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PSY 315, Week 3 Notes

by: Lauren Toomey

PSY 315, Week 3 Notes PSY 315

Lauren Toomey
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About this Document

These notes cover lectures on Feb. 1st, 3rd, and 5th.
Social Psychology
Jennifer Harman
Class Notes
PSY 315, social, Psychology




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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lauren Toomey on Saturday February 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 315 at Colorado State University taught by Jennifer Harman in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 71 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychlogy at Colorado State University.

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Date Created: 02/06/16
Lecture 6: Social Cognition (2/1/16) Tuesday, February 2, 2016 7:48 PM Biases • Negativity Bias o We pay more attention to the negative th ings than positive things • It catches our attention more • We give more weight to the negative information o E.g. Prospect Theory (Kahneman, 1979) • Editing: take into account the potential outcomes, set a reference point, and decide what's to lose and what's to gain • Evaluation • o Example of prospect theory: • Option A: guaranteed win of $1000 • Option B: 80% chance of winning $1400, and 20% chance of winning nothing (which we consider a loss) • Most people will choose option A to avoid the risk of a loss • Framing o Gain-frame appeal: focuses on how something will make you better • Example: flossing your teeth will help you gain fresher breath and clean teeth o Loss-frame appeal: focuses on the downside; what you could potentially lose • Example: if you don’t floss, particles of food in your mouth will cause bad breath (the losses: fresh breath and being appealing to others) o Socially, gain frames are more effective to get someone to do something (like exercise -- you can gain muscle and health if you exercise • Loss frames are effective for if you already have something that you need to get ride of (a.k.a.- lose) like a disease § Can persuade someone that they will lose their health, their quality of life, etc. • Optimistic Bias o We dramatically underestimate chances of bad things happening to us • We also drastically overestimate good things o Caveat: we overestimate bad things so that when it actually happens, it's not so bad o Students estimate they are 15% more likely for a positive outcome than the average student; they also estimate they are 20% more likely for a negative outcome than the average s tudent • Other Biases o Sampling bias: generalizing the population of your study, when the sample is not representative of the entire population o Planning Fallacy: drastically overestimate amount of stuff we can get done in the time allotted • Ex. Thinking you can write an entire paper in 2 hours, despite previous experiences indicating that it takes much longer o Gambler's fallacy: thinking there's a way to control the outcome of an event, but each gamble (or event) is independent from the others • Ex. Rolling a dice to land on a 6 nine times in a row, doesn’t mean it will land on a 6 again. Each roll is independent (separate) from the previous rolls; they don't connect in any way). o Confirmation Bias: we look for information that confirms our own beliefs (i.e. informa tion that proves that we are right) • Ex. When defending our favorite football player, we don't pay attention to their number of fumbles, we pay attention to their great offense and defense. • Case study of Confirmation Bias: Arthritis Study o Followed arthritis patients for 18 months o Measured 2 times per month & correlated their pain level with the temperature outside • Found NO correlation, but patients still said it was happening § They use confirmation bias to confirm that it is happening in col d weather § They pay more attention to the times the bad weather & pain co-occurred • Counterfactual Thinking o If you have a higher grade (ex. An 89), but it's close to the next higher grade, you will be less satisfied because of "what could have been" • i.e. less satisfied than someone who got an 87, for example o Upward counterfactual thinking : "could have been better" -- dissatisfaction o Downward counterfactual thinking : "could have been worse"-- satisfaction • Ex. How happy Olympians were with medals § Bronze medalists were happier than silver medalists o What could have changed? • If something could have been better (upward thinking) --> enhances negative mood --> no change at the time, but it motivates us to do better in the future • Downward thinking --> feels better at the time --> no motivation to change anything in the future • Illusory Thinking o Perceive unfortunate coincidences as a relationship between 2 occurrences that isn't actually a relationship o Associate random events to find a relationship • Illusory Correlation o Associate 2 random events to find significance • Illusion of Control o Idea that chance events are subject to our influence o Regression to the mean o Example: sitting somewhere specific in the room effects the football game • Affect & Cognition o Affect: emotional state o Our current emotional state effects our cognition o Mood Dependent Memory • Affect Infusion Model (AIM) 1. Affect triggers (primes) cognitions o Cognition Affect • 2 factor theory of emotion (Schacter & Singer) • Sight of incoming car --> pounding heart --> label this as "I'm afraid" --> fear (this is the emotion) § Essentially, our thoughts can also effect our emotions (it goes both ways) • Ironic Processes o Attempts to avoid thoughts, makes thoughts more accessible o 2 opposing mechanisms • Monitoring • Operating • Self-fulfilling Prophecies= adhering to your own stereotypes o "Pygmalion effect" = distortion of observations • Creation of demand characteristics that elicit predicted behaviors in the classroom o Ex. Teacher/Student expectations • Teacher expectations are corre lated with student achievement • Students actually produced the effect that teachers expected would be there (Depending on whether they were told a particular student was intelligent or not) o Behavioral confirmation • Social expectations lead you to act in ways that cause others to confirm your expectations Lecture 7: Ch. 2 Self-Fulfilling Prophecies (continued) and Social Cognition (2/3/16) Saturday, February 6, 2016 1:59 PM • Self-fulfilling prophecies (review) o Pygmalion Effect o Teacher & Student Expectations • Correlated with student achievement o Behavioral Confirmation o Michelangelo Effect (new one, briefly mentioned as an example) • Organizing Social Information o We take in too much for our minds to process, so we have to prioritize o Remember the story, about John at the party? • Depending on if you were assigned Group A (suspecting your husband was cheating) or Group B (you were John's body guard), you will notice different information that you prioritized as more crucial • Ex. As John's body guard, I noticed the suspicious man in the trench coat in much more detail than I noticed the woman with flirty eyes at the buffet table • Schemas o Schemas: a way for us to organize information o To organize concepts that are related -- piece them all together by similarity o Specificity matters-- it helps us focus on what's important in our environments o Schemas provide clarity when we're faced with ambiguity ( vague information) o Schemas are resistant to change (once activated) o Framework, or mental structure: • Helps organize information • Guides processing • Influences memory processes § Attention § Encoding § Retrieval • Types of Schemas o Schemas about: • Objects • Ourselves • Other People § E.g. trait schemas, such as religion (ex. A mormon is trustworthy) • Groups of people § Ex. These are stereotypes (generalized to a group) o Example: What is a script of a first date like? • Guy picks up the girl, drive to a movie or dinner, the guy p ays, drives her home, then it ends with a goodnight kiss • This is an example of a schema § There is a general consensus for what happens on a first date • If you fall out of this order, or do something out of the ordinary, people get mad and are thrown off by it (like if the woman pays) because it doesn't fit their schema • Memories o Reconstruction of memories is not perfect o We combine fragments of our memories with moods and feelings from the time it happened • Memories are stored with associations o We are motivated to recall events in a "better" (better meaning more biased) way that make us look better as a person • We see ourselves better off now, so we "fit" our memories to new self concept o Problems with schemas: • Schemas (stereotypes) drive our recall of memories § Those about race and gender are most powerful • Ex. Recall a black man & white man in a fight; person recalls black man holding the knife, but really it was the white man • Schemas & Behavior o Ex. Men were told the woman they talked to on the phone was attractive • As a result, they treated the women as if they were attractive, and men reported the women being warm and friendly on the phone because the compliments actually made the women behave that way • Schemas Summary o Schemas allow us to organize social information o They aid our memory & provide clarity in ambiguous situations o Schemas are resistant to change, and therefore bias our information processing o Schemas take different forms Chapter 3: Social Perception • Intro o Perceiving others o How do we come to understand others? • E.g.- communication o What are people likely to do? • Information gathering about other people • What We Start With in Social Situations o Cognitive Schema o Scripts o Stereotypes o Expectancies o Hypotheses (about what we think will happen) • What we Notice: o Physical Features • E.g., attractiveness o Demographics • E.g., gender, race o Nonverbal behaviors o Things that appear out of the ordinary • Catch our attention o For next class: Think about why some charades are harder to convey than others (nonverbal communication) • Perhaps because there are not universal signs for certain messages?


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