4 Social Cognition

4 Social Cognition - Attitudes(cont and Social Cognition...

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Attitudes (cont) and Social Cognition June 7, 2011 Professor Jamie Gorman Doctoral Candidate Rutgers University at Newark Smith Hall Room 113 [email protected]
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Why do actions affect attitudes? When our attitudes and actions are opposed, we experience tension, called cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance refers to unpleasant state when attitude and behavior are inconsistent Causes people to rationalize their behavior and bring their attitude into line with actions To reduce this tension, we bring our attitudes closer to our actions.
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Cognitive Dissonance Theory Experiment on motivating others to do menial jobs After participants spent an hour doing a menial job, they were asked to lie about how fun it was to the next participant for either $1 or $20 Those who were paid $1 experienced more dissonance and rated the task as more enjoyable
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Cognitive Dissonance Theory Effort Justification When people work hard or suffer to make sacrifices, they convince themselves that it was worthwhile Fraternity hazing Women who suffered a more embarrassing test to get into a boring group ended up liking the group more People seek to justify and rationalize any suffering or effort they have made Greater choice is necessary for dissonance Dissonance is marked by unpleasant arousal
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Cognitive Dissonance Theory While people have desire to be consistent in their own private mind, they have stronger desire to be viewed consistent by others Self-presentation plays a role in cognitive dissonance
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Post-Decision Dissonance When we have to reject one appealing choice in favor of another, we will devalue the option not selected After you chose which college to attend, did you start to find flaws with the ones you rejected (or that rejected you)?
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Alternate Methods of Self-Persuasion Recall self-perception theory from chapter 4 Self-affirmation theory We restore our sense of self-worth by reaffirming our values in the face of threat Impression management We attempt to control how others perceive us by regulating the information we give about ourselves
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What is Social Cognition? Thinking about people People first Inner processes serve interpersonal functions Social acceptance, relationship formation and maintenance Competing against others for our goals Knowing your enemies is beneficial for competing against them
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The Duplex Mind Automatic system Outside of consciousness Simple operations Conscious system Complex operations
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Conscious System Automatic System Slow Fast Controllable Outside of conscious control guided by intention Unintentional flexible Inflexible good at combining information Poor at combining information precise, rule-based calculations estimates can perform complex operations simple operations does one thing at a time can do many things at once reasoning intuition
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4 Social Cognition - Attitudes(cont and Social Cognition...

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