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Exploring Social Cognition

Home | What is Social Cognition? | What is a Schema? | Why Do We Have Schemas? | Which schemas are applied? | The Perserverance Effect | Self-Fulfilling Prophecy | Judgmental Heuristics | Availability Heuristc | Representative Heuristc | Anchoring and Adustment Heuristic | Automatic Versus Controlled Thinking | Thought Suppression | Errors in Social Cognition | Links | Bibliography








Representative Heuristc

The representativeness heuristic is a heuristic in which commonality between objects of similar appearance is assumed. For instance, if I meet someone with a laid back attitude and long hair, I might assume they are Californian, whereas someone who is very polite but rigid may be assumed to be English.  Another example is that people will often assume that a random sequence in a lottery is more likely than an arithmetic sequence of numbers. 

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Furthermore, base rate information is imperative to the representative heuristic.  It is typically information concerned with the frequency of members of different categories in society.