University of Houston-Clear Lake Advanced Social Psychology
Midterm Exam Summer 2015
University of Houston-Clear Lake
As described by Myers, “schema” is a very important concept in social cognition. How does the “power of perception” or “self-fulfilling prophecy” play a positive or negative role in our everyday life? Provide an example of the fundamental attribution error, and be sure to explain why the error is considered “fundamental.” Describe the strengths and the weaknesses of both controlled and automatic processing. Explain how journalists can fall prey to cognitive bias in news-making.
A self-fulfilling prophesy in social psychology is when a perceiver holds a false belief about a target. This false belief starts a chain of events that eventually causes the targets to exhibit the behavior that the perceiver expected, thereby causing the perceiver’s original false beliefs to become true. Snyder et al (1977) state that “the events in the social world may be as much the effects of our perception of those events as they are the causes of those perceptions.” In other words, we may influence people to behave a certain way based on how we view them. When we have strong beliefs about a certain ethnicity and/or gender we may treat them a certain way before even getting to know them which will influence the way they in turn interact with us. An example, is the way the men in the study interacted differently with the women based on whether they assumed