Actors view their behavior as external while observer would view it as internal * Fundamental attribution error is the observer's overestimate of the importance of internal traits and underestimate the importance of external situation when they seek explanation of an actor's behavior
Heuristics in Social Information Processing * Heuristics are cognitive shortcuts