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McGill University
PSYC 215
Donald Taylor

PSYCH 215 Lecture Nov 14 BG LECTURE What if social influence helped you resist temptation? And the problems start when it fails  Temptation always on the mind- how can you resist it?  Warrior, after Trojan war, wants to go back to wife Penelope, he gets sailors to tie him to mass of ship so he can listen without giving into temptation, sailors put wax in ears so not to hear, warrior could taste temptation but never give in  We often blame peer pressure in teens about drugs and alcohol, Nancy Reagan just say no to peer pressure  People often give into temptation due to peer pressure, we also think of temptation just in terms of giving in not resisting  Problem occurs when social influence fails you  An impossible challenge? Drinking, spending binge, eating  Self help books to resist temptation, talk shows  Temptation gives us immediate pleasure, but health problems in future, not instant death upon failure  Maybe not that impossible but how? o Actually many instances of change o People are often to control impulses on their own o Too much focus on failure o Without formal help o How are these gratifying behaviors seemingly managed on their own? o Although big phenomenon people didn’t care much about it  How do we know something is bad for us? o Use norms of environment o Teachers, parents o Much of daily life is overwhelming without norms o Norms: cognitive representations of the typical behaviors o Provide information crucial to asses our actions o Eg. Its an extra piece of cake because people normally just have one piece  Powerful influence over us o Stanley Milgram o Experimenter in lab coat comes behind participant- shock person for having failed to complete series of words o Cant be tied to post, can’t have experimenter behind you all day long o Have to manage on your own using norms o Feel bad when we transgress norms; took grad students on subway and told to sit on the seat, other students observe- students say cannot complete, can’t ask for the seat  Okay I’ll do it myself, takes a mans seat  “My head sank between my knees, and I could feel my face blanching, I was not role-playing. I actually felt as if I were going to perish”  “Taking the man’s seat, I was overwhelmed by the need to behave in a way that would justify my request”  Fakes limp- no one around to tell him what to do  Not just any kind of “feeling bad”  Negative social emotions, experienced when our behavior departs from norms- guilt  Stimulate thinking to understand what happened  Fear’s function is to run in order to increase survival  Get you to understand what just happened? How did you manage to transgress social norms  Why did I forget to say hi when walking into a room?  Thoughts about the causes of an event? Counter factual thoughts- thoughts like, if I only I…  Milgram if only I wasn’t a cruel experimenter I wouldn’t have asked for the seat…  Thoughts that allow them to identify modifiable antecedents of behavior  If only I hadn’t brought my credit card out… how to avoid?  Innate process that creates individualized assessment of action  Instead of doing group intervention to find one thing that will work for everyone in the class, this process creates individual o A new approach to understand how unhealthy behaviors are managed  Situational perspective (unit of interest are situations)  Eg. Norm transgression by consuming too much alcohol  Aversive social emotional stat- feelings of guilt  Thoughts about the cause (counterfactual thoughts)- if only I haven’t brought my credit card  A functional process- norms evolve from the interaction of individuals in groups  Gratifying behaviors often impair the well-functioning of individuals in groups  Ex. Too drunk to drive the bus- bus won’t go anywhere  We rely on people- process keeps us relatively together o Impact on alcohol consumption  Norm transgression in the context of alcohol consumption  1. Negative social emotions  2. Perceptions of the likely cause of events  3. Future alcohol consumption- less in future o Example Study 1: alcohol consumption significant for university students  Experiment for 3 conditions-, retrospective- people randomly assigned  Think back to time they over consumed more than norm  Or when they consumed on the norm according to peers  In presence bu
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