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Psychology chapt 15.docx

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John Bassili

Psychology: Chapter 15 Lecture Asch’s Conformity Situation  Solomon Asch did some research to see the power of conformity and how big of an influence it has on people’s decisions.  He had a group made up of confederates or stooges and 1 real subject. They were asked to look at a picture of a line and compare it to 3 others lines and see which one of the 3 was the same as the other one.  The stooges were instructed to give the wrong answer, and although the subject also knew the correct answer he proceeded to give the incorrect one, he said line 1 even though line 3 was correct.  This experiment shows the great need to conform, and the ways individuals in groups react to that need.  1/3 of cases subject reports the wrong answer, 1/3 of people succumb to conformity even though not a word is said to the person.  It is found that the number of people in the majority affects conformity. If it one person you wont conform but if its 2,3,4, then it increases. But one you go higher it doesn’t make a difference anymore, so conformity increases only to a certain point. So between 100 and 1000 people in the majority, conformity will not be significantly different.  2 other factors: unanimity: less likely to conform if someone else deviated from the majority regardless of whether or not their answer was the same as yours or not. And commitment: less likely to conform if you are more committed to your answer.  2 reasons why people conform: Outcome Dependence: the want to be liked, fit in and not ridiculed: as observed in Asch experiment or Information dependence: the subject themselves doesn’t know the answer so the turn to the majority for guidance. Obedience  Stanley Milgram’s experiment with the shocks being administered to the learner by a teacher every time they student incorrectly answers the question. Conducted in 1962 at Yale University.  The shocks were punishment in a memory experiment.  Subjects 40 males between ages of 20 and 50 obtained from newspaper ads. The people range in education and profession  Its basically a fake machine where the so called student or learner is actually in on the act with the experimenter and the teacher actually becomes the learner. Electrode connected to them but the teacher doesn’t know its a setup.  If you correctly buzz in the answer, your safe but if not you get a shock and the voltage of the shocks increase for every wrong answer to XXX.  As each shock is administered, the “learner” wails and screams, he even says at the beginning that he has a heart condition (which is a lie, but the teacher doesn’t know this)  There is an extreme conflict happening inside the teacher: should i just stop now? Because this man seems to be in a lot of pain, but the experimenter says I must go on the study depends on these results.  Only 1/10 ppl would actually administer the highest shock is what was predicted by psychiatrist but actually 65% of subjects would obey commands of experimenter fully so it’s an underestimation of human obedience.  Conclusions: our behavior is under the control of the situation, are these people sickos or is the authority so strong that people will succumb to the pressure?  Some people get emotional, show signs of nervous laughter and others start to get really worried about the guy and say i wont continued until you tell me he is okay but they end up continuing anyways  At the end experimenter debriefs the subject and asks why did you go all the way, he answers because you told me to. But don’t you care about the guys welfare, yea thats why i wanted to leave but you didn’t let me. Well by the way it was all a fake.  Studies like this are no longer conducted. Bystander Apathy  Famous case of bystander apathy, NYC march 12 1964, 3 am Kitty Genovese a bartender coming home, a crazy madman man follows her and she was stabbed and beaten while 38 by standers watched from their apartment windows. The person who stabbed he may also have been at the bar  There were 3 stabbing episodes 35 minutes in total and no one did a thing. Not even call the police.  Finally when someone called the police they arrived on the scene 2 minutes later so it was not a mistake on their part but the bystanders. Why didn’t they do anything why are human beings so apathetic?  A barber says i would have gone down and hit him with a baseball bat but i couldn’t hear a
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