Ch. 4 Social Cognition
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What makes a first impression so important?
based on the primacy effect we can either view people in positive or negative light at first glance
What is the primacy effect?
a tendency for the first information we receive about others to carry special weight, along with our instant impressions and our stereotypes, in shaping our overall impressions of them
How does confirmation bias contribute to our impressions of others?
When you seek information to prove your bias right rather than acknowledging any information that does not support your bias you will have a tendency to form an incorrect impression of someone
In what ways do we idealize our partners?
- we tend to look more towards their strengths and look past their weaknesses through positive illusion
- positive illusion: portraying partner in the best possible light (mix of realistic knowledge about partner and idealized perception of them)
Why are positive illusions both beneficial and problematic?
help relationships survive by focusing on positive attributes of the partner but ignoring or placing less importance on negative attributes can create problems down the road when negative attributes become more prominent (no longer able to ignore)
What are the processes by which we explain our partner's behavior?
- If we are in a happy and stable relationship our partners positive actions are viewed as more genuine and intentional and negative actions as more accidental and circumstantial
- unhappy relationships view positive actions as more temporary and less genuine (unusual) and focus more heavily on negative actions (more unforgiving)
What are the 3 patterns that emerge from studies examining attributions in relationships?
- internal vs. external
- stable vs. unstable
- controllable vs. uncontrollable
How does reconstructive memory influence our romantic relationships?
we tend to remember things in a more positive light
How do our schema's of how relationships are supposed to be impact our romantic encounter's?
- If we have a high level of romanticism, only one perfect "true" love exists for us, we are less likely to find any mate worth loving
- having dysfunctional or unrealistic beliefs about relationships can lead to short lived experiences
What are destiny beliefs?
the assumption that two people are either well suited for each other and destined to live happily ever after, or they're not
What are growth beliefs?
good relationships are believed to develop gradually as the partners work at surmounting challenges and overcoming obstacles (enough effort can lead to success of any relationship)
How do our expectations influence our partner's behavior?
- if expectations are similar to partner's current behavior then relationship easily flourishes and grows stronger
- if expectations are not similar to partner's current behavior then more subtle influence will be presented to try and alter the present behavior to try and match the expectations which can produce hostility
How do our motives for both self-enhancement and self-verification contribute to our self-concept?
- self-enhancement works to strengthen our self-concept by desiring positive, complimentary feedback
- self-verification works to support our existing self-concept by desiring feedback that is consistent with one's existing self-concept
How are the contributions of self-enhancement and self-verification to our self-concept relevant to our romantic relationships and social encounter's in general?
We seek romantic relationships that work to support or strengthen our self-concept, who we believe ourselves to be. In addition, we tend to prefer the company of those who mostly share in the qualities that make up our self-concept
What is ingratiation?
method of impression management for seeking acceptance and liking from others (do favors, pay compliments, mention areas of agreement, describe ourselves in desirable ways, and are generally charming)
What is self-promotion?
recounting our accomplishments or strategically arranging public demonstrations of our skills
What is intimidation?
portraying themselves as ruthless, dangerous, and menacing so that others will do their bidding
What is supplication?
presenting yourself as inept or infirm to avoid obligations and to elicit help and support from others
What is self-monitoring and its relevance for relationships?
- adjusting behavior to fit with societal norms
- high self-monitors are more inclined to change their behavior to fit with a partner's interests
- low self-monitors are less inclined to change their behavior to fit with a partner's interests
What factors dictate how well we know our partners?
- knowledge: more time we spend with partner, more we learn about them
- motivation: how inclined you are to get to know your partner
- partner legibility: how evident your partner's traits are (more present in sociable and extraverted partners)
- perceiver ability: how good you are at judging a person's qualities (high perceiverability = high emotional intelligence)
- threatening perceptions: perceiving distressing qualities about your partner
- perceiver influence: trying to change partner
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