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PSYC 2310 (454)
Saba Safdar (379)
Lecture 5


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PSYC 2310
Saba Safdar

WEEK 5 READINGS – PSYCH2310 – CHAPTER 8 CHAPTER 8: SOCIAL INFLUENCE: NORMS, ONFORMITY, COMPLIANCE AND OBEDIENCE How do social norms influence behaviour? - Miller and McFarland o When prof asks, ‘any questions?’ and you’re confused, you do nothing o Why? o Students assume that someone else will ask o Participants believed their own behaviour was motivated by fear of embarrassment, but saw other people’s behaviour as motivated by having a greater understanding of the article (article they read for experiment) The Power of Social Norms - descriptive norm: norms that describe how people behave in a given situation - injunctive norms: norms that describe what people ought to do in a given situation, meaning the type of behaviour that is approved of in the situation - compliance: changes in behaviour that are caused by a direct request - obedience: behaviour that is produced by the commands of authority figures - social norms: unspoken but shared rules of conduct in a formal or informal group - [Just hearing about an illness can make you sick? Medical students’ disease = when medical students learn about rare and unusual symptoms they often start diagnosing themselves with multiple disorders’ Error in Perceiving Social Norms - pluralistic ignorance (Katz and Allport): a particular type of norm misperception that occurs when each individual in the ground privately rejects the group’s norms , but believe that others accept these norms - pursuing a romantic relationship – 74 percent of the students reported that fear of rejection would explain their failure to express direct interest in the other person – 71% believe that lack of interest on the part of the other person would best be explained by the person’s lack of interest in them – this study shows how pluralistic ignorance can interfere with the formation of a romantic relationship The Pressure to Conform to Social Norms - the pressure to conform to social norm is often very powerful, in part because people who deviate from the norm often experience negative consequences such as embarrassment, awkwardness, and even hostile behaviour from others - students who believe that they deviate from the campus norm of alcohol use feel alienated from campus life and report less interest in attending university reunions later on - Schachter – study of the consequences of rejecting group norms – asked groups of students to engage in a group decision-making task WEEK 5 READINGS – PSYCH2310 – CHAPTER 8 - Students met to discuss the case of Johnny Rocco, a juvenile delinquent who was awaiting sentence for a minor crime, and were supposed to determine the appropriate punishment for him - Each group had several actual participants plus three students who acted as confederates for the experimenter: o one was the ‘mode’: he went along with the group position o one was the “slider” – initially chose a position of extreme deviation from the group but eventually went with group position o one was the “deviate” – initially chose a position of extreme deviation and stuck with it the entire time o people liked the deviate the least What factors lead to conformity? - Why we conform o Conformity can be produced by two distinct types of influence:  Informational influence:  The influence that produced conformity when a person believes others are correct in their judgments, and the person wants to be right  Sherif – study used the autokinetic effect – when a stationary dot of light is shown on a wall in a dark room, the dot appears to move even though in reality it does not. When individuals are alone in the room and are asked to guess how far the dot is moving, their guesses differ greatly but when individuals are in a group, their estimates of how far the dot is moving converge over time  Private conformity: o When people rethink their original views, and potentially change their minds to match what the group thinks  Normative influence:  The influence that produces conformity when a person fears the negative social consequences of appearing deviant  Public conformity: o When people’s overt behaviours are in line with group norms  Asch – participants arrived for an experiment on visual discrimination that was being conducted in a group of six or seven people – participants look at a target line and then at three other comparison lines and say which line is the same length as the target line – thirty seven percent of the time, participants actually gave the wrong answer in order to conform to the rest of the WEEK 5 READINGS – PSYCH2310 – CHAPTER 8 group, with fifty percent of participants giving the wrong answer at least half the time o More students will answer incorrectly when the rest of the group gives a wrong answer o Those who watch someone else be ridiculed and rejected conformed the most Factors tha
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