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Lecture 2

Week 22.docx

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PSYC 100
Ingrid Johnsrude

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Week 22: Social Psychology Part 1: The Self Self-Concept: • Refers to the sum total of beliefs that people have about themselves • Comprised of many different components or “self-schemas” which are beliefs people hold about themselves that guide how they process self-relevant information Schematicity: • The importance of particular self-schemas to a person's self-concept. • When a self-schema is central to a person’s self-concept, that person is said to be schematic with respect to that attribute • If a self-schema is not very important to a person, that person is said to be aschematic on that attribute • This influences how we behave and also influences how we remember past events • Also how we view ourselves affects how we view other Self-Awareness: • The ability to see yourself as a distinct entity • Important in developing self-concept • Recognition of one’s reflection is a test of a person’s self awareness (recall theory of mind and the rouge test) Affective Forecasting: • Predicting how one would feel about a future emotional event. • People often demonstrate a lack of self-knowledge when they engage in affective forecasting (i.e. buyer’s remorse, • 3 Errors made in predicting future affect: 1. Focalism: failure to consider that other things going on in our lives impact our affect and can reduce stress 2. Duration bias: when people overestimate the amount of time needed to recover from a negative event 3. Predictive Error Impact Bias: people overestimate the effect a situation or decision will have on their lives Self-Perception Theory: • When internal cues are difficult to interpret, people sometimes determine their attitudes and feelings by observing their own behaviour. • The self is inherently a social construct • We infer and imagine what other people think of us from their reactions, and integrate these perceptions into our self-concept Social Comparison Theory: • People evaluate their own abilities and opinions by comparing themselves to others (especially others who are similar in relevant ways) • Influenced by the type of culture we live in (individualist or collectivist) Culture and Identity: • Individuals from individualistic cultures have an independent self-concept in which the view the self as distinct, autonomous, self-contained and endowed with unique dispositions • Individuals from collectivist cultures possess an interdependent self-concept—they view the self as part of a larger social network in which harmonious relationships with others are more important than self- expression Sociometer Theory: States that self-esteem evolved as a way to measure interpersonal relationships (more widely accepted theory) • Research has demonstrated there is a strong correlation between self-esteem and experiencing acceptance/rejection from others • Things that increase your self-esteem would also improve other’s opinion of you • Self-esteem increases after praise and decreases after social rejection • Public feedback affects a person’s level of self-esteem but private feedback does not • In evolutionary sense, other’s acceptance of and willingness to cooperate with us was essential to our survival • Low self-esteem may alert us to the fact that we need to change our behaviour to be accepted Terror management theory: States that all human behaviour is motivated by the fear of our own mortality. • People are motivated to pursue positive self-evaluations because higher self-esteem provides a buffer against this potential fear and anxiety • People who do not believe in the afterlife are more likely to increase their self-esteem when reminded about mortality Self-Enhancement: • Self-handicapping is defined as engaging in behaviours designed to sabotage one’s own performance in order to provide a subsequent excuse for failure • Ex. If you know you’re going to lose the big game tomorrow, so you go to a party, get drunk and don’t sleep so you can blame the hangover for your failure • Basking in reflected glory (BIRGing) occurs when people increase their self-esteem by associated with others who are successful • Ex. Wearing a sports jersey of a winning team • Downward Social Comparisons are defensive tendencies to compare ourselves with others who are worse off than we are • This can also be done with comparing our present selves with our past selves Self-Serving Cognitions: general beliefs about the self that serve to enhance self-esteem • Better than average effect: most people rate themselves as better than the average person (a statistical impossibility) • Unrealistic optimism: most people are unrealistically optimistic about their future outlook • Self-serving attributions: characterized by tendency to take personal credit for successes and provide external excuses for failure (ex. Passing a test “because you’re smart” but failing a test “because the teacher made it too difficult). Self-Discrepancy Theory: Our self-esteem and emotional states are determined by the match or mismatch between how we see ourselves and how we want to see ourselves. • The actual self refers to people’s beliefs regarding their actual attributes • The ought self refers to people’s beliefs regarding what they and important others thing they should, or ought to be • The ideal self guide refers to people’s beliefs regarding what they and important others would like them to be • When an actual/ought discrepancy occurs, there is said to be an existence of negative outcomes • When an actual/ideal discrepancy exists, there is said to be an absence of positive outcomes Personal or Situational: • Attributes are explanations for the causes of our own and others’ behaviour • 2 types: personal attributions (internal) and situation attributions (external) Covariation Principle: For something to be the cause of someone’s behaviour, it must be present when the behaviour occurs and absent when it does not (like contingency) -3 kinds of covariation information helpful in making attributions: 1. Consistency: is the person’s behaviour consistent over time? 2. Consensus: How are other people reacting to the same stimulus? 3. Distinctiveness: Does this person react the same or differently to other stimuli? -When consistency, consensus and distinctiveness are high, people make situational or external attributions -When consistency is high but consensus and distinctiveness are low, people make personal or internal attributions Heuristics: information-processing rules of thumb-to make attribution decisions more quickly • Ex.of heuristics: using rule of thumb, educated guesses, or common sense • Can introduce bias into decision-making process and decrease accuracy Fundamental Attribution Error: The tendency to overestimate the impact of personal factors and underestimate the impact of situational factors when attributing the causes of another's behaviour. • ex. Seeing a police yelling at kids and assuming this person is aggressive • Or. seeing a nurse comforting the family of a sick patient and concluding that this person is very helpful and nurturing • Game show ex: participants were randomly assigned to be questioners or contestants in a quiz game. The questioners wrote difficult questions that the contestants struggled to answer. The audience concluded the questioners had higher knowledge levels than the contestants (untrue) but they didn’t account for the fact that the questioners had the answers beforehand Knowledge across Situations: People usually judge the behaviour of those whom they know well to be more flexible and more dependent on the situation than the behaviour of those they know less well. Visual-Orientation Hypothesis: We attribute behaviour to personality differently for others than we do ourselves because we see the environment only through our own eyes, but we focus on other people and ignore the environment. • ex. When participants watched themselves on videotape they were more likely to attribute their behaviour to their own traits than to the situation • when they watched another person’s actions on tape they were more likely to attribute that person’s behaviour to the situation than to his/her disposition Cultural Differences: • fundamental attribution error remains low in collectivist cultures • fundamental attribution error becomes stronger in individualistic cultures as people get older • this indicates that differences that are positively correlated with time spent in a specific environment indicate that the environment is related to the difference • this supports the notion that our attribution style is a learned way of categorizing and understanding the world Forming Impressions: • Person positivity bias: we tend to evaluate individuals more favourably than groups • Trait negativity bias: according to trait negativity bias we tend to be more influenced by negative information than positive information (because we tend to have positive expectations of others) • Primacy effect: we are more influenced by information that is presented earlier (so first impressions are important!) • Our first goal is to process information efficiently based on group membership Progression of 7 possible stages of impression formation: • Initial Categorization: automatic judgements based on physical characteristics and obvious social categories • Personal Relevance: to determine if other individual is personally relevant, if not maintain initial
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