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Lecture 5


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Elizabeth Page- Gould

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June 8, 2012 PSYB10 LECTURE 5- Group Processes Readings – pp. 231-263 ZImbardgo Experiment - 1971 Study the behavioral and psychological consequences of becoming a prisoner (chain = symbolized loss of freedom) or prisoner guard - The researchers set up a mock prison in the basement of Stanford University's psychology building, and then selected 24 undergraduate students to play the roles of both prisoners and guards. The participants were selected from a larger group of 70 volunteers because they had no criminal background, lacked psychological issues and had no major medical conditions. The volunteers agreed to participate for a one- to two-week period in exchange for $15 a day - The 24 volunteers were then randomly assigned to either the prisoner group or the guard group. Prisoners were to remain in the mock prison 24-hours a day for the duration of the study. - While the Stanford Prison Experiment was originally slated to last 14 days, it had to be stopped after just six days - While the prisoners and guards were allowed to interact in any way they wanted, the interactions were generally hostile or even dehumanizing. The guards began to behave in ways that were aggressive and abusive toward the prisoners, while the prisoners became passive and depressed. Five of the prisoners began to experience such severe negative emotions, including crying and acute anxiety, that they had to be released from the study early Social groups: - Power of social roles (anyone can be taken over by their role)– guard vs. prisoner - Social norms – a groups prescriptions for the behaviour, values, and beliefs of its members - Group members are expected to conform to these norms - Members who deviate from norms are punished or rejected - Social roles – a groups expectations for the behaviour and responsibilities of various subgroups of its members - Potential costs – individual personality may be taken by power role and violation of social roles meets with censure from other group members - Group cohesiveness – the degree to which a group is perceived to be close knit and similar - In the minds of group members, cohesiveness promotes liking and in-group favoursim - In the minds of outsiders, cohensivess increases stereotyping of group members - The more cohesive the group = the greater the liking How do groups affect us? - Social facilitating and social loafing – created by an interaction of individual evaluation, arousal, and task complexity - Social facilitation – tendency for performance to improve when doing well learned or dominant behaviours in the presence of others and inhibit when doing less practiced or difficult tasks in the presence of others - Social loafing – tendency for people to perform worse on simple tasks and better on complex tasks if they are in a group and not being individually evaluated - Evaluation apprehension – concern about being judged/evaluated (and how much importance it holds to you) - Socio-evaluative threat - extreme evaluation (e.g. people who have speech anxiety), people know they are going to be evaluated and they are unable to handle the stress - In this case, body responds with the stress hormone, cortisol - Cortisol constricts blood vessels in hippocampus inhibiting memory and learning - Tripplet study Bike racers – (simple task) preformed better in the presence of others however, if it was a complex task you performance is impaired - Group polarization – tendency for groups to make extreme decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclinations of their members (can be shift to either greater risk or greater caution due to both informational and normative explanations) - Groupthink –a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group when the members strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action - Challenger disaster – Jan 28, 1986 – Christa McAuliffe the first civilian to go to into space – many children watched the lift off (the shuttle exploded after takeoff) - Day before the launch, engineers warn about O-rings (never tested below 12 C) - Day of Launch – 4 C (the crash should have been prevented) ANTECCEDENTS SYMPTOMS CONSEQENCES Highly cohesive Illusion of invulnerability Incomplete survey of (“can’t make errors,”) alternatives (focus on only one solution) Isolation Group is morally correct Failures to look at risks Directive leader (authority) Out group is stereotyped Poor information search (anyone who is not the member of the group doesn’t
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