INFLUENCE OF OTHERS I:
Common sense does not always equal research findings.
Presence of Others:
Norman Triplett first formal study of social psychology.
o Behaviours performed in a group are different from behaviours
o Observed that cyclists raced faster when competing against each other
in a group vs. against a clock.
Co-Actor another individual performing the same task.
Audience a group of people watching an individual perform a task.
Social Facilitation increased performance that occurs in the presence of co-
actors or an audience.
The presence of others can sometimes hinder, rather than help, a performance
Zajoncs (zye-ontz) Resolution: offered a solution to the problem of Social
Presence of others increases arousal to improve performance on well-practiced
Simple tasks, which you have mastered, with plentiful practice performance
Complex tasks that are foreign to you, with little practice performance is
GROUP PRESENCE HINDERS COMPLEX TASK PERFORMANCE, BUT
FACILITATES WELL-PRACTICED ONES
Social Learning Theory:
Popularized by Albert Bandura; suggests that we learn appropriate behaviours
by modeling and imitating the behaviour of others.
Different from basic conditioning because you do not require explicit
reinforcement to imitate said behaviours.
Bobo Doll Experiment: Social learning theory was best demonstrated with this
Children (between ages 3-6) were asked to play with toys, with an adult in the
room modelling passive or aggressive behaviour towards a Bobo Doll.
Those who viewed an aggressive play model were more likely to subsequently
display aggressive behaviour to the doll, with no explicit reinforcement.
Children mimic observed behaviours, even when afflicting harm to other
Autokinetic Effect Experiment:
Conducted by Muzafer Sherif; had a perceptual illusion where one had to track
where a dot moved. Trick is: did not actually move; eyes mistake the movement of the image on
your retina as actual motion of the light.
If in a group over several days: results converged with what the other group
members thought, even if the starting points differed; example of norm
Norm Formation leads to convergence in behaviour, even in the presence of
o Ex. laugh tracks in shows hearing the laughter may convince you that
the dialogue is funnier than it is.
Individuals had to identify which of the 3 comparison lines matched the
standard line given.
One subject, surrounded by six other confederates; they answer before the
75% of subjects conformed to an incorrect answer for at least one trial; 37% of
the average responses conformed to an incorrect answer.
Subjects doubt their own perceptions when it conflicts with that of others.
Normative Function the role of others in setting standards for our conduct
based on a fear of rejection.
Comparative Function the role of others in providing information about an
ambiguous situation. It allows us to compare our ideas against information and
perceptions from others around us.
James Stoner risky shift effect.
o Groups made riskier decisions than individuals before the group
discussion part of the experiment.
o Sometimes it is opposite, where the individual makes risker
decisions than the group.
o More risky or more cautious extremes are based off of the initial views
of the group members
Group Polarization group decision-making strengthens the original
inclinations of the individual group members; leads to more extreme views.
o The group consensus is pushed to the extreme of the individual
Groupthink a group decision-making environment that occurs when group
cohesiveness becomes so strong, it overrides realistic appraisals of reality and
o Coined by Irving Janis; mob mentality; groups overestimate their
might and right.
o Groups think they are unquestionably right and all other groups are
o Rationalized group decisions; high pressure to conform.
Preventing Groupthink: Be impartial group leader should remain neutral.
Critical evaluation allow group members to disagree; playing devils
Subdivide the group make separate decisions, then come together to discuss
the differences between them.
Give a second chance in order to reveal any further doubts/issues.
The Bystander Effect:
Kitty Genovese was murdered in NYC; ~38 witnesses that did nothing to
help her out.
Two Decisions to Action:
o One must decide whether the situation is an emergency.
o If it is an emergency, should I be the one to respond?
The more people present, the less likely a single person takes to realize an
Latane and Darley released smoke into a room of individuals to see how
long it would take for them to report it.
o Took longer for individuals in groups to report it than solely
Collective Ignorance when everyone in a group see nobody responding in a
situation, they conclude that the situation is not