8 HUS 133 Social Cognition


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8 HUS 133 Social Cognition

  1. 1. Social Cognition Chapter 8 1 of 34
  2. 2. Social Judgment Processes 2 of 34
  3. 3. Social Judgment ProcessesLearning Objectives• What is the negativity bias in impression formation, and how does it influence older adult’s thinking?• Are there age differences in accessibility of social information?• How does processing context influence social judgments?• To what extent do processing capacity limitations influence social judgments in older adults? 3 of 34
  4. 4. Social Judgment ProcessesImpression Formation• Declines in cognitive processing resources might impact the social judgment process. – Research suggests that we make initial snap judgments and later correct or adjust them based on more reflective thinking. • Thus, age-related changes in processing capacity might make older adults more vulnerable to social judgment biases. 4 of 34
  5. 5. Social Judgment ProcessesImpression Formation (cont.)• When forming an initial impression – Older adults also use less detailed information. • Due to deficiencies in memory capacity• Older adults also weigh negative information more heavily in their social judgments than young adults do. – In particular, older adults are more willing to change their initial impression from positive to negative. – But are less willing to change an initial from negative to positive even in light of new positive information 5 of 34
  6. 6. Social Judgment ProcessesKnowledge Accessibility and Social Judgments• When we are faced with new situations, we draw on our previous experiences stored in memory. – To do so: • Social knowledge structures must be available to guide behavior. • Social information must also be accessible to guide behavior. 6 of 34
  7. 7. Social Judgment ProcessesA Processing Capacity Explanation for AgeDifferences in Social Judgments• Declines in cognitive processing resources might impact the social judgment process. – Research suggests that we make initial snap judgments and later correct or adjust them based on more reflective thinking. • Thus, age-related changes in processing capacity might make older adults more vulnerable to social judgment biases. 7 of 34
  8. 8. Social Knowledge Structures and Beliefs 8 of 34
  9. 9. Social Knowledge Structures and BeliefsLearning Objectives• What are social knowledge structures and social beliefs?• What are social beliefs, and how do they change with age? 9 of 34
  10. 10. Social Knowledge Structures and BeliefsUnderstanding Age Differences in Social Beliefs• Does the content of our social knowledge and beliefs change as we grow older?• How do our knowledge structures and beliefs affect our social judgments, memory, problem solving, and more? 10 of 34
  11. 11. Social Knowledge Structures and BeliefsUnderstanding Age Differences in Social Beliefs• Understanding age differences in social belief systems has three important aspects: 1. We must examine the specific content of social beliefs. 2. We must consider the strength of these beliefs to know under what conditions they may influence behavior. 3. We need to know the likelihood that these beliefs are being violated or questioned. 11 of 34
  12. 12. Social Knowledge Structures and BeliefsUnderstanding Age Differences in Social Beliefs• Age differences were found in the types of social rules evoked in different types of situations. – The belief “Marriage is more important that a career” increases with age. – Compare with “The marriage was already in trouble” (Figure 8.2)• Cohort differences can be profound. 12 of 34
  13. 13. Social Judgments and Causal Attributions 13 of 34
  14. 14. Social Judgments and Causal AttributionsLearning Objectives• What are causal attributions?• What is the correspondence bias?• How does the nature of our causal attributions change with age?• What alternative explanations are there for the dispositional bias found in older adults? 14 of 34
  15. 15. Social Judgments and Causal AttributionsAttributional Biases• Causal attributions – Explanations people construct to explain their behavior• Dispositional attributions – Behavioral explanations that reside within the person• Situational attributions – Behavioral explanations that reside outside the person• Correspondence bias – Relying on dispositional information and ignoring situational information 15 of 34
  16. 16. Motivation and Social Processing Goals 16 of 34
  17. 17. Motivation and Social Processing GoalsLearning Objectives• How do goals influence the way we process information, and how does this change with age?• How do emotions influence the way we process information, and how does this change with age?• How does a need for closure influence the way we process information, and how does it change with age? 17 of 34
  18. 18. Motivation and Social Processing GoalsPersonal Goals• Personal goals play a major role in creating direction in our lives.• Selective optimization with compensation (SOC) is an important theoretical model. – Growing older causes shift in priorities. • Re-evaluating interests• Shifting priorities means goal selection may be perceived differently by older and younger adults.• Goal selection requires that we thoughtfully choose where to invest resources. 18 of 34
  19. 19. Motivation and Social Processing GoalsEmotions as a Processing Goal• Older adults avoid negative information and focus more on positive information when making decisions and judgments, and when remembering events. – Phenomenon is called a positivity effect. – Emotions may impede information processing. – Focus on positive information can interfere with decision making by causing older adults to miss important negative information. 19 of 34
  20. 20. Motivation and Social Processing GoalsCognitive Style as a Processing Goal• People with high need for closure and an inability to tolerate ambiguous situations: – Prefer order and predictability – Are uncomfortable with ambiguity – Are closed-minded – Prefer quick and decisive answers• It may be that limited cognitive resources and motivational differences are both age-related.• Declines in working memory may be related to need for closure. 20 of 34
  21. 21. Stereotypes and Aging 21 of 34
  22. 22. Stereotypes and AgingLearning Objectives• How does the content of stereotypes about aging differ across adulthood?• How do young and older adults perceive the competency of the elderly?• How do negative stereotypes about aging unconsciously guide our behavior? 22 of 34
  23. 23. Stereotypes and AgingContent of Stereotypes• A special kind of social knowledge structure or social belief that represent organized prior knowledge about a group of people that affects how we interpret new information – Young and older adults hold similar stereotypes about aging. 23 of 34
  24. 24. Stereotypes and AgingAge Stereotypes and Perceived Competence• An age-based double standard operates when people judge older adults’ failures in memory. – In this case, younger adults judge older adults who are forgetful more harshly than older adults do. – However, younger adults also make positive judgments about older adults being more responsible despite such memory failures. 24 of 34
  25. 25. Stereotypes and AgingActivation of Stereotypes• Implicit stereotypes – Automatically activated negative stereotypes about aging guide behavior beyond our awareness. • Implicit negative stereotypes can negatively influence performance.• Implicit stereotyping influences the way we communicate with older adults. – Patronizing talk • Includes slow speech, simple vocabulary, careful enunciation, a demeaning emotional tone, and superficial conversation 25 of 34
  26. 26. Stereotypes and AgingStereotype Threat• An evoked fear of being judged in accordance with a negative stereotype about a group to which you belong – Do negative stereotypes influence the cognitive functioning of older adults? – Middle-aged adults are also susceptible to negative age stereotypes. – Influence of stereotypes is not restricted to memory. • Physical aging is also a negative aging stereotype. 26 of 34
  27. 27. Personal Control 27 of 34
  28. 28. Personal ControlLearning Objectives• What is the multidimensionality of personal control?• How do assimilation and accommodation influence behavior?• What is primary and secondary control?• What is the primacy of primary control over secondary control? 28 of 34
  29. 29. Personal ControlMultidimensionality of Personal Control• Personal control is the degree to which one believes that one’s performance in a situation depends on something that one personally does.• One’s sense of control depends on which domain, such as intelligence or health, is being assessed. 29 of 34
  30. 30. Personal ControlControl Strategies• Brandtstädter(1999) proposes that the preservation and stabilization of a positive view of the self and personal development in later life involve three interdependent processes: – Assimilative activities • Used when one must prevent losses important to self-esteem – Accommodations • Involve readjusting one’s goals and aspirations – Immunizing mechanisms • Alter the effects of self-discrepant information 30 of 34
  31. 31. Personal ControlControl Strategies (Cont.)• Heckhausen and Schulz view control-related strategies in terms of primary and secondary control. – Primary control helps change the environment to match one’s goals. • It involves bringing the environment into line with one’s desires and goals. – Secondary control reappraises the environment in light of one’s decline in functioning. • The individual turns inward toward the self and assesses the situation. – Control strategies are what one does, actions taken, to bring the environment in line with goals. 31 of 34
  32. 32. Personal ControlSome Criticisms Regarding Primary Control• Cross-cultural perspectives challenge the notion of primacy and primary control.• In collectivists societies, the emphasis is not on individualistic strategies such as those found in primary control, but to establish interdependence with others, to be connected to them, and bound to a large social institution. 32 of 34
  33. 33. Social Situations and Social Competence 33 of 34
  34. 34. Social Situations and Social CompetenceLearning Objectives• What is the social facilitation of cognitive functioning?• What is collaborative cognition, and does it facilitate memory in older adults?• How does the social context influence memory performance in older adults? 34 of 34
  35. 35. Social Situations and Social CompetenceCollaborative Cognition• Occurs when two or more people work together to solve a cognitive task• Collaborating with others in recollection helps facilitate memory in older adults• Findings indicate that well-acquainted older couples demonstrate an expertise to develop an adaptive pattern of recalling information. 35 of 34
  36. 36. Social Situations and Social CompetenceSocial Context and Memory• Importantly, the social context can serve a facilitative function in older adults’ memory performance.• Thus, it is important not to limit our explanations of social cognitive change simply to cognitive processing variables, but to also include social factors. 36 of 34
  37. 37. The End 37 of 34