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september 25th notes.docx

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University of Winnipeg
Kelley Robinson

Social Psychology I 25/09/2013 2:56:00 PM Should we all “scream for schemas”?  Are schemas a good thing or a bad thing?  Schema is a categorization of a person/thing that will hold true in many cases; your organizing structure – can be stereotypes  YES! Reasons: o Aid and speed up information processing and recall  There is so much information in our environment that we cannot possibly process all info at once  It is a shortcut that helps us to understand a situation/thing or at least get the gist of it o Fill in gaps when information is missing or ambiguous  Making a judgment about a person when you don’t have all of the info; applying stereotype to job interview  Powerful man with trophy wife, minimal relationships within company; you want the job  What do you think about this man?  Maybe he likes golf, so you talk about a golf game over the weekend  In some situations your guesses will be correct -> an educated guess based on your schema (as long as your schema is fairly accurate) o Guide expectations and interpretations  How are you going to interact with someone? Job interview, date, etc.  Even people we know very well, we have schemas for  We may need to modify the schemas for people that we know  NO! Reasons: o Can be too accepting of/dependent on schemas  Fail to notice information that stops fitting with our schemas  Stereotyping -> negative consequence of schemas o Can lead us to ignore important info o Can lead to inaccurate expectations  Ex. heterosexual women basing schema of relationships based on Drew Barry movies  Not going to meet your expectations; discrepancy from what you wanted  Ex. heterosexual men basing schema of sex based on pornography o Incorrect information can be used to fill in what’s missing o Hard to change once created  Difficult to alter schema -> assimilating new information into schema  Easier to revise/debate info coming in than general schema  Perseverance effect: info that discredits our schema comes to light and we don’t care Schemas in ambiguous situations  Schemas for a guest lecturer o Group A: read guest lecturer is a very warm person, industrious, critical, practical, and determined  Personality profile/schema for the guest lecturer before he even comes to the class o Group B: read guest lecturer is a rather cold person, industrious, critical, practical, and determined  Groups have different sets of expectations for what this person is going to be like and what he is going to deliver  Groups asked to evaluate the lecture; his performance is based on things that have nothing to do with his performance or what he is delivering; nonconscious  Group A: rated the professor more highly and were more likely to ask questions and participate in discussion  Group B: rated the professor lower and were less likely to ask questions and participate in discussion Schemas in high pressure situations: Shooter Bias  Real world example: Amadou Diallo  Shot 41 times when he was reaching for his wallet; police thought he was reaching for a gun o They made a split second judgment based on their schema of targets; shoot someone with gun, do not shoot someone without a gun  Two errors you can make; shoot someone without gun, or don’t shoot someone with gun o 4 scenarios with black/white men with/without guns  study in 2002: choose which men to shoot based on split second judgment  we see a bias that people are more likely to shoot a black man than a white man  more errors when it comes to not shooting white men with guns  movie “Crash” addresses this  racial profiling guides peoples’ responses to specific situations Schemas influence attention and interpretation  We engage in confirmation hypothesis testing bias o Tendency to seek information that verifies existing beliefs (look for evidence confirming our schemas) o Ex. Trophy wife boss man -> you see a picture of him golfing and you think “I knew it all along”; you don’t notice a picture of him serving at a soup kitchen  Rosenhan’s psychiatric hospital study 1973 o 8 fake patients were acting completely normally, but said to say one fake phrase, that they were hearing a voice in their head saying “thud” o fake patients were diagnosed with different disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar o the only way to leave the experiment was to agree that they had disorders, and they would be discharged o patients given heavy anti-psychotic drugs  schemas about patients if you work at a mental hospital -> if someone comes in, they must be crazy, and they will be treated as such  also in a prison, schema of prisoner  also on jury duty  thought processes - imagine an iceberg: o you see a tiny bit (your self-awareness) o the rest submerged is nonconscious processes Schemas Guide Memory  What you recall at a later time o Study: participants read a story: Barbara and Jack go to the mountains  Condition 1: Jack proposes to Barbara  Condition 2: Jack rapes Barbara  2 weeks later participants recall details of the story  researchers gave list of details to participants; some details were real, some were fake  marriage proposal story: many incorrect proposal details, few incorrect rape details  rape story: few incorrect proposal details, many incorrect rape details o ex. Family gatherings: annoying when you’re there, but warm memories afterward Accessibility of Schemas  At any given time, you have schemas of what is going on around you operating at the same time  What will influence which schemas are applied to a situation? o Past experiences/memories  If you’re used to being rejected in the dating game, you develop a rejecting mindset; if you go in expecting someone to reject you, they will -> self-fulfilling prophecy o Current goals  what is important to you right now  ex. Doing well in social psych class  related to what is also going on in your life; you see social psych everywhere o Recent experiences  What’s going on right now, in our immediate environment  Priming Methods of Priming  Memory task o Prime = asking participants to memorize a list of words, then engage in other task, then recall words  Participants think the tasks are unrelated  Whatever schema the researcher wants to prime you with is in those words o Ex. Higgins, Rholes, Jones 1977  Part 1: fake “perception study”  Identify colors and memorize words  Negative: reckless, conceited, aloof, stubborn  Positive: adventurous, self-confident, independent, persistent  Part 2:
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