About the Textbook’s First Author

About the Textbook’s First Author
Aronson, A., Willerman, B., & Floyd, J. (1966). The effect of a pratfall on increasing
interpersonal attractiveness. Psychonomic Science, 4(6), 227-228.
An experiment was performed which demonstrated that the attractiveness of a
superior person is enhanced if he commits a clumsy blunder; the same
blunder tends to decrease the attractiveness of a mediocre person. These results
were predicted by conjecturing that a superior person may be viewed as
superhuman and, therefore, distant; a blunder tends to humanize him and,
consequently, increases his attractiveness.
How people are influenced by the actual, imagined,
or implied presence of others (Allport)
Social influence is one of the great, great influences in
nature … tremendously powerful … yet you can't see
it" (Ellen Berscheid)
THINK (e.g., how we gather and process information)
SEE (e.g., how we perceive the world)
FEEL (e.g., how we label our emotions)
KNOW (e.g., what facts, information, and ideas we possess)
Influences on Behavior
Personality approach
Fundamental Attribution Error (pervasive tendency
to overestimate the behavior of others as due to
their personality rather than considering various
social or situational forces)
Social or situational forces
1) People need to evaluate their opinions and abilities.
2) If objective information for appraisal is limited or not available, people will rely
on social comparison processes (other people) to evaluate themselves.
3) People tend to compare themselves with similar others (or those who should be
similar based on various attributes such as age, cultural background). Also,
people will be attracted to similar others and reduce differences between
themselves and others.
[From: Leon Festinger
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Our impact on the behavior of others; getting what we ask for
We partly generate our own reality!
Key elements of acting*:
Implications for Social Interactions
1) Who are you? (e.g., the character)
2) What do you want? (e.g., objectives, goals)
3) Why do you want it? (e.g., your motivation)
4) What is your relationship to the other person (e.g., friend, stranger,
subordinate, boss)?
5) What is the time urgency for the interaction (time frame)?
* Adapted from Sanford Meisner on Acting (1987). Random House: New York.
~ Self-Presentation~
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we
pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night