Textbook Notes (368,125)
Canada (161,663)
Psychology (4,889)
Chapter 3

Chapter 3.pdf

7 Pages
Unlock Document

Psychology 2720A/B
Clive Seligman

CHAPTER 3: SOCIAL COGNITION: THINKING ABOUT PEOPLE Schemas: The Building Blocks of the Mind • Schemas: mental representation of objects or categories, which contain the central features of the object or category as well as assumptions about how the object or category works • People also have schemas for specific interpersonal interactions, Baldwin labelled these schemas relational schemas • Schemas or concepts contain the principal features of the object or category, as well as simple assumptions or ‘theories’ about how the object or category functions • Much of a child’s early learning involves the formation of schemas • Categorization • The basic function of schemas is to categorize objects in ways that impose meaning and predictability • Categorization of an object has important implications for behaviour • Going Beyond the Information Given • When we categorize something, we assume that is possess the characteristics of the schema even if we cannot perceive those characteristics directly • Categorization allows us to form impressions and make decisions quickly and efficiently, without having to think carefully about every object we encounter • Categorization allows us to make assumptions about objects and to direct our attention to those aspects of the environment that are most important • Selective Information Processing • Schemas also influence how information is processed • Schemas also influence the interpretation of information • Typically, their effect will be that ambiguous information is interpreted in accordance with the schema • Schemas lead us to assume that the object possesses particular characteristics, and anything that vaguely implies those characteristics may be taken as evidence that our assumption is accurate • Anything that obviously contradicts out expectancies will grab our attention Accessibility: What’s on Your Mind? • When a schema is activated, it provides expectancies about the objects probable characteristics and influences the processing of information about the object • Factor that influences whether a schema will be used is its accessibility • Accessibility: the ease with which a schema comes to awareness • People are more likely yo use schemas that are highly accessible to them • Priming of Schemas: • When a schema has been used recently, it is more accessible, an effect that is called priming • Priming: the process by which the activation of a schema increases the likelihood that the schema will be activated again in the future • Chronic Accessibility of Schemas • Some schemas are more accessible, in general, than are other schemas • Chronic Accessibility: the degree to which schemas are easily activate for an individual across time and situations CHAPTER 3: SOCIAL COGNITION: THINKING ABOUT PEOPLE • Chronically accessible traits influenced both what they could remember and how they described the person Cultural Differences in Accessible Schemas • Cultures differ in the schemas that are used most often to categorize both self and others • Western cultures emphasize in their socialization individuality, freedom, and independence, whereas Eastern cultures emphasize in their socialization harmony, obedience, and interdependence • People from different cultures may perceive the same event or the same person quite differently Stereotypes: Schemas in the Social Domain • Stereotype: a set of characteristics that a perceiver associates with members of a group • Stereotypes are one kind of schema, namely, schemes that represent human groups • Going Beyond the Information Given • Stereotypes reflect our attempt to categorize an object and draw inferences about it • A group to which a perceiver belongs is called his or her ingroup • An outgroup is a group to which a perceiver does not belong • Stereotypes of ingroups are generally favorable whereas stereotypes of outgroups can sometimes be unfavorable • Perceivers habitually use perceptions of their ingroups as implicit standard of comparison when judging outgroups • Stereotypes usually include information about how much variability exists in the group • Tendency to overestimate the similarity within groups is much stronger for outgroups than for ones ingroups • Outgroup Homogeneity Effect: the tendency for people to overestimate the similarity within groups to which they do not belong • Selective Information Processing • Out stereotypes can change how we interpret ambiguous behaviour Automatic Versus Controlled Processes • People do not have full control over all of their mental processes • Many thoughts and judgements occur whether we want them to or not • Automatic Process: a judgement or thought that we cannot control, which occurs without intention, very efficiently, and sometimes beneath out awareness • It is spontaneous and not subject to intentional control; we may sometime not even realize that it has occurred • An automatic process is also very efficient: it can occur at the same time as other processes • Controlled Process: a judgement or thought that we command, which is intentional, requires significant cognitive resources, and occurs within our awareness CHAPTER 3: SOCIAL COGNITION: THINKING ABOUT PEOPLE • Categorization must be rapid and effortless so we can assign our limited attentional resources to more demanding tasks • Categorization of people also occurs automatically • Stereotypes allow us to draw inferences about individuals based on the assumption that they possess the central features of the category • One function of controlled thinking is to correct errors form automatic processes if we suspect that errors may have occurred Reconstructive Memory • Memory retrieval must be a “reconstructive” process • Reconstructive Memory: the process of trying to rebuild the past based on cues and estimates • The schemas, goals, and expectations that are active while you try to retrieve the information and estimate the answer can influence the outcome • Autobiographical Memory • Autobiographical Memory: stored information about the self, such as goals, personality traits, past experiences, and other qualities • Autobiographical memory often involves estimating what we were like in the past, because we may not be able to retrieve actual, concrete information • Differences between the ratings of current and past selves do not necessarily reflect actual changes (improvements) • Ratings revealed perceived improvement over time for the self, but not for the acquaintance, which suggests that the ratings of the self were caused by a desire to see the current self positively • Human memory is not infallible • We often reconstruct personal memories based on information that is currently accessible to us • It is also possible for us to have seemingly real memories of events that we simply heard about or imagined occurring • The Accuracy of Eyewitness Testimony • Single largest cause of these demonstrably false convictions has ben eyewitness error • The consequence is that an eyewitness identification can dramatically affect the course of the investigation and the trial • Human memory is fallible, perhaps especially when the eyewitness was emotionally fearful or upset • The most common experimental procedure for studying eyewitness identification has been to create a simulated event that is meticulously controlled by the researcher • People exposed to an event and later asked to identify the perpatrator often select the wrong individual • There appears to be an ingroup advantage in eyewitness identificationL members of a particular racial group tend to be better at identifying people form their own racial group than people from other racial groups though errors can certainly occur even with ingroup targets CHAPTER 3: SOCIAL COGNITION: THINKING ABOUT PEOPLE • If eyewitnesses are very confident that the accused person committed the crime, then it seems reasonable to conclude that they are probably correct • Unfortunately, research has shown that the confidence with which eyewitnesses identify the perpetrator is not a strong indication of their accuracy • Researchers found that eyewitnesses who identified some as the target person in 15 second or less were correct 69% of the time, whereas eyewitnesses who took 16-30 second were 43% and those >30 seconds were 18% correct • When people cognitively reconstruct past events, they rely on cues as a starting point for
More Less

Related notes for Psychology 2720A/B

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.