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Lecture 2

Week 23.docx

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Queen's University
PSYC 100
Ingrid Johnsrude

Week 23: Social Psychology Part 2: Influence Conformity: occurs when we adjust our behaviours or attitudes to coincide with a group norm • In a study conducted by Sherif in which male participants were asked to indicate how far they thought a light moved (it didn’t but it appeared to because of an optical illusion) it was found that they were likely to change their original responses based on the group response, and a group norm was developed • In Asch’s study on 8 males (7 were actors and one was really a participant) in which three lines were presented, they were asked to state which line was the longest. • Initially the 7 actors gave the correct response, but as the trails continued, started to give clearly incorrect responses • It was found that the participants would agree with the other “participants” even when they were clearly incorrect (about 76% conformed at least once!) • When one actor provided a different answer from the majority (even if it was incorrect as well), the participants conformity dropped greatly Reasons for conformity: • Through informational influence people conform because they believe that several people are more knowledgeable than one • Through normative influence people conform because they fear the consequences of appearing deviant (ridiculed or disliked) Public and Private: • Private conformity occurs when a person experiences changes in both overt behaviours and beliefs • Public conformity occurs when a person demonstrates superficial change in overt behaviour only • Retested up to a year later, Sherif’s participants still provided estimates of light movements in accordance with group norm (this suggests that Sherif’s participants were truly persuaded by the others -- private conformity) • Asch’s participants were tested alone, and they always provided a correct response and did not conform (participants mostly played along to avoid an unpleasant situation -- public conformity) Obedience: • In a study done by Bickman, a male assistant stopped random people on the street and issued commands such as “pick up this bag for me” • Half the time the assistant was dressed in a security uniform, and the other half the time he wore regular street clothes • When the assistant was wearing regular clothes, a third of people stopped an followed his orders • When the man was wearing a security uniform, 90% of people did what he said • Obedience is evolutionary successful, as a parent (authority) can see danger where a child cannot, so obeying parents increases survivial Milgram Experiment: • In a series of experiments Milgram asked participants in a fake learning task to provide increasing electric shocks to punish another participant (an actor) for mistakes made • The laboratory experimenter simply instructed the participant by saying “the experiment requires that you continue”, and “it is absolutely essential that you continue” • In reality no actual shocks were inflicted, although the participants believed they were shocking the other person • Most participants obeyed authority and administered a “lethal” shock even though they heard the actor protest, scream and eventually fall silent Variations in the experiment changed results: • In the case that the experimenter (authority figure) was in a different room, participants would not obey his commands • In the case where the actor receiving the shocks were in the same room as the participants, obedience dropped as well • In the case when the experimenter was wearing either regular clothes or a lab coat, or if the experiment was held in a rundown building instead of at Yale University, obedience dropped as well • When other actors posing as participants refused to continue experiment obedience also dropped • When the participants began the session by delivering mild shocks, and instead of increasing shocks by 15 volts each time- increasing the shocks drastically (75 volts each time), obedience dropped • When the participant was told they (instead of the experimenter) were responsible for the victim’s welfare, obedience dropped Compliance: a change in behaviour elicited by a direct request from another individual who is not an authority figure • Most requests we receive from others are reasonable and we are happy to comply • Others may use techniques to enhance our likelihood of complying (related to persuasion) Cialdini’s six principles of influence: 1. Consistency and Commitment: we have a strong desire for our attitudes to be consistent with our behaviour. If we comply with a request that modifies our attitudes and self concept, we are motivated to act consistently in the future 2. Reciprocity: we feel obligated to repay favours, gifts and acts of kindness, even when they are unsolicited 3. Social Proof: we are inclined to follow the lead of others. If we witness others doing something, we are more likely to do it as well 4. Liking: the more like someone, the more inclined we are to comply with his or her request 5. Authority: the power of authority can be extremely influential 6. Scarcity: if an item seems rare or less available, we tend to value it more Foot in the door technique: 2-step technique in which the influencer prefaces the real request by first getting a person to comply with a much smaller request • Effective because of the principle of consistency Door in the face technique: a 2-step compliance technique, when the influencer prefaces the real request with a request so large that is it likely to be rejected • Effective because of the principles reciprocity and perceptual contrast The low-balling technique: a 2-step compliance technique in which the influencer secures agreement with a request but then increases the size of that request by revealing hidden costs • Effective because of the principle of commitment That’s not all technique: 2-step compliance technique in which the influencer makes an initial request and before the person can respond, increases the attractiveness of the request by offering an additional benefit or increasing its apparent size • Effective because of principle of reciprocity and perceptual contrast Kitty Genovese: • A crime was committed in NYC in which a woman was stalked, stabbed, sexually assaulted and eventually murdered just years from her apartment building. • It was determined that 38 people looked out their windows at an attack that lasted over 30 minutes • No one intervened or called the police • Researchers speculate that witnesses failed to intervene because there were so many witnesses, they assumed someone else would call the police Bystander Apathy: • Researchers measured how long participants took to respond to the smoke • Participants were most likely to report smoke within 6 minutes if they were alone, and least likely if two actors (who did not react to smoke) were present. The presence of others inhibited participants’ behaviour even when the room filled with smoke • In a second study participants were doing a task when an experimenter suddenly fell from his chair in an adjacent room • As in the first study, the participants were most likely to help withi
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