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Transcript
Chapter 20
Social Cognition
Section 1: Attitudes
 Attitudes are beliefs and feelings about objects, people and
events that lead people to behave in certain ways.
How attitudes Develop
 Factors that play a role in attitude development include:
 Conditioning, or the ways that we are reinforced as we grow
up, plays an important role in developing attitudes.
 People often develop attitudes about what is positive or
negative by observing others, or through observational
learning.
 People form attitudes on the basis of their evaluation of
information. This process is known as cognitive evaluation.
 Attitudes formed early tend to serve as cognitive anchors
that keep people from adopting different attitudes.
Attitudes and behavior
 Behavior tends to be linked with attitudes. However, the link
between attitudes and behavior is not always strong.
 Behavior is likely to follow attitudes when the attitudes are
specific, strongly held, personally relevant and verbalized.
 Example:You believe strongly in protecting the planet, so you choose
to recycle.
 Attitudes often follow behavior to reduce cognitive
dissonance.
 Example:You know you need to get 8 hrs of sleep, however your work
schedule does not allow enough time, so you convince yourself that
you only need 6 hrs.
Section 2: Persuasion
 Persuasion – a direct attempt to influence other people’s
attitudes
Methods of Persuasion
 Central Route: uses evidence and logical arguments to
persuade people
 Example: “Great Grains cereal is good for you because it is
high in fiber and ….”
 Peripheral Route: attempts to associate objects, people or
events with positive or negative feelings.
Message
 Repeated exposure to a stimulus eventually results in a more
favorable attitude toward that stimulus.
 Some ways of presenting a persuasive message can be
especially effective:
1. Two - Sided Argument – present both sides of argument in
order to discredit opponents views
2. Emotional Appeals - persuade by arousing feelings such as
loyalty, desire, or fear.
Example: Montana anti-Crystal Methamphetamine billboards
Messenger
 People tend to be more persuasive if they are:
1. Experts (ex. 9-10 doctors recommend..)
2. Trustworthy (ex. Oprah’s book club…)
3. Physically attractive (ex. pick one)
4. Similar to audience in ethnicity, age and other physical
characteristics
Situation
 People are more easily persuaded when they are in a good
mood
Audience
 Differences in age, sex and other characteristics of intended
audience influence how the message should be delivered to
be the most persuasive.
Saying no to persuasive Messages
 Some people are less easily persuaded than others.
 These people are said to have sales resistance.
 People with sales resistance typically have high self esteem
and low social anxiety.
 People with low self esteem and high social anxiety tend to
be more easily persuaded.
Section 3: prejudice
 Prejudice – generalized attitude toward a specific group of
people
 Literally means to prejudge
 People who are prejudiced judge other people on the basis of
their group membership rather than as individuals.
Stereotypes
 - unchanging, oversimplified and usually distorted beliefs
about groups of people.
 People tend to develop stereotypes in an effort to simplify
and organize information about the people around them
 Stereotypes are harmful because they ignore the individual
nature of people
Discrimination
 While prejudices are beliefs, they can lead to discrimination
 Discrimination – the unfair treatment of individuals because
they are members of a particular group
Causes of prejudice
 Exaggerating Differences – assume those that are different in
some ways are more different than they really are
 Justifying Economic Status – rich may see poor as lazy, which
may make it to pay low wages
 Social Learning – acquire prejudicial attitudes of family
members, peers
Causes of prejudice
 Victimization – victims of prejudice may treat those lower
than themselves in much the same way in order to gain
feeling or power, self-worth
 Scapegoating – aggression toward individual or group blamed
for a problem
Overcoming prejudice
 Increased contact between members of different groups
 Speak up against prejudice
 Consciously avoiding allowing prejudicial attitudes to turn
into discrimination
Section 4: Social Perception
 Social Perception – refers to ways in which people perceive
one another
Primacy and Recency Effects
 Primacy Effect – tendency for people to form opinions of
others on the basis of first impressions
 How future behaviors are interpreted is often influenced by
first impressions
Primacy and Recency Effects
 Recency Effect – occurs when people change their opinions
of others on the basis of recent interactions instead of holding
on to their first impressions
Attribution Theory
 - people tend to explain the behavior of others in terms of
either dispositional, or personality, factors or in terms of
situational, or external factors
Actor – Observer Bias
 - people tend to attribute the behavior of others to
dispositional, or personality, factors, and attribute their own
behavior to situational, or external, factors.
 - We are more likely to recognize the complexity of our own
personality, and realize that our behavior is not necessarily
indicative of who we are
Fundamental Attribution Error
 - tendency to overestimate the effect of dispositional cases
for another person’s behavior, and to underestimate the effect
of the situation
Self-Serving Bias
 People are more likely to attribute their own successes to
dispositional, or personality factors
 Less likely to attribute their failures to personality factors,
more likely to attribute them to the situation
Nonverbal Communication
 Examples: facial expressions, gestures, posture
 We use interpretation of body language to pick up on
unspoken thoughts or feelings that we do not have access to
Physical Contact
 Touching is one way in which people communicate
nonverbally
 Interpretation of touch depends on many factors
Eye Contact
 Direct eye contact – talker is usually telling the truth
 Avoidance of eye contact – may indicate lying
 Gazing – steady, intent looks, conveys eagerness or attention
 Staring – fixed, wide eyes, tends to be interpreted as anger
Section 5: Interpersonal Attraction



1.
2.
3.
Attraction – attitude of liking
Leads to friendship or love
Factors that attract us include:
Appearance
Similarity to ourselves
Evidence that our attraction is returned
Physical Appearance
 People’s ideas of what is attractive differ
 Universals of Beauty: studies find we are attracted to people
who are smiling, have large eyes, high cheekbones, narrow
jaws
 Study found that infants found faces attractive that adults also
rated as attractive
 This evidence suggests we may be born with a predisposition
to find certain types of physical features attractive
Difference in Body Shape
Preference
 Great variation in preferences for body shape
 Men tend to view themselves as closer to ideal body shape
than women
 Studies found that many men prefer their partners to be
shorter, women prefer their men to be taller
Similarity and Reciprocity
 In general, we are more attracted to people who are like us
Similarity in Physical Attractiveness


Matching Hypothesis – people tend to choose as friends
and partners those who are similar to themselves in
attractiveness
This may be caused by fear of rejection
Similarity in other Characteristics
 We are most likely to choose friends and partners who are
similar to us in part because we are most likely to live around
these people
 In addition, people tend to be attracted to those with similar
attitudes
Reciprocity
 - mutual exchange of feelings or attitudes
 We are more likely to like people who we believe like us
Friendship

1.
2.
3.
4.
Friends tend to be people:
With whom we have frequent contact
Who we find attractive
Who approve of us
Who are similar to us in important ways, such as attitudes
Love

1.
2.
3.
4.
Used in different contexts. For example:
Parents and children
Partners
Patriotism
Activities one is passionate about
Sternberg’s Triangular Model of
Love

1.
2.
3.

Identifies seven types of love relationships
Intimacy: closeness and caring
Passion: feelings of romantic and sexual attraction
Commitment: want to be together for better or worse
Consummate (complete) love is made up of all three =
intimacy + passion + commitment