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1 Apr 2011
Psych Lecture March 1--Emotion
Perceptions, Prejudice, and Police
Amadou Diallo- Different perspectives with the police
Did the police have a stereotype with Amadou
Did they stereotype his actions
Triangle of cognition, emotion, and behavior
Stereotype is cognition, Prejudice, and discrimination
Cognitive schema : an organized system of knowledge that guides info processing
Fundamentally no different from any concept( an abstraction, comprised of
interconnected beliefs, that organizes our perceptions
E.g professor--stereotyped--academic, intellectual, confusing, textbooks, monotone, etc
How do stereotypes-> perceptions
Stereotypes color the meaning of behavior
E.g Duncan 1978--students watched an ambiguously hostile interaction between a
white and back student; one student shoves the other
White”shover’ -> shove was less serious, more playful
Black shover-> shove was more aggressive and hostile
Stereotypes help fill in the blank of the men fighting on the subway
Payne, 2001; WOuld having blackVs Whiteon ones mind would make ambiguous
objects is a gun or a tool?
Subjects are shown Black or White faces, then an object, and have to decide
Results: Black face is faster identified with a gun, and tool, than white, and people are
more likely to see a tool as a gun, making an error, and more slowly and quickly
People faster to see a gun as a gun
Slower to see a gun as a tool
and more error
But would stereotypes lead us to shoot someone?
A video shown: four squares with gun, no gun, and black and white
When an black man is armed, decision is faster
When a white guy is holding something else, decision is slower
When a black is unarmed, the error rate is larger
This is not a prejudice study, but a study of a person reacting in the moment, and
stereotyping, based on growing up in this culture, would these effects be stronger than
if racist or egalitarian? No
Stereotypes have been absorbed, and they are there and change how one sees the
Can people overcome their biases and stereotype-driven perceptions and behaviors?
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Can you reprogram the mind? Yes- in a lab, you can change that
Interdependent processes that add up to emotion
One implication of emotion is what you do with body and mind is the emotional
experience you will end up having, the emotional life you will end up being.
A second implication is that your life is very strongly determined by your emotions, and
you are often “out of controlof these processes (e.g. best times, etc.)
Why do we hurt people, and do crazy things? Because of our emotions, even things
we say we will never do, we will do it. There will be moments where we are out of
control, so to understand it, we must gain control
We are raised in a culture where we are rational, homoeconomics--but this misses our
emotions, and we do things because it is in our self-interest, and not because we love,
or feel deep emotion
Homoeconomics--feel unfulfilled, chase after money, power, a lot of anxiety, even
when life turns out well---it doesnt pay off, no correlation between happiness and
People happiness does not change with happiness, for a short term, but in the long
term they will not be happy
Our people were interested by money, and self-interest there would n smoking,
drinking problems, donations, etc
This model of humanity, homoeconomics, is not real
Embodied Cognition
Closeness- is embodied with the metaphor warmth--we were mammals that huddled
Unaccepted--cold, uncloessness, embodied metaphor
E.g Memories of social rejection-> lower estimates of room temperature
E.g being excluded from a game-> craving a hot food
E.g holing a hot or cold beverage->feeling closer/more distant from friends and loved
Clean Vs Dirty, signified morality
E.g feeling immoral->
Emotion and Cognition are Interwoven
The classic Enlightenment picture of humans as rational, self-interested calculators of
utility has been thoroughly shattered by the past few decades of social sciences and
biological research
We know this. But we often pretend it is not the case and believe that people are
For e.g to get people to agree with us we
Cognition Biases and Emotion
E.g framing effects
Why should you take the stairs instead of the elevator?
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