Chapter 3 Notes
Chapter 3 Notes PY 372
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Danielle Jones on Tuesday September 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PY 372 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by William Peter Hart in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychology at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Date Created: 09/13/16
Chapter 3 Social Cognition The study of how people understand and make senses of events, others, themselves, and their environment How Thoughtful Are We Are we shallow thinkers or deep thinkers Think about this situation: you are standing in line at a busy photocopier and someone tires to cut in line with various statements ˗ “Pardon, I have five pages may I use it before you because I am very late to class.” ˗ “Pardon, I have five pages may I use this machine before you?” ˗ “Pardon, I have five pages may I use this machine before you, because I have to make copies 94% and 93% of people would let people using the 1 and 3 questions in front of them. However, only 60% of people would allow a person using the 2 question pass them The use of the word “because” suggest that the person has a legitimate reason to want to use the machine before you ˗ In everyday life, people are generally shallow thinkers ˗ There’s always so much going on in our environment, people tend to work on autopilot Errors and Biases Because social thinking is pretty shallow, it can lead to some problems Assimilation: interpreting new information in terms of existing beliefs and goals ˗ Reality gets assimilated to our expectations, not how it actually is ˗ Darley and Gross (1983): perception of intelligence, participants watched a video of a young girl answering intelligent problems ˗ 1 group is told that the girl lives in a mansion, while the other group is told she lives in a trailer ˗ The groups then had to predict how many questions she answered correctly ˗ The group who were told she lived in a trailer predicted she got less correct answers than the group who thought she lived in a mansion ˗ Our expectations actively shape our interpretations of others’ behavior Not allowing for multiple perspective Confirmation Bias: tendency to search for information that confirms our ideas and neglect information that disconfirms them Behavioral Confirmation: our expectations about others lead us to act in ways that causes others to confirm our expectations of them ˗ We pull traits out of people and them assume people are the traits we pulled out of them Belief Perseverance: persistence of one’s initial beliefs, even in the face of discrediting evidence Overconfidence phenomenon: tendency to be more confident than correct; ˗ Overestimating the accuracy of one’s beliefs Many biases happen without conscious awareness Illusory correlation: seeing a relationship when no relationship actually exists ˗ Ex: “in plane crashes, 90% of survivors paid attention to the safety instructions; only 10% of survivors didn’t pay attention” ˗ Does this mean that everyone who paid attention survived? No ˗ You can’t assume an association between the safety association and survival. ˗ How many of the people who didn’t survive did actually pay attention to safety instructions? Regression-to-the-mean: misunderstanding the tendency for extreme behavior to return towards one’s average ˗ Extreme scores or extreme behavior will return to one’s average ˗ Ex: your performance in some task is amazing (unusual from your normal performance), the next time you complete that task you will do at your normal level Base-rate fallacy: tendency to ignore statistical summaries for personal accounts ˗ People will focus more on personal examples rather than actual stats ˗ Ex: Telling a person that smoking increases their chances of lung cancer and they counter with “I know someone who smoked for 50 years and was fine” Illusion of control: Perception of events being under one’s control (when they are not controllable) Anchoring and Adjustment: Tendency for numerical estimates to be biased by an initial, even arbitrary, starting point, or "anchor" Counterfactual thinking: imagining alternative scenarios and outcomes that might have happened, but didn’t ˗ The more significant and unlikely the event, the more intense the counterfactual thinking ˗ Thinking about the possible alternatives can lead to either disappointment or joy ˗ Ex: Bronze medalists (who alternatively could have finished 4 and without a medal) are often happier about their performance than silver medalists (who st could have finished 1 , with a gold medal) Heuristics Many errors in thought can be due to the use of thinking shortcuts ˗ Heuristics” mental shortcuts that often produce good decisions Heuristics enable quick, efficient judgements Availability heuristics: a cognitive rule that judges the likelihood of things in terms of their availability in our memory ˗ Deciding if an event occurs frequently or infrequently based on how easily that event comes to mind Representativeness Heuristic: the tendency to presume that some or something belongs to a particular group if resembling (representing) a typical member ˗ Things are placed into categories based on their resemblance to typical category members ˗ Works well quite often but sometimes leads us astray ˗ Ex: Linda is 31, single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in philosophy in college. As a student, she was deeply concerned with discrimination and other social issues, and participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations. Which statement is more likely? ˗ a. Linda is a bank teller. ˗ b. Linda is a bank teller and active in the feminist movement. ˗ Most people think b is more likely, partly because Linda better represents their image of feminists ˗ But, is there really a better chance that Linda is both a bank teller and feminist than that she’s just a bank teller? Automaticity Thinking and behavior can be discussed in terms of how automatic (vs controlled) it is There are 4 features of automaticity ˗ Unintentional: behavior or thinking process isn’t intentional ˗ Controllable: inability to stop or alter it once it’s started ˗ Lack of awareness: you don’t know it’s happening ˗ Efficiency: you don’t have to think consciously do it Automaticity of behaviors are very personal/specific ˗ The ability to type fast or without looking at the keyboard may be an automatic behavior for some while not for others Attribution How people go about explaining others (and their own) behavior There are 2 general categories of causes of behavior ˗ External attributions: causes that are external to the person ˗ These are situational causes for someone’s behavior ˗ Conformity/social pressure, money, etc. ˗ Internal attributions: causes that are internal to the person ˗ These are dispositional causes; not caused by the environment acting on a person ˗ Attitudes or beliefs, personality traits, abilities, etc. Fundamental attribution error: tendency for you to underestimate situational (external) influences and overestimate dispositional (internal) influences ˗ Even when the environment presents obvious causes for behavior Why does fundamental attribution error occur? ˗ We often fail to take other’s perspective and fail to recognize their situation or environment ˗ Actor-observer bias: Tendency to explain others’ behavior as due to dispositions and our own behavior as due to the situation Kelley’s theory of attributions ˗ To explain behavior, we use three factors ˗ Consistency: how often does the behavior occur across time in this exact situation ˗ Distinctiveness: refers to how unique the behavior is to the particular situation ˗ Consensus: multiple people behave the same way in the same situation ˗ High consensus is attributed to the stimulus, while low consensus is attributed to the person
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