SOCIAL COGNITION (Psych 201 - Chapter 4 - Spring 2014)

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  • 1. THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST Artist Song / Psych Concept 1 Aerosmith Dude (Looks Like A Lady) (Schemas; Top-Down Processing) 2 R.E.M. Man On The Moon (Confirmation Bias) 3 Grouplove Tongue Tied (Fluency) 4 Billy Joel Only The Good Die Young (Availability Heuristic/Illusory Correlation) 5 Wyclef Jean Perfect Gentleman (Representativeness Heuristic) 6 The Killers Somebody Told Me (Biases in Secondhand Information)
  • 2. CHAPTER 4:
 SOCIAL COGNITION Melanie B. Tannenbaum, M.A. Psychology 201 Spring 2014
  • 3. IMPORTANT POINTS ○ Why Study Social Cognition? ! ○ Information Available for Social Cognition ! ○ How Information is Presented ! ○ How We Seek Information ! ○ How We Understand Information ! ○ Reasons, Intuition, Heuristics
  • 4. WHAT IS SOCIAL COGNITION? ! ○ Social Cognition: The encoding, storage, retrieval, and processing of information in the brain which relates to members of the same species. ! ○ How we interpret, remember, and understand information that we receive about the people and situations that surround us every day. ! ○ How do we think about the world & make judgments that help us interpret the past, understand the present, and predict the future?
  • 5. WHY STUDY SOCIAL COGNITION? ○ Construals impact how people process and remember social information differently. ! ○ Our judgments are rarely (if ever!) flawless. ! ○ Social cognition gives us useful information about the strategies & rules that people follow to make judgments. ! ○ Mistakes often reveal a lot about how we think by showing what our limitations are. ! ○ What mistakes do we make? Why do we make them?
  • 6. THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE 
 FOR SOCIAL COGNITION
  • 7. INFORMATION AVAILABLE FOR JUDGMENT: Firsthand Information ! Information based on personal experience or observation. Secondhand Information Information that comes from other sources (gossip, books, magazines, Internet, etc.)
  • 8. BIASES IN FIRSTHAND INFORMATION ○ Might be unrepresentative ● If you’ve only ever been to Paris, can you make complete judgments about what all of France is like? No! ! ! ○ Pluralistic Ignorance ● Individual motivations not to deviate from group norms can create misperceptions about those norms. ! ! ○ Negativity Bias
  • 9. WHAT’S IN A FACE? ○ Snap Judgments: Quick judgments about people’s personalities based on seeing their faces for a period of time as short as a tenth of a second. Two dimensions stand out: Trustworthiness Dominance People can have “baby faces” High on trustworthiness Low on dominance
  • 10. ARE SNAP JUDGMENTS ACCURATE? ! ○ Sort of. ! ! ○ No real evidence that “baby faced” people are actually more trustworthy or agreeable. ! ! ○ However, sometimes perception is reality...
  • 11. ARE SNAP JUDGMENTS ACCURATE? ○ Pairs of politicians ● Candidate who looked “more competent” won 70% of the time. ! ○ 10-second silent video clips of professors ● Judgments of how anxious, competent, active, professional, and warm those professors seemed were significantly correlated with actual student evaluations. ! ○ In these situations, it doesn’t matter if the politicians really are more competent or what the professors are “really” like...all that matters for the outcome is what voters and students think of them.
  • 12. SNAP JUDGMENTS ○ What people think about others matters...a lot. ● Many decisions are based on very little information ● Self-fulfilling prophecies ! ○ Self-Fulfilling Prophecy ● People have an expectation about what others are like ● This expectation influences how they act towards that person ● This causes the person to behave consistently with the original expectation, which makes the expectation come true. ! ○ If you expect TSA agents to be nasty, you might be rude first...if they meet enough mean people all day, they will probably (understandably!) be quite nasty back.
  • 13. SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECIES ○ Researchers randomly divided a class roster in half. ! ! ○ Group A: “We expect these students to bloom this year!” ○ Group B: “We expect these students to fail this year.” ! ! ○ This was totally random!!
  • 14. SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECIES ! ○ At the end of the year... ● Students labeled as “bloomers” scored higher on aptitude tests than the “should-fail” students. ! ○ Teachers expected the students to do well or fail, and taught them based on these expectations. ! ○ Maybe they spent more time with the “bloom” students because of their promise, or quit faster with the “will-fail” students because they thought it was a waste of time...
  • 15. PLURALISTIC IGNORANCE ! We misperceive group norms because people are behaving in a way that is inconsistent with private beliefs for fear of negative social consequences. Classroom Questions
  • 16. PLURALISTIC IGNORANCE • All students find a certain topic confusing ! • John sees the other students with their hands down. ! ! • John assumes everyone understands the topic except for him. ! ! • John doesn’t raise his hand because he doesn’t want to look stupid. ! ! • Becky also doesn’t understand the topic; sees the other students (including John) with their hands down, assumes that she’s the only one who doesn’t understand...
  • 17. PLURALISTIC IGNORANCE: 
 REAL WORLD CONSEQUENCES ● Support for tyrants/dictators ! ● College drinking and the “hook-up culture” ! ● Cross-Race Friendships ○ Many people want cross-race friendships, but attribute their own failure to initiate conversation to a fear of rejection while attributing others’ behavior to a lack of interest (Shelton & Richeson, 2005) ! ● Gang Behavior ○ Gang members will often privately confess that they don’t like brutal initiation processes or intergroup violence, but won’t say so publicly because they assume other members don’t agree (Matza, 1964)
  • 18. NEGATIVITY BIAS ! ○ We pay more attention to negative information than positive information (often deliberately, sometimes automatically). ! ! ○ If I get 10 positive teacher evaluations and 1 negative one, I will likely overweight/pay more attention to the negative evaluation and remember the feedback as being more negative overall than it really was.
  • 19. NEGATIVITY BIAS ! ! Evolutionary Rationale ● Threats need to be dealt with ASAP ● Rewards can be delayed until it is safe to indulge them
  • 20. BIASES IN SECONDHAND INFORMATION ○ When people tell stories, they often change details in order to communicate the underlying message better. ! ○ Sharpening and Leveling ● Sharpening: Emphasizing the more interesting parts. ● Leveling: De-emphasizing/eliminating less interesting parts. ! ○ Examples ● Exaggerating a story when you tell it to friends ● Headlines ● News in general (the more dramatic, the better) ○ In the world as seen through the media, 80% of all crime is violent. ○ In the real world, only 20% of crime is violent.
  • 21. BIASES IN SECONDHAND INFORMATION ! ○ Distorted Secondhand Impressions ● Secondhand impressions of people might be extreme because we are receiving “sharpened” and “leveled” descriptions. ! ! ○ Ideological Distortions ● People might be biased when communicating information because they want to encourage other people to share views. ● Example: Both Republicans and Democrats tend to slant statistics in their favor to make the other side look worse.
  • 22. ORDER EFFECTS ○ Primacy Effect ● Information presented first has an overly strong influence on later judgments. ○ Recency Effect ● Information presented last has an overly strong influence on later judgments. Order of Presentation ! Even though the content is the same, an issue can be framed differently depending on the order in which it is presented.
  • 23. ORDER EFFECTS ○ Primacy Effect ● Information presented first has an overly strong influence on later judgments. ○ Recency Effect ● Information presented last has an overly strong influence on later judgments. Order of Presentation ! In surveys about life satisfaction and romantic satisfaction, the correlation is higher if you ask about romantic life first.
  • 24. ORDER EFFECTS: WHY? ○ Construal ● Many words are ambiguous ● Interpretation is colored by preceding information ! ! ○ Limited Cognitive Capacity ● Easier to pay attention to first and last items ! ! ○ Attention & Motivation ● We are “fast and frugal” with cognitive resources ● Put just enough effort in to do things right, then stop.
  • 25. PRIMACY EFFECTS ○ Primacy effects generally result from a tendency to pay great attention to stimuli presented early on and then lose focus during the presentation of later items. ! ○ Initial information affects how later info is construed. ! ● When “stubborn” comes after intelligent and industrious, it’s interpreted as “steadfast” or “determined.” ! ● When “stubborn” comes after envious, it’s interpreted as “closed-minded” or “rigid.”
  • 26. RECENCY EFFECTS ○ Typically result when the last items are easiest to recall. ! ○ The “Pimp Spot” ● Ever notice that the last performances on SYTYCD and American Idol are usually the best of the night and those contestants rarely get sent home that week?
  • 27. FRAMING EFFECTS ○ The influence on judgment resulting from the way that information is presented. ! ○ Spin Framing ● Changing the way something is phrased/framed so that it looks more favorable or unfavorable. ! ○ Paul Ryan’s Bipartisan Appeal: ○ http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon- august-13-2012/paul-ryan-s-bipartisan-appeal
  • 28. FRAMING EFFECTS ○ Positive vs. Negative Frames ● Phrased in terms of what you will gain or what you will lose? Frames In Real Life Credit card companies charge businesses a small amount of money for each transaction When credit cards were first being adopted, businesses didn’t know how to address this. Rather than angering customers by charging more for using credit cards (a negative frame), companies talked businesses into raising their baseline prices and offering “discounts” for using cash (a positive frame).
  • 29. FRAMING EFFECTS ○ What do you think sounds better? ● A) Ground beef that is 75% lean? ● B) Ground beef that is 25% fat? ! ! ○ Generally, meat described as 75% lean is considered more appealing than meat described as 25% fat.... ! ○ ...even though they mean exactly the same thing.
  • 30. FRAMING EFFECTS ○ Because negative information tends to attract more attention/have more of an impact (negativity bias), negatively framed info elicits a stronger response. ! ○ 82% of physicians recommended a surgery with a 90% survival rate, but only 56% recommended it when it was phrased as a 10% mortality rate. ! ○ People are willing to pay more to restore what was lost than bring about the same benefit anew (e.g. restore destroyed forests vs. grow more trees) – stronger response to negative information.
  • 31. HOW WE SEEK INFORMATION
  • 32. CONFIRMATION BIAS ○ The tendency to test a proposition by searching for evidence that would support it. ! ○ If you want to support a particular viewpoint/candidate/etc., you look for material that supports this POV and ignore material that does not. ! ○ People are more likely to readily accept information that supports what they want to be true, but critically scrutinize/discount information that contradicts you. ! ○ However, it is not necessarily this ideologically motivated; it can just mean that people only test hypotheses by trying to confirm them, not by trying to reject them.
  • 33. CONFIRMATION BIAS: 
 PERSON PERCEPTION ○ Snyder & Swann, 1978 ! ○ Introduced to a person ○ Had to ask questions to get to know him/her better. ! ○ Participants specifically asked to determine either… ○ Is this person extraverted? ○ Is this person introverted?
  • 34. CONFIRMATION BIAS: 
 PERSON PERCEPTION ! ! ○ When people were asked to determine if someone was introverted, asked questions like, “Do you enjoy being alone?” ! ! ○ When people were asked if someone was extraverted, asked questions like, “Do you enjoy large groups of people?” ! ! ○ If you really wanted a rational judgment, you should ask both kinds of questions, regardless of how the prompt was framed.
  • 35. CONFIRMATION BIAS: 
 RESEARCH QUESTIONS ○ Crocker, 1982 ! ○ Does practicing on the day of a match make players… ○ More likely to win? ○ More likely to lose? ! ○ Given access to a bunch of videotapes of past matches that they could watch to gather evidence to answer the question.
  • 36. CONFIRMATION BIAS: 
 RESEARCH QUESTIONS ○ Crocker, 1982 ○ More likely to win? ● Participants more likely to examine the cases of players who had worked out the day of a match and won. 20% 36% 52% 68% 84% 100% Practiced & Won Practiced & Lost Didn't Practice More Likely To Win? More Likely To Lose?
  • 37. CONFIRMATION BIAS: 
 RESEARCH QUESTIONS ○ Crocker, 1982 ○ More likely to lose? ● Participants more likely to examine the cases of players who had worked out the day of a match and lost. 20% 36% 52% 68% 84% 100% Practiced & Won Practiced & Lost Didn't Practice More Likely To Win? More Likely To Lose?
  • 38. CONFIRMATION BIAS: 
 RESEARCH QUESTIONS ○ Crocker, 1982 ○ Neither group showed much interest in number of players who didn’t practice and then won or lost...which you would need to know in order to really evaluate anything! 20% 36% 52% 68% 84% 100% Practiced & Won Practiced & Lost Didn't Practice More Likely To Win? More Likely To Lose?
  • 39. TOP-DOWN VS. BOTTOM-UP ○ Theory Driven ! ! ! ○ Filter and interpret new data based on what you already know ! ○ Base your judgments/ decisions on pre-existing expectations and knowledge. ○ Data Driven ! ! ! ○ Put together pieces of information to see what you get ! ○ Base your judgments/ decisions on the stimuli you encounter. Top-Down Processing Bottom-Up Processing Schemas!!
  • 40. WHAT IS A SCHEMA? ○ A cluster of related, meaningfully interdependent knowledge ○ Related information that is stored together Fast Food Restaurant Cheap Part of a chain Fattening Dirty Tasty College Courses 20+ students Some academic topic 1-3 exams Awesome instructors ☺ Squirrels Small Furry Easily Distracted Hides Acorns Oddly ballsy Interactions With Friends Be extraverted Be funny Be interesting Fun, relaxing
  • 41. PRIOR KNOWLEDGE ○ When we need to do something, we rely on the most readily accessible schema. ○ By the time we reach adulthood, we have encountered most stimuli/situations before. ○ Even if a situation is new, you can usually draw comparisons to situations you’ve already encountered. ● The first day of work will be similar to first day of class ● A date with someone new will be similar to other dates ○ We automatically activate & apply relevant schema. ! ○ Most of the time, this is a good thing! ● It would be inefficient to ignore the hard-earned knowledge you’ve gained just because situations aren’t 100% identical.
  • 42. SCHEMAS & PRIMING ○ Priming ● Words/stimuli presented outside of conscious awareness can prime schemas so they influence information processing ! ○ Most Famous Priming Study (Elderly Priming Study): ○ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g4_v4JStOU ! ○ Priming is when a schema is activated in your brain, so it can then be applied to subsequent judgments/actions. ! ○ In the Elderly Priming Study, people shown words relating to old people had the elderly schema activated, which made them walk slower.
  • 43. INFLUENCE OF SCHEMAS 1. Schemas Guide Attention ○ Attention is a limited resource. ○ We automatically allocate attention to relevant stimuli. ○ We are also very good at ignoring irrelevant stimuli. ○ What is relevant? What is irrelevant? ● That’s decided by your activated schemas. ○ Classic Examples: ● http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo&feature=player_embedded ● http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGQmdoK_ZfY&feature=related ○ Real Life Examples: ● Motorcycle Safety: You’re looking for cars, not bikers ● Lifeguarding: You’re looking for troublemakers, not drowning children
  • 44. INFLUENCE OF SCHEMAS 2. Schemas Guide Construal ○ New information almost always processed with top-down influences ! ○ Example: The “Donald Study” ● Participants were primed with two different word sets ○ ADVENTURE: Independent, Persistent, Self-Confident ○ RECKLESS: Aloof, Stubborn, Conceited ● They then read a story about Donald, who does something ambiguous (like cross the Atlantic alone in a tiny sailboat) ! ○ When they evaluated Donald, they rated him higher on traits consistent with the schemas they were exposed to. ● Those who saw “adventure” words judged him as adventurous. ● Those who saw “reckless” words judged him as reckless.
  • 45. INFLUENCE OF SCHEMAS 3. Schemas Guide Memory ○ We remember schema-consistent information better than schema-inconsistent behavior. ● Because schemas influence attention, also influence memory. ● We remember stimuli that capture the most of our attention. ○ Confirmation Bias: We’re on the lookout for behavior that confirms our schemas. Caveat: Behavior that is heavily schema-inconsistent will also be remembered very well (because it is surprising, which also captures attention).
  • 46. SCHEMAS AND MEMORY ○ Cohen, 1981 ● Participants watched video of a husband & wife having dinner. ● Half were told that the woman was a librarian, half a waitress. ● The video included an equal number of “events” that were consistent with either “librarian” or “waitress” stereotypes. ● Students later took a quiz to see what they remembered. ○ Was the woman drinking wine or beer? ○ Did she receive a history book or a romance novel as a gift? ! People remember stereotype-consistent information much more than stereotype-inconsistent information.
  • 47. REASON, INTUITION, 
 AND HEURISTICS
  • 48. Stimulus Reflective Impulsive Behavior AUTOMATIC VS. CONTROLLED PROCESSING ○ Dual Mode Theories: People have two “modes” ● Automatic: Impulsive, intuitive, immediate ● Controlled: Reasoned, rational, reflective ! ○ You always activate the automatic route. ○ The controlled route can be activated, but can also be bypassed (if you have low motivation or low ability).
  • 49. AUTOMATIC VS. CONTROLLED PROCESSING ○ Quick ! ○ Based on associations (schemas) ! ○ Can be done alongside other processes ! ○ Effortless; you may not even realize it’s happening ○ Slow ! ○ Uses rule-based reasoning (“if-then” statements) ! ○ Can only be done one-at-a- time ! ○ Effortful and/or deliberate; something you try to do. Automatic Controlled
  • 50. AUTOMATIC VS. CONTROLLED PROCESSING ○ Controlled processes can become automatic with time. ● Math is generally a controlled process ● 2 + 2 has become automatic through lots of practice ! ! ○ Automatic processes are the immediate judgments that you make when you first encounter a stimulus. ! ! ○ Controlled processes are the thoughtful judgments you make when you stop to think carefully.
  • 51. HEURISTICS ○ Common “intuitive system” processes ● A grab-bag of mental processes that are commonly used to make quick and efficient judgments & decisions ! ! The most famous/popular heuristics: 1. Representativeness Heuristic 2. Availability Heuristic 3. Fluency
  • 52. HEURISTICS ○ This is Linda. ! ○ Linda is: ● 31 years old ● Single ● Outspoken ! ○ As a student, Linda was deeply concerned with issues of social justice, and participated in anti- nuclear demonstrations. What is more probable? A) Linda is a bank teller B) Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement
  • 53. People who are bank tellers People who are bank tellers AND feminists
  • 54. HEURISTICS ○ Professor Smith teaches at UIUC. ! ○ He has black-rimmed glasses & reads poetry as a hobby. ! ! ○ What is more likely? ● A) Professor Smith teaches Philosophy ● B) Professor Smith teaches Engineering
  • 55. ! Engineering Professors Dark Hair Black-Rimmed Glasses Reads Poetry Philosophy Professors
  • 56. 1. The number of Engineering professors who have dark hair, black-rimmed glasses, and read poetry is very small, especially compared to all of the Engineering professors who don’t. ! 2. All of the Philosophy professors look and act this way. ! 3. BUT...chances are STILL greater that Professor Smith teaches Engineering, because of base rates. !Engineering Professors Dark Hair Black-Rimmed Glasses Reads Poetry Philosophy Professors
  • 57. REPRESENTATIVENESS HEURISTIC ○ Base Rate Neglect ! ○ Base Rate: Objective statistical (probability) information ! ○ People tend to underuse base- rate information. ! ○ This is particularly problematic when the base- rate is very low. !Engineering Professors Dark Hair Black-Rimmed Glasses Reads Poetry Philosophy Professors
  • 58. REPRESENTATIVENESS HEURISTIC ○ Make a judgment based on how similar target is to some prototype ○ Assume that members of a category should resemble the group’s prototype ○ Professor Smith ● There are more Engineering professors than Philosophy professors at UIUC ● If you had to make a guess using base rates, you should guess that Professor Smith is an Engineering professor (since there are more of them on campus). ○ However, you use the information about how representative he is of your Philosophy/Engineering professor stereotypes to sway your judgments.
  • 59. REPRESENTATIVENESS HEURISTIC ○ Base Rate Information ● Information about the relatively frequency of events or members of categories within the population. ! ! ○ Professor Smith Example ● There are very few Philosophy professors, but many Engineering professors ● No matter how much Professor Smith sounds like a “Philosophy” kind of guy, he probably is not, just because there are relatively few Philosophy professors on campus.
  • 60. REPRESENTATIVENESS HEURISTIC ○ Base Rate Information ● Information about the relatively frequency of events or members of categories within the population. ! ! ○ Linda the Bank Teller ● If Linda is a feminist bank teller, she has to be a bank teller ● There must be more “bank tellers” than “feminist bank tellers” ● However, the information that you have about Linda make you wrongly think it’s more likely that she fits into the smaller box
  • 61. REPRESENTATIVENESS HEURISTIC ○ Why do we have this heuristic? ● Representativeness often works ● Group prototypes are formed in the first place by averaging across everyone in the group, so there is a kernel of truth Representativeness Mantra: “This seems like...” Works to the extent that... There is some validity Group members cluster around the prototype You use representativeness as a “first step.”
  • 62. HEURISTICS ○ Are there more words in the English language that start with “K” or that have “k” as a third letter? ! ○ A) Start with “K” ○ B) Have “k” as the third letter
  • 63. HEURISTICS ○ What is a more likely cause of death in the U.S.? ! ○ A) Being killed by a shark ○ B) Being killed by falling airplane parts
  • 64. HEURISTICS ○ What is a more likely cause of death in the U.S.? ! ○ A) Homicide (Murder) ○ B) Suicide
  • 65. AVAILABILITY HEURISTIC ○ People make judgments based on how easy it is to bring relevant information to mind. ○ Underlying Assumption: Things that are easy to recall are more common, probable, correct, etc.
  • 66. AVAILABILITY HEURISTIC ○ People make judgments based on how easy it is to bring relevant information to mind. ○ Underlying Assumption: Things that are easy to recall are more common, probable, correct, etc. People think that more tornadoes happen in Kansas than Nebraska because it’s easy to think of Wizard of Oz, but the rates are equal.
  • 67. AVAILABILITY HEURISTIC ○ People make judgments based on how easy it is to bring relevant information to mind. ○ Underlying Assumption: Things that are easy to recall are more common, probable, correct, etc. People think that more tornadoes happen in Kansas than Nebraska because it’s easy to think of Wizard of Oz, but the rates are equal. People think it’s much more likely that they will die in a plane crash than a car accident, but it’s the other way around.
  • 68. AVAILABILITY HEURISTIC ○ Schwarz et al. (1991) ! ○ Participants recalled 6 (or 12) examples of being assertive (or unassertive) 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 6 examples 12 examples ...of Assertiveness ...of Unassertiveness HOW ASSERTIVE ARE YOU? People thought they were most assertive when they recalled a few examples of being assertive
  • 69. AVAILABILITY HEURISTIC ○ Schwarz et al. (1991) ! ○ Participants recalled 6 (or 12) examples of being assertive (or unassertive) 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 6 examples 12 examples ...of Assertiveness ...of Unassertiveness HOW ASSERTIVE ARE YOU? People thought they were most assertive when they recalled a few examples of being assertive, or many examples of being unassertive! ! Why?
  • 70. ○ Easy to recall 6 examples of something ○ Harder to recall 12 examples 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 6 examples 12 examples ...of Assertiveness ...of Unassertiveness 6 examples of being assertive... That was easy. I must be assertive. ! 6 examples of being unassertive... That was easy. I must not be very assertive. 12 examples of being assertive... That was hard. I must not be assertive. ! 12 examples of being unassertive... That was hard. I must be assertive.
  • 71. ○ Easy to recall 6 examples of something ○ Harder to recall 12 examples The availability heuristic occurs based on how easy it is to retrieve the information. 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 6 examples 12 examples ...of Assertiveness ...of Unassertiveness
  • 72. FIRST DAY OF CLASS QUESTIONS 4. You want your friend to come to a party with you, but she says that she is too shy to go to a big party. To convince her to come along, you should challenge her belief by... A) Reminding her that she liked the last party that she went to B) Telling her that this would be a good opportunity to test that belief C) Asking her to give you 10 good examples of times that she was actually outgoing D) Asking her to give you 10 good examples of times that she was actually shy ! Now you know why the answer was D!
  • 73. AVAILABILITY HEURISTIC: APPLIED ○ Dramatic, easy-to-remember events are assumed to be more frequent than “dull,” commonplace events ! ○ The likelihood of dramatic deaths (e.g. shark attacks) are way overestimated compared to commonplace deaths that are actually more likely (e.g. stroke, electrocution)
  • 74. The Summer of the Shark
  • 75. AVAILABILITY HEURISTIC: APPLIED ○ Group Projects ● Because you worked on your portion of a group project, it’s easy for you to recall exactly what you worked on ● Because you didn’t work on your partners’ portions, it’s not easy for you to recall exactly what they worked on ! ○ Result: People tend to overestimate their own contributions to joint projects.
  • 76. AVAILABILITY HEURISTIC: APPLIED ○ Marriage & Chores (Ross & Sicoly, 1979) ● Married couples were asked to give the percentage of the household chores that they did ○ Not surprisingly...estimates added up to over 100% ! ○ Both husbands and wives tended to think that they did more of the chores!
  • 77. FLUENCY ○ The feeling of ease associated with processing information ○ Some stimuli are easier to process than others ● For instance, unfamiliar or irregular words are harder to process than simple and familiar words ○ One common way to manipulate fluency is through font ● Though there are many, many other ways
  • 78. FLUENCY ○ The more fluent a stimulus is, the more it’s judged as... ● True/Correct ● Good/Desirable ● Important ● Memorable ! ○ The less fluent a stimulus is, the more likely it will be carefully scrutinized (analyzed in a deliberate way) ! ○ This is essentially another way of wording the availability heuristic; the easier information is to process/ recall, the more people like it and the more likely they are to actually use it in judgments
  • 79. FLUENCY ○ Disfluency is a signal to “slow down” and “be careful.” ! ! ○ Song & Schwarz (2008) ● Subjects were given a recipe ○ ½ were given a recipe that was difficult to read (due to font) ○ ½ were given a recipe that was easy to read ! ! ○ The subjects given the difficult-to-read recipe thought that the dish would be harder to make than those who saw it in an easy-to-read font!
  • 80. FLUENCY ○ So, is “fluent” always “better”? ● Not necessarily. ● It depends on what you WANT. ! ○ Remember... ● Fluent = Easy to remember, easy to process, like it more BUT... ● Disfluent = Pay more attention, process more carefully ! ○ If you want someone to pay extra close attention to what you are saying, it’s better to put it in a hard-to-read font!
  • 81. QUESTION ○ Hot Hand Effect ● Is a basketball player who has recently made several shots in a row more likely to make the next shot?
  • 82. ILLUSORY CORRELATION ○ The belief that two variables are correlated when in fact they are not ! ○ Occurs because of the representativeness and availability heuristics operating together ● Representativeness: Examples that represent what you believe to be true are easier to remember ● Availability: These examples also come to mind more easily ! ○ As a result, we overestimate the frequency of “representative” examples
  • 83. ILLUSORY CORRELATION: EXAMPLE ! ○ The “hot hand” effect does not exist ● Players are no more likely to make a shot immediately after a string of shots than immediately after a string of misses (Gilovich et al., 1985) ! ○ People are geared to see patterns in random events ● We don’t deal well with random sequences
  • 84. HOW MUCH DOES THIS DESCRIBE YOU? ○ You have a great need for others to like & admire you. ○ You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. ○ You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. ○ While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. ○ Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. ○ You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof. ○ At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved.
  • 85. THE “FORER EFFECT” Subjects give higher accuracy ratings if... ! ○ The subject believes analysis applies only to him/her ! ! ○ The subject believes in the authority of the evaluator ! ! ○ The analysis lists mostly positive traits, or turns weaknesses into strengths
  • 86. ILLUSORY CORRELATION: APPLIED ○ Horoscopes ● Also known as The Barnum Effect, after P.T. Barnum’s observation that “we’ve got something for everyone.” ● People will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personalities that are supposedly tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague & general enough to apply to pretty much anyone. ● If you read your horoscope every morning, you will notice the things that day that fit what the horoscope “predicted,” and then remember the pattern.
  • 87. ILLUSORY CORRELATION: APPLIED ○ Why does it always rain right after you wash your car?! ● It doesn’t. ● You just notice the rain after a car wash more because you’re looking out for it and you want to avoid it. ! ○ When it occurs, you’re upset and you remember it. ○ When it doesn’t occur, you don’t notice.
  • 88. ILLUSORY CORRELATION: APPLIED ○ As soon as you get a new car, suddenly everyone else on the road is driving the same car. ! ○ As soon as you think about a movie/actor/etc. for the first time in a while, suddenly you see references to it everywhere. “A pall came over the office; no one liked babies’ funerals. Robert thought, It always rains when we bury the babies. Then he thought that couldn’t be true really. But I’ll bring an umbrella just in case.” ! - Her Fearful Symmetry, p. 221
  • 89. YES, EVEN PEOPLE WHO TEACH THIS FOR A LIVING FALL VICTIM TO HEURISTICS. ! ! H66 License Plates Candace Bergen
  • 90. SUMMARY: 
 REASON, INTUITION, HEURISTICS Representativeness Heuristic “This seems like...” Availability Heuristic How easy is this to remember? Automatic vs. Controlled Processes - Quick, impulsive, effortless? OR - Slow, reasoned, deliberate? ! A main example of automatic processes that we discussed today are heuristics Fluency The easier it is to process/ understand, the more I like it
  • 91. SUMMARY: CHAPTER 4 ○ Information Available for Social Cognition ● Firsthand (Negativity Bias, Pluralistic Ignorance) ● Secondhand (Sharpening/Leveling, Exaggerations) ○ How Information is Presented ● Order effects, framing effects ○ How We Seek Information ● Confirmation bias ○ Top Down vs. Bottom Up Processing ● Data driven (bottom up) or theory driven (top down)? ● Top Down = Rely on schemas ○ Reason, Intuition, and Heuristics ● Heuristics simplify cognitive processing, but also leave us vulnerable to common judgmental biases
  • 92. CH. 4: MOST IMPORTANT POINTS ○ Primacy & Recency Effects ● Why do they occur? ! ○ Schemas & Memory ● Consistent vs. Inconsistent Info ! ○ Pluralistic Ignorance ! ○ Negativity Bias ! ○ Firsthand/Secondhand Biases ! ○ Bottom-Up/Top-Down Processing ○ Availability Heuristic ● Why does it occur? ! ○ Representativeness Heuristic ● Base Rate Neglect ! ○ What is priming? ● Elderly Priming Study ! ○ Confirmation Bias