Chapter 2 - social cognition

Chapter 2 - social cognition - Chapter 2 Social Cognition...

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Chapter 2 Social Cognition THE PRINCIPLES OF LEARNING Operant Learning Associational Learning Observational learning SOCIAL COGNITION The Influence of Schemas and Attitudes Assimilation is Generally a More Powerful Force than is Accomodation Assimilation and Attention Assimilation and Memory SOCIAL INFORMATION PROCESSING Automatic versus Controlled Processing Salience and Accessibility The False Consensus Bias Counterfactual Thinking Anchoring and Adjustment Social Neuroscience: Assessing Social Cognition in the Brain THINKING LIKE A SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGIST: SOCIAL COGNITION 3.1 We have seen in Chapter 1 that human beings are endowed with basic capacities that allow them to effectively respond to others in their social worlds. Specifically, in order to maintain and enhance our own lives by successfully interacting with others ( behavior) , we make use of our affective (feeling) and our cognitive (thinking) abilities. In this chapter we will focus on the cognitive capacity, and we will turn to a focus on the affective capacity in Chapter 3. As we investigate the role of cognition in everyday life, we’ll consider the ways that people use their cognitions to make good decisions and to inform their behavior in a useful and accurate way, but we’ll also consider the potential for mistakes and errors in human judgment. We will see that although we are generally pretty good at sizing up other people and in creating effective social interactions, we are not perfect. And we’ll see that the errors we make frequently occur because of our reliance on our mental knowledge (our schemas and attitudes ), as well due to a general tendency to take shortcuts through the use of cognitive heuristics : information-processing rules of thumb that enable us to think in ways that are quick and easy but that may sometimes lead to error (Gilovich, Griffin, & Kahneman, 2002; Kahneman, Slovic, & Tversky, 1982). In short, it appears that our cognitive abilities are “good enough,” although there are definitely some things we could do better. THE PRINCIPLES OF LEARNING Effectively interacting with others requires that we learn about those others and remember our interactions with them. Thus our cognitive skills help us learn and
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remember. Let’s consider in this section the many ways that people learn about their social environments, and how they make judgments about the people in those social worlds. Humans are born with the capacity to learn, and we quickly develop a huge amount of knowledge about our world. And a good part of this knowledge is about the other people in our lives. It is not surprising that infants can recognize and respond to their caregivers, that most adolescents pay a lot of attention to members of the opposite sex, or that parents monitor the developmental progress of their children. These tendencies all help us understand, relate to, and protect the important people in our lives. Put simply, accurate social knowledge helps improve social interaction.
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