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PSYC 333 Lecture Notes

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PSYC 333
Jennifer Bartz

PSYC 333 Personality and Social Psychology January 12, 2012 Who am I? 5 things you would use to describe yourself to the rest of the class o Artistic, creative, academic, enjoys television, likes my hair 5 things you would use to describe yourself to a siblings romantic partner o McGill, Psychology through sciences, Fashion show, homebody, enjoys cinema 5 things you would use to describe yourself to a mutual friend at a bar o McGill, likes my hair, likes fashion, Psychology, doesnt drink much It would be pointless to say you are a McGill student when introducing yourself to your classmates as you are all McGill Students We have multiple selves in different situations we have different selves Multiple Selves A man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him and carry an image of him in their mind William James (Father of American Psychology) Which self am I now? Phenomenal self o Small portion of (self) knowledge that is the current focus of awareness Spontaneous self concept Distinctiveness Theory A person notices their distinctive traits and personal characteristics more readily because of their greater informational richness and value for discriminating self from others: o Not very useful to describe yourself as a McGill student in a class of McGill Students Example 1: Atypical Attributes 6 grade students atypical in age, hair color, eye color, weight, and birthplace mention these attributes more than those with typical characteristics Example 2: Ethnicity In prominently white communities, students that were atypical were more likely to mention that only 1% of white students would mention ethnicity in the Who am I task o People are more likely to mention things that make them distinctive from others Example 3: Gender Gender: function of household sex composition 26% of minority sex in classroom mention gender, 11% of majority Example 4: Created ad hoc 3 person groups in the lab o All males o All females o 1 male, 2 females (distinctiveness condition) o 1 female, 2 males (distinctiveness condition) Who describes themselves by gender? o 34% (distinctiveness condition) vs 16% mention gender Implications 1. Different situations can activate different schemas and this produces different versions of the self o How we have the experience of multiple selves Dynamic Self-Concept Despite having multiple selves, we still have this concept or understanding that we are one in the same person Self is a collection of representations/schemas about the self Working self-concept is that set of representations that is accessible at any one moment o Core self conceptions are imbedded in a context of more tentative self conceptions that are tied to prevailing circumstances Accessibility Activation potential of available knowledge o The self as an associative network All of these different nodes or pieces of knowledge about the self are interconnected Accessibility is a function of: o 1. Frequency of action highly interconnected The more frequently the different nodes are activated, the more accessible they will be o 2. Recency of activation residual activation Implications 1. Different Situations can activate different schemas and this produces different versions of the self o The self when I go out, the self at home, the self on holiday, etc 2. People can be manipulated by having them comb through their stock of self views in a biased manner o Sheds light on how the self concept can be changed o We can influence what gets activated and how this occurs We have multiple selves, when asked who we are we will come up with multiple descriptions of the self depending on who we are talking to o There is an idea of the dynamic self that consists of all the different kind of knowledge we have of ones self a one self, a true me A certain subset of that knowledge is accessible in a given situation the working self concept Contextual Activation I Manipulation o Extraverted: What would you do if you wanted to liven things up at a party? o Introverted: What things do you dislike about loud parties? What the researchers were trying to do was prompt people to retrieve from memory experiences where people felt that way most people have experienced both Those in the extraverted condition: o Described themselves as more extraverted o Acted more extraverted in a subsequent situation! Spoke longer to the confederate, sat closer to the confederate, and when the confederate rated those in the extroverted prime as significantly more extroverted than those in the introverted or neutral primes How accurately does this describe you? You have a strong need for others to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions/ you pride yourself on being an independent thinker and do not accept others opinions without satisfactory proof. o Most people are likely to give themselves a rating in the 4 range when describing how accurately this paragraph describes themselves (4/5) Barnum Effect Personality Statement about an individual that is true of practically everyone Willingness to accept the validity of such overly inclusive statements Does the personality assessment tell us anything distinctive about the person o This is why horoscopes and fortunetellers are so popular! o Most of us in our lives have been both introverted and extroverted at some point so we are able to active those versions of the self Contextual Activation II Scrambled sentence task: o Participants are presented (30 versions) oof 5 different words and they are instructed to make a grammatically correct sentence using at least 4 of those words They Her Bother Usually See o Rude prime They Her Respect Usually See o Polite prime Prime: Rude vs Polite 1/3 got neutral primes 1/3 got polite primes 1/3 got rude primes Contextual Activation Experimenter helping another participant (confederate) with the task How long does the participant wait to interrupt experimenter and confederate? Patents in the rude prime condition (vs neutral prime condition) o Time to interrupt: rude 3 mins (!) faster o Interrupt vs not: 65% (rude) vs 15% (polite) Patients were completely unaware of the prime Study 2: Prime elderly stereotype Gray, Florida, Bingo, Wise, Knits, Retired, Wrinkled Those primed with elderly words took significantly longer to walk down the corridor than those primed with the neutral words o This finding was replicated Living Large Priming power o Increase estimates of a poles height relative to oneself (Study 1) o Leads one to create a taller avatar to represent the self in a second life game (Study 2) Being assigned to a powerful role (manager vs employee) in business simulation o Increases estimates of ones own height (Study 3) o Its not just the more psychological characteristics but these kinds of primes can also influence ones physical self as well Implications 1. Different situations can activate different schemas and this produces different versions of the self 2. People can be manipulated by having them comb through their stock of self views in a biased manner o Sheds light on how the self concept can be changed
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