brown timberlands A Cognitive Psychology Blog Social Cognition
Your world is collapsing. Okay no it’s not, but you are extremely stressed, sad, and worried. Do you ever wonder why no one seems to care that you’re feeling these things, or wish that someone would only ask if you’re okay? We all feel like this sometimes! But see, everybody else is not the problem. It’s not that people don’t care or don’t want to help (most likely); it’s just simply the fact that they may not even know you’re feeling like this. Think about the last time you gave a presentation in one of your classes or to a group of people. You’re standing up there, fidgeting, sweating, and you feel like your thoughts are jumbled and that your speech reflects that. You look into the crowd and see a girl twirling her hair I must look like an idiot. These feelings are not out of the ordinary, in fact, they’re quite normal, and they can be attributed to the illusion of transparency.
That feeling when no one understands you illusion of transparency is the tendency to believe that one’s internal states are more obvious to others than they actually are. We believe that the outside world can see and understand what we’re feeling and thinking, because we feel like we show our feelings, thoughts and emotions explicitly. However in reality, we overestimate the extent to which other people can tell what’s really going on inside our heads or what we’re trying to say. To test thetheory out for yourself, watchthisvideo to see if you can guess the song behind the rhythm! Or, to learn more about this illusion (after you’ve finished reading this post, of course), check out this other awesome post from the CogBlog! Additionally, many studies have been conducted that aim to look at why this happens, and to see if this illusion actually holds true when tested. People often make FAE without realizing it. What are some examples of FAE, why does it happen so often outside our consciousness, and how can we avoid it?
Let starts with some examples of FAE. Imagine you are traveling in a foreign country and want to buy souvenirs for your friends. After careful selection, you decide to buy seventeen homemade chocolate bars; each is thirteen dollars. Before checking out,
you want to know how much do they cost but you are having a hard time calculating the exact number. Then, the little boy next to you says immediately: “Hey, that’s 221 dollars.”
So you take out the cell phone to check the total; you find out that the boy is correct. Why might she say this to me? In order to “plateau” me. viewing yourself in a very positive way). My sister (as many siblings tend to do) easily recognizes when I act on the self enhancement bias and thank goodness she does! Why? Because I don’t.
Before you start feeling bad for me and the fact that I don’t have the ability to recognize my own biases, I’d like to introduce another type of bias, called the bias blind spot. The bias blind spot is the inability for people to recognize a bias in themselves, even if they can see it in others. Studies show that people of all ages and backgrounds are likely to notice biases in others, but do not notice biases in themselves (Pronin, 2007; Pronin Kugler, 2007; West, Meserve, Stanovich, 2012). So guess what? Research says that you too are susceptible to be blind to the effects biases play on your thoughts and actions. Why do we make judgments about people we know nothing about based on their group identification? Why do we assume good things about strangers who are more similar to us, or bad things about anyone who differs? What justifies this behavior?
Walking around Colby College campus on a rainy day, one often sees a dizzying number of Hunter rain boots and Timberland boots. It seems that everyone is wearing the same style of boots. Why are these boots so popular? Who started wearing them? Why are these boots everywhere? In his book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell examines social epidemics, such as fashion trends and smoking, and the moment they take off. It’s an excellent read that strives to explain how seemingly sudden social epidemics start and are sustained. While Gladwell never explicitly uses the term ‘bandwagon effect’, his case studies in the book concerning fashion trends hint at this phenomenon.
Ever met someone you just don’t trust? Maybe it’s something about their face. Maybe you heard something about them from a friend that made you wince in disgust. Research shows that this distrust tends to be a stubborn figment in our imaginations even when we learn that our reasoning for distrusting someone is unfounded, we have a hard time accepting that the person in question is trust worthy. A group of cognitive psychologists from Japan wondered why this is the case. Their question: why is it that we’re so good at remembering people who are “cheaters?” Given that we’re social animals cooperatively working to make this thing called society work, is it possible that we’re hard wired to explicitly identify others who take nefarious advantage of our cooperation? Perhaps evolution is at play, and we need this ability to continue to make society viable (Suzuki, Honma, and Suga, 2013). They wondered just that and decided to study this question with a series of experiments testing the durability of stigma participants held in their study.