Social Cognition

Owens, Bower, & Black "Soap Opera Effect"

Recall Task

 Recall Measure  Neutral Condition  Character Condition
 Number of Scripts    2.5    3.7
 Text Propositions  20.2  29.2
 New Inferred Propositions    3.7  15.2


Owens, Bower, & Black, cont.

Recognition Task

 Inferential Test
 Neutral Condition *  Character *
 Character-Appropriate  .04  .76
 Neutral (script fillers)  .78  .80
 Character-Inappropriate  .43  .19

* "Positive Old" - 1.0; "Positive New" - 0



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 goals. (Also known
as "independence.")


Giving priority to the goals of one's groups (often one's extended family or work
group) and defining one's identity accordingly. (Also known as "interdependence"
or "connectedness.")

Self-Serving Bias

Our tendency to attribute positive outcomes of our behavior to internal, dispositional
factors and negative outcomes to external, situational forces.

Examples of Self-Serving Bias

- Businesspeople rate themselves as more ethical than the average businessperson.
- Drivers rate themselves to be safer than the average driver.
- People rate themselves as more intelligent than the average person.
- Divorced people blamed the other for the marital discord.


Unrealistic Optimism

- More likely to get a good job than the average person.
- Less likely to contract HIV than the average person.
- Because of unrealistic optimism, this increases our vulnerability.


False Consensus Effect

. . . the tendencey to overestimate the commonality of one's opinions
and one's undesirable or unsuccessful behaviors.


False Uniqueness Effect

. . . the tendency to underestimate the commonality of one's abilities and
one's desirable or successful behaviors.


Positives and Negatives of the Self-Serving Bias

- Self-Serving Bias as Adaptive - protection from depression. It also
buffers anxiety.
- Self-Serving Bias as Maladaptive - can make people unhappier with
their lives. Those overly engaging in self-serving biases are perceived
to be egotistical, condescending, and deceitful. These people never
learn from mistakes.


Hindsight Bias (Knew-it-All-Along Phenomenon)

Text of British-Gurka War (e.g., British had more modern weaponry and
Gurkas had many more soldiers).
a. British won war.
b. Gurkas won war.
c. Military stalemate.
d. Negotiated settlement.


Fischoff's Study

Absinthe is a:
a. precious stone.
b. liqueur.

Aladdin's nationality was:
a. Persian.
b. Chinese.


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