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Psych 1X03 Module Influence of Others 1.doc

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Joe Kim

Module Influence of Others 1 Module 1 - Our thoughts & behaviours – influenced by those of the people around us - look to others for cues – how to behave & feel in situations - act differently with different groups - influence of others – Social Psychology – many counterintuitive findings - will look at famous & infamous studies Presence of Others Norman Triplett - 1 formal study of social psychology – 1898’ - observed that cyclists raced faster when competing with each other compared to when racing against clock or individual time trial - same competitive effects in children performing a task with no reward - another study – Triplett asked child to wind string on fishing rod fast either alone or in groups - children wound string faster when other children present - he hypothesized that mere presence of others – important variable in performance of an actor - Co-actors – individuals performing the same task with you - audience – group of people observing performing a task - presence of co-actors or audience – affected performance on many tasks - this phenomenon is termed Social Facilitation - the increased performance that occurs in the presence of co-actors & an audience A Complication: - Exceptions to the rule – sometimes co-actors & audience did not increase performance - Some studies – evidence – presence of others hindered performance on tasks – ex. Learning nonsense syllables, completing a maze, solving complex math problems - took decades to solve this question: Why does the presence of others sometimes lead to improved performance & at other times to hindered performance? Zajonc’s Resolution: Robert Zajonc – 1965 – paper – “Social Facilitation: A Solution is suggested for an old social psychological problem.” - he suggested – important factor to consider is that the presence of others increases your arousal. - how arousal affects performance – depends on task - simple tasks – in which you are expert or well-practiced – performance is enhanced - complex tasks – for which you are not an expert or well-practiced – performance is hindered Social Learning Theory - can help understand how a complex cognitive skill – such as language – is acquired in children through explicit reinforcement - used to explain how social behaviours are shaped Albert Bandura - 1970’s – Social Learning Theory – You learn appropriate behaviours by modeling and imitating the behaviour of others - social learning theory can be differentiated from basic conditioning – the behaviours you learn others do not always require explicit reinforcement to develop The Bobo Doll Experiment - children – 3 to 6 yrs – offered different toys to play with in a room with an adult - adult would model either aggressive or passive play with the toys - ex – punching bobo doll, yelling at it, hitting it with mallet - How would adult’s behaviour influence the child’s later play behaviour - children went into new play room with a bobo doll – children who had seen adult with aggressive play behaviour – more likely to display aggressive play behaviour with Bobo doll - interesting – aggressiveness was spontaneous – no explicit reinforcement or encouragement - this was opposite to pure behaviourist ideas which suggested that the learning of a behaviour only occurred with explicit reinforcement - what would happen is real person not a doll = follow-up study – children still attacked the real person with kicks, punches & toy hammers - this is interesting – video games of today – depict graphic violence Conformity - it is difficult to be the one lone person who disagrees – Power of Conformity - Muzafer Sherif – 1930’s experiments on conformity - used a perceptual illusion – the auto kinetic effect Day 1 - subjects in a dark room – looking at small dot of light in front of room - stare at dot – how much does it move - several trials – you see it move 5cm - dot does NOT move (optical illusion – auto kinetic effect ) stationary light in pitch dark room – appears to move because our eyes scan the scene – we mistake mov’t of image on retina as motion of the dot Day 2 - in a room with 2 others – each tells how much dot moved – each different amount 2 more days of testing How will the presence of others influence the individual reports of how much the dot moved? - responses gradually converge with the others - this is called Norm Formation Norm Formation : powerful effect - can be manipulated - Sherif had a 3d person sit in & report very large estimate of how much the light moved – group’s responses converged towards the large number - reason why TV sitcoms use laugh tracks (even when not filmed live) – hearing others laugh – may convince you that the dialogue is funnier Solomon Asch’s Stimuli - why do people fall in line with the group so easily? - experiment – subjects in room with a group or another individual - told would do a simple experiment - see one sample line & 3 comparison lines – which line matches sample - group of 7 – only 1 is real subject – others confederates of the experiment - all asked to report wthch line matches - real subject always 6 to respond - confederates give clearly incorrect answer – - 37% of all responses conformed to a clearly incorrect answer - more than 75% of subjects conformed to incorrect answer on at least one trial -WHY? - use 2 broad functions of a group for answer - Normative Function – the roles of others in setting norms (standards) of conduct eg. Fashion trends; popular culture - normative function of the group sets standards because you fear rejection, ostracism – if do not conform - normative function guides us to dress similarly ; behave in certain ways - Elevator Etiquette: go in everyone facing rear of elevator – subject – slowly begins to turn to rear also - Compartative Function – The role of other in providing information about an ambiguous situation - if a situation is confusing, ambiguous -look to others – see how they interpret situation - Deutsch & Gerard’s study 1955 – - subjects in separate cubicles – see a set of lines – anonymous responses - subject was shown other responses - (Normative Function does not apply – because subject – no reason to go along – no ridicule or rejection – anonymous responses) - in spite of this – subjects still went along with wrong answers - answer was less clear – conformed because doubt own perceptions – others might be right Conclusion - As social beings – o
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