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Chapter 3-5

PSYCH 2C03 Chapter 3-5: 2C03 Chapter Summaries


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 2C03
Professor
Jennifer Ostovich
Chapter
3-5

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Chapter3SelfandSelfEsteem
SocialCognitionChapter3
Twotypesofthinking:
1.Controlledthinkingpause,thinkaboutourselvesandtheenvironmentandcontemplatewhat
isgoingonaroundus
2.Automaticthinkingquickandeffortlessexample:classifyingsomethingasachair
Low–Effortthinking
● Peoplereachconclusionsaboutsituationswithoutevenbeingawarethattheyweredoing
soweformimpressionsofpeoplequicklyandeffortlessly,andnavigatenewroads
withoutmuchconsciousanalysisofwhatwearedoing
● Thistypeofautomaticthinkingisthoughtthatisgenerallynonconscious,unintentional
andeffortless.
PeopleasEverydayTheorists:AutomaticThinkingwithSchemas
● Automaticthinkinghelpsusunderstandnewsituations,places,objectsbyrelatingthem
toourpriorexperiences.
● Ourmental“script”automaticallytellsusthatthisiswhatwedoinfastfoodrestaurant,
andweassumethatthisoneisnodifferent.
Schemas:
mentalstructurespeopleusetoorganizetheirknowledgeaboutthesocialworld
aroundthemesorsubjectsthatinfluencetheinformationpeoplenotice,thinkaboutand
remember
● Schemasalsoinfluencethewayinwhichweprocessinformation,andthusinformation
relevanttousisprocessedmorequicklythanthatunrelated.
● Participantswerefasterratingthestereotypicalinfoofagroupversusthenostereotypical
informationex:malesweremoreeasilycharacterizedasruggedthantheywereartistic
● Wealsotendto“fillintheblanks”withschemaconsistentinformation,whichallowsfor
moreefficientinformationprocessing,butitcanalsohavetragicconsequences
(Stereotypes)
○ Forexample:Michaelanactorwasdescribedasnotafraidofthespotlightorlife
ofthepartywhereasasasalespersoncharacterizedasspeaksloudlyand
manipulative
StereotypesaboutRaceandViolence
● Whenappliedtomembersofasocialgroupsuchasoneofgenderorrace,schemasare
commonlyreferredtoasStereotypes
● Stereotypescanbeappliedrapidlyandautomaticallywhenweencounterotherpeople.
● Forexample,experimentshavebeenconductedontheeffectsofpeople’sstereotypes
aboutAfricanAmericansandcrime(Corelletal,2002)

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oNonblackparticipantsplayedavideogameinwhichtheysawphotographsof
youngmeninrealisticsettingsandhalfthemenwereAfricanAmericantheother
halfwerewhite.Halfthemenineachgroupheldagunandhalfheldanonlife
threateningobject.Participantswereinstructedtopressabuttonlabelledshoot
whenwithagunanddon’twhenwithout
oParticipantswereespeciallylikelytopullthetriggerwhenpeopleinthe
pictureswereblack
whetherornottheywereholdingagun
oShooterbias
meanttheymadefewerrorswhenablackpersonwereholdinga
gunbutalsomademoreerrorsshootinganunarmedblackperson
oWhenthemeninthepicturewerewhitetheparticipantsmadeequalnumberof
errorswhetherthemenwerearmedorunarmed
● Studieshaveshownthateventhephysicalenvironmentcantriggerautomaticthinking
aboutraceandcrime.
○ Forexample,inBCnegativestereotypesonblackpeopleespeciallyrelevantto
dangercametomindmorequicklyforparticipantsseatedinadarkversusbright
room
CulturalDeterminantsofSchemas
● Contextofourschemasisinfluencedbyourculture,andeverydaylife
○ Forexample,Thebantupeoplehavecowsasahugepartoftheirlivelihoodso
theydonotneedtobrandthecowstheyknoweachcowindividually,asaresult
ofthewelldevelopedschemasaboutcattle.
○ Differentculturesgivedifferentmeaningtothings
ThefunctionofSchemas:Whydowehavethem?
● Schemasaretypicallyveryusefulforhelpingusorganizeandmakesenseoftheworld,
andtofillinthegapsofourknowledge.
● Schemasareparticularlyusefulwhenweencounterinformationthatisconfusingor
ambiguousbecausetheyhelpusfigureoutwhatisgoingon.
● HaroldKelly(1950)Study(studentshaveaguestlecturerfillingin)
oStudentsweretoldthatthelecturerhada“warm”personalityoracold
personalityonabiographicalnotebeforethelecturestarted.
oTheguestlecturerthanconductedaclassdiscussionfor20minutes,after
whichthestudentsratedtheirimpressionsofhim.
oKellyhypothesizedthattheywouldusetheschemaprovidedbythe
biographicalnotetofillintheblanks
o*Studentsgavethewarmerteacherhigherratingsthanthecoldereventhough
hebehavedintheexactsameway

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oStudentswhoexpectedtheinstructortobewarmweremorelikelytoask
questionsandparticipateinclassthanthosewhothoughthewassupposedtobe
cold
● Ifweautomaticallyapplyschemasthatarenotaccurate,suchasassumingthatablack
personreachingintohispocketisabouttoproduceagun
● Weremembersomeinformationthatwasthereandwerememberotherinformationthat
wasnevertherebutthatwehaveunknowinglyaddlater.
Whichschemasareapplied?AccessibilityandPriming
∙Thesocialworldisfullofambiguousinformationthatisopentointerpretation
1.Accessibilitytheextenttowhichschemasandconceptsareattheforefrontofpeople’sminds
andarethereforelikelytobeusedwhenmakingjudgementsaboutthesocialworld
Schemascanbeaccessibleforthreereasons:
oSchemasarechronicallyaccessiblebecauseofpastexperience
Forexample,ifthereisahistoryofalcoholisminyourfamily,traitsdescribing
analcoholicarelikelytobechronicallyaccessibletoyou,increasingthe
likelihoodthatthesetraitswillcometomindwhenyouthinkingaboutthe
behaviourofthemanonthebus
oSchemasareconstantlyactiveandreadytousetointerpretambiguoussituations
Forexample,peoplewhoaretargetsofprejudiceordiscriminationaremore
likelytointerpretambiguoussituationsasdiscriminatory,presumablybecause
discriminationschemasbecomechronicallyaccessibleforthem.
oSchemasbecomeaccessiblebecausetheyarerelatedtoacurrentgoal
2.Priming:theprocessbywhichrecentexperiencesincreasetheaccessibilityofaschema,
traitorconcept
Higginsetal(1977)Study
experimentofprimingeffects,experimenterstold
participantsthattheywouldbetakingpartintwounrelatedstudies
Inthefirst,aperceptionstudytheywouldhavetoidentifydifferentcolours
whilememorizingalistofwords.
Inthesecond,areadingcomprehensionstudytheywouldbeaskedtoreada
paragraphaboutsomenamedDonaldandthengivetheirimpressionsofhim
○ ***manyofDonald’sactionsareambiguous,interpretableineitherapositiveor
anegativemanner;takeinthefactthathepilotedaboatwithoutknowingmuch
aboutitandwantstosailacrosstheAtlanticOcean.Atthispoint,somemaythink
ofpositiveimpressionslikehowheisadventurous,ortheymightthinkthatheisa
recklessfoolishindividual.
○ Foundthoseprimedwithpositivessaidmorenicethingsabouthimwhereas
thoseprimedwithnegativessaidmorenegativethingsabouthim
○ Thoughtshavetobebothaccessibleandapplicablebeforetheywillactasprimes,
exertinganinfluenceonourimpressionsofthesocialworld
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