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Thinking Critically
Psychology Today
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Textbook Site for:
Social Psychology , Sixth Edition
Sharon S. Brehm - Indiana University
Saul Kassin - Williams College
Steven Fein - Williams College
Chapter Outlines - Perceiving Persons

I. Observation: The Elements of Social Perception
A. Persons: Judging a Book by Its Cover
1. First impressions
2. Baby-faced vs. mature features
B. Situations: The Scripts of Life
C. Behavioral Evidence
1. Dividing up the stream of human behavior
2. Nonverbal behavior
a) perceiving emotions
b) body language
c) eye contact
d) touch
e) cultural differences
3. Distinguishing truth from deception
II. Attribution: From Elements to Dispositions
A. Attribution Theories
1. Jones’s correspondent inference theory
a) choice
b) expectedness
c) intended effects or consequences
2. Kelley’s covariation theory
a) the covariation principle
b) consensus
c) distinctiveness
d) consistency
B. Attribution Biases
1. Cognitive heuristics
a) the availability heuristic
b) the false-consensus effect
c) the base-rate fallacy
d) counterfactual thinking
2. The fundamental attribution error
a) demonstrations of the error
b) explanations for the error: the two-step model, cultural differences
3. The actor-observer effect
4. Motivational biases
a) self-serving attributions
b) the belief in a just world
5. Attributions as cultural constructions
6. Motivational biases
III. Integration: From Dispositions to Impressions
A. Information Integration: The Arithmetic
1. Impression formation
2. Information integration theory
B. Deviations from the Arithmetic
1. Perceiver characteristics
2. Priming effects
3. Target characteristics
a) five factors of personality
b) trait negativity bias
4. Implicit personality theories
a) networks of assumptions
b) central traits
5. The primacy effect
a) attention
b) need for closure
c) the change-of-meaning hypothesis
IV. Confirmation Biases: From Impressions to Reality
A. Perseverance of Beliefs
1. Impact of expectations
2. Belief perseverance
B. Confirmatory Hypothesis Testing
C. The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
1. Pygmalian in the Classroom
2. Accuracy of expectations
3. Causes of the self-fulfilling prophecy
4. Limits to the self-fulfilling prophecy
V. Social Perception: The Bottom Line