Chapter 3 Social Cognition: How We Think About the Social World.

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Chapter 3 Social Cognition: How We Think About the Social World Slide 2 Chapter Outline I. On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking Slide 3 On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking Social cognition is the study of how people select, interpret, and use information to make judgments about themselves and the social world. Slide 4 On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking People use mental shortcuts to simplify the amount of information they receive from the environment. Slide 5 On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking Social cognition is pragmatic, adopting different procedures depending on the persons goals and needs in a situation. Slide 6 On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking People as Everyday Theorists: Automatic Thinking with Schemas Schemas are mental structures people use to organize their knowledge about the social world around themes or subjects: schemas affect what information we notice, think about, and remember. Slide 7 On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking People as Everyday Theorists: Automatic Thinking with Schemas Schemas act as filters, screening out information that is inconsistent with them. Although we may notice and remember glaring exceptions, usually we attend only to schema-consistent information. Slide 8 On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking People as Everyday Theorists: Automatic Thinking with Schemas Accessibility: the ease with which schemas can be brought to mind. Priming: the process by which recent experiences make schemas, traits, or concepts come to mind more readily. Slide 9 On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking People as Everyday Theorists: Automatic Thinking with Schemas Perseverance effect: the tendency for peoples beliefs about themselves and their world to persist even when those beliefs are discredited. Slide 10 On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking People as Everyday Theorists: Schemas and Their Influence Self-fulfilling prophecy: whereby people have an expectation about what another person is like, which influences how they act toward that person, which causes that person to behave in a way consistent with the original expectation. Slide 11 On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking Mental Strategies and Shortcuts Judgmental heuristics are mental shortcuts people use to make judgments quickly and efficiently. Slide 12 On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking Mental Strategies and Shortcuts The availability heuristic is a mental rule of thumb whereby people base a judgment on the ease with which they can bring something to mind. Slide 13 On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking Mental Strategies and Shortcuts The representativeness heuristic is a mental shortcut whereby people classify something according to how similar it is to a typical case. Base rate information is information about the frequency of members of different categories in the population. It usually is not considered when people are using mental shortcuts. Slide 14 On Automatic Pilot: Low-Effort Thinking Mental Strategies and Shortcuts The anchoring and adjustment heuristic is a mental shortcut that involves using a number or value as a starting point, and then adjusting ones answer away from this anchor. One example of anchoring and adjustment is biased sampling, whereby people make generalizations from samples of information they know are biased or atypical. Slide 15 Chapter Outline II. Controlled Social Cognition: High-Effort Thinking Slide 16 Controlled Social Cognition: High-Effort Thinking Controlled thinking is conscious, voluntary, and effortful unlike automatic thinking which is nonconscious, effortless, and involuntary. Slide 17 Controlled Social Cognition: High-Effort Thinking The Motivated Social Thinker In many studies, people make judgments that are of little importance to them. When the importance is increased, people may use more sophisticated strategies, are more accurate, and are more likely to notice facts that conflict with their schemas. Slide 18 Controlled Social Cognition: High-Effort Thinking Ironic Processing and Thought Suppression Being preoccupied reduces our ability to engage in thought suppression, or the attempt to avoid thinking about something we would just as soon forget. Slide 19 Controlled Social Cognition: High-Effort Thinking Ironic Processing and Thought Suppression According to Wegner, thought suppression depends on two processes: monitoring (searching for evidence that the unwanted thought is about to intrude) and operating process (finding a distraction). Slide 20 Controlled Social Cognition: High-Effort Thinking Counterfactual thinking is mentally changing some aspect of the past as a way of imagining what might have been. Slide 21 Chapter Outline III. A Portrayal of Social Thinking Slide 22 A Portrayal of Human Thinking People as flawed scientists: Though people are brilliant thinkers, they are often blind to truths that dont fit their theories and sometimes even treat others in ways that make their theories come true. Slide 23 Chapter Outline IV. Improving Human Thinking Slide 24 Improving Human Thinking Teaching Reasoning Skills Often we have more confidence in our judgements than we should. To try to improve reasoning skills, we need to break through this overconfidence barrier and make people more aware of the limits of their cognitive abilities. Slide 25 Study Questions What is social cognition? What do researchers in this area study? Slide 26 Study Questions What are the advantages of automatic thinking? When is this type of thinking problematic? Slide 27 Study Questions Why are schemas so important to study? What role do they play in peoples understanding and interpretations of themselves and the social world? What are examples of cognitive processes that are influenced by schemas? Slide 28 Study Questions What functions do schemas serve? Why does their use sometimes have adaptive value? How is their use maladaptive? How do accessibility and priming affect schema use? Slide 29 Study Questions What is the relationship between schemas and the perseverance effect? Slide 30 Study Questions Why does the self-fulfilling prophecy occur? What function does it serve? How can it affect resistance to schema change? Slide 31 Study Questions How do cultures influence schema content? Slide 32 Study Questions Why do people use judgmental heuristics? What are three heuristics that people use to make judgments? When people rely on these heuristics what kind of information are they not taking into account? Slide 33 Study Questions What are the effects of motivation on judgment formation? How is automatic thinking different from controlled thinking? What effects does cognitive load have on these two types of thinking? Slide 34 Study Questions How do automatic processing and controlled processing interact to allow for successful thought suppression? Slide 35 Study Questions What is the relationship between the occurrence of counterfactual thinking and emotional reactions to events? Slide 36 Study Questions What is perhaps the best metaphor for the social thinker? Why? Slide 37 Study Questions What can we teach people so that they overcome the overconfidence barrier and increase their reasoning ability?

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