What is Social Cognition? SOCIAL COGNITION: Social cognition studies how people think about themselves and the social world – how they select, interpret, remember and use social information to make judgments and decisions Social Psychology: The scientific study of how people think and feel about, influence, and relate to one another Cognitive Psychology: The scientific study of basic mental abilities such as perception, learning, and memory
Social Cognition is Related to process Related to what is in our head Our cognitive representations or schemas About people (it is social)
Social Cognition strives to examine how we take information from the outside world and encode it (select) how this interpretation of the information is stored in memory (interpret) how this information is retrieved from memory and used (remember and use) In general, social cognition is the use of cognitive methodologies (and theories) to understand people and social situations.
Donald – the story
Memory Test ADVENTUROUSRECKLESS SELF-CONFIDENTCONCEITED INDEPENDENTALOOF PERSISTENTSTUBBORN
Schemas Schemas are mental structures that represent knowledge about a concept or type of stimuli, they often include attributes and the relationship among those attributes
Types of Schemas Role Schemas: expectations about people in particular roles and social categories (e.g., the role of a social psychologist, student, doctor, Blacks) Self-Schemas: expectations about the self that organize and guide the processing of self-relevant information Person Schemas: expectations based on personality traits. What we associate with a certain type of person (e.g., introvert, warm person) Event Schemas: expectations about sequences of events in social situations. What we associate with certain situations (e.g., restaurant schemas)
Why are schemas important? They reduce the amount of information to process They reduce ambiguity They guide our: Attention and encoding How quick we notice What we notice How we interpret what we notice
Schemas Influence Attention and Encoding/Categorization blindness-exp.html blindness-exp.html ml ml
Why are schemas important? They reduce the amount of information to process They reduce ambiguity They guide our: Attention and encoding How quick we notice What we notice How we interpret what we notice Our memory Our judgments
When do we use schemas? Accessibility X Fit (Higgins, Rholes, & Jones, 1977) Accessibility – the extent to which schemas and concepts are at the forefront of peoples minds (and therefore are likely to be used when making judgments about the social world) So how available the schema is in our head. Fit (applicable, representative, similar) – the degree to which the accessible construct fits the object/person under judgment.
When do we use schemas? ApplicableNonapplicable ADVENTUROUSOBEDIENT SELF-CONFIDENTNEAT INDEPENDENTSATIRICAL PERSISTENTGRATEFUL RECKLESSDISRESPECTFUL CONCEITEDLISTLESS ALOOFCLUMSY STUBBORNSHY
The problem with schemas… 1.Schemas can distort reality and memories 2.Schemas can persist, even when discredited - Belief perseverance 3.Schemas can be self-fulfilling - People often live up to our expectations because we treat them in ways that make them act in accordance with these expectations
Self-fulfilling Prophecies 1.We have expectations (schemas) about other people. 2.These expectations can influence how we act toward these people. 3.These actions can cause these people to act in ways that are consistent with our expectations.
Teenage Drinking Behavior: Asked mothers to rate the likelihood that their child would drink at 4 different times - when the same child was in grade 6, grade 7, grade 8, grade 10, and grade 12. How likely do you think that your child will drink alcohol regularly as a teenager? Certain this will not happen happen If your child was at a party and one of his or her friends offered him/her an alcoholic beverage, how likely would your child be to drink? Certain this will Certain this will not happen happen
Teenage Drinking Behavior: They also measured the childs alcohol use in grade 7, grade 8, grade 10 and grade 12 with open-ended questions. During the past month, how many times have you had beer, wine, wine coolers, or other liquor? During the past month, how many times have you had three or more drinks? They also controlled for important predictors such as: Parents drinking Accessibility to alcohol Perceived norms about teenage drinking Attitudes toward alcohol use
Childrens Alcohol Use The process of accumulation of expectations over time for mothers who consistently overestimated their childs alcohol use.
Childrens Alcohol Use The additive effects of expectations over time worsen an initial difference in alcohol use between mothers who overestimate and underestimate their childs alcohol use.
Schemas influence Our attention and encoding Our memory Our judgments Our behaviour which can in turn influence our social environment
Dual Processes – Automatic vs. Controlled Processing An Automatic Process is: unintentional/spontaneous efficient fast implicit/nonconscious uncontrollable 2.How do we measure this type of process?
Automatic/Implicit Measures Reaction Time Tasks Lexical Decision Task/Sequential Priming Task Stroop Task Implicit Association Test - IAT Physiological/Social Cognitive Neuroscience Measures ECG (heart rate) Cortisol Levels FMRI, EEG (brain activity) Subtle and Nonverbal Behaviours
Name Letter Task
How much do you like this letter? ___ really dislike really like ___ really dislike really like ___ really dislike really like ___ really dislike really like ___ really dislike really like ___ really dislike really like
How much they like each letter of the alphabet F really dislike really like C really dislike really like Compare mean ratings of own first and last initials to overall liking across all subjects of those first and last initials Name Letter Task
Self-Esteem A persons overall self-evaluation or sense of self- worth.
How is the Name Letter Task Automatic? An Automatic Process is: unintentional/spontaneous efficient fast implicit/nonconscious uncontrollable
pleasant or SELF unpleasant or OTHER THEM SELF-ESTEEM IAT
pleasant or SELF unpleasant or OTHER love SELF-ESTEEM IAT
unpleasant or SELF pleasant or OTHER ME SELF-ESTEEM IAT
unpleasant or SELF pleasant or OTHER war SELF-ESTEEM IAT
How is the IAT Automatic? An Automatic Process is: unintentional/spontaneous efficient fast implicit/nonconscious uncontrollable
Subtle and Nonverbal Behaviours What are subtle and nonverbal behaviors? What is an example of this type of behaviour related to self- esteem? How are these effects automatic?Are they intentional? Controlled? Are participants aware that they are making these types of responses? Nonverbal leakage Definition: the unintentional transmission of information through nonverbal channels of communication. Might occur because (a)dont think to control nonverbals (b)arent able to control nonverbals
Dual Processes – Automatic vs Controlled Processing A Controlled Process is intentional/deliberative capacity consuming/inefficient generally slower explicit/conscious controllable 2.How do I measure this type of process?
Controlled/Explicit Measures Self-Report Measures Standard Personality Measures/Attitude Measures (e.g., surveys, questionnaires, interviews) Explicit Behaviours What say, how act, who choose, etc. when able to deliberate and control responses
Self-Esteem A persons overall self-evaluation or sense of self- worth.
Examples of Explicit Measures of Self-Esteem Self-Esteem overall self-evaluation or sense of self-worth Rosenberg (1965) Trait Self-Esteem Scale Pennebaker (1997) Writing Task
Rosenberg (1965) Trait Self-Esteem Scale 10 items I feel that I am a person of worth, at least on an equal plane with others. Strongly disagree Strongly agree 1234
Pennebaker (1997) Writing Task Instruct participants to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings about themselves.
Explicit and Deliberative Behaviours What are explicit, controlled, deliberative behaviors? What is an example of this type of behaviour related to self-esteem? How are these effects controlled/explicit?Are they intentional? Are participants aware that they are making these types of responses? Are they controlled?
Self-Esteem A persons overall self-evaluation or sense of self-worth. Is high self-esteem good or bad? good – it protects us from depression, drug abuse, some types of delinquency bad – terrorists and gang leaders have high self-esteem, if we reject people with high self-esteem they can become ugly and abusive The answer may be related to dual processing theories.
Jordan, Spencer, Zanna, Hoshino- Browne, & Correll (2003) Measured Explicit Self-Esteem (Rosenberg scale) conscious and deliberately reasoned evaluations of self Measured Implicit Self-Esteem (IAT) automatic evaluations of self that occur unintentionally and outside of awareness
Jordan, Spencer, Zanna, Hoshino- Browne, & Correll (2003) Examined relationship of Implicit and Explicit Self- Esteem with Narcissism Narcissists have grandiose self-views (potentially concealing unacknowledged self-doubt) I really like to be the center of attention. I like to look at myself in the mirror. I am more capable than other people.
Jordan, Spencer, Zanna, Hoshino- Browne, & Correll (2003) Real low Self-esteem Defensive Self-Esteem ? Real high (secure) Self-esteem Explicit Self-Esteem Low High Implicit Self-Esteem Low High So which group would be high in narcissism (i.e., Who would have a grandiose self-view (potentially concealing unacknowledged self-doubt)?
Jordan, Spencer, Zanna, Hoshino- Browne, & Correll (2003) These findings suggest that we may need to re-conceptualize the way we think about and measure self-esteem and the importance of taking these dual processes into account. High levels of Narcissism - Low levels of Narcissism Explicit Self-Esteem Low High Implicit Self-Esteem Low High
Gut Feelings vs. Analysis: Dual Attitudes Wilson (1989) - dating AttitudesBehaviors? How happy are you in your relationship? This predicts (in general) whether a couple will be dating a few months later.
Gut Feelings vs. Analysis: Dual Attitudes Dijksterhuis (2004) – Apartment Study Information about 4 apartments in Amsterdam Described each with 12 different attributes Apt. A: sizeable, bad neighbourhood, cheap, bay window, etc **** Apt. B: nice area, far from stores, expensive, subway, etc Apt. C: cheap, nice neighbours, ugly, small bedrooms, etc Apt D: unfriendly landlord, no fireplace, small kitchen, poor condition, etc * One apartment was more desirable and one less desirable than others.
Gut Feelings vs. Analysis: Dual Attitudes Dijksterhuis (2004) All subjects asked to evaluate each apartment 1/3 did so immediately 1/3 given 3 minutes to think about it consciously 1/3 told that they would have to choose later but they were distracted for 3 minutes to prevent them from conscious thought (2-back task)
Gut Feelings vs. Analysis: Dual Attitudes Dijksterhuis & van Olden (2006) - Poster Study Subjects were allowed to choose 1 of 5 poster to take home 1/3 look briefly at poster and choose 1/3 look at poster briefly and allowed to think about choice for 9 minutes 1/3 look briefly at poster and then distracted for 9 minutes
Gut Feelings vs. Analysis: Dual Attitudes Dijksterhuis & van Olden (2006) - Poster Study Experimenter called them a few weeks later Guess who was happiest with their poster? Also asked how much money they needed to sell the poster back
Next Class Class 3: Social Perception and Self-Perceptions Reading material: Chapter 4: Social Perception: How We Come to Understand Other People, pp Chapter 5: Self-Knowledge and the Need to Maintain Self-Esteem, pp