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Social Cognition AP Psychology.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Cognition AP Psychology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Cognition AP Psychology

2 Social Psychology The scientific study of how people’s thoughts and feelings influence their behavior toward others, and how the behavior of others influences people’s own thoughts Social Cognition – mental processes associated with the ways people perceive and react to other individuals and groups

3 Social Influences on the Self
Self-concept – the beliefs we hold about who we are and what characteristics we have Self-esteem – the evaluations we make about how worthy we are as human beings

4 Social Comparison Leon Festinger – people make two types of comparisons: Temporal Comparison Considering your present condition in relation to how you were in the past Social Comparison Evaluating yourself in comparison to others - using others as a basis for evaluating your attributes

5 Social Comparison Reference Groups – categories of people to which you see yourself as belonging and to which you compare yourself Downward social comparison – strategy of choosing someone as the target of comparison to oneself who is not as good on some dimension of importance Upward social comparison – comparing yourself to people who do much better Relative deprivation – the belief that no matter how much you are getting, it is less than you deserve

6 Social Identity Our beliefs about the groups to which we belong, and thus is a part of our self-concept A group identity helps people to feel part of a larger whole (may foster an “us versus them” mentality)

7 Self-Schemas Mental representations of people’s beliefs and views about themselves Unified self-schemas – regard their attributes as stable across every situation and role Differentiated self-schemas – regard their attributes as changing in different roles or situations

8 Social Perception The processes through which people interpret information about others, form impressions of them, and draw conclusions about the reasons for their behavior Schemas – a coherent, organized set of beliefs and expectations – we use schemas we already have to perceive and interpret new information

9 Impressions First Impressions – quickly formed, difficult to change, long-lasting influence People are confident about their judgment Easier to remember Behavior is often consistent with impression Forming Impressions – schemas create a tendency to infer a great deal about a person on the basis of limited information Lasting Impressions – difficult to change, long-lasting influence

10 Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
Without our awareness, schemas cause us to subtly lead people to behave in line with our expectations 4 steps: Adopting an attitude concerning a person Behave as though your attitude is correct Others react to your attitude Your prophecy comes true, not because you were right, but because your behavior/attitude caused the prophecy to come true

11 Attribution The process people go through to explain causes of behavior People tend to attribute behavior in a particular situation either to primarily internal (characteristics of a person) or primarily external (situational) cases

12 Sources of Attributions
Harold Kelley’s 3 Elements: Consensus – the degree to which other people’s behavior is similar to that of the actor. Ex: if it is similar, it has high consensus. If it is dissimilar, it has low consensus Consistency – the degree to which the behavior occurs repeatedly in a situation. Ex: if it always occurs, it has high consistency. If it occurs intermittently, it has low consistency Distinctiveness – the extent to which similar stimuli draw the same behaviors from the actor. Ex: if it is highly predictable, then it has low distinctiveness. If it is not predictable, it has high distinctiveness. An internal attribution is most likely when there is low consensus, high consistency, and low distinctiveness. External attributions are made in response to other information patterns.

13 Attributions

14 Biases in Attribution Fundamental Attribution Error: a tendency to over-attribute others’ behaviors to internal factors, such as personality traits Actor-observer bias – tendency to attribute others’ behavior to internal causes but attribute your own behavior to external causes Self-serving bias – tendency to take credit for success (internal) but to blame failure on external causes

15 Attitudes The tendency to think, feel, or act positively or negatively towards objects in our environment 3 Components: Cognitive – set of beliefs about attributes of the attitude object Affective – feeling about the object (emotional) – a like or dislike Behavioral – involves a way of acting toward the object

16 3 Components of Attitude

17 Forming Attitudes Modeling – children learn from their parents what one should believe and feel about certain objects Classical Conditioning – people are more likely to form a positive attitude toward an object when it is paired with stimuli that elicit good feelings Mere-exposure effect – attitudes toward an object tend to become more positive as people are exposed to that object more often

18 Changing Attitudes According to the Elaboration Likelihood Model, there are two routes to attitude change: Peripheral route – attitude changes respond to peripheral persuasion cues, rather than to central content (appearance, confidence, etc…) Central route – attitude changes respond to the message and validity of its claims. People rationally analyze the content of the persuasive message

19 Changing Attitudes

20 Changing Attitudes Cognitive Dissonance – people want their thoughts and beliefs to be consistent with one another. When their cognitions are inconsistent, people become anxious and are motivated to make them consistent Self-perception theory – people are not sure about their attitude so they look back to their behavior and then infer what their attitudes must have been

21 Cognitive Dissonance

22 Prejudice and Stereotypes
Prejudice – positive or negative attitude toward an individual based on his or her membership in some group Stereotypes – Perceptions, beliefs, and expectations a person has about members of some group – schemas about the entire groups of people

23 Theories of Prejudice Roots of Prejudice
Social inequalities – the “haves” vs. the “have nots” Blame-the-victim dynamic – if the circumstances of poverty breed a high crime rate, someone can use the high crime rate to justify discrimination against those living in poverty Us vs. Them – Ingroup vs. Outgroup (ingroup bias) Scapegoat Theory – finding someone to blame when things go wrong can provide a target for one’s anger (9/11) Other-race effect (other-race bias) – to those in one ethnic group, members of another group often seem more alike than they really are in appearance, personality, and attitude

24 Just World Phenomenon Good is rewarded and evil is punished
Hindsight bias (she should have known better….)

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