Social - Cognition Personality Reflects Internal Representations
Social Cognition • Emphasis on internal cognitive processes (like Kelly) • How do we make sense of our social world? • Internal representations rather than external reality • No direct access to social world; entirely mediated • Empirical; emphasis on memory and perceptions
Schemas • Knowledge Structure • Organized set of constructs • Relevant for a particular domain • Roles, events, etc. • Activated schemas: • Influence memory • Influence perceptions
Schemas - Memory • Claudia Cohen • 2-part study • Part 1 – determine schema content
Part 1: Schema content Country Music Europe Classical Music Harlequin Romance Beer Cultured Un-cultured History Novel Wine Graceland Librarian Waitress Introverted Extroverted
Part II: Memory effects • Created ambiguous video • ½ waitress consistent (e.g., beer) • ½ librarian consistent (e.g., Motzart) • Ps watch video • Told to form impression • One-half told: • woman is waitress • woman is librarian
Memory Effect Results • Ps given surprise memory test • Told: • Waitress Waitress behaviors • Librarian Librarian behaviors Better memory for schema consistent info.
Memory Effects: Implications and Limitations • Stereotype Maintenance • Cognitive explanations • Effect due to: • Selective encoding • Selective retrieval • Exceptions? • Stereotype change?
Schemas - Perception • Activated schema influences perceptions • View others differently as function of different schemas • Differential encoding and interpretation • Langer and Abelson – Mental Patient Schema
Perception: Mental Patient Schema • Create ambiguous audiotape • Employment or psychiatric interview • Older man interviewing younger man • e.g., asks about his past, employment future • Ps Ph.D clinical psychologists • Either Psychodynamic or Behavioral • Listened to one tape and provided assessment • Assessments coded for overall psychological functioning
Mental Patient Schema-Results Psychodynamic Behavioral Therapists Therapists Employment Interview 6.2 6.3 Psychiatric Interview 3.6 5.6 Same external reality; different internal representation
Implications • Our social world is mediated • We don’t interact with other people; we interact with our perceptions of other people • Acting on our internal representations can sometimes influence others’ behaviors (and vice-versa) • Elicit behaviors consistent with beliefs • Self-fulfilling prophecy (Rosenthal)