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Chapter 15

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Ch 15 Social PsychologySocial Psychologybranch of psychology that studies our social naturehow the actual imagined or implied presence of others influences our thoughts feelings and behavioursSocial Cognitionthe processes involved in perceiving interpreting and acting on social informationSOCIAL COGNITIONImpression formationthe way in which we integrate information about anothers traits into a coherent sense of who the person isSchemaSchemaa mental framework of body of knowledge that organizes and synthesizes information about a person place or thingSchemata aid us in interpreting the worldie the first time you visited your professor in hisher office you were probably surprised if you saw that your profs office was filled with soccer trophies autographed photos of rock starssuch possessions are probably inconsistent with your impression of professorsCentral TraitsCentral Traitspersonality attributes that organize and influence the interpretation of other traitscentral traits impart meaning to other known traits and suggest the presence of yet other traits that have yet to be revealedin one study all participants were provided with the same basic list of traits that were said to describe a hypothetical person intelligent skillful industrious determined practical and cautious some participants were told that the person was also warm whereas others were told that the person was also coldparticipants who heard the list with warm formed more positive impressions about the character of the imaginary person than those that heard the trait coldparticipants in the warm conditions were also more likely to speculate that the person was also generous happy and altruisticwhen the words polite and blunt were substituted for warm and cold in the trait list no differences were observed in impressionsmore recent work suggests that the negative e influence of the cold trait is stronger than the positive influence of the warm traitthis imbalance may occur bc of bias toward positivity in impressions of peopleThe Primacy EffectPrimacy effectthe tendency to form impressions of people based on the first information we receive about them1the primacy effect reflects greater attention to trait info presented early than presented latemore pronounced for participants who were mentally fatigued than for those that were alertas we observe what a person does and says we purposefully think about what those behaviours reveal about hisher personal qualitiespeople may generate traitlike labels from observed behaviour and that those labels become rather automatically associate din memory with whatever stimulus happens to have been around at the same time the info about the behaviour became availablemost of the time observed behaviour will be most closely associate with the person a stimulus who performs it and so the associate will be between the person and the trait informationwhen the observed thinks about the person in the future heshe will also recall the trait infoon the other hand another study showed that trait labels from behavioural descriptions may become associated with almost any stimulus including inanimate onesie they found evidence that people had associated personality traits to bananas an outcome in their words both illogical and nonsensical from a personperception point of vie bc people presumably do not consider bananas to be personsThe SelfSelfConceptselfidentity Ones knowledge feelings and ideas about oneself SelfA persons distinct individuality how you perceive yourself and interpret events that are relevant to defining who you areSelfschemaa mental framework that represents and synthesizes information about oneself a cognitive structure that organizes the knowledge feelings and ideas that constitute the selfconcept it changes with experienceeach of us should think of ourselves in terms of a working selfconcept that changes as we have new experiences or receive feedback about our behavioureach of us has potential selves that we might become depending on experienceie person went through a traumatic event described their future selves as worried sad depressed etcculture plays a powerful role in individual and social developmentie North American parents sometimes encourage their children to eat all of their dinner by admonishing them to think about all the starving children in the world and how lucky you are not to have to go hungrywestern cultures often emphasize the uniqueness of the individual and an appreciation in contrast Japanese and Eastern cultures emphasize paying attention to others and the relatedness of the individual and others2 construals of the self that reflect such cultural differencesindependent construalemphasizes the uniqueness of the self its autonomy from others and selfreliancepersons selfconcept is largely defined independently of others relatively stable and difficult to changeinterdependent construalemphasizes the interconnectedness of people and the role that others play in developing an individuals selfconceptwhat others think of the individual or do to the individual matterthe person is extremely sensitive to others and strives to form strong social bonds with them responsive to relationship demandsie students from India judge the self as more similar to others whereas American students judge the self as more dissimilar to others difference bw eastern and western cultures2
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