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Set Four

by: KatieAlbritton
GPA 3.7

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About this Document

These notes discuss human cognition and how we react to others in our diverse society.
Psychology of Human Diversity
Dr. Jackson
Class Notes
Human Cognition, diversity
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by KatieAlbritton on Tuesday January 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psy 271 at University of North Carolina - Wilmington taught by Dr. Jackson in Fall 2014. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Psychology of Human Diversity in Psychlogy at University of North Carolina - Wilmington.


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Date Created: 01/05/16
Set Four: Human Cognition and Our Responses to Others in a Diverse Society Katie Albritton Study Soup Introduction The processes of sensation, perception, and cognition represent the way that the brain makes  sense of the world and how we therefor understand ourselves and the people and objects in our  environments.  When we encounter people particularly for the first time we make rapid judgments and  evaluations about them. Our classifications of others are often based largely on their  membership in the groups associated with the ADDRESSING framework.  Sensation, Perception, and Cognition Sensation: Represents the transduction of energy into neural signals through our sense organs.  Perception: An immediate, automatic, non­conscious, and organized brain process where the  brain constructs information about the world and others for us. It is tied to meaning and  emotions.  Our perceptual systems are NOT like a camera or television. NOT like a microphone or  loudspeaker. They are akin to a modern neuroimaging device, like an MRI device. They create a “false image” to be interpreted; a guide.  Cognition involves memory, language, decision making, attention, and problem solving. We  strive to understand ourselves and others, and to use information to live our lives.  In real life all of these processes are intertwined, but psychologists divide them up to be able to  analyze them.  The basic principle is that all we know we know through the brain. The “mind” is an emergent  brain process.  Human Cognitions Humans are good at making remote associations and seeing patterns, task allocation, and multi  tasking.  Limited capacity although new work not as specific on numbers of chunks.  Individual differences in capacity of working memory or executive function.  Coping with Limited Working Memory Balance of automatic and controlled processing and allocation of attention.  Use of schemas or conceptual packages.  Use of heuristics and cognitive short cuts.  Use of “satisficing” decision strategies and acing easier questions. People have difficulty  thinking in terms of statistics and base rates. The cognitive system uses the least effort needed  to  solve problems.  Use of strategies to increase working memory.  Automatic vs. Controlled Processing We tend to use as little effort and cognitive capacity as possible in processing information.  Controlled, conscious, and focused processing is used. We need automatic to multi­task.  We need to make evaluations of strangers and novel situations as quickly as possible.  Automatic processing involves seemingly effortless, automatic, and non­conscious processes.  Usually done quickly.  Automatic = quick, less accurate Controlled = accurate, less quick Often evaluation of the social situation is done automatically and this evaluation may involve  different parts of the brain. Response to negative emotions is associated with the amygdala in  the limbic system.  Emotions and Social Cognition Emotions help people identify the resources and avoid dangers in the environment. Negative emotions cause people to stop ongoing activity to attend to dangers in the environment and be motivated to reduce the danger.  Negative emotions operate more quickly in different brain centers.  “What is the point of being happy now if you will be sad later? Because you will be sad  later.” ­ Matt Smith Emotions and Rational Cognitions Extremes of emotion can cloud rationality Positive emotions can cause social bonding Fear is associated with an attention bias toward detecting threats Attributes of Emotional Intelligence Understanding of one's own emotions and emotional responses.  Understanding of how emotions and cognitions interact for optimal performance Understanding of the emotions of others and the impact of one's own emotions on others;  empathy and perspective taking Self regulation of emotions: Not repression but control of appropriate emotional responses.  Being assertive but not aggressive.  Schemas Mental frameworks centered around a specific theme that helps us organize information.  Schemas help us identify important information, predict situations, interact smoothly, and work  within our cognitive capacity. They provide packages of information for a complete world.  Examples of Schemas Self Schema Gender role schema Schemas about social groups (may be stereotypes) Role schemas: occupation, family relations Person schemas Relationship schemas (friendship, romance) Schemas as behavioral scripts Event schemas Stereotypes as a Type of Social Schema Stereotypes involve a type of schema in that they represent a conceptual package where people  associate characteristics to a person because of that individual's social or identity group  membership. It represents the logical error of overgeneralization in that it creates an almost  unbreakable link between the group membership and the stereotype. The stereotype is a  cognitive filter in viewing others in a social group.  Schema Inconsistent Information People remember and process more quickly schema consistent information. Whole schemas are self confirming, we do remember schema inconsistent information and we  can notice inconsistent information, particularly if it is relatively extreme. It is seen as an  exception to the rule.  Cognitive Short Cuts Representativeness Heuristic: Our most common experiences are most likely. We tend to hang  on too long.  Ignore base rates Availability Heuristic: Things that easily come to mind are seen as most likely.  Affective Heuristic: Live by your gut instinct.  Framing and anchoring Order Effects Logical errors such as honoring sunk costs, using the source of the communication to verify  arguments, and ignoring base rates.  Probability Resource Depletion The brain uses a large amount of energy resources. Especially as glucose levels fall people are  less able to resist temptation and make decisions based in simplified automatic processing. They are less motivated to relate to people who are different.  Results in motivational deficits Priming Events may “prime” our attention and impact our behavior. These primes typically are  automatic and non­conscious.  For example, in an experiment participants were shown screen savers that had images of  money,  and they tended to be less helpful than when presented with something else.  Attributions and Their Impact on Ourselves and Others People make attributions about the causes of the behavior of themselves and other people.  Human survival depends on rapid judgments on others in order to make predictions about their  behavior and to determine if they are friend or foe.   Attributions are crucial to out expectations of the future, sense of self, goals and motivations,  beliefs about the responsibilities of others, and our response to and expectations of others.   Attribution Biases Fundamental attribution error (Correspondence Bias) or actor­observer effect. Tendency to  attribute own behavior to others.  Dimensions of Attributions Internal v. external Stable v. unstable Global v. specific Controllable v. uncontrollable Application to depression, marriage, achievement motive, self handicapping, leadership,  aggression, self efficacy, etc. 


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