Psy/201 Social Development

Topics: Sociology, Middle age, Behavior Pages: 36 (10870 words) Published: February 24, 2013
Social Development Research


The article I have chosen to review and summarize for this assignment addresses selectivity during social information processing. It investigates whether or not this selectivity evolves with age and social experience. This article was chosen because it is informative and interesting. The author chose to use the technique of experimentation to analyze whether or not increased age affects the way in which humans process social information. The article provides clear detailed documentation of these experiments and their results. What this article and these experiments suggest provide another piece to the puzzle of social development issues. The test subjects in the experiments (varying in age) were asked to read descriptive behaviors of a person, then to form an impression of that person based on the behaviors described. The behaviors presented were characterized by moral traits and competency traits. The subjects were told to imagine spending the day with a person exuding these behaviors in order to help them form an impression of them. Humans automatically judge all things. They recognize physical traits instantly. Moral traits and competency traits of others are judged as well. This is part of the social information processing procedure. There is natural selectivity involved in this process. Some people will be more drawn to people who possess good moral traits and others will be drawn to those who possess competency traits. The question sought to be answered here is if this selectivity differs with age and social experience. This study suggests that the moral and competency traits that are perceived are processed and valued differently in response to age, social experience, and shifting social goals. This article would be an excellent resource for a research paper based on social information processing and how selectivity is affected by age. This article may not provide enough information to write a full research paper, but it does contain relevant information that will help in the process of writing a research paper. The information provided is credible and the experiments conducted were documented well. (Psychology and Aging, (2011). American Psychological Association 2011, Vol. 26, No. 4. Retrieved from University of Phoenix Library.) ARTICLE:

Social Knowledge and Goal-Based Influences on Social Information Processing in Adulthood
Thomas M. Hess and Dana Kotter-Gru¨hn
North Carolina State University
Effective social functioning is reflected in the ability to accurately characterize other people and then use this information in the service of social goals. To examine this type of social functioning, the authors conducted two studies that investigated potential influences of social experience and chronic socioemotional goals on adults’ social judgments in an impression formation task. In line with a social expertise framework, middle-aged and older adults were more sensitive to trait-diagnostic behavioral information than were younger adults. Relative to younger adults, older adults paid more attention to negative than to positive information when it related to morality traits. Increasing the salience of the social context, and presumably activating socioemotional goals, did not alter this pattern of performance. In contrast, when more global social evaluations were examined (e.g., suitability as a social partner), older adults were less likely than younger or middle-aged adults to adjust their evaluations in response to situational goals. Consistent with a heightened focus on socioemotional goals, older adults’ judgments were more consistently influenced by their attributions of traits that would likely impact the affective outcomes associated with interpersonal interactions. The results demonstrate the interaction between social knowledge, situational social goals, and chronic socioemotional goals in determining age differences in social...
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