MCAT Content / Attributing Behavior To Persons Or Situations / How Self Perceptions Shape Our Perceptions Of Others

How Self-Perceptions Shape Our Perceptions of Others

Topic: Attributing Behavior To Persons Or Situations

The influence of our self-perceptions affects our attributions and perceptions of people.

One of the most salient examples of the importance of self-perception is the influence of group identity. Recall reference groups which provide their members with a set of values and beliefs. The ideas imparted by a reference group can include particular viewpoints on other people and groups. Perceiving oneself as part of a particular group may result in the adoption of that group’s perceptions of others. In-group identification also leads to comparisons between in-group and out-group members, where in-group members are viewed more positively and are thought to have greater variability on assorted personality traits than out-group members.


Key Points

• The influence of our self-perceptions affects our attributions and perceptions of people.

• The ideas imparted by a reference group can include particular viewpoints on other people and groups. Perceiving oneself as part of a particular group may result in the adoption of that group’s perceptions of others


Key Terms

self-perception: perception of oneself

reference group: refers to a group to which an individual or another group is compared

in-group: a social group to which an individual feels they belong as a member

out-group: a social group with which an individual does not identify



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