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2p30- march 12.docx

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Brock University
Gordon Hodson

PSYC 2P30 March 12 The Role of Norms in Suicides and Accidents (three) Suicide Increase after Kurt Cobain’s Suicide? - Martin & Koo (1997) o No increase in suicides in Australia - Jobes et al. (1996) (Seattle data) o No increase in suicides, but increase in suicide crisis calls (intervention worked?) “Copycat” Suicides/Accidents - After certain highly publicized suicide stories, number of people dying in commercial airline crashes increases by ~1000% - Automobile fatalities increase also - Social Conditions explanation o Same factors (e.g. rising crime rates, economic stress) create both intentional and accidental deaths o However: this only happens when the suicides are highly publicized - Bereavement explanation o Shocked/stunned, leads to own accident  Often happens 4/5 days later; likely isn’t the case o Rather, is specific...  Pure suicide (1 death) is associated with an increase in a single-person car wrecks  Suicide-murder is associated with an increase in multi-person car wrecks  Age is also associated with the deaths (i.e. a young person’s suicide is associated with a young person’s car wreck) o “Werther Effect”  sociologist (Phillips)  Geothe’s (book) hero, Werther, committed suicide  Lead to an increase in suicides across Europe; novel was banned in many countries  Idea: troubled people, reading a publicized suicide, response can be killing themselves in imitation  Deciding how to act on the basis of how other trouble people act (i.e. norm information)  More publicity is associated with more deaths - Why is there an increase in accidents opposed to suicides? o Reputations, spare family shame and pain, insurance policies, religious reasons INCREASE IN MARRIAGES?! (four) Social Impact Theory (Latané) SIN: - Strength o The intensity of the social forces  E.g. power, status, credibility  Stronger exerts a greater influence  A 100W light bulb will be stronger than a 40W influence - Immediacy o The closeness of the social force  E.g. A boss will have a stronger influence on you when he’s standing in front of you  Closer exerts a greater influence  A light bulb in the same room will have a greater influence than a light bulb in the next room - Number o The quantity of the social forces  E.g. Five people will impact you more than one person  More exert a great influence  Three light bulbs have a greater influence than one light bulb (five) Social Influence as Route to Persuasion - Reciprocity o “One good turn deserves another” (pay it forward) o Very powerful influence tool o E.g. free samples, favours o Small favours can demand large returns o One of the basic social rules in any culture o Reciprocal concessions:  More subtle; often more powerful  Makes large request, denied, followed by smaller one  Makes the second request seem like a concession on part of the persuader  Concession; perceptual contrast (between first and second request)  Cialdini et al. (1975)  First large request: o “Would you be willing to serve as an unpaid counselor for 2/week for two years?”  Second smaller request (concession): o “Would you be willing to take a group of juvenile delinquents to the zoo?”  If they only
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