Chapter 4: Social Cognition and Person Perception
1Set of rules that represent what we know about categories of objects or events in general,
and are built up from experience schemas
1Schemas tell us what to expect & what not to expect.
• Scripts: a general representation of a common event.
o Example? Dining at a restaurant.Afamiliar sequence of events is expected.
• Traits: general personality dispositions that help us to organize information about the
behaviors of others.
• Stereotypes: general social categories that we use to categorize people.
o They are abstract representations about a group, but they aren’t necessarily
o They’re dangerous because they often overpower individual differences.
• Culturally Shared Stereotypes: culturally-shared beliefs about a social group.
• Prototype: the most representative member of a category.
o Example? When asked to name a bird, most people would pick “robin.”
• Exemplar: particular member of a category.
2What do schemas do? Why are they so important?
1. Help us to organize information.
2. Influence what we can remember.
3. Help us to fill in details or make inferences.
4. Influence what information we attend to.
5. Help us to interpret ambiguous information.
6. Can influence how we behave.
5How do we decide which schema we should use when we are in a new situation? 6
1The likelihood that a schema will be used in processing new information schema
7What are some factors that influence schema accessibility?
1. Situational cues
2. Recently used schemas are more likely to be used
1Priming: making a schema temporarily accessible.
2Personal chronic constructs: readily accessible schemas (chronically accessible); schemas
that are frequently activated.
8Schemas are most likely to be used if:
1) Time pressure
2) Schema is provided
3) Complex judgment is required
4) Person has “power” over another individual
9Schemas are less likely to be used if:
1) No schema is available
2) You are accountable
3) You are told to avoid using the schema
Heuristics – ti