social cognition paper

social cognition paper - Adam Towle Personality Heather...

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Adam Towle Personality Heather – Monday 2:00 – 3:15 1. Describe the processes of social cognition and their influence on how people make sense of others – along with their relevance to understanding personality. According to the social cognitive approach to personality, an individual’s cognitions and cognitive transformations of stimuli can help to determine that individual’s behavior. According to a publication by Higgins and King, the social constructs that govern our interpretation of our social environments influence our reactions to stimuli. Of particular importance are the availability, or presence, and accessibility, or readiness, of these constructs in determining behavior. The accessibility of a construct depends on various factors, including expectations, motivations, frequency and recency of activation, and salience, and depending on each of these factors, constructs may be more readily available for activation than others. Our interpretations of the environment and others in the environment is influenced by which construct is activated, and our actions that follow can be explained by the same construct. In addition to this theory, Albert Bandura proposed the Observational Learning Theory, which suggested that we may learn through the observed consequences of others’ actions, without any direct external reinforcement. The information we process of their behaviors is in terms of the consequences that follow, whether positive or negative, and these consequences alter our expectations of outcomes, and in turn change the probability that we will perform that action based on the fact that we are more likely to engage in behaviors that we have observed others receive positive consequences from. In this case, we make sense of the actions of others based on their vicarious applications to
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This essay was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course PSYCH 0030 taught by Professor Andersen during the Spring '07 term at NYU.

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social cognition paper - Adam Towle Personality Heather...

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