Discussion Chapter 3: SPOILERs ahead, so read the chapter before reading this question! For this week’s discussion, I want you to focus on the alien I aske

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Discussion Chapter 3: SPOILERs ahead, so read the chapter before reading this question! For this week’s discussion, I want you to focus on the alien I asked you to draw at the beginning of the powerpoint presentation. If you can, try to upload an image of your alien for your other group members to see. If you can’t upload an image, describe it to your group. Then answer the following questions: 1). Did it conform to the typical alien (big head, antennae, skinny arms and legs) or did it diverge from this typical schema. 2). Why do you think your alien conformed / did not conform to this typical image? In your discussion, draw on at least TWO concepts talked about in your powerpoint presentations, like priming, controlled or automatic processing, or heuristics (other concepts are okay to discuss as well, but you must talk about TWO concepts – you must define them before discussing how they apply) Chapter 3
Social Beliefs & Judgments

Part 5 (After the Decision is Made)


Part Five

After the Decision


After the Decision is Made
Counterfactual thinking involves thoughts we have about what may have happened had we made a different decision or done something differently
It is seemingly automatic, though it has an element of effortful work. Let me explain …
Think about all those times you thought to yourself, “Things would have turned out so much better (or so much worse) if only I had _____________”.
This is a counterfactual thought, and it can have a big impact on emotions …


After the Decision is Made
Counterfactual thinking can have a big influence on emotions
After a loved one’s tragic death, a person may experience a great deal of distress if they have lots of counterfactual thoughts. Fill in the following blank:
If I had just ____________ he wouldn’t be dead.
“If I had called the paramedics earlier”; “if I knew CPR”; “if I had paid more attention”; “if I got to him earlier”; etc.
If the thinker was able to fill in the blank with lots of possible “fixes”, he or she may experience very negative thoughts, because the death might be seen as easily preventable


Who’s happier – Gold, Silver, or Bronze?
Medvec, Madly, and Golovich (1995) asked this question
Although gold medalists were happiest, bronze medalists were happier than silver medalists.


Counterfactual Thinking
Upward counterfactuals compare the current outcome to more favorable outcomes (this is similar to upward comparisons!)
May lead to dissatisfaction: “I could have done better if only …”
Silver medalists probably do this and envy the gold medalist

Downward counterfactuals compare current outcome to less favorable outcomes (this is similar to downward comparisons!)
May lead to satisfaction: “I could have done worse if only …”
The bronze medalist likely experiences relief in even getting a medal, because it is possible he could have come in 4th!


Counterfactual Thinking
Counterfactual thinking: The good news about counterfactuals is that if we can imagine a bad outcome as inevitable, we won’t feel bad about it
Imagine you are rushing to the airport and miss your flight. Are you going to feel worse if you missed it by:
5 minutes OR 60 minutes
5 minutes! There are so many things you could have done to get there 5 minutes earlier, making you feel very depressed. But if you missed it by 60 minutes, it was probably inevitable that you would have missed it


A Look Ahead
This ends Chapter 3 on Social Beliefs and Judgments
Ahead, we will focus on another dimension of beliefs, namely the attitudes we hold and how they develop
We will also focus on something called cognitive dissonance, or what happens when you hold an attitude that is inconsistent with your either your behavior or another attitude you hold

I want to remind you that your Attribution Assignment #1 will be due soon, so use what you learned in this chapter to complete that assignment. I will see you in chapter 4!


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