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Roshan Singh 033008 Mr.Fournier PSYA02H3 Chapter 15 Notes Social Psychology The branch of psychology that studies our social nature how the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others influences or thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. The important people in our lives shape our emotions, thoughts and personalities. Our perceptions are also affected by our interactions with others. Sizing up social situation depends on many cognitive processes, including memory for people, places, and events; concept formation skills; and, more fundamentally, sensory and perceptual abilities. Social cognition The processes involved in perceiving, interpreting and acting on social information. Impression formation The way in which we integrate information about anothers traits into a coherent sense of who the person is. Asch pointed out more than 4 decades ago that our impressions of others are formed by more complex rules than just a simple sum of characteristics that we use to describe people. Schema A mental framework or body of knowledge that organizes and synthesizes information about a person, place or thing. The schemata aid us in interpreting the world. Example: The basic characteristics of the professor in your mind and the shocks you shall receive when one does not fit that description. Research has demonstrated that understanding is greater when people know the title of the passage before it is read. Central traits Personality attributes that organize and influence the interpretation of other traits. Central traits impart meaning to other known traits and suggest the presence of yet other traits that have yet to be revealed. Negative information, such as that conveyed by a negative central trait description, might be more discrepant and salient in the context of a generally positive impression than just another piece of positive information about the person would be. Primacy effect The tendency to form impressions of people based on the first information we receive about them. Webster, Richter and Kruglanski (1996) found that the primacy effect was more pronounced for participants who were mentally fatigued than for those who were relatively alert. An intuitive way of developing lists of traits in our heads is that we observe what a person does and says we purposefully think about what those behaviours reveal about his or her personal qualities. Brown and Bassili (2002) suggested that people may generate trait-like labels from observed behaviour and that those labels become rather automatically associated in memory with whatever stimulus happens to have been around at the same time the information about the behaviour became available. Self-concept Self-identity. Ones knowledge, feelings, and ideas about one-self.
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