Social Cognition

Impression formation

Attribution

Attitudes

Prejudice and Discrimination

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  • Social Cognition
    • Impression Formation
      • Process by which we develop idea's about people.
        • Affects how we feel about people and act towards then
        • Arrive at these due to 'Social Schema's'
          • A social schema is a mental framework representing common social situations (Fiske & Taylor 1991)
            • Self schema- generalisations of the self from past experience. Include self concept, self image and self esteem
            • Event schema- How we imagine social events to happen. E.g. a trip to a restaurant or a house party.
            • Person schema- the knowledge we have of other people. Can be influinced by our feelings toward said person
            • Role schema- set of behaviours we expect of people in specific roles. E.g. How do we imagine a police officer to act?
            • Bartlett 1932- people were given a story and had to recall it. People changed parts to fit with their schema's.
        • 'Impression management' is how we manage our own impression
          • Other enhancment- make yourself liked by making others feel good about themselves e.g. compliments. (Byrne, 1992)
          • Self enhancment- make yourself look good to others e.g. dress well and descrbe yourself in a positive way.
      • Primary and Recency effects.
        • Primary- Information presented first has the greater influince on impression formed
        • Recency- Imformation presented last has the greatest influince
      • Central Traits and Peripheral- Some traits are more important (central) and others less so (peripheral)
      • Stereotypes
        • Often ignore the individual characteristic's of a person and instead applies common  traits of a particular social category.
        • Stereotypes are quick to form and difficult to change. Often formed in childhood.
    • Attribution
      • Baron et al- the process through which we seek to identify the causes of others behaviour and so gain knowledge of their stable traits and dispositions.
      • 1) People have a desire and need to attribte causes to behaviour.
      • 2)People search for the information about there person and social situation in order to attribute cause to behaviour.
      • 3)People act like 'naïve scientists'  (adopting a scientific like approach) when trying to attribute cause
      • Dispositional and Situational Attributions
        • Situational- External attributions. These blame the environment and external stimuli. E.g. You failed the exam because the exam was too hard.
        • Dispositional- Internal attributions. The cause of behaviour is based on a persons stable characteristics. E.g. You failed the exam because you are lazy
      • Attribution Biases
        • Fundamental Attribution Error- Over estimate the importance of internal dispositions and to underestimate the importance of situational factors.
          • Reasons for attribution error- People pay too much attention on the person. People assume we only follow our attitude and personality. People make snap decisions without gathering the information.
        • Actor Observer effect- You are an 'actor' when attributing your own cause, but an 'observer' when you attribute to others.
          • Baron et al 2006)- 'The tendency to attribute our own behaviour to mainly external (situational) causes but the behaviour of others to mainly internal (dispositional) causes.
          • Nisbett et al (1972)- Asked groups of students why they had chosen the subject. They said they chose it for the quality of the course for themselves and the career prospects for the other students.
        • The Self Serving Bias- Person attributes causes to their own behaviour which results in self enhancement of their abilities.
          • Taylor (1991)- 'The tendency to take credit for success and deny responsibility for failure'.
          • Ross et al (1974)- Teachers were told to help a student in preparation for a spelling bee. They were then told their student either performed well or poorly. They took credit for their success and blamed the student for poor results.
          • Motivational explanation - People need to protect themselves from harm and present themselves to others in a positive way (Boasting rights)
          • Cognitive explanation - You expect to be successful in many different tasks you set yourself and believe that you can be successful in many different ways.
    • Attitudes
      • Petty & Cacioppo (1986)- General evaluations people make about themselves others, objects and issues'.
      • The structure of attitudes (Katz 1960): 1)The cognitive component. 2) The affective component. 3) The behavioural component
        • Cognitive- Belief component. These are the thoughts about an attitude object and best viewed as 'cold' E.g. facts.
        • Behavioural- Co-native component. How we intend to act about the attitude object.
        • Affective- Emotional component. Involves feelings, emotions and gut reactions
        • La Piere (1934)- Went to hotels with a Chinese couple. They were only refused service once. 6 Months later he questioned each hotel and 92% of restaurants and 90% of hotels claimed they would refuse Chinese clientele.
      • 5 Function of attitudes. Katz (1960) said that they serve to promote well being of an individual.
        • Adaptive function- Attitude express our desire to obtain rewards/ avoid punishment
        • Self Expressive Function- Letting others know our opinions, attitudes and views.
        • Ego- Defensive Function- Protects an individual from themselves/ other people. Maintain self esteem and ego.
        • Knowledge function- Bring order and structure to all the information we must process each day
        • Social adjustment function- Helps a person manage social situations. Holding or releasing attitudes as the time see's fit.
    • Prejudice and discrimination
      • Discrimination- Behaviour or actions, negative or positive, towards an individual or a group of people
      • Prejudice- Unjustified attitude towards an individual due to their belonging to a group.
      • Three  explanations of prejudice.
        • Realistic group conflict
          • Sherif: Prejudice in society stems from competition between different social groups for limited resources. The rarer the resource the more negative the feelings.
            • Sherif (1961)- 22 middle class boys on summer camp. Split them up into 2 teams. Made them compete for prizes (knives). Resulted in 'in group' and 'out group' feelings resulting in open conflict.
        • Social Identity Theory
          • Tajfel & Turner: We split the world into 'us' (in group) and 'them' (out group). In groups will be prejudiced and thus discriminate against the out group. This encourages our self esteem's and ego's.
            • Tajfel (1970)- 11-14 year olds split into 2 groups. Told that this is due to their preference of a certain artist. Asked to create their own sculpture and then give monetary rewards to whom ever they preferred. Found they often gave the bulk of their reward to people within their own group
        • Authoritarian Personality
          • Adorno: Personality type that shows discrimination. Overly harsh parents produced children with a weak ego and thus followed orders from higher up, but authorative to those perceived as lower than themselves
            • Adorno: Produced the 'F' scale to evaluate how authorative a person is.
  • Recency- Imformation presented last has the greatest influince
  • The structure of attitudes (Katz 1960): 1)The cognitive component. 2) The affective component. 3) The behavioural component
    • Cognitive- Belief component. These are the thoughts about an attitude object and best viewed as 'cold' E.g. facts.
    • Behavioural- Co-native component. How we intend to act about the attitude object.
    • Affective- Emotional component. Involves feelings, emotions and gut reactions
    • La Piere (1934)- Went to hotels with a Chinese couple. They were only refused service once. 6 Months later he questioned each hotel and 92% of restaurants and 90% of hotels claimed they would refuse Chinese clientele.

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