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PSY 3490 M Tutorial PSY 3490 M Tutorial April 1/10 April 1/10

PSY 3490 M Tutorial April 1/10. Chapter 9 Social Cognition.

Jan 03, 2016



  • PSY 3490 M Tutorial April 1/10

  • Chapter 9Social Cognition

  • Social Judgment Processes

    Impression formation: The way people form and revise first impressionsMain findings from Hess et al: older adults are more willing to change their first impressions from positive to negative They are also less willing to change a negative initial impression to a more positive view

    Why? Negativity bias: older adults let their initial impression stand because negative info was more striking to them and thus affected them more strongly

    Older adults rely more on life experiences, social rules and emotions vs situational consistency

  • StereotypesSocial belief about characteristics and behaviors of a particular social grouphelp us process information and they affect how we interpret new informationStereotype threat: an evoked fear of being judged in accordance with a negative stereotype about a group to which you belongStereotype lift: when a privileged group is motivated to perform after exposure to an unflattering stereotype of a less advantaged group

  • Causal AttributionsAre explanations people construct to explain their behaviour. Dispositional attributionsBehavioural explanations that reside within the personSituational attributionsAre behavioural explanations that reside outside of the person

  • Personal ControlThe degree to which one believes that performance in a situation depends on something one personally does

    High sense of personal control = the belief that performance is up to you (i.e. people who take personal responsibility for their behaviour)

    Low = your performance is under the influence of forces other than your own (i.e. people who believe that others/chance are responsible for their behaviour)

  • Differences in control perceptions across the lifespan?Multidimensionality of personal controlAge differences in the degree of personal control depend on the domain studied (i.e. intelligence, marriage, health etc), and on the personal importance of that domainControl strategies: preservation and stabilization of a positive view of self and personal development

  • Assimilative activities: prevent or alleviate loses in domains that are personally relevant for self-esteem/identity

    Accommodations: readjusting ones goals/aspirations as a way to lessen the effects of negative self-evaluation

    Immunizing mechanisms: alter the effects of self-discrepant evidence

  • Chapter 10Personality

  • Dispositional traitsAspects of personality that are consistent across different contexts

    Personal concernsThings that are important to people, their goals, and their major concerns in life

    Life narrative Aspects of personality that pull everything together, those integrative aspects that give a person an identity or sense of self

  • Dispositional TraitsThe Five-Factor ModelCosta and McCrae developed a model of personality with five independent dimensionsNeuroticism, extroversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousnessCosta and McCrae believe that personality traits stop changing by age 30 Research evidence shows a high stability in personality traits across long time periods (up to 30 years) and across a wide range of ages (20 to 90 years)Critiques?

  • Personal ConcernsReflect what people want during particular times of their lives and within specific domains

    Take into account a persons developmental context and distinguish between having traits and doing everyday behaviours

    Personality constructs are viewed as conscious descriptions of what a person is trying to accomplish during a given period of development

    Expect to find considerable change

  • Research on Personal ConcernsJung, Erikson, LoevingerErikson: first to develop a lifespan theory of personality development and the interaction between person and their environment Theory and research both provide support for much change in personal concerns people report at various times in adulthood

  • Life Narratives, Identity and the SelfMcAdams Life-Story ModelPeople create a life story thats based on where theyve been, where they are going, and who they will becomeIt is created and revised throughout adulthood as people change and their environments place varying demands upon themMost important: changing personal identity reflect in the emotions conveyed in the story

  • Possible SelvesAre created by projecting yourself into the future and thinking about what you would like to become (e.g self as leaders, rich, in shape) and what youre afraid of becoming e.g. fear of being undervalued, overweight, lonely)

  • Research young adults report family issues (i.e. marrying the right person) to be most important

    middle adults (25-39, main issues concerned personal things (i.e. being a more loving and caring person)

    By age 40-59, family issues again become most common (i.e. being a parent who can let go of kids)

    For all age groups, physical issues listed as most common fear regarding a possible self (e.g. being overweight, developing wrinkles)

    Adolescent and young adults believe more strongly that they can actually become the hoped for self and successfully avoid the feared self (high personal control)

  • Chapter 11Relationships

  • FriendshipsGrounded in reciprocity and choiceYoung adults tend to have more friends than any another age groupThe quality and quantity of friendships in old age are related to life satisfaction. Why? Friends foster independence and reduce reliance on family, they are maintained by a sense of mutuality called global reciprocityInformation seeking is he primary goal for younger adults (i.e. meeting new people and having many friends)Emotional regulation is the primary goal for older adults (i.e. choosing people who are familiar and having few friends)

    Relationship Types and Issues

  • Sibling RelationshipsGold et al identified five types of sibling relationshipsSibling relationships are strongest in adolescents & later in lifeSibling ties among sisters tend to be the strongest and intimate, while brothers tend to have less contact

  • Lifestyles & Love RelationshipsApprox. 75% of men and 60% of women are single between ages 20 and 25 in industrial nationsMen tend to stay single longer, but are less likely to stay single throughout adulthoodMen more likely to marry someone younger and less well educated (mating gradient), while women with higher levels of education overrepresented among unmarried adults

  • Divorce and RemarriageRates of divorce have slowly been decreasing from a high of 30% of all marriages in 1987Gender differences in adjustment: men have more short-term problems but women have more long-term, especially financial difficultiesMany older men who are divorced/widowed tend to remarry; many older women do notThe older the individuals at the time of the divorce, the more difficult the adjustment process will be

  • Chapter 12Work, Leisure, and Retirement

  • The Meaning of Work

    Although most people work for money, other reasons are highly variableRegardless of occupational priorities people have, the view their occupation as a key element in their sense of identityAlienation: feeling that what one is doing is meaningless and efforts are devaluedProviding more opportunities or involvement and flexibilityBurnout: a depletion of a persons energy and motivation, feeling that one is being exploited Stress reduction techniques, more appropriate expectations of self, better communication with organizations

  • Bias and DiscriminationGender bias and the glass ceilingEvidence found in government, nonprofit and private companies for glass ceiling effect (i.e. the level to which women may rise in a company but beyond which they may not goOne barrier is a workplaces failure to accommodate to the needs of new mothers E.g. women in academia who delay motherhood, presumably until skills and seniority are acquired, achieve higher rates of payGlass elevator: men in traditionally female occupations rise at a quicker rate than female counterparts

  • RetirementRetirement can be crisp (making a clean break from employment by stopping work entirely) or blurred (repeatedly leaving and returning to work, with some periods of unemployment)

    Research: Less than half of older men who retire fit the crisp patternMost individuals in their postretirement years are working in part-time jobs (primarily to supplement their incomes but also to maintain adequate levels of activity)

  • Adjustment to RetirementAdjustment evolves over time and is influenced by:Physical health, financial status, voluntary retirement status, feelings of personal controlFor both men and women, high personal competence is associated with higher retirement satisfactionSocial relationships help buffer the stress of retirementCommunity ties and participation in community organizations also helps raise satisfaction

    *********When studying adult development and aging:**When studying adult development and aging:*

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