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Social Cognition. Social cognition Four core processes Select (social information) “Attention” is limited, and different people may focus on different.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Cognition. Social cognition Four core processes Select (social information) “Attention” is limited, and different people may focus on different."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Cognition

2 Social cognition Four core processes Select (social information) “Attention” is limited, and different people may focus on different features of the same situation. Interpret (social information) “Interpretation” is the process through which we give meaning to the events we experience Remember (social information) “Memory” is the process by which we store and retrieve information for future use Use (social information) “Judgments” are the process of using information to form impressions and make decisions.

3 Two types of social cognition Automatic thinking Controlled thinking The goals of social cognition Conserving Mental Effort Conserving Mental Effort Managing Self-Image Managing Self-Image Seeking an Accurate Understanding Seeking an Accurate Understanding

4 GOAL: Conserving Mental Effort GOAL: Conserving Mental Effort Simplification Strategies: Schemas Cognitive Shortcuts The world is complex and information-rich Humans have limited cognitive capacity

5 Simplification strategies Schemas (scripts of how we act in the situation) Self-fulfilling prophecies (changing the situation based upon your expectations) Availability heuristic (ease with which something is brought to mind) Representativeness heuristic (how similar is a typical case) False-consensus (other people think like me) Anchoring and adjustment heuristic (start at one point and adjust from there)

6 What factors influence the use of cognitive shortcuts? Increased use of cognitive shortcuts… when we are Physiologically Aroused (e.g., horror movie) during Phases of our Daily Cycle called circadian rhythms (e.g., “morning people” use cognitive short-cuts later in the day; “evening people” use short-cuts in the morning). for people High in the Need for Structure, who agree with items like: “I don’t like situations that are uncertain.” in Complex Situations that use up more attention when there are Time Pressures because it takes time to fully interpret a social situation

7 GOAL: Managing self-image GOAL: Managing self-image Self-image Strategies: Self-enhancement Protection of self-image Basic desire to avoid mistakes Want to control outcomes in life

8 Goal: Managing self-image Four core processes Schemas Self-fulfilling prophecy Availability heuristic Representativeness heuristic False-consensus Anchoring and adjustment

9 GOAL: Seeking accuracy GOAL: Seeking accuracy Accuracy Strategies: Unbiased Information Gathering Considering Alternatives Basic desire to avoid mistakes Want to control outcomes in life

10 Unbiased Information Gathering Desire for accuracy leads people to pay special attention to new information (that may go against what they previously suspected). Desire for accuracy leads people to pay special attention to new information (that may go against what they previously suspected). With difficult decisions, it is often helpful to play the Devil’s Advocate – i.e., to consider the opposite side of the argument. With difficult decisions, it is often helpful to play the Devil’s Advocate – i.e., to consider the opposite side of the argument.

11 What factors influence goal of seeking accuracy? Mood - People who are mildly depressed are more thorough when thinking about social events. Need For Cognition - People high in the need for cognition view thinking as fun, enjoy solving puzzles, and enjoy analyzing arguments. Unexpected Events - Unexpected outcomes led participants to consider many more explanations. Social Interdependence - We think carefully about other people when their actions have important implications for us & when we are accountable to others.


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