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122 Cards in this Set

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spotlight effect
- We have a self-focused perspective

- Therefore, we overestimate our conspicuousness

- We see ourselves at center stage and overestimate the extent to which others' attention is aimed at us.

- What we agonize over, others may hardly notice and soon forget.

-- The belief that others are paying more attention to one's appearance and behavior than they really are.
illusion of transparency
- Fewer people notice than we presume.

- We presume that we should our emotions and that other people will notice.

- Actually, we can be more opaque than we realize.

-- The illusion that our concealed emotions leak out and can be easily read by others.
seocial surrounding affect our self-awareness.
- As individuals in a group of a different culture, race, or gender, we notice how we differ and how others are reacting to our difference.
self-interest colors our social judgment.
- When problems arise in a close relationship, we usually attribute more responsibility to our partners than ourselves.

- When things go well, we see ourselves as more responsibile.
self-concern motives our social behavior.
- In hopes of making a positive impression, we agonize about our appearance.

- We also monitor others' behavior and expectation and adjust our behavior accordingly.
social relationships help define our self.
- In our varied relationships, we have varying selves.

- How we think of ourselves is linked to whom we are in a relationship with at the moment.
control of behavior
- Much of our behavior is not consciously controlled but rather automatic and unself-conscious.

- The self controls other conscious aspects, but the self can sometimes be an impediment to a satisfying life.
self-concept
- Who am I?

-- A person's answers to the question "Who am I?"
where does sense of self come from?
- Neuroscientists are exploring the brain activity that underlies our constant sense of being oneself.

- Some studies suggest an important role for the right-hemisphere.

- The medial prefrontal cortext helps stitch together your sense of self.
self-schemas
- The elements of your self-concept, the specific beliefs by which you define yourself

- Schemas are mental templates by which we organize our worlds

- Our self-schemas powerfully affect how we perceive, remember, and evaluate other people and ourselves.

- The self-schemas that make up our self-concepts help us organize and retrieve our experiences.

-- Beliefs about self that organize and guide the processing of self-relevant information
self-reference effect
- How the self influence memory

- When information is relevant to our self-concepts, we process it quickly and remember it well.

- Thus, memories form around our primary interest: ourselves.

- When we think about something in relation to ourselves, we remember it better.

- The self-reference effect illustrates a basic fact of life: our sense of self is at the center of our worlds.

-- The tendency to process efficiently and remember well information related to oneself.
possible selves
- Our self-concepts include not only our self-schemas about who we are currently are but also who we might become - our possible selves.

- Our possible selves include our visions of the self we dream of becoming.

- They also include the self we fear of becoming.

- Such possible selves motivate us with a vision of the life we long for.

-- Images of what we dream of or dread becoming in the future.
development of the social self
- There is a genetic influence on personality and self-concept, but social experience also plays a part.

- Among these influences are
- the roles we play
- the social identities we form
- the comparisons we make with others
- our successes and failures
- how other people judge us
- the surrounding culture
development of the social self

the roles we play
- As we enact a new role (college student, parent, salesperson, etc), we initially feel self-conscious.

- Gradually, however, what begins as play-acting in the theater of life is absorbed into our sense of self.

- Role playing becomes reality.
development of the social self

social identity
- The social definition of who you are (race, religion, gender, academic major, etc), also implies a definition of who you are not.

- When we're part of a small group surrouned by a larger group, we are often conscious of our social identity.

- When our social group is in the majority, we think less about it.

- Minority identity phenomenon
development of the social self

social comparisons
- Others around us help to define the standard by which we define ourselves.

- We feel better about ourselves when we think others are inferior.

- Social comparisons can also diminish our satisfaction.

- When we increase ourselves, we "compare upward" - we raise the standards by which we measure ourselves.

- When facing competition, we often protect our shaky self-concept by perceiving the competitor as advantaged.

-- Evaluating one's abilities and opinion by comparing oneself with others.
development of the social self

success and failure
- To undertake challenging yet realistic challenges and to succeed is to feel more competent.

- To do one's best and achieve is to feel more confident and empowered.

- Sucess feeds self-esteem. Feelings follow reality.

- Low self-eteem does sometimes cause problems. Problems and failures can cause low self-esteem.
development of the social self

other people's judgments
- When people think well of us, it helps us think well of ourselves.

- The looking glass self - our use of how we think other perceive us as a mirror for perceiving ourselves. What matters for our self-concepts is not how others actually see us but the way we imagine they see us.

- People generally feel freer to praise than criticize. We may therefore overestimate others' appraisal and inflate our self-images.

- Self-inflation is found most strikingly in Western countries

- Having a deep-seated need to belong, we feel the pain of low self-esteem when we face social exclusion.

- Self-esteem is a psychological gauge by which we monitor and react to how others appraise us.
individualism
- Prominent in industrialized Western cultures

- Identity is pretty much self-contained

- The psychology of Western cultures assumes that your life will be enriched by defining your possible selves and believing in your power of personal control.

- Western literature praises the self-reliant individual

-- The concept of giving priority to one's own goals over group goals and defining one's identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications.

- Self-esteem is more personal and less relational. Threaten our personal identity and we'l lfeel angrier and gloomier than when someone threatens our collective identity.

- Western individualists like to make comparisons with others to boost self-esteem.

- Individualist cultures bree more conflict (and crime and divorce) between individuals.
collectivism
- Most cultures native to Asia, Africa, and Central and South America

- They nurture the interdependent self

- People are more self-critical and have less need for positive self-regard

-- Giving priority to the goals of one's groups (often one's extended family or work group) and defining one's identity accordingly.

- Collectivism results not only in social relations that differ from those in the individualistic West, but also in different ways of thinking.

- East Asians think more holistically - perceiving and thinking about objects and people in relationship to one another and to their environment.

- Self-esteem in collectivist cultures correlates closely with "what others think of me and my group."

- Self-concept is malleable (context-specific) rather than stable (enduring across situations.

- Asian collectivists make comparisons (often upward, with those doing better) in ways that facilitate self-improvement.

- Conflict in collectivist cultures often is between groups
interdependent self
- Constructing one's identity in relation to others.

- One has a greater sense of belonging. Uprooted and cut off from family, colleagues, and loyal friends, interdependent people would lose the social connections that define who they are. They have not one self but many selves.

- The interdependent self is embedded in social memberships.

- The goal of social life is not so much to enhance one's individual self as to harmonize with and support one's communities.
self-knowledge
- We readily form beliefs about ourselves, and we don't hesitate to explain why we feel and act as we do.

- Yet sometimes we think we know, but our inside information is wrong.
self-knowledge

explaining our behavior
- Sometimes we know. Sometimes we do know. Asked why we have felt or acted as we have, we produce plausible answers. Yet, when causes are sublte, our self-explanations are often wrong. We may dismiss factors that matter and inflate others that dont.

- How much insight do we really have into what makes us happy or unhappy?

- And how much insight do we have into our own freedom of will? People will feel that they have willed an action when their action-related thought precedes a behavior that seems otherwise unexplainable. The brain generates an intuition of personal efficacy.

- When explaining their actions, people sometimes err.
confederate
- An accomplice of the experimenter.
self-knowledge

predicting our behavior
- People also err when predicting their behavior

- People also frequently err when predicting the fate of their relationships.

- The people who know you can probably predict your behavior in a variety of situations better than you can.

- How can you improve your self-predictions? Consider your past behavior in similar situations.
self-knowledge

predicting our feelings
- Sometimes we know how we will feel.

- Other times we may mispredict our responses.

- Studies of "affective forecasting" reveal that people have the greatest difficulty predicting the intensity and the duration of their future emotions.

- Our intuitive theory seems to be (1) we want (2) we get (3) we are happy. However, we often "miswant."

- impact bias - Faster than we expect, the motional traces of such good tidings evaporate.

- We are especially prone to impact bias after negative effects.

- Nothing that you focus on will make as much difference as you think.

- People neglect the speed and the power of their psychological immune system. Being largely ignorant of our psychological immune system (immune neglect), we adapt to hard times more readily than we would expect.

- Ironically, major negative events can be less enduringly distressing than minor irritations (which don't activate our defenses.)
impact bias
-- Overestimating the enduring impact of emotion-causing events.

- Impact bias is important because people's "affective forecasts" influence their decisions.
"affective forecasts"
- People's predictions of their future emotions
psychological immune system
- Strategies for rationalizing, discounting, forgiving, and limiting emotional trauma.
immune neglect
-- The human tendency to neglect the spped and strength of the psychological immune system, which enables emtional recovery and resiliance after bad things happen.
self-knowledge

the wisdom and illusions of self-analysis
- When the causes of our behavior are conspicuous and the correct explanation fits our intution, our self-perceptions will be accurate.

- When the causes of behavior are obvious to an observer, they are usually obvious to us as well.

- We are unaware of much that goes on in our minds. We are more aware of the results of our thinking than of its process.

- The mental processes that control our social behavior are distinct from the mental processes through which we explain our behavior. Our rational explanations may therefore omit the unconscious attitudes that actually guide our behavior.

- We have a dual attitude system.

- An analysis of reasons rather than feelings may be most useful when dealing with important, cognitive decisions. Although the heart has its reasons, sometimes the mind's own reasons are decisive.

- Self-reports are often untrustworthy. Errors in self-understanding limit the scientific usefulness of subjective personal reports.

- The sincerity with which people report and interpret their experience is no guarantee of the validity of those reports.
dual attitudes
- Our automatic implicit attitudes regarding someone or something often differ from our consciously controlled, explicit attitudes.

-- Difffering implicit (automatic) and explicit (consciously controlled) attitudes toward the same object. Verbalized explicit attitudes may change with education and persuasion. Implicit attitudes change slowly, with practice that forms new habits.
self-esteem
- Our overall self-evaluation.

-- A person's overall self-evaluation or sense of self-worth

- Is self-esteem the sum of all our self-schemas and possible selves?
- Jennifer Crocker - When we feel good about the domains important to our self-esteem, we will have high self-esteem.
- Brown and Dutton - People who value themselves in a general way (who have high self-esteem) are more likely to value their looks, abilities, etc.

- Feeling good about one-self in a general way casts a rosy flow over one's specific self-schemas and possible selves.
self-esteem motivation

self-esteem maintenance
- Between two people, people's perceiving one of them as more capable than the other will motivate the less able one to act in ways that maintain self-esteem.

- Self-esteem threats occur among friends, married partners, etc
- We may reduce the threat by affirming our relationship.

- Relationships enable surviving and thriving. The self-esteem gauge alerts us to threatened social rejection, motivating us to act with greater sensitivity to others' expectations.

- Social rejection lowers our self-esteem and makes us more eager for approval. This pain can motivate action - self-improvement and a search for acceptance and inclusion elsewhere.
"dark side" of self-esteem
- Low self-esteem predicts increased risk of depression, drug abuse, and some forms of delinquency.

- For people with low self-esteem, even a public succes can be aversive, by provoking anxiety that he or she will never live up to others' heightened expectations.

- High self-esteem fosters initiative, resilience, and pleasant feelings.

- Finding their favorable self-esteem threatened, people often react by putting others down, sometimes with violence.

- Wounded pride can motivate retaliation.

- High self-esteem folks are more likely to be obnoxious, to interrupt, and to talk at people rather than with them - in contract to the more shy, modest, self-effacing folks with low self-esteem.)

- Do big egos conceal inner low self-esteem? Studies of bullies, gang members, dictators, and narcissists have not found it.

- People expressing low self-esteem are more vulnerable to assorted clinical problems (anxiety, loneliness, eating disorders).

- Low self-esteem people often take a negative view of everything.

- When we feel securely good about ourselves, we are less defensive, less thin-skinned, less judgmental - less likely to inflate those who like us and berte those who don't.

- Self-esteem comes in two forms - explicit (conscious) and implicit (outside awareness).

- People with high explicit self-esteem may not have high implicit self-esteem. When there is consistency, they appear more secure, behave less defensively, and display less prejudice.

- Secure self-esteem is conducive to long-term well-being

- Those whose self-worth was most fragile - most contingent on external sources - experienced more stress, anger, relationship problems, drug and alcohol abuse, and eating disorders than those whose worth was rooted more on internal sources, such as personal virtues.

- Pursuit of self-esteem over time can fail to satisfy our deep needs for competence, relationship, and autonomy. To focus less on one's self-image, and more on developing one's talents and relationships, eventually leads to greater well-being.
secure self-esteem
one rooted more in feeling good about who one is than on grades, looks, money, or others' approval
perceived self-control
- The self's action capacity has limits.

- Effortful self-control depletes our limited willpower reserves. Self-control operates similarly to muscular strength. Both are weaker after exertion, replenished with rest, and strengthened by exercise.

- Although the self's energy can be temporarily depleted, our self-concepts do influence our behavior. People who imagine themselves as hardworking and successful outperform those who imagine themselves as failures.

- Envision your positive possibilities and you become more likely to plan and enact a successful strategy.
self-efficacy
-- A sense that one is competent and effective, distinguished from self-esteem, one's sense of self-worth.

- Believing in our own competence and effectiveness pays dividends.

- Children and adults with strong feelings of self-efficacy are more persistent, less anxious, and less depressed - live healthier lives and more academically successful.

- Self-efficacy leads us to set challenging goals and to persist.

- Self-efficacy perdicts worker productivity

- Competence plus persistence equals accomplishment. And with accomplishment, self-confidence grows. Self-efficacy, like self-esteem, grows with hard-won acheivements.

- Even subtle manipulations of self-efficacy can affect behavior.

- If you believe you can do something, will that belief necessarily make a difference? That depends on a second factor: Do you have control over your outcomes?
locus of control
- Some people seem to persistently feel that what happens to them is governed by external forces of one kinf or another, while others feel that what happens to them is governed largely by their own efforts and skill.

-- The extent to which people perceive outcomes as internally controllable by their own efforts and actions or as externally controlled by chance or outside forces.

- Are you more often in charge of your destiny, or a victim of circumstance?

- How much control we feel is related to how we explain setbacks.

- When faced with a setback, successful people are likely to see it as a fluke or to think "I need a new approach."
learned helplessness vs self-determination
-- Learned helplessness - the hopelessness and resignation learned when a human or an animal perceives no control over repeated bad events.

- Depressed or opressed people become passive because they believe their efforts have no effect.
- Suffer from paralysis of the will, passive resignation, even motionless apathy.

- People benefit by training their self-control "muscles."
- Students who practiced self-control by daily exercise, regular study, and time management became more capable of self-control in other settings.

- Systems of governing or managing people that promote personal control will indeed promote health and happiness
learned helplessness vs self-determination

the costs of excess choice
- An excess of freedom - causes decreased life satisfaction and increased clinical depression.

- Too many choices can lead to paralysis - tyranny of freedom

- With more choice comes information overload and more opportunities for regret.

- People have expressed greater satisfaction with irrevocable choices than with reversible choices.

- Ironically, people like and will pay for the freedom to reverse their choices. Yet that freedom can inhibit the psychological processes that manufacture satisfaction.

- Although freedom can be taken to an extreme, personal control generally supports human thriving

- Self-efficacy is fed by social persuasion and by self-persuasion. Modeling - seeing similar others succeed with effort, helps also

- But the biggest source of self-efficacy is mastery experiences. Successes build a tobust belief in one's efficacy.
self-serving bias
- It is widely believed that most of us suffer low self-esteem.

- Actually most of us have a good reputation with ourselves.

- In studies of self-esteem, even low-scoring people respond in the midrage of possible scores.

-- The tendency to perceive oneself favorably
self-serving bias

explaining positive and negative events
- People accept credit when told they have succeeded. They attribute the success to their ability and effort, but they attribute failure to external factors.

- Situations that combine skill and change (games, exams, job applications) are especially prone to this phenomenon.

- This phenomenon of self-serving attributions is one of the most potent of human biases.

- We help maintain our positive self-images by associating ourselves with success and distancing ourselves from failure.

- Blaming failure or rejection on something external, even another's prejudice, is less depressing than seeing oneself as undeserving.
self-serving attributions
- Attributing positive outcomes to oneself and negative outcomes to something else.

-- A form of self-serving bias; the tendency to attribute positive outsomes to oneself and negative outcomes to other factors.
self-serving bias

can we all be better than average?
- Self-serving bias also appears when people compare themselves with others.

- On subjective and socially desirable dimensions, most people see themselves as better than the average person.

- Subjective behavior dimensions (ex - disciplined) trigger even greater self-serving bias than observable behavioral dimensions (ex - punctual).

- Subjective qualities give us leeway in constructing our own definitions of success.

- People display one other ironic bias: Most people see themselves as freer from bias than most people.
self-serving bias

unrealistic optimism
- Optimism predisposes a positive approach to life.

- Many of us have an unrealistic optimism about future life events.

- Illusory optimism increases our vulnerability. Believing ourselves immune to misfortune, we do not take sensible precautions.

- Blind optimism, like pride, may go before a fall.

= Optimism definitely beats pessimism in promoting self-efficacy, health, and well-being.

- Yet a dash of realism (defensive pessimism) can save us from the perils of unrealistic optimisms
defensive pessimism
-- The adaptive value of anticipating problems and harnessing one's anxiety to motivate effective action.
self-serving bias

false consensus and uniqueness
- We have a tendency to enhance our self-images by overestimating or underestimating the extent to which others think and act as we do.

- One matters of opinion, we find support for our positions by overestimating the extent to which others agree - false consensus effect.

- This false consensus may occur because we generalize from a limited sample, which prominently includes ourselves. Also, we're more likely to spend time with people who share our attitudes and behaviors and to judge the world from the people we know.

- On matters of ability or when we behave well or successfully, a false uniqueness effect most often occurs.

- We serve our self-image by seeing our talents and moral behaviors as relatively unsual.

- Thus we may see our failing as relatively normal and our virtues as relatively exceptional.
falf consensus effect
-- The tendency to overestimate the commonality of one's opinions and one's undesirable or unsuccessful behaviors.
uniqueness effect
-- The tendency to underestimate the commonality of one's abilities and one's desirable or successful behaviors.
self-serving bias

explaining self-serving bias
- One explanation sees the self-serving bias as a by-product of how we process and remember information about ourselves.

- Comparing ourselves with others requires us to notice, assess, and recall their behavior and ours.

- Thus, there are multiple opportunities for flaws in our information processing.

- Are the biased perceptions simply a perceptual error, or are self-serving motives also involved
- We have multiple motives.

- Self-esteem motivation helps power our self-serving bias
self-serving bias

reflections on self-esteem and self-serving bias
- Even people who exhibit the self-serving bias may feel inferior

- Moreover, not everyone operates with a self-esrving bias.

- Some people do suffer from low self-esteem. Positive self-esteem does have some benefits.
self-serving bias

reflections on self-esteem and self-serving bias

the self-serving bias as adaptive
- When good things happen, high more than low self-esteem people tend to savor and sustain the good feelings

- Self-serving bias and its accompanying excuses also help protect people from depression. Nondepressed people usually exhibit self-serving bias.

- Depressed people's self-appraisals and their appraisals of how others really view them are not inflated.

- Self-serving bias additionally helps buffer stress.

- It buffers anxiety, including anxiety related to our certain deaths.

- We therefore come to assocaite viewing ourselves as good with feeling secure.

- Positive self-esteem even protects us from feeling terror over our eventual death.

- Reminding people of their mortality motivates them to affirm their self-worth. When facing such threats, self-esteem buffers anxiety.

- Belief in our superiority can also motivate us to achieve (create a self-fulfilling prophecy) and can sustain our hope through difficult times.
self-serving bias

reflections on self-esteem and self-serving bias

the self-serving bias as maladaptive
- People who blame others for their social difficulties are often unhappier than people who can acknowledge their mistakes.

- Self-serving biases also inflate people's judgments of their groups, a phenomenon called group-serving bias. When groups are comparable, most people consider their own group superior.

- Hubris

- False modesty can actually be a cover for pride in one's better-than-everage humility.

- True humility is more like self-forgetfulness than false modesty. It leaves us free to rejoice in our special talents aand, with the same honesty, to recognize the talents of others.
group-serving bias
-- Explaining away outgroup members' positive behaviors; also attributing negative behaviors to their dispositions (while excusing such behavior by one's own group).
self-presentation

false modesty
- There is indeed evidence that people sometimes present a different self than they feel.

- Perhaps you have recalled times what someone was not self-praising but self-disparaging. Such put-downs can be subtly self-serving, for often they elicit reassurance.

- Understating one's own ability serves to reduce performance pressure and lower the baseline for evaluating performance.

- shallow gratitude - superficial gratitude that appears humble

- shallow gratitude may surface when we outperform others around us and feel uneasy about other people's feelings towards us. If we think our success will make others feel envious or resentlful, we may downplay our achievements and display gratitude.
self-presentation

self-handicapping
- Sometimes people sabotage their chances for success by creating impediments that make success less likely.

- Far from being deliberately self-destructive, such behaviors typically have a self-rpotective aim.

- Why would people handicap themselves with self-defeating behavior? Recall that we eagerly protect our self-images by attributing failures to external factors.

- When self-image is tied up with performance, it can be more self-deflating to try hard and fail than to procrastinate and have a ready excuse. If we fail while handicapped in some way, we can cling to a sense of competence. If we succeed under such conditions, it can only boost our self-image.

- Handicaps protect both self-esteem and public image by allowing us to attribute failure to something temporary or external rather than to lack of talent or ability.

-- Protecting one's self-image with behaviors that create a handy excuse for later failure.
self-presentation

impression management
- To varying degrees, we are continually managing the impressions we create.

- Self-presentation refers to our wanting to present a desired image both to n external audience (other people) and to an internal audienct (ourselves). We work at managing the impressions we create.

- We excuse, justify, or apologize as necesary to shore up our self-esteem and verify our self-images.

- In familiar situations, this happens without conscious effort. In unfamiliar situations, we are acutely self-conscious of the impressions we are creating and we are therefore less modest than when among friends who know us well

-- Self-presentation - The act of expressing ourselves and behaving in way designed to create a favorable impression or an impression that corresponds to one's ideals.

- Given our concern for self-presentation, it's no wonder that people will self-handicap when failure might make them look bad. It's no wonder that people take health risks. It's no wonder that people express more modesty when their self-flattery is vulnerable to being debunked.

- For some people, conscious self-presentation is a way of life. They continually monitor their own behavior and note how others react, then adjust their social performance to gain a desired effect.

- Those who score high on a scale of self-monitoring tendency act like oscial chameleons - they adjust their behavior in response to external situations.

- Having attuned their behavior to the situation, they are more likely to espouse attitudes they don't really hold.

- Being conscious of others, they are less likely to act on their own attitudes.

-- Self-monitoring - Being attuned to the way one presents oneself in social situations and adjusting one's performance to create the desired impression.

- Those who score low in self-monitoring care less about what others think. They are more internally guided and thus more likely to talk and act as they feel and believe.

- Presenting oneself in ways that create a desired impression is a delicate balancing act. People want to be seen as able but also as modest and honest. In most social situations, modesty creates a good impression, unsolicited boasting a bad one. Hence the false modesty phenomenon: We often display lower self-esteem than we privately feel.
perceiving our social world
- Predispositions and prejudgments affect how we perceive and interpet information.

- We respond not only to reality as it is but to reality as we construe it.
perceiving our social world

priming
- Unattended stimuli can subtly presidpose how we will interpret and recall events.

- Our memory system is a web of associations, and priming is the awakening or activating of certain associations. Priming experiments reveal how one thought, even without awareness, can influence another thought, or even an action.

-- Activating particular associations in memory

- Often our thinking and acting are primed by events of which we are unaware

- Priming effects surface even when the stimuli are presented subliminally - too briefly to be perceived consciously.

- An invisible image or word primes a response to a later task.

- Much of our social information processing is automatic. It is unintentional, out of sight, and without awareness.
perceiving our social world

perceiving and interpreting events
- Despite some startling and oft-confirmed biases and logical flaws in how we perceiver and understand one anotheer, we're mostly accurate.

- Our first impressions of one another are more often right than wrong, and the better we know people, the more accurately we can read their minds and feelings.

- But on occasion our prejudgments err.

- Because social perceptions are very much in the eye of the beholder, even a simple stimulus may strike two people quite differently.

- When social information is subject to multiple interpretations, pre-conceptions matter

- People's perceptions of bias can be used to assess their attitudes.

- Our assumptions about the world can even make contradictory evidence seem supportive.

- Showing the two sides an identical body of mixed evidence had not lessened their disagreement but increased it.

- Is that why, in politics, religion, and science, ambiguous information often fuels conflict?

- Partisanship predisposes perceptions

- In addition to these studies of people's preexisting social and political attitudes, researchers have manipulated people's preconceptions - with astonishing effects upon their interpretations and recollections.

- Kulechov effect - filmmakers can control people's perceptions of emotion by manipulating the setting in which they see a face.

- Construal processes also color others' perceptions of us.

- When we say something good or bad about another, people spontaneously ten to associate that trait with us - spontaneous trait interence

- We view our social worlds through the spectacles of our beliefs, attitudes, and values. That is one reason our beliefs are so important; they shape our interpretation of everything else.
perceiving our social world

belief perserverance
- It is surprisingly difficult to demolish a falsehood once the person conjures up a rationale for it.

- This phenomenon, called belief perserverance, shows that beliefs can grow their own legs and survive the discrediting of the evidence that inspired them.

-- Persistence of one's initial conceptions, as when the basis for one's belief is discredited but an explanation of why the belief might be true survives.

- The more we examine our theories and explain how they might be true, the more closed we become to information that challenges our beliefs.

- Our beliefs and expectations powerfully affect how we mentall construct events. Usually we benefit from our preconceptions. But the benefits sometimes entail a cost. We become prisoners of our own thought patterns.

- Is there a rememdy for belief perserverance? There is: Explain the opposite.

- Explaining why an opposite theory might be true reduces or eliminates belief perserverance.

- Indeed, explaining any alternative outcome, not just the opposite, drives people to ponder various possibilities.
perceiving our social world

constructing memories of ourselves and our worlds
- Our memories are not exact copies of experiences that remain on deposit in a memory bank.

- Rather, we construct memories at the time with withdrawal. We construct our distant past by using our current feelings and expectations to combine information fragments.

- Thus, we can easily (though unconsciously) revise our memories to suit our current knowledge.

- When a experimenter or a therapist manipulates people's presumptions about their past, a sizable percentage of people will construct false memories. In its search for truth, the mind sometimes constructs a falsehood.

- The repeated finding is the misinformation effect. People incorporate the misinformation into their memories.

-- Misinformation effect - Incorporating "misinformation" into one's memory of the event, after witnessing an event and receiving midleading information about it.

- This process affects our recall of social as well as physical events.
perceiving our social world

constructing memories of ourselves and our worlds

recalling our past attitudes
- People whose attitudes have changed often insist that they have always felt much as they feel now.

- The construction of positive memories brightens our recollections. People often exhibit rosy retrospection - they recall mildly pleasant events more favorably than they experienced them.

- With any positive experience, some of our pleasure resides in the anticipation, some in the actual experience, and some in the rosy retrospection.

- As our relationships change, we also revise our recollections of other people.

- It's not that we are totally unaware of how we used to feel, just that when memories are hazy, current feelings guide our recall.
perceiving our social world

constructing memories of ourselves and our worlds

reconstructing our past behavior
- Memory construction enables us to revise our own histories. The hindsight bias involves memory revision.

- Our memories reconstruct other sorts of past behaviors as well.

- We all have "totalitarian egos" that revise the past to suit our present views. Thus, we underreport bad behavior and overreport good behavior.

- Sometimes our present view is that we've improved - in which case we may mis-recall our past as more unlike the present than it actually was.

- We all selectively notice, interpret, and recall events in ways that sustain our ideas. Our social judgements are a mix of observation and expectation, reason, and passion.
judging our social world

intuitive judgements
- What are our power of intuition - of immediately knowing something without reseaoning or analysis?

- Advocates of "intuitive management" believe we should tun into our hunches.

- Priming research suggests that the unconscious indeed controls much of our behavior.
judging our social world

intuitive judgements

the powers of intuition
- We know more than we know we know. Studies of our unconscious information processing confirm our limited access to what's going on in our minds.

- Our thinking is partly controlled (reflective, deliberate, and conscious) and partly automatic (impulsive, effortless, and without our awareness).

- Automatic, intuitive thinking occurs not "on-screen" but off-screen, out of sight, where reason does not go.

-- Controlled processing - "explicit" thinking that is deliberate, reflective, and conscious.

-- Automatic processing - "implicit" thinking that is effortless, habitual, and without awareness, roughly corresponds to "intuition."

- Examples:
- Schemas - mental templates - intuitively guide our perceptions and interpretations of our experience.
- Emotional reactions - are often nearly instantaneous, happening before there is time for deliberate thinking.
- Expertise - given sufficient expertise, people may intuitively know that answer to a problem.

- Some things (facts, names, past experiences) we remember explicitly. But other things (skills, conditioned dispositions) we remember implicitly.

- It is trust of us all but most strikingly evident in people with brain damage who cannot form new explicit memories. Equally dramatic are the cases of blindsight.

- As you look at a scene, your brain breaks the visual information into subdimensions such as color, depth, movement, and form and works on each aspect simultaneously before reassembling the components. Finally, using automatic processing, your brain compares the perceived image with previously stored images.

- If intuition is immediately knowing something without reasoned analysis, then perceiving is intuition par excellence.

- Subliminal stimuli may, as we have already noted, prime our thinking and reacting.

- Many routine cognitive functions occur automatically, unintentionally, without awareness.

- Our brain knows much more than it tells us.
judging our social world

intuitive judgements

the limits of intuition
- The unconscious may not be as smart as previously believed.

- There is no evidence that commercial subliminal tapes can "reprogram your unconscious mind" for success.

- Social psychologists have explored not only our error-prone hindsight judgments but also our capacity for illusion - the perceptual misinterpretations, fantasies, and constructed beliefs.

- Social psychologists study illusory thinking for what it reveals about normal information processing.

- Demonstrations of how people create counterfeit beliefs do not prove that all beliefs are counterfeit (though, to recognize conterfeiting, it helps to know how it's done).
overconfidence
- As we interpret our experiences and construct memories, our automatic intuitions sometimes err. Usually we are unaware of our flaws.

- The "intellectual conceit" evident in judgments of past knowledge ("I knew it all along") extends to estimates of current knowledge and predictions of future behavior. Although we know we've messed up in the past, we have more positive expectations for our future performance.

-- Overconfidence phenomenon - The tendency to be more confident than correct - to overestimate the accuracy of one's beliefs.

- Ironically, incompetence feeds overconfidence. It take competence to recognize what competence is.

- Students who score at the bottom on tests of grammar, humor, and logic are most prone to overestimating their gifts at such. Those who don't know what good logic or grammar is are often unaware that they lack it.

- Our ignorance of our ignorance sustains our self-confidence.

- Ignorance of one's incompetence occurs mostly on relatively easy-seeming tasks, such as forming words out of "psychology." On really hard tasks, poor performers more often appreciate their lack of skill.

- We noted how poorly people overestimate their long-term emotional responses to good and bad happenings. Are people better at predicting their own behavior? No - overconfidence

- People tend to recall their mistaken judgments as times when they were almost right

- Overconfidence is hard to dislodge.
confirmation bias
- People also tend not to seek information that might disprove what they believe.

- We are eager to verify our beliefs but less inclined to seek evidence that might disprove them, a phenomenon called confirmation bias

-- A tendency to search for information that confirms one's preconceptions.

- The confirmation bias helps explain why our self-images are so remarkably stable.

- People seek as friends and spouses those who bolster their own self views - even if they think poorly of themselves

- Self-verification
remedies for overconfidence
- One lesson is to be wary of other people's dogmatic statements. Even when people are sure they are right, they may be wrong.

- Confidence and competence need not coincide.

- Three techniques have successfully reduced the overconfidence bias.
- One is prompt feedback.
- To reduce "planning fallacy" overconfidence, people can be asked to "unpack" a task - to break it down into its subcomponents - and estimate the time required for each.
- Thus, a third way to reduce it is to get people to think of one good reason why their judgments might be wrong; that is, force them to consider disconfirming information.

- Overconfidence can cost us, but realistic self-confidence is adaptive.
heuristics - mental shortcuts
- With precious little time to process so much information, our cognitive system is fast and frugal. It specializes in mental shortcuts.

- Hueristics - simple, efficient thinking strategies

-- A thinking strategy that enables quick, efficient judgments.

- The speed of these intuitive guides promotes out survival. The biological purpose of thinking is less to make us right than to keep us alive.

- In some situations, however, haste makes error.
the representativeness heuristic
- To judge something by intuitively comparing it to our mental representation of a category is to use the representativeness heuristic.

- Representativeness (typicalness) usually is a reasonable guide to reality, but it doesn't always work.

-- The tendency to presume, sometimes despite contrary odds, that someone or something belongs to a particular group if resembling (representing) a typical member.

- The conjunction of two events cannot be more likely than either one of the events alone.
the availability hueristic
- If examples are readily available in our memory, then we presume that other such examples are commonplace.

-- A cognitive rule that judges the likelihood of things in terms of their availability in memory. If instances of something come readily to mind, we presume it to be commonplace.

- Vivid, easy-to-imagine events, may likewise seem more likely to occur than harder-to-picture events.

- Even fictional happenings in novels, television, and movies leave images that later penetrate our judgments. The more absorbed and "transported" the reader ("I could easily picture the events"), the more the story affects the reader's later beliefs.

- Our use of the availability heuristic highlights a basic principle of social thinking: People are slow to deduce particular instances from a general truth, but they are remarkably quick to infer general truth from a vivid instance.

- The availbility heuristic explains why powerful anecdotes can nevertheless be more compelling than statistical information and why perceived risk is therefore often badly out of joint with real risks.
- Ex: 9/11 and fear of flying

- By now it is clear that our naive statistical intuitions, and our resulting fears, are driven not by calculation and reason but by emotions attuned to the availability heuristic.
counterfactual thinking
- Easily imagines (cognitively available) events also influence our experiences of guilt, regret, frustration, and relief.

- Imagining worse alternatives helps us feel better.

- Imagining better alternatives, and pondering what we might do different next time, helps us prepare to do better in the future.

- Counterfactual thinking - mentally simulating what might have been

-- Imagining alternative scenarios and outcomes that might have happened, but didn't.

- Counterfactual thinking underlies our feelings of luck.

- When we have barely escaped a bad event, we easily imagine a negative counterfactual and therefore feel "good luck." "Bad luck" refers to bad events that did happen but easily might not have..

- The more significant the event, the more intense the counterfactual thinking.
illusory thinking
- Another influence on everyday thinking is our search for order in random events, a tendency that can lead us down all sorts of wrong paths.
illusory correlation
- When we expect to find significant relationships, we easily associate random events, perceiving an illusory correlation.

-- Perception of a relationship where none exists, or perception of a stronger relationship than actually exists.

- People easily misperceive random events as confirming their beliefs.

- If we believe a correlation exists, we are more likely to notice and recall confirming instances.

- We seldome notice or remember all the times unusual events do not coincide.
illusion of control
- Our tendency to perceive random events as related feeds an illusion of control - the idea that chance events are subject to our influence.

-- Perception of uncontrollable events as subject to one's control or as more controllable than they are.

- Example
- Gambling

- The illusion of control breeds overconfidence.
illusion of control

regression toward the average
- We fail to recognize the statistical phenomenon of regression toward the average.

-- The statistical tendency for extreme scores or extreme behavior to return toward one's average.

- Sometimes we recognize that events are not likely to continue at an unsually good or bad extreme.

- Experience has taught us that when everything is going great, something will go wrong, and that when life is dealing us terrible blows, we can usually look forward to things getting better.

- Often, though, we fail to recognize this regression effect. We forget that exceptional performance tends to regress toward normality.

- Nature operates in such a way that we often feel punished for rewarding others and rewarded for punishing them.

- In actuality, positive reinforcement for doing things right is usually more effective and has fewer negative side effects.
moods and judgments
- Social judgments involves efficient, though fallible, information processing. It also involves our feelings: Our moods infuse our judgments.

- Unhappy people - especially those bereaved or depressed - tend to be more self-focused and brooding. A depressed mood motivates intense thinking - a search for information that makes one's environment more understandable and controllable.

- Happy people, by contrast, are more trusting, more loving, more responsive.

- Moods pervade our thinking.

- When we are in a happy mood, the world seems friendlier, decisions are easier, good news more readily comes to mind.

- Now the bad mood primes our recollections of negative events.

- Memories and judgments change with the color of our mood - mood infusion.

- We don't attribute our changing perceptions to our mood shifts. Rather, the world really seems different.

- Our moods color how we judge our world partly by bringing to mind past experiences associated with the mood.

- Mood-related thoughts may distract us from complex thinking about something else.

- Thus, when emotionally aroused, we become more likely to make snap judgments and evaluate others based on stereotypes.
attributing causality: to the person or the situation
- We endlessly analye and discuss why thinking happen as they do, especially when we experience something negative or unexpected.

-- Misattribution - mistakenly attributing a behavior to the wrong source

- Attribution theory analyzes how we explain people's behavior. The variations of attribution theory hare some common assumptions.

-- Attribution theory - the theory of how people explain others' behavior; for example, by attributing it either to internal dispositions (enduring traits, motive, and attitudes) or to external situations.

- "Common sense psychology" - how people explain everyday events.
- When we observe someone acting intentionally, we sometimes attribute someone's behavior to internal causes (disposition) and sometimes to external causes (situation).

-- Dispositional attribution - attributing behavior to the person's disposition and traits.

-- Situational attribution - attributing behavior to the environment.
attribution

inferring traits
- We often infer that other people's actions are indicative of their intentions and dispositions.

- Normal or expected behavior tells us less about the person than does unusual behavior.

- The ease with which we infer traits is remarkable.
attribution

commonsense attributions
- Attributions often are rational.

- We use information about "consistency," "distinctiveness," and "consensus."
- When explaining why Edgar is having trouble with his computer, most people use information using consistency (is Egdar usually unable to get his computer to work?), distinctiveness (does Edgar have trouble with other computers, or only this one?) and consensus (do other people have similar problems with this make of computer?).

- Consistency - How consistent is the person's behavior in this situation?
- Distinctivness - How specific is the person's behavior to this particular situation?
- Consensus - To what extent do others in this situation behave similarly?

- So our commonsense psychology often explains behavior logically.

- But people often discount a contributing cause of behavior if other plausible causes are already known.
the fundamental attribution error
- At any moment, our internal state, andtherefore what we say and do, depends on the situations as well as on what we bring to the situation. In experiments, a slight difference between two situations sometimes greatly affects how people respond.

- When explaining someone's behavior, we often underestimate the impact of the situation and overestimate the extent to which it reflects the individual's traits and attitudes.

- This discounting of the situation is called the fundamental attribution error.

-- The tendency for observers to underestimate situational influences and overestimate dispositional influences upon others' behaviors. (Also called correspondence bias, because we so often see behavior as corresponding to a disposition.)

- If individuals dictate an opion that someone else must then express, they still tend to see the person as actually holding that opinion.

- We tend to presume that others are the way they act.
why do we make the attribution error?

perspective and situational awareness

actor-observer difference
- Attribution theorists point out that we observe others from a different perspective than we observe ourselves.

- When we act, the environment commands our attention. When we watch another person act, that person occupies the center of our attention and the environment becomes relatively invisible.

- To observers, another person grabs our attention and seems to cause whatever happens. As actors, we're inclined to attribute our own behavior to the situation to which we're attending.

- People typically exhibit empath when they observe someone after explaining their own behavior in the same situation. It's when one person misbehaves while another observes that the two will offer stikingly different attributions.
why do we make the attribution error?

perspective and situational awareness

the camera perspective bias
- In some experiements, people have viewed a videotape of a suspect confessing during a police interview. If they viewed the confession through a camera focues on the suspect, they perceived the confession as genuine. If they viewed it through a camera focused on the detective, they perceived it as more coerced.
why do we make the attribution error?

perspective and situational awareness

perceptives change with time
- As the once-visible person recedes in their memory, observers often give more and more credit to the situation.
why do we make the attribution error?

perspective and situational awareness

self-awareness
- Circumstances can also shift our perspectives on ourselves.

- When our attention focuses upon ourselves, we often attribute responsibility to ourselves.

-- A self-conscious state in which attention focuses on oneself. It makes people more sensitive to their own attitudes and dispositions.

- Some people are typically quiet self-conscious. People who report themselves as privately self-conscious behave similarly to people whose attention has been self-focused with a mirror.

- Thus, people whose attention focuses on themselves view themselves more as observers typically do; they attrivute their behavior more to internal factors and less to the situation.

- All these experiments point to a reason for the attribution error: We find causes where we look for them.
why do we make the attribution error?

cultural differences
- Cultures also influence the attribution error.

- A Western worldview predisposes people to assume that people, not situations, cause events. Internal explanations are more socially approved.

- As children grow up in Western culture, they learn to explain behvior in terms of the other's personal characteristics.

- Yet people in Eastern Asian cultures are somewhat more sensitive to the importance of situations. They are less inclined to assume that others' behavior corresponds to their traits.

- The fundamental attribution errer is fundamental is fundamental because it colors our explanations in basic and important ways.
why we study attribution errors
- Their purpose is to reveal how we think about ourselves and others.

- Illusory thinking is often a by-product of our mind's strategies for simplifying complex information. It parallels our perceptual mechanisms, which generally give us useful images of the world but sometimes lead us astry.

- A second reason for focusing on thinking biases such as the fundamental attribution error is humantiarian. One of psychology's great humanizing messages is that people should not always be blamed for their problems.

- A third reason for focusing on biases is that we are mostly unaware of them and can benefir from greater awareness. As with other biases, such as the self-serving biases, people see themselves as less susceptible than others to attribution errors.

- Social psychology aims to expose us to fallacies in our thinking in the hope that we will become more rational, more in touch with reality.
expectations of our social world
- Our social beliefs and judgments do matter. They influence how we feel and act, and by so doing may help generate their own reality.

- When our ideas lead us to act in ways that produce their apparent confirmation, they have become self-fullfilling prophecies - beliefs that lead to their own fulfillment.

- Experimenter bias - research participants sometimes live up to what they believe experimenters expect of them.
self-fulfilling prophecy
-- A belief that leads to its own fulfillment
teacher expectations and student performance
- Teachers do have higher expectations for some students than for others.

- Teachers' evaluations correlate with student achievement: Teachers think well of students who do well. That's mostly because teachers accurately perceive their students' abilities and achievements.

- High expectations do seem to boost low achievers.

- Although teachers may think they can conceal their feelings and behave impartially toward the class, students are acutely sensitive to teachers' facial expressions and body movements.

- Students in a learning experiment who expected to be taught by an excellent teacher perceived their teacher as more competent and interesting than did students with low expectations. Furthermore, the students actually learned more.

- The attitudes that a class has toward its teacher are as important as the teacher's attitude towards the class.
getting from others what we expect

behavioral confirmation
- Hostility nearly always begets hostility: People who perceive their opponents as noncooperative will readily induce them to be noncooperative. Each party's perception of the other as aggressive, resentful, and vindictive induces the other to display those behaviors in self-defense, thus creating a vicious self-perpetuating circle.

- Idealization helped butter conflict, bolster satisfaction, and turn self-perceived frogs into princes and princesses.

- Once formed, erroneous beliefs about the social world can induce others to confirm those beliefs, a phenomenon called behavioral confirmation.

-- Behavioral confirmation - a type of self-fulfilling prophecy whereby people's social expectations lead them to behave in ways that cause others to confirm their expectations.

- Tell children they are hardworking and kind (rather than lazy and mean) and they may live up to their labels.

- How others treat us reflects how we and others have treated them.
attitudes
- When social psychologists talk about someone's attitude, they refer to beliefs and feelings related to a person or an event and the resulting behavior tendency.

- Taken together, favorable or unfavorable evaluative reaction toward something - often rooting in beliefs and exhibited in feelings, and inclinations to act - define a person's attitude

- Attitudes provide and efficient way to size up the world. When we have to respond quickly to something, the way we feel about it can guide how we react.

- Three dimensions as the ABCs of attitudes
- affect (feelings), behavior tendency, and cognition (thoughts).

-- A favorable or unfavorable evaluative reaction toward something or someone (often rooting in one's beliefs, and exhibited in one's feelings and intended behavior).
how well do our attitudes predict our behavior?
- People's expressed attitudes hardly predict their varying behaviors.

- If people don't walk the same line that they talk, it's little wonder that attempts to change behavior by changing attitudes often fail.
when attitudes predict behavior
- The reason - now obvious - why our behavior and expressed attitudes differ is that both are subject to other influence
when attitudes predict behavior

when social influences on what we say are minimal
- Social psychologists never get a direct reading on attitudes. Rather we meaure expresses attitude.

- Like othher behaviors, expressions are subject to outside influences.

- Today's social pychologists have some clever means at their disposal for minimizing social influences on people's attitude reports.
- One is to measure facial muscle responses to various statements.
- Another method offers a "bogus pipeline" to the heart. It wires people to a fake lie detector, whic participants are told is real.
- The implicit association test uses reaction times to measure how quickly people associate concepts.
when attitudes predict behavior

when other influences on behavior are minimal
- On any occasion, it's not only our iner attitudes that guie us but also the situation we face.

- Social influences can be enormous - enormous enough to induce people to violate their deepest convictions.

- Principle of aggregation: The effects of an attitude become more apparent when we look at a person's aggregate or average behavior rather than at isolated acts.
when attitudes predict behavior

when attitudes specific to the behavior are examined
- When the measured attutide is a general one - an attitude towards Asians - and the behavior is very specific - a decision whether or not to help a particular Asian in a particular situation - we should not expect a close correspondence between words and actions.

- Better yet for predicting behavior is knowing people's indended behaciors, and their perceived self-efficacy and control.

- To change habits through persuasion, we had best alter people's attitudes toward specific practices.
when attitudes predict behavior

3 conditions
- Attitudes will predict behavior:
(1) when we minimize other influences upon our attitude statements and on our behavior.
(2) when the attitude is specifically relevant to the observed behavior.
(3) when the attitude is potent.
when attitudes predict behavior

when attitudes are potent
- Much of our behavior is automatic. We act out familiar scripts without reflecting on what we're doing.

- Such mindlessness is adaptive. It frees our mind to work on other thing. For habitual behavrios, conscious intentions hardly are activated.

- In novel situations, where our behavior is less automatic, attitudes become more potent. Lacking a script, we think before we act.

- Our attitudes become potent if we think about them.

- Self-conscious people are usually in touch with their attitudes. That suggests another way to induce people to focus on their inner convictions: Make them self-aware.

- Making people self-aware in this way promotes consistency between words and deeds.
when attitudes predict behavior

summary
- Depending on the circumstances, the relationship between expressed attitudes and behavior can rage from no relationship to a strong one.

- Our attitudes predict our actions if:
- other influences are minimal
- the attitude is specific to the action
- the attitude is potent, as when we are reminded of it or made self-conscious.
when does behavior affect our attitudes?
- Now we turn to the more startling idea that behavior determines attitudes.

- It's true that we sometimes tand up for what we believe. But it's also true that we come to believe in what we stand up for.
when does behavior affect our attitudes?

role playing
- The word role is borrowed from the theater and, as in the theater, refers to actions expected of those who occupy a particular social position.

- When enacting new social roles, we may at first feel phony. But our unease seldom lasts.

- The point is not that we are powerless to resist imposed roles. Instead, the deeper lesson of role-playing studies concers how what is unreal (an artificial role) can subtly evolve into what is real.

- In a new career, we enact a role that shapes our attitudes.

-- Role - a set of normes that defines how people in a given social position ought to behave.
when does behavior affect our attitudes?

when saying becomes believing
- People often adapt what they say to please their listeners.

- Nevertheless, they begin to believe what they are saying - provied they weren't bribed or coerced into doing so. When there is no compelling eternal explanation for one's words, saying becomes believing.

- People tend to adjust their messages to their listeners and, having done so, to believe the altered message.
when does behavior affect our attitudes?

the foot-in-door phenomenon
- In keeping with the "attitude follows behavior" theory, experiments suggest that if you want people to do a big favor for you, an effective strategy is to get them to do a small favor first.

-- The tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request.

- When people commit themselves to public behaviors and perceive those acts to be their own doing, they come to believe more strongly in what they have done.

-- Low-ball technique - A tactic for getting people to agree to something. People who agree to an initial request will often still comply when the requester ups the ante. People who receive only the costly request are less likely to comply with it.

- The foot-in-the-door phenomennon is a less worth remembering. Someone trying to seduce us will often use this technique to create a momentum of compliance. The practical lesson: Before agreeing to a small request, think about what my follow.
when does behavior affect our attitudes?

evil and moral acts
- The attiudes-follows-behavior principle works with immoral acts as well. Evil sometimes results from gradually escalating commitments. A trifling evil act can whittle down one's moral sensitivity, making it easier to perform a worse act.

- Another way in which evil acts influence attitudes is the paradoxical fact that tend not only to hurt those we dislike but also to dislike those we hurt.

- Moral disengagement

- Actions and attitudes feed each other, sometimes to the point of moral numbness. The more one harms another and adjusts one's attitudes, the easier harm-doing becomes. Consience is corroded.

- Evil acts shape the self, but so do moral acts. Our character is reflected in what we do when we think no one is looking.

- Moral action, especially when chosen rather than coerced, affects moral thinking.

- Positive behavior fosters liking for the person.
when does behavior affect our attitudes?

interracial behavior and racial attitudes
- If moral action feeds moral attitudes, will positive interracial behavior reduce racial prejudice - much as mandatory seat belt use has produced more favorable seat belt use attitudes?

- That was part of social scientists' testimony before the US Supreme Court's 1954 decision to desegregate schools.
when does behavior affect our attitudes?

social movements
- We have now seen that a society's laws and, therefore, its behavior can have a strong influence on its racial attitudes.

- And danger lies in the possibility of employing the same idea for political socialization on a mass scale.

- Many people assume the most potent social indoctrination comes through brainwashing.
why does our behavior affect our attitudes?
- Self-presentation theory assumes that for strategic reasons we express attitudes that make us appear consistent.

- Conginitive dissonance theory assumes that to reduce discomfort, we justify our actions to ourselves.

- Self-perception theory assumes that our actions are self-revealing (when uncertain about our feelings or beliefs, we look to our behavior, much as anyone else would).
why does our behavior affect our attitudes?

self-presentation: impression management
- No one wants to look foolishly inconsistent.

- To avoid seeming so, we express attitudes that match our actions.

- To appear consistent, we may pretend those attitudes. Even if that means displaying a little insincerity or hypocrisy, it can pay off in managing the impression we are making.

- Or so self-presentation theory suggests.

- Does our feigning consistency explain why expressed attitudes shift toward consistency with behavior?

- To some extent, yes - people exhibit a much smaller attitude change when a fake lie detector inhibits them from trying to make a good impression.
why does our behavior affect our attitudes?

self-justification: cognitive dissonance
- One theory is that our attitudes change because we are motivated to maintain consistency among our congintions.

- Cognitive dissonance threory assumes that we feel tension, or lack of harmony ("dissonance"), when two simultaneously accessible throughts or beliefs ("cognitions") are psychologically inconsistent - as when we decide to say or do something we have mixed feelings about.

- To reduce this unpleasant arousal, we often adjust our thinking.

-- Tension that arises when one is simultaneously aware of two inconsistent cognitions. For example, dissonance may occur when we realize that we have, with little justification, acted contrary to our attitudes or made a decision favoring one alternative despite reasons favoring another.

- Cognitive dissonance theory offers an explanation for self-persuasion, and it offers several surprising predictions.
why does our behavior affect our attitudes?

self-justification: cognitive dissonance

insufficient justification
- Having insufficient justification for their actions, they would experience more discomfort (dissonance) and thus be more motivated to believe in what they had done.

-- Reduction of dissonance by internally justifying one's behavior when external justification is "insufficient"

- This attitudes-follows-behavior affect was strongest when people felt some choice and when their actions had foreseeable consequences.

- Note that cognitive dissonance theory focuses not on the relative effectiveness of rewards and punishments administered after the act but, rather, on what induces a desired action.

- Attutides follow behaviors for which we feel some responsibility.

- Dissonance theory insists that encouragement and inducement should be enough to elicit the desired action (so that attitudes may follow the behavior).
why does our behavior affect our attitudes?

self-justification: cognitive dissonance

dissonance after deceptions
- The emphasis on perceived choice and responsibility implies that decisions produce dissonance.

- When faced with an important decision, we are sometimes torn between two equally attractice alternatives.

- Perhaps you can recall a time when, having committed yourself, you became painfully aware of the dissonant cognitions - the desirable features of what you had rejected and the undesirable features of what you had chosen.

- After making important decisions, we usually reduce dissonance by upgrading the chosen alternative and downgrading the unchosen option.

- With simple decisions, this deciding-becomes-believing effect can breed overconfidence.

- "What I've decided must be right." The effect can occure very quickly.

- Once made, decisions grow their own self-justifying legs of support. Often, these new legs are strong enough that when one leg is pulled away - perhaps the original one - the decision does not collapse.
why does our behavior affect our attitudes?

self-perception
- Self-perception theory assumes that we make similar inferences when we observe our own behavior. When our attitudes are weak or ambigious, we are in the position of someone observing us from the outside.

-- The theory that when we are unsure of our attitudes, we infer them much as would someone observing us, by looking at our behavior and the circumstances under which it occurs.

- The acts we freely commit are self-revealing.

- Behavior can modigy self-concept
why does our behavior affect our attitudes?

self-perception

expressions and attitude
- Viewing one's expressions in a mirror magnifies the self-perception effect.

- It's tough to smile and feel grouchy.

- Going through the motions can trigger the emotions.

- Even your gait can effect how you feel.

- If our expressions influence our feelings, then would imitating others' expressions help us know what they are feeling?

- To sense how people are feeling, let your own face mirror their expressions.

- Observing others' faces, postures, and voices, we naturally and unconsciously mimic their moment-to-moment reactions. We synchronize our movements, postures, and tones of voice with theirs. Doing so helps us tune in to what they're feeling.

- Our facial expressions also influence our attitudes.
why does our behavior affect our attitudes?

self-perception

overjustification and instrinsic motivations
- Recall the insufficient justification effect - the smalles incentive that will get people to do something is usually the most effective in getting them to like the activity and keep on doing it.

- Cognitive dissonance theory offers one explanation for this: when external inducements are insufficient to justify our behavior, we reduce dissonance by justifying the behavior internally.

- Self-perception theory offers a different explanation: people explain their behavior by noting the conditions under which it occurs

- Self-perception theory goes a step further. Contrary to the notion that rewards always increase motivation, it suggests that unnecessary rewards can have a hidden cost.

- Rewarding people for doing what they already enjoy may lead them to attribute their action to the reward, thus undermining their self-perception that they do it because they like it.

-- Overjustification effect - The result of bribing people to do what they already like doing; they may then see their actions as externally controlled rather than intrinsically appealing.

- As self-perception theory implies, an unanticipated reward does not diminish instrinsic interest, because people can still attribute their actions to their own motivation.

- The overjustification effect occurs when someone offers an unnecessary reward beforehand in an obvious effort to control behavior.

- What matters is what the reward implies: Rewards and praise that inform people of their achievements - that make them feel "I'm very good at this" - boost instrinsic motivation. Rewards that seek to control people and lead them to believe it was the reward that caused their effort - "I did it for the money" - diminish the instrinsic appeal of an enjoyable task.

- If we provide students with just enough justification to perform a learning task and use rewards and labels to help them feel competent, we may enhance their enjoyment and their eagerness to pursue the subject on their own.

- When there is too much justification - as happens in calssroomes where teachers dictate behavior and use rewards to control the children - student-driven learning may diminish.
why does our behavior affect our attitudes?

comparing the theories
- We have seen one explanation of why our actions might only seem to affect our attitudes (self-presentation theory).

- And we have seen two explanations of why our actions genuinely affect our attitudes: (1) the dissonance theory assumption that we justify our behavior to reduce our internal discomfort and (2) the self-perception theory assumption that we observe our behavior and make reasonable inferences about our attitudes, much as we observe other people and infer their attitudes.

- Neither dissonance theory not self-perception theory has been handed to us by nature. Both are products of human imagination - creative attempts to simply and explain what we've observed.

- Different sets of assumptions can lead to the same principle. If anything, this strengthens our confidence in the principle. It bomces credible not only because of the date supporting it but also because it rests on more than one theoretical pillar.
why does our behavior affect our attitudes?

comparing the theories

dissonance as arousal
- Recall that dissonane is an aroused state of uncomfortable tension. To reduce that tension, we supposedly change our attitudes.

- If, in the privacy of your closet, you say something you don't believe, dissonance will be minimal.

It will be much greater if there are unpleasant results - if someone hears you and believes you, if the statement causes harm and the negative effects are irrevocable, and if the person harmed is someone you like.

- If, moreover, you feel responsible for those consquences - if you can't easily excuse your act because you freely agreed to it and if you were able to foresee its consequences - then uncomfortable dissonance will be aroused.

- Embarrassing acts threaten our sense of personal competence and goodness. Justifying our actions and decisions is therefore self-affirming; it protects and supports our sense of integrity and self-worth.

- People with high and secure self-esteem also engage in less self-justification
self-affirmation theory
-- A theory that (a) people often experience a self-image threat, after engaging in an undesirable behavior and (b) they can compensate by affirming another aspect of the self. Threaten people's self-concept in one domain, and they will compensate either by refocusing or by doing good deeds in some other domain
why does our behavior affect our attitudes?

comparing the theories

self-perceiving when not self-contradicting
- Dissonance procedures are uncomfortably arousing. That makes for self-persuasion after acting contrary to one's attitudes.

- But dissonance theory cannot explain attitude changes that occur without dissonance.

- Dissonance theory also does not explain the overjustification effect, since being paid to do what you like to do should not arouse great tension.

- Dissonance theory successfully explain what happens when we act contrary to clearly defined attitudes: we feel tension, so we adjust our attitudes to reduce it.

- Dissonance theory explains attitude change.

- In situations where our attitudes are not well formed, self-perception theory explain attitude formation. As we act and reflect, we develop more readily accessible attitudes to guide our future behavior.