Influence of Others 11/27/2011 4:20:00 PM
Found that cyclists raced faster when competing against each other in a group,
compared to when racing against the clock on an individual time trial.
Children also do this when there is not necessarily an award at the end.
o Another individual performing the same task.
o A group of people watching an individual perform a task.
o The increased performance that occurs in the presence of co-actors or an
o However, social facilitation is not true in all cases. It actually hindered
performance on tasks such as learning nonsense syllables, completing a
difficult maze, or solving complex math problems.
The presence of others increases your arousal.
How this heightened arousal affects your specific task to be performed. For
simple tasks which you have mastered, performance is increased. For complex
tasks, performance is hindered.
Social Learning Theory
You learn appropriate behaviours by modeling and imitating the behaviours by
modeling and imitating the behaviour of others.
From basic conditioning – because the behaviours you learn from others do not
always require explicit reinforcement to develop.
The Bobo Doll Experiment
Children were given a variety of toys to play with in a room. Adults would model
either aggressive or passive play with the toys.
After viewing the adult model, the child went into a new playroom with a bobo
doll and behaviour was recorded.
Results showed that children who had viewed the aggressive model were more
likely to display aggressive behaviour.
Norm Formation Autokinetic Effect
- In a pitch-black room you are asked if a small dot of light moves at the front of
the room. It doesn‟t move, but you perceive it as moving because you mistake
the movement of the image on your retina as actual motion of the light.
Responses will gradually converge with others despite the different starting
points of the individual subjects.
Individuals were seated in a room with a group of other individuals, they would
see one sample line and three comparison lines, and would have to identify which
of the comparison lines matches the standard.
Only one person (the sixth person) in the group was the subject. The other six
are confederates of the experiment.
37% of all responses conformed to a clearly incorrect answer.
75% of subjects conformed to an incorrect answer on at least one trial.
The role of others in setting norms or standards of conduct.
You follow these standards in fear of rejection by others for not conforming.
Example: Fashion trends and pop culture.
The role of others in providing information about an ambiguous situation.
The Risky Shift
The groups decisions were on average riskier than the mean decision of the
individuals before the group discussion.
Individuals probability of success is 40%, where a group‟s probability is 30%.
Group decision making strengthens the original inclinations of the individual
Suggests that decision making in a group tends to lead to more extreme views
by strengthening the original inclination of the individual group members.
Group decision making seems to enhance national pride, negative racial and
financial attitudes, and decision-making in juries.
Groupthink A group decision making environment that occurs when group cohesiveness
becomes so strong it overrides realistic appraisals of reality and alternate
Often believe that they are unquestionably rights and all other groups are
Fail to critically test, analyze, and evaluate the ideas of the group.
To avoid groupthink:
o Be impartial
o Critical evaluation
o Devil‟s advocate
o Subdivide the group
o Provide a second chance
The Bystander Effect
For an individual to respond they must believe that the situation is an
emergency and that a response is required.
When each individual in a group see nobody responding in a given situation,
they conclude that the situation is not an emergency.
Diffusion of Responsibility
In deciding whether we have to act, we determine that someone else in the
group is more qualified.
Individuals seem to be less motivated when working in a group than when
Subjects pulled 18% less when they thought they were pulling in a group as
compared to pulling alone.
There is a strong tendency of obedience to authority, even if this power is
Illustrates that you are not always an accurate judge of how you behave in a