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Lecture 13

PSYC 215 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Social Rejection, Confirmation Bias

Course Code
PSYC 215
Mark Baldwin

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When belief creates reality
Example of this is a wonderful life
Bank run: people worry that the
bank will run out of money and a
bunch of people keep doing this
because they are influenced by
The bank eventually cannot pay
everyone and eventually runs out
of money
Self fulfilling Prophecy
Merton, 1948
A false definition of the situation of
the situation evoking a new
behaviour which makes the
originally false conception come
The prophet will cite the actual
course of events as proof that he
was right from the very beginning.
You believed it, then you acted
upon it and then that lead to it
becoming true like the movie
Clever Hans (the horse)
Taught arithmetic by owner
Wilhelm Von Osten 1900
He tried it with many animals but it
seemed like the horse was the best
at this
Showed this to other people in
other towns and became world
lecture 13
Thursday, October 17, 2019
2:35 PM

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They checked out the horse and
wrote a report and said it was true
Turns out it wasn’t true and a
psychologist proved it to not be
true, what they found was the
horse looked at the questioner to
see if he was doing the right thing
(cues of expectancy)
We know about the belief-
confirming effects of schemas,
confirmation bias, and motivated
Rosenthal and Lawson (1964):
Had undergraduate students in a
research class run studies with rats
Half were told they had smart rats
and the other half were told it was
The bright rats ended up
performing batter
Students who had been told their
rats were bright were more
interested and enthusiastic, and
handled their rats more
When the study was explained in
debriefing, students with dull rats
did not believe their rats were not
in fact bred for dullness
When you explain the study to
people they don’t believe you
Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968):
Measured kids IQ at start of year
Told teachers that some kids were
late bloomers (these kids were
picked at random and it was not
These kids actually ended up with
higher IQ scores at the end of the
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