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Chapter 8.docx

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PSYC 2310
Andrew Robinson

Chapter 8: Social Influence: Norms, Conformity, Compliance and Obedience  Social norms: unspoken but shared rules of conduct in a formal or informal group  Conformity: the tendency to change our perceptions. It is a change I behabior or beliefs as a result of real or imagined pressure from others How do Social Norms Influence Behaviour  Miller and Mcfarland: ask participants to read article for a discussion (written incomprehensible). Completed survey >assumed 37% of other students asked researcher for help. No one did.  The power of social norms: o Influence values, beliefs and behaviours. Serve as helpful guides to appropriate behaviour. Descriptive norms (describe how people behave in a given situation). Injunctive norms (describe what people ought to do). o Salganik, Dodds and Watts- Simply knowing how many other people had downloaded a song influenced how likely others were to download it > social norms influence music ratings o People more likely to acquire norms when they’re in new situations o Callun and Harton: Uni students attitudes become more similar to those closest to them  Errors in perceiving social norms: o Katz & Allport- Pluralistic Ignorance: type of norm misperception that occurs when each individual in the group privately rejects the groups’ norm but believes that other accept these norms. o Vorauer and Ratner: Study shows how pluralistic ignorance can interfere with the formation of a relationship as each person assumes the other isn’t interested o Darley and Messinger: misperceiving the thinness norm can lead to eating disorders  The pressure to conform to social norms: o Krunglanski and Webster: Pressure to conform is powerful because deviation from the norm often leads to experience of negative consequences o Schachter: found people liked the deviate least o Janes and Olson: found that those who watched the tape that ridiculed the other person conformed to what they thought were the ratings of other students and rated the cartoon as very funny o Goldstein: found 75% of guests who were asked to participate in new resources saving program helped by using their towels more than once. o Mutterperi and Sanderson: Telling uni students that other women on campus eat and weigh more than the former might believe > reduces symptoms of eating disorders What Factors Lead to Conformity  Informational Approach; o Informational Influence: influence that produces conformity when a person believes others are correct in their judgements and the person wants to be right. Occurs in a new situation o Sherif: used the autokinetic effect (when a stationary dot of light is shown on the wall in dark room dot appears to move even though it doesn’t). Study demonstrated private conformity: when people rethink their original views and potentially change their minds to match what the group thinks o The need to be accepted > Normative influence: the influences that produces conformity when a person fears the negative social consequences of appearing deviant and wants to be liked and accepted. o Asch: participants alone: <1% gave wrong answers, in groups: 23% gave correct answers, 77% gave at least one wrong answer, 32% gave 7+ wrong answers. This study revealed public conformity.  ManNeil and Sherif: study of transition of norms from generation to generation; completing 30 judgement trials and keep replacing one of the confederated with a new norm. Factors that Increase Conformity Group size:  Group of 4 better at increasing conformity than 2, but 17 is not better than 10  Bassili: found people who held a minority opinion expressed their views less quickly  Social impact theory: people we are close to have more impact on us  Tafarodi: second generation immigrants tend to want to feel part of the wider society Standing alone:  Taking the lone deviant position. In Asch’s periment when another person in the group gave the truthful answer the pressure to conform was reduced  When a group appears unanimous its at its strongest Demographic Variables:  Varying characteristics of an indivudal, sample, group or population. Ex: age and gender  Conformity at its highest in adolescence  Women more likely than men to agree with others in group and less likely to dissent from group. But both are likely to conform in unfamiliar situations  Guadagno and Cialdini: type of persuasion strategy used > women more influence by face-to-face Motivation:  Task importance > easy tasks eople don’t need to look to group members for answer, but do for harder tasks Nature of Task (ambiguity and difficulty) Individual differences The positive Aspects of Conformity  Conforming to basic social norms is required if we want to live an orderly society > citizrns are expecting a certain level of conformity  Minority influence: o Moscovici: argues that minority influence the behaviour or beliefs of the majority > the key is consistency o Dissenters are more effective if they are: independent thinkers, persistent and have authority Conformity Across Cultures  Versions of Asch’s experiments have been replicated in more than a dozen countries- findings: o Individualistic cultures % errors: British unemployed blacks 39%, Us students 37%, Dutch students 24%, British students 17%, Belgian students 14% o Collectivistic Cultures % errors: Indianc teachers 58%, Japenese sports club members 51%, Lebanese 31%, Japenese students 25%, Kuwaiti student 29% o Higher levels of inter dependent self (those that identify highly with their group) >increases conformity  Triandis: Hunting and gathering societies and upper social segments of industrial societies are low in conformity  Triandis: Agricultural societies and lower social segments of industrial societies are high in conformity  Berry: Berry’s study: correlated the degree of independence (low conformity) with the sample’s position on an ecocultural dimension >he found a correlation of .70 between ecocultural dimension of self-reliance and independence or nonconformity The Power of Minority Influence  Minority influence: a process in which a small number of people in a group lead an overall change in the groups attitudes or behaviour  Moscovici: (Reversed the Asch paradigm by having minority of 2 confederates influence majority). Used 36 colours slides > found minority influence is more lasting than the behavioural conformity produced in the studies on majority influence. Demonstrates difference between conversion and mere conformity  The more consistent they are the better  Minority influence can be
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