Social Psychology Chapter 3: Social Perception (Nonverbal Communication…
Social Psychology Chapter 3: Social Perception
Social psychology is the process through which we seek to know and understand other people
The Basic Channels
Nonverbal communication refers to communication that does not involve spoken language. Our feelings are usually revealed through five basic channels:
Facial expressions, Eye contact, Body movements, Posture, and touching
reveal the five basic emotions [Anger, Fear, Happiness, Sadness, and Disgust], the meanings of these expressions are universal.
can also hold many different meanings, for example, gazing alot can be affectionate while avoidance of eye contact can be bashfulness and Staring can be seen as hostile.
Body language is defined as cues given by the position, posture, and movements of ones body or body parts.
: Specific gestures and movements can convey different meanings, Large numbers of movements may suggest emotional arousal and large patterns of movements may suggest contrasting emotions.
may convey a different meaning based on who does the touching, the nature of the contact and the context. Touch may illicit a strong positive or negative response based on whether it is seen as appropriate or not.
Deception, Recognizing it and it's effects:
In general we are not good at perceiving deception and we do not pay specific attention to nonverbal cues. People with a need to belong however read relevant nonverbal cues alot better. There are many nonverbal cues that help us spot deception such as
are fleeting facial expressions lasting only a few tenths of a second.
Exaggerated facial expressions
aspects of voice,
Theories of attribution
Heider discussed a simple dichotomy, making either internal or external attributions. An
would be explaining someones behavior as caused by something within them such as a personality trait, while
would be explaining it as caused by an external factor such as the current situation. We tend to explain others as internal and ourselves as external.
Correspondent inference theory
discusses how we use information about others to identify their stable traits or dispositions. We focus on the most informative types of behaviors these are,
freely chosen behaviors, non common effects, and behaviors low in social desirability.
The name f the theory comes from the fact that in this theory we try to discern the correspondence between a trait and a behaviour. This theory deals with internal attributions.
Kellers theory of
focuses on whether a behaviour is caused by situational or personal factors. To do this we rely on three types of information:
[extent to which others react to some stimulus or event in a similar way.]
[ extent to which individual responds to a given stimulus or situation in the same way on different occasions ]
[ extent to which individual responds in a different manner to different stimulus or events.]*
is the level of interpretation people place on the actions of others. low level focuses on actions while high level on intentions and goals.
Basic sources of error in attribution
Fundamental attribution error [correspondence bias]
is the tenancy to explain others actions as stemming from dispositions, even in the presence of clear situational causes. There are three possible reasons for this:
we tend to focus more on ones actions rather than their situation.
we notice situational causes but attribute insufficient weight to their importance.
We consider underlying characteristics before the situation.
Correspondence bias seems to be more common in individualistic cultures.