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Chapter 3

CH3 Textbook Notes

7 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY220H1
Professor
Jennifer Fortune

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CHAPTER 3 SOCIAL COGNITION: THINKING ABOUT PEOPLE
- categorization: the process of recognizing and identifying something. The most basic
process we use to understand and structure our world
- we constantly identify objects around us so we can know how to behave
- social cognition: the study of how information about people is processed and stored
- generally thought to be two basic motives underlying human information processing
- to perceive the world accurately
- view the self positively
How Does the Mind Work?
Schemas: The Building Blocks of the Mind
- to understand the mind, we are less interested in its physical/biological elements than
we are in its underlying theoretical elements
- schemas: mental representations of objects or categories of objects
- or concepts, they contain the principle features of the object or category and
simple assumptions or theories” about how it functions
- Baldwin (1992) relational schemas: schemas for specific interpersonal interactions
- much of a childs early learning involves forming schemas
Categorization
- basic function of schemas is to categorize objects in ways that impose meaning and
predictability
- we must identify (categorize) anything before we can behave effectively toward it
- occurs automatically and effortless with majority of things encountered everyday
- allows us to form impressions and make decisions quickly and efficiently, without
having to think carefully about every object we encounter
Going Beyond the Information Given
- when we categorize something, we assume it possesses the characteristics of the
schema even if we cant perceive them directly
- we infer other, non-visible characteristics
Selective Information Processing
- schemas influence how information is processed
- Cohen (1981) participants watched videotape of woman having a birthday dinner
- half of participants told (before watching) the woman was a server at a local
coffee shop and the other half fold she was a librarian
- schema of server or librarian was activated which influenced what participants
noticed and recalled whether assess immediately or up to a week later
- schemas also influence interpretation of information
- ambiguous information is interpreted in accordance with the schema
- anything that obvious contradicts our expectancies will grab our attention
www.notesolution.com
Accessibility: Whats On Your Mind?
- accessibility: the ease with which the schema comes to awareness
Priming of Schemas
- when a schemas has been used recently, it is more accessible
- Carver et al. (1983) showed participants videotape of a businessman speaking to
assistant, businessman was either hostile or calm toward assistant
- participants then read a paragraph about a young man behaving in ambiguous
ways that could be interpreted as hostile or other ways
- participants exposed to hostile videotape rated the young man as more hostile
than participants exposed to the non-hostile videotape
Chronic Accessibility of Schemas
- extent to which schemas are easy activated for an individual across time and situations
- Higgings, King, Mavin (1982) had students describe two male & female friends using 10
traits, researchers looked for traits student used for themselves plus at least one friend
or for at least three friends
- two weeks later, students were brought back for a different experiment testing
their memory for chronically accessible traits and non-chronically accessible traits
- results showed participants were more likely to remember and include (in
description) actions that exhibited their own chronically accessible traits
Cultural Differences in Accessible Schemas
- western cultures emphasize in socialization individuality, freedom, independence
- eastern cultures emphasize socialization harmony, obedience, interdependence
- e.g. individual achievement he is a math wizard vs. group membership his family is
religious”
- Forgas, Bond (1985) asked Australian & Hong Kong university students to sort a set of
27 different social events
- Australian students tended to organize in terms of how competitive events were
- Hong Kong students tended to organize in terms of number of people involved
Stereotypes: Schemas in the Social Domain
- a set of characteristics that someone associates with members of a group; a cognitive
structure containing the beliefs that members of a group share particular attributes
- includes occupations, racial/ethnic groups, religious groups, age groups
Going Beyond the Information Given
- stereotypes reflect our attempt to categorize an object and draw inferences about it
- assumptions may often be oversimplified or wrong
- we ourselves are members of groups about which we have stereotypes
- ingroup: a group to which a perceiver belongs to
- outgroup: a group to which a perceiver doesnt belong
www.notesolution.com

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Description
CHAPTER 3 SOCIAL COGNITION: THINKING ABOUT PEOPLE - categorization: the process of recognizing and identifying something. The most basic process we use to understand and structure our world - we constantly identify objects around us so we can know how to behave - social cognition: the study of how information about people is processed and stored - generally thought to be two basic motives underlying human information processing - to perceive the world accurately - view the self positively How Does the Mind Work? Schemas: The Building Blocks of the Mind - to understand the mind, we are less interested in its physicalbiological elements than we are in its underlying theoretical elements - schemas: mental representations of objects or categories of objects - or concepts, they contain the principle features of the object or category and simple assumptions or theories about how it functions - Baldwin (1992) relational schemas: schemas for specific interpersonal interactions - much of a childs early learning involves forming schemas Categorization - basic function of schemas is to categorize objects in ways that impose meaning and predictability - we must identify (categorize) anything before we can behave effectively toward it - occurs automatically and effortless with majority of things encountered everyday - allows us to form impressions and make decisions quickly and efficiently, without having to think carefully about every object we encounter Going Beyond the Information Given - when we categorize something, we assume it possesses the characteristics of the schema even if we cant perceive them directly - we infer other, non-visible characteristics Selective Information Processing - schemas influence how information is processed - Cohen (1981) participants watched videotape of woman having a birthday dinner - half of participants told (before watching) the woman was a server at a local coffee shop and the other half fold she was a librarian - schema of server or librarian was activated which influenced what participants noticed and recalled whether assess immediately or up to a week later - schemas also influence interpretation of information - ambiguous information is interpreted in accordance with the schema - anything that obvious contradicts our expectancies will grab our attention www.notesolution.com
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