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Chapter 4

PSY220H1 Chapter 4: Chapter 4 Psy220

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Dan Dolderman

Chapter 4: Social Cognition—Thinking about People and Situations PLURALISTIC IGNORANCE - Misperception of a group norm that results from observing people who are acting at variance with their private beliefs out of a concern for the social consequences—actions that reinforce the erroneous group norm. PRIMACY EFFECT - The disproportionate influence on judgment by information presented first in a body of evidence. RECENCY EFFECT - The disproportionate influence on judgment by information presented last in a body of evidence. FRAMING EFFECT - The influence on judgment resulting from the way information is presented, such as the order of presentation or how it is worded. CONSTRUAL LEVEL THEORY - A theory that outlines the relationship between psychological distance and the concreteness versus abstraction of thought. Psychologically distant actions and events are thought about in abstract terms; actions and events that are close at hand are thought about in concrete terms. CONFIRMATION BIAS - The tendency to test a proposition by searching for evidence that would support it. BOTTOM-UP PROCESSES - “Data-driven” mental processing, in which an individual forms conclusions based on the stimuli encountered through experience. TOP-DOWN PROCESSES - “Theory-driven” mental processing, in which an individual filters and interprets new information in light of preexisting knowledge and expectations. ENCODING - Filing information away in memory based on what information is attended to and the initial interpretation of the information. RETRIEVAL - The extraction of information from memory. PRIME - To momentarily activate a concept and hence make it accessible. (Also used as a noun —a stimulus presented to activate a concept.) SUBLIMINAL - Below the threshold of conscious awareness. SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY - The tendency for people to act in ways that bring about the very thing they expect to happen. HEURISTICS - Intuitive mental operations that allow us to make a variety of judgments quickly and efficiently. AVAILABILITY HEURISTIC - The process whereby judgments of frequency or probability are based on how readily pertinent instances come to mind. REPRESENTATIVENESS HEURISTIC - The process whereby judgments of likelihood are based on assessments of similarity between individuals and group prototypes or between cause and effect. FLUENCY - The feeling of ease associated with processing information. BASE-RATE INFORMATION - Information about the relative frequency of events or of members of different categories in the population. PLANNING FALLACY - The tendency for people to be unrealistically optimistic about how quickly they can complete a project. ILLUSORY CORRELATION - The belief that two variables are correlated when in fact they are not. The Information Available for Social Cognition Sometimes we have very little information but make judgments anyway—as when people make personality judgments based on physical appearance o Study: Snap judgment of Trust and Dominance Mistaken inferences can arise from pluralistic ignorance, which tends to occur when people are reluctant to express their misgivings about a perceived group norm; their reluctance in turn reinforces the false norm. o Are there any questions? o Worst when toughness valued o Both people assume other is not interested (w/ ethnic groups also) Information received secondhand often does not provide a full account of what happened or may stress certain elements at the expense of others. o Ideological Distortions o Bad news Bias: worse for poor people Focus more on negative criticism even if heavily out numbered How Information Is Presented How information is presented can affect judgment. The order in which information is presented can be important. When the information presented first is more influential, there is a primacy effect, which often results because the initial information affects the way subsequent information is interpreted. When information presented last is more influential, there is a recency effect, which usually results from such information being more available in memory. o How many dates have you been on? How happy are you? o Asch Study: Traits, good 1st more favorable + also effect how you see the rest Order effects are a type of framing effect. Others include the “spinning” of information by varying the language or structure of the information that is presented. o Smoke while I pray vs Pray while I Smoke (2nd better viewed) o Spin Framing (what is the most important part: quality or price, terrorist vs freedom f
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