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Chapter 15

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Psychology 2550A/B
Kelly Olson

CHAPTER 15 PRINCIPLES OF SOCIAL COGNITION APPLIES TO PERSONALITY Social cognition and personalitySocial psychologists studied how people processed into about the social world particularly the self and other peopleSocial cognitionresearch and theory applying cognitive psychology constructs and methodologies to study phenomena of social and personality psychologySchemas are seen in how we interpret the experiences of every day lifeSchemas The emotional and behavioural reactions that unfold are influenced by the mental representations or schemas with which people interpret the objects and socialsituations in their worldSchemasAre basic units for organizing informationGuide what we noticerememberAre knowledge structures made up of collections of attributes or features that have a family resemblance to each other People categorize or group info about ideas and experiences that have such resemblance or go together in order to organizesimplify vast amounts of informationefficiently so that it can be used quickly to make inferencesdecisionsThese knowledge structures often have clear exemplars or best examples called prototypesSchemas help one make sense of new events by recognizing what they are like in terms of their similarity to the cognitive structures that already existMany schemas may be considered stereotypes to emphasize the fact that these cognitive representations often are inaccurateSchemas become activated when other thoughts that are associated with them become activatedWhen schemas are activated they can influence what people see Ex when youve been told someone is a comic joker then a potentially ambiguous act may lead to inferences beyond the info given in the particular socialsituationa readiness to interpret the behaviour as funnyEffects of schemasDirecting attention and influencing memoryWhile schemas make it possible to organize and function without becoming overwhelmed by a flood of info they can have negative effects Study shown that an activated schema of a racial stereotype primed by the skin colour of an individual may lead to people seeing things sometimes withtragic consequencesEx wallet held by black person was mistaken for a gun leading to the shooting of a man by NYC policeMaking inferencesSchemas affect how we make inferences and form personality impressions in indirect and subtle ways 91 of people who saw the warm schemas said the person in the picture was generous 9 of people who saw the cold schema said the person wasgenerousSelffulfilling prophecies This can happen when expectations created about others shape how one interacts with a person which in turn causes that person to act in the way that wasinitially expected Study teachers behaviour caused a selffulfilling prophecy where their expectations of success about the students led the students to actually performbetter academicallyPerhaps they called on them more spent more time with those students and encouraged them moreActivation of schemasAvailabilitywhether the schema exists or notif it does not exist then you will not use it if I dont have a green crayon I wont use itAccessibilityhow easy it is to access the schema Applicabilitywhether the schema is applicable to the situation use green crayon to colour in grass not chocolate
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