Social Psychology

Topics: Psychology, Sociology, Identity Pages: 3 (1002 words) Published: April 22, 2013
In social psychology, I have become fascinated with social cognition, the way we think about ourselves and the way we think of others. The phenomena’s I find most intriguing is the way we conserve mental effort and self present. One way we conserve mental effort is by reducing the amount of thinking we have to do when meeting someone new and this is done by stereotyping. Stereotyping is best defined as a widespread belief about a certain group of people. It allows us to quickly respond to a situation based on a similar interaction from a previous experience. Stereotyping is a form of confirmation bias because individuals are inclined to interpret information about someone that confirms their prior assumptions. According to the slides for social cognition, people have the tendency to use cognitive shortcuts when in complex social situations; such as, meeting someone in a crowded bar. I have personally experienced confirmation bias many times throughout college, based entirely on my appearance. The disadvantage to being constantly stereotyped is that people assume things about me that are completely untrue. I have blonde hair and large breasts; therefore, I am categorized into this “dumb blonde” stereotype. For instance, I met a group of people out one night and when they were discussing business strategies, they spoke down to me as if I wouldn’t understand. I quickly interrupted stating that I am, in fact, a business major and probably know more about business than they do. In this specific situation, I believe I could have changed the phenomena, possibly, by just putting my hair up in a professional style bun and wearing a full coverage blouse. Having long, flowing blonde hair and wearing a rather provocative shirt caused the group of people to quickly classify me based on their preconceptions. Confirmation bias allows us to conserve mental effort; however, it compels us to ignore the differences in people and disregard actual facts because of what we think a...
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