PSYC 342 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Job Satisfaction
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Principles of authority: people are more likely to comply with requests made by a person of high prestige/authority
Soft tactics - expert power
Harsh tactics - hierarchy-based power
Soft vs. harsh tactics - effectiveness may depend on situation
•Soft tactics may be better: better job satisfaction, more compliance
•Harsh tactics related to worse job satisfaction
•May use harsh tactics to enforce soft tactics
Principles of authority
•Can be difﬁcult to tease apart authority related compliance and authority related to obedience
•Authority ﬁgures may be perceived as providing particularly accurate information
•Factors inﬂuencing authority and compliance
⁃compliance with doctor's requests (21 of the 22 nurses were stopped at the door to the patient's room,
even though: amount was twice the max daily dose on the bottle, drug not on the nurse's approved
list, paperwork required was not ﬁlled out, doctor was unknown to them (against protocol), request
was over the phone (against protocol).
⁃author afﬁliations for papers: resubmitted 12 recently published papers to the same journals, provided
low-status afﬁliations, in place of the original prestigious institutions. Only 3 were detected as
resubmissions, of the rest, 8 were rejected. Reviews often cited "serious methodological ﬂaws", status
of organizations is meaningful
⁃clothing and trappings
⁃People comply more to guards than to milkmen or civilians. Compliance higher if asked to help
someone else, compliance higher if reason provided. Second study looked at compliance when the
guard was present vs. absent : still most compliant with guard, didn't matter if present or absent.
⁃If a pedestrian violating trafﬁc signals is wearing a business suit, signiﬁcantly more people follow their
lead. Depends on type of status too! Greater compliance with role status (ﬁreﬁghter) than with
authority status (business person).
⁃Higher status cars: other drivers show more deference
⁃Low status: more people honked, and honked sooner
⁃High status: fewer people honked, and honked later
Effects of authority
•Titles make you taller - students were introduced to a stranger and asked to estimate his height afterwards. Five
conditions for status: student, demonstrator in psychology, lecturer in psychology, senior lecturer in psychology,
professor. As status increased, so did estimated height.
•People were asked to estimate heights of party leaders before and after the election. Winner of the election's height
estimate increased after the election, whereas losers height estimate decreased after the election.
•People are less likely to question instructions when they come from people with titles
Limitations to authority research
•not always clear if effects are compliance or obedience
•actual number of compliance studies small
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