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UCD / Psychology / PSY 1 / How does conformity influence behavior?

How does conformity influence behavior?

How does conformity influence behavior?


School: University of California - Davis
Department: Psychology
Course: General Psychology
Professor: Simonton
Term: Spring 2016
Tags: PSC 1, General Psychology, and UC Davis
Cost: 25
Name: PSC 1 Week 2 Notes
Description: These notes cover the week 2 lectures.
Uploaded: 04/10/2016
6 Pages 168 Views 1 Unlocks

4/4/16 Lecture 4  

How does conformity influence behavior?

Social Psychology  

• scientific study of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors  

• Affect, Behavior, Cognition  

Social Influence  

• Group Conformity: adjusting beliefs, feelings, and behaviors to align with others in the group  • Information social influence  

• influence from reliable information  

• private conformity—internal, personal beliefs changed  

• ex: interrogator asks a witness questions that are so convincing that the suspect  becomes convinced that he actually did do it  

• normative social influence  

• influence based on social pressure  

What are the factors that influence conformity within groups?

• public conformity—external, change just to go with the group  

• ex: interrogator asks a witness questions for a long time and the suspect just admits  that they did it after a while so that they can leave  

• Factors that influence conformity  

• number of people in a group  

• one person giving the correct response  

• one person giving the incorrect response  

• Obedience: engaging in a behavior that is commanded by an authority figure  • can either be good (ex: obeying firefighter instructions) or bad (ex: becoming a Nazi) based  on the outcome  

• Factors that decrease obedience  

How does obedience to authority influence our behavior?

• physical and psychological proximity to the learner  

• closer proximity increases personal responsibility  

• undermining authority  

• Bystander effect: presence of other people reduces the chance that any one person will help  • Pluralistic ignorance  Don't forget about the age old question of What causes rigor mortis?

• false belief that everyone else perceives a situation differently than you do but  everyone feels the same way  

• ex: everyone in the group hates to drink and party but they all think that the rest of  them do so they all go drink and party together  

• Kitty Genovese case: (she was stabbed to death)  

 false belief: the situation wasn't an emergency (since nobody else was concerned)   reality: it is an emergency  

 influence on behavior: nobody helped

• Diffusion of responsibility  

• the more people present in an emergency, the less each person feels responsible for  helping  

• reducing the bystander effect:  

• point and direct “you call 911” “you get the life guard”  Don't forget about the age old question of What is ventilation in a respiratory system?

• knowledge of the bystander effect  We also discuss several other topics like Why is ampere's law used?

Situational influences on helping  

• noticing the need to help  

• being in a happy mood  

• victim’s deservingness—people are more likely to help someone with a cane than a drunk  person  

• time—more available time, the more likely they are to help  

4/5/16 Lecture 5  

• Deindividuation: tendency for people to engage in deviant behaviors when stripped of their  typical identity  

• Is more likely to occur when:  

• you feel anonymous (ex: in costumes on Halloween, TPing houses)  

• you are adopting social roles (ex: in a group—mob riots)  

• you have low self-awareness (ex: headphones on and start singing out loud and not  notice until you realize everyone is staring at you)  

demand characteristics: participants may act how they think the experimenters want them to act  

Social Perception  

• Social schema: mental structures that people use to organize their knowledge about the world  • useful because they allow us to not become overwhelmed by all pieces of info  • influence the info that we notice  Don't forget about the age old question of Why did the slaves revolt in the haitian revolution?

• influence the associations  

• Self-concept: knowledge about who we are and what we are like  

• comprised of multiple self-schemas  

• self-reference effect: perceiving that our own beliefs and viewpoints are the norm;  overestimating the degree to which others share our beliefs  

• ex: talking about a favorite show with a friend that doesn't know about it and saying  “What? How do you not know about this show, it’s so great”  

• Social Comparison Theory: evaluating our abilities and comparing ourselves to other people

• upward: comparing us to people who are better than us on a trait or ability  • can be motivating, but might make us feel worse about ourselves  

• downward: comparing us to people who are worse than us on a trait or ability  • not motivating, makes us feel better about ourselves  

• Perceiving others—the halo effect: the tendency for one positive characteristic of a person to  transfer to judgements of other positive characteristics  

• common occurrence is for people that are attractive (good people in movies are generally  attractive while the bad people are generally unattractive)  

• Trait Impressions: some traits are weighted more heavily than others  

• central traits: have large influence on impressions of other people  We also discuss several other topics like Is plurality the same as majority?

• peripheral: have small influence on impressions of other people  

• Inferring traits from facial features  

• we judge “baby-faced” adults differently then “mature-faced” adults  We also discuss several other topics like What are the stages of personality development?

4/6/16 Lecture 6  

Attributions: inferences we make about the causes of other people’s behaviors  

• dispositional—attribution made to an internal cause of behavior  

• more likely to make these for other people’s behavior  

• situational—attribution made to external cause of behavior  

• more likely to make these for our own behaviors  

Intergroup Bias  

• Social Categorization: classification of people into groups based on common attributes  • benefits: function as schemas, aids impression formation, saves time and energy  • costs: overestimate between-group differences, underestimate within-group differences,  basis for stereotyping and prejudice  

• Affect  

• prejudice: negative feelings or attitudes toward people based on their group  membership  

• has become socially unacceptable: used to be overt, blatant; now is subtle, covert  • Behavior  

• discrimination: negative behavior directed against people because of their group  membership

• can be negative behavior directed against a certain group or preferential treatment  for one group over another  

• blatant ex: writing hateful things toward a group on buildings  

• subtle ex: music auditions by gender  

• Cognition  

• stereotypes: cognitive beliefs that associate people with certain traits based on their  group membership  

• culturally pervasive  

• observations from environment  

• expected social roles  

• subtyping  

• exceptions to stereotype (ex: working women (vs stay at home women))  • Positive stereotype (ex: women are kind and nurturing) consequences  

• positive: conform to expectations  

• negative: inaccurate impressions, can justify pre-existing social hierarchies  • prejudice, discrimination, and stereotypes are independent, consequential, and bi-directional  (one can lead to the other and visa versa)  

• In-groups and out-groups  

• out-group homogeneity: tendency to view outgrip members as highly similar and to view  the members of our own in-group as more diverse  

• in-group bias: preference for in-group over out-group  

• reducing intergroup bias  

• motivation  

• contact hypothesis  

• Robbert’s Cave Study  

• tested how to reduce intergroup conflict between 5th grade boys  

• Stereotype Threat: apprehension that one’s behavior might confirm a stereotype while in a  stereotype relevant situation  

• impairs performance in the stereotyped domain  

• ex: Steele and Aronson, 1995  

4/7/16 Lecture 7  

Personality Psychology  

• personality: the unique and relatively enduring set of thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and  motives that characterize an individual

Major theoretical approaches  

• Psychoanalytic Approach  

• unconscious forces drive personality and behavior and they can express themselves in  distorted forms  

• Frued’s (1856-1939) model of the mind  

• Id—seeks pleasure, impulsive  

• Ego—makes realistic attempt to satisfy id’s desires  

• Superego—sense of conscience and morality  

• unconscious defense mechanisms: used to protect against anxiety-provoking thoughts  and feelings and against threats from the outside world  

• repression, reaction formation, projection, sublimation, etc.  

• Neo-Freudians  

• similarities: unconscious processes, importance of early childhood experiences  • differences (from Freud): less emphasis on sexuality and more on social drives, more  optimistic about personality chance  

• Behavioral and Social Learning Approach  

• personality shaped by learned behaviors  

• behavioral learning: adopting behaviors that have been associated with good outcomes  • social learning: personality development also involves thought and cognition  • social observation (bobo doll experiment)  

• watch video  

• Humanistic Approach  

• self-actualization (being the best person you can be) as core motive  

• free-will (people have complete control over their actions)  

• optimistic about human nature (people are inherently good)  

• approach came form the humanistic movement  

• Two prominent theorists:  

• Carl Rogers  

• achieve fulfillment by receiving unconditional positive regard  

• people need to feel completely accepted  

• Abraham Maslow  

• people can only achieve self-actualization after they have reached all of their needs  from the hierarchy of needs (from bottom to top: physiological, safety and security,  love and belonging, self-esteem, self-actualization)  

• Biological Approach  

• assumes that differences in personality are based in part on physiological differences  • genes, central nervous system, neurotransmitters, hormones  

• Hans Eysenck model  

• genes—> arousal, sensitivity to stimulation—> personality, cognition, behavior

• three dimensions of personality  

• neuroticism, extraversion, psychoticism  

• cortical arousal  

• introverts—higher baseline levels  

• extroverts—lower baseline levels  

• Twin studies: measuring the correlations of personality traits among twins  • correlations between twins raised together and twins raised apart were very similar in  the Minnesota Twin Study  

• Conclusions:  

• personality traits are at least partially heritable  

• much of the variability in personality is due to environmental factors  

• Trait Approach  

• identifies major personality traits that are consistent across situations and stable across time  • comparative because the amount of traits in people can be compared between people  • predict behaviors and important life outcomes  

• Big Five Model (O.C.E.A.N.)  

• openness to experience: how open people are to experience different things  • conscientiousness: how reliable, organized, and dependable someone is  • extraversion: outgoing  

• agreeableness: how well someone gets along with people  

• neuroticism: being sensitive to stress  

• traits are dimensional and change across lifespan  

• conscientiousness and agreeableness tend to increase

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