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soc2d06-Jan7 first lecture back

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Leanne Joanisse

Social Influence - Jan 7 2012 Social Influence  The exercise of power by a person or group to produce changes in an individuals thoughts, feelings or behaviors - We “dish out” social influence as well- we are recipients and targets ( how many times during the day do we try to influence other people)  For example a student trying to change their mark, a student is trying to change attitudes or behavior of a professor  Or looking at magazines or commercials, that is subject to social influence  Social psychologists have long recognized the importance of social influence on our daily lives Conformity  A behavioral response to social influence that leads a person to yield to a group pressure, behavior in ways that is acceptable or appropriate in our group or society. Some pressure to conform may be very hard to resist Compliance  A behavioral response to social influence that reflects an outward yielding to group pressure without producing changes in persons privately accepted beliefs or attitudes. Obedience  A behavioral response to command or direct order  extreme form of social influence, it is the most direct technique. This approach is less common than all of the above mentioned but far from rare. Sports coaches, police officers, parents Process of Social Influence - Kelman (1961): 2 other processes of social influence  Identification – involves the acceptance of the influencing agents role, more basic attitude changes are probably if the recipient identifies with the communicator  Internalization - occurs when people develop new attitudes and beliefs , in line with their value system and is judged as being useful and valuable Classic Studies of Conformity  Conformity and group norms  group members often change their behavior so it conforms to group norms, it cannot be taken for granted  Group members conform often but not always  2 famous researches on the phenomenon of conformity  Muzafer Sherif (1936)  Solomon Asch (1951,1955,1957) Sherifs study: Autokinetic Effect  Utilized a physical phenomenon known as the auto kinetic effect  Male subjects were told they were participating in a visual perception experiment and were then place in a darkened room  He used this as a basis of how norms develop in groups  Asked them to estimate how far the light moved, but the light was not actually moving  Subjects were literally in the dark, no external frame of reference  From there individual estimates, first they sat alone reported judgments to experimenter  Then participated in 3 person groups after the next 3 days, subjects one by one announced their estimates  Estimates ranged from 1 to 10 inches, one said 80 feet?  Eventually each group established their own set of norms, after viewing the light by themselves  A week or two after their initial exposure, subjects were placed alone in the auto kinetic situation  We are always more l
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