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Lecture 3

PSYC 260 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Counterfactual Conditional, Counterfactual Thinking, Thought Suppression

Course Code
PSYC 260
Lisa Droogendyk

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Chapter 3: Social Cognition
Automatic vs Controlled thinking:
Much of our decision making happens unconsciously
Automatic is right most the time, fast, based on past experience, often
useful and efficient but sometimes fails- awkward and incorrect
o Schemas, heuristics and improving thinking
Automatic Thinking: Low-Effort
Schemas: Mental structures people use to organize info from the social world
around them.
Build and add information to our schemas over time, which guides our
thoughts and behaviors- creates a meaningful framework.
Pre-existing ideas influence how we interpret new information situations
o Try to fit new information into a schema we already have
o We tend to notice aspects of the situation that match our schema
o When info doesn’t fit, process slowly, or ignore it
Schemas affect what we remember
o Memory is reconstructive- we remember bits and fill in the rest
Schemas are resistant to change
o Stick in our head even when they are proven wrong
o Perseverance effect: people’s beliefs persist even after supporting
evidence is discredited
Social context plays an important role in the activation of particular
schemas (priming/accessibility)
o Accessibility: extent to which a schema is at the forefront of your
mind, available, and more likely to be used
o Schemas Can be:
Chronically accessible: relevant to daily life
Primed: recent experience makes schema more accessible
Schemas form the basis for stereotyping- stereotyping is a type of schema
Thoughts have to be both accessible and applicable before they will act
as primes.
Priming effects can operate outside of conscious awareness and can
influence not only how we perceive others but also how we behave
o Applying stereotypes can lead to problems
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy/Making Schemas come true:
We have an expectation about what another person is like, that
influences how we act toward them, which in turn, causes that person to
behave consistently with our expectations.
Make their schemas come true by the way which they treat others
Example of automatic thinking
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