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Social Psychophysiology As a Paradigm Cacioppo, J. T., Petty, R. E., & Andersen, B. L. (1988). Social psychophysiology as a paradigm. In H. L. Wagner (Ed.),

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Presentation on theme: "Social Psychophysiology As a Paradigm Cacioppo, J. T., Petty, R. E., & Andersen, B. L. (1988). Social psychophysiology as a paradigm. In H. L. Wagner (Ed.),"— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Psychophysiology As a Paradigm Cacioppo, J. T., Petty, R. E., & Andersen, B. L. (1988). Social psychophysiology as a paradigm. In H. L. Wagner (Ed.), Social psychophysiology and emotion: Theory and clinical applications (pp ). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

2 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Introduction  Early emphasis: “The techniques provide nonverbal, objective, relatively bias-free indices of human reaction that have some the same appeal as gestural, postural, and other indicators of covert response” (Shapiro & Schwartz, 1970, pp ; quoted from Cacioppo, et al., 1988, p. 273).  Disappointment:  Physiological measures may be less susceptible to response biases but they are vulnerable to instructional sets, intentional distortion, and social biases.  There are individual differences in type of arousal (e.g., during arousal, heart rate increases for some people but decreases for others).  Some critics suggested that these problems invalidated the usefulness of physiological measurement.

3 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Contemporary Thinking  Physiological measurement still contributes important information to understanding human behavior.  Recent evidence suggests that physiological measurement provides meaningful data (e.g., Gottman’s research).  Phenomena of the Third Type  Evidence suggests that interpreting psychophysiological measurement is best done via consideration of social variables as moderating variables.  Social psychophysiology has contributed to theory development.

4 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Psychophysiological Comparison Processes (Table 14.1)  Assumptions  Principle 1: People are motivated to evaluate unexplained signs and symptoms.  Principle 2: Signs and symptoms need neither be perceived accurately in terms of their underlying physiological causes nor be based on actual changes in physiological functioning.  Principle 3: The motive to maintain an explicable physiological condition is not limited to changes in arousal.  Antecedents  Principle 4: The strength of the motive to evaluate a sign or symptom is a function of the unexpectedness, salience, perceived consequences and personal relevance of the bodily reactions.

5 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Psychophysiological Comparison Processes (cont.)  Selection of a Comparison Stimulus  Principle 5: To the extent that a motive to evaluate a perceived bodily response has been aroused, the evaluation involves a comparison of detected bodily events with the presumed consequences of physiological conditions and situational stimuli.  Principle 6: The tendency to select a particular stimulus for purposes of psychophysiological comparison increases as a function of the salience of the stimulus and the perceived similarity between the sign or symptom and the presumed physiological effects of the stimulus.  Principle 7: The evaluation of a sign or symptom is hedonically biased.  Principle 8: The less specific the sign or symptom, the greater the number of potential comparison stimuli, the greater the likelihood of erroneous selections of comparison stimuli and, consequently, the greater the likelihood of erroneous inferences regarding the causeand implications of the bodily response and the more susceptible to change are these inferences.

6 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Psychophysiological Comparison Processes (cont.)  Consequences of Failing to Find a Comparison Stimulus  Principle 9: To the extent that a motive to evaluate a sign or symptom has been aroused, but a comparison stimulus cannot be found that is believed to have similar physiological effects, the implicit theories people have about salient comparison stimuli influence their attention to and detection of a bodily response.  Principle 10: To the extent that a motive to evaluate a sign or symptom has been aroused, but a comparison stimulus cannot be found that is believed to have similar physiological effects, the detected bodily response influences people's implicit theories of the physiological effects of salient comparison stimuli.

7 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Empirical Examination of Psychophysiological Comparison Processes  Major Theme: “[T]he development of a mutually stimulating interdisciplinary approach, wherein there is joint consideration of the inherent biological and social nature of behavior, requires that the approach lead the way in explorations for new and important aspects of human nature” (p. 285).  Research question: Does the model described in 14.1 facilitate understanding of the processes involved in appraisal delay (time lapse between when a person first notices symptoms and the time the person concluded that s/he was ill) among cancer patients (n = 47 )?  Shorter delay is associated with more favorable prognisis. Appraisal delay accounted for 70 percent of the total delay period in this sample.

8 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Empirical Examination of Psychophysiological Comparison Processes  Results seemed to support a number of the principles. A few examples follow:  Principle 1: there was a positive correlation between number of unexplained symptoms and number of explanations generated to try to understand their presence.  Principle 3: initial detection of symptoms seemed to be associated with physical signs but not physiological arousal.  Principle 4: salience of symptoms seemed to be associated with motivation to evaluate them.


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