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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 61 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  Don't forget about the age old question of What does action potential mean?

• undermining authority  

• Bystander effect: presence of other people reduces the chance that any one person will help  • Pluralistic ignorance  

• false belief that everyone else perceives a situation differently than you do but  everyone feels the same way  We also discuss several other topics like What is ventilation in a respiratory system?

• 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  If you want to learn more check out How do you find the electric force between a proton and an electron?
If you want to learn more check out Why did the slaves revolt in the haitian revolution?

• reducing the bystander effect:  

• point and direct “you call 911” “you get the life guard”  

• knowledge of the bystander effect  

Situational influences on helping  Don't forget about the age old question of Is plurality the same as majority?

• 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  If you want to learn more check out What is the big five trait of agreeableness?

• 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  

• 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  

• peripheral: have small influence on impressions of other people  

• Inferring traits from facial features  

• we judge “baby-faced” adults differently then “mature-faced” adults  

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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