Monday, November 18 2013
Influence of Others (1)
o Module 2: Presence of Others
Ex. Cyclists: Normal Triplett observed that cyclists competing as a
group raced faster compared to individual cyclists competing against
When against other people the competition increases
The presence of other people important for the performance of the
Co-Actors: other individuals performing the same task as you.
Audience: A group of people watching an individual perform a
Social Facilitation: the increases performance that occurs in the
presence of co-actors or an audience. The presence of co-actors
or an audience affected performance on a variety of tasks (this
can also be related to the Hawthorne effect)
The presence of others can hinder performance on tasks such as
learning non-sense syllabus, completing a difficult maze, or solving
complex math problems
The presence of other increases the arousal to improve
performance on simple tasks and decreases performance on
People who are an expert at what they are doing will do better
than others because over time they have gained the knowledge
of doing that task, therefore it becoming relatively simple for
them to complete.
A task that is unpracticed becomes complex and will do worse
to performing the task in front of others.
It all depends on your preparation for the given task
o Module 3: Social Learning Theory
Social theory: You learn appropriate behaviors by modeling
and imitating the behavior of others.
This is different from basic conditioning because the
behaviours you learn from others do not always require
explicit reinforcement to develop (people copy by imitating
The Bobo Doll Experiment
Young kids were placed in a playroom, and an adult would
appear in the playroom and would model either aggressive or passive play with the toys in the room. When the adult left, the
kids mimicked the actions of the adult.
This behavior from the kids was spontaneous, with no explicit
reinforcement or encouragement.
o Module 4: Conformity
Sherif and Norm Function
Conducted an experiment called the auto kinetic effect.
When with a group of people , others in that group will
influence your decision/perspective by their perspective. Also
known as norm formation.
Asch found that on average, 37% of all responses conformed to
a clearly incorrect answer.
75% conformed to an incorrect answer on at least one trial.
1. The normative function: is the role of others in setting
norms or standards of conduct. Example: this can be
seen through fashion trends and pop-culture. They set
these standards in fear of rejection or isolation by
2. Comparative function: The role of others in providing
information about an ambiguous situation. You will first
see what other people are doing and follow what they
are doing because you don’t know what to do.
What to do in an unknown situation
o Module 5: Group Dynamics
James Stoner (Risky shift effect): People are more likely to be risky
when the situation is less risky and vice versa.
Example: Rogers life insurance, he has a stable by low paying job. He
should not risk that because it risks his whole family as well.
Group Polarization: Group decision making strengthens the original
inclinations of the individual group members.
Groupthink: A group decision making environment that occurs when
group cohesiveness becomes so strong it overrides realistic appraisals
of reality and alternative opinions (mob-mentality).
Groups failing victim to groupthink often believe that they are
unquestionably right and all other groups are wrong.
(Example: Mean Girls)
Some things to consider when you’re making a decision in a
1. Be impartial (group leader should never endorse any
particular position from the outset) 2. Encourage Critical evaluation (allow group members to
3. Subdivide the group
4. Provide a second chance
o The Bystander Effect
Kitty Genovese story: She was murdered in her apartment buildings
and there were 38 witnesses watching her murder, yet no one came to
help or called 911.
The reason why the witnesses did not reach for help was because they
say that many other people were also watching, and each assumed
that the police had already been called by someone else, so it wasn’t
necessary for them to do so.
The very presence of so many witnesses was in part responsible of the
lack of action by any one of them.
An individual has to uncover two key decision before they decide to
1. Emergency? (An individual must decide whether the situation is
truly an emergency
2. Response required? (Whether this situation requires them to
If both answers are yes, then the individual will most likely to
When situated with other people (in a group) the likely hood of
responding decreases because assuming that other people noticed the
situation and already dealt with it.
Collective Ignorance: When each individual in a group see nobody
responding in a given situation, they conclude that they 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, therefore
we are less likely to act.