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Chapter 5

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY100H1
Professor
Alison Luby
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 5­ Dual­Process Models  King (1963) three ingredients­  1. Belief that people may typically rely on categorical thinking, but can exert the  flexibility of will and mind to be more objective and effortful, is the basic premise of  dual­ process models.  ­ On one hand, processes of social cognition involve a reliance on stereotypes,  heuristics, categories, schemas, and “half­truths”. This is top­down or theory­ driven processing.  ­ People can exhibit quite a good deal of creative analysis and objective  appraisal in thinking about others. People use significant cognitive work  toward resolving the inconsistency. They do not rely on prior theories,  stereotypes and heuristics, but examine the qualities of each individual when  constructing an impression. Effortful and elaborate processing of information  about an individual­ personalization, elaboration, systematic processing, and  attribute­oriented processing. Because impressions are being built from the  observed data, such processing is called bottom­up or data­driven processing. 2. What motivates people to shift from the comfort and ease of top­down processing to  exerting effort required of systematic processing? ­Tension (psychological, not physical) forces them to analyze others carefully and  reanalyze their own prior views.   3. Model of impression formation: What triggers tension in the mind of the perceiver and  initiates the shift from schematic and stereotypic processing to individuating and  attribute­oriented processing.  ­ Initiated by the behavior of the person being perceived. If the person being  perceived by others can act in a manner that is opposed to prevalent biases, stereotypes,  and expectancies, then it forces the people doing the perceiving to confront the fact that  their theory­driven approaches to understanding this person are not working.  A SAMPLER OF DUAL­PROCESS MODELS  Brewer’s Dual­process model of impression formation Brewer (1988) coined the term dual­process model, in describing a comprehensive theory  of the processes involved in impression formation.   ▯look at lecture diagram  •Identification ­ Capture the presence of a target stimulus and identify the basic features that  the target is eliciting. Thus without any conscious effort by us as perceivers,  some form of information is perceptually salient enough to cue a social  category ▯ e.g. race and age.  ­ Sometimes the categorizations we make by this process of matching  observable features of a target to our existing mental presentations of “person  types” are wrong. We may assume a person speaking English without an  accent is American. • Determining Relevance  ­ If a person we have encountered is irrelevant to our current goals and purpose, then  further processing, and the expenditure of cognitive effort to think about this person, is  not necessary. Impression formation processes are halted.  ­ If a person is deemed somewhat relevant­ ad this can range from a minor degree of  relevance to major degree of interest­ then impression formation processes are triggered.  Whether or not we dedicate any energy to thinking about a person and process  further information about the person depends on goals (i.e. relevance of the  target).   ­ Once the target has been deemed relevant, processing that is automatic is no longer  engaged. There is a shift toward processing that fails to meet all of the criteria for an  automatic process ( any processing that requires a goal for its initiation, as opposed to the  mere presence of a stimulus in the environment, is not considered automatic.  • Categorization/typing  Motives do not only determine whether we proceed to think about others; they also  determine how we proceed to think about them. Brewer (1988) has referred to this  relatively effortless type of thinking, which is anchored and directed exclusively by the  categories that have been (rather passively) triggered, as categorization or typing.  ­ In this type of impression formation, our judgments about a person are based  on available “person types” or schemas that are matched to the information at  hand about the person being evaluated.  ­ A pattern­matching process is conducted until an adequate fit is found  between one of the person types or categories stored in memory and the  stimulus characteristics. ­ The process starts with a general category, and if there is no match, subtypes  of general category that provide more specific types are compared against the  target person.  ­ The categorization also depends on the level of abstraction within the category  structure the feature matching process begins.  • Individuation and Personalization  Individuation processing­ info we receive about a person that is inconsistent with the  category label is not disregarded; nor is a more specific subtype of the category called  into play to describe the person. Instead, the individual is treated as an isolated case or a  specific instance of the particular category. Thus the qualities of the individual are  processed in detail­ not for the purpose of making that individual fit well with the  existing features of the category, but to create a specific and detailed novel instance of the  category.   Personalization­ There are times, however, when no form of category­based processing is  deemed appropriate by us as perceivers. It is at these moments that the model suggests a  wholly different form of processing in both format and organizational structure. At the  point in the process, the individual becomes the basis for organizing information. Here  the category label is no longer superordinate, and the individual’s attributes serve as the  organizing framework for understanding that individual. ­ Exactly what sort of conditions led us as perceivers to conclude that no form  of category­based processing is appropriate. Brewer asserts that  personalization implies some degree of affective investment on the part of the  perceiver. If someone is similar to us, we are less likely to rely simply on  category­based processing and more likely to expand the mental energy to  personalize him/her. This also applies to those who share similar goals with  us.    The Heuristic­systematic model (HSM)     Chaiken et al., 1989  According to the HSM, people’s thinking about themselves and others can be described in terms of two broad information-processing strategies. These two strategies are often described as end- points on a continuum of processing effort that can be exerted in forming judgments • Two processing modes  Continuum of processing effort that is anchored by heuristic and systematic processing.  ­ At one end of the continuum is the relatively effortless heuristic processing­ a  reliance on prior knowledge such as schemas, stereotypes, and expectancies  that can be imposed on information so it will easily fit into existing structures.  People rely on superficial assessment thereby preserving their processing  resources.   ­ People use heuristics, shortcuts, and rules of thumb in thinking about their  social world. These are learnt through experiences in the social world, and are  readily called to action when people encounter a cue in the environment that  signals the relevance of one of the previously learned rules or responses. - E.g. past experiences indicate that a person whose point of view achieves a wide consensus among others is often a person whose point of view is correct. Armed with this “Consensus implies correct- ness” heuristic, perceivers may react to future encounters with a majority position on an issue in a heuristic fashion. They can superficially assess the situation by relying on the rule of thumb, forming an opinion in a top-down fashion without scrutinizing the actual arguments used by the majority in advocating their position. Thus, if most people agree with something, these perceivers will agree with it too, using the consensus as the basis for their opinion. ­ The other end of the continuum is systematic processing. Involves a detailed  evaluation of the qualities and behaviors of others, as well as the  reexamination of personal thoughts and prior beliefs about the stimulus. This  is pretty much the same as stuff for effortful processing- by don the great. ­ Involves detailed, bottom-up evaluation of the qualities and behaviours of others. ­ Requires that we analyze and update our current thoughts and prior beliefs about the stimulus. • The Least­effort principle  When performing a cognitive task, people prefer less mental effort to more mental effort.  This suggest that the default processing strategy will be the one requiring the least  amount of effort and usurping the least amount of capacity­ the heuristic route ­ Petty, Cacioppo, and Schuman (1983) provided an illustration of people using  heuristics as a default strategy. Examined why people are persuaded by  celebrities who endorse a product in a commercial. The logic was that seeing a  celebrity leads people to rely on simple rules of impression formation, such as  famous people are trustworthy   ­ Participants read about a razor that was being endorsed by either a sports star or an unknown person. There were two potential sources of influence in this situation. Participants could read the text of the endorsement carefully and evaluate the product based on its merits, or they could superficially evaluate the product and rely on the word of the endorser. If participants were using the former strategy, they should find the product equally good, regardless of whether the celebrity or the “regular guy” was the person endorsing it. If they were relying on heuristics, the celebrity should be much more persuasive at selling the product than the “regular guy,” even if the text of their sales pitch was the same. The results revealed that rather than using the text to guide impressions, the participants did indeed use a heuristic about the person delivering the text. Thus instead of evaluating people and products in detail, scrutinizing their qualities, people rely on simple and easy rules. • The Sufficiency Principle  Asserts that for whatever task people are confronted with­whether it be forming an  impression of someone, planning how to act toward someone planning how to act toward  someone­ there is a point at which they feel that their task is completed and they can  move on to the next task at hand.   ­ This point is said to be achieved when the individuals feel confident they have  sufficiently performed the task that was set before them. This point of  sufficient confidence that allows for a feeling of task completion can be  conceived of as a threshold­ a sufficiency threshold.  ­ People are sometimes just happy simply to have moderate amounts of  confidence in their judgments and feelings, so long as they feel it is enough  confidence to warrant relying on those judgments/feelings in their  interactions.   • The relationship between effort and sufficiency  The sufficiency principle asserts that although people prefer least effort, they must exert  enough effort to reach the sufficiency threshold. If people desire the feeling that their  judgments are good enough, they will only rely on heuristics in forming judgments if  those heuristics deliver to them a sense of judgmental confidence. Heuristics provide  sufficient responses to allow people to navigate through social interactions. If people are  happy with feeling sufficiently confident that they have acted in a reasonable manner,  then they do not need to engage in any further processing of information.  However if the heuristic produce falls short of the threshold­ people will exert more effort  and continue working on the task at hand until a feeling of sufficiency is achieved and the  threshold is surpassed. Thus, the least­effort principle exists because using less effort  (relying on heuristics) typically gives people a sense that they have formed judgments in  which they are sufficiently confident. • Confidence gap  ­ When relying on least effort principle, it yields judgmental products that are not  sufficient­ that fall below the sufficiency threshold­ thus a confidence gap exists. ­ Said to be experienced by the perceivers as an uncomfortable and displeasing state of  psychological tension. Perceivers are motivated to reduce the state and eliminate the gap  between their current level and desired level of confidence.  ­ Hydraulic­like relationship­ lacking confidence in judgment increases in effort that  yields or produces these judgments. Thus the confidence gap can be reduced as one  makes the transition from the least­effort principle’s reliance on minimal processing  effort to expending more effort. Perceivers will now process information in a more  systematic fashion.  • The motivation to make the transition from less to more effort  ­Impact of heuristic processing on judgments will be greatest when motivation for  systematic processing is low.  What is required to trigger the systematic processing?  1. Undermining one’s confidence in a judgment   ­ At one point in time people might be confident in their use of a stereotype or a heuristic, only to feel unsatisfied with the judgments based on such minimal processing at a later point in time. In fact, this can occur (1) without a desire for any greater confidence than before, and (2) when the amount of confidence desired is quite low. ­ Basically- you have high confidence with the heuristic judgment and conclusion, but one event can destroy your confidence and bring it down below the sufficiency threshold. Thereby motivating the perceiver to exert more effort with systematic processing. Macheswaran and Chaiken (1991)- examined this point by looking at how consumers respond to advertising messages. Participants were asked to read about and evaluate a new product, the “XT-100” answering machine. They were told that previous consumers liked the product very much. Thus these participants were now probably ready to evaluate the product fairly positively, regardless of what information they were actually given about the product. However, there was one proposed catch to this logic. If it turned out that the information describing the  product was fairly negative, this would undermine participants’ confidence in the heuristic. Most people  were said to like the product, yet the information participants received about it would be highly incongruent  with this claim. This unexpected information, inconsistent with the heuristic, should induce doubt and  uncertainty in participants who were simply relying on the heuristic. Confidence in the heuristic should be  lowered so that it fell below the sufficiency threshold. Contrast this with what should happen when  participants received fairly positive information about the XT­100. In this case, they had an expectancy that  the product will be good; they were predisposed to like the product because their heuristics informed them  that it would be a good product; and a superficial assessment f the information provided (minimal  processing effort) should inform them that all of this was correct—the product was fairly positively  reviewed. Thus, in this case people should have no need to exert too much effort in evaluating the product,  relative to the people who were led to lack trust or confidence in their heuristic­based processing.  Maheswaran and Chaiken (1991) examined these hypotheses by manipulating whether participants  received information about the XT­100 that was consistent or inconsistent with their heuristic­based  expectancies. The information was said to have been provided by a product­testing agency’s report that  compared the XT­100 with competing brands. People receiving congruent information (a positive report on  the XT­100) should feel free to process heuristically and exert relatively little processing effort when doing  their evaluation of the product. People receiving incongruent information (a negative report on the XT­100)  should lack confidence in heuristic processing and engage in more systematic processing (exerting greater  processing effort). How could the researchers detect whether people were using heuristic versus systematic  processing, exerting little versus much processing effort? The report had detailed information about how  the product performed, as well as quite general, overall summary statements about the quality of the  product. The logic of this experiment hinged on the idea that if people were systematically processing the  message, they would pay much more attention to the details in the report, thinking about the XT­100’s  performance on these specific dimensions. Heuristic processors would focus instead on more general  thoughts that summarized the overall quality of the product.    The results provided support for the notion that when confidence in a judgment falls below a sufficiency  threshold, systematic processing is triggered. First, people who received the unexpectedly negative report  about the XT­100 reported having signifi­ cantly less confidence in their rating of the XT­100 than people  who saw a report that coincided well with the consensus information. Second, when people were asked  how much confidence they desired to have, people who received the unexpectedly negative report about the  XT­100 and people who saw a report that coincided well with the con­ sensus information both expressed  similar amounts of desired confidence; their suffi­ ciency thresholds were equal. Combining these two  points, the groups had equal amounts of confidence they desired to have in their judgment, and the  members of one group (the people with confirmed expectancies) had an actual level of confidence that was  sufficient in that it did not differ from the confidence they desired. The members of the other group,  however, desired a level of confidence they lacked (because of the inconsistency between the report and the  consensus of the people surveyed). Finally, the most important question of the experiment addressed what  type of information pro­ cessing was used. As predicted, people who lacked sufficient confidence in their  judg­ ment engaged in more thinking about the qualities and attributes of the product being evaluated. They  gave more attention to and thought more explicitly about the details of the report than people who had  sufficient confidence. They were also better able to remember these details when unexpectedly asked to try  to recall the details of the report at the end of the experiment. Lowered confidence in the product of their  heuristic­based processing triggered a confidence gap that motivated people to process systematically,  despite the fact that the amount of confidence they desired was fairly stable. Actual confidence merely  slipped below this sufficiency threshold and motivated people to think more deeply.  In sum, one way to trigger systematic processing, and to shake perceivers from the comfort of thinking heuristically and effortlessly about others, is to present those perceivers with information (behavior) that is so inconsistent with their prior expectancies that they can no longer rely on those expectancies alone. Such behavior removes the perceivers’ability to ignore or superficially assess the stimulus, and undermines the confidence they once held in the judgments yielded by their stereotypes and heuristics. 2. Raising the Sufficiency threshold Perceiver can willfully adopt goals that promote systematic processing. ­ Bruner- People are motivated to initiate elaborate processing because they desire greater certainty in their judgments than least-effort processing will allow. ­ Instead of having low sufficiency threshold, people are being flexible enough to occasionally set high sufficiency thresholds that require elaborate processing. ­ Confidence gap is created because the perceiver’s desired level of confidence is drifting upwards. Therefore the judgments produced by heuristic processing would not be experienced as good enough. • 3 Types of goals that lead to increased sufficiency threshold 1. Vested interest or personal involvement Borgida and Howard-Pitney (1983)- had perceivers listen to a debate on a topic that they believed was either relevant or not relevant to them personally. Specifically, personal involvement was manipulated by varying whether the participants believed they would be personally affected by a proposed change in the undergraduate course requirements ­ all their attention was focused on one person in the debate whom they heard arguing for one side of the issue. When personal involvement was low, students rated the salient person more favorably, regardless of whether that person was for or against the proposed changes.  they are using heuristics to dictate the giving preferred status to salient people. ­ When personal involvement was high, the ratings of the salient person now depended on what the position the person took regarding the curriculum changes. ­ Thus, when perceivers had heightened motivational concerns regarding a topic, salience effects were attenuated. Raising the sufficiency threshold so that the perceivers desired greater confidence in their judgment shifted their processing strategy from top-of-the-head processing to more systematic processing. 2. Accountability ­ Agoal, where people are motivated by public scrutiny and evaluation of what they think. ­ E.g. when someone evaluates your performance, amount of time and effort is likely to be greater than if you were not held accountable for your work. ­ However, accountability does not always lead to more accurate thinking, but it leads to the kind of thinking desired by the audience to which the cognizer is accountable. Tetlock (1983)- examined the impact on judgment of being held account by assessing the degree to which people engage in heuristic vs. systematic processing in situations where they are held accountable vs. not accountable. Main focus was on primacy effect- earlier info has a greater impact on judgment than later info. - The key assumption of the study was that accountable participants would be less susceptible to primacy effects because of how they encoded information. Accountable, as opposed to unaccountable, participants should be more cautious about drawing inferences from incomplete evidence. This should lead them to attend to more information and analyze that information more carefully. Because of such vigilance in processing, they should be able to recall more of the information at a later point in time. Consistent with these predictions, unmotivated people exhibited primacy effects in forming impressions, placing greater emphasis on information presented early. However, people who were told prior to receiving any information that they would be accountable for their impressions were immune to being influenced by the order in which that information was presented. In addition, measures of how much information was recalled revealed that accountability led to better memory for information. 3. Accuracy motive ­ Certain situations explicitly call for this goal, such as a teacher marking an essay. ­ Other situations merely suggest (imply) that accuracy is important, such as working with other people to attain some mutual goal. ­ When one person is dependent on another individual to obtain a desired outcome, and that outcome cannot be attained through the person’s own effort alone, the person is said to be in a state of outcome dependency. Neuberg and Fiske (1987) experiment 2- examined two outcome dependency alters people’s reliance on heuristic, categorical, and effortless processing. ­ They reasoned that when a negative expectancy is associated with a particular category, people typically evaluate members of that category by using the
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