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PSY325 self-regulation Lecture.docx

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Erika Carlson

PSY325: Self-Regulation January 30, 2014 Mnemonic Neglect evidence - Self vs. Chris, negative vs. positive, central vs. peripheral - Recall as much as possible o Self, central: recalled more positive o Chris, central: recalled equally positive o Both: equally positive/negative behaviours is peripheral - Self-affirming: remembered a lot of the words in the ample condition - Self-threatening: remembered less, superficially processing negative traits Self-control - The mental processes that allow people to override their thoughts, emotions and behaviours to keep them in line with overarching goals (Baumeister) - Z-score: you scored the same as others in the class o Negative number: you scored lower than the average person in class o Positive: you scored higher than the average person - People with low self-control struggle with: Infidelity, grades, gambling Narcissists and self-control - People who scored higher in narcissism, scored lower in self-control o Narcissism: impulsivity, need for status, compulsive buying o As narcissism goes up, self-control goes down Why do we lose control? (social/environmental causes, cognitive functions, limited resource) Social Reasons: de-individualization - Flash mobs, riots o Loose a sense of their self, become part of the bigger group o Self-attention ratio: size of other group divided by total number of people present  Ex. 100/102 = .98 – large self-attention ratio (professor)being focus of the attention  Students: 1/101 = .01 (checking phone, lost in larger crowd)  The larger the group, the more violent the behavior becomes Too much focus: on our goals - Ex. Dieting, smoking (don’t think about smoking, their able to reduce smoking in the first week but later on they are found to smoke even more because of too much focusing). - Experiment: don’t think about the white bear and ring the bell every time you do o What happens when you are trying to suppress a thought about the white bear? o Ironic effect: the more you are trying to suppress the thought, the more you think about it o Expression after suppression: suppress the thought first and then think about it later Thought suppression and mood - When people are in a bad mood and have you suppress the thought about the white bear o More able to suppress thought, later on they think about it even more (ironic effect) more intense for people who were in a bad mood o People who try to avoid depression and bad experiences, they come back even more intense Delay of gratification - Now…or later? (ex. Give you $5 now, or $10 at the end of semester) - Discounting: take the $5 now, things that we have to wait for in the future have less value - Marshmallow experiment: 2 marshmallows if you wait 15 minutes till I come back, a lot of them fail (Walter Mischel) o What you were doing at 5 is a better predictor of your grades in college than your IQ o Checked up with kids 10 years later  Children who couldn’t resist the marshmallow had: • Behaviour problems at school • Friendships • SATs: 210, the ones that waited were 210 higher o 30’s  Weight problems (BMI; longer delay at age 4, less BMI 4% 30 years later)  Drug use Limited resource: Ego Depletion - Self-control (willpower) draws upon a limited pool of mental resources - A depleting task is one that requires self-control, and often hinders subsequent self- control tasks o Often the task that you do next that suffers the most o People who have this resource tapped: more likely to have an aggressive response when you receive a negative feedback, compulsive shopping: overeat when you get home or buy something you didn’t want to Evidence: cognitive load - Participants were in 2 conditions: o Remember 2 numbers o Remember 7 numbers o Told to walk down the hall to another room and tell the experimenter the numbers but in the middle they were stopped and asked to choose either junk food or healthy food  2 condition: chose junk food  1 condition: chose healthy food - Taste test experiment o Smell and eat chocolate cookies o Smell cookies but are given radishes, shown the cookies  Use a lot of self-control: ego-depleted  Not only did they not get what they wanted but they also had to eat something that they didn’t want to eat o Control: Smelled the cookies but told that they didn’t have to eat anything - Given an anagram o How many attempts people make at completing this anagram even though they keep failing - People that had to eat the radishes, give up quicker, didn’t have enough resources to continue - Cookie and control: were the same What is the resource? - Glucose: as you exert your self-control, you are using glucose and depleting it Ego depletion and morality - Less likely to make right decision when ego is depleted - Experiment: people shown violent animal video o Ego depletion group: suppress emotion (supposed to deplete ego) o Other group: can display emotion - Blast participants with noise when they make a mistake - Then allowed to donate money (guilt) o Guilt can drive a lot of pro-social behaviour - Depletion group: felt less guilty for blasti
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