Social Psychology Notes (7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14)
(Post Midterm 1/ Midterm 2 covers 7-12 + readings)
CHAPTER 7: ATTITUDES & BELIEFS
- A positive, negative, or mixed evaluation of a person, object, or idea expressed at some level of intensity. Ex/
when you encounter someone new, you will have a response to that situation or person. We always seem to have
a response to something (like or dislike) and that is an attitude. Mild or intense, it is essentially a wide spectrum.
- Valence to an idea, person or situation. Ex/ believe in healthy eating, cheating is wrong, etc.
- Once you have an attitude, is it possible to change that attitude?
- People can have quite intense attitudes on certain matters such as: abortion, same sex marriage, Quebec
separation, etc. Ex/ Republicans hold on abortion and homosexuality, very strong opinions (somewhat crazy).
- Attitudes are: internal, relatively stable, and positivity or negativity.
- Possible reactions to attitude objects:
- Attitudes remain, because they have been reinforced, etc. thus
when one changes attitude, the original attitude remains, yet it is
hidden out of awareness. The mind tries to entertain both
attitudes at the same time: duel attitudes.
- The degree to which your attitudes keep a valence consistency
depends on the internal ―battles‖
- Dual attitudes: Background that might have promoted
prejudice. As adult, develop more egalitarian view of
the world. Target group is likely to evoke both positive
and negative reactions.
- Words (even made up) can elicit a valence to response/ attitude.
- Voting techniques use attitudes to acquire the largest number of
voters, thus they promote information to make people have a
good attitude towards their party. Poll accuracy for decided
voters is accurate up to 95%.
- It is thought that changing ones attitude will induce behavioral
changes (in accordance to the attitude). However this is not always the case.
- The purpose of political adds, is to change your attitude about the candidate. To make the opposing party look
bad. Changing ones attitudes in a negative way about the other is more powerful (developing a negative
- Ex/ Romney race: if all think it is good (many crowds are following and choosing Romney) one wants to
―follow‖ the winners (follow the attitude of the majority). This also works with negative points, if the majority
is not for Romney (does not like Romney) ones attitude follows that of the majority, thus does not like him
- Positive and negative attitude bin analogy, Ex/ Romney tries to fill the positive bin, other circumstances (news,
other voters, etc.) can fill the negative bin with information.
- When making a political attack, one can either paint themselves and their party in a good light, or paint the
opposing party in a bad light. Linking positively to attitudes people may have or (attack) take out the attitudes
one has towards something.
-How attitudes are measured (Self report measures):
- Attitude scale: A multiple-item questionnaire designed to measure a person‘s attitude toward some object. Ex/
Likert Scale: rate the relative intensity to your response towards something or someone. (7 numbers because he
thought that that was the number of meaningful units of information in the mind).
-Bogus Pipeline: A phony lie-detector device that is sometimes used to get respondents to give truthful answers
to sensitive questions. People respond to a questionnaire, then later respond to the same type of questions (and
the experimenters, knowing the respondents answers light up the corresponding answer) people are under the
impression that the machine can read their minds, thus they adapt their attitudes towards some questions so as to
subconsciously match the attitude.
1 - How attitudes are measures (covert measures):
-Physiological Arousal: (problem:) may just reveal intensity of the attitude than direction of attitude (strongly
dislike or strongly like).
- Facial Electromyography (EMG): an electronic instrument that records facial muscle activity associated with
emotions and attitudes (cheek muscles versus brow muscles). Problem: not a practical measure of attitudes, too
many problems involved. Muscles are primed with electrical activity which is consistent with the emotion being
experienced. Most reliable muscles for positive and negative reactions: corrugator and zygomatic.
-How attitudes are measured (implicit association test, IAT): based on the notion that we have implicit attitudes.
Associations between attitude objects and evaluations.
- Implicit Association Test (IAT): measures the speed with which one responds to pairings of concepts.
- How attitudes form: from information, exposure, conditioning, and social learning.
-People are less likely to censor their attitudes when anonymous. However, people also self-sensor (during self
report) even when response is anonymous.
- People can hold attitude towards individuals from countries which you have never met. News and media is
somewhat responsible for this. For instance Americans dislike and prejudice against middle eastern people,
though they have never met any.
- Mere exposure: Tendency for novel stimuli to be liked more after repeated exposure. Neutral stimuli repeatedly
exposed increases liking. Repeated exposure to initially disliked stimuli does not increasing liking. Works only
is initial reaction is positive or neutral. If Original reaction is negative, hard and impossible to change to positive.
Ex/ we are repeatedly exposed to our self image as its mirror image, thus, we dislike pictures because they do not
correspond to our self image most exposed to. People on the other hand, prefer pictures of you as opposed to
mirror images because that is what they are most exposed to. Peoples likability of themselves increase (with
age) because you are increasingly exposed to your face and self.
- Classical conditioning: an attitude can be matched to a neutral stimulus. Ex/ if in pleasant environment, may
have positive attitude, vice versa.
- Operant Conditioning: Develop a positive attitude toward something being reinforced
- Social Learning: Learn attitudes acceptable through observation. Vicarious learning.
- Polarization - Attitudes become more extreme as we think about them: Especially true in strong initial attitude
& Evaluate evidence in a biased manner (accept evidence that confirms attitude & accept evidence from ingroup
- Attitudes have a need for consistency (internal need for consistency), people have a need for public perception
of consistency (need people to think they are consistent and think that others are consistent). Ex/ people will
think it is weird if every other day you change your attitude about something.
- People attempt to redefine lines concerning information on their attitudes (ex/ pro abortion and euthanasia are
not consistent with anti murder). Attitudes are discrepant, thus the mind and self attempt to accommodate an
answer to satisfy them all.
(class notes) 2
- LaPiere‘s study: is the assumption that attitudes influence behavior a valid one? People had a different attitude
when actually serving the Chinese couple, then when later asked over the phone if they served Chinese people
(said no, when in fact they did serve them).
- Cafeteria study: when people were interviewed, and their awareness was brought to healthy food choices, they
adapted their attitudes to adhere to what they were saying. Consciousness brought about an attitude, which lead
to a behavior of healthy eating.
- Increased self-awareness seems to increase the relationship with good attitude and the related behavior.
- When attitudes predict behavior: depends on the, strength of attitude, self-awareness, conscious awareness of
the attitude, accessibility of the attitude, specificity of the attitude, behaviors aggregated over time. These play a
role in predicting later or related behavior.
- When polled on a specific attitude question, the more likely it is that you will find a related behavior (ex asked
if you will donate to the salvation army, and you say yes, there is a greater chance of your donating if there is a
salvation army booth nearby).
- Spinoza quote: ―The stone, flying through the air, unaware of the source of it propulsion, attributes its motion
to its own intention.‖ You observe yourself doing things, and infer from your behavior what your attitudes are.
2 - Ex/ power of inferring behavior: Zimbardo prison experiment. Supposed to pretend prison behavior, behaviors
inferred attitudes. Role identity adapted strongly be these individuals.
- Concerning children, individuals try to change their own behavior, and hope that their child copies the
- Seatbelt wearing behavior: made it law. Now more part of culture, because individuals are raised with this
being a normal, positive behavior.
- Insufficient justification: dissonance theory predicts that when our actions are not fully explained by external
rewards or coercion, we will experience dissonance, which we can reduce by believing what we have done.
- People will modify their true attitude when they perform a behavior or action which sucks. When the reward is
not sufficient, the attitude will compensate so that the mind does not think you engaged into something useless
(or inconsistent behavior). When paid allot of money, or if the reward is worth it, the attitude remains, because
you can blame or redirect the behavior to the fact that the reward was worth it.
- Justifying the conditions in which you behave against your values, the reward is crucial in the attitude you will
- Priming of behavior: ask people to do incremental steps towards a certain behavior.
- Theory of planned behavior: what have we
learned between the relationships about attitudes
- Ex/ if someone decides that they do not want to
gamble any more: if perceived behavior control,
the intention of wanting to stop will be weak,
and the resulting behavior will not be a good
attempt at stopping the gambling behavior.
- All of these (attitude toward behavior,
subjective norm, and perceived behavior) all
concord, the intention will be strong and the
behavior will occur.
- Pieces of facts about something; facts or opinions. Your perception of what the reality of the world is.
- Believing: Some evidence to suggest that you automatically believe something as soon as you understand it.
Unbelieving is a more deliberate or intentional stage of information processing. Children first believe and later
doubt. Two step process (automatic and deliberate). Anything that has information value, we believe it. The act
of understanding something, also means believing it. Only when we have acquired information, and
understanding, can we make a judgment if the information is fact true.
- Unbelieving is a deliberate process, needs investment from cognitive resources. People are less likely to
unbelieve. Ex/ Children believe everything!
- Brainwashing: The context is important, if one is exposed to info when one is likely to believe anything, then
limit the cognitive resources so as to stop unbelieveing processes. Ex/ Ensuring that individuals are tired or
distracted while being exposed to messages. Reduces investment of cognitive resources in ‗unbelieving‘.
- Belief perseverance: Receiving positive or negative feedback that is then discredited. Participants still behave
as if the information was true. People will always rete themselves with the original feedback, though they have
been helped to unbelieve.
- Assumptive world: the world is benevolent (we believe that we live in a good world), that the world is fair and
just, and that ―I am a good person‖ holding these believe are important to deal with the stresses we face in our
- Belief violation leads to distress reaction. Effective coping might involve maintaining assumptive world beliefs
in the face of brief violation. People who have these beliefs, when horrible things happen to them, but they
continue to believe the world is good, etc. Some cannot maintain the good world beliefs and then believe the
world is bad and dark.
- Explanation as coping: self-blame is adaptive, people who blamed their behavior have a better psychological
recovery. By assuming the blame, this allow the person to feel more in control of future behavior as opposed to
blaming chance circumstances (it can always happen when it relies on chance). Provides a sense of predictability
to future behavior.
3 - Coping beliefs: downward comparison (believe so many people are doing worst, then their case is not that bad),
belief in control (illusion of control) beliefs that they had control over how their (something bad: cancer) will
play out. Ex/ eating well and exercising as means of preventing cancer relapse. If you believe in this control, this
maintains a good emotional wellness.
- Irrational beliefs: people believe that they will be able to predict something, when in fact it all relies on chance.
I can work out a formula that will help me win at this game. (Promotes gambling). Unless I am perfect, I am
worthless. (Promotes depression). Ex/ gambling, holding irrational beliefs increase addiction behavior. Also
holding high standards or setting a high bar, then failure is very likely, this induces feelings of failure and not
being able to follow high goals or high set bar.
- Clinically: psychologists try to change peoples beliefs (debilitating beliefs), ex/ thinking you cant work,
psychologist try to change that attitude so that the belief is that you can work.
-A–B PROBLEM the problem of inconsistency between attitudes (A) and behaviors (B)
-ACCESSIBILITY how easily something comes to mind
-ASSUMPTIVE WORLDS the view that people live in social worlds based on certain beliefs (assumptions)
-ATTITUDE POLARIZATION the finding that people‘s attitudes become more extreme as they reflect on them
-ATTITUDES global evaluations toward some object or issue
-BALANCE THEORY (P-O-X THEORY) the idea that relationships among one person (P), the other person
(O), and an attitude object (X) may be either balanced or unbalanced
-BELIEF PERSEVERANCE the finding that once beliefs form, they are resistant to change, even if the
information on which they are based is discredited
-BELIEFS pieces of information about something; facts or opinions
-CLASSICAL CONDITIONING a type of learning in which, through repeated pairings, a neutral stimulus
comes to evoke a conditioned response
-COGNITIVE COPING the idea that beliefs play a central role in helping people cope with and recover from
-COGNITIVE DISSONANCE THEORY the theory that inconsistencies produce psychological discomfort,
leading people to rationalize their behavior or change their attitudes
-CONDITIONED RESPONSE a response that, through repeated pairings, is evoked by a formerly neutral
-CONDITIONED STIMULUS a neutral stimulus that, through repeated pairings with an unconditioned
stimulus, comes to evoke a conditioned response
-COPING the general term for how people attempt to deal with traumas and go back to functioning effectively in
-DOWNWARD SOCIAL COMPARISON comparing oneself to people who are worse off
-DUAL ATTITUDES different evaluations of the same attitude object, implicit versus explicit
-EFFORT JUSTIFICATION the finding that when people suffer or work hard or make sacrifices, they will try to
convince themselves that it is worthwhile
-EXPLICIT ATTITUDES controlled and conscious evaluative responses
-IMPLICIT ATTITUDES automatic and nonconscious evaluative responses
-MERE EXPOSURE EFFECT the tendency for people to come to like things simply because they see or
encounter them repeatedly
-NEUTRAL STIMULUS a stimulus (e.g., Pavlov‘s bell) that initially evokes no response
-OPERANT CONDITIONING (INSTRUMENTAL CONDITIONING) a type of learning in which people are
more likely to repeat behaviors that have been rewarded and less likely to repeat behaviors that have been
-POST-DECISION DISSONANCE cognitive dissonance experienced after making a difficult choice, typically
reduced by increasing the attractiveness of the chosen alternative and decreasing the attractiveness of rejected
4 -SOCIAL LEARNING (OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING, IMITATION, VICARIOUS LEARNING) a type of
learning in which people are more likely to imitate behaviors if they have seen others rewarded for performing
them, and less likely to imitate behaviors if they have seen others punished for performing them
-STIGMA an attribute or characteristic that is perceived as negative or considered socially unacceptable (e.g.,
being overweight, mentally ill, sick, poor, or physically scarred)
-TYRANNY OF CHOICE the idea that although some choice is better than none, more choice is not always
better than less choice
-UNCONDITIONED RESPONSE a naturally occurring response (e.g., salivation)
-UNCONDITIONED STIMULUS a stimulus (e.g., meat powder) that naturally evokes a particular response
CHAPTER 8: SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND PERSUASION
(class notes) 1
- conformity is beneficial: informative value.
- smoking is a behavior that is conforming behavior. People around you were behaving in that way.
- Sick building syndrome: 1 of every 3 workers may be working in a sick building. Air quality problems. To
some degree it is thought that there is a significant social influence on how people were going to be experiencing
their symptoms. In lit. reason is bio OR social psych phenomena.
- Trends are a social influence. You are the product of society. Individuality is an illusion.
- Under certain circumstances we follow the behavior of others, though from an objective point of view, it seems
ridiculous to do the behavior.
- Fashion is a game of conformity.
- During psychotherapy, people seems to improve behaviorally, as their imitation of gestures increases.
Behavioral synchrony (between patient and doctor) = the better one feels. Ex/ sitting room experiment. See if the
participant mimics the confederate. Occurs below the level of consciousness. In general, all are prone to mimic
behaviors around the self.
- We develop ways to organize how people interrelate within groups. Ex/ coordinating the movement of motor
vehicles, need rules. Ex/ expect that others will stop when their light is red. Consensus that people will follow
rules creates cohesiveness and understanding of behaviors. Following rules ensures the effectiveness of working
together as a society.
- Continuum of social influence:
- Sherif‘s studies of norm
When people repeatedly share
their experience, they conform on
how much the dot moved. When
you begin, you have an idea about
the movement, very different than
someone else‘s, yet when info is
shared and discussed, people
conform in their thinking and end
up with a final answer (which was
not what any had started with).
- Asch studies of group pressure:
line size judgments. The more
people agree on a size (though it
is wrong) the more one will
conform to what others are
answering. Follow others 37% of the time. It usually take only one or two other persons for the participant to go
against the group. Avoidance of discomfort to resisting the group. People want to fit in so much that they will
do anything to maintain that security to others. *Followed incorrect majority 37% of the time, 25% refused to go
along, 50% conformed on at least 50% of critical trials.
5 -Milgram‘s obedience experiments:
- Brown eyed/blue eyed experiment. Obedience, compliance, conformity.
- Conformity: informational influence (the assumption that others are correct: Sherif‘s experiment), normative
influence (fear of appearing deviant: Asch‘s experiment), private conformity (acceptance, conversation: Sharif‘s
experiment), public conformity (compliance to specific requests: Asch‘s experiment).
- Compliance: response to direct explicit requests.
- Mindlessness: Ellen Langer. Ex/ May I go ahead of you because I have to make some copies? Depending on
how the question is asked (rude or nice) people usually allow the person to go ahead of them. Often we are so
prepared to do what others want us to do that we do not process the info regarding the behavior asked of us.
-Norm of Reciprocity: Pressure to comply if we have received something from the individual making the
request. Ex/ give to someone, and they will give you just as much if not more. Give something to someone, and
they will give you something back.
- Foot-in-the-door technique: People are more likely to comply with a large request once they have been induced
to go along with a smaller initial request. Freedman and Fraser (1966). Asked homemakers about their product
use. Asked if they could come in to have a look in their cupboards. Three days later ask if men can come and
look through their cupboards. Large only = 22%: Small-large = 53%. Self-perception theory plays a role in this
phenomenon: if you comply, you see yourself as compliable, cooperative and agreeable. Thus to maintain a self-
image, individuals continue to comply to peoples requests.
- Low balling: securing agreement with a request and then increasing the size of the request increases the
percentage of people willing to participate. Cialdini et al (1978). Told first that the time of the study was at 7
am): 31% agree, told after: 56% agree.
- Door-in-the-face: Initial large request followed by a smaller request. Cialdini et al (1975): Request for
volunteering for two years. Request to take a group of youth for a 2-hour trip to the zoo. Smaller request only =
17%. Large-smaller request = 50%.
- That‘s-not-all technique: Before response, additional bonus is added. Burger (1986) ex/Selling cupcakes for 75
cents. Selling cupcakes for $1.00 with 25% discount.75 cent cupcakes = 44% sales. 25% discount = 73% sales.
The more it looks like you are getting a special deal or treatment, the more you will comply.
(class notes) 2
- when the time comes to make a decision, positive associations will determine choice. When you are facing a
decision when choosing a product to purchase, the people responsible for advertisement will make the light shine
on their product!
- Adds attempt to create a positive affect when the potential consumer is viewing. Attention grabbing is
important. Make you feel good and special, or make association to popular people.
- Two routes to persuasion: Central Route (Person thinks carefully about a message. Influenced by the strength
and quality of the message. *Situation where you are confident that the audience will be listening attentively to
the message, ex/ health message, political message…), and Peripheral Route (Person does not think critically
about the contents of a message. Influenced by superficial cues. *Know that the person/audience is not really
listening to the deeper message because it is not needed, ex/ coca-cola vs pepsi: don‘t need to know about how
the product is made and the messages they are trying to evoke).
- Central root communication: Assumption that the recipients are attentive, active, critical, and thoughtful.
Assumption is correct only some of the time. When it is correct, the persuasiveness of the message depends on
the strength of the message‘s content. The central route is a thoughtful process. But not necessarily an objective
one. * Ex/ the speaker in class running for a part in the student gvt. OR, ex/ Paul Martin: Central root=his
speaking of what he will do as a politician, discussing ideas, etc. Peripheral root=him standing next to Bono,
simply making an association (superficial cues).
- Peripheral root communication: People are persuaded on the basis of superficial, peripheral cues. Message is
evaluated through the use of simple-minded heuristics. * Ex/ just standing next to Bono. Does not mean
6 What is an effective source? (speaker, communicator…)
- Believable sources must be credible sources: to be credible, the source must hold two distinct characteristics
Competence or expertise, AND trustworthiness. How likeable is the communicator? Is very important… Two
factors influence a source‘s likability: The similarity between the source and the audience. The physical
attractiveness of the source. Ex/ Tiger Woods used in campaigns, because he was likable (popular) and attractive
(good at golf…). This all changes rather quickly when Woods changes (scandal), people no longer want to
associate with him because he became unlikable. OR ex/ radio host blasting the student asking for contraceptives
in insurance, all (many) adds associated with that radio station backed out and removed their adds because they
do not want to be associated with the radio host. *The more someone is similar to you, the more you like them.
- Research Example: Chaiken (1979): Had male and female students approach others on campus. Telling
people they worked for an organization aimed at stopping serving meat on campus. Get students to sign petition.
Attractive versus unattractive speakers asking to sign the petition. Results? People who were approached by the
attractive people signed the petition, whereas the less attractive people did not get many people to sign. (little
over 30% signed with the unatractive & 40% with the atrtactive: significat difference)
- The Sleeper Effect: Is a
delayed increase in the
persuasive impact of a non-
credible source. Kelman &
Hovland (1953): At time 1
Ps were influenced by
highcredibility source. At
time 2, the high-credibility
source lost impact.
- How should the argument
be presented to maximize its
strength? Are longer
messages better? If
peripheral, the longer the
message, the more valid it
must be. If central, message
length is a two-edged
sword. Does presentation order matter? *When a message is too long, people loose interest and stop listening.
- Primacy vs. Recency effect: when two persuasive messages are back to back and the audience then responds to
the messages at some later time, the first message has the advantage (primacy effect). When the two messages
are separated in time and the audience responds soon after the second message, the second message has the
advantage (recency effect).
- Easy to understand messages: are most persuasive when videotaped. Difficult messages are most persuasive
when written. Thus the difficulty of the message interacts with the medium to determine persuassivement.
-ADVERTISEMENT WEAR-OUT inattention and irritation that occurs after an audience has encountered the
same advertisement too many times
7 -AUTOKINETIC EFFECT illusion, caused by very slight movements of the eye, that a stationary point of light
in a dark room is moving
-BAIT-AND-SWITCH influence technique based on commitment, in which one draws people in with an
attractive offer that is unavailable and then switches them to a less attractive offer that is available
-CENTRAL ROUTE (SYSTEMATIC PROCESSING) the route to persuasion that involves careful and
thoughtful consideration of the content of the message (conscious processing)
-CONVERT COMMUNICATORS people perceived as credible sources because they are arguing against their
own previously held attitudes and behaviors
-DISRUPT-THEN-REFRAME TECHNIQUE influence technique in which one disrupts critical thinking by
introducing an unexpected element, then reframes the message in a positive light
-DOOR-IN-THE-FACE TECHNIQUE influence technique based on reciprocity, in which one starts with an
inflated request and then retreats to a smaller request that appears to be a concession
-ELABORATION LIKELIHOOD MODEL (ELM) theory that posits two routes to persuasion, via either
conscious or automatic processing
-EXPERTISE how much a source knows
-FAST-APPROACHING-DEADLINE TECHNIQUE influence technique based on scarcity, in which one tells
people an item or a price is only available for a limited time
-FOOT-IN-THE-DOOR TECHNIQUE influence technique based on commitment, in which one starts with a
small request in order to gain eventual compliance with a larger request
-GROUP NORMS the beliefs or behaviors that a group of people accepts as normal
-HALO EFFECT the assumption that because people have one desirable trait (e.g., attractiveness) people also
possess many other desirable traits (e.g., intelligence)
-HEURISTIC/SYSTEMATIC MODEL theory that posits two routes to persuasion, via either conscious or
-IMPRESSIONABLE YEARS HYPOTHESIS proposition that adolescents and young adults are more easily
persuaded than their elders
-INFORMATIONAL INFLUENCE going along with the crowd because you think the crowd knows more than
-LABELING TECHNIQUE influence technique based on consistency, in which one assigns a label to an
individual and then requests a favor that is consistent with the label
-LEGITIMIZATION-OF-PALTRY-FAVORS TECHNIQUE influence technique in which a requester makes a
small amount of aid acceptable
-LIMITED-NUMBER TECHNIQUE influence technique based on scarcity, in which one tells people that an
item is in short supply
-LOW-BALL TECHNIQUE influence technique based on commitment, in which one first gets a person to
comply with a seemingly low-cost request and only later reveals hidden additional costs
-NEED FOR COGNITION a tendency to engage in and enjoy effortful thinking, analysis, and mental problem
-NEGATIVE ATTITUDE CHANGE (BOOMERANG EFFECT) doing exactly the opposite of what one is
being persuaded to do
-NORMATIVE INFLUENCE going along with the crowd in order to be liked and accepted
-PERIPHERAL ROUTE (HEURISTIC PROCESSING) the route to persuasion that involves some simple cue,
such as attractiveness of the source (automatic processing)
-PERSONAL RELEVANCE degree to which people expect an issue to have significant consequences for their
-PERSUASION an attempt to change a person‘s attitude
-PIQUE TECHNIQUE influence technique in which one captures people‘s attention, as by making a novel
-PLURALISTIC IGNORANCE looking to others for cues about how to behave, while they are looking to you;
-PRIVATE ACCEPTANCE a genuine inner belief that others are right
-PUBLIC COMPLIANCE outwardly going along with the group but maintaining a private, inner belief that the
group is wrong
8 -RECEPTIVITY whether you ―get‖ (pay attention to, understand) the message
-REPETITION WITH VARIATION repeating the same information, but in a varied format
-SLEEPER EFFECT the finding that, over time, people separate the message from the messenger
-SOURCE the individual who delivers a message
-STEALING THUNDER revealing potentially incriminating evidence first to negate its impact
-THAT‘S-NOT-ALL TECHNIQUE influence technique based on reciprocity, in which one first makes an
inflated request but, before the person can answer yes or no, sweetens the deal by offering a discount or bonus
-TRUSTWORTHINESS whether a source will honestly tell you what he or she knows
-YIELDING whether you ―accept‖ the message
CHAPTER 9: PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR
- Prosocial behavior: is behavior intended for the common good. Behavior that promotes harmonious social
functioning. Conformity, obedience, rules of law, rules of the road, helping. Often a negative light is cast on
conformity and obedience, yet it is very prosocial and crucial.
- Reciprocity: across cultures, there appears to be a norm that one is obliged to pay back in kind what one has
received. Receiving help creates a debt that must be repaid. Some disadvantaged groups refuse help due to their
perceived inability to pay back (ex/ old people, poor…)
- Fairness/Justice: (Equity): receiving benefits in proportion to what one has contributed. Equality: everyone gets
the same amount. Negative feelings toward people who take more than they contribute. Negative feelings when
one feels that one is not contributing to the social unit (e.g. feeling useless).
* More or less, one has to feel like they get back something relatively comparable to what they have invested.
One can have negative feelings if they take more than they should have, this leads to feelings of uselessness.
- Violations of justice norms (getting back what you‘ve invested): rumination (think deeply about something, ex/
just world: people overthink and it leads to extreme negative feelings-often people feel they need retaliation to
feel better), excessive focus on loss, anger, retaliation/revenge.
*Perceptions of injustice concerning injury or illness make people worst off in the end. People who say negative
things, do not get better (theme of justice: situation is unjust). Feel like it is a permanent and dishabilitating
- People feel their injury is unjust because they don‘t deserve it. Really it has nothing to do with deserving it.
Loss of ability leads to loss of function, loss of independence, financial security, and quality of life…
- Plato: ―Justice is produced in the soul, like health in the body, whereas injustice is like disease and means that
the natural order is subverted.‖ Injustice lays in the core of the psych. Only way to get rid of this feeling is to
retaliate to the same amount. Revenge cognitions: too chaotic, thus across different civilizations different types
of public punishments have been thought of, ex/ torture, imprisonment, fines, etc. Justice system that tries to deal
with undeserved losses by giving the plaintiff money, to replace the loss that one has experienced. For most
people who have received dishabilitating problems, it feels just, yet some people continue to experience their
situation as unfair and unjust regardless of money provided,
- Saint-Anselm: ―Justice demands that where there is an offence, there must be satisfaction. Satisfaction must be
made by the offender, and it must be a recompense which is equal and opposite to the offence.‖
- Following injury, men experience more significant loss (in perceived justice) this is thought to be that the male
is usually the greatest monetary provider (not confirmed). Thought to be the result of catastrophizing (perceived
- Clinical implications of perceived injustice: anger, non-compliance, alliance challenges.
- Ally or enemy: to be an effective professional to help someone, you have to be an ally, because if you are an
enemy, the client or person will never accept help from you or change…
- ―perceived injustice is associated with heightened pain behavior and disability in individuals with whiplash
- Some people act and behave in ways that influence your judgment so that you comply to what they feel.
- ―Pain perceived injustice and the persistence of post-traumatic stress symptoms during the course of
rehabilitation for whiplash injuries‖ PTSD and perceived injustice=longer rehabilitation/ or no rehabilitation.
PTSD and low/no perceived injustice=short rehabilitation.
9 - Event related injustice: ex/ the driver of the other vehicle who caused the accident.
- Distributive injustice:
- Procedure related injustice: ex/ insurance representative/Health care professionals. Retaliation against insurer
would be to remain out of work (against the perpetrator of the injustice. Insurance company being unjust).
- Revenge motives: ex/ thinking about what you will do to the person who has caused you injustice. Process:
Disability as the only ammunition in battle against perpetrator of injustice?
- Forgiveness: ceasing to feel angry toward or seek retribution against someone who has wronged you. Ceasing
to seek retribution for being wronged. Ceasing to feel angry toward the wrongdoer. Releasing the wrongdoer
from debt. Forgiveness is a key factor in the maintenance of positive relationships.
- Barriers to forgiveness: depends on the severity of the offence. Low commitment to the relationship between
yourself and the wrongdoer (ex/ if it an important relationship, you will try to solve the issue). Absence of
apology or remorse towards the wrongdoer (absence of apology means that the other is not as involved and
forgiveness is harder to come by). Rumination and anger (becomes more difficult to forgive: thinking of hurting
-Obedience: is behaving in a manner consistent with specific directives or commands. Key to prosocial
functioning. Obeying: ex/ parents, coaches, teachers, authority, law…
- Dark side of obedience: War-time mass murders. Cult members. Behavior of medical professionals (should the
nurse have listened to the physician, though she knew the consequences, resulting in the patience death, or
followed her own judgment?).
- Milgram‘s obedience experiments:
participants complied with the authority of
the experimenter. The environment was
key and the apparent authority of the
physician was important. People obey to the
physician. Usually when they know they
will not be blamed for the wrongdoing. Over
60% of people obeyed the physician and
―killed‖ the other participant.
Key: legitimate environment, authoritative
physician, blame not on them (on the
physician). Anybody under the right
conditions will obey and kill…
- What breeds obedience? 1) emotional
distance form the victim, 2) closeness and
legitimacy of the authority, 3) institutional
authority (location, ex/ Stanford School:
very known and prestigious), 4) liberating
effects of group influence (if everyone does it, why wouldn't I?).
Prosocial Behavior: Helping others
- Common helping behaviors: giving directions, donating money, sharing notes, helping the elderly, etc.
10 - Why do people help? Evolutionary factors in helping suggest that there is a so called ―Selfish Gene‖. What is
important is the survival of the individual‘s genes, not survival of the fittest (keeping yourself alive!)
- Kinship selection: is the tendency to help close genetic relatives (strongest when biological stakes a particularly
high, ex/ parent, sibling, children…)
- Reciprocal altruism: is helping someone else (not relative) in your best interest, which in return, increases the
likelihood that you will be helped in return. I scratch your back you scratch mine!
- Helping others to help oneself: one is more likely to help when the potential reward of helping is greater than
the potential cost of helping, ex/ if helping will keep you safe, award you recognition, make you feel good, etc,
one is likely to help. Whereas if the costs are high, ex/ helping will injure you, cost you too much time, money,
etc, one is less or not likely to help.
- Arousal (cost-reward model): when someone takes the time to ponder the costs and rewards associated with
helping (often unconscious, one can instinctively feel this). Comprises both emotional and cognitive factors.
Helping costs: ex/ courageous resistance: hiding jews in WW2, nice, but run the rist of death or imprisonment.
OR negative health effects, ex/ exhaustion, from helping a sick family member, or strenuous work, etc.
- Altruism or egotism (the great debate): people do wonder if in fact helping is motivated by altruistic motives,
or egoistic motives. Altruistic: are motivated by the desire to increase another‘s welfare. Egoistic: are motivated
by the desire to increase ones own welfare.
- Daniel Batson (American social psychologist): states that the motivation behind some helpful actions is truly
- Telling the
What people often
help, is ―how easy
is it to escape from
situation?‖ People do not like to be ―cornered‖ and stuck in a situation, and it is suggested that people who help
with egoistic motives, helping should decline when escaping the situation is easy (―everyone can do it‖ then
wont be gaining so much as if it was an extraordinary helping situation, less recognition and personal gain when
―too easy‖). People who help with an altruistic motive, provide help regardless of the ease to escape (they have
nothing to gain from the situation, they help because they help).
- Batson et al (1981) experiment on the matter: A participant was paired with a confederate, participants were
made to think they had randomly been given the observer position, and would watch the confederate being given
electric shocks as she work on something. The purpose was to see if the participant would be willing to take the
confederates place (receive the shocks instead), while varying the empathy and difficulty to escape: half the
participants were told they help similar values to the confederate, others told they were completely different, &
half of the participants were told they could leave early (escape) and the others had to stay the entire time (no
escape). Results: the group of participants who had a high empathetic concern with the confederate helped at a
greater frequency when escape was easy, and the group with low empathetic concern for the confederate helped
at a grater frequency when escape was not possible (difficult). Sum: people help more when they feel
empathetic to the person and may easily escape, and help less when they have low empathy towards a person and
can easily escape.
Situational influences: when do people help?
- Bystander effect: is the phenomenon that the presence of others inhibits helping. Ex/ the case of Kitty
Genovese (woman murdered and raped as many heard her screams and cries for help. All bystanders thought
someone else would call the police and help).
- Five steps to helping in an emergency, and their common obstacles:
Emergency situation in vicinity: before anything can happen, one can be distracted by the environment, or self