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January 27th - Self Cognition and Perception

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Social Psychology
Paul Glavin

January 27 , 2014 Social Cognition and Perception Summary of Self: • Self and Identity • Genesis & Social Origins of Self o Cooley, Mead: social theory, philosophy • Role/Social Identities o Tajfel, Burke, Stryker: experimental, surveys • Presentation of Self o Goffman: ethnographic Making Sense of the Social World • Social perception refers to constructing an understanding of the social world through the data we get through our senses. o The process by which we form impressions of other peoples’traits and personalities. • Attribution refers to the process of inferring the causes of a person’s behaviour o E.g. motives, traits, and situational process • Attribution Theory: Hieder & Simmel “An experimental study of apparent behaviour. How did we come to this Explanation? - We used schemas - classify/categorize things, people, personality traits o “a well-organized structure of cognitions about some social entity such as a person, group, role or event.” o E.g. we associate a set of behaviours with an ‘aggressive’person (organized sets of cognition - strong/aggressive) o To understand the social world, ex. the shapes fighting - Hieder & Simmel - …and prototypes: o Abstractions that represent the “typical” of a class or group i.e. wealthy, cultured, rough neck, etc. Schemas - Schemas help us respond appropriately to situations - Schemas make this possible by: o Making certain facts easier to remember - memory retention o Helping us process information faster with schemas o Guiding our inferences/judgments about people and objects - fight/flight o Help us interpret ambiguous elements in the situation Types of Schemas - Personal schemas are cognitive structures that describe the personalities of other individuals. (jealous type - friend, Tom Cruise - weird, Boring people - unhappy) - Self-Schemas are structures that organize our conception of our own characteristics. (are you a shy person, outgoing, etc.) - Group schemas involve the members of a particular social group or social category (also called stereotypes) (people within the group are considered this… habs fans vs. leafs fans) - make incorrect inferences of people in a social group - Role Schema indicate what attributes and behaviours are typical of a person’s occupying a particular role in a group. Group Schema: Stereotypes - Aset of characteristics attributed to all members of a specified group or social category. - Stereotypes let us form impressions of people and predict their behaviour with only minimal information. - Stereotypes can have negative effects, especially when they are used to limit access to important social roles. o “The Irish are hot-headed and belligerent.” o “Scottish people are awesome”…??? First Impressions - Impression Formation o When we organize info into a unified impression of another person - First Impressions are especially important and enduring impact for impression formation. Why? - Primary effect: more weight is given to information received early in the sequence than to information later on. - BUT also Recency effect: under certain conditions, the most recent information we acquire exerts the strongest influence of our impressions. (used less often) Trait Centrality - Some traits have more impact than others on the impression we form. - Atrait has a high level of trait centrality when it has a large impact on the ov
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