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Chapter 15

Chapter 15 intro to personality.docx

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Western University
Psychology 2550A/B
David Vollick

Chapter 15: Social Cognitive Processes PRINCIPLES OF SOCIAL COGNITION APPLIED TO PERSONALITY Social cognition: large movement within social psychology; wealth of ideas and findings on social cognitive processes and personality Schemas  Mental representations with which people interpret the objects and social situation in their world (including themselves and their own psychology states, as well as other people)  Important for understanding the mental functioning because they are basic units for organizing information – they guide what we notice and remember  People categorize information about ideas and experiences that have such resemblance in order to organize and simplify vast amounts of information efficiently so it can be used to make inferences and decisions  Make sense of new events in terms of their similarity to schemas that already exist  Many schemas may be considered stereotypes to emphasize that theses cognitive representation often are inaccurate  Effects of schemas: 1. Directing attention/influencing memory  Schemas activated directs our attentions and affects our memory of events 2. Making inferences  Influence how we make inference and form personality impression often in indirect and subtle ways 3. Self-fulfilling prophecies  Happens when expectations created about others shape how one interaction with a person, which in turn cause that person to act in the way that initially expected 4. Activation of schemas  Activation is determined by availability (schemas exist or not), accessibility (how easily accessible the schema is), applicability (whether the schema is applicable to situation), and salience (degree to which social object stands out compared to other social objects in situation) THE SELF The concept of the self was important for the phenomenologist like Rogers, and clinical work of some port-Freudians and object relations theorists; was muted by the dominance of behaviorism Currently, interest in the self is again extremely high because new methods of studying social cognition have opened it to systematic study Self is not a “thing” but, rather a set of schemas – a basic cognitive category that serves as a vital frame of reference for processing and evaluating experiences Self-Schemas  Consist of interconnected knowledge structures of many different sorts on a wide range of experience in the course of development  Include generalizations about the self which arise from past experiences and once formed, guide how we deal with new information related to the self o People have better recall for information about traits they believe they have than for traits that aren’t self-descriptive  Self-theory is a set of concepts about the self, created by the child from experience and in turn affects future behaviour o These self-concepts are correlated with the reaction and outcomes that the person has experienced throughout the past and expects to obtain in the future The Relational Self  Knowledge representation is closely connected in the memory system to knowledge representations about significant other people in one’s life o When a representation of a particular significant other is activated, aspects of your own self-representation that have been mentally connected to that person also become activated  The self that emerges in intrinsically entangled with significant others  Transference: o Reinterpreted by Andersen (2002) – when one develops relationships with new people, transference occurs; the representations of significant others in memory are activated by the newly encountered perso
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