Exam 2 Study Guide
∙ Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment
Class project: social psychology of institutions
Prison group brought guest
o Set up mock prison with help: 3, 6x9 cells in basement(cot, mattress, sheet, pillow)
o 24 Ss recruited from campus paid for 2 week study of prison life, none were friends, all were tested for psychological health
o Random assignment: half prisoners and half guards (12 and 12) Independent variable
o Set up:
Guards worked 8 hour shifts, do counts/roll call at beginning, maintain order (4 guards for 12 people)
Write diary at end of shift
No physical aggression
Prisoners= picked up from home via PA police, fingerprinted, blindfolded and brought to psych
Given uniform(smock, sandals, chain around 1 ankle, a number)
Remained in custody continuously
2 hrs for reading, 2 visiting periods per week, 3 toilet visits, 3
bland meals per day
Started smoothly, rebellion in 24 hours leader excused in 36hrs and others punished
Prisoners: became passive and nonconforming, did less and less on own, referred to selves by number, day 6 a mock parole hearing (asked to give up pay to be let out they said yes) went back to cell
Guards: became demeaning and degrading, after rebellion they took sheets off of bed, locked one up for refusing to eat and made others tease him about it
o What does this study teach us?
The important of social rolls
Conformity conforming to the guard roll or the prisoner roll(refer by number) If you want to learn more check out What describes the severity of cancer?
Power is corrupting? People can be cruel?
There is evidence that social power gives entitlement
Most important lesson: the power of the situation situations often come with rules (expectations for how to act) that serve as powerful and even
overwhelming guides to behavior
Role determines behavior (& perspective/attributions)
Taking over independently of pacifistic identity
∙ Social perspective (social) behavior determined by culture
o What are norms?
Standards for accepted and expected behaviors (“social rules” for how to act)
“normal” behavior so “normal” unaware till violation
Subway study by Milgram: sent students to subway and told them to ask people for their seats. People gave up seats (56%) or made room (12%)
Theatre study by Milgram: had students cut in line at a theatre.
Compliance (givein, if not accept): 57%
Some norms are for specific status/social position: role
Role= set (cluster) of norms to define how someone in a particular social situate or position should act
Concept developed by Goffman; theater as metaphor; roles, like We also discuss several other topics like What is the policy? what is ag policy?
scripts, define behavior to maintain social life
Examples of social roles? parents, doctors, professors
Gender roles: examples clothing ect
∙ Gender roles
o Why are gender roles important?
o One of the foundational/organizational schemes for our culture
o How do we come to know roles and norms?
Observation of others (modeling)
Explicit teaching (reinforcement)
o Where do sex roles come from?
F. Boaz, R. Benedict, M. Mead= culture
Mead’s work: sex and temperament in 3 primitive societies. Arapesh nonviolent, Mundugumore men and women violent, Tchamuli Don't forget about the age old question of What is the value of a theory?
women dominant and men primped
Conclusions dubious (overstated and perhaps misinterpreted)
Norms thought to derive from sexual division of labor
Femininity ( inclined to be caring and empathetic= work inside home) ∙ Evolutionary Perspective
o Doesn’t dispute norms may be learned (empirical question)
o Argues ultimate cause (of culture and/or individual)=evolution
Behavior is “adapted” to match the survival needs of ancestors; that is we behave in ways that helped our ancestors survive (reproduce)
Why is sex fun? Why is sugar sweet?
Implication: some “norms,” especially gender, may be evolutionary we may see them because they helped our ancestors survive
o Parental investment theory
Women=reproduction is biologicallycostly
Men= reproduction is biologicallycheap
Thus, evolutionary psychology predict sex differences We also discuss several other topics like Who is bartolome de las casas?
Example: sexual interest; mate preference; aggressiveness; empathy etc o What are “established” sex differences?
Men are more willing to engage in uncommitted sex (C&H), see sexual interest in partners (A). Study where people were randomly asked to
have sex: more than half of males said yes, none of the females said
Men everywhere seek youthful partners (seeks reprod fitness), while
women seek financial security (B).
Women skeptical of commitment (B).
Men are more physically aggressive than women everywhere, despite Mead (D&W)
Men seem more focused on independence and women display more
empathy/concern for others
Zoosk dating site (2014) reports men using emojis get fewer dates but women get more
PI theory is consistent with these observed patterns.
o Note: overlapping distributions
Not all men/women same
Some men show empathy and some women show aggression
∙ How can we distinguish whether norms are reflection of culture or evolutionary history? o If you see the same behavior in all cultures you can say it isn’t from culture o Crosscultural (you might think) important and often neglected
If behavior is everywhere same, hard to say “culture”
If behavior is different, is it “culture”?
Example: Maslow/Indians (motive evolved; expression learned) they would give things away. They gained status by giving away things, not keeping things or having things like us. We all have same motive to gain status
o Point is: false dichotomy
Behavior may be biology (evolution) & culture
Humans are innately socialborn prematurely (before brains
Evolution may lead to cultural patters enforced on nonobservers
Thus, evolution= ultimate (most distalfar away), culture (distal),
psych (more proximatecloser), etc
o Naturalistic fallacy evolution doesn’t always set up something good morally or other (behaviors or anything else)
But does not make “right” (nature is not “good”, ex: diseases)
∙ Compliance= behavioral change without attitudinal change. But, selfperception and dissonance say it may result. If so, acceptance
∙ Persuasion= attitudinal change (with ultimate goal of behavioral change, ex: voting, purchases etc.)
∙ Social influence= we change thing because of other people and social processes ∙ Social psychology proposed 2 routes to persuasion:
o Central route change via arguments=mindful processing (thoughtful consideration of facts)
o Peripheral route change via incidental factors= heuristic processing (reacting to cues that are irrelevant to the argument)
∙ Which is better and why? two reasons for central route:
o As a scientist/educator prefer informed, evidenced, and rational choices o Because mindfulbased decisionmaking should be more potent and
∙ Reciprocation there is a perhaps universal rule for return of favors
o So powerful, it works even if favor is uninvited
o Demonstrated experimentally as follows: 2 “S” in a study of art appreciation Cond 1 after exp, S2 (confederate) offers raffle ticket (25c)
Cond 2 during break S2 buys S1 coke (5c=1960)
What happened? In cond1 1 ticket sold, cond2 2 tickets sold
o That’s not all= “sweetening the deal”
Bake sale: Cond 1: 2 cupcakes + 2 cookies, 75c
Cond 2: 2 cupcakes 75c, but before deciding +2 cookies free
Result: 40% of approaches cond 1; 73% cond 2
∙ Reciprocal Concessions or “Door in the face”
o Outrageous request followed by smaller=salesperson has done a “favor” by reducing request you feel compelled to “return” by complying with smaller request o Blood drive: cond 1 will you come back next week?, cond 2 will you come back every 6 weeks for next 3 years? No? okay how about just next week?
Results: 43% cond 1; 0 at first, then 84% cond 2
∙ Commitment and consistency basis of “contracting” in therapy and behavior modification
o Sales tactics: phone company “are you the type who likes to save money?” “what would it take for you to buy the care today?”
o Variations: foot in the door (small request, then bigger) calling to ask questions about household products you use for “The Guide”=small request. 3 days later: expanding publication 56 men for 2hr to record all household products. Must have full freedom to go through cupboard and storage places.
Control (no small request): 22% yes
Exp (foot in the door): 53% yes
o Lowball: make a lowprice offer, then when commitment, take away basis of commitment. Care sales: promise to sell for X, but manager says no
o Bait & switch: make a lowprice offer, then when S shows to purchase, subst a lowerquality product for price
∙ Social proof/conformity we are influenced by others, sometimes consciously (go to a new church)
o Sherif: “autokinetic effect” Ss estimated movement of light in inches across several days. They were watching the light either alone or in a group (saying inches out loud). When alone, their answers are all over the place. When in group, they said answers that were similar.
o Asch: wanted anthro, not soc psych, but got interested in imp form Would people conform when task was unambiguous?
Chose task everyone could do: choose like A,B, or C to match other line 99% correct (1% wrong) in solo trials
Group of 4 confederates and one S: 37% of time S would give knowable wrong answer. No punishment or reward, yet people conformed
Why? – normative social influence: based on need for social approval Evidence: with one dissenter (gave right answer), conformity dropped to 6% but when dissenter conformed, S did (to 30%).
Conf dropped with private responding (others wouldn’t hear)
o Descriptive norms= what people do (situational)
o Injective norms= what people should do (transsituational carry with you) Clean or littered environment: S given paper to litter or not. Conf walks by (control). Conf drops mcdonalds bag on ground focus on descriptive. Conf picks up bag focus on injunctive. If conf drops bag, S litter. If conf picks up bag, S doesn’t litter. If clean ground, S doesn’t litter.
Petrified forest: Either put up no message, descriptive (many people stole wood and changed forest) sign or injective (do not steal wood to protect beauty) signs. 3% vs 7% vs 2%
∙ We tend to underestimate social influence.
o Energy conservation: survey that asked why should we conserve energy? (protect env, save money, bc others do it). “because of others” rated low; but best predictor. Exp: least “motivating” people who got messages that neighbors were trying to conserve energy, used less energy.
o Goes well beyond perception
o Philips: publicizing suicides increases the amount of suicides
o Milgram student of Asch decided to study “conformity” without groups, conformity with expectations of other
3 players: 1 experimenter, 2 subj (one confederate)
Subj recruited from newspaper for money
Procedure: upon arrival, S was paid ($4.50). subj told experiment was about punishment and memory. Draw for “role” of teacher versus learner (both said teacher so subj always got teacher). Teacher was to give test,
increase shock with every wrong answer; no response= wrong answer.
Teacher shown shock machine 15450 volts (ex dangerous) to convince it was real, they were hooked up and given a little jolt
Confederate was strapped into chair while subj watched. Could not see while shocking, could only hear. Conf was suppose to say certain things at certain volts (let me out, I refuse to continue, cant stand the pain scream, and then silence)
63% continued to 450 volts (6 more levels after conf went silent)
Experimenter gave generic statements : the exp requires you to go on
Nobody went to go check on confederate after done or after quitting
Why did people obey?
Authority figure giving commands experts know best
If subj watched another teacher do this, 90% compliance if other rebelled, 10% compliance
Often authorities do know best, why is it peripheral? central involves thinking and rationally thinking, peripheral avoids thinking and just
reacting to the cue not thinking on own (subj followed because
experimenter supposedly knew what they were doing)
∙ Scarcity when things are in limited supply (rare), value goes up
o Unilever shampoo (in Lindstrom’s Buyology)
Put “contains X9 factor” on bottle as a joke
When later removed from label, got complaints
o No surprise we are persuaded by people we like
o What kind of people do we like?
Similarity people prefer candidates (Bush vs Kerry) when own faces are morphed with them (but only moderates). Also, people asked to do favor (read and critique essay) 2x as likely when shared birthday (Yee)
Physical attractiveness we are all more persuaded by attractive people Lower bails, less likely to be found guilty, more likely to win elections Car with attr woman is rated as “faster and more appealing”
99 German students: how do you know you like someone? “you feel
good when they are around”
People who feed us
∙ Psychological Reactance
o Karl Pearson at Cambridge (1880s)
Went to dean and said “I can’t abide by this requirement that I attend Chapple everyday” dean said okay I’m not going to force you. Dean notices Pearson sitting in Chapple
We have the same reaction to heavyhanded influence attempts like those we’ve discussed
o Characteristics of Messenger (s)
Who is persuasive?
“credible” (believable)= expert + trustworthy, also eye contact, lack of hesitation, not persuading
If arguments run contrary to expectations
“similar/likeable” are also persuasive (especially on values/tastes) but not always mindful
“multiple sources (communicators)” maybe mindful if decision
independent but maybe social proof
∙ What makes a message persuasive?
o a.) Get attention, b.) understandable, c.) convincing, d.) memorable, e.) compelling (motivate behavior)
o What affects these?
Logic (reason) vs Emotional
Reason is more “central”, but not always most persuasive
Humor (a) + (d), but mindful? Recall: good feelings
Fear can be powerful mechanism (a)+(e) –if give “solution” (or generate helplessness)
Repeated information is more believable (c)+(d)
Sleeper effect (even discredited )
Relevant messages (a)
Study: college students read messages about possibility of creating a
graduation exam. Given either weak arguments (other schools have) or
strong arguments (insure future jobs) Also: some people told it wouldn’t start for 10 years (low relevance), others were told it would start next
year so they would have to take it (high relevance). They measured their agreement. Strong agreement when relevance is high and low agreement when relevance is low.
If the audience is wellinformed, likely to hear the other side, or against you, present both sides of the argument.
If two sides are being presented, by you, or someone else (as in a debate), should you present your “target” message first or last? first because of primacy effect (what you see first is more impressionable and given more weight)
1sided if the audience is with you
Order of presentation (c)+(d)
However, present last if there’s a long timelag
o Mode (channel) of Persuasion
Persontoperson is typically most persuasive but not always mindfully (+not costeffective)
Media (TV/radio) also influences
Two step process (media effects “leaders” who affect others)
Step 1 may be mindful, but perhaps not step 2
Don’t discount written words
Written is effective for complex/diff messages
o Characteristics of the Audience/Situation: what type of audiences most persuaded? Younger audiences (mindful or liberal?)
Intelligent and hi in cognition audience persuaded via “thinking”
o What is a cult?
Distinctive ritual beliefs directed by good or person
Isolation from surrounding community
o People’s Temple: largest mass suicide in modern history
Founded by Jim Jones
IN native, neglected, Pentecostal.
Moved to San Francisco where he helped in food kitchens, was a
social activist and was very respected
1974 founded “utopian” community in Guyana
Investigations led him to relocate church to Guyananearly 1000
“concerned relatives” called Congressman Leo Ryan
Ryan went down in 1978
Was initially impressed, but passed notes saying “I’m trapped”
Arranged to take 15 with him; 4 gunned down (including Ryan)
“Revolutionary Act suicide” (practiced: White nights): Jones made everyone drink something with cyanide in it which killed them. 909 followers died ∙ Message
o Exchange responsibility for security (“I will take care of you”)
Reciprocation they are willing to take care of you, all you have to do is follow
o Vision for future (that must be prepared for)
o Limits choices and access to outside sources of info
o Undesirable thoughts are banished (singing/chantingkeeps them from thinking about other things or about the outside)
o In transitions because they are questioning things and not sure what’s next Young people looking for identity/belonging (or at crossroads)
Middle class (trusting)
Not only uneducated/unthinking, but educated/disgusted
∙ Persuader (Leader)
o Appears credible and gains mythic status
o Members sent immediately to recruit/work
Attitudes follow our actions
∙ How can we “fight” persuasive influence?
o Knowledge is power, but not allpowerful
o Are there ways to “inoculate” people from persuasion?
1. Challenge beliefs just enough to encourage counterarguments
Try to persuade via central route, but with weak arguments, leading counterargument development
2. Make people comfortable questioning authorities/others
Roleplaying can help reduce effect of social proof
Or give practice analyzing advertising/persuasive claims