PSY100 - Social Psych

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6 Apr 2011
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Sheriffs (1935) studies of autokinetic effect: optical illusion: in dark room, a single
-People influenced by groups
Power of conformity Pressures (Asch study)
- - 1 standard line and 3 comparison lines (a,b,c) C obviously answer but group told to
say B is the same; see if group can influence the persons answer
-75% of people conformed at least once; on any given trial conformity occurred 1/3 of
time
Power of Groups
-Therefore even when we know what is right, hard to go against group, and often
conform just to fit in; how many people does it take to get us to conform -> 3-15
people
Dissent: Power of One
-How difficult is it to empower someone to resist normative pressures
o1 dissenter: conformity drops to 6-10%
o1 dissenter who is wrong: conformity drops to ~14%
Power of Situation
What happens when people are put into situations involving social influence; foot-in-
the-door technique, pluralistic ignorance, depersonalization, labeling, power,
uncertainty, authority, etc
Will normal people do evil things?
Zimbardo Prison study
oQuestionnaires, sorted out who had issues so they can get normal people
in experiment
oRandomly assign some to be prisoners, some to be guards (uniform)
oSent to prison, then blindfolded and taken to psych building
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