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Midterm

Psychology 2070A/B Midterm Notes.doc

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
Psychology 2070A/B
Professor
Richard Sorrentino

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1 Chapter 1 – Introduction to Social Psychology What is Social Psychology? • Science of Social Behaviour o Social psychology – a field dedicated to understanding the causes & consequences of social interactions between individuals & groups • KEY ELEMENTS OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY (4) 1. influenced by other people 2. thoughts, feelings & behaviours – interested in how other people affect every aspect of individual’s lives 3. individual perspective – take the perspective of individuals in a social setting a. SOCIAL CONSTRUAL’S – how individuals personally interpret a social situation 4. scientific study • How other people affect us o Other people affect how we interpret events  Ex. bystander intervention – individuals fail to intervene b/c they rely on other people to interpret the event o Other people affect how we feel about ourselves  Social comparison – comparing ourselves to other people to make judgments about the self • STUDY: participants who were exposed to these attractive photos rates themselves as less physically attractive & less socially competent o Seeing very attractive people made participants feel worse about themselves o Effects occurred for both men & women o Other people affect how we behave  The presence of other people can elicit very different behaviour than would have occurred if individuals were alone  Ex. mob aggression – if people feel unidentifiable when they are immersed in a large group, they may be ‘released; from their normal inhibitions & do things they would not have done alone or in a smaller groups • DEINDIVIDUATION – people are unaccountable for their actions when in a large group • Beware! o birds of a feather flock together  we most like others who are similar to us o the absence of an attractive reward may produce the greatest changes in attitudes & behaviour …if rewards are used too much, they can reduce a person’s interest in an activity o things that seem obvious in hindsight may not have been easily predicted in foresight  HINDSIGHT BIAS – tendency to think that a known outcome was obvious • Social Psychology’s Connections to Other Areas of Psychology o Personality Psychology – studies traits that help to explain human behaviour  individual differences that affect social behaviour (self esteem) o Developmental Psychology – studies age-related changes in human abilities  social development…how relationship skills emerge o Cognitive Psychology – studies how the human mind work  social cognition…how information about people is processed & stored o Clinical Psychology – studies mental problems affecting people’s well being • Social Psychology’s Connections to Other Disciplines o Sociology – how social & cultural forces influence behaviour  focuses on GROUPS, whereas social psychology focuses on INDIVIDUALS o Anthropology – study of past & present cultures  focus on CULTURES & rely on existing materials o Political Science – study of methods of government  study existing SYSTEMS rather than conducting experiments Historical Background of Social Psychology • Social Psychology’s Roots in Philosophy 2 o Plato – people experience the world in 3 distinct ways: in thought, in emotion, & in action o Aristotle – living a good life & achieving personal happiness are both dependent on providing benefits to other people in addition to the self  social relationships are important components of how we define ourselves o SOCIAL CONTRACT – to survive & prosper, human groups had to develop some basic rules of social & moral conduct • Social Psychology’s Early History o Earliest publication 1898  experiment addressed whether the presence of an audience improves individual’s performances  RESULTS: children were faster @ turning the crank when they competed against other children than when they performed the task alone  SOCIAL FACILITATION o BEHAVIORISM – explain behaviour purely in terms of stimulus-response connections established through experience & reinforcement  Dismissed the importance of unobservable mental concepts like thoughts & attitudes o GESTALT THEORY – people’s overall, subjective interpretations of objects are more important than the objects’ physical features  Objects are perceived in their totality as a unit Chapter 3 – Social Cognition How Does the Mind Work? • Schemas: The Building Blocks of the Mind o SCHEMAS/CONCEPTS – mental representations of objects which contain the central features of the object as well as assumptions about how the object works  RELATIONAL SCHEMAS – schemas for specific interpersonal interactions o Categorization – basic function of schemas is to categorize objects in ways that impose meaning & predictability o Going Beyond the Information Given  when categorizing something, we assume it possesses the characteristics of the schema even if we cannot perceive those characteristics directly o Rapid, efficient decisions  can decide quickly how to behave toward the object o Selective Information Processing  schema used to categorize an object can influence what is noticed about the object • STUDY: participants were more accurate in their answers about things that fit their occupational label (server vs. librarian)  Schemas influence the interpretation of information  Although ambiguous information will usually be interpreted as consistent with a schema, anything that contradicts our expectances will grab our attention • Accessibility: What’s On Your Mind? o Sometimes a schema is directly activated by information o ACCESSIBILITY (ease with which the schema comes to awareness)  people are more likely to use schemas that are highly accessible o Priming of Schemas  When a schemas has been used recently, it is more accessible  PRIMING • Priming a schema in people’s minds increases the likelihood that they will use the schema in a later task • STUDY: participants who had been exposed to the hostile videotape in the first task rated the young man in the second task as more hostile o Chronic Accessibility of Schemas  CHRONIC ACCESSIBILITY – degree to which schemas are easily activated for an individual across time & situations  STUDY: participants were more likely to remember actions by the student that exhibited their own chronically accessible traits than actions that exhibited non- accessible traits 3 • Ex. if a participants had used the trait ‘funny’ to describe several friends @ the first session, then he/she was likely to remember funny behaviours in the paragraph @ the second session • *participants’ chronically accessible traits influenced both what they could remember about the student & how they described the student • Cultural Differences in Accessible Schemas o Canadians are more likely to categorize people in terms of individual achievements o Chinese persons may be more likely to categorize people in terms of group memberships • Stereotypes: Schemas in the Social Doman o STEREOTYPE – set of characteristics that someone associates with members of a group; a cognitive structure containing the individual’s beliefs that members of a group share particular attributes o Going Beyond the Information Given  IN-GROUP - group in which a perceiver belongs – stereotypes are generally favourable  OUT-GROUP – group in which a perceived does not belong – stereotypes are generally unfavorable  Tendency to overestimate the similarity within groups • tendency is much STRONGER FOR OUT GROUPS  out groups tend to be seen as more uniform • OUT-GROUP HOMOGENEITY EFFECT – exaggeration of similarity within groups to which we do not belong o Selective Information Processing  STUDY: participants who believed Hannah to be from a wealthy background (positive expectancy) consistently rated her as more skilled than did participants who believed Hannah to be from a poor background (negative expectancy)  The effect of expectancies was much stronger when participants watched Hannah answer some test items  Among those participants who watched Hannah answer questions, those in the positive expectancy condition rated her much more positively than did those in the negative expectancy condition  The participants interpretations of Hannah’s inconsistent performance differed based on their expectancies  If participants had positive expectancies  they probably focused on her correct answers to difficult questions  If participants had negative expectancies  they probably focused on her incorrect answers to easy questions • Automatic vs. Controlled Processes o AUTOMATIC PROCESS - a judgment or though that we cannot control  Very efficient & can occur @ the same time as other processes • Ex. categorization  occurs automatically o CONTROLLED PROCESS – judgment or thought that we command  Requires significant cognitive resources & may not occur if we are engaged in other processes Reconstructive Memory • RECONSTRUCTIVE MEMORY – the process of trying to rebuild the past based on cues & estimates • Autographical Memory – stored information about the self o Estimating what we were like in the past o STUDY: people rate their current self more positively than their past self  POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS… • students really did improve on their characteristics over the years • All of us want to think we are good, worthwhile individuals; one way to feel good about ourselves is to believe that we are steadily improving over time; we are getting better & better on most qualities 4 • Participants’ past & present ratings were guided by their beliefs about the effects of time  perhaps participants rated the past self lower than the present self b/c they assumed that improvement had occurred…which means that that past self must have been somewhat worse than the current self o STUDY: participants @ the second session rated the past self (@ the beginning of the term) less positively than the current self, whereas participants’ actual self-ratings obtained @ the beginning of the term were just as positive as the current self ratings @ the second session  Participants estimated @ the second session that they had improved over the 2 month period, but their original ratings indicated that they did not actually improve  Differences between the ratings of current & past selves do NOT necessarily reflect actual changes (improvements) o STUDY: participants reveals perceived improvement over time for the SELF, but NOT for the acquaintance; therefore ratings of the self were caused by a desire to see the current self positively o often reconstruct personal memories based on information that is currently accessible to us o It is also possible for us to have seemingly real memories of events that we simply heard about or imagined occurring o ‘recovered’ memories of childhood sexual abuse can be false • Accuracy of Eyewitness Testimony o Single largest cause of false convictions is eyewitness error o DNA testing – by matching inmates’ DNA to samples obtained from the crime scene, this form of testing can positively show than an individual is innocent…it can also sometimes positively identify someone else as the person who committed the crime  Ex. Thomas Sophonow – wrongful conviction  served almost 4 years in jail for a murder he did not commit • Several eyewitnesses identified him as the person they saw coming out of a donut shop where the murder occurred • DNA evidence has positively cleared Sophonow of involvement in the murder o Numerous studies have shown that people exposed to an event & later asked to identify the perpetrator often select the wrong individual o In-group advantage  members of a particular racial group tend to be better @ identifying people from their OWN racial group than people from other racial groups o CONFIDENCE with which eyewitnesses identify the perpetrator is NOT a strong indication of their accuracy …although highly confident eyewitnesses do have more impact on jurors’ decisions than do less confident eyewitnesses o SPEED – eyewitnesses who identified someone as the target person in 15 seconds or less were correct 69% of the time o Leading or suggestive questions can introduce errors into eyewitnesses’ accounts of events  STUDY: if a false element was inserted into a question about the event, participants often later included the false element in their memories o Reducing Eyewitness Error  BLANK LINEUP – a group of individuals that does not include the suspect  event in the lineup is known to be innocent …. GOOD WAY TO ASSESS THE EYEWITNESSES’ CREDIBILITY  SEQUENTIAL LINEUP (procedure of showing an eyewitness each individual in the group separately) is better than the traditional, simultaneous lineup • When eyewitnesses see a traditional simultaneous lineup, they try to find the person who looks MOST LIKE the perpetrator, which can lead to erroneous identifications • When eyewitnesses are exposed to a sequential lineup, they judge each person separately & wait until they see someone whose face ‘pops’ out @ them 5 Heuristics & Biases in Everyday Judgments • HEURISTICS – an informal rule or shortcut that is used to make everyday judgments o Usually work well & yield fairly accurate judgments, but sometimes can lead us astray & result in errors • COGNITIVE MISER MODEL – people usually rely on heuristics to make judgments & only engage in careful, thoughtful processing when necessary o Detailed, deliberative processing is costly in terms of psychological resources, & our resource capacity is limited o We try to ‘spend’ as little as possible in most cases  we are misers who try to protect our resources for important judgments • AVAILABILITY HEURISTIC – tendency to base a judgment on how easily relevant examples can be generated o People base judgments about the likelihood of future events n the ease with which they can think of examples of these events in the past o STUDY: study correlation between how quickly participants could think of a relevant example in their own life & their estimated likelihood that they would experience the event in the near six months  the faster they thought of an example, the more likely they judged another experience to be o STUDY: read a list of 39 names (19 men & 20 women or 20 men & 19 women)…these lists included the names of some famous people & some non-famous people  Researchers assumed that participants would more easily recall famous names than non-famous names  Thus if the famous names had been men, participants were expected to be able to recall more men than women from the list, which would lead them to guess that the list contained mostly men …& vice versa  Predictions were confirmed o People are sometimes influenced directly by the EASE with which they can recall something, independently of the number or content of what they recall • REPRESENTATIVENESS HEURISTIC – tendency to judge the likelihood that a target belongs to a category based on how similar the target is to the typical features of the category • ILLUSORY CORRELATIONS – belief that 2 variables are related to one another when they are not o Seeing What We Expect To See  People are especially likely to notice events that confirm their expectations, which leads them to overestimate the frequency of such confirmations  STUDY: commonly associated word pairs (expected pairings) were not presented any more often than the unrelated word pairs…but when participants were asked to estimate the frequency of various word pairings, they overestimated the frequency of the expected pairings • Expected pairings were more likely to be noticed & thus were easier to retrieve from memory o Hot Hand in Sports  Hot hand – just can’t miss in a particular game  No evidence for a hot hand  the probability of making a shot was unrelated to whether a previous shot had been made • Players made 51% of their shots from the floor after making their previous shot, compared to 54% after missing their previous shot (tendency in the OPPOSITE direction of a hot hand) • Players made 75% of their foul shots after making the previous foul shot & 75% of their foul shots after missing the previous foul shot…no difference whatsoever  People notice when a player hits several shots in a row or misses several shots in a row…but do not notice when hits & misses are intermixed  People also fail to realize that occasional runs or consecutive hits or consecutive misses will occur even when events are truly independent • HINDSIGHT BIAS – tendency for people to overestimate the predictability of known outcomes o Armchair Quarterbacks 6  Benefit from hindsight & fail to recognize that things were not so predictable before the event  STUDY: hindsight participants were asked to rate the pre-outcome likelihood of each of the possible outcomes, they gave higher probability ratings to the outcome that they believe had occurred than did participants in the foresight • Ex. participants who believed the British won rated a British victory as a more likely outcome than did participants who received no outcome information  STUDY: when asked how likely it was that they would have made a particular diagnosis based only on the case history, physicians who thought they knew the diagnosis reported a higher probability of that diagnosis than did physicians who received no diagnosis information  Why does hindsight bias occur? • People reinterpret pre-outcome information based on knowing the outcome • People generate explanations that would not have occurred to them if they had not known the outcome • PLANNING FALLACY – tendency for people to underestimate how long it will take to complete a task o We make it over & over again…we don’t seem to learn from experience o STUDY: researchers have asked participants to predict when a specific task will be finished & then follow up to learn when he task is actually done…typically, only about 30% of respondents will have completed the task by the predicted deadline, & most will take substantially longer than they estimated o When people estimate how long a task will take, they focus on specific ways the task can be accomplished without considering potential problems that might occur  People focus on optimistic, best-case scenarios when considering the future What Might Have Been – Counterfactual Thinking • COUNTERFACTUAL THOUGHTS – reflections on how past events might have turned out differently • Wishful Thinking in Everyday Life o More likely to occur when it is EASY for the person to imagine how things could have been different o Many counterfactual thoughts change something that occurred prior to an event & then imagine how the event could have turned out differently • Upward Counterfactual Thoughts: Wanting to Improve o UPWARD COUNTERFACTUAL THOUGHTS – reflections on how past evens might have turned out better (likely to occur after a negative outcome)  Helps us avoid similar negative outcomes in the future (we want to improve) o STUDY: results showed that the number of upward counterfactual thoughts students generated after the first test predicted the extent of reported changes in circumstances prior to the second test…upward counterfactual thinking generated ideas for improved performance, which were later implemented o Sometimes upward counterfactual thoughts will not provide useful ideas for how to improve outcomes (ex. a young man who has been paralyzed in a car accident may think repeatedly about how he could have avoided the accident…but nothing can bring back his mobility) • Downward Counterfactual Thoughts: Wanting to Feel Better o DOWNWARD COUNTERFACTUAL THOUGHTS – reflections on how past events might have turned out worse  Can be generated deliberately or strategically…when people WANT to make themselves feel better  STUDY evidence shows that students SHOULD change their answers if they decide that another answer is better (on exams) • OLYMPICS – example o Bronze medalists were judged to be happier than silver medalists, even though the bronze medalists had actually done worse 7 o This is b/c the bronze & silver medalists generated different kinds of counterfactual thoughts o Bronze medalist …downward counterfactual thought of finishing 4 th o Silver medalist…upward counterfactual thought of finished 1st Hot Cognition: Adding Motives & Mood to the Cognitive Mix • SELF SERVING JUDGMENTS – perceptions or comparisons that enhance the perceived worth of the self • Self-Serving Perceptions of Others o When people believe that they will interact with or be dependent on another individual, they tend to view that individual more positively than do people who are not expecting to interact with or be dependent on the individual o STUDY: participants who were expecting one or more dates rated their expected partner significantly more positively…the participants WANTED to see their future partner as likeable & pleasant • Self Serving Activation of Stereotypes o People can activate a stereotype strategically, based on its implication for feedback they have received o STUDY: researchers predicted that participants who received negative feedback from a female evaluator would be motivated to activate a negative stereotype of a women  Derogating the woman’s competence @ this task would negate the validity of her feedback…these participants could then attribute the negative feedback to the incompetence of the female evaluator rather than to their own poor performance  Although participants who received negative feedback from a male evaluator would also want to discredit his feedback, their stereotype of men would not allow them to do so as easily …b/c they see men as more competent @ assessing managerial skills  Participants who received positive feedback from a female evaluator would be motivated to see her a highly competent  All predictions were confirmed • Mood & Social Cognition o Mood & Stereotypes  when people were made to feel sad or depressed, their view of some minority groups became more negative o MOOD CONGRUENT RECALL – positive feels will activate positive memories & negative feelings will activate negative memories  People seem to give more positive evaluations of stimuli when they are in a positive mood than when hey are in a neutral mood (& the positive mood does not have to be very strong)  STUDY: participants provided more favourable evaluations of their relationship after a happy movie than after a sad one o Mood & Information Processing  Positive moods seem to reduce our need for compelling evidence or arguments before we will agree to something  Positive moods reduce the tendency to use detailed information to make decisions … & instead rely on heuristics  Depressed individuals are more sensitive to negative information about themselves & others Chapter 4 – Social Perception What We See in Others: Social Perception • Attribution Theories o ATTRIBUTIONS – causal judgments about why an event or behaviour occurred o Intuitive Scientist  INTUITIVE SCIENTISTS – people often make causal judgments in a relatively scientific manner • Make repeated observations & determine whether certain events or responses reliably occur under certain conditions 8  CO-VARIATION MODEL OF ATTRIBUTION – an attribution theory prosing that we make causal judgments by determining whether a particular behaviour correlated with a person, a situation or some combination o False Consensus Effect  When individuals have person experience with a situation, they usually assume that most other people would respond similarly to themselves, & they draw conclusions about the cause of behaviour based on this assumption  FALSE CONSENSUS EFFECT – tendency to assume that other people share our own attitudes & behaviours to a greater extent than is actually the case  Why does this effect occur? • We tend to interact mainly with other people who agree with us o People who we interact with most, are more similar to us than the average person • We WANT to believe that other s agree with us …we are motivated to believe that our opinions are accurate & our actions are appropriate o People sometimes UNDER-ESTIMATE consensus when it makes them look good (ex. people who report that they would perform altruistic acts tent to underestimate how many other people would behave in the same way…b/c this perception of uniqueness makes them feel good about themselves) o Discounting & Augmentation  When we make a judgment about why a stranger acted in a particular way, we make attributions based on just one observation & therefore rely on our knowledge of plausible causes in the situation…we use our general knowledge to infer one or more causes that might explain the behaviour & then simply look to see whether those plausible causes were present  DISCOUNTING PRINCIPLE – the perceived role of a cause will be discounted (reduced) if other plausible causes are also present • Usually involves reduced the perceived role of an internal cause b/c an external cause is known to be present • Internal factors will be downplayed when plausible external causes are present • Ex. when a student does well on a test that yielded a class average of 85%, observers reduce the perceived role of intelligence (internal factor) & attribute his/her high score @ least partly to the external factor of an easy test  AUGMENTATION PRINCIPLE – the perceived role or a cause will be augmented (increased) If other factors are present that would work against the behaviour • Ex. if a student does very well on a test that yielded a class average of 45%, observers will ‘augment’ the role of intelligence & conclude that he/she is extremely smart • CORRESPONDENCE BIAS - tendency to assume that OTHER people’s actions & words reflect their personality, their attitudes, or some other INTERNAL factors (overestimate the role of personality factors) o Causes of the Correspondence Bias  We are unaware of subtle external factors that influence behaviour  Underestimate the power of external factors on behaviour  We do not have the cognitive resources necessary to take situational factors into account when explaining behaviour • The initial step of assuming that a behaviour reflected an internal disposition is relatively automatic • The second step of using situational information to adjust the initial impression is not automate & requires significant cognitive resources o Culture & the Correspondence Bias  Western culture emphasizes the importance of personal, internal causes of behaviour 9  STUDY: Asian participants exhibited a weaker correspondence bias  *North American reporters exhibit the correspondence bias more than Asian reporters o Appeal of Social Psychology  People often overlook the situation forces the influence behaviour & instead interpret others’ behaviour in terms of internal dispositional factors  Milgram’s Study – ordinary people will follow the orders of an experimenter to deliver intense electric shocks to another person  Bystander Intervention – people who witness an emergency situation often fail to help b/c of situation factors such as the presence of other bystanders • NON-VERBAL BEHAVIOUR – actions & cues the communicate meaning in ways other than by words o When verbal & nonverbal cues directly conflict, observers rely more on the nonverbal cues in interpreting the message’s meaning o Typically, nonverbal cues do not directly conflict with verbal content, but instead provide additional information & enhance our understanding of interactions o Nonverbal cues are seen as informative about true feelings b/c they occur non-voluntarily; even when people try to mask their feelings, nonverbal cues can ‘leak’ their emotions o Nonverbal cues are usually taken as a more accurate sign of underlying emotions than are words themselves o STUDY: on the utterances that involved conflicting cues, more than 80% of the youngest children relied on the verbal content…dropped to 40% of the 9 & 10 years old  100% of the adults relied exclusively on the nonverbal cues in making their judgments o Interpretation of nonverbal cues is a skill that slowly develops over children’s early years o Facial Expression  Darwin – facial expressions in humans are biologically based & universal  Believed they evolved from more primitive behaviours & all human expressed their emotions similarly  Believed the ability to recognize emotions in others faces was adaptive  STUDY: emotions in the study were correctly identified by the majority of participants from every culture (had to select which emotion was being expressed) • But…when participants had to generate their own term or label for photographs of the same emotions, agreement dropped substantially… especially for negative emotions  STUDY: judgments of the emotions being expressed in a photograph were influenced by the other photographs in the set (ex. the same neutral facial expression was judged as sad if participants had previously seen a happy face, but as happy if participants had previously seen a sad face)  *happiness & anger have been the best-recognized emotions • Gender & Cultural Differences in Nonverbal Behaviour o Gender Differences  Women are better judges of OTHER PEOPLE’S emotions (more oriented toward interpersonal harmony)  Women’s facial expressions of emotion are easier to judge (more socially acceptable for women to express their emotions?)  Women gaze @ other people more, smile more & are gazed @ by other people more than men  Women approach other people more closely  May experience greater nonverbal intimacy o Cultural Differences  Cultures differ in their DISPLAY RULES (norms in a culture for how & when emotions should be expressed)  Japan – considered inappropriate to show strong emotions (especially negative emotions)  Hand signals are almost always culture-specific 10  Canada – people have a large personal space zone  Middle Eastern Countries – people stand very closely to one another (more touching) What We See in Ourselves – Self Perception • LOOKING GLASS SELF – tendency to internalize other people’s judgments about us into our self- concept o STUDY: tried to teach children not to litter…children were repeatedly told that they were neat & tidy people (labeling condition) & others were told that they SHOULD be neat & tidy (persuasion condition) o RESULTS: children in the labeling condition changed their behaviour more…they must have internalized the labels • SOCIAL COMPARISON – process of comparing ourselves to others in order to judge the self - Festinger o Often rely on comparisons with other people to assess our abilities & attitudes o If possible, we test our abilities or beliefs in an objective, physical way…but often we cannot test our abilities or beliefs in a direct, physical manner…& we end up comparing our performance to the performances of others o We engage in the process of social comparison frequently & automatically o Social Comparison with Similar Others…  People are motivated to make ACCURATE judgments  We want to know our true strengths & weaknesses & the actual validity of our attitudes & opinions  We compare ourselves with other people who are similar to us on dimensions that are relevant to performance o UPWARD SOCIAL COMPARISON – social comparison with people who are better off or more skilled than we are (want to improve) o DOWNWARD SOCIAL COMPARISON – social comparison with people who are worse off or less skill than we are (wanting to feel better)  People who are optimists tend to focus on others who do worse than themselves, & people who are pessimists focus on others who do better than themselves. o Diverse Consequences of Upward Social Comparisons  Can make us feel depressed/inadequate b/c others are more successful than we are  Make us feel angry & resentful…if we think we SHOULD be doing as well as other people who are better off  RELATIVE DEPRIVATION – feeling of anger about our outcomes based on comparisons with better off others  Optimism  cancer patients have been shown to prefer comparisons with other patients who are doing well…give themselves hope for improvement  If someone close to us does well…depends on how close the relationship is • STUDY: strong feelings of happiness when a person with whom they had a very close emotional bond succeeded, but less positive when a person with whom they had a less intimate relationship succeeded • Cultural Differences in Social Comparison o INDIVIDUALIST CULTURES – people are seen as free, independent beings who posses stable abilities, traits & attitudes  Persona identity is defined in terms of how people are unique & different from others o COLLECTIVIST CULTURES – groups needs are emphasized above individual needs  People are seen as interdependent o STUDY: Asian Canadians engaged in more social comparison than did European Canadians  People from collectivist cultures are more motivated to improve themselves o STUDY: European Canadians were more motivated by a positive than a negative role model, whereas Asian Canadians were more motivated by a negative than positive role model 11  Information about another student who succeeded led European Canadians to intend to work harder, whereas information about another student who failed led Asian Canadian to intend to work harder o Individualistic Cultures – motivated to achieve success o Collectivist Cultures – motivated to avoid failure • SELF PERCEPTION THEORY – we often judge our own internal states by reviewing our past behaviour & inferring internal states consistent with our behaviour unless there were clear external causes of our own behaviour o Inferring Our Own Attitudes from Our Behaviour  Originally was proposed that we infer almost ALL our internal states from our behaviour  REVISION: self-perception occurs for internal states that are weak or ambiguous… when we do not have a clearly defined evaluation of a target, we infer our attitude from our past actions toward the target  Eventually our attitude becomes strong & clear enough for us to be able to access it directly without self perception  Self perception occurs for ambiguous attitudes but not for well-defined attitudes  STUDY: questionnaire that focused attention on pro-environmental actions led to more pro-environmental attitudes than the questionnaire that focused attention on anti-environmental actions…but ONLY for participants who had poorly defined attitudes • Participants with well-defined views were able to access their attitude directly & did not need to use their past behaviours to make the judgment, whereas participants with poorly defined views had to rely on their past behaviours to infer their attitude (& the questionnaire led them to review their past behaviour in a biased way) o OVERJUSTIFICATION EFFECT – people decide that they performed a potentially enjoyable activity for external reasons (for a reward) rather than b/c we enjoy it  A reward (or threat) provides sufficient justification for performing the task, so the individual infers that he/she did not really enjoy the task  STUDY: children who were promised a ‘good player award’ in advance if they used the pens subsequently spent less of their free time using the pens than did children who received an unexpected award (used the pens the most) or who did not hear anything about an award • Children who were promised the award concluded that they were using the pens in order to get the reward, so the pens were not ‘toys’ that were fun to use…the extrinsic reward of the Good Player Award was enough to produce an Overjustification effect: the children believed that the pens were simply a way of getting the award, which reduced their perception of being intrinsically motivated to use the pens  *If the reward is given when performance is good, then the reward may not have a negative effect • Rewards given for good performance show recipients that they are skilled @ an activity, which can increase personal motivation  If rewards are given simply b/c the activity was undertaken, the rewards will not show recipients that they performed well, but instead will be seen as ‘controlling’ which will serve to reduce perceived enjoyment  STUDY: when people in a romantic relationship were induced to think about extrinsic reasons for their relationship, they reported less love  thinking about extrinsic benefits led participants to infer that their relationship was not necessarily based exclusively on love  People’s motivations for learning a second language predicts their successes • Individuals who study a second language for intrinsic, autonomous reasons tend to perform better • Individuals with autonomous motivations tend to be more confident about their language skills & more willing to use the second language • Self Serving Judgments 12 o Unrealistic Self-Evaluation  Almost all of us think we are above average in our group  We also perceive ourselves as less persuasible than average by negative media communications, but we consider ourselves just as responsive as other people to positive communications  BIAS BLIND SPOT – tendency to think that biases & errors in judgments are more common others than in ourselves o Unrealistic Optimism  Optimistic Bias – estimate that they are more likely than average to experience positive events & less likely to experience negative events • Occurs mainly in overestimating our chances of common positive events & underestimating our chances of rate negative events  STUDY: predict whether their relationship would be together @ several points in the future (asked themselves, their roommates & their parents) • RESULTS: students were more unrealistically optimistic about the stability of their relationship than were their roommates or their parents • WHY? o Motivated  wanted to still be in the relationship o Deserving  deserve positive outcomes b/c we are good people o Are aware of factors that might reduce our own risk for certain problems, but do not realize that many other people also possess these risk-reducing features …predictions for our own outcomes (relative to others’ outcomes) tend to be optimistic o Are Unrealistic Self Evaluation & Unrealistic Optimism Adaptive or Maladaptive?  Self enhancement is associated with mental well-being  positive illusions about the self are associated with contentment, high self esteem, creativity, high effort, persistence @ tasks & coping effectively with stressful events  People in a dating relationship who were very optimistic about the stability of the relationship @ who idealized their partner were more likely to remain in that relationship  Linked self-enhancement to better coping with serious illness, stressful life events, & success in achievement settings  Other researchers have argued that self-enhancement is not always adaptive….excessive self-enhancement will be seen as arrogant & selfish  Negative impressions are caused by unrelenting self-promotion, which becomes tiresome over time  Narcissism (excessive self admiration) interferes with the establishment of meaningful social relationships with others; people who are overly fond of themselves may fail to make others feel valued & respected  *greater self-enhancement has been shown to be associated with numerous positive states (higher self-esteem, lower depression & greater perceived purpose in life)  Self serving tendencies are positively correlated with some biological signs of well- being (lower cardio vascular responses to stress, more rapid cardiovascular recovery from stress, & lower baseline levels of cortisol • Cultural Differences in Self-Serving Judgments o Unrealistic Self Evaluation  North America – excessively positive self-evaluation  are encouraged to think positively about themselves  Asia – are encouraged to gain a sense of belongingness, which is not achieved by perceived the self as better than other people  STUDY/RESULTS: • Canadian respondents showed biased self-evaluations on ALL of the judgments • Japanese respondents gave more modest estimates on ALL of the items o Showed no unrealistic self-evaluation (for judgments about the self) 13 o INTERDEPENDENT traits  showed less self-evaluative bias than Canadian respondents  STUDY/RESULTS: • Both Canadian & Japanese groups self-enhanced on both kinds of traits • American students self-enhanced more than Japanese students on the individualistic traits, whereas Japanese student self-enhanced more on the collective traits • Both American & Japanese respondents showed self-enhancement, especially on the traits that were most values in their culture  Members of collectivist cultures engage in less unrealistic self-evaluation o Unrealistic Optimism  Members of collectivist culture might not show unrealistic optimism about their future b/c they do not want to isolate themselves from others in their culture, by perceiving themselves & their futures much more favourable than average  STUDY: Canadian participants were unrealistically optimistic about both positive & negative events & Japanese participants showed NO optimistic bias for positive events & a weaker optimistic bias for negative events  Members of collectivist cultures exhibit weaker optimistic biases than do members of individualist cultures…the interdependent self that is fostered in collectivist culture minimizes perceived differences between the self & others • SELF EFFICACY – belief that we are capable of performing a particular behaviour that is required for a certain goal - Bandura o When people doubt that the can perform a behaviour, they are less likely to attempt it & are less likely to persist in the face of obstacles or failure o HIGH self efficacy has been shown to predict both undertaking a behaviour & continuing a behaviour despite negative feedback  Interpret problems & failures as temporary & correctable  Show better adjustment to such stressors as the pair of arthritis, coping with abortion & adjusting to new parenthood o ILLUSION OF CONTROL – tendency to overestimate our control of situation & events (think we have more control than we really do)  ex. superstitious beliefs, gambling behaviours  Perceived control might be adaptive b/c believing that one has control will encourage persistence @ an activity  LEARNED HELPLESSNESS – a state of apathy in which we simply give up trying to achieve our goals (one possible cause of depression)  FALSE HOPE SYNDROME – tendency to try repeatedly but unsuccessfully to achieve a goal b/c of unrealistic expectations about the likelihood of success • Self Perception in the Health Domain – Self –Discrepancy Theory o ACTUAL SELF – how we really are o IDEAL SELF – how we would ideally like to be o When the actual & idea selves differ substantially, people will have low self-esteem o OUGHT SELF – our perception of how we think we should or ought to be  “conscience” o SELF DISCREPANCY THEORY – perceived differences between the actual, ideal & ought self produce emotional consequences o Implications for Depression & Anxiety  When we fail to achieve our IDEAL SELF we experience negative emotion along a DEJECTION dimension – we feel unhappy, disappointed, sad & depressed  When we fail to live up to our OUGHT SELF we experience negative emotions along an AGITATION dimension – we feel anxious, guilty, nervous & ashamed  Failure to reach our ideals can lead to depression, whereas failure to live up to our obligations can lead to anxiety What Others See in Us • Managing Others’ Impressions o IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT – the deliberate control of one’s public behaviour to create a certain impression o SELF-PRESENTATION – impression management (people present the self to others) 14 o Self Presentation Goals  2 goals • To appear likeable • Appear competent  INGRATIATION – behaviour designed to make someone like us  SELF PROMOTION – behaviour designed to make someone respect us • Setting Yourself Up For Failure o STUDY: participants were worried that they would not perform well on the next test (b/c they were just lucky on the first test) & wanted to given themselves an excuse for doing badly…by taking the performance-impairing drug, participants could blame their poor performance on the drug rather than on their lack of analogical reasoning skill o SELF HANDICAPPING – tendency to seek, create, or claim inhibitory factors that interfere with performance & thus provide an explanation for potential failure o People self-handicap b/c they lack confidence that they can perform well on a task & want to have an excuse for the feared failure o Increasing people’s feeling of intrinsic self-worth makes them less defensive (reduces self- handicapping) o BEHAVIOURAL SELF HANDICAPPING – actually creating impediments to performance (not preparing for an exam, taking on an obstacle that must be overcome) o SELF-REPORTED SELF HANDICAPPING – claiming that an impediment was present (when maybe it wasn’t)…(‘claim’ you did not prepare, or that you are sick) o BOTH…increase the actual likelihood of poor performance o Men are more likely to behaviorally self handicap  Men are more threatened by potential failure than are women, which makes them more willing to risk damaging their own performance o Men & women engage in self-reported self handicapping equally o SELF-HANDICAPPING SCALE – measures how often people engage in self-handicapping behaviour  Children who reported more depressive symptoms also reported more self- handicapping • Return to the Correspondence Bias o Does not occur for self-attributions (just for others people’s actions) o To explain your OWN behaviour, people tend to focus on EXTERNAL factors o ACTOR-OBSERVE DIFFERENCE – actors tend to make external attribution for their own behaviour, whereas observers tend to make internal attributions for the same actions Chapter 5 – Self Concept, Gender & Dispositions Self Concept & Identity • Who Am I? The Self in Me o SELF CONCEPT – all information about the self in memory o IDENTITY – characteristics that individuals think make up their most important qualities o Attitudes, Gender & Dispositions – How Do We Define Ourselves?  Social Comparison  we compare ourselves to other people & assess whether we are strong or weak in a certain ability & whether our attitudes are shared or unusual  Self Perception – we infer our attitudes & feeling directly from our own experiences & behaviour  once we have applied a label to ourselves via self- perception, we can access the label directly & do not have to repeat the inference process o Priming & Situational Distinctiveness  SPONTANEOUS SELF CONCEPT – the aspects of identity that are in conscious awareness @ a given point in time  Priming – recent activation can increase the likelihood of subsequent activation  Distinctiveness of a feature in a particular setting  people are more aware of a specific characteristic when it makes them distinctive from other people in the situation 15 • Any feature that distinguishes individuals from others in the setting is expected to become more accessible (ex. the only red head in the group, the only black kid in the school) o Ex. you will be more aware of your gender when you are the only member of your sex o STUDY: boys were much more likely to mention their sex when females were in the majority & girls were more likely to mention their sex when males were in the majority  Situational factors can make features more prominent, which increases the likelihood that those features will be activated & become part of the spontaneous self concept • Is it Me or We? o SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY - people want to have positive appraisals of groups to which they belong to  judge our group to be superior to others groups  When people are given an opportunity to distribute resources between members of their in-group & members of an out-group, they systematically favour their in- group (want to make their group superior to the out-group)  MINIMAL GROUP PARADIGM – a procedure in which participants are divided into groups based on trivial features or information • In-group bias occurs even when groups are formed randomly…so the bias is probably very strong when groups are formed on the basis of characteristics that people truly value o OPTIMAL DISTINCTIVENESS THEORY – people want to maintain a balance between similarity to other people & individuality from other people  People are constantly adjusting their perceive similarity or perceived distinctiveness in order to maintain the optimal level  If people are exposed to a situation that makes them feel indistinguishable from other people, they will want to reestablish their unique identity  If people are exposed to a situation that makes them feel very different from other people, they will want to re-establish their group belongingness • Cultural Differences in Identity o Independent vs. Interdependent Selves  Individualistic cultures  self is seen as independent from other people  Collectivist cultures  self is seen as interdependent with other people o Is it Me or We?  People from collectivist cultures define themselves in terms of their relationship to others MORE than do people from individualistic cultures  STUDY: examined bilingual Chinese Canadians • RESULT: participants who responded in Chinese included more references to groups, more references to other people & fewer statements about their private characteristics o When participants responded in the language associated with a collectivist perspective, they defined themselves in social terms more than when they responded in the language associated with an individualist perspective o Data suggests that participants had SEPARATE identities stored in memory, one reflecting their family’s Chinese culture & one reflecting the dominant English culture • SELF ESTEEM – an individual’s evaluation of him/herself o Most people have reasonably high self esteem o Most people rate themselves as above average on most positive traits o Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale – predicts well for men & women (of all ages) & for different ethnic groups o Sources of Self Esteem 16  Personal experiences – to the extent that people experience many positive outcomes across varied situations, they are likely to develop favourable beliefs about themselves & positive feelings about their personal worthiness  parents are in important source of positive/negative experiences  successful or unsuccessful social relationships  friendships & social acceptance produce self-confidence & high self esteem, whereas loneliness & social rejection produce self-doubts & low self esteem  academic achievement @ school  consistent success/failure can strongly affect individual’s self esteem  individuals with low self-esteem are more likely to believe that other people’s liking for them depends on their performance  social comparison  when the self has outperformed others, self-esteem is raised o Correlates of HIGH Self Esteem  Clear & more certain views of themselves  EXPECT to succeed  Approach situations hoping to demonstrate skill  High self-enhancement & self-serving judgments…attribute success INTERNALLY, attribute failure EXTERNALLY, recall information about personal successes & exaggerate personal control over situations  High happiness  are NOT depressed or anxious  High satisfaction with life  Stable dating relationships, happy marriages, rate partners positively, use relationships as a way to cope with threats  NARCISSISM – extent to which people have excessive love for themselves • Have inflated views of their self-worth which are not connected to reality • Can be measured by a self-report scale • Correlates with self-esteem (MODERATELY) …people with high self-esteem are not always high in narcissism o Perhaps well-adjusted individuals are high in self-esteem & low in
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