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Flashcards in Lecture 3 Deck (30):
1

Social cognition

The study of how people think about the social world and arrive at judgements that help them:
interpret the past
understand the present
predict the future

2

Problems with the accuracy of social info

Bad is stronger than good:
People tend to be more attentive to negative info than positive info
-Implications: for survival, if it bleeds, it leads (news orients to the negative, to get more viewers)

Order effects:
The order in which info is presented affects how we interpret and remember it
-primacy effect: things presented first have a big effect
-recency effect: things presented last have a big effect
-implications: first impressions (but also recent ones), study habits

Framing effects:
The way info is presented influences how we process and understand it
-positive vs negative framing
-health message framing effects

3

Order effects

The order in which info is presented affects how we interpret and remember it
-primacy effect: things presented first have a big effect
-recency effect: things presented last have a big effect
-implications: first impressions (but also recent ones), study habits

4

Framing effects

The way info is presented influences how we process and understand it
-positive vs negative framing
-health message framing effects
-> breast cancer study: "benefits of mammography" vs "risk of neglecting mammography" -> detection behavior: negative framing effect
-> flu prevention: positive is better

5

Assimilation

Interpreting new info in terms of existing beliefs
-see what we expect to see

Hartorf & Cantril (1954) Princeton-Dartmouth game
-each team said that other was cheating and failed to see faults of own team

Rosenhan and colleagues (1973) sane in insane places
-workers saw normal habits of normal people as psychotic because in institution

6

Confirmation bias

Tendency to search for info that confirms our preconceptions

Sometimes accidental, sometimes motivated

Darley & Gross (1983) Expectations of affluence
-descriptions of girl differed, same video of her intelligence test; those with poorer description rated as more hesitant, etc.

Ross & Lepper (1979) Capital punishment study
-exact same evidence, but supported preconception

7

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Our expectations lead us to act in ways that cause others to confirm our expectations

Rosenthal's teacher self-fulfilling prophecy study

Snyder, Tanke, & Berscheid (1977) Self-fulfilling prophecy of attractiveness
-men interact with women over intercom (no sight, but have folder with supposed pic and description- only pic varied)
->participants rated the more attractive pictured women as warmer and friendlier (halo effect)
->third party voted their voices and they actually were warmer and friendlier, cause all by how the man interacted with her

8

Belief perseverance

Persistance of one's initial conceptions, even in the face of opposing evidence

Andersen et al. (1980) Firefighter study
-half told being a risk takes makes for better firefighter, other half told opposite
->debriefed, then asked their own belief, and agreed with what they were told, even after informed that it was completely false

9

Overconfidence phenomenon

Tendency to be more confident than correct; to overestimate the accuracy of one's beliefs

Correlation between eyewitnesses' confidence and accuracy is actually NEGATIVE

10

Unrealistic optimism

Overly positive expectations for the future

Major exception to optimistic tendency:
Bracing for the worst: becoming less optimistic (even pessimistic) as the "moment of truth" draws near

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Bracing for the worst

Becoming less optimistic (even pessimistic) as the "moment of truth" draws near
-Helps soften the blow
-Helps manage anxiety, avoids disappointment

Exam study (Shepperd, Ouellette, Fernandez, 1996)
-overly optimistic 1 month before
-just above actual results 5 days and 50 min before
-3 sec before feedback, very pessimistic

12

Heuristics

A judgement strategy (a rule of thumb or a mental shortcut) that is quick but imperfect

13

Availability heuristic

Used to evaluate the frequency or likelihood of an event on the basis of how quickly examples are readily available in your memory

One explanation- media attention
Risk judgements

14

Representative heuristic

Used to estimate the extent to which a person (or thing) is representative of the average person (or thing) in the category
-works pretty well most of the time

Prototypes of criminals, serial killers, etc.

15

Attribution theories

Theories of how people explain other's (and their own) behavior and the consequences of these causal explanations
-external attributions
-internal attributions

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External attributions

Situational causes
All causes are external to the person (pressure from others, money, the situation, etc.)

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Internal attributions

Dispositional causes
All causes are internal to the person (moods, attitudes, personality traits, abilities, etc.)

18

Explanatory styles

Peterson & Seligman
A person's habitual way of explaining events

3 dimensions of causality
-locus of causality: is the cause internal or external?
-stability: is the cause permanent or not?
-breadth: is the cause global (all/other parts of their life) or specific?

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Dimensions of causality: Locus of causality

Is the cause internal or external?

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Dimensions of causality: Stability

Is the cause permanent or not?

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Dimensions of causality: Breadth

Is the cause global (all/other parts of their life) or specific?

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Pessimistic explanatory style

The tendency to see negative events as caused by internal, stable, global factors

-associated with depression, risk of disease, low self-esteem, helplessness, and loneliness

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Covariation principle

Need to find causes that covary (change together) with the event or behavior we are trying to explain

Three factors:
-Consensus: what do most people do in this situation? (consistency with other people/ external)
-Distinctiveness: what does that person do in most situations? (internal)
-Consistency: what does that person usually do in that situation? (internal or external)

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Consensus

What do most people do in this situation?
-consistency with other people
-external

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Distinctiveness

What does that person do in most situations?
-internal

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Consistency

What does that person usually do in that situation?
-internal or external

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Self-serving attributional bias

Tendency to
-attributed success to internal factors while attributing failure to external factors
-take more than one's share of responsibility for a jointly produced outcome when it goes well, opposite when it doesn't

Marital chores study
-when add up the percent of chores each says they do, comes to over 100%

28

Fundamental attribution error

Tendency to attribute others' behavior to dispositional rather than situational factors

Ross, Amabile, & Steinmetz (1997) Quiz show study
-participants and those watching were asked how smart host was compared to other participants
->failed to account for the fact that the answers were in his hands

Jones & Harris (1967) Pro-Castro or Anti-Castro essays
-regardless of assigned or chose freely, participants who read them thought that authors truly believed the side they were arguing for

Occurs because:
Belief in a just world
Actor-observer differences

29

Belief in a just world

People believe in a just world
-Suggests that other people cause their own outcomes
->a dispositional explanation (internal attribution)
-A "motivated" explanation

Derogating the victim- they deserve/ were asking for it

30

Actor-observer differences

When we act, we notice the situation; when others act, we notice the person
-we tend to know people in limited contexts
-cultual differences

fundamental attribution error- western cultures