chapter 2. Perception

Understanding Others
Social Perception
: The process through which we seek to
know and understand other persons.
:One of the most basic and important
aspects of social life.
: We attempt to understand the more
lasting causes behind other’s behavior.
1. Nonverbal Communication:
The basic channels
: Communication between individuals that
does not involve the content of spoken
language but relies instead on an unspoken
language of facial expressions, eye contact,
and body language.
: information about our inner states is often
revealed through five basic channels
Facial Expression
* Unmaking the face: Facial expression as
clues to other’s emotion.
- The Roman orator Cicero stated:
“ The face is the image of the soul.”
- Facial Expression: anger, fear, happiness,
sadness, disgust
- The link between emotional experiences and
certain facial expressions is a real and very
basic one.
* Are Facial expressions universal?
- Human beings all over the world tend to
show highly similar facial expressions.
- The language of facial expressions needs
no interpreter.
2) Eye contact (Gazes and Stares)
- Ancient poets described
“Eyes are windows to the soul.”
-Eye  Contact: liking, friendliness,
positive feeling
 Not contact: disliking,
unfriendliness, negative feelings
cf) Staring
- Staring is one form of nonverbal behavior that
should be used with great caution in most
3) Body language: Gesture, posture, and
- Cues provided by position, posture, and
movement of other’s bodies or body parts.
- Language numbers of movement:
emotional arousal.
- Body movements carrying specific
meanings in a given culture.
4) Touching: The most intimate nonverbal
- Touching
part of body
The application
- When someone lies; Even he/she is
professional liar, he can’t cover these 5 basic
channels together.
-Finding the clue of lie
① Microexpression
② Interchannel discrepancies
③ Paralanguage
④ Eye contact
⑤ Exaggerated face
2) Attribution: Understanding the causes of
other’s Behavior
- Attribution: The process through which we
seek to identify the cause of other’s behavior
and so gain knowledge of their stable traits
and dispositions.
* From act to dispositions: Using other’s
behavior as a guide to their lasting traits.
Correspondent inference (Jones & Davis)
: Theory describing how we use other’s
behavior as a basis for inferring their stable
- People are most likely to conclude that
other’s behavior reflects their stable traits
when that behavior
a. is freely chosen
b. yields distinctive, noncommon
c. is low in social desirability
② Attentional resources and Trait Attribution:
What we learn-and Don’t learn- from obscure
behavior. (Gilbert & Osborne)
When we infer other’s trait from their behaviors,
we actually accomplish three distinct tasks.
a. we categorize an individual’s behavior.
b. we characterize the behavior.
c. we correct our inferences about this person’s
behavior is
behavior is
③ Kelley’s Theory of Causal Attributions:
How we answer the question Why?
- In our attempts to answer the
question Why about other’s behavior,
we focus on information relating to
three major dimensions.
a. we consider consensus
b. we consider consistency
c. we examine distinctiveness
3) Attribution: Some Basic Source of Error
* The Fundamental Attribution Error:
Overestimating the Role of Dispositional
- Our strong tendency to explain other’s
actions in terms of dispositional(internal)
rather than situational(external) causes.
- Another possibility is that we do notice such
situational factors but tend to assign them
insufficient weight.
* The Actor-Observer Effect: You Fell;
I was pushed.
- We tend to perceive our own behavior as
arising largely from situational cause, but
that of others as deriving mainly from their
traits or dispositions.
* The Self-Serving Bias: “I Can do No Wrong,
You Can do No Right”
- This tendency to attribute our own positive
outcome to internal cause but negative
causes ones to external factors.
- Many persons tend to perceive negative
actions on their own part as reasonable and
excusable, but irrational and inexcusable.
4) Impression Formation and Impression
Management: The Process of Combining
Social Information-How, Sometimes, We
Profit from it.
* Impression Formation
a. First impression=initial impressions we
make on others will shape the course of our
future relations with them in crucial way.
b. Impression Formation
:A Cognitive Approach
- We formed impressions of others which
focused on the question of how we combine so
much diverse information about others into
unified impressions.
* Impression Management
: The Fine Art of Looking Good
a. Impression Management
: Some basic tactics
- Self-enhancement: efforts to boost our
own image.
- Other-enhancement: effort to make the
target person feel good in our presence.
. Self-enhancement: personal grooming
(appearance, dress)
. Other-enhancement: Flattery
~ heaping praise on target persons
~ expressing agreement with their views
~ hanging on their every word
~ doing small favors for them
~ asking for their advice & feedback
~ expressing liking for them either verbally or
Reference: Robert A. Baron, Donn Byrne
8th Edition Social Psychology
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