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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 Review: Commitment

6 Pages

Course Code
Psychology 3721F/G
Nelson Heapy

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Lecture 5 Review: Commitment and Consistency Taking a Stand  The race track o Researcher went to the race track and studied how people at the tracks make bets o Was interested in how confident people feel about choices they are about to make vs. choices they have already made o When people are about to make a bet, they base their opinion about which horse is going to win depending on which horse people have already been betting on o However the payout if lower the more people that bet on it – the real payoff is to bet on a horse that has a low number of bets on it o The odds are constantly changing as you are waiting in line to make your own bet – a bit of ambiguity about what is going on o Asked people in line how confident they are about their horse winning 1) while waiting in line, 2) after they made their bet but before the race starts o People are really confident about their horse winning after they make their bet – their belief of the likelihood of the horse winning is contrary to the odds boards that are posted at the time o The before bets, people see their chances of winning are not all that different of what are on the odds board – more ambivalence about the expected outcome vs. after they made the bet o For most horse races, the actual outcome pretty closely mirrors the odds boards – don‟t deviate dramatically o There are different levels of confidence associated with different stages of the decision making process – once you have made a commitment to a particular choice, you will then do things that suggest that this choice is the only way it could possible be made – will do many things to ensure that your commitment is made clear  Vigilantes at the beach o Once condition: You go to the beach and you settle down on the sand and you notice someone by you that comes over to you and says they need to go to the bathroom and ask if you can watch their things while they‟re gone (confederate) o The other condition: there is going to be another confederate that comes along and takes the first confederate's bag when they are gone o In this condition, a lot of people will go chasing after the culprit o If you had made the minimal commitment that you will look after their things, they will stick with that commitment even when it may involve some danger o How commitments really do have an impact on behaviour  Making it all fit … the current elections o Romney caught talking to wealthy money donors about how the underprivileged people of the country are a „write off‟ in terms of their votes o Got caught saying things that are offensive – then tried to tell people that they misinterpreted what he was saying o Then went on to say the complete opposite of what was offensive in the first place – that he loves everyone  Avoiding thinking o Like all shortcut rules, they help us avoid really deep serous thinking about a specific topic – if you can make a commitment to something, you believe it will make something easier o People often make a commitment without having much research at hand o We don‟t really have the time to think through things that would be ideal and we may even avoid thinking in many cases and use shortcut rules in order to avoid thinking Transcendental Mediation  Preposterous claims o A program where you pay money to learn how to do something o The claims made about what you will learn how to do are usually fantastic, contradictory, and wrong (not possible) o However, they can be appealing to a sufficient number of people in the sense that they can make a lot of money o Make claims about things that are wrong, but sound plausible to people who are ignorant o e.g. church of scientology o They make preposterous claims o One is that if you learn how to meditate in a profound enough way, you can eventually levitate o Meditation involves focusing your attention on some sound/stimulus that is repetitive o Make claims that once you have meditated you can achieve certain kinds of goals – can learn to overcome insomnia, to be more energetic, etc. (contradictory claims) o Maintains that everything you have a problem with you can solve with meditation  Reason presented o A philosopher and a psychologist that decides to go to an intro meeting at their university campus to listen to their promotions and then to challenge the claims that this group makes and draw attention to the fact that their claims are contradictory o After the presentation almost everyone in the room rushes to join the groups despite all the information that the philosopher provided concerning the fact that it was nonsense and not to waste their money on it o Waited outside to ask the people who joined why they did so  Running from reason o The 3 people they interviewed had all „come to the end of their rope‟ in some way – their schoolwork was suffering because they couldn‟t get a good sleep, suffering from depression, etc. o Felt as if they were taking away from what they thought was their last hope – they didn‟t want to hear what the philosopher said – had already made the commitment to join and avoided the proof that went against what they considered their last resort o Once we have made a commitment, we will try to behave in ways that are consistent with it and avoid things that go against our commitment Selling Toys in February  Selling toys (actually almost anything) o Phenomena that occurs every year around Christmas time in a predictable way o One of the biggest problems for toy companies was that the times when you buy some kinds of items is dependent on the season of the year – Christmas begins an important season for certain companies, such as toy companies o But if something that is highly desirable runs out and cannot be available until after the Christmas season  Cabbage Patch Dolls o Where its became apparent was with the cabbage patch doll – the most that was paid for one was around $10,000 – not usual for the doll to be sold for very expensive prices o Sale took off when it first came out because it was the toy of the year, especially around Christmas o The company tried to restock the shelves, but around December the company could no longer make the demand and would not be able to make any more until after Christmas – created a panic among parents o Wasn‟t unusual for parents to drive across the country to buy this toy and willing to spend hundreds of dollars  Finding a winner o However, what if this was planned by the toy companies – recognize that one toy is „the toy‟ at Christmas –  Suddenly a problem o Ensures the company that they will not only make money at Christmas, they will make money afterwards too o Since the children were unable to receive „the toy‟ for Christmas, their parents try to make up for it by buying them several toys – benefits the toy company even more o Prediction that there will be an emergence of some toy in November that will be „the toy‟ – will start to be the hot item for parents to buy – sales will go up  End of January, beginning of February o If the toy becomes available after the Christmas season has passed people will still buy them in huge numbers because their children were unable to get one for Christmas  Now you‟ve bought two How the Force of Consistency is Engaged  Commitment o The force of consistency engaged through commitment  Commitment strategies o Selling a used care  Car dealers will try to quickly as possible to verbally make a willingness to commit and then try to get you to write down something about your commitment  Will get you try out a used car and then get you to write down all the things you found attractive about the vehicle – wont talk about it downside, just about the pros  Have started to engage the commitment of writing something down – starts to engage a commitment process that is a very easy step to when you actually sign the sales agreement  Make the person make greater and greater commitments from which they can‟t retreat  Easiest way for someone to make a irretrievable commitment is by getting them to write it down o Collecting for the Cancer Society – „How are you feeling this evening?‟  Generally people don‟t like phone solicitations, but very often when agencies like the cancer society get through to you, we are more sympathetic towards them vs. a business  Ask how you are feeling today – make you feel guilty that you are feeling fine/good when people are suffering with cancer  Works with any public service where people need help o Staking the jury  Defense and prosecution lawyers can ask the jurors their views about certain things that have to do with the case in question  E.g. can ask whether or not the person is willing to convict a person even if the death penalty is a consequence of your conclusion – routine questioning  Can become difficult between the prosecution and the defense  Trying to find people who will commit a position that will make your job easier Korean Prisoners of War  Chinese versus Korean Camps o The kinds of prisoner taking during the Korean war o One thing that was really notable about the kind of prisoners of w
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