PSY210H1 Study Guide - Stereotype Threat, Entrust, Attachment Parenting

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3 Feb 2013
PSY210 Ch.11 Self & Social Understanding12/14/2012 8:47:00 AM
Social cognition
1. Emergence of self and development of self-concept
2. Self esteem
3. Identity construction
4. Thinking of others
5. Thinking of relations between people
Social cognition: towards metacognitive understanding
Concrete abstract
Becomes better organized
More complex causes of behaviour are understood over time
1. Emergence of self and development of self-concept
William James: the complementary I-self and me-self
The I-self (me = knower/actors) active observations lend
knowledge and control over ones:
o self-awareness
o self-continuity
o self-coherence
o self-agency
The me-self (sense of self as = object of knowledge + evaluation)
o Material, psychological and social characteristics
Beginning of the I-self
o Newborns = stronger rooting reflex to physical stimulation
from others (than self-stimulation hand on cheek)
o Intermodal perception baby differentiates themselves from
objects/people in their surroundings by e.g. hearing
themselves cry.
o Realization that their own actions cause objects/people to
react in predictable ways.
Linked to secure attachment parenting style
o Contrast between self and other objects/people = realization
of difference between self and social world.
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Beginnings of the me-self
o Awareness of self’s physical features (me vs. someone else
when facing themselves in the mirror Ex. Red dye on nose)
o Self-recognition (Age 2)
o Fostered with sensitive care-giving
Secure-attachment parenting
Self-awareness + early emotional and social development:
Self-awareness = self-consciousness, perspective, empathy, peer
imitation, sense of ownership (MINE!), cooperation, games
The categorical self = classifying others on the basis of
age/gender/physical characteristics/goodness or badness
Remembered self = autobiographical memory, life-story narrative =
coherence of self
Story telling from parentchild = view of self, cultural values
The inner self: Young children’s Theory of Mind
A coherent understanding of their own and others mental lives
Inner self awareness of private thoughts and imaginings of self and
others. = this understanding explains behaviour of others
Desire theory of mind: Young infants think that people always act
in ways consistent with their desires and do not understand that
less obvious, more interpretive mental states such as beliefs, also
affect behaviour.
o Perception + emotion + desire
“you want to see how he cried
Due to more language being used at age 3.
o Desires = Actions
Belief-desire theory of mind: a more sophisticated view in which
both beliefs + desires determine actions (Age 4+)
o Beliefs + Desires = Actions
o Understanding of the relationship between inner states
Efforts to alter others beliefs’ increases = children
realize the power of belief to influence action
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False-beliefs (ones that do not represent reality
accurately) can guide peoples behaviour. (Ex. Band-
aide box + puppet task)
Mastery of false belief = a change in representation =
the ability to view beliefs as interpretations, not just
reflections of reality.
Second-order beliefs: Awareness that people form
beliefs about other peoples beliefs
Helps children to understand others’ perspectives,
and how they arrived at their own beliefs.
Consequences of belief-desire reasoning:
o Understanding others beliefs and desires = more sociable
o More advanced social skills = better results of child on false-
belief task
o Advances in make-believe play
o More accurate eye witness memories after age 6, due to fale-
belief task recognition that ones beliefs can affect another.
o Advances in persuasion changing the belief of others
Factors contributing to infants Theory of Mind:
o Language
(reflection on thoughts, false-belief),
o cognitive abilities
(inhibit inappropriate responses, think flexibly, and
o Maternal “mind-mindedness”
(secure attachment, “do you remember/want/like/…” =
by mother to child = better results on theory of mind
tasks like false-belief tasks)
o make-believe play,
(to know belief influences behaviour even in abstract
contexts, better able to reason about a fictional
situation = more likely to pass false-belief tasks)
o social experiences
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