PSC 152 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Pancreatic Cancer, Confirmation Bias, Craps

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Published on 15 Jun 2020
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Motivation & Social Cognition
The “New Look
Bruner: 1940s - 1950s
Perception is more than read out of environment by the senses
There is more to perception than just bottom - up processing of
stimulus
“Top - down” influences - motives, goals, & desires
Ex: drawing a coin vs. a coin-shaped disc
The coin drawings were always bigger than the disc drawings
Distortion corresponded to value, not actual size
The amount of change corresponds to the amount of value
the object has
Distortion greater among poorer participants
Goals affecting cognitive processes
Directional goals - desire for specific outcome or judgment
Ex: motive to feel positive about the self
Ex: motivation to feel connected with others
Ex: motivation to have a sense of predictability and control over our
environment
Accuracy goals - desire to form accurate judgment
Want judgments that align close w/ reality
Closure goals - desire to form judgment quickly
Motivated skepticism (this is under directional goals)
We tend to be more skeptical, critical, and doubtful of things that go against our
desires and personal beliefs
similar confirmation bias
Ditto & Lopez ( 1992)
Particular enzyme deficiency may leave one susceptible to pancreatic
cancer
Testing new method for detecting enzyme deficiency
Lick paper strip - test should take between 10 sec & 1 min to complete
(i.e. to see if color reaction happens)
2 conditions
Color change = enzyme deficiency
Color change = no enzyme deficiency
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Tested how long the participants waited before submitting their test strip
Those told that the color change means the do NOT have a deficiency
waited about 30 seconds longer to submit their test strip
This shows that people are waiting around to see if they will get the
desired result
People seem to alter the threshold they set for accepting data as being
valid
They alter their threshold based on their motivations
Shows that people seem to be skeptical or critical of data if it goes
against our desires
Self- serving representations what is a “good leader” or a “good student” or what does it
mean to be a “good son/daughter”?
A “good son/daughter” is whatever ONESELF is
Dependable vs. thoughtful
Dutiful vs. loving
Obedient vs. caring
Participants stated that the traits that describe themselves align with traits related
to a “good son/daughter”
Our motivation to see ourself in a positive light leads us to infuse our
representations of valued roles and traits w/ our own characteristics
Self - illusions
Unrealistically positive views of self
Belief that one’s flaws are common, but one’s strengths are unique
Exaggerated beliefs of personal control (“magical thinking”)
Better - than - average effect
88% of drivers put themselves in top 50% for safety
89% of high school seniors rated themselves as “above average” on the ability to
get along w/ others
68% of professors rated themselves in top 25% on teaching ability
Why?
More biased evaluation of own skills than of others’ skills; find ourselves
superior by comparison
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