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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 3040
Tuuli Kukkonen

Chapter 9 Summary: Social Cognition Basic Cognitive Abilities and Social Cognition  Processing Capacity  Processing models are used to describe how people make social adjustments o Ex: ability to make non biased judgments depends on cognitive demands accompying those judgments  Everyone makes snap judgments but then we evaluate our judgment  B/c older adults may have lower levels of cognitive processing, they may not have the proper judgments towards situations  Impression Formation  Means the way people form and revise first impressions  Cognitive resources influence social judgment o Ex: of people using diagnostic trait information (order in which -/+ info is given about person influence first impression)  Hess and Pullen suggest older adults may rely more on life experiences and social rules of behavior opposed to their interpretation  Older adults may have negative bias: do not correct initial impressions b/c negative info is more striking to them o Less likely to use detail in forming impressions  Knowledge Accessibility and Social Judgments  Means when we are faced with new situations, we draw on past experiences stored in memory  The degree to which info in memory is easily stored determines the extent of how info guides our judgment  Dependent on the strength of the info stored  Older adults weigh information about people based on first impressions  Family Effect: occurs when info you just processed influences subsequent social judgment  Reduced processing resources prevent older adults from assessing situations  Processes capacity appears that processing resources limitations play an important role in how older process/ access info Social Knowledge Structures and Social Beliefs  Defined as how we represent and interpret the behavior of others in a social situation  Scripted Knowledge: how people behave when sitting in Dr’s office  Stereotyping: how we perceive people will behave  Stereotypes  Negative stereotyping is pervasive in our culture  Positive effects of aging coexist with the negative ones  Content of Stereotypes  Help us process info when we are engaged in social interactions  Hummert found that older and younger adults hold similar age stereotypes  There are cultural differences in the stereotypes – Asia shows less +/- stereotyping  As we grow older, our ideas and age stereotypes become more elaborated and rich  Age Stereotypes and Perceived Competence  We base stereotypes on performance tasks as well  The perception is people believe memory decreases with age  The Age Based Double Standard: operates when a person considers an older persons failure in memory to be more serious than a memory failure observed in a young adult o Ex: when an older person looses their keys, this is seen as a decline in memory  Activation of Stereotypes  Focus on a non-conscious and automatic process that guides our behavior and social judgments  Stereotypes become over- learned and become spontaneously activated when we encounter a member or members of a stereotyped group  Implicit Stereotyping: activation of strong stereotypes is considered by many researchers to be automatic but also non-conscious, therefore more likely that they will influence your behavior  Patronizing Talk: slow speech, simple vocab, careful enunciation, demeaning tone, and superficial conversation o Negative age stereotype primary cause of this sort of talk  Stereotyping threat: evoked fear of being judged in accordance with negative stereotype about a group to which you belong  Implicit Social Beliefs  3 understandings in age difference belief systems 1. Examine the content of social beliefs 2. Consider the strength of these beliefs to know under what conditions they may influence beha
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