① Juiminia Cognitions

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Children of differing ages interpret the world differently. Piaget believed that we are continuously trying to maintain cognitive equilibrium or a balance or cohesiveness in what we see and what we know. Children have much more of a challenge in maintaining this balance because they are constantly being confronted with new situations, new words, new objects, etc. This is the underlying dynamic in our own cognition. Piaget outlined four major stages of cognitive development. Let me briefly mention them here. We will discuss them in detail throughout the course. For about the first two years of life, the child experiences the world primarily through their senses and motor skills.

Piaget referred to this type of intelligence as sensorimotor intelligence. During the preschool years, the child begins to master the use of symbols or words and is able to think of the world symbolically but not yet logically. This stage is the preoperational stage of development. The concrete operational stage in middle childhood is marked by an ability to use logic in understanding the physical world. In the final stage, the formal operational stage the adolescent learns to think abstractly and to use logic in both concrete and abstract ways. Piaget has been criticized for overemphasizing the role that physical maturation plays in cognitive development and in underestimating the role that culture and interaction or experience plays in cognitive development.

Looking across cultures reveals considerable variation in what children are able to do at various ages. Piaget may have underestimated what children are capable of given the right circumstances. Lev Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist who wrote in the early s but whose work was discovered in the United States in the s but became more widely known in the s. Vygotsky differed with Piaget in that he believed that a person not only has a set of abilities, but also a set of potential abilities that can be realized if given the proper guidance from others. His sociocultural theory emphasizes the importance of culture and interaction in the development of cognitive abilities.

He believed that through guided participation known as scaffolding, with a teacher or capable peer, a child can learn cognitive skills within a certain range known as the zone of proximal development. Have you ever taught a child to perform a task? Maybe it was brushing their teeth or preparing food. Chances are you spoke to them and described what you were doing while you demonstrated the skill and let them work along with you all through the process. Measures of general attitudes can be used to predict behavior patterns over time, even if they cannot be used to predict specific behaviors.

It is well accepted that attitudes can affect behaviors, and behaviors can affect attitudes, depending on the situation. Psychologists believe that attitudes can be either explicit deliberately formed or implicit unconsciously formed. People may not be aware of their implicit attitudes, so they must be measured using sophisticated methods that can access unconscious thoughts and feelings, such as response times to stimuli. Explicit attitudes are deliberately formed attitudes that an individual is aware of having, and they can be measured by self-report and questionnaires.

Researchers attempt to understand the function of attitudes by considering how they affect individuals. There are four primary categories that explain the function of attitudes:. There are several factors that affect the ways in which our attitudes are formed. Some researchers believe that learning can account for the attitudes an individual holds. The formation of many attitudes is believed to happen due to conditioning or social learning, and attitudes in general are expected to change with experience. An example of this can be seen with the mere-exposure effect , which describes how an individual will develop positive attitudes toward something or someone simply due to repeated exposure.

Leon Festinger proposed the cognitive-dissonance theory , which states that a powerful motive to maintain cognitive consistency can give rise to irrational and sometimes maladaptive behavior. According to Festinger, we hold many cognitions about the world and ourselves; when they clash, a discrepancy is evoked, resulting in a state of tension known as cognitive dissonance. For example, if you believe smoking is bad for your health but you continue to smoke, you experience conflict between your belief and your behavior. Since the experience of dissonance is unpleasant, we are motivated to reduce or eliminate it and achieve consonance agreement.

Smoking and cognitive dissonance : Smokers often experience cognitive dissonance: they know that smoking is harmful to their health, but they continue to do it anyway. When we experience cognitive dissonance, we are motivated to decrease it because it is psychologically, physically, and mentally uncomfortable. We can reduce cognitive dissonance by bringing our cognitions, attitudes, and behaviors in line—that is, making them harmonious. This can be done in different ways, such as:. Much of the persuasion we experience comes from outside forces. Numerous variables have been found to influence the persuasion process and are normally presented in four major categories:. The dual-process model is one of the most notable models of persuasion.

The peripheral route does not involve critically analyzing or elaborating on the message. It is a mental shortcut which accepts or rejects a message based on external cues, such as attractiveness or perceived credibility, rather than critical thought. It is likely to be used in low-motivation conditions. Prejudice is a baseless and usually negative attitude toward members of a group. Common features of prejudice include negative feelings, stereotyped beliefs, and a tendency to discriminate against members of the group. The word is often used to refer to preconceived, usually unfavorable, judgments toward people based on their gender, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, or other personal characteristics.

It is also important to remember that prejudice is a belief and not a behavior. Although prejudice may lead to discrimination, the two are separate concepts. This is thought to be because individuals tend to have more knowledge about members of their own group, so they do not have to rely on heuristics to make judgments about them. Heuristics are simple guidelines that people use to make decisions, come to judgements, and solve problems, typically when facing incomplete information.

Heuristics are along the same lines as rules of thumb, stereotypes, educated guesses, intuitive judgements, and profiling. While these internal guidelines tend to work well, they can sometimes lead to systematic errors in judgement or cognitive biases. Therefore, when evaluating members from other groups, or outgroups , individuals may have access to limited information and refer to predetermined ideas to make predictions about behavior.

Researchers have found that ingroup favoritism, or preference for members of the group one belongs to, can occur even when the group had no prior social meaning. Experiments have shown that when participants were assigned to groups based on something as trivial as a coin toss, those participants exhibited ingroup favoritism, giving preferential treatment to members of their own group. The outgroup homogeneity effect is the perception that members of an outgroup are more similar than members of the ingroup. This can range from physical to mental characteristics. This kind of prejudice can be seen in times of war or conflict, when each group dehumanizes their enemy. Prejudice and propaganda : Elements of prejudice can often be seen in propaganda. This image emphasizes the individuality of the ingroup America and the homogeneity of the outgroup Slavik communists , demonstrating the principle of outgroup homogeneity.

Another example of this phenomenon was noted in a study in which researchers asked 90 sorority members to judge the degree of within-group similarity for their own group and two other groups. It was found that every participant judged their own sorority members to be significantly more dissimilar than the members of the other groups. The justification-suppression model of prejudice explains that people face a conflict between the desire to express prejudice and the desire to maintain a positive self-concept. This conflict causes people to search for justification for disliking an outgroup and to use that justification to avoid negative self-concept when they express their disdain.

The realistic conflict theory RCT states that competition between limited resources leads to increased negative prejudices and discrimination. Research has shown this to be the case, even when the resource in question is insignificant—such as a cheap plastic trinket. However, research has shown that the hostilities created in this situation can be lessened once groups are forced to cooperate to achieve a common goal. In this study, researchers posed as camp personnel, observing 22 eleven- and twelve-year-old boys who had never previously met and had similar backgrounds. First, the boys were divided into two groups upon arrival, based on similarities. Then, the groups were entered in competition with one another in various camp games for prizes, which caused both groups to develop negative attitudes and behaviors towards the outgroup.

In the final stage, tensions between the groups were reduced through teamwork-driven tasks that required intergroup cooperation. This theory states that society can be viewed as a series of group-based hierarchies. This helps to validate their claim over the limited resources. Research indicates that most prejudicial attitudes and biases are culturally learned and not innate, meaning these beliefs can also be unlearned. In a meta-analysis of studies on prejudice, three important mediating factors were found to reduce prejudice.

All factors rely on intergroup contact, or the intermingling of two groups. This contact 1 enhances knowledge about the outgroup, 2 reduces anxiety about intergroup contact, and 3 increases empathy and perspective taking. Privacy Policy. Skip to main content. Social Psychology. Search for:. Social Cognition. Learning Objectives Compare the various types, models, and errors of attribution.

Key Takeaways Key Points Attribution theory attempts to explain the processes by which individuals explain, or attribute, the causes of behavior and events. Attributions are classified as either internal or external. Internal attributions include dispositional or personality -based explanations; external attributions emphasize situational factors. Individuals are susceptible to bias and error when making attributions about themselves and others.

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