C82sad social cognition and social thinking
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C82SAD: Social Cognition and Social Thinking. Social cognition and Information Processing. What is social cognition? Social Cognition is how... Attitudes Perceptions of ourselves and others (representations) Judgements Expectations …influence our beliefs, intentions and behaviour

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C82SAD: Social Cognition and Social Thinking

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C82sad social cognition and social thinking

C82SAD: Social Cognition and Social Thinking


Social cognition and information processing

Social cognition and Information Processing

  • What is social cognition?

    • Social Cognition is how...

      • Attitudes

      • Perceptions of ourselves and others (representations)

      • Judgements

      • Expectations

        …influence our beliefs, intentions and behaviour

    • Assumes a rational, reasoned decision maker

    • Information processing perspective


What is social cognition

What is Social Cognition?

  • Comprises a set of cognitive structures and processes that affect and are affected by social context

  • People are assumed to be ‘cognitive misers’

  • Cognitive ‘short-cuts’ tend to be adopted

  • Toward ‘cognitive economy’

  • Stereotypes are good examples


Social cognition key points

Social Cognition: Key Points

  • Cognitive processes for understanding how people construct own social world = social cognition (Bless et al, 2004; Fisk & Taylor, 1991).

  • Applies theories and methods from cognitive psychology e.g. memory, attention, inference and concept formation for understanding perceptions of others


Experience and categorisation

Experience and Categorisation

  • World provides too much information

  • Parts of perception recorded from environment - attention

  • People devise short-cut strategies to simplify nature of the incoming information

  • Categorisation - way of simplifying perceptions


Categorisation

Categorisation

  • Grouping of objects - treated in similar way e.g. square is a square, lecturer is a lecturer

    • Promotes cognitiveeconomy

  • Object either belongs to a category or does not (Bruner et al, 1956)

  • But: Categories not all or none

  • Prototypical approach (Barsalou, 1991)

    • Members share something in common - not completely identical for membership


How are categories represented

How are Categories Represented?

  • Schemata - how categories are represented

  • Cognitive representation of the prototype

  • People generalise in time and in space about objects characteristics and properties

  • Dependent on individual’s personal experiences involving object – actual, imagined or implied

  • Generalisation process and outcome (i.e. categorisation) called schema


Schema

Schema

  • Organised sets of information about people, behaviours, groups of people, yourself etc.

  • Once evoked or ‘activated’ schemas tend to bias all aspects of information processing and inference

  • Schemas can be implicitly activated and affect judgement and behaviour very easily beyond our conscious awareness

  • Similar schema will be activated at the same time

  • Guide how we encode (attend, interpret), remember and respond (judge and interact)

  • For example, Bargh, Chen, & Burrows


Automaticity example

Automaticity Example

  • Subliminal priming of the old-age stereotype (Bargh, Chen & Burrows, 1996)

    • worried, Florida, old, lonely, gray

  • Walked more slowly to hatchway at end of corridor compared to neutral primed participants

  • Therefore people behave according to the primed schema = ‘old-age stereotype’


How schemas work sagar schofield s 1980 racial bias study

How Schemas Work: Sagar & Schofield’s (1980) Racial Bias Study

  • Purpose: Demonstrate that stereotypes bias intepretation of ambiguous events

  • Participants: 40 African American (AA), 40 White (W)

  • Method: Participants presented with ambiguous drawings (e.g. bumps, asks for cake, pokes, takes pencil) with ‘actors’ depicted as W or AA, participants rated behaviour as mean, threatening, playful, friendly

  • Results: Both AA and W participants rated behaviour as more threatening when the actor was AA

  • Conclusion: Schemas influence the interpretation of ambiguous events


Remembering

Remembering

  • Schemas represented in memory as:

    • lists of linked features - associative memory model

      • nodes for concepts and links to related nodes e.g. doctorcaringnurse

    • prototype or ideal instances model

      • central examples clustered around prototype

      • peripheral examples of the prototype further away in mental space


The naive scientist

The Naive Scientist

  • How people think about other people (Heider, 1958)

  • Inferring unobservable causes from observable behaviour or other perceived information

  • Cause-effect processing of social information

    • dispositions (internal e.g. traits) & situations (external)

  • Attribution of causes for behaviour from stimuli perceived (Kelley, 1972; Gilbert, 1998; Jones & Davis, 1965, etc)

  • Impression formation – social perception (Asch, 1946)


Impression formation

Impression Formation

  • Certain information more important in forming an impression

    • Central and peripheral traits (Asch, 1946; Kelley, 1950).

  • First vs. more recent impressions count.

    • Accounting for the primacy-recency effect (Asch, 1946; Luchins, 1957).

      • Earlier information is the ‘real’ person

      • Later information dismissed - it’s not viewed as typical / representative (Luchins, 1957)

      • Attention at a maximum when making initial impressions (Anderson, 1975)

      • Early information affects ‘meaning’ of later information (Asch, 1946) - consistency


The cognitive miser

The Cognitive Miser

  • Social perception as a problem solving task

  • Cognitive ‘laziness’ - cognitive miser (Fisk & Taylor, 1991)

  • Rely on heuristics for decision making and interpersonal perception

  • Process salient information - that which stands out


Heuristics

Heuristics

  • Availability of information - judging frequency of event based on number of instances brought to ‘mind’ of that event

  • Anchoring and adjustment - using information about a similar event to infer causes

  • Simulation - ease of imagining alternatives through mental simulation

  • Representativeness - whether person is an example of a particular stored schema (Stereotype).


Stereotypes

Stereotypes

  • “.....widely shared assumptions of the personalities, attitudes and behaviour of people based on group membership....” (Hogg & Vaughan, 1995, p. 56).

  • “.....inclination to place a person in categories according to some..... characteristics.... and then to attribute... qualities believed to be typical to members of that category...” (Tagiuri, 1969)


Stereotypes1

Stereotypes

  • Overall impressions (attitudes) of other people and their behaviour tends to be dominated by stereotypes

  • Organised sets of information, characteristics, first impressions and idiosyncratic personal constructs (e.g.,

  • People’s impressions are made through ‘averaging’ these components but they tend to be dominated by particular ones (e.g., potential threat)


Stereotyping process

Stereotyping Process

  • Assign individual to a group - categorise

    • Based on accessible characteristic e.g. gender, race, age.

  • Activate belief that all members of this group behave etc. in same way

  • Infer that individual must posses stereotypical characteristics

  • Respond to individual on this basis


Stereotyping process1

Stereotyping Process

  • Automaticity in stereotyping (Macrae & Bodenhausen, 2000)

    • fast acting, difficult to change, no intentional control of operations, no conscious awareness

    • Encountering stimulus in environment (or even internally generated) categories are activated automatically (Lepore & Brown, 1997; Bargh, 1999; Banaji & Greenwald, 1995)

    • Heightened accessibility of material following prime e.g. “hospital” primes “nurse”, “caring” etc.


Theories of attribution

Theories of Attribution

  • Internal and external attributions (Rotter, 1966)

  • Naïve scientist model (Heider, 1958)

  • Correspondent inference theory (Jones & Davis, 1965)

  • Attributional bias model (Kelley, 1967)

  • Attribution theory (Weiner, 1986)

  • Attribution of emotions (Schacter & Singer, 1962)


Attributional bias

Attributional Bias

  • Fundamental attribution error (Jones & Harris, 1967; Ross, 1977)

  • Actor-observer effect (Jones & Nisbett, 1972)

  • Attributional bias (Kelly, 1950)

  • Self-serving bias (Miller & Ross, 1975)


Definition

Definition

Attribution is the process of assigning causes for our own behaviour to that of others

Hogg & Vaughan (2005)


Heider s na ve scientist

Heider’s Naïve Scientist

  • Suggests that people create ‘theories’ of other people based on observation of behavior

  • Inferring unobservable causes from observable behaviour or other perceived information


Everyone is a na ve scientist

Everyone is a Naïve Scientist

  • Internal (dispositional) attributions

    • personality characteristics

    • beliefs

  • External (situational) attributions

    • situational pressure/influence

  • Example: Student turns in papers late

    • Internal:


Everyone is a na ve scientist1

Everyone is a Naïve Scientist

  • Internal (dispositional) attributions

    • personality characteristics

    • beliefs

  • External (situational) attributions

    • situational pressure/influence

  • Example: Student turns in papers late

    • Internal:lazy, partying all the time


Everyone is a na ve scientist2

Everyone is a Naïve Scientist

  • Internal (dispositional) attributions

    • personality characteristics

    • beliefs

  • External (situational) attributions

    • situational pressure/influence

  • Example: Student turns in papers late

    • Internal:lazy, partying all the time

    • External:


Everyone is a na ve scientist3

Everyone is a Naïve Scientist

  • Internal (dispositional) attributions

    • personality characteristics

    • beliefs

  • External (situational) attributions

    • situational pressure/influence

  • Example: Student turns in papers late

    • Internal:lazy, partying all the time

    • External:family problems, working, boy/girlfriend


Everyone is a na ve scientist4

Everyone is a Naïve Scientist

  • Internal (dispositional) attributions

    • personality characteristics

    • beliefs

  • External (situational) attributions

    • situational pressure/influence

  • Example: Student turns in papers late

    • Internal:lazy, partying all the time

    • External:family problems, working, boy/girlfriend


Self serving bias

Self-Serving Bias

  • Aim to protect our ‘self-esteem’

  • Consistent with social cognitive theories on motivation for consistency

  • Tendency to ‘serve ourselves’

  • Take credit for success (attribute internally)

  • But not for failure (attribute externally)

  • Maintains control and consistency


Self serving bias1

Self-Serving Bias

  • E.g. student will take credit for doing well in an exam

  • Student will blame test difficulty or lecturer’s tough marking policy for failure

  • Miller & Ross (1975) cognitive explanation due to restricted information NOT because they are motivated to protect or enhance the self


Actor observer effect

Actor-Observer Effect

  • OBSERVER-->Internal attribution

  • ACTOR-->External attribution

  • What is salient in the perceptual field?

  • i.e. what INFORMATION is available for the observer and the actor?

  • For OBSERVER: The actor

  • For ACTOR: Everything but the actor (i.e., the situation)


Actor observer effect1

Actor-Observer Effect

  • Harré, Brandt & Houkamau (2004)

  • The attributions of young drivers for their own and their friends' risky driving

  • Dispositional attributions e.g., "Showing off, acting cool" used more for friends than self

  • Situational attributions e.g., "In a hurry, late" used more for self than friends

  • Participants also rated their friends as taking more risks than themselves


Correspondent inference theory

Correspondent Inference Theory

Jones & Davis (1965):

  • People make attributions based on:

  • Underlying traits

  • Based on freely chosen behaviour

  • Observed behaviour is matched with traits regardless of:

    • Situation

    • Consequences

    • Personal or public

    • Socially desirable

  • Does not account for past experience, stereotypes

  • Does not look at non-intentional behaviour


The fundamental attribution error

The Fundamental Attribution Error

Ross (1977) when observing behaviour people tend to:

  • Overestimate the significance of DISPOSITIONAL factors

  • Underestimate the significance of SITUATIONAL factors

  • Also indicative of the actor-observer effect (Jones & Nisbett, 1972) – we know we are different across situations

    • Perspective hypothesis

    • Information availability

  • Jones and Harris’ (1967) classic experiment illustrated this bias


Jones and harris 1967 study design

Jones and Harris (1967): Study Design

IV2: Writer’s Position

IV1: Writer’s Ability

to Chose position


Hypothesised summary of results

Hypothesised Summary of Results


Results

Results

IV2: Writer’s Position

IV1: Writer’s Ability

to Chose position


Summary of results

Summary of Results


Kelley s 1967 1973 attributional bias

Kelley’s (1967, 1973) Attributional Bias

  • Built on Heider’s (1958) ideas about attributions of cause of others behaviour

  • Key point: Attribution of cause to the person or environment in situations is a major problem

  • Heider (1958) suggested that if behaviour seems ’appropriate’ in a given situation, then people tend to make a situational attribution

  • Kelley (1967) outlined WHEN a situational or dispositional attribution is made and WHY


Kelley s 1967 1973 attributional bias1

Kelley’s (1967, 1973) Attributional Bias

  • Three key questions in a given situation:

    • Does the person regularly behave this way in this situation? (consistency)

    • Do other people regularly behave this way in this situation? (consensus)

    • Does this person behave this way in other situations? (distinctiveness)


Kelley s 1967 1973 attributional bias2

Kelley’s (1967, 1973) Attributional Bias

Attributional problem: You are in a long queue in a shop with your friend. He/she is getting increasingly irritated with how long it’s taking. Does your friend’s frustration tell us something about their personality?

Q1: Does your friend usually get frustrated when standing in long queues?

Q3: Does your friend generally get frustrated in other situations involving long waits?

Q2: Do other people generally get frustrated when standing in long queues?

Key questions

Yes

No

Consistency?

Consensus?

Distinctiveness?

Yes

No

No

Yes

No basis for attributing frustration to either situation or personality. May be a one-off.

Situational attribution: People DO tend to get frustrated in long queues

Personality attribution, general: Your friend does the tendency to get frustrated in these sorts of situations. (Stay out of his/her way!)

Personality attribution, particular: Your friend tends to get frustrated in queues. (Don’t go shopping with him/her on busy days!)

Attribution

Attribution

Attribution

Attribution

Attribution


Emotional lability theory

Emotional Lability Theory

  • Schacter and Singer’s (1962) classic experiment

  • Subjects were:

    • Injected with epinephrine (‘suproxin’), euphoric condition

    • Injected with epinephrine (‘suproxin’), anger-evoking condition

    • Injected with placebo, euphoric condition

    • Injected with placebo, anger-evoking condition

  • Further condition added – information about injection consistent with side effects, inconsistent with side effects


Schachter and singer s experimental design

Euphoria

Placebo

Epinephrine Informed

Epinephrine Uninformed

Epinephrine Misinformed

Anger

Placebo

Epinephrine Informed

Epinephrine Uninformed

Schachter and Singer’s Experimental Design


Emotional lability theory1

Emotional Lability Theory

  • Schacter and Singer’s (1962) classic experiment

  • Expectation: Epinephrine subjects would experience more arousal than controls, unless they were told consistent side effects in which case they would correctly attribute their feelings to the drug and have no change in their emotions


Schacter and singer s results

Schacter and Singer’s Results


Schacter and singer s results1

Schacter and Singer’s Results


Schacter and singer s results2

Schacter and Singer’s Results


Weiner s 1972 attribution theory

Weiner’s (1972) Attribution Theory

  • Attributions –inferences about causes

  • Achievement behavior depends on how previoussuccesses and failures are interpreted

  • People make causal attributions for their behaviouraloutcomes

  • Attributions affect thoughts, feelings, and behaviour


Weiner s 1972 attribution theory1

Weiner’s (1972) Attribution Theory

  • Draws from Rotter’s (1966) theory of internal and external attributions

  • Rotter developed a questionnaire to measure ‘locus of control’

  • People tended to attribute causes of events to internal (personal control over behaviour)

  • Or external (occurrences due to environment or chance out of personal control)

  • Weiner (1972) included further dimensions of attribution = stability and controllability


Weiner s 1972 attribution theory2

Weiner’s (1972) Attribution Theory

n People tend to attribute successes or failures to any of four ‘typical’ causes:

n Ability

n Effort

n Difficulty

n Luck


Weiner 1972 attributional dimensions

Weiner (1972) Attributional Dimensions

Basic Attribution Categories

Locus of causality

Stability

Locus of control


Attribution theory

Attribution Theory

Attribution Dimensions

 Attributions can be classified along threedimensions:

1) Locus of Causality

-Is the cause internal or external?

3) Locus of control

-Does the person have control over the outcome?

2) Stability

-Is the cause stable or unstable?


Attribution theory1

Attribution Theory

Attributed causes according to Internal-External (Locus of Causality), Stability and Controllability continuums

Ability

Internal, stable, uncontrollable

Effort

Internal, unstable, controllable

Difficulty

External, stable, controllable/uncontrollable

Luck

External, unstable, uncontrollable


Weiner 1972 attributional dimensions1

Stable

Internal

Stable

External

Unstable

Internal

Unstable

External

Weiner (1972) Attributional Dimensions

Ability

Difficulty

Stability

Effort

Luck

Locus of Causality


Weiner 1972 attributional dimensions2

Weiner (1972) Attributional Dimensions

Stable

Internal

Uncontrollable

Stable

External

Uncontrollable

Unstable

Internal

Uncontrollable

Stable

Internal

Stable

External

Stable

Internal

Controllable

Stable

External

Controllable

Unstable

External

Uncontrollable

Controllable

Controllable

Ability

?

Difficulty

?

Stability

Unstable

Internal

Unstable

External

Unstable

Internal

Controllable

Unstable

External

Controllable

Controllable

Controllable

Controllability

Effort

Luck

?

Locus of Causality


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