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David Myers Chapter 3: Social Beliefs and Judgments ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies 1
What is “motivated reasoning”? “2/3 or what we see is behind our eyes” Perceiving our Social World Judging our Social World Explaining our Social World Expectations of our Social World ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies2
Perceiving Our Social Worlds Our assumptions and pre-judgments guide what we see, interpret and recall We construct our own reality Priming Activating particular associations in memory Example: Watching a scary movie at home may prime us to interpret furnace noises as a possible intruder -”embodied cognition” –bodily sensations -> judgments Perceiving and interpreting events Kulechov effect –what is it? Spontaneous trait transference -what is it? Are you a gossiper? Or just gossip? ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies3
Perceiving Our Social Worlds Belief Perseverance Persistence of one’s initial conceptions, as when the basis for one’s belief is discredited but an explanation of why the belief might be true survives Explain why a risk taker makes a better firefighter.. The more we examine our explanations for our beliefs, the stronger we belief in them What effect does this have on the juror’s initial impression of guilt or innocence of the defendant? Explanations survive well! What’s the way to avoid this trap? Explain the other side! (Lord, Lepper, & Preston, ‘84 ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies4
Perceiving Our Social Worlds Constructing Memories of Ourselves and Our Worlds Elizabeth Loftus Misinformation effect Incorporating “misinformation” into one’s memory of the event after witnessing an event and receiving misleading information about it Reconstructing our past attitudes We remember the last event which overrides the previous Reconstructing our past behavior Rosy retrospective Downward spiral (Holmberg found what?) Underestimated earlier liking of partner ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies5
Judging Our Social World Intuitive Judgments Powers of intuition Explicit Controlled processing Reflective, deliberate, and conscious Automatic processing Impulsive, effortless, and without our awareness implicit Schemas Emotional reactions What is blindsight? Not being able to recognize the stick but being able to Determine if it’s vertical or horizontal ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies6
Judging Our Social World The Limits of Intuition Can subliminal messages make you eat popcorn? Illusory Intuition To follow… ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies7
Judging Our Social World Overconfidence Phenomenon D Kahneman & Tversky Tendency to be more confident than correct – to overestimate the accuracy of one’s beliefs Incompetence feeds overconfidence Don’t let his happen on the exam!!!! How can you avoid it? Are you ignorant of your ignorances? Planning fallacy Stockbroker overconfidence Political overconfidence ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies8
Judging Our Social World Confirmation Bias Tendency to search for information that confirms one’s preconceptions what is the rule to generate another 3 number set? -Any three ascending numbers (P. C.Watson, ‘60) Search for disconfirming information Helps explain why our self-images are so stable Self-verification ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies9
Judging Our Social World Remedies for Overconfidence Give prompt feedback to explain why statement is incorrect For planning fallacy, ask one to “unpack a task” – break it down into estimated time requirements for each part Get people to think of one good reason why their judgments might be wrong ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies10
Judging Our Social World Heuristics: Mental Shortcuts Representativeness heuristic Tendency to presume, sometimes despite contrary odds, that someone or something belongs to a particular group if resembling (representing) a typical member Is linda a bank teller or Bank teller and feminist activist? Two conjunctive events can’t be more likely than either one alone (Kahneman & Tversky) ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies11
Judging Our Social World Heuristics: Mental Shortcuts Availability heuristic Cognitive rule that judges the likelihood of things in terms of their availability in memory The more easily we recall something the more likely it seems How does this affect a supervisor’s appraisal of an employee’s performance? What can be done about it? What percent of U.S. adults are homosexual? Why do people overestimate? What impression do most people who saw “The Wire” think of the crime rate in Baltimore? We underestimate high probability events and overestimate low probability events ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies12
Judging Our Social World Counterfactual Thinking Imagining alternative scenarios and outcomes that might have happened, but didn’t Mentally simulating what might have happened How should I award grades to make you all feel better? Should you change an answer on your test? Underlies our feelings of luck Good luck… good outcome and we imagine a negative outcome Bad luck…bad outcome and we imagine a good one --”if I had only….” “shouda, wouda, couda” ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies13
Judging Our Social World Illusory Thinking Our search for order in random events Illusory correlation Perception of a relationship where none exists, or perception of a stronger relationship than actually exists We ignore unusual events that don’t confirm the perceived relationship ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies14
Judging Our Social World Illusory Thinking Illusion of control Perception of uncontrollable events as subject to one’s control or as more controllable than they are Gambling Regression toward the average Statistical tendency for extreme scores or extreme behavior to return toward one’s average Lowest scoring students on the exam will likely do better Exceptional performance tends to decline over the long run. What about stock market successes? ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies15
Judging Our Social World Moods and Judgments Good and bad moods trigger memories of experiences associated with those moods Moods color our interpretations of current experiences Priming again! A temporary good or bad mood strongly influenced people’s ratings of their videotaped behavior. Those in a bad mood detected far fewer positive behaviors. ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies16
Explaining Our Social World Attributing Causality: To the Person or the Situation Misattribution Mistakenly attributing a behavior to the wrong source Attribution theory Theory of how people explain others’ behavior Dispositional attributions Are most workers lazy or conscientious? Is it something about them? Situational attribution Are most workers lazy or conscientious? Is it something about the situation? What could that be? ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies17
Explaining Our Social World Internal or external cause? Attribution theories Inferring Traits We often infer that other people’s actions are indicative of their intentions and dispositions Commonsense Attributions – theory of correspondent inferences Consistency – same behavior in similar situation? Distinctiveness – only in this situation? Consensus –how do others behavior in this situation? ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies18
Explaining Our Social World Fundamental Attribution Error (Lee Ross) Tendency for observers to underestimate situational influences and overestimate dispositional influences upon others’ behavior Example: Assuming questioning hosts on game shows are more intelligent than the contestants ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies19
Explaining Our Social World Why Do We Make the Attribution Error? Perspective and situational awareness Actor-observer perspectives Attribute good behavior to self / bad to external causes Self-serving bias Camera perspective bias Perspectives change with time “that was the old me..” –someone else ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies20
Explaining Our Social World Why Do We Make the Attribution Error? Cultural Differences Dispositional attribution Situational attribution “the clock made me do it!” Where could th at happen? We follow the causal chain to find whatever suits our belief How does this play out when you are approached by a panhandler? Attributions and Reactions ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies21
Expectations of Our Social World Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Belief that leads to its own fulfillment Experimenter bias Teacher Expectations and Student Performance Do students learn more if they expect the professor is good? (Feldman & Prohaska ‘79) Self-Fulfilling Prophecies ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies22
Expectations of Our Social World Self ful-filling prophecy Does it happen at work? In marriages In friendship relationships? Getting from Others What We Expect Behavioral confirmation Type of self-fulfilling prophecy whereby people’s social expectations lead them to behave in ways that cause others to confirm their expectations ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies23
What can we conclude? Social cognition powers are impressive But fallible! Be on guard and use reason Illusions are persistent Rely on intuition but check whenever possible - especially for important decisions Remember the biases in thinking and notice when they occur ©2013 McGraw-Hill Companies24
1Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies. 2 Perceiving Our Social Worlds Priming Activating particular associations in memory Example: Watching a scary movie.
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