Study Guide, Exam 3, Social Psychology 360
Note: The exam will cover chapters 8, 9, and 10, and all of the lecture material covered through Thursday, November 3rd. It will have 32 multiplechoice questions (2.5pts each), one 8point essay question, and then three 6point short answer questions, which you will select only two of to answer. There are no definitions this exam because of the nature of the material being more in depth and on fewer important studies.
Chapter 8: Conformity
∙ What is conformity?
Conformity changing one’s behavior or beliefs in response to explicit or implicit influence from others.
Ex: wanting an iphone because everyone has one
The clothes you wear, fads
Drinking If you want to learn more check out Can you teach kids to delay gratification a little longer?
“Information” joining a long line because you think people know something you don’t
∙ Be able to differentiate informational and normative social influences and identify examples of both. What factors lead each form of conformity to arise? We also discuss several other topics like How is the raci chart used?
Informational Social Influence influence of others that leads us to conform because we see them as a source of information to guide our behavior.
Ex: waiting outside a door because you see others waiting
Four situations we are most likely to engage in:
1. Situation is ambiguous
2. situation is a crisis (needs action right away, “panic mode”)
3. the other people around you are experts
need to be accurate
Normative social influence influence of others that leads us to conform in order to be liked and accepted by them.
You don’t want to…
Feel like a fool
Results in public compliance with the group’s beliefs and behaviors but not necessarily private acceptance of them.
∙ Understand private acceptance and public compliance and how they relate to the concepts above.If you want to learn more check out Why are there official races in the us?
Private acceptance conforming to others’ behaviors due to a genuine belief that what they are doing or saying is “right.”
Public compliance Conforming to others’ behavior publicly without necessarily believing in what we are doing or saying.
∙ Know about Sherif and Asch’s studies on conformity, specifically their methods and findings.
Sherif’s “Autokinetic study”:
Light projected on a wall and asked about it’s motion
Results subjects usually conformed to others opinions in group settings Q: Sherif’s “Autokinetic effect study” is an example of:
A: informational social influence
Ash line study (1951):
Participants sat in a group of actors that matched a line to the wrong one
The test showed if participants would go along with what the actors said or not Results 76% conformed at least once, only 24% of participants never conformed Uses normative social influence
∙ What is social impact theory?
Social impact theory idea that conforming to social influence depends on: Strength.
Importance of group to person
Closeness in time and space
Number of people in the group
But once the group reaches 4 or 5, conformity does not increase much Don't forget about the age old question of What are the states of changes?
∙ Understand factors that lead to decreased or increased conformity.
Allies in dissent are other people NOT conforming?
If just one person dissents from the group, it gives you the courage to stand up to the group and not conform
Ex: one person standing up will more likely encourage others
Idiosyncrasy credits the tolerance earned, over time, by conforming to group norms. If enough are earned you can, on occasion, behave defiantly without group retribution (you can go against norms if you fit in with a group and agree most often)
Minority influence where a minority of group members influence the behavior or beliefs of the majority
Only works if the minority is consistent and unwavering view
Normative= not wanting to stand out from others (looking to others so you fit in) Informational= looking for information to gain knowledge (someone tells you something and you take their word)
∙ What are injunctive and descriptive norms? How can they be used to help change behavior? We also discuss several other topics like How is a confidence interval related to a point estimate?
Injunctive norms what behaviors are approved or disapproved of by others (giving blood is seen as good)
Descriptive norm how people actually behave in given situations, regardless of whether it is approved or disapproved of by others (a lot of people don’t actually give blood)
∙ Describe what happens with the Boomerang effect.
Boomerang effect invoking descriptive norms may backfire
Depends on preexisting behavior
Ex: efforts to decrease binge drinking (stating 3 drinks is an average for college students will help decrease heavier drinkers, but might increase lighter drinkers) We also discuss several other topics like What is the formal charge of an atom?
∙ Be able to talk about Milgram’s obedience study. Know what the original results were and how different variations of the study influenced levels of obedience found.
Milgram paradigm (1963):
Wanted to know how the holocaust could happen
Designed landmark study to test the influence of obedience & authority on normal people Methods
• Assigned Teacher or learner role
• Wordpair task
• Told to shock learner when wrong
• Incremental voltage increase
• 62.5% administered all 30 levels of shock
• Average maximum shock was 360 volts
• 80% of participants continued after the learner cried out in pain, said heart was bothering him
∙ Understand reasons why people obey in the Milgram paradigm discussed in lecture.
Victim’s proximity Obedience dropped when…
Learner in same room (40%)
Teacher held learner’s hand on shock plate (30%)
Remoteness of the victim makes obedience much easier (think of modern warfare)
Presence of authority figure Obedience dropped when…
run in office building (48%)
Experimenter gave commands by phone (20%)
Ordinary person replaced experimenter (18%)
Two experimenters, with one disagreeing (0%)
Rebellious Models Obedience dropped when 2 “coteachers” rebelled (10%)
Obedience dropped when…
Authority proximity Experimenter in different room
Victim proximity Learner in same room
Credibility No longer Yale University
Dissent Example See other participants refuse
∙ Understand the four compliance techniques we discussed in class and be able to give examples of each.
Role of normative social influence
Don’t want to disappoint experimenter…
Insistent experimenter Difficult to say no
Variations other coteachers (confederates) refused to continue (only 10% gave max shock vs. 62.5%)
Role of informational social influence
Confusing situation for participants
Competing social norms (obey authority vs don’t harm others)
Experimenter is an expert…
Look to for info on how to respond
Follow orders of expert
Shock levels increased in small increments
Internal pressure to continue to obey
Loss of personal responsibility
Experimenter took responsibility for participants’ actions.
Just a “tool” in someone else’s hands
“I was only following orders”
Chapter 9: Group Processes
∙ Know what social norms and social roles are, be able to tell them apart.
Social norms Implicit or explicit rules dictating all individual behavior in groups ex: teams, frat/srat rules
Social roles Shared expectations in a group about how certain people are supposed to behave
ex: classroom (teacher and student), corporation (CEO, receptionist, ect)
∙ Be able to summarize the set up and outcome of the Stanford prison study and what it tells us about social roles.
*Social roles are extremely powerful
Stanford Prison Experiment (Zimbardo et al., 1973)
Students randomly assigned to be guards and prisoners
Turned Stanford psych department basement into mock prison
Verbally harassed, humiliated prisoners
Some prisoners became so anxious and depressed they had to be released early from study
∙ Be able to define and identify examples of social facilitation and social loafing.
Social facilitation tendency to do better on simple tasks, and worse on complex tasks, when in the presence of others and our individual performance can be evaluated.
The presence of others causes arousal:
1. Other people make us more alert, might require our response
2. Evaluation apprehension
Impression management & selfesteem concerns
3. Distracting nature of others causes arousal
Research on social facilitation within humans:
Michaels et al. (1982):
Researchers observed students shooting pool in student union who were either good or poor players
Q: bad players in the presence of others…
A: decreased performance
Social loafing tendency to do worse on simple tasks but better on complex tasks when in the presence of others and our individual performance cannot be evaluated.
Ex: group projects with one grade
∙ What are the differences between social facilitation and social loafing? Understand how arousal (or lack thereof) plays a role.
Arousal elicits a dominant response (knowing your good at video games and having a large audience will encourage you to do better; if you know your bad at video games having an audience will make you worse)
If a task is easy, that dominant response will be enhanced with arousal (will do well at a task) Shooting a free throw
Riding a bike
Running a race
If a task is complex, arousal in a situation is overwhelming and causes impaired performance Saying the alphabet backwards
Playing new, complex games or sports
Presence of others leads to relaxation (as opposed to arousal)
Less evaluation apprehension and impression management concerns
Reduction in effort
Worse on easy tasks when individual’s performance cannot be assessed
∙ What is deindividuation? Be able to identify examples of it.
Deindividuation loosening of normal constraints on behavior when in a group, leading to an increase in impulsive & deviant acts.
Ex: mob, sports team
∙ Why does deindividuation happen?
Deindividuation occurs because of:
Increased obedience to group norms
Reduction in sense of individual identity
∙ What is process loss, what are some examples?
Process loss any aspect of group interaction that inhibits good problem solving. Failure to share any unique information
Groups tend to focus on the information they share and ignore facts known to only some members.
Try to get the conversation to last longer
Assign different members different responsibilities (areas of expertise)
∙ Define/describe and be able to provide examples of both groupthink and group polarization?
Groupthink emphasis on group cooperation at the expense of critical thinking Failure to evaluate alternative courses of action
More likely to occur when group is…
Isolated from contrary opinions
Ruled by a directive leader who makes his or her wishes known
Ex: Kennedy presidency and taking of the pig invasion (made his opinion known and people followed him)
A wiser leader can take several steps to avoid groupthink:
Seek outside opinions
Seek anonymous opinions
Group polarization tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclinations of its members.
Group discussion strengthens the dominant positions held by individual group members 2 conditions present:
1. Initial leaning toward a given opinion
2. Discussion of the topic
∙ What are the antecedents of groupthink and also, how can you prevent groupthink? “ “ “
∙ What is required for group polarization to occur?
“ “ “
∙ Know what a social dilemma is.
Social dilemmas a conflict in which the most beneficial action for an individual, if chosen by most people, will have harmful effects on everyone.
Prisoners dilemma two people must choose one or two options without knowing that the other person will choose.
Chapter 10: Interpersonal Attraction
∙ Understand the propinquity effect and mere exposure effect. Know the main studies discussed in class that support each.
Propinquity effect the more we see and interact with people the more likely they are to become our friends.
Friendship at MIT study:
Assigned students to apartments randomly
Interested to see where friends lived (how close)
2/3 of friends were in same building
Functional distance certain aspects of architecture design that make it more likely some people will come into contact with each other more often than others (living by the stairs or mailboxes)
Police Academy Friendship:
Assigned seats and dorms based on alphabetical order
0.9 correlation between the alphabetical order of your name and the alphabet order of your friends’ name
Mere exposure effect the more you’re exposed to something, the more you tend to like it (seeing someone’s face often will make you like them more)
Ex: seeing certain Chinese letters will make you view them more positively Ex: the more often someone shows up to class, the more likely you’ll like them or think they’re attractive
∙ Know about how similarity (in opinions, personality, influences; interests and experiences; appearance) increases attraction and why.
Similarity we like people who are like us
Matching hypothesis we become involved with people who are similar to us (in attractiveness) You’re more likely to like people with similar characteristics
Hatfield et al (1966):
752 freshmen paired for blind date during orientation week
Couple spent time together, dancing and talking
Physical attractiveness strongest predictor if they were attracted
Halo effect assuming attractive people poses other desirable characteristics ∙ How does reciprocal liking effect initial attraction?
We like people who like us
For initial attraction, reciprocal liking can overcome…
Dissimilarity in attitudes
Attentional biases to attractive faces
∙ Is physical attractiveness universal? (Do not need to know the exact body parts/features that make someone attractive). Do know about symmetry.
Hatfield et al., (1966):
752 freshman paired for blind date (dance) during orientation week
Couple spent a few hours dancing, chatting
What most predicted liking of one’s partner?
Physical attractiveness (for BOTH men and women)
Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? No.
Universals in attractiveness:
in men: strong jaw, broad shoulders
in women: small nose, big smile
in everyone: large eyes, high cheek bones, consistent skin tone, facial symmetry
Symmetry is preferred Size, shape, and location of the features on one side match the other side of face
Average faces preferred, not extremes
∙ What are some of the benefits of being attractive? How does the halo effect work? How might the selffulfilling prophecy play a role?
Assumptions About Attractive People
People attribute positive qualities to beautiful
“What is beautiful is good” stereotype
Example with premature infants
Predicts greater salary
More likely to get help in need
Less likely to be convicted, lesser sentences
86% longer sentences for unattractive defendants
Attractive authors are evaluated more positively
Halo Effect assume attractive people possess other desirable traits
∙ Be able to define and give examples of companionate and passionate love.
Companionate love feelings of intimacy and affection we have for someone that are not accompanied by passion or physiological arousal (hugging friends)
Passionate love an intense longing for a person, accompanied by physiological arousal (boyfriend/girlfriend)
Most research supports that, “birds of a feather flock together”
∙ Love manifested across cultures
Love is a universal emotion
Experience of love
Americans value passionate love more
The Chinese value companionate more
Expectations about love
*Although people all over the world experience love, how love is defined varies across cultures.
∙ Know the developmental theory of close relationships… What is an attachment style and what do all 3 styles predict as outcomes for close relationships.
Attachment style expectations individuals develop about relationships due to their relationships with caregivers growing up
3 kinds of attachment styles:
1. Secure trust, lack of concern with being abandoned
2. Avoidant distant caregivers, infants suppress their need for intimacy
3. Anxious inconsistent caregivers, infant can’t predict how caregiver responds
∙ Be able to discuss social exchange theory (including comparison level, comparison level for alternatives, and the investment model). How are satisfaction and commitment predicted in this theory?
Social Exchange Theory Costs and rewards determine relationship satisfaction and commitment
feeling of love
sense of security
isolation from others
Comparison level standard of comparison for current relationship.
Comparison level for alternatives how well could you do in a different relationship? Determines Commitment!
Investment Model of Close Relationships how much would you lose that you put into the relationship?
Also determines Commitment!
Tangible resources (house, finance resources)
To predict whether people will stay in an intimate relationship, we need to know: 1. Their level of satisfaction in the relationship (in terms of rewards, costs, and comparison level)
2. What they think of the alternatives
3. The degree of their investment in the relationship
∙ What is equity theory, how does it work?
Equity theory satisfaction determined by ratio of rewards & costs for both parents More similar ratios=more satisfaction in relationship
∙ Know what evolutionary psychology is and its perspective on mate selection. How do men and women differ in what they seek in a mate and their minimum obligatory investment?
Evolutionary psychology explains social behavior in terms of genetic behaviors that evolved over time according to principles of natural selection
Evolutionary approach to mate selection men and women are attracted to different characteristics in each other because this maximizes their chances of reproductive success