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Chapter 3: Social Cognition

by: Katherine Szpuk

Chapter 3: Social Cognition PSY 309

Marketplace > Eastern Michigan University > Psychlogy > PSY 309 > Chapter 3 Social Cognition
Katherine Szpuk
GPA 3.0

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About this Document

Covers chapter 3, which has a lot to do with schemas.
Social Psychology
Stephen Jefferson
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katherine Szpuk on Thursday January 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 309 at Eastern Michigan University taught by Stephen Jefferson in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychlogy at Eastern Michigan University.


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Date Created: 01/28/16
Chapter 3: Social Cognition  Cognition: Thoughts.  Schema: Idea of a particular concept. th Mid-20 Century Psychology -Gestalt School  People construct understanding of reality  The mind actively selects pieces of information and organizes them into a knowledge network. Ex: Devoted Catholic cannot be gay. -The brain fills in the blank that a Catholic individual cannot be gay due to religion, however the person may be gay. The “Why” of Social Cognition: Motives Behind Thinking -3 motives influences choices (Theory of lay Epistemology)  Need for accurate knowledge: Want to know true things about the world.  Need for nonspecific closure: Rather have a clear choice rather than ambiguity. Ex: When going on a date, you ask person to pick a movie, they say they don’t want to pick. People want the choice even when they say they don’t.  Need for specific closure: People don’t always like open endings Ex: Movies (Inception), books, etc.  Everyday thinking about social world is largely a matter of choices, many of which are made without conscious awareness. The “How” of Social Cognition -Having a well-developed brain allows governance of social cognition by 2 systems of thinking:  Cognitive system: Conscious, rational and controlled system of thinking.  Experiential system: Unconscious, intuitive and automatic system of thinking. Ex: Do not discriminate. Saw a t.v. show with a particular group of people doing something wrong, so they cannot be trusted.  Influence of conscious intentions  Influence of experientially derived willingness to engage in risky behaviors Dual-Process Theories: -Theories used to explain wide range of phenomena by positing 2 ways of processing information  Heuristics: Mental shortcuts, or rule of thumb, used for making judgements and decisions. Dual-Process Evaluation -Dual process theories of attitude  Implicit Attitudes: Not open to conscious -Automatic associations that make up experiential system -Passed on genetically through evolution or learned from culture. Ex: American society associates black males and danger- not aware of the stigma.  Explicit Attitudes: In the open -Reported consciously through cognitive system Ex: Right to carry guns. -One person can have different attitudes about the same thing. Automaticity and Controlled Processes  Automaticity: Performing behavior without much thought or conscious attention. Ex: Person with gauges and nose rings. We do not see this person having a high power job.  Controlled Reasoning Processes: Overriding experiential system to solve unexpected problems and attain goals. -Conditions necessary for experiential system override: Awareness, motivation and ability. 5 Ways the Unconscious is Smart 1. Motives that guide thinking often operate unconsciously. 2. Memory consolidation occurs during sleep. -Can solve problems in sleep Ex: Lost something and go to bed-> can remember by dreaming. 3. Unconscious mind wandering (day dreaming) can help generate creative ideas. 4. Intuition can facilitate sound decisions. 5. Unconscious emotional associations can promote beneficial decisions (somatic marker hypothesis). The “What” of Social Cognition -Schemas are cognitive building blocks of knowledge.  Schema: Mental structure, stored in memory, based on prior knowledge.  Scripts: Schemas that represent knowledge about events.  Impressions: Schemas that represent knowledge about people. Where do Schemas Come From?  Cultural source of knowledge Direct contact with people, events, ideas, etc. -Indirect contact with parents, teachers, peers, books, etc. -Cultural universals. Cultural Sources of Knowledge -Much of what we learn about people or events comes from news passed from one person to another.  Transmitting information bias processes: Sharpening and leveling. -Media present biased views of many things. Ex: Fox news slams Planned Parenthood How Do Schemas Work? -Person’s current situation plays major role in activating particular schemas. -The more fine-grained a person’s categories are, the more specific will be the schemas activated.  Accessibility: Ease with which people can bring an idea into consciousness and use in thinking; How readily something is thought about.  Salience: Aspect of a schema that is active in one’s mind and, consciously or not, colors perceptions and behavior; How present beliefs are in mind.  Priming: Process which exposure to a stimulus in the environment increases the salience of a schema. Ex: Patience and impatience. The more patient a person is, the longer they will wait to interrupt someone.  Asymmetry Hypothesis: Discriminatory processes done by strong group unto the weak is more destructive than discriminatory processes done by the weak group unto the strong group.


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