55 terms

chapter 2

our current feelings or moods
Affective forecasts
predictions about how we would feel about events we have not actually experienced
Anchoring and adjustment heuristic
a heuristic that involves the tendency to use a number of value as a starting point to which we then make adjustments
Automatic processing
this occurs when, after extensive experience with a task or type of information, we reach the stage where we can perform the task or process the information in a seemingly effortless, automatic and non-conscious manner
Availability heuristic
a strategy for making judgments on the basis of how easily specific kinds of information can be brought to mind
Counterfactual thinking-
the tendency to imagine other outcomes in a situation than the ones that actually occurred ("What might have been")
Conditions of uncertainty
where the "correct" answer is difficult to know or would take a great deal of effort to determine
simple rules for making complex decisions or drawing inferences in a rapid manner and seemingly effortless manner
Information overload
instances in which our ability to process information is exceeded
Magical thinking
thinking involving assumptions that don't hold up to rational scrutiny; the belief that things that resemble one another share fundamental properties
a linguistic device that relates or draws a comparison between one abstract concept and another dissimilar concept
Mood congruence effects
the fact that we are more likely to store or remember positive information when in a positive mood and negative information when we are in a negative mood
Mood dependent memory-
the fact that what we remember while in a given mood may be determined in part by what we learned when previously in that mood
Optimistic bias
our predisposition to expect things to turn out well overall
Overconfidence barrier
the tendency to have more confidence in the accuracy of our own judgments than is reasonable
Perseverance effect
the tendency for beliefs and schemas to remain unchanged even in the face of contradictory information
Planning fallacy
the tendency to make optimistic predictions concerning how long a given task will take for completion
a situation that occurs when stimuli or events increase the availability in memory on consciousness of specific types of information held in memory
summary of the common attributes possessed by members of a category
Representativeness heuristic
a strategy for making judgments based on the extent to which current stimuli or events resemble other stimuli or categories
mental frameworks centering on a specific theme that help us to organize social information
Social cognition
the manner in which we interpret, analyze, remember and use information about the social world
Terror management
our efforts to come to terms with certainty of our own death and its unsettling implications
refers to the fact that the effects of the schemas tend to persist until they are somehow expressed in thought or behavior and only then do their efforts decrease
Social Cognition Definition
Two fundamental axioms
people create their own reality
situations influence thoughts, feelings, and behavior

How do people think about/organize information about their social worlds?
How people pay attention to, process, remember, and use information about the social world

Why is it important to understand how we make sense of our social world?
we are interdependent, social beings
Motivated to get along with others
it's important to understand who provides important resources
we attempt to make the world more predictable, if not controllable
Controlled Processing
Must have fully intentional control
to exercise intent, a person must
a) have options
b) make the hard choice (i.e., the non-dominant alternative)
c) pay attention
What is automatic processing?
Lack of awareness- "preconscious automaticity"

Lack of intention

Lack of control: "postconscious automaticity"

Lack of effort: result of practice
Short cuts to thinking

Representative heuristic
Base-rate fallacy
Process where recent experience increases the use of a concept or access to certain information
Availability heuristic
Factors that increase availability

Emotionality of events
Recency of events
Ease of visualization
Imagining events
Vividness of events or testimonials
representative heuristic
1. judge the probability of an event by finding event and assuming that the prabilities will be similar
2. base rate fallacy
Negativity bias
Pay more attention and give more weight to negative information

E.g., Prospect theory (Kahneman, 1979)
1. make choices (involves risks)
1. assume possible outcomes and how they relate
(loss or gain)
Optimistic bias:
It'll never happen to me!
Positive outcomes are overestimated (especially with respect to oneself)

Negative outcomes are underestimated
sampling bias
judgement on small sample (scued)
planning fallacy
idea that you can get more done than you actually can
confirmation bais
research- idea what think happens and find ideas that support own theory
should:disprove info
Counterfactual Thinking
(what might have been; what could I have done different?)
negative event-Imagine doing something different ("better")
Enhances positive mood
May allow for the development of new strategies for future use
eg: grad activity- 87% satisfied; 89% not satisfied
why? B+ feels hould have got an A
2 types of counterfactuals
1. Downward
a. imagine could be worse
-feel better
-not motivating
2. upward
a. imagine could be better
-feel worse
-more motivating
Illusory correlation
Associate random events to find significance
a. miss bus; wake up late-doesnt mean everything is against you
Illusion of control
Idea than chance events are subject to our influence
a. have influece over chance ("lucky charm")
Regression to the mean
a. if win once with rabbit foot doesnt increase chance of winning again
Mood-congruent judgment effect
when teacher evaluations come out tieacher gives you candy-makes you happy
Mood-dependent memory
Affect Infusion Model (AIM)
Affect triggers (primes) similar cognitive categories
Emotion acts as a shortcut (heuristic) to thinking
a. good mood-good memories
b. bad mood-bad memories
Affect and Cognition
Mood-congruent judgment effect
Mood-dependent memory
cognition and affect
sight of oncoming car (perception of stimulus)
...leads to either....
1. pounding heart (arousal)
2. cognitive lable (i am afraid)
...leads to
Fear (emotion)
Ironic processes
Attempts to avoid thoughts makes thoughts more accessible
2 opposing mechanisms
Self-fulfilling prophecies
Teacher and student expectations
Correlated with student achievement

Behavioral confirmation
Social expectations lead you to act in ways that cause others to confirm your expectations!

"Pygmalion effect"
Distortion of observations
Creation of demand characteristics that elicit predicted behaviors
Behavioral confirmation
Social expectations lead you to act in ways that cause others to confirm your expectations!
"Pygmalion effect"
Distortion of observations
Creation of demand characteristics that elicit predicted behaviors
Organizing Social Information
Problem: too much information
course content
my voice
what I'm wearing
what people around you are doing
what you've got to do after class
what you're missing on TV
Specificity matters

Provides clarity when faced with ambiguity

Resistant to change
Framework, or mental structure
Helps to organize information
Guides processing
Influences memory processes
Different Types of Schemas
Schemas about objects
Schemas about ourselves
Schemas about other people
e.g., trait schemas
Schemas about groups of people
e.g., stereotypes
cognitive frameworks that are organized around characteristics we ascribe to people based on their social categories
Schemas about events
e.g., scripts
Reconstruction not perfect
Combine fragments with moods and feelings
Memories stored with associations
Motivated to recall events in a better way
see ourselves better off now, "fit" memories to new self-concept
Schemas and behavior
Physical attractiveness of female described to males
-->Females did not know how they were described to males
-->Females behavior was warmer and more friendly when they were described to the male as "attractive"

Low-->Phone conversation with males
high-->Males were warmer, more friendly, and used more humor when talking to the "attractive" female
Schemas in summary
schemas allow us to organize social information
schemas aid our memory, provide clarity
schemas are resistant to change, bias our information processing
schemas take different forms
Dealing with Social Cognitive Limitations
Ways to become better thinkers
statistical reasoning
e.g., pay attention to the base rates
law of large numbers
a large sample size is better (i.e., more accurate)
be critical consumers of information