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University of Toronto St. George

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 Lecture 8: Quote by Philip Zimbardo: “You can’t be a sweet cucumber in a vinegar barrel” Fundamental attribution error when you see someone behaving a certain way you assume that they are that way and forget that the situation plays a big role in the way they are behaving. Social psych studies how people are overcome by the power of the situation and how people resist the power of the situation by cognitive reframing which involves the vmPFC (ventromedial prefrontal cortex) Social psych: the psych of normal - What is normal? I am (more or less)  highly articulated self-schema, very well integrated and very highly accessed. - Someone who is more responsible than you are anal, people who are less are slackers - Messy neat freaks slobs - Energetic manic boring - Sexy supermodels trolls - Smart nerds dumbasses - Old creepy stupid immature Naïve realism: - Cognitive basis for racism or any other form of categorizing - If someone is different from you in some way it is easier to think that this person is a lot different from you in so many other ways Me: A somewhat better version of normal: - Coffee cup worth (overestimating the price if it’s theirs) - We prefer the first letters of our names (prefer initial vs. a non-name letter and a non- initial letter is intermediate between initial and a non-name letter) I am OK… you are tot okay: - Self is a concept so we can construct ourselves in so many different ways - Identifying ourselves is a broadening of self-schema to include other stuff (ex: including someone you fell in love with within your self-concept) In-group favouritism- out-group derogation: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - We extend our self-serving biases to the things that we identify with and exclude the others that we do not identify with - Minimal group paradigm: they set up groups in the lab based on the most arbitrary distinctions (green dot or blue dots below the seat, flipping coins). They got people to estimate the number of dots, dot over estimator vs. under estimator, people prefer their fellow over estimator in a money-dividing task even though those group distinctions are based on nothing. Unconsciously operating and not intentional. Self and other: - They are a dynamic system (what the arrows represent) that is trying to balance these opposing tensions. You might lean more towards one of them at a certain point in time. - Coming together and falling apart (opposing forces) - Wanting to be a unit (integrative forces: liking people that are similar to us, we want to be forged in larger social entities) vs. wanting to be an individual - Harvey’s analogy, they were giving away mugs and that said “I am an original” but there is 300 of them and they looked exactly the same. We want to be original but still part of a group. Social psych: - Behaviour is a function of the person times the environment - Emphasize that social situations have an impact on who we are - Integrative psych that combines internal factors of the person with the power of the situation - If all your friends jumped out of a bridge would you? - Power of social influence - Social norms are important (ex: choosing what to wear: we want to fit in but at the same time express ourselves and be original), whatever you choose to say to a stranger (mostly about the weather since if you talk about something more meaningful people will think you are weird) - When you trip while you are walking and you feel embarrassed, pass out at parties or fall off a bike. Our reactions will depend on what we think people will think about us. Power of social norms Social influence: - Think of dandelions in so many ways (eat them, wear them around head, enjoy their beauty, get drunk with them) but it depends on how you frame them which is generally conditioned by how everyone frames them. Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - The way people dress, establishing their identity by conforming to their group and this validation that hey get by belonging to the group is what makes them acquire the courage differentiate from the rest since it is so hard to stand alone. - Friend that works at the donut shop and they started randomly looking to the window and looking at the starts and people will eventually joined them. 1 person captures 4 percent of the people walking but a small group will get a huge crowd to stop by. The power of social norms: Fashion, binge drinking, safe sex, drinking and driving, smoking, racist jokes, drug use, eating disorders, hairstyles, music, being honest, recovering from addiction, exercising working overtime, buying the latest must have - If you manipulate the social norms people’s behaviour will change - ??? listen to the study again The power of the situation: - Kitty Genovese who gets attacked by a man while walking home. She screams and people hear her. It’s understandable that no one was affected by someone screaming in a parking lot in new York and would risk their own lives to save her but they could have called 911 to report the accident yet they didn’t even though they were aware of the situation. - Newspaper headline - What if it is the other way around, because there was 38 people around that people didn’t act, then they assumed that someone else must have called the police Diffusion of responsibility: - Someone else will do it. Individuals take responsibility but will less likely do so in bigger groups. - Self-awareness study: Leave 5 dollars in a room with no one in it, in one condition they can see themselves in the mirror and in another they can’t. The mirror reduces the chances that the person will steal. Same thing with kids and stealing Halloween candy - The more we are self-aware the more we will behave following our fundamental values and morals. - When you reduce self-awareness and increase group awareness, people can lose their individual identity to the group thereby doing something they would not normally do if they were more self-aware. Examples: - KKK. People in respectable positions (individually) but doing horrible things when they are put in uniforms and are part of a group - Protests (easier to stand with other people than when they are by themselves) - Frosh week, people did things that they didn’t think they would do just because they were wearing same t shirts, same house, same chants… Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - Soldiers (frequency of atrocities committed by soldiers is much higher in conflicts where they wear uniforms) - G20, massive arrests, it started with a bunch of people praying on the ground at king and bay, and a group started forming around catholics for peace. Riot police was called in (not individuals anymore). A bicycle rally came along and attracted the people from Catholics for peace so people started walking north (not a march, not organized or anything). Later on, the chief of police said it was a planned march and there were weapons along Queen Street, (which was wrong since it wasn’t planned and they only went to queen since police forced them in this direction). Generally speaking, individuals in riot police are living fathers, have morals… but put in a group they behave differently. - In conclusion: It is so much easier to do nasty stuff when put in a group Seizure study - Put people in a situation where they need to act courageously. Someone tells you that they have epilepsy. When those people do have a seizure, the more people there are the less likely they are to help. - Put people in a room to fill a questionnaire and smoke start going into the room, most people left to their own devices they would do something about it but the more people there is, the less probable that someone will report it. - At that moment, they were responsive to social norms and at that time, no one was doing anything so they did not do anything. - When prof talks about something that no one understands no one puts up their hand since they do not want to be the only person that does not understand what the prof is saying. Sitting in a smoke filled room: - Pluralistic ignorance: disjunction between private beliefs and public behaviour - Racism, binge drinking - “to be a hero you have to learn to be a deviant, because you are always going against the conformity of the group” Philip Zimbardo. Uncertainty and social norms: - When you don’t know what to do, do what other people do. We adopt the group perspective in ambiguous situations. The autokinetic effect: (sheriff 1935) - Dot on the wall that is not moving and it starts moving (optical illusions) - Ask people to estimate how much the dot moved - Alone, they get different estimates Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - In a group, they start to converge and the estimates get closer - When you take those people again in the room, they stick to the group’s estimate. They have internalized the perspective of the group. Even if you change the group over time, people still stick to the group’s perspective. How powerful are conformity pressures: Asch study - Put people in a situation that is completely not ambiguous, ask people about lengths of lines and you get the right answer to almost a 100 percent accuracy. - Put them in a group, people give the wrong answer in a row (those people are in on the experiment) and the subject of the experiment fol
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