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January 21 - PSYC473.doc

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PSYC 473
Mark Baldwin

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Lecture 5 – January 21 Introduction Obama was portrayed as a ‘superman’, the man who would bring change. He was compared to Nixon and other great characters in American History. However, John McCain tried to portray Obama as being like a ‘thug’ from Chicago (photograph shown from Obama with black sunglasses). There seemed to be some weird affection for Obama which was more appropriate for personal relationships. Transference(Projection)  One of Freud’s ideas based on sessions with patients  psychotherapy o patients would respond to Freud like he was one of their significant others (i.e., if they had a harsh and judgmental father, would expect him to act harsh and judgmentally and respond in that way to Freud). Freud thought that something from a different relationship was transferred to him.  Although started out as a concept of psychotherapy, it is now found in all sort of relationships (student-teacher etc.). A lot of emotional stuff between relationships can be transferred. For a concept to influence us, it has to be stored somewhere in our memory. When we know more about how our (social) knowledge is stored, we can start to understand a little bit of how it gets activated and applied to new relationships. Knowledge Representation  How is social knowledge stored in memory, and how is it that it has these kinds of influence on social perception?  We have a schema for all different situations (weddings, lectures etc.)  schema theory says that schema’s are made out of abstract knowledge that is hierarchically organized. We gain expertise (abstract generalities) about situations and persons.  The term ‘schema’ is often used loosely in the sense of ‘concept’, but this is untrue. Formally, it can only be used in the sense of abstract knowledge stored hierarchically.  Cohen (1981): showed participants the same videotape of a woman having birthday dinner with her husband. o Casually mentioned the woman’s occupation beforehand  whether she was a waitress or a librarian o He later asked people to remember as much from the videotape as they could, and found that they were better able to recall info that fit the schema/label of the profession they were told she had (waitress: drank beer, owned her own bowling ball/librarian: she wore glasses, she liked classical music) Schemas  Cohen’s study implies that social knowledge (and schema’s) influences our attention toward certain things, inference we make, our memory, etc.  This term ‘schema’ is often used loosely, to mean the same as concept, category, knowledge structure...  Let’s look at some other forms of knowledge representation, and effects on social perception Exemplars  Specific instances in memory influence processing of similar stimulus, typically called to mind by feature overlap with the stimulus (applicability)  things you look at trigger things that are associated with these things  Lewicki (1985): o Subjects undergo unpleasant interaction with ‘experimenter 1’: come across term birth order, ask what it means, and experimenter would be very demeaning and condescending o Then, subjects encounters two receptionists, one that kind of looks like unpleasant experimenter o Will visual similarity cause subject to make assumptions and react to the receptionist with similar looks differently? o Behavior was measured  How many would walk towards one that looked like experimenter, and how many would walk towards the other one? (You would expect looks didn’t matter, so roughly 50% for every receptionist in control condition) • Control Condition: 55% • Unfriendly Condition: 20% This is an example of how a single experience, produces the kind of judgment biases and behavioral effects….  Processing can be influenced by one exemplar, OR by many exemplars at once someone new may not fit into just one category thus, all different exemplars/categories are activated in perceiving this new person.  In our normal, social interactions we are influenced by episodic memories (specific examplars) of times when we met a certain person as opposed to abstract knowledge. Prototypes  Instead of only specific exemplars we also group together related info according to prototype structures (family resemblance): o central and peripheral members or features o Think of a bird  e.g., robin, pigeon, flamingo, penguin o Think of features of a bird  e.g., wings, feathers, beak, sings, flies south for winter  i.e., if you’ve only been to 3 weddings, may have very strong exemplars that influence your processing, but once you’ve been to 100 it starts to look like a more elaborate category  Beverly Fehr (1984): characteristics of love/concepts of emotions and relationships o From a list of various characte
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