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Lecture 90

PSYC 308 Lecture Notes - Lecture 90: Stanford Prison Experiment, Cultural Relativism, Impulsivity

6 pages34 viewsWinter 2019

Course Code
PSYC 308
Heather Armstrong

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PSYC 308A Group Processes
Learning Objectives
- Explain “entiativity”
- Understand the role of social norms and social roles in affecting our behaviour
- Understand how the Stanford Prison Experiment illustrates the above point
- Differentiate between different routes of obtaining status
What is a group?
- Being in a group is very crucial to survival
- Helps us fulfill basic needs (eg hunt, grow food, care for child)
- Entiativity (Group Cohesiveness) = extent to which a “group” is perceived as being a
coherent entity
High entiativity entails:
- lots of interaction with each other
- group membership is important to members
- members share common goals and outcomes
- members are similar to each other in important ways
- Importantly, entiativity should be construed as a continuum
Social Norms
- Social norms = implicit/explicit rules that govern the behaviours, values, and beliefs
of group members
- Examples of implicit norms lining up, clapping, waiting at office
- Examples of explicit norms the law, syllabus
- How did these norms even come about?
- Two perspectives in explaining origins of social norms:
- Societal-value perspective
- Functional perspective
Societal-value perspective:
- Norms are culturally relativistic and arbitrary
- Arbitrary norms are established and internalized
- Sanctions are established to reinforce norms
- Functional perspective:
- Content of norms are not arbitrary, but confer survival advantage
Environment -> Behavioural Response ---> Norm persists (if adaptive) *goes away if not
- Mutually exclusive, or mutually integrative?
- Integrative perspective:
- norms emerge due to fundamental challenges to survival
- manifestation of norms will differ by culture
Social Roles
- Social roles = shared expectations by group members about how particular people in the
group are supposed to behave
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- clearly divided and defined social roles allow people to perform functions
- Examples of social roles?
Haney, Banks, & Zimbardo, 1973
- People can internalize even artificial social roles
- Stanford Prison Experiment:
- About 20 participants randomly assigned to either become prisoner or guard
- Guards told: “carry out activities necessary for interacting with a group of
prisoners”, but no physical punishment/aggression
- Prisoners not told how to play role of prisoner
- How generalizable are Milgram’s results?
- Researchers generally find no difference in obedience rates (ie % of people who go to
the end) across the decades
- Research from Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, India, Italy, Jordan, the
Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Spain, Scotland, South Africa all converge on similar
obedience rates
- But whether this actually explains real-world scenarios is unknown (eg war)
- Dehumanization?
- Sadistic and egregious cruelty
- Escalating destructiveness overtime
- Perception that authority has “victim’s” best interest in mind
- High status is associated with:
- Greater height and size
- Pride displays (across cultures and different animals)
- Achieved by two different routes:
- Dominance Attains status by using intimidation and coercion, Elicits fear,
subordinates comply or provide resources to safeguard others, associated with hubristic
- Prestige granted by others out of respect for skills/knowledge, elicits respect,
subordinates may copy skills/knowledge in return for deference, associated with
authentic pride
- Cheng, Tracy, Foulsham, Kingstone, Henrich (2013)
- Dominance -> less likeability -> great perceived influence/behavioural influence
- Prestige -> more likeability -> great perceived influence/behavioural influence
* both also capture more visual attention
- People achieve high status via different routes
- Both routes lead to similar benefits; but
- Different routes are associated with different interpersonal outcomes
- status through prestige is associated with better interpersonal outcomes vs status
through dominance
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