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PSYCH101 Lecture Notes - Solomon Asch, Social Influence, Classical Conditioning

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Richard Ennis

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20 November 2012
Social Influence Social Psychology
Persuasion: Getting inside somebody’s head and changing their beliefs- focusing solely on the cognition
Most obvious form of persuasion in advertising, convincing us that a certain product or service is what we need
(Not that brand, but this brand)
When we try to persuade as individuals, what we do is try to make arguments, opening up a person’s beliefs about
o Ex. University of Waterloo is better than University of Toronto. We develop a set of beliefs, developing a
schema about certain things. Elevate UW & push down UofT make UW look better
Central Root to persuasion coming in and making you think about the product or service; affecting the
cognition. Provide arguments and positives- making something negative. In advertising, it’s a problem. It requires
thinking, energy, and effort on our part. Sometimes it’ll fall on deaf ears- only good for those who are already
interested in the product or service
Peripheral Route to persuasion Coming in the back door, and instead of attack your beliefs, we’re going after
your emotions, taking advantage of Classical Conditioning. Take a product and associate it with a type of
emotion (Car + Hot Model + Sunny Beach + Emotionally positive music = Positive Emotion, aka. You buy the
car). Made to make you not think. Indirect influence is that these means will eventually lead to behavioural
change. Next time you see product you want it
o Most successful ad Joe Canadian; People were switching beer brands very quickly because it
emphasized patriotism.
Conformity: Influence on someone’s behaviour as a result of being in the presence of other people; a more collective
influence. We change our behaviour, to be in accordance with perceived norms, provided by other people. How we act in
a library, and how we would act in a bar. It is the standard to what is appropriate and what is not. Ex. Face the back of the
elevator, than facing the elevator door in the elevator
1937 Sueri: We conform in order to be right. A good reliable source of information is to see what everybody
else is doing- better solution, rather than winging it. In the face of ambiguity, a phenomenon called the ‘auto-
kinetic’ affect, first discovered by astronomers; Eye-stigmas an illusion. Consensus developed when people are
grouped together put in a situation that calls for different opinions: eventually they converge, based on a
consensus for the right answer.
o This is called informational conformity
o Public & Private
1951 Solomon Asch: Agreed with Suerif, but was not the entire reason for conformity. We conform in order to
be right. People will go along with the crowd, even if what they are doing is not right. Designed a study with no
ambiguity people will make line judgements. Group may say one thing, and you may say another, but it can be
psychologically hurtful, so you conform and agree with the group
o This is called normative conformity.
o Public
Unanimity One person can break the majority by going against the grain
Compliance: Process that focuses on behaviour in which I try to get you to behave in a way I want you to behave.
Perception of compliance or behavioural change, one gets you to comply with a request. Ex. Can you open the door for
me? Can I borrow your eraser?
Bob Cialdini Wrote ‘Influence’, social psychologist at the University of Arizona – He opens the door and sees
the little girl asking for donations to donate to the United Charity or something. She finishes her speech, ending
with a ‘even a penny will do,” and he reaches in and pulls out five dollars. He’s just been duped
Reciprocity Do unto others as they would do to you. If someone does something for us, we feel obligated to
return the behaviour
Consistency We value it, but once in a while we like surprise
Obedience to Authority: We become obedient to the size and trappings of society. Social order dictates that there is
some authority and that authority has power, and we as people would obey them. However, it can lead us astray. In
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