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 experienceRemember (social information)“Memory” is the process by which we store and retrieve information for future useUse (social information)“Judgments” are the process of using information to form impressions and make decisions.
3 Two types of social cognition Automatic thinkingControlled thinkingThe goals of social cognitionConserving Mental EffortManaging Self-ImageSeeking an Accurate Understanding
4 GOAL: Conserving Mental Effort The world is complex and information-richHumans have limited cognitive capacityGOAL: Conserving Mental EffortSimplification Strategies:SchemasCognitive Shortcuts
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 attentionwhen there are Time Pressures because it takes time to fully interpret a social situation
7 GOAL: Managing self-image Basic desire to avoid mistakesWant to control outcomes in lifeGOAL: Managing self-imageSelf-image Strategies:Self-enhancementProtection of self-image
8 Goal: Managing self-image Four core processesSchemasSelf-fulfilling prophecyAvailability heuristicRepresentativeness heuristicFalse-consensusAnchoring and adjustment
9 GOAL: Seeking accuracy Basic desire to avoid mistakesWant to control outcomes in lifeGOAL: Seeking accuracyAccuracy Strategies:Unbiased Information GatheringConsidering Alternatives
10 Unbiased Information Gathering 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.
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.