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Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief

INTEREST. Because each basic emotion has important adaptive functions, none in itself stands alone as the most important. Yet, it would be difficult to conceive of an emotion that is more important than interest.

A transient loss of interest may be no more serious than a state of boredom, but long-term loss of interest in the social and physical environment characterizes depression. One major goal of psychotherapy for depressive clients is to restore their interest in various activities.

Research has shown that animals without any known drive state (hunger, thirst) or offer of specific reward (drive reduction) will explore novel objects and solve puzzles. This finding contributed to the acceptance of interest as an emotion or motivational condition. Recognition of an innate emotion of interest replaced the idea of an exploratory or manipulatory drive.

INTERGROUP RELATIONS

...Stereotypes serve a variety of functions including simplifying a complex social reality, providing guidelines for social interaction, providing explanations for behavior, maintaining self-esteem, and maintaining group identity, power, and prestige. These functions alone would make changing stereotypes difficult, but there are also a number of cognitive biases that sustain stereotypes. These biases affect all phases of information processing including attention, encoding, storage, and retrieval

People are often predisposed to search out information that confirms their stereotypes, apparently because confirming information is easier to process than disconfirming information.

черного кобеля не отмоешь добела...

People are also inclined to remember expectancy-confirming information concerning the traits of group members better than expectancy-disconfirming information.

In general, moods that produce high levels of arousal (e.g., fear, anger) reduce the capacity to process information thoughtfully. When moods cause this type of relatively automatic processing, stereotypes tend to be relied upon. Similarly, moods that undercut the motivation to process information carefully (e.g., feeling happy) can also lead to a reliance on stereotypes.

Tags: encyclopedia of psychology
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