C82SAD: Social Cognition and Social Thinking. Social cognition and Information Processing n What is social cognition? Social Cognition is how... Social

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C82SAD: Social Cognition and Social Thinking Slide 2 Social cognition and Information Processing n What is social cognition? Social Cognition is how... Social Cognition is how... n Attitudes n Perceptions of ourselves and others (representations) n Judgements n Expectations influence our beliefs, intentions and behaviour Assumes a rational, reasoned decision maker Assumes a rational, reasoned decision maker Information processing perspective Information processing perspective Slide 3 What is Social Cognition? n Comprises a set of cognitive structures and processes that affect and are affected by social context n People are assumed to be cognitive misers n Cognitive short-cuts tend to be adopted n Toward cognitive economy n Stereotypes are good examples Slide 4 Social Cognition: Key Points n Cognitive processes for understanding how people construct own social world = social cognition (Bless et al, 2004; Fisk & Taylor, 1991). n Applies theories and methods from cognitive psychology e.g. memory, attention, inference and concept formation for understanding perceptions of others Slide 5 Experience and Categorisation n World provides too much information n Parts of perception recorded from environment - attention n People devise short-cut strategies to simplify nature of the incoming information n Categorisation - way of simplifying perceptions Slide 6 Categorisation n Grouping of objects - treated in similar way e.g. square is a square, lecturer is a lecturer Promotes cognitive economy n Object either belongs to a category or does not (Bruner et al, 1956) n But: Categories not all or none n Prototypical approach (Barsalou, 1991) Members share something in common - not completely identical for membership Slide 7 How are Categories Represented? n Schemata - how categories are represented n Cognitive representation of the prototype n People generalise in time and in space about objects characteristics and properties n Dependent on individuals personal experiences involving object actual, imagined or implied n Generalisation process and outcome (i.e. categorisation) called schema Slide 8 Schema n Organised sets of information about people, behaviours, groups of people, yourself etc. n Once evoked or activated schemas tend to bias all aspects of information processing and inference n Schemas can be implicitly activated and affect judgement and behaviour very easily beyond our conscious awareness n Similar schema will be activated at the same time n Guide how we encode (attend, interpret), remember and respond (judge and interact) n For example, Bargh, Chen, & Burrows Slide 9 Automaticity Example n Subliminal priming of the old-age stereotype (Bargh, Chen & Burrows, 1996) worried, Florida, old, lonely, gray n Walked more slowly to hatchway at end of corridor compared to neutral primed participants n Therefore people behave according to the primed schema = old-age stereotype Slide 10 How Schemas Work: Sagar & Schofields (1980) Racial Bias Study n Purpose: Demonstrate that stereotypes bias intepretation of ambiguous events n Participants: 40 African American (AA), 40 White (W) n Method: Participants presented with ambiguous drawings (e.g. bumps, asks for cake, pokes, takes pencil) with actors depicted as W or AA, participants rated behaviour as mean, threatening, playful, friendly n Results: Both AA and W participants rated behaviour as more threatening when the actor was AA n Conclusion: Schemas influence the interpretation of ambiguous events Slide 11 Remembering n Schemas represented in memory as: lists of linked features - associative memory model n nodes for concepts and links to related nodes e.g. doctor caring nurse prototype or ideal instances model n central examples clustered around prototype n peripheral examples of the prototype further away in mental space Slide 12 The Naive Scientist n How people think about other people (Heider, 1958) n Inferring unobservable causes from observable behaviour or other perceived information n Cause-effect processing of social information dispositions (internal e.g. traits) & situations (external) n Attribution of causes for behaviour from stimuli perceived (Kelley, 1972; Gilbert, 1998; Jones & Davis, 1965, etc) n Impression formation social perception (Asch, 1946) Slide 13 Impression Formation n Certain information more important in forming an impression Central and peripheral traits (Asch, 1946; Kelley, 1950). n First vs. more recent impressions count. Accounting for the primacy-recency effect (Asch, 1946; Luchins, 1957). n Earlier information is the real person n Later information dismissed - its not viewed as typical / representative (Luchins, 1957) n Attention at a maximum when making initial impressions (Anderson, 1975) n Early information affects meaning of later information (Asch, 1946) - consistency Slide 14 The Cognitive Miser n Social perception as a problem solving task n Cognitive laziness - cognitive miser (Fisk & Taylor, 1991) n Rely on heuristics for decision making and interpersonal perception n Process salient information - that which stands out Slide 15 Heuristics n Availability of information - judging frequency of event based on number of instances brought to mind of that event n Anchoring and adjustment - using information about a similar event to infer causes n Simulation - ease of imagining alternatives through mental simulation n Representativeness - whether person is an example of a particular stored schema (Stereotype). Slide 16 Stereotypes n.....widely shared assumptions of the personalities, attitudes and behaviour of people based on group membership.... (Hogg & Vaughan, 1995, p. 56). n.....inclination to place a person in categories according to some..... characteristics.... and then to attribute... qualities believed to be typical to members of that category... (Tagiuri, 1969) Slide 17 Stereotypes n Overall impressions (attitudes) of other people and their behaviour tends to be dominated by stereotypes n Organised sets of information, characteristics, first impressions and idiosyncratic personal constructs (e.g., n Peoples impressions are made through averaging these components but they tend to be dominated by particular ones (e.g., potential threat) Slide 18 Stereotyping Process n Assign individual to a group - categorise Based on accessible characteristic e.g. gender, race, age. n Activate belief that all members of this group behave etc. in same way n Infer that individual must posses stereotypical characteristics n Respond to individual on this basis Slide 19 Stereotyping Process n Automaticity in stereotyping (Macrae & Bodenhausen, 2000) fast acting, difficult to change, no intentional control of operations, no conscious awareness Encountering stimulus in environment (or even internally generated) categories are activated automatically (Lepore & Brown, 1997; Bargh, 1999; Banaji & Greenwald, 1995) Heightened accessibility of material following prime e.g. hospital primes nurse, caring etc. Slide 20 Theories of Attribution n Internal and external attributions (Rotter, 1966) n Nave scientist model (Heider, 1958) n Correspondent inference theory (Jones & Davis, 1965) n Attributional bias model (Kelley, 1967) n Attribution theory (Weiner, 1986) n Attribution of emotions (Schacter & Singer, 1962) Slide 21 Attributional Bias n Fundamental attribution error (Jones & Harris, 1967; Ross, 1977) n Actor-observer effect (Jones & Nisbett, 1972) n Attributional bias (Kelly, 1950) n Self-serving bias (Miller & Ross, 1975) Slide 22 Definition Attribution is the process of assigning causes for our own behaviour to that of others Hogg & Vaughan (2005) Slide 23 Heiders Nave Scientist n Suggests that people create theories of other people based on observation of behavior n Inferring unobservable causes from observable behaviour or other perceived information Slide 24 Everyone is a Nave Scientist n Internal (dispositional) attributions personality characteristics beliefs n External (situational) attributions situational pressure/influence n Example: Student turns in papers late Internal: Slide 25 Everyone is a Nave Scientist n Internal (dispositional) attributions personality characteristics beliefs n External (situational) attributions situational pressure/influence n Example: Student turns in papers late Internal:lazy, partying all the time Slide 26 Everyone is a Nave Scientist n Internal (dispositional) attributions personality characteristics beliefs n External (situational) attributions situational pressure/influence n Example: Student turns in papers late Internal:lazy, partying all the time External: Slide 27 Everyone is a Nave Scientist n Internal (dispositional) attributions personality characteristics beliefs n External (situational) attributions situational pressure/influence n Example: Student turns in papers late Internal:lazy, partying all the time External:family problems, working, boy/girlfriend Slide 28 Everyone is a Nave Scientist n Internal (dispositional) attributions personality characteristics beliefs n External (situational) attributions situational pressure/influence n Example: Student turns in papers late Internal:lazy, partying all the time External:family problems, working, boy/girlfriend Slide 29 Self-Serving Bias n Aim to protect our self-esteem n Consistent with social cognitive theories on motivation for consistency n Tendency to serve ourselves n Take credit for success (attribute internally) n But not for failure (attribute externally) n Maintains control and consistency Slide 30 Self-Serving Bias n E.g. student will take credit for doing well in an exam n Student will blame test difficulty or lecturers tough marking policy for failure n Miller & Ross (1975) cognitive explanation due to restricted information NOT because they are motivated to protect or enhance the self Slide 31 Actor-Observer Effec