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Chpt 12.docx

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Dan Dolderman

Chapter 12 Social Psychology: scientific study of the effects of social and cognitive processes on the way individuals perceive, influence and relate to others - Role of expectations - The halo effect - Give thin slices of behavior How Do Attitudes Guide Behaviour?  Attitudes: The evaluation of objects, events, or ideas o Shaped by social context and play an important role in how we evaluate and interact with other people o Have attitudes about all sorts of things – from trivial and mundane matters to grand issues – that is, the core beliefs and values that define who we are as human beings o Some attitudes we are aware of, whereas others we do not even know we hold o Some are complex and involve multiple components We Form Attitudes Through Experience and Socialization  The more a person is exposed to something, the more they tend to like it  Mere Exposure Effect: Greater exposure to an item, and therefore greater familiarity with it, causes people to have more positive attitudes about that item  Attitudes can be conditioned  Attitudes can be shaped through socialization Behaviours Are Consistent With Strong Attitudes  To the extent that attitudes are adaptive, they should guide behaviour  The more specific the attitude, the more predictive it is  Attitudes formed through direct experience also tend to predict behaviour better  Attitude Accessibility: The ease with which a person can retrieve memories related to an attitude predicts behaviour consistent with the attitude  Explicit Attitudes: Attitudes people can report o Tend to reflect more conscious, controllable aspects of evaluations o Predict controlled, deliberate behaviors  Implicit Attitudes: Attitudes that influence our feelings and behaviour an at unconscious level o Tend to reflect more automatic, less controllable aspects of evaluations o Predict automatic, spontaneous behaviors o Access them from memory quickly, with little conscious effort or control o Allows us to perform actions, without thinking through all the required steps o Shape behaviour without our awareness o Revealed in people’s behaviours  Explicit measures: self-report questionnaires that ask people what they think or how they feel about certain groups (modern racism scale) o People can control their responses  Implicit measures: measurement techniques that involve quick, automatic responses to stimuli (implicit association test) o People have difficulty controlling their responses o Shooter task: awareness/knowledge of cultural stereotypes  Associations  negative implicit attitude towards Charlotte in charlottes web  positive explicit attitude towards Charlotte Discrepancies Lead to Dissonance  Cognitive Dissonance: An uncomfortable mental state due to conflicts between attitudes or between attitudes and behaviour o Causes anxiety and tension and therefore motivates people to reduce the dissonance and relieve displeasure  Dissonance theory provides important insights into many perplexing behaviours  Post-decisional Dissonance o Holding positive attitudes about two options but having to choose one of them causes dissonance  Attitude Change o One way to get people to change their attitudes is to change their behaviours first, using as few inceptives as possible  Justifying Effort o When people put themselves through pain, embarrassment, or discomfort to join a group, they experience a great deal of dissonance o After all, they typically would not choose to be in pain, embarrassed or uncomfortable, yet the made a choice. o The resolve the dissonance by inflating the importance of the group and their commitment to it o This justification of effort helps explain why people are willing to subject themselves to humiliating experiences such as hazing Attitudes Can Be Changed Through Persuasion  Persuasion: The active and conscious effort to change attitudes through the transmission of a message o Most likely to occur when people pay attention to a message, understand it, and find it convincing; the message must be memorable, so its impact lasts over time o Central route: People pay attention to arguments, consider all the info, and use rational cognitive processes – leads to strong attitudes that last over time and are resistant to change o Peripheral route: People minimally process the message – leads to more impulsive action  Elaboration Likelihood Model: A theory of how persuasive messages lead to attitude changes  The cues that influence a message’s persuasiveness include the source (who delivers the message), the content (what the message says), and the receiver (who processes the message) How Do We Form Our Impressions Of Others?  We hold attitudes of others, and we also try to predict how people will act and try to understand why they act the way that they do  As social animals, we live in groups o Provide security from predators and from competing groups, mating opportunities, and assistance in hunting/gathering food  We automatically classify people into social categories, and doing so can have major implications on the way that we treat them Nonverbal Actions and Expressions Affect Our Impressions  Nonverbal Behaviour (Body Language): The facial expressions, gestures, mannerisms, and movements by which one communicates with others  Facial Expressions o First thing we usually notice about someone is their face o The face communicates a great deal, such as emotional state, interest and distrust o People use their eyes – eye contact in social situations is important, though how we perceive it depends on our culture  Body Language o Thin slices of behaviour – people can make accurate judgments based on only a few seconds of observation o Gait – how people walk  Provides info about affective state We Make Attributions About Others  Attributions: People’s casual explanations for why events or actions occur  Just world hypothesis – “she deserved it” or “he provoked it”  Attributional Dimensions o Personal Attributions: Explanations that refer to internal characteristics, such as abilities, traits, moods, and effort o Situational Attributions: Explanations that refer to external events, such as the weather, luck, accidents, or the actions of other people  Attributional Bias o Fundamental Attribution Error: The tendency to overemphasize personal factors and underestimate situational factor in explaining behaviour o People tend to be systematically biased in their social info processing. They make self-serving attributions consistent with their pre-existing beliefs, and they generally fail to take into account that other people are influence by social circumstances o Correspondence bias – emphasizing that people expect others’ behaviours to correspond with their own beliefs and personalities  Actor/observer discrepancy: when people make attributions about themselves, they tend to focus on situational variables, rather than on their personal dispositions o Basic predictions derived from the FAE are found across cultures, though there is a difference in the extent to which people in diff cultures attribute others’ behaviours to personality traits rather than to the situations o Cross-situational consistency: expect people to be stable over time Stereotypes Are Based on Automatic Categorization  Stereotypes – cognitive schemas that allow for easy, fast processing of info about people based on their membership in certain groups o Mental shortcuts that allow for easy, fast processing of social info o Occurs automatically, outside of our awareness (most cases) o Neutral and simply reflect efficient cognitive processes o Affect impression formation  Stereotype Threat: occurs when people are worried about confirming the negative stereotypes of their group o Tends to lead to decreased performance b/c of physiological stress, distraction, effortful suppression of negativity  People construct and use categories to streamline their impression formation and to deal with the limitations inherent in mental processing  People cannot scrutinize every person they encounter due to limited mental resources  People’s memories are biased to match stereotypes o Lead to illusory correlations in which people believe relationships exist when they do not  Subtyping – when people encounter someone who does not fit a stereotype, they put that person in a special category rather than alter the stereotype  Self-Fulfilling Effects o Self-Fulfilling Prophecies: People’s tendency to behave in ways that confirm their own or others’ expectations o Interrelated mechanisms as responsible for producing decreased performances following threat  1. Physiological stress affecting prefrontal functioning  2. A tendency for people to think about their performances, which can distract them from the tasks  3. Attempts to suppress negative thoughts and emotions, which require a great deal of effort o People’s beliefs about how others viewed them altered their behaviours in ways that confirmed the stereotypes, even though they had no conscious knowledge of these influences Stereotypes Can Lead To Prejudice  Prejudice: Occurs when the attitude associated with a stereotype is negative  Discrimination: The inappropriate and unjustified treatment of people based solely on their group membership  Stereotypes  cognition/beliefs  Prejudice  feelings/attitudes  Discrimination  behavior  We tend to favour our own group over other groups, and we tend to stigmatize those who pose threats to our groups  In-group/Out-group Bias o In-groups – those groups to which we belong  In group favoritism occurs right away with any type of categorization o Out-groups – those groups to which we do not belong  Out group hostility requires the presence of a threat or conflict o Separation begins in early development o Out-group Homogeneity Effect – people tend to view out-group members as less varied than in-group members o In-group favoritism – the tendency for people to evaluate favorably and privilege members of the in-group more than members of the out- group  Minimal Group Paradigm: what are the minimal conditions necessary for discrimination to occur between two or more groups? o Robbers Cave Experiment: create prejudice and hostility, then cooperation to see if will elimatinate
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