Chapter 3 Social Psychology David G. Myers

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Social Beliefs and JudgmentsChapter 3Social PsychologyDavid G. Myers

Social Beliefs and Judgments Perceiving our social worldsJudging our social worldsExplaining our social worldsExpectations of our social worlds

Perceiving our Social World Social Beliefs - our assumptions and prejudgmentsaffect our perceptions, judgments, and memory Our expectations can influence the behaviors ofourselves, others, and events

Perceiving our Social World Priming – the spreading activation of associatedthoughts and memories Roast, Roast, Roast What do you put in a toaster? White, White, White What do Cows drink? Pots, Pots, Pots, What do you do at a green light? Six, Six, Six Think of a Vegetable?

Perceiving and Interpreting Events Constructing Interpretations - prejudgments affecthow we interpret information Embodied Cognition – bodily sensations primecognitions and affect attitudes

Perceiving our Social World Belief Perseverance - persistence of our beliefsdespite disconfirming information Explaining or imagining the opposite side of anissue reduces this tendency

Constructing Memories Constructing Memories - memories are re-constructedat the time of retrieval Memory Storage - cognitively our memories are storedas interconnected nodes Misinformation effect – adding incorrect informationinto your memory of an event via priming

Reconstructing Attitudes andBehaviors Reconstructing Attitudes - difficult to accuratelyremember past attitudes Rosy retrospection – we recall mildly pleasantevents as being more favorable than theyactually were Relationships - memories change as ourrelationships change Reconstructing Behaviors - we often reconstructpast behaviors and experiences

Judging Our Social World Intuitive Judgments- our cognitiveshortcuts often lead to misjudgments Controlled Processing (explicit)– deliberateconsciously controlled thinking Automatic Processing (implicit) –effortless, habitual thinking Practical joke Chess Automatic Processing is limited and error prone

Judging Overconfidence Overconfidence Phenomenon –– tendency tooverestimate the accuracy of your beliefs Confirmatory bias – seek information thatconfirms our beliefs Immediate feedback will reduce theoverconfidence phenomenon Disconfirming information- imagining why youmay be wrong reduces overconfidence

Judgment Errors: Heuristics Heuristics - mental shortcuts or implicit rules ofthumb In a terrible car accident, a man is killed andhis son is rushed to the hospital for surgery.As the boy is wheeled into the operatingroom, the surgeon looks at the patient andsays, 'I cannot operate on this child. He ismy son.' How is this possible? Representativeness Heuristic – judginglikelihood of something by how well itmatches our prototypes

Heuristics Availability Heuristic – things that we easilyremember, we assume are commonplace Statistics tend to be overshadowed byvivid events and anecdotes Counterfactual Thinking – easily imaginingalternative scenarios influence ouremotional experiences

Illusory Thinking Illusory Thinking - trying to organize randomevents leads to error in judgments Illusory Correlation – perceiving a relationshipwhere none exists Illusion of Control – perception of control overuncontrollable events Regression towards the Average – statisticalnecessity where extreme scores returntowards the mean

Mood and Judgments Mood and Judgments – moods caninfluence our perceptions, judgments,and memories

Explaining Our Social World Attribution Theory – theories about how weexplain others’ behaviors Dispositional Attribution (Internal) Situational Attribution (External)

Fundamental Attribution Error(Correspondence Bias) Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE) underestimating situational factors andoverestimating internal factors on others’behaviors FAE is strongest when it is self-serving Typically make the FAE when referring toothers’ behavior

Expectations of Our Social Worlds Self-fulfilling Prophecies- our beliefs andjudgments can affect reality Behavioral Confirmation –expectations cancause others to act in confirmatory ways Students, Intergroup behaviors,Attractive stereotypes

Summary Biased Social Beliefs -errors in beliefs andjudgments are products of our cognitiveorganization strategies These cognitive strategies are beneficial andefficient but they are prone to predictableerrors

Why Do We Commit the FAE? Camera Perspective Bias– our perspectiveaffects our attributions FAE and Time – our perspectives change overtime Self-awareness – increased self-focus leads usto attribute more responsibility to ourselves Cultural Differences - individualistic culturestend to focus more on dispositional attributions

David G. Myers. Social Beliefs and Judgments Perceiving our social worlds Judging our social worlds Explaining our social worlds Expectations of our social worlds . Perceiving our Social World Social Beliefs - our assumptions and p

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