INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL PSYCH COMPLETE NOTES [Part 2] - I got a 4.0 in this course!

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PSY 0105
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9/11 Social Cognition and Perception Cognition • The manner in which we interpret, analyze, remember, and use information about the social world Controlled Thought • Effortful and conscious processing o Ex. math or studying • Counterfactual: tendency to imagine an outcome that might have been; we tend to go upward to imagine a more favorable situation o Ex. silver medalists are the least happy because they imagine themselves winning; bronze medalists are happier because they imagine how close they were to not placing at all • Thought Suppression: effort to prevent thoughts from entering into your consciousness (usualy upsetting or distressing for some reason) o Ex. dieting—you suppress unwanted thoughts of food that you might be tempted to eat o White Bear Experiment  Group that was told not to think of a white bear thought about it more often than the group that was told that they could think about a white bear  Under cognitive load, they were less able to suppress their thoughts o Processes  Monitoring (automatic): scans for any instances of unwanted thoughts (white bear, bears in general, animals, etc.)  Operating: effortful; distracts us from the thoughts that are found  Rebound Effect: cognitive load; brain is busy doing something else and the thought becomes hyper-accessible; thought returns because brain cannot run the operating process o Experiment  Write about the day in the life of a person without being prejudiced 9/11  Rated how stereotypical they were  Turned out to be more stereotypical  Part 2: sat farther away from the person o In all: thought suppression is stressful and typically doesn’t even work Automatic Thought • Involuntary and unconscious thought • May be better in some cases; people who make distracted decisions tend to have better outcomes • Comes into play with multitasking like driving • Schemas: mental frameworks centering around a specific theme that allow for the organization of large amounts of material in an effective manner o Ex. people can have schemas about cars, music, sports, etc. o Experiment: when a professor was rated as being “warm,” students participated more in class and were more likely to rate him as a better teacher o Perseverance Effect: very difficult to undo schemas even if we have contradictory information  Ex. people do unhealthy things (smoking, drinking) despite information that tells them not to o Accessibility  Chronically accessible  Better accessible if related to a current goal  Recent experiences (priming) o Priming: increased availability of stimuli due to recent exposure to events  Ex. watching a scary movie and misinterpreting sounds around the house  Very subtle but powerful tool o Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: case whereby people have an expectation about what another person will be like, which influences how they act toward that person, which causes that person to behave consistently with the original expectations 9/11  Rosenthal and Jacobsen, 1968: Administered a test and falsely told teachers that some kids were found to be “bloomers.” Bloomers ended up having higher grades because of the teachers’ behaviors and attitudes towards those students (warm, encouraging environment; more, more difficult material; more, better feedback, more opportunities and longer time for students to respond to questions)  More powerful when: • Target defers (accepts) the prophecy • The person who holds the prophecy is in a position of power • Heuristics: rules of thumb that we often use to make decisions or draw inferences quickly, with minimal effort o Ex. “good paper” schema—long paper, well-structured, etc. o Representativeness: ignores the likelihood of something happening (as detail increases, probability decreases, but it still represents that thing so we think that it is likely) o Availability: how easily something comes to your mind  Ex. driving after 9/11 happened because thoughts of airplane crashes are dramatic and therefore more available in our minds  Study: people who only listed 6 instances of aggression thought they were more aggressive than those who listed 12 because it was easier for them to think of only 6 instances o Anchoring: using a number/value as a starting point, making adjustments  Ex. anchoring onto the last digits of your social security number and predicting the cost of wine o Using heuristics: aroused, under cognitive load, time pressure, good moods, need for closure (don’t want ambiguity or grey areas) o When we don’t use heuristics: accountability, those in need of cognition • Biases o Study: “Politics Wrecks Your Ability to do Math”  Measured political attitudes 9/11  Rated logic and statistics  People were good at math when talking about skin creams  In politics, they were found to just want to confirm their beliefs o False Consensus: tendency to overestimate the extent to which others agree with us; we think we are in the majority o Confirmation: tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions and avoid information and interpretations which contradict prior beliefs  Similar to the perseverance effect  Ex. when you see a good minivan driver it doesn’t change your beliefs, you just always look for the bad ones o Negativity: you have greater sensitivity to negative information than to positive information  Ex. there is food for you to eat but there is also a lion—you are going to be more concerned about the lion than the food o Optimistic: our predisposition to expect things will turn out well overall  Ex. health and finances will be good o Overconfidence Barrier: tendency to have more confidence in the accuracy of our judgments than is reasonable  Ex. overestimating what our grade will be on a test o Planning Fallacy: tendency to make optimistic predictions concerning how long a given task will take for completion  Ex. taking longer than expected to finish your homework • Mood o Mood Dependent Memory: our memories are determined by how we felt when previously in that mood o Mood Congruence Effects: we remember positive memories when we are happy and negative memories when we are upset Mood  Cognition 9/11 Social Perception • How we seek to know and understand other people • Implicit Personality Theory: beliefs about what traits or characteristics tend to go together; similar to schemas o Ex. if someone is overweight, we have beliefs about what other factors go along with that (lazy, unhealthy, etc.) • Nonverbal Behavior: communication between individuals that does not involve the content of spoken language o Channels: facial expression, eye contact, body language, posture, touching o Women are better at sending and receiving (motherly instincts and a history of having les
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