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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 Review: Commitment Part 2

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Psychology 3721F/G
Nelson Heapy

Lecture 6 Review: Commitment Continued The Magic Act – Active  Writing things down  Pro-Castro essays – lasting reminder, influences what others think is true, and that affects what we think is true o People are giving a position to debate o Some people are going to have to argue for a pro-Castro position, others will have to argue for an anti-Castro position – have to write essays o When you get people to write a pro-Castro essay when it has been assessed that they don’t like him, by requiring to write an essay that goes contrary to their views, they will show upon a post- test that they are much more agreeable with Castro and the regime that is in power in Cuba than before they wrote the essay o Making people do things that go against their believes that is active (i.e. writing an essay) makes them change their opinions o In one condition, you write a pro Castro essay and are given a certain period of time to do so o The other group has the same amount of time, but they are only asked to think about the arguments that would be helpful in the essay o Much greater movement to the pro Castro position in the case where they actually have to write it down – the more active, the more compelling to the person involved that their point is in fact true  Amway, Proctor and Gamble o Companies will have what seems to be rather trivial competitions available – ‘giveaways’ o Ask people to write a 50 word slogan that supports a specific product in order to receive free product o Studies have been done where people just get the free product for being a customer o Found that getting a free product as a reward increases the likelihood that people will buy their products o If you got someone to write something that is favourable in return for the same sample, 100% increase in sales o Involving an active involvement in enjoying a product leads to a greater commitment for buying the product Making it Public  How making something public can enhance the likelihood of creating a commitment  The Magic Pad o Writing on a piece of plastic on top of the pad and once you lift the plastic the writing disappears o Had to write down something that went contrary to their initial opinions  Group 1: writing it down o Simply wrote it down on a piece of paper  Group 2: using the magic pad o Same instructions but had to use the magic pad of a means of writing it down  Group 3: listening/thinking o Didn’t write anything down – just asked to listen (didn’t make public) o Intended to vary the extent to which the information you were taking in and transcribing was made public and therefore had an impact on people’s views o When people had to write it down on paper, they changed the most o When writing on magic pad, they changed the second most o Those who just listened didn’t change at all o Suggests that if you are a well versed compliance practitioner, you will try to get people to write things down – trying to get them to do something active and public in its character to increase the likelihood for commitment  Quitting smoking… but only if you are typically honest o Changing addictions is very difficult o Getting people to do things that are active and public in character in terms of quitting smoking o Keeping track of the number of cigarettes they smoked every day and then graphing it o Just keeping track of this helps illuminate how much they are actually smoking o Have them take note what time of the day that they smoke o The more you get them to transcribe this, they get the idea of the frequency of cigarettes smoked per day, the more likely you put them in a situation that they cut down on smoking o Just seeing the evidence of how much they smoke is aversive enough for many to at least cut down or even quit – 25-30% will completely quit (optimistic outcomes in terms of addiction) o The trick is that you must be honest with yourself Initiations  The Thonga path to manhood o Circumstances where being active and public is important, but being effortful is also important o Being effortful is to go beyond simply being active o Some men in African societies have to go through an initiation that looks brutal and terrifying in our culture – e.g. trying a rope to their ankles and jumping off an extremely high point o The question becomes why do people do this  making something public, active, and effortful enhances people’s commitment than if it was not make effortful o Thonga tribe in sub-Saharan Africa take part in an initiation process – males around 13-14 are beaten with clubs, circumcised, and secluded for months, etc. o The young men who have gone through this process will be extremely loyal to their tribe because of what they have gone through o A level of loyalty that would not be attained if not put through such extreme practices  University fraternities o Notorious for degrading initiation processes o The pledge are treated in an unpleasant fashion, made to do dangerous things, etc. o Each one of the things that occurs to the Thongs, a version of each is done to fraternity pledges in a similar way – death threats, punishment, restricted from food/drink, injured, etc. o Those who come out of it are incredibly loyal towards their fraternity – leads them to believe that they are joining something that is extremely meaningful to them, similar to the Thonga tribe  Medical, Engineering, Legal training o Medical interns made to work extremely long hours not because they need to, but in the sense that they have to go through it because ‘it is part of their training’ o Believed that it will make them more loyal even though it is dangerous especially in terms of surgeons, etc. o In the case of engineering, they put them through initiation and then at the end they receive something called an iron ring made from the metal from a bridge that collapsed and killed hundreds of people due to an engineering problem – form of loyalty o Out of this kind of historically adhered to ritual, they get very loyal people  Aronson and Mills, quaint but relevant o Publicizing the availability of a club for young women on campus o The group was going to be discussing sexual matters in an explicit manner – something that was not talked about in public, let alone in groups and by young women o The nature of the study was to present two different conditions: o Young women were told that they would hear a recording of the group In session so they would know what they were getting into before joining  Talking about the anatomy of women in terms of sexual activity (very clinical, relatively boring)  Talking about more intense sexual conversations (explicit sexual content, rated as unpleasant) o Found in both cases that when they joined the group, the talks were rather boring (followed a script, set up) o The group that had gone through the rougher initiation rates the discussion very interesting vs. the mild/boring initiation group rated it more realistically o Found that young women who were put through an embarrassing kind of initiation, a difficult kind of language and discussion to deal with, fond that once they had gone through with it and were in the group, they appreciated what was going on in the group than the group that went through a more realistic appraisal of what they were going to get into o Suggests that the more difficulty/effort you require individuals to go through to get into a group, the more they will evaluate the group positively o Feeling like you have to justify all that you went through – forcing yourself to feel that what you had to go through was valuable o Criticism: women ‘turned on’ by this information – not that they liked the discussion even though it was uncomfortable  Gerard and Methewson, brutal o Same info as first study but had 3 groups – 1 group no initiation, second group mild initiation (receiving a shock on a barely painful level), and a third group (a very painful shock) o The group that had to suffer the most to get into the group, predictably led to the highest evaluation of the group discussion o The more pain they experienced as a necessity to get into the group, the more they valued being in the group  Nothing seems to promote commitment better o Public, effortful, active contribute to commitment The Inner Choice  Probably the most important idea  Chinese captors – again o Important for the Chinese captors to give the servicemen/prisoners of war that they were not being highly rewarded to join the groups – doing it out of their own curiosity o Cannot be in a position where you can attribute the causes of your behaviour to some external agency – have to be put in position where you can only see yourself as the one who put you in that position – attributing the causes of your behaviour to yourself not some external agency o You can use a little bit of an inducement to get them into the beginning – Chinese giving prisoners a cigarette, a piece of fruit, etc – using the minimum amount of inducement to get them into the situation and then cut them off from any kind of inducement  Fraternities refusal of civic activities o In response to fraternity problems with unpleasant pledges, university administration want them to do things in the community that are unpleasant but helpful (e.g. clean bedpans in hospitals) o Frats will commit to the public acts but will still take on their original pledge acts underground  Accept responsibility o There is an effort to avoid an obvious link between reward and behaviour o The individual has to accept that they are doing whatever is required of them in an entirely voluntary way – always have the feeling that they can always opt out – no explicit feeling of coercion  Teaching children o Turning play into work  ‘Token economy’ – if out want to get kids to do things, highly reward them for doing it  If you reward kids a lot for what is expected of them, they will do it consistent with learning theory  The problem is, if you take away the reinforcement, they will no longer do it  Can get kids to, in one school setting, engage in a behaviour th
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