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Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (). Zanna (Eds.), The handbook of attitudes (pp. ). Mahwah, NJ, US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
Table of contents

We can understand self-serving bias by digging more deeply into attribution , a belief about the cause of a result. One model of attribution proposes three main dimensions: locus of control internal versus external , stability stable versus unstable , and controllability controllable versus uncontrollable. In this context, stability refers the extent to which the circumstances that result in a given outcome are changeable.

The circumstances are considered stable if they are unlikely to change. Controllability refers to the extent to which the circumstances that are associated with a given outcome can be controlled. Obviously, those things that we have the power to control would be labeled controllable Weiner, For example, we might tell ourselves that our team is talented internal , consistently works hard stable , and uses effective strategies controllable. In contrast, we are more likely to make external, unstable, and uncontrollable attributions when our favorite team loses.

Figure 5. When people experience bad fortune, others tend to assume that they somehow are responsible for their own fate. A common ideology, or worldview, in the United States is the just-world hypothesis. The ability to think of the world as a fair place, where people get what they deserve, allows us to feel that the world is predictable and that we have some control over our life outcomes Jost et al. For example, if you want to experience positive outcomes, you just need to work hard to get ahead in life. Figure 6.

People who hold just-world beliefs tend to blame the people in poverty for their circumstances, ignoring situational and cultural causes of poverty. Can you think of a negative consequence of the just-world hypothesis? What common explanations are given for why people live in poverty? What types of explanations are these, dispositional or situational? These dispositional explanations are clear examples of the fundamental attribution error.

Blaming poor people for their poverty ignores situational factors that impact them, such as high unemployment rates, recession, poor educational opportunities, and the familial cycle of poverty Figure 6. In the United States and other countries, victims of sexual assault may find themselves blamed for their abuse. Victim advocacy groups, such as Domestic Violence Ended DOVE , attend court in support of victims to ensure that blame is directed at the perpetrators of sexual violence, not the victims.

Watch this TED video to apply some of the concepts you learned about attribution and bias. Skip to main content. Module Social Psychology. Search for:. Learning Objectives Describe situational versus dispositional influences on behavior Give examples of the fundamental attribution error and other common biases, including the actor-observer bias and the self-serving bias Explain the just-world phenomenon. Try It. Link to Learning Watch this TED video to apply some of the concepts you learned about attribution and bias.

Effects on Behavior

Think It Over Provide a personal example of an experience in which your behavior was influenced by the power of the situation. Think of an example in the media of a sports figure—player or coach—who gives a self-serving attribution for winning or losing. Examples might include accusing the referee of incorrect calls, in the case of losing, or citing their own hard work and talent, in the case of winning.

Licenses and Attributions. CC licensed content, Original. Genes, temperament, and heredity Part of our personality encoded for in our genes, the rest is influenced by environmental factors. Our personality is largely defined by our temperament, or our nature how "moody" we are. We are likely to think and behave like our parents, due to the inheritable factors of personality. Adaptive value of traits and behaviors Your traits and behaviors are capable of changing and adapting in response to different experiences and environments.

Example: If you move to a city that has a high level of crime you may become more wary of strangers, and decide to walk your dog during the day, instead of at night. Interaction between heredity and environmental influences The characteristics of someone's personality that are encoded by genetics collaborate with the person's environment to create their behavior and more long-term, personality.

Studies have shown that when twins were raised separately in different environments , they behaved more similarly than a pair of randomly chosen people, but still exhibited different personalities. Phenylketonuria PKU is a genetic disease in which the afflicted individual is unable to break down the amino acid phenylalanine, leading to extreme mental retardation. The treatment: create an environment that completely avoid all foods containing phenylalanine.

Influence of genetic and environmental factors on the development of behaviors Experience and behavior PSY Our experiences in life help shape our personalities and how we choose to behave. Regulatory genes and behavior BIO Regulatory genes- control the expression of other genes e. Epigenetics- Genes that modify their expression without changing the overall genetic code. This changes the phenotype without changing the genotype. Epigenetics are largely influenced by the environment, but can also be inherited. Example: DNA methylation, the process by which a methyl group is added to a strand of DNA, preventing the expression of some genes.

Genetically based behavioral variation in natural populations Within animal and human populations there are different genes that encode for various behaviors. These wolves will likely kill more prey. Blinking reflex- if a baby sees a bright flash of light or experiences a gust of wind, it will blink its eyes Rooting reflex- if you stroke a baby's cheek they will turn in that direction and open their mouth seeking mother's nipple Babinski reflex- if you stroke a baby's foot, its big toe will extend upward, and the toes on its other foot will spread apart.


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Palmar grasp reflex- if you stroke a baby's palm their fingers will close and their hand will grasp your finger or whatever is stroking its palm. Swimming reflex- if a baby is placed face down in water it will make coordinated swimming movements. Startle moro reflex- if a baby hears a loud noise or sees a sudden movement they will become startled.

It will then cry and extend its neck and limbs. Sucking reflex- if an object touches the roof of a baby's mouth it will begin to suck. Male changes: growth of pubic, facial, and underarm hair, deepening of voice, increased oil and sweat production acne , ejaculation, development of testes, penis, seminal vesicles, and prostate gland. Personality PSY Theories of personality Psychoanalytic perspective- developed by Sigmund Freud, says that our personalities are comprised of unconscious memories, emotions, and thoughts. It is thought that our dreams reveal elements of our unconsciousness.

Page 2: Cultural Influences on Behavior

Humanistic perspective- developed by Carl Rogers, says that the human nature is inherently good, and that we have free will our behavior is not determined or based on the past. Trait perspective- says that our personality is determined by the presence and absence of differing levels of traits characteristics. Social cognitive perspective- says that our personality is formed through various environmental and cognitive experiences, and through observational learning, we are likely to mimic positive behaviors that we observe in others.

If you see someone going to the gym everyday, and the result is a fit, muscular body, you may copy this behavior in hopes of attaining the same result. Biological perspective- says that at least part of our personality is predetermined by our genetic make-up. Behaviorist perspective- says that our personalities are produced by patterns of behavior that we learn according to our environment e.

If we grow with parents that behave supportively, we are more likely to be supportive parents ourselves. Situational approach to explaining behavior The trait vs. Trait- personality characteristics that are stable, long-lasting, and within oneself. Traits are generally present consistently, and do not depend on the situation.

State- personality characteristics that are unstable, short-term and subject to change according to the environment. Psychological Disorders PSY Understanding psychological disorders- a psychological disorder is a mental disorder that includes thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that cause significant amounts of stress to the self or others.

Biomedical vs. Classifying psychological disorders- to officially diagnose someone with a psychological disorder, clinicians reference the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5, fifth edition. Categories include: Substance related disorders, sleep disorders, eating disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, somatoform disorders, dissociative disorders, neurocognitive disorders.

About million people have suffered worldwide. Types of psychological disorders Anxiety disorders- characterized by excessive amounts of fear or worry, includes phobias, generalized anxiety disorder GAD , panic disorder, Post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD , and obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD.

The Teenage Brain and its Effects on Behavior

Obsessive-compulsive disorder- a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by obsessive, recurring thoughts, often accompanied by routines or rituals. Includes post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. Somatic symptom and related disorders- characterized by physical symptoms that are accompanied by negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that cannot otherwise be explained by substance use or any other psychological disorder.

Includes hypochondriasis, pain disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, somatization disorder, and conversion disorder. There are excitatory neurotransmitters e. Example: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being. High levels of serotonin would likely cause someone to behave happily high levels of self-care, socializing, etc.

Structure and function of the peripheral nervous system PNS - consists of all outside nerve fibers that are not included within the brain or spinal cord. The PNS functions to send nerve impulses from our limbs skin, muscles and trunk organs to the central nervous system for processing. Structure and function of the central nervous system CNS - consists of the brain and spinal cord. Its function is to receive and process nerve impulses from the PNS. It is also responsible for thought processing and body movement.

Your Early Childhood Career

The brain Forebrain-consists of the cerebrum, thalamus, the limbic system, and hypothalamus. Responsible for abstract thinking, logic, and emotions. Midbrain- consists of the tegmentum, tectum, and cerebral peduncles. Responsible for the production of dopamine, which regulates habituation and motivation. Also plays a role in vision and hearing. Hindbrain- consists of the cerebellum, pons, and medulla.

Genetic Influences On Behavior (SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY) - IResearchNet

Responsible for vital bodily functions motor control, respiratory and digestive reflexes as well as sexual arousal. Lateralization of cortical functions- some of our bodies' functions occur predominantly by one side of the brain. Left brain functions include: processing the right visual field, grammar, positive emotions, speech, and writing. Right brain functions include: processing the left visual field, negative emotions, recognition of emotions, and spatial skills e. Methods used in studying the brain Imaging of brain structures e.

Norepinephrine- regulates alertness, learning, and long-term memory deficiency can lead to mood disorders. Serotonin- regulates mood, sleep, libido deficiency can cause anxiety and depression. Dopamine- plays a role in learning and ability to concentrate. Acetylcholine- regulates memory, sleep, and plays a role in learning deficiency is associated with dementia Epinephrine Adrenaline - intensifies mood released during fight or flight The endocrine system Components of the endocrine system Hypothalamus- controls the actions of the endocrine system.

Adrenal gland- release adrenaline during "fight or flight" situation. Hypophysis Pituitary gland - secretes growth and reproduction hormones. Also secretes neurotransmitters. Reproductive organs- Ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone, testes produce testosterone. Parathyroid gland- controls release of parathyroid hormone PTH and levels of calcium within the body high levels of PTH cause the body to increase levels of calcium in the blood, where it becomes available to the bones. Pineal body gland - regulates levels of melatonin hormone that plays a role in sleep cycles.

Allows the nervous system to send signals to the endocrine system. Pancreas- secretes digestive enzymes exocrine pancreas and insulin endocrine pancreas. Effects of the endocrine system on behavior Hormones and neurotransmitters affect mood, sexual arousal, and circadian rhythm wake-sleep cycles. Behavioral genetics- describes the relationship between behavioral traits and inherited genes. Genes, temperament, and heredity Part of our personality encoded for in our genes, the rest is influenced by environmental factors. Our personality is largely defined by our temperament, or our nature how "moody" we are.

We are likely to think and behave like our parents, due to the inheritable factors of personality. Adaptive value of traits and behaviors Your traits and behaviors are capable of changing and adapting in response to different experiences and environments. Example: If you move to a city that has a high level of crime you may become more wary of strangers, and decide to walk your dog during the day, instead of at night.

Interaction between heredity and environmental influences The characteristics of someone's personality that are encoded by genetics collaborate with the person's environment to create their behavior and more long-term, personality. Studies have shown that when twins were raised separately in different environments , they behaved more similarly than a pair of randomly chosen people, but still exhibited different personalities.

Phenylketonuria PKU is a genetic disease in which the afflicted individual is unable to break down the amino acid phenylalanine, leading to extreme mental retardation. The treatment: create an environment that completely avoid all foods containing phenylalanine. Influence of genetic and environmental factors on the development of behaviors Experience and behavior PSY Our experiences in life help shape our personalities and how we choose to behave.

Regulatory genes and behavior BIO Regulatory genes- control the expression of other genes e. Epigenetics- Genes that modify their expression without changing the overall genetic code. This changes the phenotype without changing the genotype. Epigenetics are largely influenced by the environment, but can also be inherited.