ch. 3 - social cognition

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Ingrid L.Stefanovic

Chapter 3 Social cognition Social cognition: they way people think about themselves and the social world- how they select, interpret, remember, and use social information to make judgements and decisions 2 kinds of social cognition: o Automatic thinking: thinking that is nonconscious, unintentional, involuntary, and effortless o controlled thinking: thinking that is conscious, intentional, voluntary, and effortful Automatic thinking with schemas automatic thinking helps us understand new situations by relating them to our prior experience schemas: mental structures people use to organize their knowledge about the social world. These mental structures influence the information they notice, think about and remember schema encompasses our knowledge about many things- other people, ourselves, social roles our schemas contain our basic knowledge and impressions that we use to organize what we know about the social world and interpret new situations schema also influence the way in which we process information o ex. Theres evidence that information relevant to a particular schema is processed more quickly than information unrelated to it o ex. In an experiment, participants were faster when rating the stereotypical characteristics of each group than when rating its nonstereotypical characteristics so when target group was males, characteristics such as rugged, impatient, talkative were rated more quickly than characteristics such as artistics, impolite, irreligious given a label, we will fill in the blanks with all kinds of schema-consistent information Stereotypes about race and weapons when applied to members of a social group such as gender or race, schemas are referred to as stereotypes stereotypes can be applied quickly and automatically when we encounter other people ex. Experiment had shown pictures of white and blacks and then showed a picture of tool or gun. So question was, did the race of the face influence peoples perception of whether they saw a gun or a tool in the second picture o it did influence them. Peoples were more likely to misidentify a tool as a gun when it was preceded by a black face than when it was preceded by a white face ex. In another experiment, participants were likely to pull the trigger (of toy gun) when the person in a picture was black whether or not he was holding a gun o people made few errors when a black person was in fact holding a gun but also they made the most errors shooting an unarmed person ex. In an exp. It was shown that traits connected with danger (eg. Crime) came to mind more quickly for participants who were seated in a dark room compared with participants who were seated in a bright room in all the studies, people had to act quickly that they had little time to control their responses or think about it so the errors they made were the result of automatic thinking we also have schemas about specific individuals (eg. What aunt jane is like), social roles (eg. How mothers are suppose to behave), or how people act in specific situations (eg. At a party) The function of schemas: why do we have them? There are negative consequences of schemas, cases in which people fill in the blanks but the consequences are not always harmful o ex. On t.v some lady named Pamela wallen said shit and this was inconsistent with peoples schemas of her that they convinced themselves they must have heard wrong that she really must have said Schmidt (the person she was interviewing) even though schemas make us misperceive the world at times, we have them because they are useful for helping us organize and make sense of the world and to fill in gaps of our knowledge it is important to have continuity, to relate new experiences to our past schemas, hat people who lose this ability invent schemas where none exist as for those with korsakovs syndrome ex. To create a schema about what the guest lecturer would be like, experimenter told student that they were interested how classes reacted to different lecturers and they would receive a note about the lecturer before he came in
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