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PSY 315 Week 4 Notes

by: Lauren Toomey

PSY 315 Week 4 Notes PSY 315

Lauren Toomey

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About this Document

These notes cover the Social Psychology lectures from February 8th, 10th, and 12th.
Social Psychology
Jennifer Harman
Class Notes
PSY 315, social psychology
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lauren Toomey on Tuesday February 16, 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 18 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychlogy at Colorado State University.


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Date Created: 02/16/16
Lecture 9: Impressions (2/8/16) Sunday, February 14, 2016 5:48 PM • Primacy Effect • Change of meaning hypothesis • Perseverance of Beliefs • We interpret ambiguous events in ways that confirm our existing beliefs • Belief perseverance: the tendency to maintain beliefs even after they have been discredited o Example: even after Obama confirmed he was born in the U.S., people still believed he wasn’t and accused him of having a fake birth certificate o Can be reduced or eliminate d when we are asked to consider why alternative explanations may be true • Other Factors in Attributions • Trusted source o We believe info more from a trusted source (example: best friend vs. someone you just met) • Automatic vigilance o Negative info. weighted mor e heavily (alerts us to possible threats) • Unusual or extreme Info o Weighted more heavily (assume someone has a cause for being abnormal) • Errors in Attributions • Fundamental attribution Error o More likely to attribute behavior of someone to internal rather tha n external causes • Ex. Slip on a banana peel: person who slipped will think, "Who left that there?" and the person who witnessed it will think, "What a clutz!" o A.k.a. correspondence bias • Correspondence Bias • "Over-attribution" of an effect -- overestimate environment as a cause for behavior o Internal: fundamental attribution error o External: overestimate power of environment (ex. Twins) • Why these errors/biases? • Actor-observer bias: we are often unaware of situational cues that effect our own behavior, much less others' behavior o We don't have information to work with as a bystander, but the actor has more information (ex. Their mood, how their day went, etc.) • Actors are more likely to cite their beliefs, but observers only have their assumption s o One is internal information, one is not • Example: WHO! Concert o Festival rock seating o Actors who were involved didn’t realize how serious the situation was when they were in it until they found out people were trampled and died o Observers, on the other hand , are much more critical of festival seating situations as a cause of death, blame the person who designed this seating • Influences on Attribution Errors • Perspectives change with time -- consider external factors • Self awareness: increase awareness = people a ct in line with those beliefs • Cognitive load: increase stress = increase likelihood to commit fundamental attribution error • Culture: cultures where self is identified more broadly (more attribution error) • Application • Date Rape-- most people blame victims o r hold victims responsible o Males much more likely to make this error than women • Why does this happen? o Fundamental attribution error o "belief in a just world" = we see the world as broad and predictable, so we blame people for these things instead of the wor ld o Misinterpretation of communication -- people don't know what "no" means Forming Impressions of Others: Impression Personality Theory (IPT) • Impression Formation • Traits we pay attention to: o Central Traits: things that form overall impressions • E.g. warmth-- attribute many things to this (smiling, etc.) o Peripheral Traits: Tag on to the central trait and not as important to our evaluation of them • E.g. warm person, but less friendly (friendly= the peripheral trait, but we don’t pay attention to it because of our first impression, a.k.a. the central trait) • Example: O.J. Simpson, was a warm & nice person (central traits), no one could believe the peripheral trait of violence when he beat his wife • Trait Assumptions-- Implicit Personality Theories o Once we make assumptions based on a trait (e.g., warmth) we use our Impression personality theory (IPT) to draw conclusions about traits (e.g., that warm person is probably honest) o Some traits are more central, and thus more descriptive • E.g., hostility o Central traits are more powerful when forming impression • The first judgment we make of people, are they "warm or cold"? o Cultural Influences • "What is beautiful is good" hypothesis: we attribute beauty to having good traits § Ex. The most beautiful person is probably also successful, nice, funny, has a good sex life, etc. • IPT o Many factors influence judgments o Sexual arousal & IPTS • Someone who is sexually aroused has a harder time processing info -- meaning they are so focused on "hooking up" that they have an increased cognitive load • Overall Evaluation: 2 Schools of Thought Cognitive Algebra Holistic Impressions (Gestalt) • Evaluate first, then integrate • Integrate first, then evaluate the • Based on weights associated to individual person traits • E.g., implicit personality theories • E.g. practical (.25) + mean (.75) • Top-down process • Bottom-up process • How accurate are people's impressions of each other? • Hard questions to answer… o Problems: • Often exhibit biases in our social perceptions • Often have little awareness of our limitations, leading us to feel overconfident in our judgments o But remember that biases do NOT necessarily result in error… • Reasons why we can be Competent Social Perceivers • The more experience we have with each other, th e more accurate we are • Although we're good at making global judgments of others, we are able to make more circumscribed predictions • Our social perception skills can be enhanced and changed (but it takes a long time) • We can form more accurate impressions of others when we are motivated • Impression Management • It is designed to regulate information that others see of you • The regulation of information to convey certain information about the self or others to an audience • Strategies o Ingratiation, self-promotion, intimidation • Self-enhancement: come across as confidence ( not arrogant) • Other-enhancement Lecture 10: Impression Management & The Self (2/10/16) Monday, February 15, 2016 2:55 PM • Impression Management • Self-monitoring o Accommodate impression management o Constantly adapting to the situation & changing your behavior to fit the situation o Increase self monitors to use impression management strategies to be liked by others/to fit in • These are called adaptive strategies • Machiavellianism o Assimilate impression management o Use these adaptors to satisfy themselves or accomplish their own aims o Adapt to behaviors that are most effective for that situation (ex. Talking professionally with colleagues vs. baby talk for children) • Noncommon effects = effects that can be c aused by one specific factor • Someone believing in something because of them being assigned to do it= actor-observer effect o The discounting principle: multiple causes for one behavior • Discount the other causes as being likelihood of causing the behavior (of being the cause) Ch. 4: The Self • Functions of the Self • 3 Functions: 1. Executive: control, & plan for the future 2. Emotional 3. Organizing: the self is a schema (a cognitive framework for who we are) • The Self works as a muscle --> more tired = no control of the self because the "muscle" is tired • Self-Awareness • Is subjective o Self-awareness: recognizing ourselves at some point after birth as a unique identity • The self is an "adaptive" characteristic 1. Subjective: recognizing ourselves at some point after birth as a unique identity 2. Objective: recognizing yourself as an object -- you see that, and others see that 3. Symbolic self-awareness: one step higher than basic self -awareness • Who Am I? • Describe yourself • Categorize your traits into categ ories: physical, social, psychological, holistic, or other o 64% of class had more psychological traits than any other trait (or physical) • Social: personality identity continuum o Ranging from unique to "average" o In the U.S., people rate themselves based on what makes them different (unique) • Culture & the Self • Individualism o See the self as separate from others o Personality identity is important • Collectivism/Independent cultures o Identity is defined in relation to others (don't want to be different)- collectivism o Social position more important than personal accomplishments - independent • Gender & The Self • Interdependence o Relational vs. Collective • Development of the Self • "looking glass self"- rather than actually having the self o Sociologist's theory: who we are is ref lected in the eyes around us • Based on what other people think of us -- we adopt that personality • Social Identity: traits that define who you are in relation to others (ex. Daughter, sister, etc.) o OR the roles (ex. Student, etc.) • Social Comparison Theory (Fe stinger, 1954) o Standards developed in relation to others o Gives you info. About yourself through comparison • Your abilities, skills, etc. are identified • Temporal Comparisons o Compare current self to self in the past o Ex. Seeing high school friends who remind y ou of who you used to be; or siblings who have known you your whole life • They remind you so you don't forget who you were • Self-Concept • Definition: the set of beliefs & perceptions about oneself o Helps determine how individuals will behave o Inconsistency between self-concept and experiences • Made up of possible selves o Who you see yourself becoming o Help us to reach goals (drive and passion to become that person; e.g. a doctor) • Working self-concept o Self concept at any given moment • When asked to define who you are at any time o Driven by what is acting on you in that moment • Ex. In a classroom- I'm a "student," but at home, I'm a "sister" o Never stable (it depends on what you bring in that moment) o William James (1980) argues that we have a "personal s elf"-- a central core concept that we express in different situations • Self-Schemas • How we organize information about the self o a way to process self-relevant (important) information • Specific beliefs about the self o When you want something, everyone has it • Your self-schema is driving what you notice • Content-specific, structure the same • Reflects past experiences o Especially with others (how they drive your experiences) Lecture 11: The Self (2/12/16) Monday, February 15, 2016 3:38 PM • Self-Reference Effect • In-class activity on words that describe us • We recall words about ourselves more than words that don't describe us due to this effect o Info. About ourselves processed quickly and efficiently • Also remembered better • Why? Because 2 types of processing: o Elaborative o Categorical (preexisting info about ourselves) • Mood also effects self -focus o Self-focus happens more at childhood, and when less distracted • Happy= recall better things about yourself • Self-Knowledge (Wisbett & Wilson) • We can never be sure the causes of our behavior • Ex. Laundry detergent poll o We recall Tide more than any other detergent (but for what reason? We can't be sure. Tide isn't even the leading detergent) • Swinging the rope experiment o Stimulus… --> Response: we can be aware of the results of our thinking, but not how we got there o Subject to a large amount of error • Can We Know Ourselves? • Introspection: Narrated self-- we make up full stories about ourselves as "getting to know ourselves" • Accuracy: may lack self -insight • Argument here: the self (our own identity) is construed reality • Can We Predict what we will do/feel? • Usually not! o Only as good as what the average person will do • Our perceptions about what we will do is always over -estimated; we are only as good a s average people • Self-Esteem • Narcissism reflects a very high (inflated) self -esteem • Types: o Bottom-up approach: weighing most of your self worth to one particular important thing o Top up approach: overall feel very positive; not focused on one specific thing • This is generally a healthier way to live • Trait vs. State self esteem o State = interactions/settings cause fluctuations in Self esteem o Trait = can change minimally as we age, but stay pretty consistent • Social Success is also related to increased self -esteem o Serotonin released when we feel good about ourselves, which makes us feel even more successful --> increased success • Implicit vs. Explicit o Name letter effect (ex. Name starts with a D = all dentists) • Born in Colorado = more likely for name to start with a C • High Self-Esteem • May result in explicit Self Esteem • Can be the result of 3 things: o Healthy self-confidence o Exaggerated sense of self o Conceited, egotistical, arrogant sense of self • Ex. Inmates have highest self esteem because it's the egotistical type


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