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Chapter 4

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PSYC 215
John Lydon

Chapter 4 Social Cognition:  How ppl think about social world that help them interpret part, present, and future  Depends first on INFORMATION o Understanding other people depends on accurate information  Minimal information: o Using facial experissions, people can infer their personality o Peopllllle with baby faces = relativelt harmless and helples→automatica nature for us is to ensure that the young and helpless receive adequate care o We would overgeneralize and come to see even adults with such features as trustworth and friendly  Encourages dependent disposition  Are facial festaures valid reasons to judge people’s peronalisty? o Mixed answers o High correlations between judgements made about people based on facial appearance and their personality o AND some studies have found no correlation o What matters though is not what is relaly ture, but what ppl believe to be true  Pluralistic ignorance o Information we extract from people’s behaviour o Wheneverpeople act in ways that conlict with their private beliefs because ofa concern for the social conswewuences o Actions that reinforce the wrroneous group norm  Secondhand information o Misleading o None of us knoew what walt Disney thought about jews o Ideological distortions:  Transmitters of information have a desire to foster certain beliefs or behaviours in others  So leads to exaggeration of certain aspects of thr truths o Purposes to dsitortinon of the information → generate entertainment  Eg. It’s cooler to say you were stuck with 20 people in an elevator for and hour than to say you were stuck with 10 people for 15 minutes. So people tend to round up to exaggerate everything to sound “cooler” o Positive and negative information:  Amongst numerous positive comments about your presentation, that one negative one will stand out in your brain because it is that one negative comment that affects how people perceive you  Negative comments have more implications to our well-being  Marketing: how inofrmaiton is presented, not what is presented o Primacy effect:  Information presented first exerts the most influence  Influence on jedgement by information rpesented first in a body of evidence o Recency effects:  Information rpesented last has the most ompact o Framing effects:  Influence on judgement resulting from way information is presented (eg. Order of the words)  Order effects = pure framing effects  Frame of reference is changed even though content of the information is exactly same in the two versions- only order is different o Spin framing:  Changing content  “torture” vs. “enhanced interrogation”  “war department” vs “defense department” o Positive and negative framing  Negative information tends to attract more attention and have greater psychological impact than positive information o Temporal framing:  Actions and events come framed within a particular time perspective  Construal level theory: relationship between psychological distrance and the concreteness versus abstraction of thought.  we tend to think of distant events, those from a while ago, in abstract terms, and of events close at hand in concrete terms.  Confirmation bias o Ppl more readily seek evidence that would support the proposition rather than information that would contradict the proposition. o However, to truly confirm a proposition, one needs to seek contradictory evidence as well o Motivational confirmation bias:  Top down processing: o Filter and interpret bottom up stumuli in light of preexisting knowledge and expectiations  Bottom up procressing: o Taking relevant stimuli from the outside world.  preexisting knowledge is necessary for understanding and required for inferences and judgements  Information is stored in schemas in the brain  Schemas: o Attention: people concentrating on white and black people playing basketball. Person in gorilla costume walks in, no one notices this dramatic thing o Memory: likely to remembering those things that mist captured our attention  Schemas affect memory by affecting encoding of information: how ingo is filed away in memory  Also influences the retrieval of information: ohw info is extracted from memory  Did students’ preexisting knowledge affect what they recalled from memory? YES  Info that fits a preexisting schema often enjoys an advantage in recall  Encoding: how info is filed in memory (Affected by schemas)  retrieval: how info is extracted from knowledge  schemas affect encoding since they direct attention  providing schema before the infomraiton has been envountered affects memory more than being given the schema after facing the information  schemas effect on ecoding is much stronger than on retrieval o Construal:  Affects the way we interpret the information  Donald experiment (pg. 127). Participants looked at Donald more favorably after being exposed to nice traits before.  Information stored in the brain can influence how people construe new information  Likely to occur when stimulus is ambiguous  Need to rely on top-down processes o Behaviour:  Ppl elicit certain behaviours when exposed to environment that bring to mind a particular schema  Activating stereotype of prof or supermodel → behaviour consistent of stereotype  Activating stereotype that is specific (of Einstien or J Lo)→ behaviour Inconsistent with the stereotype  Individual examples lead to standards of judgment  Recent activation: if schema has been brought to mind recently = tends to be more accessible therefore ready for use  Priming→ refer to procedures that momentarily activate a particular schema  Frequent activation and chromic accessibility; o Frequently activated schemas function like recently activated one- increased accessibility increases likelihood that it will be applied to udnrestanding a new stimulus  Consciousness of activation o Participants frequently do not see the connection between the two studies conducted with priming o Between the initial priming phase and the subsequent judgment phase o Schemas can be primed even when presentation of activating stimuli is sublimal → far below the threshold of conscious awareness  Smiliarity / feature matching: o Features of a situation tell you what kind of situationit is, then you apply the relevant schema to assist with further interpretation o “Donald” study:  Participants exposed to written stimuli to activate scheme of dependence  Then asked to judge a person unrelated to the first task  Target for male for halg and female for the other half  Dependence is trait stereotypically associated with women, participant’s judged target higher on dependence only when if was a female due to this similarity  Perception andjudgment are top-down, bottom-up processes  Misleading similarities: o Application of wrong schema→ when schema shares irrelevant features with the target o People opposed to conflict, will look at it through Vietnam war lens cuz US had difficulty extricating themselves from the war. People supporting conflict will look through WW2 lens, where Allies should have intervened much earlier and stood up to Hitler  E
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