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Lecture Outline nBottom up vs. Top Down Processing nSchemas l Definition l Functions l Activation l Structure.

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Presentation on theme: "Lecture Outline nBottom up vs. Top Down Processing nSchemas l Definition l Functions l Activation l Structure."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lecture Outline nBottom up vs. Top Down Processing nSchemas l Definition l Functions l Activation l Structure

2 Bottom-Up Processing Definition: Processing of information that is driven by individual features of stimuli. Example: putting a puzzle together, not knowing what the picture will be.

3 Top-Down Processing Definition: Processing of information that is driven by past knowledge and experience. Example: putting a puzzle together, knowing what the picture will be.

4 Schemas Definition: Mental representations of knowledge. l Preconceptions l Theories l Expectations

5 Schemas nSchemas contain two kinds of knowledge 1. Attributes sBirds: wings, eat worms, fly sWomen: nurturing, emotional, take care of children 2. Relations among attributes sBirds can fly because they have wings sTaking care of children makes women nurturing

6 Schemas nSchemas do not have to be veridical (accurate). l Example: Stereotypes are a kind of schema and stereotypes are sometimes inaccurate.

7 Functions of Schemas nGeneral Function: Help people understand incoming stimuli nSpecific Functions l categorize new instances l infer additional attributes l guide interpretation and attention

8 Function 1: Categorize New Instances nPeople classify new instances into categories nSchemas provide information about the features shared by category members

9 Function 2: Infer Additional Attributes nAfter categorization, people infer features from schema attributes Categorization: Inference: = CHAIR Chair can be sat in

10 Function 2: Infer Additional Attributes Solomon Asch (1946) nAsch’s Purpose: Demonstrate that some traits have stronger affect on inferences than others nMy purpose: Demonstrate how people make inferences from person schemas

11 Solomon Asch (1946) Study 1 Procedure: l Participants heard description of person l Participants made inferences about person by selecting one trait from trait pairs »generous - ungenerous »shrewd - wise »dishonest - honest »frivolous - serious

12 Description Content: l intelligent l skillful l industrious l _ _ _ _ l determined l practical l cautious Solomon Asch (1946) (cold vs. warm) Manipulation

13 Hypothesis: Manipulation of Warm-Cold have large effect on inferences Results: Trait List Warm Cold generous 91% 8% good-natured 94% 17% humorous 77% 13% Solomon Asch (1946) Study 1

14 Hypothesis: Manipulation of Polite-Blunt will have weaker effect on inferences than Warm-Cold Results: Study 1Study 2 Warm Cold Polite Blunt generous 91% 8% 87% 33% good-natured 94% 17% 91% 55% sociable 91% 38% 91% 55% Solomon Asch (1946) Study 3

15 Conclusions: Main point for Asch: l Some traits are central in one’s schema (w- c), others are peripheral (p-b) nMy main point: l People use schemas to make inferences Solomon Asch (1946)

16 Function 3: Guide Interpretation and Attention nSchemas enable people to interpret ambiguous events sCrying = Mourning at a funeral sCrying = Joy at a wedding

17 Function 3: Guide Interpretation and Attention Stereotypes One kind of schema that people use to interpret ambiguous events

18 Sagar & Schofield (1980) Purpose: Demonstrate that stereotypes bias interpretation of ambiguous events Participants: 40 African American; 40 White Step 1: Participants presented with four drawings

19 Sagar & Schofield (1980) Drawings and verbal descriptions: l bumping l requesting food l poking l taking a pencil

20 Sagar & Schofield (1980) Manipulation: Fully crossed ethnicity of actor and victim (AA vs. W) Step 2: Participants rated actor’s behavior as smean sthreatening splayful sfriendly

21 Sagar & Schofield (1980) Subject ActorMean - Threatening White W 8.28 AA 8.99 African W 7.38 American AA 8.40 Conclusion: White and African American participants rated identical behavior as more mean and threatening when actor was African American ********************* Schemas influence interpretation of events

22 von Hippel et al. (1993) Background: Schemas facilitate memory nDirect attention to relevant information nDirect attention away from irrelevant information Purpose of Study: Challenge existing thought--Can schemas inhibit memory?

23 von Hippel et al. (1993) Hypothesis: Schemas inhibit memory overall, but enhance retrieval of schema-relevant info nWithout schema: People encode more info but have worse retrieval nWith schema: People encode less info but have better retrieval -- schema acts as cue.

24 von Hippel et al. (1993) Step 1: Participants (n = 24) read a scenario. Scenario The Procedure is quite simple. First, you arrange things into different groups. Of course, one pile may be sufficient, depending on how much there is to do. If you have to go somewhere else due to lack of facilities, that is the next step; otherwise, you are pretty well set. It is important not to overdo things. That is, it is better to do too few things at once than too many. At first the whole procedure will seem complicated. Soon, however, it will become just another facet of life. After the procedure is completed, one arranges the materials into different groups again. Then they can be put into their appropriate places. Eventually they will be used once more, and the whole cycle will have to be repeated.

25 von Hippel et al. (1993) Manipulation: Schema activation l 1/2 participants given title: Washing Clothes l 1/2 participants not given title Step 2: Completed Word Fragments: l Words from scenario, but multiple answers l e.g., c o m _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ complicated communicate

26 von Hippel et al. (1993) Dependent Variable: l Number of word fragments solved with words from scenario l Better memory = more word fragments solved with words from scenario

27 von Hippel et al. (1993) Results: # Word fragments solved with words from scenario Given title 19 Not given title 22 Conclusion: Schemas can inhibit memory

28 Schema Functions 4 & 5: Function 4: Schemas aid communication l schemas fill in details Function 5: Schemas aid reasoning l can combine existing schemas to help understand conflicting information –e.g., Harvard Educated Carpenter

29 Schema Activation 1. Salience: l salient schemas activated before less salient schemas

30 Schema Activation 2. Priming: l Recently or frequently primed schemas activated before less recently or less frequently activated schemas Primes: Environmental cues e.g., a bed primes thoughts of sleeping

31 Priming A Schema Gilbert & Hixon (1991) Purpose: a) a prime can activate schema (stereotype) b) activation requires cognitive resources

32 Gilbert & Hixon (1991) Participants: Female participants (n = 71) Procedure: l Watched video l Experimenter showed cards with word fragments on them l Participants completed word fragments

33 Gilbert & Hixon (1991) Manipulations: 1. Activation of Asian Stereotype l Yes: Experimenter Asian l No: Experimenter Caucasian 2. Cognitive business l Busy: Rehearsed 8 digit number during video l Not Busy: Did not rehearse number during video

34 Gilbert & Hixon (1991) Word Fragment Task: nWord fragments had multiple correct answers nOne answer was associated with Asians S _ Y S _ O R T R _ C E P O L I _ E N _ P nDependent variable: # Asian word completions Shy (Say) Short (Snort) Rice (Race) Polite (Police) Nip (Nap)

35 Gilbert & Hixon (1991)

36 Gilbert & Hixon (1991) Conclusion: nPrimes can activate schema, if people have sufficient cognitive resources

37 Schema Activation 3. Chronic Accessibility: l Chronically accessible schemas used more than others l Individual differences sself-defining simportant to one’s self-concept

38 Schema Activation 4. Goals: l People’s goals influence which schemas are activated

39 Fein & Spencer (1997) Purpose: To show that goal to bolster self- esteem activates negative stereotypes Step 1: Intelligence test Step 2: Feedback Step 3: State Self-Esteem scale Step 4: Evaluate job applicant Step 5: State Self-Esteem scale

40 Fein & Spencer (1997) Manipulations: nFeedback: l positive (93rd %) l negative (46th %) nSchema Activation l Job applicant = Jewish l Job applicant = Italian

41 Fein & Spencer (1997) Hypotheses: nIn positive feedback condition: l Jewish and Italian applicant judged similarly nIn negative feedback condition: l Jewish applicant judged less favorably n Denigrating Jewish applicant raises self- esteem

42 Fein & Spencer (1997) Evaluation

43 Fein & Spencer (1997) Change in Self-Esteem

44 Structure of Schemas Classical View: There is a set of necessary and sufficient attributes needed for an instance to belong to a schema

45 Assumption 1: Schemas have clear-cut boundaries Limitation 1: Difficulty specifying defining features of instances Classical View: Assumptions and Limitations

46 Classical View: Assumptions and Limitations Assumption 2: All instances equally typical Limitation 2: Not all members perceived as equally typical

47 Test of Assumption 2: All instances equally typical Eleanor Rosch nTypicality ratings nReaction times nProduction of examples Classical View: Assumptions and Limitations

48 Assumption 3: Categorization of new instances simple Limitation 3: Not all new instances are easily categorized Classical View: Assumptions and Limitations

49 Probabilistic View of Schemas Probabilistic View nPrototype Model nExemplar Model nSchema l list of typical features l no feature necessary or sufficient l family resemblance

50 Probabilistic View of Schemas Process of Categorization nCompare features of instance to fuzzy set of features nSimilarity = number of features an instance shares with group members nHi similarity = categorization as group member

51 Probabilistic View of Schemas Addresses Limitations of Classical View nSchemas do not have clear-cut boundaries nGroup members vary in typicality nCategorization of new instances can be difficult

52 Prototype Model Schemas represented as list of typical features (a prototype). Prototype = list of features that are typical of group members Example: Bird nhas feathers nlives in nest neats worms, etc.

53 Prototype Model Process of categorization: nMatch features of a new instance to prototype. nHigh similarity = categorization as group member

54 Exemplar Model Schemas represented as groups of specific instances (exemplars). Exemplar = specific group members Bird: l robin l crow l hummingbird

55 Exemplar Model Process of categorization: nMatch features of a new instance to exemplar. nHigh similarity = categorization as group member

56 Impact of Probabilistic View DSM II: Depression: “an excessive reaction of depression due to an internal conflict or to an identifiable event such as the loss of a love object or cherished possession

57 Impact of Probabilistic View DSM IV-R: Depression: depressed mood for 2 years plus (more days than not) 2 additional symptoms l insomnia l appetite loss l fatigue inability to concentrate l low self-esteem l loss of pleasure in activities l restlessness

58 Criticisms of Probabilistic View Criticism 1: What features to match on sAny instance can match any other instance on some features nWhat is similar about refrigerators and cars? l weigh more than 80 lbs.. l come in colors l man made l invented in past 100 years

59 Criticisms of Probabilistic View Criticism 2: People have theories about relation among features nBirds have wings and fly nAlso know that birds fly because they have wings

60 Keil, 1989 Purpose: Demonstrated that children do not categorize on basis of feature matching alone

61 Keil, 1989 Children still believed that the “skunk” was a raccoon Conclusion: People do not engage in simple feature matching as prototype and exemplar model propose


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