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17. Influence of others 1.docx
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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH 1X03
Professor
T A
Semester
Fall

Description
Influence of others 1 Intro  Your thoughts and behaviors are influenced by hose of the people around you  You look to others for cues to determine how you should feel and act in a given situation  Act differently around different groups of people Presence of Others Normal Triplett  Performed first formal study of social psychology in 1898  Observed that cyclists raced faster when competing against each other in a group, compared to when racing against the clock on an individual time trail  Another study: asked a child to wind a string on a fishing rod as fast as he could either alone or in groups o Noted that children would wind faster when other children were present compared to when they were alone  He hypothesized: the mere presence of others was an important variable in the performance of the actor  These group members can be divided into co-actors and the audience o Co-actor: another individual performing the same task o Audience: a group of people watching an individual perform a task  Social facilitation: the increased performance that occurs in the presence of co-actors or an audience A Complication  Some exceptions to social facilitation o The presence of co-actors and an audience did not produce a noticeable enhancement in performance o Some studies showed that presence of others can hinder performance on tasks  Why does the presence of others sometimes lead to improved performance and at other times to hindered performance? Zajonc’s Resolution  Journal, “Social Facilitation: A solution is suggested for an old social psychological problem”.  Suggested that the important factor to consider in that presence f others increases your arousal  How this heightened arousal affects your performance depends on the specific task to be performed  Simple tasks: performance is enhanced (tasks foe which you are an expert/well practiced)  Complex tasks: performance is hindered (neither expert or well practiced) Social Learning Theory  Can help you understand how a complex cognitive skill such as language is acquired in children through explicit reinforcement  Can also be used to explain social behaviors  Albert Bandura: you learn appropriate behaviors by modeling and imitating the behavior of others  when applied to social behaviors, social learning theory can be differentiated from basic conditioning because the behaviors you learn from others do not always require explicit reinforcement to develop The Bobo Doll Experiment  Albert Bandura’s experiment using an inflatable doll with a weight at the bottom that picks the doll back up once it tips over  Individual children between the ages 3-6 were offered a variety of toys to play with in a room with an adult knowledgeable of the study  The adult would model either aggressive od passive pay with the toys o In the aggressive play model, the adult would engage in such activities as punching the doll, yelling at it, hitting it  After viewing the adult model the child went into a new playroom with a bobo-doll and his behavior was observed  Children who had previously viewed the aggressive play model were much more likely to subsequently display aggressive behavior to the bobo doll o The aggressive behavior was spontaneous, no explicit reinforcement or encouragement  Learning a behavior would only occur with explicit reinforcement  What would happen if instead of a bobo doll, a real person dressed up as a clown? o children still attacked the real person Conformity  power of conformity – its difficult to be the one lone person not doing the activity or task Sheriff and Norm Function  Muzafer Sherif: conducted a series of clever experiments on conformity using a perceptual illusion called the autokinetic effect  autokinetic effect: a stationary light in a itch black room will appear to move about randomly o because as your eyes scan the scene of a dot of light against a uniform dark background, you mistake the movement of the image on your retina as actual motion of the light  subject in the experiments believe the dot moves, experiment of a couple of days and record how far it moved o day 2: subjects tell each other how far it moved o asked to return for two more days of testing  how will the presence of others influence the individual reports of how much the light has supposedly moved? o Over the several days of testing, your response will gradually converge with the others despite the different starting points of the individual subjects o This convergence is an example of Norm formation  Norm formation can be further manipulated by the experimenter o Follow-up experiment – a confederate sat in the subject and report a very large estimate of how much the light moved o The group’s responses converged towards the confederate’s response  Ex. TV sitcoms with fake laughs, convince that the dialogue is funnier Asch’s Stimuli  Questioned why people seem to fall in line with a group so easily  His subjects were seated in a room with a group to complete an experiment where they would see one sample line and three comparison lines, and they would have to identify which of the comparison matched the standard  One is the real subject, the other 6 are confederates; the subject is 6 to respond  The popular answer was generally always followed by the subject even if the answer was wrong Normative Function  the role of others in setting norms or standards of conduct based on a fear of rejection  guides you to dress similarly to the rest of society and behave in certain ways because not doing so would lead to negative social consequences Comparative Function  the role of others providing information about an ambiguous situation  see what others are doing, and how they are interpreting the situation  Deutch & Gerard: o each subject was placed in a separate cubicle where they could neither see nor hear the other subjects o similar to Asch the subjects made a judgment after seeing a set of line o each subject made an anonymous response by pressing a button o before responding, lights in front of the subject indicated the anonymous responses of the other subjects o normative function would play no role Conclusion  conformity is maintained through normative function because of social pressure and the fear of rejection and thr
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