Chapter3 - Chapter3:SocialCognition...

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Chapter 3: Social Cognition Emily Grijalva, Psychology 201 September 2, 2009
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Goals for Chapter 3 Apply this material to your own lives in order to improve your thinking skills by becoming aware of how thinking and memory are often flawed.
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Overview  Definition of Social Cognition  Schemas  Accessibility  Stereotypes  Reconstructive Memory
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Social Cognition  DEFINITION: The study of how information about  people and the social world is processed and stored.      “A marriage between social psychology  and cognitive psychology”   How people select, interpret, remember, and use          social information to make judgments and decisions.
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Something to keep in mind… Basic motives underlying human information processing: 1) To perceive the world accurately & quickly We are more likely to survive if we  categorize objects correctly  (i.e., “Hmmm… that looks like a bear,  walks like a bear, talks like a bear…”) 2) To view the self positively   (Good, worthy, deserving of success)
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Schemas: The elementary “building blocks” of the mind    SCHEMAS  - mental representations of objects or categories  that people use  to organize  their knowledge about the social  world   Contain the  central features  of an object or category as well as  assumptions  about how the object or category works What is your “Chair” schema?
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 SELECTIVITY - influence the information people notice,   think about, and remember   interpret ambiguous info in accordance with our schema  CATEGORIZATION - categorize objects in ways that                                impose meaning and predictability   automatic & effortless  INFERENCE - allow us to make assumptions about objects   quick & efficient decision making FUNCTIONS AND CONSEQUENCES OF  SCHEMAS
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    Experimental manipulation      Short video of woman having a birthday party o   Half of participants told that woman is a waitress o  Half of participants told that woman is a librarian  Video included information consistent with stereotypes of  librarian  and  waitress  Participants’ memory for information tested right away or after  4 or 7 day delay    Memory test included items consistent with librarian  and   waitress stereotype Classic example: Cohen (1981)
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  Participants were more accurate in their answers about things that  fit their occupation label than about things that did not fit the label  at every delay interval  The schema used to categorize an object can influence what is  NOTICED and REMEMBERED about the object
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Schema Summary Function or  Consequence Description Example
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