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Lecture 2

PSYC 250 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Information Overload, Prefrontal Cortex, Negativity Bias

5 pages99 viewsSummer 2018

Course Code
PSYC 250
Yvonne Lai

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Chapter 2: Social Cognition: Thinking about the Social World
Overview of Chapter:
Schemas: Mental frameworks
Heuristics and automatic processing
Errors in social cognition
Affect and cognition
Social Cognition: Defined
Social Cognition: The manner in which we interpret, analyze, remember, and use information
about the social world
Social thought is not always rational, is seemingly automatic, and is linked to emotions
Schemas, heuristics, errors, and affect (our current feelings and moods)
Mental frameworks centring on a specific theme that help us to organize social information
e.g., going to a restaurant, visiting the doctor
Types of schemas for
Common events: Scripts
People: Person schema
Social roles: Role schema
Exert powerful effect on social cognition
Schemas influence 3 processes:
Attention: information we notice
Acts as a filter
If information is consistent with schema, it is noticed and enters our consciousness
2. Encoding: Information is stored in memory
If information is consistent then it is encoded
If information is sharply inconsistent then we encode in separate location with unique “tag"
3. Retrieval: The recovery of information from memory
Stronger when cognitive load is high
Cognitive load:
How much mental effort we are expending
Help to process with less effort
Resistant to change
Show perseveration effect
Tendency for beliefs and chemise to remain unchanged even in the face of contradictory
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Self-fulfilling prophecies:
Expectation that people have that can affect their behaviour in such a way that the expectation
actually come true
An example by Rosenthal and Jacobson:
Teacher told some students had scored very high on the IQ test and were about to “bloom”
Names of children were chosen randomly
Found teachers’ beliefs about the students had operated in a self-fulfilling manner
Students that teachers believed would bloom academically actually did
Heuristics and Automatic Processing:
How we reduce our effort in social cognition
Information overload:
Instances in which our ability to process information
Simple rules for making complex decisions drawing inferences in a rapid and seemingly effortless
91) Quick and simple way of dealing with large amounts of information, and (2) they work
Representativeness heuristic
A strategy for making judgments based on the extent to which current stimuli or events resemble
other stimuli or categories
The more similar something (or someone) is to typical members of a given group, the more
likely is that it (or he or she) belongs to that group
Often the representativeness heuristics is accurate
Bur errors are made when ignoring the base rates, and instead basing our judgments on similarity
to typical members
Base rates:
Frequency with which given events or patterns occur in the total population
Availability heuristic:
A strategy for making judgments on the basis of how easily specific kinds of information can be
brought to mind
The easier it is to bring information to mind, the greater its impact on subsequent judgments or
e.g., which is more common - words the begin with the letter
or works with
as third letter?
Most people would guess incorrectly (correct answer is
as the third letter)
Can lead us to make errors by overestimating the likelihood of events that are dramatic but rare
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