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PSYCH253 Lecture Notes - Social Comparison Theory

Course Code
Steve Spencer

of 3
The Perceiver Shapes Reality - How Our Self-Conceptions Shape Reality
*Effects of the Self on Perception and Memory
*The Self-Reference Effect
How Do we Form Our Self-Conceptions
*Looking Glass Self - Cooley & Mead
*Nisbett & Wilson Studies – they ask people why they did something, almost
everyone said it wrong
*Raising the Tide - priming the concept of tide
*Ratings of a Warm or Cold Instructor – after they watch the professor, they give
reasons about the cold and warm professor (clear more articulate better
than cold)
*Affective Forcasting – strong emotional reaction; *we’re bad at forecasting thing.
In things that we thought would hurt, it would not be a big problem at all;
terrible coz were not good at (situation affects us)
*When big events happen – people respond when small things happen, they’re
taken for granted
*Social Context
*McGuire’s describe yourself studies - kids are respondents reserchers ask them
to describe themselves (things that sets them apart are the words they use
to describe themselves)
*Social Comparison Theory – “how do we decide what we like? When we compare
ourselves to other people?”; when you look at other people, you compare
yourself to other people to define yourself
Markus’ Model of the Self
*Self-Schemas - Reaction Time Study
*Working Self-Concept - Markus & Kunda - Geek vs. Clone study
*Had subjects who described themselves as independent, dependent, or neither
*Subjects responded to words that cued independence or dependence
*Subjects who described themselves as independent responded more quickly to
independent traits
*Subjects who described themselves as dependent responded more quickly to
dependent traits
The Working Self-Concept
*People came to the study and were asked about their preferences
*Two same sex confederates gave either the same answers as the subjects or
completely different answers
*Measured the subjects responses to similarity type words
Self-Serving Biases
*Self-serving Cognitions
*False Consensus
*Whatever we think or believe abt ourselves, we think that other people
would also be or believe the same thing
*You think that more people hold your opinion
False Consensus
Self-Serving Biases
*Self-serving Cognitions
*False Consensus
*False Uniqueness – if its praiseworthy, you think that you’re the only thing
who do it; if its bad, you think that other people do it too, if its good,
you’re the only person who do it.
- You talk a
*Overestimation of Contributions and Abilities - Ross & Sicoly
*Explanations of success and failure; attributions for performance on exams
Self-Serving Biases
*Basking in Reflected Glory
*What do people wear after the game
*We won; They lost
*just give me an excuse
Basking in Reflected Glory After Success and Failure
An Excuse for a Bad Test
Temporal Comparisons and the Self
Wilson and Ross
*A Theory of Temporal Comparisons - Derogating our past selves and bringing our
glory days closer
*Wilson & Ross - Study 3
*Rated themselves on + and - traits in September
*Rerated themselves in November and asked to remember their September