Chapter 9.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 3040
Tuuli Kukkonen

Chapter 9- Social Cognition Basic Cognitive Abilities & Social Cognition - Processing capacity o The ability to make non-biased social judgments depends on the cognitive demand accompanying those judgment- we all make snap judgments, but then we reconsider/evaluate to revise ignition judgments o Older adults may have lower levels of cognitive-processing resources & use these resources less efficiently- therefore their social judgment processing is affected - Impression formation o The way people form & revise first impressions o Varies with age o Study on older adults showed that when new negative info was presented after positive portrayal of the target, they were willing to modify their impression of the target from positive to negative, but less willing to modify when negative info was displayed before positive  Younger adults didn’t follow this pattern- they swayed their portrayal of the target consistently with the positive & negative portrays regardless of the order o Older adults rely on life experiences & social rules of behaviour when making interpretations, young adults more concerned with situational consistency o Older adults may have a negativity bias: do not correct their initial impressions because negative info is more striking o them and thus affects them more strongly o Age differences imply deficiencies in working memory resources- older adults are less likely than young adults to use detailed, specific info in forming impressions - Knowledge accessibility & social judgments o Social knowledge: when faces with new situations, we draw on previous experiences stored in memory  Ex, first day of class you drawn on previous experience of how to behave in a classroom o The degree to which info in memory is accessible determines the extent that info guides social judgments or behaviour o Accessibility of social knowledge can explain age-related differences in social judgments  Older adults may rely on easily accessible social knowledge structures (first impression)- could be a function of limited cognitive resources to process detailed info presented after the first impression is formed  Framing effect: occurs when info you just processed influences subsequent social judgments  Ex, changing judgment positively based on knowing it was a sunny day, rather than gloomy  Evidence this occurred in younger & older adults, but younger adults stronger than older o Processing capacity- degree to which process resources are available during a cognitive task Social Knowledge Structures & Social beliefs - how we represent & interpret the behaviour of others in a social situation o ex, scripted knowledge structures regarding everyday activities such as what people should do when they go to the doctor’s office or to a restaurant, stereotypes of groups of people & how they will act in certain situations, and socialized to adhere to and believe in social rules, or how to behave in specific social situations - stereotypes o pervasive negative stereotype towards aging o content of negative stereotypes  stereotypes: special type of social knowledge structure or social belief that represent organized prior knowledge about a group of people & that affects how we interpret new info  are not inherently negative in their effects, but often underestimate the potential of the person observed  found that older & younger adults hold similar age stereotypes  clusters of cognitive, personality and general physical traits  cultural differences in stereotypes occur  studies show that as we grow older, our ideas & age stereotypes become more elaborated & rich as we integrate our life experiences into our beliefs about aging o age stereotypes & perceived competence  appraisals or attributions of older adults’ competence are also made  most negative stereotypes of older adults is memory competence  age-based double standard: operating when a person considers an older person’s failure in memory to be more serious than a memory failure observed in a young adult  may be the case that when we form an impression about someone’s capability, we take other factors into consideration  when more individualized info is provided & the person is places in a social setting, we consider more than just negative trait-based stereotypes in make our social judgments, ex in choice of a neighbour we consider reliability or dependability o activation of stereotypes  under what conditions stereotypes are activated, how they affect our behaviour and social judgments  said to be non-conscious & automatic process that guides our behaviour & social judgments  suggested that stereotypes are over-learned & are spontaneously activated when we encounter a member of the stereotype group  implicit stereotyping: activation of strong stereotypes is considered by many researchers to be not only automatic but also non-conscious, making it more likely that they will influence your behaviour without you being aware of it o patronizing talk: slow speech, simple vocab, careful enunciation, a demeaning emotional tone (ex, overbearing or overly familiar) and superficial conversation o communication predicament: produced by patronizing talk involves a negative feedback loop wherein the target of such communication may begin to enact the stereotyped behaviours ascribed to him or her o possibility that implicit negative stereotypes of aging influences the cognitive functioning of older adults o stereotype threat: an evoked fear of being judged accordance with a negative stereotype about a group to which you belong o stereotype lift: occurs when a privileged group is motivated to perform after exposure to an unflattering stereotype of a less advantaged group (cause of stereotype threat) - implicit social beliefs o many types of belief systems that differ in content across age groups & also influence behaviour o important considerations in understanding age differences in social belief systems:  content of social beliefs, ex, about ruled, norms, patterns of social behaviours  strength of these beliefs to know under what conditions they may influence behaviour  activated likelihood of these beliefs o researchers argue that individual differences in the strength of social
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