-1Social Psych: Lecture 5:
Stanford Prison Experiment
à Power of social roles:
- a coin was tossed, anyone can be taken over by their role.
- roles are strong, and cannot be denied. However, there is still an individual difference
between them, they were able to show human individuality.
à The degree to which a group is or is perceived to be close knit and similar
à in the minds of group members: cohesiveness promotes liking and ingroup favouritism
à in the minds of outsiders: cohesiveness increases stereotyping of group members
à social norms, social rules, and cohesive
How do groups affect us?
à Social facilitation and social loafing
- Social facilitation: tendency for performance to be: improved when doing well-
learned or dominant behaviors in presence of others.
- Improved when doing well-learned or dominant behaviours in the presence
- inhibited when doing less practiced or difficult tasks in the presence of
Social Loafing: tendency of people to perform worse on simple tasks and better on
complex tasks if they are in a group and not being individually evaluated
Can be individually identified: my performance reflects on me
Singing in a chorus: cannot not individually evaluated, perform worse on simple tasks,
better on complex tasks in the presence of others
-- Concern about being judged/evaluated
à Socio-evaluative Threat:
-- Extreme evaluationApprehension
-- know they are going to be evaluated, it’s too much for them to handle the body
responds with the stress hormone, cortical. Cortical constricts blood vessels in
hippocampus inhibiting memory and learning
Putting it all together:
Evaluation, arousal, task complexity
-- evaluation apperhension à arousal - simple (perform better)
Presence of others: - complex (impaired)
-- no apprehension -- relaxation -- simple (impaired)
-- complex (enhanced)
Group Decision Making à Group polarization: tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than
the initial inclinations of their members
-- can be a shift to either greater risk, or great caution
-- ahs both informational and normative explanations
à Group think: 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 courses of action.”
-- extreme form of group polarization
Challenger Disaster: Christa McAuliffe, the first civilian to go into space. Many children
watched the lift off in schools. 1986. It exploded.
Rogers Commission: what had happened. It was avoidable. “launch should be cancelled if
there is any doubts of its safety” O-ring warning didn’t reach.
Characteristics of Group Think:
Antecedents Symptoms Consequences
- highly cohesive - illusion of invulnerability - incomplete survey of