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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. 


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.