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Lecture 19

Lecture 19

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Waggoner Denton

Lecture 19 (November 22 , 2012) nd Morad Moazami Self-­‐concept:  Everything  you  know  about  yourself.     Self-­‐schema:  Cognitive  aspect  of  these  elf-­‐concept,  consisting  of  an  integrated  set  of  memories,   beliefs.     Self-­‐esteem:  The  evaluative  aspect  of  the  self-­‐concept.  Do  you  feel  good  about  yourself  or  bad   about  yourself?  This  is  about  your  attitude  about  yourself.     Sociometer  theory  is  one  theory  of  self-­‐esteem  that  gets  back  to  the  idea  of  our  need  to   belong,  so  sociometer  theory  takes  this  and  applies  it  to  self-­‐esteem.  People’s  sociometer,  for   example,  tells  them  that  their  chance  of  getting  rejected  by  a  group  is  low.  Those  people  with   low  self-­‐esteem  are  very  worried  and  concerned  that  they  will  be  rejected  by  the  group,  so  they   are  very  socially  anxious,  and  worried  that  they  may  be  rejected.     We  use  a  host  of  mental  strategies  to  maintain  our  positive  self-­‐views.     Self-­‐serving  biases  is  when  e  take  credit  for  all  of  our  successes,  but  for  our  failures,  that  isn’t   our  fault  but  the  situation’s  fault  or  other  people’s  fault.     There  are  positive  illusions  that  we  have:  The  Better-­‐Than-­‐Average  Effect,  where  you  act   anybody  about  anything  (how  good  a  friend,  driver,  writer,  etc.  are  you),  most  people  will   report  to  be  better  than  average  in  every  thing.       We  all  tend  to  have  these  overly  optimistic  views  of  our  future  selves  too.  We  tend  to  be  overly   optimistic  about  our  own  futures,  so  all  the  things  that  we  do  to  maintain  our  positive  sense  of   sel  is  this.     Does  Personality  Change  Over  Time?     Traits  do  tend  to  be  remarkably  stable  over  time.   • They  fluctuate  most  in  childhood.   • Stability  is  highest  after  age  50.     There  is  remarkable  stability  over  time.  There  tends  to  be  this  stability  in  personality  traits  over   time.     You  see  the  most  stability  in  personality  traits  after  the  age  50.     As  people  age,  you  tend  to  see  these  patterns  that  are  true  across  people  and  across  cultures  –   something  biological  that  is  going  on  that  changes  people’s  personality  as  they  change.  What   happens  on  average  is  that  people  tend  to  become:   • Less  neurotic,  less  extroverted,  and  less  open  to  new  experiences,   • More  agreeable  and  conscientious     The  Biology  of  Personality     Nearly  all  personality  traits  have  a  genetic  component.  You  get  a  lot  of  personality  traits  from   mom  and  dad.  We  tend  to  be  very  similar  to  our  siblings  and  parents.     For  example,  a  graph  in  our  textbook  looks  at  monozygotic  twins  and  dizygotic  twins.  What  you   see  is  that  there  is  a  stronger  correlation  between  our  twins  when  they  are  monozygotic  (when   they  share  the  same  DNA  structure),  applying  that  there  are  strong  genetic  traits  among  them.   For  each  Big  Five  trait,  the  correlations  for  monozygotic  twins  were  higher  than  for  dizygotic   twins.     There  is  this  big  study  called  the  Minnesota  Study  of  Twins  That  Lived  Apart.  They  found  these   twins  that  were  separated  at  yong  age  and  brought  them  together  at  adulthood  and  found  how   similar  they  were  as  twins.  The  first  separated  twins  they  found:  they  were  both  policemen,   they  had  named  their  sons  the  same  thing,  had  the  same  smoking  habits,  etc.       Genes  are  huge  components  in  determining  our  personality.     Temperaments:  Parts  of  your  personality  that  are  edited  even  from  birth.  They  are  broader   than  traits.  They  are  biologically  based  tendencies  to  feel  and  act  in  certain  ways.     There  are  three  components  of  somebody's  temperament:   • Activity  level:  how  hyperactive  they  are.   • Emotionality:  how  emotional  are  they?  Is  it  a  baby  that  is  easily  startled  or  are  they   calm?   • Sociability:  how  much  they  like  being  around  other  people.     These  temperaments  that  we  can  get  from  infancy  moving  towards  childhood,  etc.  help  us  find   out  how  an  individual  is  going  to  turn  out.       Childhood  temperament  is  predictive  of  adult  behaviors.   • Inhibited  newborns,  for  example,  are  most  likely  to  become  shy  children/teenagers.   o But  environment  is  also  important.     Children  who  are  raised  in  particular  settings  by  particular  parents  may  change  during   adulthood.  Parents  with  an  inhibited  child  if  they  inhibited  the  kids  with  enough  support  and   expose  them  to  different  situations,  they  can  help  them  get  away  with  certain  shyness.     In  terms  of  looking  at  personality  traits,  the  introversion/extroversion  is  the  one  we  know  most   about.  The  idea  here  is  that  introverted  people  and  extroverted  people  have  different  levels  of   arousal.       The  most  prominent  theory  is  looking  at  the  neurophysiological  mechanisms  of  introverts  vs.   extroverts.     Gray's  BIS/BAS  System:     The  BAS  system  is  the  behavioral  approach  system.  It  is  the  “go”  system,  and  stronger  than  BIS   system  in  extroverts.  It  is  all  about  seeking  rewards,  and  this  system  tends  to  be  more  powerful   extroverts.     On  the  other  side,  we  also  have  this  Behavioral  Inhibition  System  (BIS),  this  is  all  about  avoiding   punishments.  It  is  the  "stop"  system  and  it  is  stronger  than  BAS  system  in  introverts.  The  BIS   system  tends  to  be  stronger  in  our  introverts.     Our  introvert  tries  to  avoid  risk-­‐associated  events,  while  the  extrovert  does  not  pay  attention  to   the  risks.     Cultural  Differences:     At  the  individual  level,  we  get  back  to  the  idea  of  the  self-­‐concept.   • Self-­‐concept:  how  you  think  of  yourself.  A  lot  of  individuals  in  individualistic  cultures   tend  to  focus  on  their  individualistic  attributes.  “I  am  smart  and  caring,  etc.”   Someone  in  a  collectivist  culture  may  tak  about  “I  am  a  daughter”  or  “I  am  a   student”  –  about  their  relationships  and  their  roles  in  society.     So  one  way  of  looking  at  this  is  this  Interdependent  vs.  Independent  Self  Construals.   • Interdependent  is  what  we  see  in  communal  and  collective  cultures.   • Independent  is  those  from  Western,  independent  cultures.     We  also  see  cultural  differences  in  terms  of  self-­‐enhancement.  Japanese  cultures,  for  example,   are  not  willing  to  go  through  these  processes  of  self-­‐enhancement.  Maybe  it  is  because  they   have  more  trouble  saying  they  are  good  at  something.  The  evidence  is  kind  of  mixed.  Some   tend  to  find  that  evidence  in  Eastern  cultures  tend  to  not  engage  in  self-­‐enhancement  than  in   Western  cultures  and  are  more  concerned  about  improving  themselves.     More  broadly:  are  cultural  stereotypes  true?     We  have  these  cultural  stereotypes  about  how  people  form  particular  cultures,  what  kind  of   people  they  tend  to  be.       Canadians,  whose  stereotype  is  that  they  are  agreeable,  prove  to  be  no  more  agreeable  than   Americans  based  on  self-­‐reprots.  So  it  might  be  that  stereotypes  are  just  false  and  they  arent   accurate  portrayals,  or  it  might  be  that  if  you  have  a  bunch  of  Canadians  and  you're  living  with  a   bunch  of  friendly  people,  so  when  you  fill  that  report,  you  may  just  go  “I’m  not  as  nice  as  these   people.”  It’s  not  coming  across  in  these  reports  because  we  are  comparing  ourselves  to  people   who  surround  us.     What  Is  Culture?     Our  first  question  is:  What  is  Culture?     There  are  many  different  ways  to  define  culture,  so  in  its  most  broad  way:  Culture  is  any  kind  of   information  that  is  acquired  through  imitative  or  social  learning.     When  we  define  culture  more  narrowly,  we  define  it  as  a  human  phenomenon  of  people  with   common  values  and  norms  with  a  similar  language  in  the  same  environment.     “If  your  brain  is  like  a  personal  computer,  then  culture  is  like  the  Internet.”     Is  culture  unique  to  humans?  Yes  and  no.  If  we  define  it  in  our  narrow  way,  yes  it  is.  If  we  define   it  broadly,  then  no.  There  are  animals  that  are  social  too:  like  mama  grizzly  bear  fishing  and  her   cubs  learning  how  to  fish  by  watching  her.     Significance  of  Cultural  Information:     Humans  are  particularly  skilled  at  social  learning.     What  makes  us  so  uniquely  skilled  at  social  learning?   • We  have  particularly  sophisticated  communications  skills.   o We  have  a  great  proficiency  for  language.   o Nim  Chimpsky  is  a  chimp  that  researchers  tried  to  teach  English  and  her  was   able  to  learn  some  words,  but  they  are  limited,  so  when  they  learn  a   language,  they  do  it  to  just  get  more  food  and  not  to  convey  how  they  are   feeling.  So  hey  are  just  using  language  to  make  simple  requests.   • Humans  have  Theory  of  Mind.   o The  idea  that  we  understand  that  other  people  are  other  people  and  have   minds  of  their  own  and  in  tentions  of  their  own  and  we  can  understand  that.   o we  see  others  engaging  in  other  behaviors  and  we  can  tell  what  their   intentions  are,  and  this  allows  us  to  figure  out  ways  to  help  them  and  to   expand  on  that  in  order  to  accumulate  cultural  information.      This  allows  us  with  this  High  Precession  Cultural  Learning,  where  we   can  learn  of  others  and  add  to  our  own  learning  when  we  do.   o So  human  culture  allows  us  to  accumulate  information,  add  on  to  it,  and  pass   it  on  to  next  generations.  This  is  what  culture  is  all  about.     Social  animals,  that  are  all  kinds  of  species,  may  figure  out  good  ways  of  doing  things  and  may   copy  something  they  see  another  doing.     Cultural  animals,  which  are  humans,  deliberately  share  their  knowledge,  so  that  it  can  be   preserved  and  passed  on.     Social  learning  is  such  a  key  part  of  who  we  are  that  when  they  show  us  doing  something,  we   expect  it  to  be  what  we  need  to  know,  even  though  chimps  just  cut  to  the  chase,  which  can  be   smart  in  some  cases.     We  can  think  back  to  Asch’s  studies  of  conformity  and  how  influenced  we  humans  are  by  other   people,  since  we’re  so  influenced  by  what  other  people  think  and  believe  that  we  immensely   influenced  by  them.     Cultural  Psychology:     Cultural  psychology  is  the  study  of  how  culture  shapes  psychological  processes.   • Cultural  vs.  social  environments.   o We  can  experience  many  different  social  environments,  but  we  very  rarely   step  outside  of  our  cultural  environment.  All  our  different  social  environment   are  in  the  context  of  one  cultural  environment,  so  it  is  difficult  for  us  to   recognize  how  different  a  culture  is.  Culture  is  like  oxygen,  it  is  there  and  it  is   influencing  us  al  the  time,  but  we  simply  don’t  recognize  or  notice  it  until  we   go  overseas  and  we  come  across  a  culture  that  is  dramatically  different.     Try  to  imagine  who  would  you  beif  you  were  born  and  raised  in  a  different  culture?     A  lot  of  psychological  experiences  are  both  similar  and  different  across  cultures.     There  are  some  examples  of  universalities:   • Males  more  aggressive,   • Marriage,   • Preference  for  his  own  kin,   • Children  fear  strangers,   • Facial  expressions,   • Language;  use  of  narrative,   • Wariness  of  snakes,   • Group  living,   • Etc.     It  is  this  idea  that  culture  shapes  our  mind  and  experiences  and  who  we  are,  but  where  does   culture  comes  from?  It  comes  from  the  minds  of  human  beings.  So  culture  and  mind  shape   each  other.     If  we  really  want  to  understand  the  mind  and  culture  we  have  to  look  at  them  both.     Western  (independent/individualistic)  versus  Eastern  (interdependent/collectivist)  cultures.     • You  see  the  independent  cultures  are  usually  in  North  America,  while  collectivism  is   widespread  in  East  Asia  and  South  America.     Learning  Culture:     Just  as  there  are  sensitive  periods  for  learning  language,  there  are  sensitive  periods  for  culture   too.   • They  looked  at  what  happened  to  children  who  immigrated  to  a  new  culture  at  a   certain  age,  and  15  tends  to  be  the  magical  number  where  you  can  learn  another   culture  and  you  tend  to  prefer  your  home  culture’s  ways  of  doing  things  after  15,   and  before  15,  it  seems  that  people  are  better  able  to  get  accustomed  to  the  new   culture.     There  is  a  graph  that  looks  at  the  correspondence  bias  (the  fundamental  attribution  error:   when  we  see  other  people  engage  in  some  behavior).  Here  the  participants  are  given  a  scenario   and  they  are  asked  “What's  going  on?”  They  look  at  how  many  dispositional  attributions  people   make.  We  learn  to  make  different  contributions  at  different  times.  If  we  look  at  the  8-­‐year-­‐olds   of  Indians  or  US-­‐natives,  we  see  8-­‐year  olds  make  no  different  types  of  attributions  regardless   of  their  cultures.  But  adults  are  different.  The  adults  in  India  make  more  situational  attributions   while  the  Americans  make  more  dispositional  explanations.     Person  Perception  and  Attributions:     We  have  this  fundamental  attribution  error.  Afterwards,  we  find  out  that  this  may  not  be  as   fundamental  at  all  looking  at  different  cultures.     Morris  and  Peng,  1994:     They  examined  English  and  Chinese  language  newspaper  reports  of  two  similar  highly   publicized  murder-­‐suicides.   • There  was  a  Chinese  graduate  student  in  the  Midwest  who  killed  his  advisor  and   then  himself.   • There  was  an  Irish-­‐American  postal  worker  in  Detroit  who  killed  his  boss  and  then   himself.     They  looked  at  both  English-­‐language  and  Chinese-­‐language  newspaper  reports,  and  they  found   that  the  English-­‐language  newspaper  reports  were  more  likely  to  focus  on  murderer's  traits,   attitudes,  and  psychological  problems.     The  Chinese-­‐language  newspaper  reports  more  likely  to  focus  on  murderer's  interpersonal   relationships,  problems  with  
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