Directions: Read each scenario and answer the questions below in the boxes provided (they will expand to fit your answer). All information needed to answer these questions can be found in this week’s readings, along with the scenario details themselves. Try to be thorough in your answers, providing explanations and supporting evidence as necessary. Your answers should be more than one simple sentence. Aim for a few sentences or a short paragraph for maximum credit.
Scenario A: Mary is sitting in her high school biology class, paying attention to her teacher’s lecture. She begins to hear a faint snoring and notices that one of her fellow classmates, Tim, has fallen asleep in the middle of the lecture.
1. What does your schema tell you about what to expect in a classroom setting? Include expectations about both the classroom setting itself as well as expected behaviors of students and professors.
2. Mary struggles with insomnia. Her teacher just came from a parent-teacher conference regarding a student in another class who she believes is lazy and disrespectful. Contrast how Mary and her teacher will each be primed to think about Tim’s behavior and why.
3. What does the theory of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy say about how the teacher will treat Tim from now on? What is the likely outcome for Tim at the end of the semester?
4. Explain how the teacher’s perception of base rate information (e.g., base rate of laziness in high school students) may influence her interpretation of Tim’s behavior. Provide an answer for both a high base rate and a low base rate estimate.
Scenario B: As Seth was taking an evening walk last night, his neighbor’s dog, Bruno, escaped from their yard and bit him. Seth is especially angry because several of his neighbors have complained about Bruno barking viciously or snapping at them in the past, yet the owner has done nothing about it. Normally Seth gets along well with dogs, but for some reason Bruno frequently snaps at him.
1. Using the covariation model to analyze the situation, what does consensus information tell you about Bruno’s behavior? Is Bruno’s behavior high or low in consensus and why?
2. What does distinctiveness information tell you about Bruno’s behavior? Is Bruno’s behavior high or low in distinctiveness and why?
3. What does consistency information tell you about Bruno’s behavior? Is Bruno’s behavior high or low in consistency and why?
4. Based on your answers above, would you make an internal or external attribution for Bruno’s behavior and why?
Scenario C: Your coworker, Lydia, is up for a promotion in your office. However, when the promotion is announced, it appears that Lydia was passed over and instead the promotion went to Craig.
1. According to the Fundamental Attribution Error, how will you explain Lydia’s failing to earn the promotion?
2. Using the Two-Step Process of Attribution, explain how you might alternatively explain the situation and adjust your original attribution about Lydia.
3. What factors will influence whether or not you will complete the second step of the Two-Step Process of Attribution?
4. Contrast how someone from an individualistic vs. collectivistic culture would interpret the situation.
Scenario D: Terry is out bowling with some friends and acquaintances. Phil, who is on the opposing team, has been taunting her all night about her bowling skills. She tries not to let it bother her since she is usually pretty good at bowling, but his comments are starting to annoy her.
1. According to the Self-Serving Attribution theory, how will Terry explain the situation if she wins?
2. According to the Self-Serving Attribution theory, how will Terry explain the situation if she loses?
3. Toward the end of the game, Phil drops his bowling ball on his foot, breaking his little toe. How will Terry explain this behavior based on the Belief in a Just World theory?
4. What are the three reasons people make self-serving attributions and how does each reason apply to this situation?