InstructorsStudentsReviewersAuthorsBooksellers Contact Us
Chapter Review
Test Your Knowledge
Thinking Critically
Psychology Today
Student Success
Textbook Site for:
Social Psychology , Sixth Edition
Sharon S. Brehm - Indiana University
Saul Kassin - Williams College
Steven Fein - Williams College
Learning Objectives - Perceiving Persons

You should be able to do each of the following by the conclusion of Chapter 4.
  1. Define social perception. Identify sources of “raw data” from which social perception arises (persons, situations, behavior). (p. 96)

  2. Describe the impact of appearance on people’s perceptions of others. Distinguish “baby-faced” features from mature facial features, and contrast the traits that perceivers infer about others on the basis of these facial features. Summarize the three explanations that have been offered to account for the differences in social perceptions as a function of such features. (pp. 96-98)

  3. Define scripts, and describe their functions in social perception. Explain how the manner in which perceivers divide the continuous stream of human behavior into discrete units can influence social perception. (pp. 98-99)

  4. Explain how people use nonverbal cues to judge others. Identify the six “primary” emotions. Summarize the research concerning perception of angry faces. Discuss the adaptive significance of disgust. Discuss the roles of other nonverbal cues, including body language, eye contact, and touch. (pp. 99-102)

  5. Describe people’s ability to detect deception. Contrast the channels of communication that are most likely to reveal that someone is lying with the channels that perceivers typically try to use to detect deception. (pp. 102-104)

  6. Define dispositions and attributions. Distinguish between personal and situational attributions. Summarize Jones’s correspondent inference theory and Kelley’s covariation theory. (pp. 104-107)

  7. Describe cognitive heuristics in general and the availability heuristic in particular. Explain how the availability heuristic can give rise to the false-consensus effect. Describe the base-rate fallacy. Define counterfactual thinking and identify when it is likely to occur. (pp. 107-110)

  8. Define the fundamental attribution error. Summarize the explanations of this attribution bias, including the two-step process model and the role of culture. Describe the factors that make the fundamental attribution error less likely to occur. Compare the fundamental attribution error with the actor-observer effect. (pp. 110-112)

  9. Explain how attribution biases may stem from motivational factors, such as the desire to take more credit for success than for failure. Define what is meant by the “belief in a just world,” and identify the factors that lead to defensive attributions. (pp.114-116)

  10. Explain the summation and averaging models of impression formation. Describe information integration theory. Explain the role of perceiver characteristics (including the effects of individual differences, priming, and mood) and of target characteristics (including the trait negativity bias) on impression formation. (pp. 116-120)

  11. Define implicit personality theory. Explain how people’s implicit personality theories affect their impressions of other people. Describe the effects of central traits and the primacy effect on these impressions. Identify two explanations for the primacy effect and explain the influence of the need for closure on this effect. (pp. 120-122)

  12. Define the confirmation bias. Describe how belief perseverance, confirmatory hypothesis testing, and the self-fulfilling prophecy can each contribute to this bias and identify which factors can reduce the likelihood that these effects will occur. Compare belief perseverance to the primacy effect. (pp. 122-127)

  13. Describe the problem of overconfidence in people’s judgments. Describe generally how people fare as social perceivers, and list a few reasons for being somewhat optimistic about people’s competence as social perceivers. (pp. 127-129)