ENVS 4012 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Social Cognition, How We Think, Availability Heuristic
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Chapter 3: Social Cognition: How We Think about the Social
•Social cognition is how people think about themselves and social world; more
specifically, how people select, interpret, remember, and use social information to
make judgements and decisions.
•Two kinds of social cognition:
oAutomatic cognition – quick and effortless.
oControlled thinking – more effortful and deliberate.
•Often, automatic and controlled modes of social cognition work very well
On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking
•Automatic thinking is thought that is nonconscious, unintentional, involuntary,
People as Everyday Theorists: Automatic Thinking with Schemas
•Automatic thinking helps understand new situations by relating them to prior
•People use schemas – mental structures that organize knowledge about social
oInfluence information we notice, think about, and remember.
oEncompasses knowledge about many things – other people, ourselves,
social roles, and specific events.
•Schema influence way which we process information.
oEvidence that information relevant to particular schema processed more
quickly than information unrelated to it.
•Gardner, MacIntyre, and Lalonde (1995):
oEnglish-speaking students to rate characteristics of various groups.
Participants faster when rating stereotypical characteristics of each group
than when ratings its nonstereotypical characteristics.
•Kunda, Sinclair, Griffin (1997):
oGiven a label, we fill in blanks w/ all kinds of schema-consistent
Stereotypes about Race and Weapons
•When schemas applied to members of social group such as gender or race, they
are referred to as stereotypes.
•Payne, Shimizu, and Jacoby (2005):
oPeople significantly likely to misidentify tool as gun when preceded by
black face than when preceded by white face.
•Correll, Park, Judd, and Wittenbrink (2002):
oParticipants likely pull trigger when person in picture was black, whether
or not he was holding a gun. (“Shooter bias”)
Chapter 3: social cognition: how we think about the social. On automatic pilot: low-effort thinking: automatic thinking is thought that is nonconscious, unintentional, involuntary, and effortless. experiences. world. Participants faster when rating stereotypical characteristics of each group than when ratings its nonstereotypical characteristics: kunda, sinclair, griffin (1997), given a label, we fill in blanks w/ all kinds of schema-consistent information. The function of schemas: why do we have them: schemas typically very useful for helping us organize and make sense of world and to fill in gaps of our knowledge, korsakov"s syndrome difficulty forming schemas. 1989): schemas accessible for three reasons, some schemas chronically accessible due to past experience meaning schemas are constantly active and ready to use to interpret ambiguous situations (chen & anderson, 1999; dijksterhius & van knippengerg, 2002: after learning that feedback was false, these thoughts still fresh in people"s minds, making them think they were particularly good or poor at task.