Social Self 2011 Day2-class

Social Self 2011 Day2-class - Importance of Self­Control...

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Unformatted text preview: Importance of Self­Control Experiment (Walter Mischel, Ph.D.) Stanford CA Late 1960’s, 653 children Pre­schoolers were lead into a room with a table and a bell and shown marshmallows If they rang the bell they would receive the marshmallow, if they waited they could get two Kids covered their eyes, kicked their feet and other tactics to resist food 30% of children lasted 15 minutes, others lasted seconds 1 Results 13 years later the experiment was revisited Those who had waited for two marshmallows has higher SAT scores, better jobs, and had higher standards of living. Popular. Those who rang the bell quickly showed to have behavioral problems at home and at school, difficulty maintaining friendships, and struggled in stressful situations. 2 Self­Regulation Self control (exertion of control over the self by the self) is a limited resource Controlling the self takes effort Draws on a limited resource, akin to “strength or energy” Thus, one act of volition or self­control will have a detrimental effect on a subsequent act of volition or self­control (even if the two acts are in unrelated domains), due to “ego depletion” 3 Limits of Self­regulation Dieters give in to temptation quicker – Those who did not give in are quicker to give up on subsequent tasks. Dieters eat more after failure compared to after success or non­dieters who also fail Former smokers are more likely to take up smoking again when stressed. – Dealing with stress depletes the “self resource,” such that there is less to spend in other areas. 4 Self­regulation: Ego depletion (Muraven, Tice, & Baumeister, 1998) Study on “how moods affect physical performance” Watch disturbing film on environmental disasters and told: –really get into the film; express as much emotion as you can –avoid letting the film affect you; hold back your emotional expressions –control condition (no instructions) Rated how much effort they exerted in controlling emotions Measure how long squeeze handgrip controlling for baseline measure 5 exerted more effort at controlling emotions Self­regulation: Ego depletion (Muraven, Tice, & Baumeister, 1998) Seconds squeezing handgrip Time condition Time 1 2 increase 78.73 emotion Change 53.63 ­25.10 60.09 58.52 ­1.57 decrease 70.74 emotion 52.25 ­18.49 control correlation between effort at controlling emotion and handgrip time: r(59) = ­.27 6 Self­regulation: Ego depletion (Baumeister et al., 1998) Experiment on “taste perception” Conducted in lab where cookies were baking Participant preseneted with plate of radishes and plate of cookies; assigned to taste only radishes (self­control) or only cookies (no self­ control); give 5 min. to do so. 7 Self­regulation: Ego depletion Test of Willpower asked to engage in problem­solving task: retrace figure without lifting pencil (impossible) – “You can take as much time and as many trials as you want. You will not be judged on the number of trials you will take. you will be judged on whether or not you finish tracing the figure. If you wish to stop before you finish, ring the bell on the table” 8 Self­regulation: Ego depletion 9 Class Study IV: Ego depletion/self­regulation versus control – ½ raddish, told not to express emotion; ½ 2 cookies, express emotion DVs: Mood & effort (numbers filled in) 10 10 Results Condition Annoyed Happy Numbers Filled Self­regulation 2.9 4.2 5.0 Control 1.3 5.6 13.6 Self­regulation group significantly more annoyed, less happy, and filled in less numbers on task. 11 11 Self­presentation People are biased to see themselves in a favorable light. Do they also want others to see them in a favorable light? Self­handicapping: Behaviors designed to create obstacles and excuses for themselves so that if they do poorly on a task, they can avoid self blame – Eg, drinking heavily the night before an exam, purposefully not practicing a task. 12 12 Self-handicapping Bias Avoid painful attribution for failure by: – Creating or taking advantage of Creating ambiguity. ambiguity. – raises questions about why the failure raises occurred (“it wasn’t my [low] ability, it was something else…”) was Protects ego 13 13 Self­handicapping (Berglas and Jones) Fake IQ test All told they had done well – Easy problems Expected more success – Unsolvable problems Confusion, worry about future failure 14 14 Self­handicapping (Berglas and Jones) Choose between two drugs – Pandocrin – Disrupt intellectual performance – Actavil – Facilitate intellectual performance 15 15 Self­handicapping % S e l e ct i n g (Berglas and Jones) 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Pa ndocr in ( I nh ibit ) Act a v il ( Fa cillit a t e ) Ea sy Unsolv a ble Con t inge nt 16 16 Self­handicapping Why not self­handicap in the easy condition? – Success expected in the future. Have it attributed to our own internal intelligence. Why self­handicap in the unsolvable condition? – Future success is uncertain. 17 17 Self­handicapping Why self­handicap in the noncontingent success condition? – Discounting – Eliminate internal cause if external causes available. Create an external attribution Create an unstable attribution – Augmentation – Succeed despite the odds (make internal attribution) 18 18 18 Why do we self­present? The Spotlight Effect “People tend to believe the social spotlight shines more brightly on them than it actually does” Bad hair days Embarrassing t­shirts Absenteeism 19 19 Wear your Manilow T­shirt ­­ no one's looking Gilovich, Medvec, & Savitsky (1996, 2000) – The famous “un­cool T­shirt” experiments – These researchers got students to wear a “Barry Manilow” t­shirt into their classes 20 20 The Social Spotlight Effect 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Predicted Actual In reality, less than a quarter of the other subjects recalled who was on the shirt. Actual = 25% 21 21 The Social Spotlight Effect 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Predicted Actual 22 22 Social comparison theory Festinger (1954) People want accurate feedback about their abilities and attitudes 23 23 Comparison Targets Lateral: – – Most informative Self­evaluation Downward: Upward: People are good at selectively choosing targets to meet certain motives 24 24 Downward SC and coping with cancer Taylor, Wood, and colleagues examined psychological aspects of cancer patients’ coping strategies – Interviewed breast cancer patients and their husbands – Interviewees mentioned frequent social comparisons – Overwhelmingly, comparison direction was downward Majority indicated others coping worse Downward physical and situational comparisons 25 25 Downward SC and coping with cancer No matter how bad their problems were, they believed there were others who were worse off Many fabricated a SC target and created downward SC opportunities 26 26 Negatives of Downward SC Downward SC may be negative if – Implies a negative shift in the future – Lower self­esteem or low control over behavior 27 27 Upward Comparison Students who compare with peers doing slightly better (vs. worse) in school improve their own grades over time Patients suffering from an illness prefer to have contact with those who are doing well and this results in positive feelings, better coping, and reduced anxiety 28 28 Upward Comparisons Advantages: Disadvantages: – If standards are too high, can lead to lower self­esteem 29 29 ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course PSYC 2012 taught by Professor Michellestock during the Fall '11 term at GWU.

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