Self Perception Theory

Topics: Cognition, Decision making, Self-perception theory Pages: 6 (1712 words) Published: June 12, 2013
Self perception

Table of contents
Serial N°| List of Contents | Page N°|
01| Executive summary| 03|
02| Theories | 04|
03| Techniques| 05|
04| Decision making| 06|
05| References | 08|

“Self perception theory”
Executive summary:-
Self-perception theory (SPT) is an account of attitude change developed by psychologist Daryl Bem. It asserts that people develop their attitudes by observing their behavior and concluding what attitudes must have caused them. The theory is counterintuitive in nature, as the conventional wisdom is that attitudes come prior to behaviors. Furthermore, the theory suggests that a person induces attitudes without accessing internal cognition and mood states. The person reasons their own overt behaviors rationally in the same way they attempt to explain others behaviors. Original experiment on self-perception theory:-

In an attempt to decide whether individuals induce their attitudes as observers without accessing their internal states, Bem used interpersonal simulations, in which an “observer-participant” is given a detailed description of one condition of a cognitive dissonance experiment. Subjects listened to a tape of a man enthusiastically describing a tedious peg-turning task. Some subjects were told that the man had been paid $20 for his testimonial and another group was told that he was paid $1. Those in the latter condition thought that the man must have enjoyed the task more than those in the $20 condition. The results obtained were similar to the original Festinger-Carlsmith experiment. Because the observers, who did not have access to the actors’ internal cognition and mood states, were able to infer the true attitude of the actors, it is possible that the actors themselves also arrive at their attitudes by observing their own behavior. Note that this indicates how changing people's attitudes happen only when two factors are present: * They are aroused, feeling the discomfort of dissonance. * They attribute the cause of this to their own behaviors and attitudes. Another study on self-perception theory:-

Bem used a series of employed self-perception theory to try to reduce anxiety in hetero socially anxious or shy college students. The study conducted by an interaction among members of the opposite sex in order to overcome their shyness by attributing their successful outcomes to themselves and their own behaviour. The results indicate that the treatment is highly effective for both sexes. Also, the effects are fairly permanent and subjects find it enjoyable. Furthermore, the treatment is not a result of the expectancy-of-treatment outcome.

Further evidence:-
There are numerous studies conducted by psychologists that support the self-perception theory, demonstrating that emotions do follow behaviors. For example, it is found that corresponding emotions (including liking, disliking, happiness, anger, etc.) were reported following from their overt behaviors, which had been manipulated by the experimenters. These behaviors included making different facial expressions, gazes and postures. In the end of the experiment, subjects inferred and reported their affections and attitudes from their practiced behaviors despite the fact that they were told previously to act that way. These findings are consistent with the James-Lange theory of emotion. Evidence for the self-perception theory has also been seen in real life situations. After teenagers participated in repeated and sustained volunteering services, their attitudes were demonstrated to have shifted to be more caring and considerate towards others. Theories:-

One useful application of the self-perception theory is in changing attitude, both therapeutically and in terms of persuasion. Psychological therapy:-
Firstly, for therapies, self-perception theory holds a different view of psychological problems from the traditional perspectives which suggest that those problems come from the inner part...

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