evaluation that are made of various aspects of a individuals environment
and social world
can range from favorable or unfavorable
- Depending on issues, ideas, objects, actions
- Attitudes can be certain and sure or uncertain and unsure
may be explicit attitudes or implicit
- Explicit attitudes are conscious and reportable
attitudes are uncontrollable and usually not consciously accessible
- Implicit attitudes are assessed using the Implicit Association Test (IAT)
- Attitudes can range from favorable or unfavorable
- Attitudes are important as
theyaffect our behavior.
- Usually when attitudes are strong and accessible (explicit)
- But implicit attitudes also have a role to play in determining behaviour
- Attitude development:
- Classical conditioning
- Operant conditioning
- Observational learning
- Often attitudes and
behaviours are not in sync with one another i.e. attitudes don’t fit with
our behaviour or vice versa. This is known as Cognitive dissonance
- Resolution occurs when either the attitude is changed or behaviour is in line with the attitude
- The manner in which we interpret, analyze, remember,
and use information about the social world.
- How we think about the social world
- Attempts to understand it and ourselves
- Our place in it
- Automatic processing
- Controlled processing
- Simple rules for making complex decisions or drawing inferences in a rapid manner and seemingly effortless manner.
- Four types:
- Status Quo
- Why do we need/use these?
- Information overload: demands placed on our cognitive
system are greater than its capacity.
- Stress increases incidence of information overload
- Conditions of uncertainty
- Information overload: demands placed on our cognitive system are greater than its capacity.
- You meet someone new at a house party. He is dressed in a suit. His hair is neatly placed and is clean shaven. Talks effortlessly and can hold a conversation. You notice that he also has clean personal habits and is very gentlemanly in his manners. You enjoy his company but he leaves the party early as he has a meeting the next morning.
- Later you realize you forgot to ask him about his profession. What could it be?
- You meet your neighbor for the first time. You notice that she is dressed conservatively, is neat in her personal habits, has a very large library in her home, and seems very gentle and a little shy.
- What could her profession be?
- Representativeness Heuristic
- Prototype comparisons: Summary of the common attributes possessed by members of a category.
- Rule: The more a person resembles or matches a given group, the more likely she or he is to belong to that group.
- Can these judgement be wrong?
- Decisions or judgments based on representativeness tend to ignore base rates – frequency with which given events or patterns occur in the total population.
- Asians are less likely to be governed by representativeness heuristics compared to North Americans.
- Is it safer to be in a Big SUV or a smaller, lighter car, in the event of an accident?
- How often do you use your cell phone during class hours?
- Availability Heuristic
- A strategy for making judgements on the basis of how easily specific kinds of information can be brought to mind.
- Ease and amount rules
- Self relevant, personal familiarity and emotional judgments follow the ease rule
- Amount rule is followed for when we have less information about a particular subject, or if the task is inherently difficult.
- Anchoring and Adjustment
- It involves the tendency to use a number of value as a
starting point to which we then make adjustments
- Usually takes place during times of uncertainty
- We use something we know as a starting point
- We stop as soon as a value we consider plausible is
- To save “mental effort”
- It involves the tendency to use a number of value as a starting point to which we then make adjustments
- Status Quo
- Belief that the Status quo is good because it has
existed for a length of time and therefore must be of some use
- Eg a product that has been in the market for a long time may be preferred over a new, better product
- Study on chocolates (Eidelman, Pattershall, Crandall, 2010)
- Uncertainty is again central to these decisions.
- Belief that the Status quo is good because it has existed for a length of time and therefore must be of some use
- Mental framework centering on a specific theme that helps us to organize information
- Influences three processes:
- Attention: Act as filters: information consistent with
them are more likely to be noticed. However, information that is starkly
different is also noticed
- More used when cognitive load is high
- Encoding: Information consistent with schemas is
- Sharply different are also encoded, especially if they don’t agree with us
- Retrieval: Retrieval of consistent information is
- However, it may simply be that people report things that are consistent with their schemas.
- When corrected for this response tendency we notice that both inconsistent and consistent information are equally likely to be retrieved.
- Priming: A situation that occurs when a stimuli or event increases the availability in memory or consciousness of specific type of information held in memory
- Unpriming: Effects of the schemas tend to persist until they are somehow expressed in thought or behavior and only then do their effects decrease.
- Perseverance effect: The tendency of schemas to remain unchanged even in the face of contradictory information
- Effects of schemas: (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968): Teachers and student IQ
- Automatic processing: occurs after extensive experience with a task or type of information, we reach a stage where we can perform the task or process the information in a seemingly effortless, automatic and nonconscious manner.
- Controlled processing: occurs when a task or type of information requires systematic, logical and highly effortful manner of processing.
- Social neuroscience: Remember the experiment on
immediate judgement of individuals as good or bad?
- If immediate judgement is made, amygdala is more responsible
- If judgement are reserved and thought through it is due to the prefrontal cortex.
- Cognitive dissonance argues that people become uncomfortable when they hold multiple conflicting opinions or behave in ways that conflict with their beliefs.
Prejudice and Discrimination
- We make judgments about
others based on their group membership.
- in-group are preferred
- out-group are not as preferred
- Stereotyping—beliefs about what members of a social group are like.
- Prejudice —negative emotional responses or dislike based on group membership.
- Discrimination—differential treatment based on group membership
- (Study Tip: Stereotype is cognitive, Prejudice is
emotional, Discrimination is behaviour)
- Not personal
about underlying essences of the group
attributed to biologically based features that distinguish one
group from another
- Used as a justification for their differential treatment
- Essences—usually attributed to biologically based features that distinguish one group from another
- some theorists have suggested that all prejudices are not the same
is not a generic negative emotional response
- Specific intergroup emotions including fear, anger, envy, guilt, or disgust are important
- Discriminatory actions would be different depending on what emotion underlies prejudice
- E.g. Anger=direct harm, Pity/Guilt=avoidance
prejudice- Links between group membership and trait associations or
evaluations that the perceiver may be unaware of.
- They can be activated automatically based on the group membership of a target.
- Methods to reduce Prejudice
hypothesis: Constant engagement with out-group
- Change categorizations based on similarities
- Supported by research
rethinking categorization based only on out-group measure
- Shifts in the boundaries between our ingroup (“us”) and some outgroup (“them”)
- Superordinate goals: goals that both groups need to reach for benefit
people can feel collective guilt based on the actions of other members
of their group
- Can reduce racism
- Contact hypothesis: Constant engagement with out-group
- Self-presentation refers to our wanting to present a desired image both to an external audience (other people) and to an internal audience (ourselves).
- In the unfamiliar situations, we are self-conscious of the impressions we are creating.
- Preparing to have our photographs taken, we may try out different faces in a mirror.
- Ingratiation – making the other person like you by praising them
- Self deprecating – imply that we are not as good as someone else—to communicate admiration or to simply lower the audience’s expectations of our abilities.
- Self promotion- selling what we want to seem as
- Self-verification perspective—the processes we use to lead others to agree with our own self-views—suggests that negotiation occurs with others to ensure they agree with our self-claims (Swann, 2005).
- Attribution theory –
explaining the cause of one’s or others’ behaviour
- Dispositional attribution are based on to internal factors like personality, motivation
- Personal attributions are explanations in terms of personal characteristics
- Situational are external factors like environment, others’ influence
- 2 types
- Locus of control
- The belief individuals have of whether their behaviour is controlled by themselves or are external
- Internally controlled motivators are better
- Attribution errors
- Attribution of others’ behaviour as due to personal factors even in the presence of powerful situational factors
- Acceptance of credit when successful
- Blaming others when unsuccessful
- Fundamental Attribution Error
- Attribution theory: A group of theories that describe how people explain the causes of behaviour.
- Jones’s Correspondent
Inference Theory – Edward Jones & Keith Davis (1965)—
- This theory describes how we use others’ behaviour as a basis for inferring their disposition
- The process of making an internal attribution. T
- Internal disposition are based on understand the link or correspondence between motive and behaviour.
make internal inferences based on three factors-
- Persons’ degree of choice- free choice is indicative of internal disposition
common effects- effect that can be caused by one specific factor but
not by others.
- Helps zoom in on a cause for others behaviour
- Low social desirability- When individual’s behaviour doesn’t indicate socially desirability
- Kelley’s covariance theory
of attribution argued that people take three factors into account when
making a personal vs. situational attribution:
the extent to which other people behave in the same way in a
similar situation to the person in question.
- More people=higher consensus
- Consistency: the extent to which the person in question behaves this way every time the situation occurs at different times.
the extent to which the person in question behaves in the same way
to other situations.
- If consistency is high, and distinctiveness and consensus are low, then a personal attribution is more likely:
- If consistency is high, and distinctiveness and consensus are also high, then a situational attribution is more likely.
- Consensus: the extent to which other people behave in the same way in a similar situation to the person in question.
- Prosocial Behavior: behaviour that results in people helping others without immediate reward to themselves.
- Empathy is the ability to share someone’s feelings and to understand them from there point of view
- Emotional empathy- The ability to share others’ feelings
- Empathic accuracy- The precision with which one perceives others’ feelings.
- Empathic concern- Feelings of concern for another’s wellbeing.
- Altruism is the ability to act selflessly for the benefit of others, without any apparent reward.
- Motives for prosocial
- Empathy-Altruism hypothesis
- Negative state relief model
- Empathic joy
- Kin Selection theory
- Competitive altruism
- Defensive helping
- (Study Tip: NECKED)
- Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis
- The act of deriving pleasure from helping others, knowing that helping others would bring pleasure to oneself.
- Empathetic accuracy
- Better friendships
- More prosocial behavior
- Better social adjustment
- Negative state relief model
- Individuals help others in order to reduce their own negative feelings.
- Empathic Joy hypothesis
- People show positive reaction when they receive help and this induces the positive feeling in the helper leading them to engage in greater prosocial behavior
- Kin Selection theory
- You are more likely to help closer relatives than distant relatives or non relatives
are more likely to help younger relatives than older relatives
- Evolutionary basis
- Reciprocal altruism
- Helping non family members in the expectance of reciprocal help
- Competitive altruism theory
- It involves helping others to increase one’s own reputation or social status
- Defensive helping
- The help given to the members of out-groups to reduce the threat they pose to the status of the in-group
- Creation of dependence
- Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis