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Chapter 15 Lecture Notes + Slides

7 pages58 viewsWinter 2011

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John Bassili

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Chapter 15: Social Psychology
Social Psychology: Studies our social nature. How the actual, imagined, or implied
presence of others influence our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
oSocial influence: refers to changes in our behaviour due to the result of
direct or indirect intervention by others.
Can be used in clever ways and not necessarily honest techniques
(sales persons)
Con artists persuade others into giving them money by telling them
The low ball technique: Sales person quotes an unusually low price,
and you agree to buy it at that price. Then the sales person changes
finds a reason to change the price with the following reasons:
Calculation error
Option not included
Manager says we lose money
Trade in re assessed lower
oConformity: adopting of attitudes and behaviours shared by a specific
group of people. People conform easily because: the desire to be liked and the
desire to be right.
Factors that affect conformity include:
Size of majority: the more people in a majority the more
likelihood of someone to conform. (after 4-5 people group size
does not matter)
Unanimity: We are less likely to conform when there is
another person that disagrees with the majority. Even if that
person is wrong.
Commitment: the more committed we are to our opinion; the
less likely we are to conform.
Factors of why people conform:
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Outcome dependence: the desire to be liked. People want to
fit in and avoid the negative aspect of being rejected or
Information dependence: the desire to be right. People turn
to others for guidance when they are uncertain about
oObedience: Orders given by people in authority create strong pressures on
individuals. People tend to comply with the requests of people in authority
and to be persuaded by them. Authority figures are trusted and respected.
Milgrams experiment: Shock experiment. Teacher had to give
student a higher shock every time the student gave a wrong answer
Factors that influence obedience:
The psychological proximity to the learner
The psychological proximity of the authority
Personal responsibility for administering the shock
People do not feel responsible for their actions since they think they
are only following orders.
Autonomy vs. Agency
oAutonomy: when we operate in full knowledge that we
are responsible for our actions. Our moral principles
guide our behaviour.
oAgency: when we perceive ourselves as agents of
someone elses authority.
Bystander Apathy: When people know that someone is in need of
help but they assume other people will help them.
Factors of bystander apathy:
oDiffusion of Responsibility: the bystander who is
aware that others are available to help may not feel any
personal responsibility to help.
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