Chapter 8 Reading Notes
Chapter 8 Reading Notes PSYC2012
Popular in Social Psychology
verified elite notetaker
Popular in Department
This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Lowe on Monday March 16, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC2012 at George Washington University taught by Dr. Duval in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 217 views.
Reviews for Chapter 8 Reading Notes
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 03/16/15
Thursday March 12 2015 Social Psychology Reading Notes Chapter 8 Conformity Influencing Behavior Conformity changing one s behavior dye to real or imagined influence of others Several different reasons for conforming such as not wanting to be punished for being different or maybe not knowing how to react in a certain situation so you just follow what others are doing Examples of conformity Mount Washington Scam McDonalds manager was instructed to strip search and sexually abuse an employee just because someone who claimed to be a policeman on the phone told her to do so Heaven s Gate mass suicide over thirty people gathered in a mansion and all killed themselves in the same way thinking they would be taken by a UFO to a beyond earthly life etc It is expected that anyone in these circumstances would have acted the same way Informational Social Influence influence of other people that leads us to conform because we see them as a source of information to guide our behavior we conform because we believe that someone else s interpretation of an ambiguous situation is more accurate than our own We do this when we are unsure of how to reactinterpret a situation Private Acceptance conforming to others behaviors out of a genuine belief that what the other is saying or doing is correct Public Compliance conforming to other people s behavior publicly without necessarily believing in what the other people are doing or saying Does not mean that they will openly say they don t agree it is actually more likely that they will continue to agree with the other person s behavior even when they re alone People will do this even when there is a very high importance of being accurate Contagion rapid spread of emotions or behaviors through a crowd In other words in an ambiguous situation one will look around to see how others are interpreting the situation and begin to feel that same emotion as well Thursday March 12 2015 This can be misleading because if the situation is truly ambiguous those around us probably have no better information than we do leading to serious inaccuracies Mass Psychogenic Illness occurrence in a group of people of similar physical symptoms with no known physical cause Example in 1998 a teacher reported smelling gasoline in her classroom and then reported feeling nausea having a headache etc Her classroom was then evacuated as others in the school reported feeling these symptoms The whole school was evacuated and people were put into ambulances A search was done and nothing was wrong with the air in the school This is mass psychogenic illness Today mass media can help to spread contagion at incredible speeds BUT it can also put an end to them quickly by proposing more reasonable explanations When people conform to informational social influence When a situation is ambiguous When a situation is a crisis When others are considered experts If someone sees smoke coming from their airplane s engine they are going to look to flight attendants reaction but it could be that the flight attendant does not know anything either Social Norms implicit or explicit rules a group has for the acceptable behaviors values and beliefs of its members Example there was an epidemic of teens standing on top of high speed trains in Brazil in the 90s Although about 150 teens died and over 400 injured from this per year kids still did it to fit the social norms Normative Social Influence influence of other people that leads us to conform in order to be liked and accepted by them This type of conformity results in public compliance with the group s beliefs and behaviors but not necessarily in private acceptance of those beliefs and behaviors This may seem okay because what is the harm of wearing the clothes that other people like The problem lies in where the line is drawn would we hurt someone if other people were also hurting someone We may Thursday March 12 2015 Example Asch Line Test this is when there was a target line on one card and the participants had to say which line on another card was the same length as the target line The right answer was blatantly obvious Most of the participants were actually part of the study and gave the wrong answer The actual participant after hearing everyone else say the wrong answer also gave the wrong answer on about 13 of the tests 76 of participants gave the wrong answer on at least one of the tests This is a good example of public compliance without private acceptance People knew the answer they were giving was wrong but gave it anyways An fMRl was done to test what was going on in the brain when someone resists normative social influence The fMRl showed the activation of the amygdala which is where negative emotions are formed This proved that when someone knew the right answer and said this correct answer even when faced with others giving the wrong answer they feel negative emotions This shows how difficult it is to resist normative social influence Everyday normative social influence Fads miniskirts maxi dresses Hula Hoops in the 50s streaking in the 70s etc Women s body image is a more serious example of this Studies confirmed that in cultures with little food supply women of a bigger body size were seen as more beautiful because this would mean they had enough to eat ln cultures with plenty of food like the US slender sizes were more valued Recent studies have shown that in Japan women feel more pressure to be rail thin and are more unhappy with their bodies than American women This makes sense because Eastern cultures are more conforming cultures than the individualistic society of Western cultures Men s body image and social influence Studies have shown that men who are more exposed to maledirected magazines are more likely to be dissatisfied with their own bodies by that they want more muscle mass and less body fat They are also more likely to value thinness in women Social Impact Theory idea that conforming depends on three variables 1 Strength how important to you is the group Thursday March 12 2015 2 lmmediacy how close is the group to you in space and time during the attempt to influence you 3 Number How many people are in the group As strength and immediacy increase conformity will increase What this theory says about conditions under which people will conform to normative social pressures When the group grows larger Number increasing only matters a great deal if the group is small to begin with 4 to 5 people such as increasing from 3 to 4 members Increasing from 54 to 55 makes much less of a difference in conformity The larger the group the stronger the social pressure When the group is important Normative pressures increase if the group is of people whose friendship love and respect we cherish because there is greater loss if we lose these people ldiosyncrasy Credits the tolerance a person earns over time by conforming to group norms If enough of these credits are earned the person can on occasion behave deviantly without retribution from the group In other words it is like your past conformity allows you to voice a different opinion later You ve earned the right to deviate When one has allies in the group Example Asch conducted an experiment in which he had everyone but one person give the wrong answer and the numbers dropped from 32 conforming when one did not have an ally to only 6 when one did have an ally When the group s culture is collectivist Asch s experiment was conducted by others in various collectivist vs individualistic cultures and it showed that those in more collectivist cultures conformed at higher numbers than did individualistic cultures Thursday March 12 2015 It is also true that in Japan there is less expectation to follow the behaviors of strangers than a well definedwell respected group Minority Influence case where a minority of group members influences the behavior or beliefs of the majority The key is consistency the minority must have ONE opinion that is the same over time If several individuals have different opinions from each other and the majority the majority will not be convinced by any of their arguments Minorities exert influence using informational social influence about conforming to others because we see them as a good source of information instead of normative social influence about conforming to others because we want to be liked and accepted by them How do we make people conform to things that would help society such as stop littering or donating blood Two types of a culture s social norms lnjunctive Norms people s perceptions of what behaviors are approved or disapproved by others Motivate behavior by promising rewards or punishments for normative or nonnormative behaviors Example littering is bad giving blood is good What people approve or disapprove of Descriptive Norms people s perceptions of how people actually behave in given situations regardless of whether the behavior is approved or disapproved by others Motivate behavior by informing people about what is effective or adaptive behavior Example littering is bad injunctive norm but there are situationstimes when people are likely to do it descriptive norm What people actually do Example A study was done with a control group a group where a participant watched someone pick up a piece of litter injunctive and a group where a Thursday March 12 2015 participant watched someone litter descriptive Each of the three groups happened in two environments one clean one and a littered one When the participant came back to their car there was a flyer in their windshield wipers and the researcher recorded whether they littered the flyer or brought it into their car with them Findings injunctive norms are more powerful than descriptive norms in producing desirable behavior Milgram s Study from the perspective of normative social influence Milgrams Study Participants were asked to shock another participant really an actor when they got an answer wrong increasing by 15 volts every wrong answer Average shock given was 360 volts 625 went all the way to the end 450 volts 80 continued even after the actor said his heart was bothering him because of his heart condition Another study was conducted by him in which an actor and a participant were in the room with the experimenter The actor went first stopping the shocks at 150 volts despite the experimenters instructions to continue The real participant then went and they stopped at 210 volts much less than when there wasn t someone who stopped before them This is Normative Social Influence Normative Social Influence says that it is hard for a person to refuse to do something especially when the person instructing them to act is thought of as superior to themselves Milgram s Study from the perspective of informational social influence The participant thought that they had signed up for something harmless but did not realize they would really be hurting someone When the experimenter told them to continue they listened because they felt the E was an expert on the subject This means that the E s thoughts were better than their own thoughts Another study was conducted to test whether this was a factor in the original This time the E wasn t in the room there was another participant in the room and the E did not tell the participant which shock levels to use This participant said he had an idea that the other should increase the shock level with each wrong answer and insisted he should do it The compliance rate dropped from 625 to only 20 The fact that the increased shocked levels were only suggested by someone who the participant was equal to because he was supposed to be just another Thursday March 12 2015 participant means there was no expert in the room This made the participant less likely to take his advice Other reasons why we obey Conflicting norms make it difficult to change from thinking one norm to another midway through something Example Milgram s participants would have had to go from the norm of obey expert legitimate authority figures to do not inflict needless harm on another human being SelfJustification in that once we justify something for ourselves it is hard to changestop the behavior ln Milgram s study shocks were to be increased by only 15 volts every time Because this increment is so small going from 200 volts to 215 volts is not all that different it is hard to say where the line of too much voltage is after justifying going from 105 volts to 120 volts and so on Loss of personal responsibility also causes one to stray from wellunderstood norms such as do not inflict needless harm on another human being Example Prison guards who carried out death sentences were compared to those guards who did not It was found that those who carried out death sentences had removed themselves much more from the act and thought of it as their duty to society The guards who do not do this showed much more respect towards prisoners in general and were more likely to view the death penalty in a negative light Ethical issues with Milgram s Study 5 1 Deception The participants thought that the shocks were real when they were not The participants were told the experiment was to test memory and learning which was not true 2 No true Informed Consent The participants were never informed of the experiment s true nature before they agreed to be a part of it 3 Psychological Distress Thursday March 12 2015 The participants role required them to shock another person caused immense distress for the participant happening at a high level for most participants 4 Not made clear that they had the Right to Withdrawal The participants were told they had to continue and were never explicitly told they could leave at any time 5 lnflicted Insight After the study some participants had learned unpleasant things about themselves that they had not agreed to No studies about this were done about conformity again until 2006 by Jerry M Burger He changed 3 things so the study was ethically sound 1 He reduced psychological distress by stopping the experiment at 150 volts the first time the person being shocked said he wants out and is unable to continue 2 Potential participants were screened by a psychologist to see if they would be even remotely likely to experience a negative reaction to the experience 38 were excluded 3 Burger clearly and repeatedly told the participants that they could leave at any time and he told the actor getting shocked the same thing Results were almost exactly the same 70 of participants were ready to continue after the 150 volt shock after the one getting shocked said he did not want to continue at which point Burger ended the study Milgram s study was 825 which is not statistically significant difference from 705 It is important to remember the remote possibility that humans have an innate nature to be somewhat evil and will jump at the chanceexcuse to cause harm to others A study was conducted by Milgram to test this possible explanation Instead of being told what voltage to shock the participant at the E told the participant they could pick any level of shock saying that there are many things to be learned at each shock value Thursday March 12 2015 Findings only 25 of the participants used the highest shock and the majority of the participants used only the mild shook levels
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'