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8. Conformity and Obedience (Feb 4).pdf

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PSYC 2310
Saba Safdar

PSYC*2310▯ Tuesday, February 4, 2014▯ Conformity and Obedience▯ Chapter 8▯ ▯ - when people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other ▯ Definitions▯ - conformity is a change in behaviour or belief as a result of real or imagined pressure from others▯ ▯ Why Conform?▯ - 1. the need to know:▯ - life is undefined, situations are ambiguous, see what others do in the same situation, according to others, you change your behaviour ▯ - informal social influence: “others know better than us,” if most people do it, it’s okay▯ - accepting others interpretation of an ambiguous reality in order to obtain accurate information, we conform simply because we don’t know▯ - Muzafer Sherif’s studies▯ - Autokinetic effect▯ - stare at red dot 5m away, the light is going to disappear, every time it disappears and then comes back, tell how much it moves▯ - 1 cm away, 4 cm away, etc.▯ - in reality, the light is not moving: visual illusion▯ - we see that the light is moving because it is dark and there is no anchor to use as a landmark▯ ▯ Autokinetic Studies (Sherif, 1936)▯ - now in a group: people have to report out loud how much the light is moving: use other people’s responses to alter your own▯ - convergence: people come to an agreement about how much the light is moving▯ - conforming to an unestablished norm happening in a group▯ ▯ - after doing it in a group, do it individually, conform to the prior existing norm and all report the same even when they are alone ▯ ▯ Multigenerational Norms▯ - study of transition of norms from generation to generation by MacNeil and Sherif (1976)▯ - once we establish a norm for a group, how long will people conform?▯ - four person group in laboratory (3 from experiment, 1 participant)▯ - establishing an arbitrary group norm of 12 inches▯ - 30 judgement trials▯ - replacing one of the confederates with a new naive member after each 30 judgement trials▯ - the norm stays the same even after replacing with more participants ▯ - continuing the study for 11 generations, each one involving the replacement of the oldest - group member with a new member▯ norms continue for a long period of
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