What are other people like? How do we decide if someone is friendly, honest or clever? What assumptions do we develop about them and what explanations do we give for their behaviour? The Perception of People examines key topics in psychology to explore how we make sense of other people (and ourselves). Do our decisions result from careful consideration and a desire to produce an accurate perception? Or do we jump to conclusions in our judgements and rely on expectations and stereotypes?
To answer these questions the book examines models of person perception and provides an up-to-date and detailed account of the central psychological research in this area, focusing in particular on the social cognitive approach. It also considers and reflects on the involvement of culture in cognition, and includes coverage of relevant research in culture and language that influence the way we think and speak about others.
As well as providing a valuable text in social psychology, The Perception of People also offers a direction for the integration of ideas from cognitive and social psychology with those of cultural psychology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy and social history. Clear explanation of modern research is placed in historical and cultural context to provide a fuller understanding of how psychologists have worked to understand how people interpret the world around them and make sense of the people within it.
Ideal reading for students of social psychology, this engaging text will also be useful in subject areas such as communication studies and media studies, where the perception of people is highly relevant.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Seeing things – and people 3. The categorical perception of people 4. The nature of social inference 5. Motivation and person perception 6. Expectation, influence and society 7. Culture and common sense 8. Stories of the self and others 9. Stereotypes, cognition and culture 10. Postscript
Perry R. Hinton has taught psychology for many years in a number of British universities. His research is in the area of stereotyping and intercultural communication, with a particular interest in Western media interpretation of Japanese popular culture. He has previously written two books on the topic of person perception: The Psychology of Interpersonal Perception and Stereotypes, Cognition and Culture.
'This well-written text provides a succinct and engaging overview of psychological approaches to understanding social perception and judgment. By effectively introducing key philosophical ideas that have shaped psychological perspectives on social perception, Hinton elegantly exposes both the subjectively experienced and collectively symbolic aspects of our social understanding'. - Zlatan Krizan, Department of Psychology, Iowa State University, USA
"Besides providing an overview of the social and cognitive literatures on categorization, social inference, motivation, the self, and stereotypes, the very good news is that this ten-chapter book also integrates cultural perspectives and the role that narratives and stories play in the perception of other people. The opening chapter provides a nice account of visual perception and its links (e.g., Gestalt tradition, Gibsonian accounts) to the social perception of people."--D. S. Dunn, Moravian College, CHOICE