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Lecture 6

PSY220H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: International Tropical Timber Organization, Tantrum, Fundamental Attribution Error

Course Code
Virginia K Walker

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Lecture 6
Moved influenced by subtle unseen forces all day all the time and affect us without our
awareness, different cultures seen it as different way individualistic – you shouldn’t,
collectivistic – mature
Subtle influence
Influenced by peer pressure, conformity, laws, norms
Prisoners of silence – facilitate movement of people who cannot communicate, people
wanted to tap into facilitated communication with those who cannot communicate,
psychologists tested it – facilitators were doing it, facilitators saw the word dog and child
saw the word cat only the word dog came upon in the computer screen
Mass Hysteria
EPI – highly stressful situation, see someone be sick and it makes you sick and it
continues on and makes it the norm
Stress with no outlet, EPI becomes the outlet
Soccer referees – give yellow and red to opposing team especially when there is a large
crowd and closer to field
Obedience holds society together – laws with enforcement
Suggestibility can be deadly – suicides by celebrities increases suicide
The trend of suicide – commit suicide even if it is a fictional character commit suicide
What is conformity?
Comply with the social norms, even if you don’t agree – obedience, compliance due to a
direct order
Elizabeth Smart Case – identifies with her captors, belief that there is no escape
Hurst – identified completely with her captors
People in cults, they become brainwashed, many cults end up in suicide – not everyone
all the time
What predicts conformity?
Cohesion – tighter knit the group, the harder it is to get into the group and to not be
rejected, sororities, smoking and drug use – peer groups and those you identify with and
they will influence you
Status – conform to those we see as a status members, famous people – celebrities (use
same product they use)
Public response – if you say something in public, you have to be consistent so you are not
a hypocrite
No prior commitment – more open to following along because there was no public
Why conform?
Normative influence – going along with the crowd, more potent factor, avoid rejection,
social ostracism within a group is powerful, Amish - Rum Springa – to see the outside
world – teens come back
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Reactance – keep eating vegetables and now they are enjoyed
We want to be right in ambiguous situations – powerful to have an authority figure telling
you what to do, more likely to obey since you don’t know what to do
Sherif’s Study – looks like a light moves even though it didn’t and judge how much it
moved, second day exposed to answers of others – question self, everyone shifted to
group norm and then there is consensus and a norm and it differs for each group and
years later they still agree with the group norm, persistence of effect overtime
Video – Asche study, line test of conformity how people expressed resistance when
giving the answer and the overtime already conformed to the others answered
Milgram – conformity to test while giving pain ne to listen to authority figure the they
knew they were doing the wrong thing
A useful function - following the law of the road
We understand what humans can do and because we understand we make the choice of
living certain way
There is no reason to conform yet we still do
Group Size
Group size such as held from our primal days in which to we fit in so we do not get
exiled from the group and help in our survival, we don’t want to be singled out – we
imagine consequences and it moves us in what we do
Once the group becomes 5-6 it beings to comply conformity
It is about small group
When we conform
Group size
Unanimity – in Ashe’s study - no subject conformed unless the first five gave the answer,
pressure is off and we won’t be singled out
Avoid conformity obedience if someone else descends
There are probably many descenders but no one speaks up to become the first
Cohesion – less tolerance if they do not follow, engage in self-destructive behaviour,
criminal behaviour, need to ensure that someone will play devil’s advocate
Status – conform to higher status figure and hold more sway highest ranking member –
easiest to descends but still have the fear
Fighting to move ourselves up, even at the expense of others
Public response – conforms if it has been said, think that where you are is great, you will
fight for that country
No prior commitment – you have not yet made a stance and you don’t know so you see
what others are doing and follow that norm
Obedience: Good or Bad?
Social contract the idea of how people should behave in society – people say bless you,
doing what we have been told to do even though it makes no sense, it’s about following
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