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Chapter 5 – Social Cognition

Debate: Faith and Social Cognition * Carolyn Briggs: involved in and then rejected. Christian fundamentalism.
How can someone believe so intensely and then reject those same beliefs?
How are our beleifs shaped by those around us?
Consider some cognitive biases and errors you have made.

**Social cognition:
Study of how people think about people and social relationships.
-What is unique about thinking about people as opposed to thinking about something else, like frogs or computers? Why is it important to study how people think about people?
-How is argumentative thinking helpful? Why would arguing with others help with human survival?

**Thinking
Cognitive Miser: Exemplified by having errors in thinking. Reluctance to do much extra thinking.
-During free time, why do most people choose to think about a subject such as baseball, but not about a subject such as calculus?

**Automatic and deliberate thinking
How does the Stroop Effect (colors and words) illustrate automatic versus deliberate thought?
How do we know if a thought is automatic?
-Requires no awareness
-not guided by intention
-not subject to deliberate control
-effort is low

Schemas: information about a concept. Ex/Schema for exams = involves multi paged paper and #2 pencil.

Scripts: Schemas about certain events. How an experience and an event will play out. Ex/ For exam… come into class, cram before instructor says put materials away, administered exam, then when finished… brought up to instructor.

Priming: Activating a concept in the mind.

Framing: Presentation as positive or negative
- Would your rather eat beef that’s 10% fat or 90% lean.
-How do gain-framed appeals and loss-framed appeals affect healthy behaviors?

**Thought suppression and ironic processes
How do automatic and deliberate thought processes work together to suppress unpleasant thoughts?

How does dieting require self regulation?
-Dieters and non-dieters will eat different amounts of food based on eating patterns.
-The milkshakes and ice cream test (Herman & Mack, 1975)
-Counter regulation

**Attributions
They are inferences people make about events in their lives. To what do we assign cause? What caused for something to happen?
-How do internal an external attributions shape behavior. Stable vs. unstable attributions.

**Actor/observer bias
NOT ON EXAM

**Fundamental attribution error
Tendency for observers to attribute others behaviors to their disposition or to who they are as an individual.
How does culture affect FAE?
What evidence challenges the pervasiveness of FAE?

**Heuristics
TABLE 5.1, pg. 171

Representativeness, availability, simulation, anchoring and adjustment

**Flawed or clever thinking
-How does the standard view that people’s thinking is flawed fall short?
-In what ways o heuristics offer a better option than precise mathematical calculations.

**Errors and biases
Confirmation bias: Tendency to notice and search for information that confirms one’s beliefs and ignore information that disconfirms it. * How is this helpful for human experience?
Illusory correlation: tendency to overestimate link between variables that are related only slightly or not at all -How does the media contribute to illusory correlations.
Base rate fallacy: ignore base rate info. And be influenced by distinctive feature of the case.
Hot hand: luck will continue
Gambler’s fallacy: a chance event is affected by previous events and will “even out” -How do the hot hand and gambler’s fallacies tie into the representative heuristic?
False consensus effects: * overestimate the number of people who share one’s opinions

False uniqueness effects * Underestimate the number of people who share one’s prized characteristics or abilities * What effect does this bias have on self-esteem?

Theory perseverance effect: * Once a conclusion is drawn, overwhelming evidence only changes it. * How does this tie in with the beliefs that humans are meant to argue?

Polarization:
Shifting towards more extreme positions
Why would people polarize after careful thought and consideration of a topic?

Stasitical regression: * Statistical tendency for extremes to be followed by less extremes. * How does stastistical regression explain the Sports Illustrated jinx?

Illusion of control * A false belef tha one can influence events * How can the illusion of control be dangerous for gamblers

Personal fable * Have more control over our lives than we actually do.

**Counterfactual thinking
Imagining alternatives to past or present factual events or circumstances * How do some students apply first instinct fallacy when taking tests? * How can upward counterfactuals help people make things better for the future? * How can downward counterfactuals bring comfort after misfortune

Chapter 7 – Attitudes, Beliefs and Consistency
Facebook – how does expressing attitudes online differ than in person. Consequences versus benefits for using FB.

Attitudes: global evaluations toward some object or issue. Similar to a judgment
Beliefs: info about something; facts or opinions
Function of attitudes and beliefs?

Dual attitudes:
Automatic vs. deliberate attitudes relating to duplex mind
What studies have used the Implicit Association Test (IAT – used to tap into unconscious judgment) to measure automatic attitudes? * Is it a good measure of automatic attitudes?

Why do people have attitudes?
How do they help us deal with complex world?
How do quick automatic attitudes help vs. deliberate attitudes help with the world?
Attitudes useful in making choices, how?

Mere-exposure effect change attitudes, how? When will it not change attitudes? How’s it work on FB users?

How could an embodied attitudes experiment end up shaping someone’s attitude about an issue, such as raising tuition?

CC helping influence positive or negative attitude toward CS.
How does CC explain prejudiced attitudes? How do advertisers take advantage of CC to sell products?

OC… “like” button on FB affects attitude, how?

Why do our attitudes become more polarized as we reflect on them? Consistency!!! Look up in book.

Heider’s P-O-X theory

Cognitive Dissonance

Attitude change

Effort justification: if you work hard or make sacrifices, you will convince yourself it is worthwhile.

How does choice affect dissonance
Attacking attitutdes…...

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