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Social Cognition Over the next few days we’ll focus on social cognition and self justification. Tonight: overview of concepts election-related social cognition.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Cognition Over the next few days we’ll focus on social cognition and self justification. Tonight: overview of concepts election-related social cognition."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Cognition Over the next few days we’ll focus on social cognition and self justification. Tonight: overview of concepts election-related social cognition Thursday: film analysis – Capturing the Friedmans Tuesday: article seminar and self justification

2 Making sense of the world People are constantly trying to make sense of our social world People are constantly trying to make sense of our social world Our brains are powerful and efficient, but imperfect Our brains are powerful and efficient, but imperfect We try to be rational, but we aren’t always We try to be rational, but we aren’t always

3 Cognitive misers We try to conserve our cognitive energy We try to conserve our cognitive energy We adopt strategies to simplify complex problems We adopt strategies to simplify complex problems We ignore some information to reduce our cognitive load We ignore some information to reduce our cognitive load This leads to biases in our thinking This leads to biases in our thinking **How do you try to simplify the information related to the election?**

4 A few ads to get you thinking… deo?id=0023 deo?id=0023 Rmdd4

5 Effects of Context on Social Judgment Reference points and contrast effects Reference points and contrast effects Good compared to what? Good compared to what? Priming Priming What are we thinking about? What are we thinking about? Framing Framing Gain or loss? Positive or negative? Gain or loss? Positive or negative? Ordering Ordering Primacy effect and impression formation Primacy effect and impression formation Amount of information Amount of information Dilution effect Dilution effect

6 Judgmental heuristics (definition) A mental shortcut A mental shortcut Simple rules that guide our judgment and problem solving Simple rules that guide our judgment and problem solving

7 When do we use heuristics? When we don’t have time to think carefully When we don’t have time to think carefully When we are overloaded with information When we are overloaded with information When the issues at stake aren’t very important When the issues at stake aren’t very important When we have insufficient information to use in making a decision When we have insufficient information to use in making a decision

8 Judgmental heuristics Representative heuristic – it’s like this in one way, must be like it in other ways Representative heuristic – it’s like this in one way, must be like it in other ways Availability heuristic – specific examples come easily to mind Availability heuristic – specific examples come easily to mind Attitude heuristic – our positive or negative attitudes affect our judgment Attitude heuristic – our positive or negative attitudes affect our judgment Halo effect – Halo effect – False consensus False consensus

9 Availability heuristic july /i-know-what-you-did-last- summer-of-the-shark july /i-know-what-you-did-last- summer-of-the-shark

10 Stereotyping and Categorization Self-fulfilling prophecy: Our stereotypes lead us to treat people in ways that make them conform to expectations Self-fulfilling prophecy: Our stereotypes lead us to treat people in ways that make them conform to expectations Illusory Correlation: we see a relationship we expect but where none exists Illusory Correlation: we see a relationship we expect but where none exists Ingroup/outgroup effects: all of them are the same and my group is better Ingroup/outgroup effects: all of them are the same and my group is better

11 Human cognition is conservative We try to preserve that which is already established We try to preserve that which is already established We maintain our existing knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and stereotypes We maintain our existing knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and stereotypes Confirmation bias Confirmation bias Hindsight bias Hindsight bias

12 Attribution Biases Three general biases we use when we are interpreting and explaining the world Three general biases we use when we are interpreting and explaining the world Fundamental Attribution Error Fundamental Attribution Error Actor Observer Bias Actor Observer Bias Self Biases Self Biases

13 Fundamental attribution error The tendency to overestimate the importance of personality factors rather than situational factors when describing and explaining the causes of social behavior The tendency to overestimate the importance of personality factors rather than situational factors when describing and explaining the causes of social behavior

14 Actor-observer bias The tendency for actors to attribute their actions to situational factors while observers attribute the same actions to personality factors The tendency for actors to attribute their actions to situational factors while observers attribute the same actions to personality factors

15 Self Biases - Egocentric thought The tendency to perceive ourselves as more central to events than is actually the case The tendency to perceive ourselves as more central to events than is actually the case We tend to think we influence events and people more than we do We tend to think we influence events and people more than we do

16 Self-serving bias The tendency to make dispositional (personality) attributions for our successes and to make situational attributions for our failures The tendency to make dispositional (personality) attributions for our successes and to make situational attributions for our failures


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