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Psychology 1000

Chapter 16: Behaviour in a Social Context (p. 663) - Zimbardo: “Stanford Prison Study” – behaviour not only determined by biological endowment and past learning experiences, but also by power of immediate social situation SOCIAL THINKING AND PERCEPTION Attribution: Perceiving the Causes of Behaviour - Attributions: judgements about the causes of our own and other people’s behaviour and outcomes o Influence subsequent behaviour / emotions (if because of A then C, vs if it was because of B) Personal vs Situational Attributions - Fritz Heider (1958): attempts to understand why people behave typically involve ... o Personal (internal) attributions: infer people’s behaviour caused by characteristics (Bob insulted Carl because he’s rude) o Situational (external) attributions: infer aspects of situation cause behaviour (Bob provoked) - Harold Kelly (1973): 3 types info determine attribution o Consistency: consistent response over time? (always hates art) o Distinctiveness: distinctive, only this or for all things? (hates art vs all courses) o Consensus: how do others respond? (all students hate art vs just Kim) - When all 3 high  situational - Consistency high, other 2 low  personal - Sometimes take all this to consideration when making attributions, other times mental shortcuts making snap judgements that bias Attributional Biases - Social psychology says: immediate social environment profoundly influences behaviour - But we form negative opinions about participants because of fundamental attribution error: underestimate impact of situation and overestimate role of personal factors when explaining others’ behaviour o E.g. Fidel Castro speech o How we perceive others’ behaviour rather than own – e.g. driving “moron” “maniac”  We have more info about our present  Perceptual principle of figure-ground relations  Others are “figure” on background standing out  We are “background” and situation stands out o Not inevitable (Columbine shooting)  Time to reflect, highly motivated to be careful, error reduced - Explaining self, protect self-esteem by self-serving bias: making relatively personal attributions for successes and more situational attributions for failures (e.g. athletes post-game) o Psychological state (e.g. depression opposite), cultural norms Culture and Attribution - Culture influences how we perceive physical AND social world - Studies suggest tendency to attribute other people’s behaviour to personal factors reflects Westernized individualism o E.g. India-US attributed causality studies - Culture affects attributions for own behaviour too o Chinese value modesty, take less credit for successful social interactions and more accepting of responsibility for failures than Americans - Also affects HOW make attributions o E.g. East Asians have holistic view of universe (compared to Westerns) .: more complex views about causes of behaviour (as everything interconnected) o E.g. Koeran vs Euro Americans - Relation between holistic thinking and use of information o Same underlying psychological principle (link between holistic thinking and beliefs about causality) seems to account for information-seeking diffs between cultures and individuals within each Forming and Maintaining Impressions - Impressions we form often others of us often - Attributions important in impression formation: o Person’s behaviour say something about them, or situation? Or other factors? Primacy versus Recency: Are First Impressions More Important? - Primacy effect: refers to tendency to attach more important to initial info we learn about person o New info still can change mind, but needs to “work harder” because...  We tend to be most alert to info we receive first  Initial info may shape how we perceive subsequent info (e.g. student or athlete) o General rule, esp for people dislike ambiguity / uncertainty  We can easily form snap judgements based on small amounts of initial info; evolutionarily evaluating stimuli quickly = adaptive (e.g. friend or foe distinguishing) - Primacy effects decrease (RECENCY) when asked to avoid snap judgements, reminded to consider evidence, made to feel accountable for judgements Mental Sets and Schemas: Seeing What We Expect to See - Perception – stimulus can be “seen” different ways (e.g. party, cold host vs shy) - Creating mental sets.., o Schemas: mental frameworks that help organize and interpret information; activates concepts/expectations .: “fit” behaviour into particular already activated schema - Stereotype: generalized belief about group or category of people = powerful schema o E.g. Hannah’s academics, blue/white collar parents Self-Fulfilling Prophecies: Creating What We Expect to See - Seeing what we expect only one way to confirm initial expectations/impressions - Self-fulfilling prophecy: usually without conscious awareness, when erroneous expectations lead people to act certain way that BRINGS ABOUT expected behaviour (confirming original impression) o Their behaviour could be response to YOUR behaviour Attitudes and Attitude Change - “social psychology’s most indispensible concept” (Gordon Allport, 1935) - Define identity, guide actions, influence judgements .: steer world events - Attitude = positive or negative evaluative reaction toward a stimulus (e.g. person, action, object, or concept) - Supported by extensive personal belief/value system Do Our Attitudes Influence Behaviour? - “common sense” that attitudes influence behaviour? o E.g. Richard LaPiere (1934): followed Asians around US o Discrepancy between stated prejudicial attitudes and non-discriminatory behaviour overwhelming - Overall, attitudes predict behaviour to modest degree o Attitudes influence behaviour more strongly when weak counteracting situational factors  Strong situational = can behave contrary to beliefs  Theory of planned behaviour, intention to engage in behaviour strongest when positive attitude towards behaviour, subjective norms (what we think others think) support our attitudes, when we believe behaviour under our control o Attitudes have a greater influence on behaviour when we are aware of them and when they are strongly held.  Acting without thinking; attitude-behaviour consistency increases when we consciously think before acting  Stronger when formed from DIRECT personal experience o General attitudes are better at predicting general classes of behaviour, and specific attitudes are better at predicting specific behaviours  E.g. religious studies Does Our Behaviour Influence Our Attitudes? - 2-way street: we can develop attitudes that are consistent with behaviour (e.g. Stanford Prison Study) - Self-justification. o E.g. boring experience, $1, $20  Theory of cognitive dissonance: people strive for consistency in cognitions  When 2 or more cognitions contradict, cognitive dissonance tension  To restore cognitive consistency, change cognitions or add new ones  change attitude to bring more into line with how behaved  counterattitudinal behaviour = behaviour inconsistent with attitude, produces dissonance only if we perceive actions freely chosen (not coerced)  dissonance worst when well-being threatened, negative consequences were foreseeable  dissonance not always leading to attitude change  Reduce by rationalizing attitude/behaviour not important, external justification, etc o E.g. alcohol in Scandinavia - Self-perception. o We infer attitudes “must be” by watching behaviour o Daryl Bem (1972): Self-perception theory = make inferences about our attitudes same way, observing how WE behave - Self-perception / cognitive dissonance both predict counterattitudinal behaviour will produce attitude change o Dissonance assumes experience physiological arousal  E.g. writing about nasty drink, choice = greater attitude change  If unpleasant arousal motivates attitude change, factors reducing arousal should reduce change  When arousal from dissonance-producing behaviours but let to believe side affect from pill (placebo), don’t change attitudes in line with behaviour (gives external justification)  .: dissonance theory better explains why people change views after behaving in ways that openly contradict attitudes, especially if behaviours threaten self-image o Situations in which counterattidudinal behaviour NOT threatening self-worth / weak attitudes to begin with, not sig arousal, but many alter attitudes to be consistent with behaviour  .: self-perception theory o Depends on situations, but either way behaviours can influence attitudes Persuasion - Involves communicator who delivers message through channel to audience within context - The communicator. o Communicator credibility (how believable communicator is) often key to effective persuasion  Don’t like to think, easier to just agree  Expertise, trustworthiness: expert (esp important in complex issjues), unbiased, show both sides (or side against self- interest) o Attractive, likeable, similar to us = more effective o Positive impact of communicator dissipates with time if remember message but not messenger - The message. o Only your side or both? Two-sided refutational approach = most effective  Esp if audience knows 2 sides exist / disagrees at firsts (shows less bias) o Moderate degree of discrepancy more effective o Fear arousal works best when moderate fear and provides feasible ways to reduce threat (else reduce anxiety, deny credibility) - The audience. Sometimes lots of logic works, sometimes not. Richard Petty / Jon Cacioppo (1986) o Central route to persuasion: people think carefully, influenced because find it compelling  Attitude change from this deeper, lasts longer, better predictor  We think more if personally relevant, but not always  Need for cognition: some like analyzing, others don’t. Like it, central, don’t like mental strain, peripheral o Peripheral route to persuasion: don’t scrutinize message, influenced by other factors (speaker attractiveness, emotional appeal) o People differ in approach to new info  Uncertainty orientated look for info, esp new/unpredictable situations (.: central route)  Certainty oriented avoid those situations, esp if info self-relevant (.: peripheral, esp if speaker relevant) - The channel. - The context. **In Review, p. 674 SOCIAL INFLUENCE The Mere Presence of Others - Norman Triplett (1898): launched social psychology with - mere presence of others energizes performance o E.g. cyclists, speed faster when with others o Cofactor made performance improve - Mere presence of cofactors OR silent/passive audience enhance performance; others show performance worse o Robert Zajonc (1965):  Mere physical presence of other increases arousal  As arousal increases, more likely to perform dominant response to specific situation  E.g. complex/difficult task, dominant response = errors  Social facilitation: increased tendency to perform one’s dominant response in mere presence of others  E.g. pool players, experts vs novice  when learning new, hard task, minimize presence of others Social Norms: The Rules of the Game - Social norms: shared expectations about how people should think, feel, behave; binds social systems together o Formal laws or unspoken/implicit o Govern daily behaviour unconsciously until violated - Social role: consists of SET of norms characterizing how people in social position should behave o E.g. “univ student” “teacher” “officer” “spouse” have diff behaviour expectations o Role conflict when norms accompanying diff roles clash - Can influence so strongly to make person act uncharacteristically (e.g. Stanford Prison Study) Culture and Norm Formation - Norms lose invisibility when violated and behaviour examined cross cultures/history - Customs taken for granted as “normal” = arbitrary - Norms regulate even subtle social behaviour o E.g. personal space – Japan farther than Venezuelans/Americans than Italians/Greeks - Every group has norms – randomly created groups DEVELOP norms, common standards for behaviour/judgement o E.g. study about autokinetic effect: when people stare at dot of light projected on screen in dark room, perceive stationary light as moving  People saw move diff amounts; groups made, norm made unspoken; INDIVIDUAL retest reflected group norms Conformity and Obedience - Norms influence only if conformity (adjust of individual behaviours, attitudes, beliefs to group) , without it social chaos .: all social systems subtle pressures for it Why Do People Conform? - Desire to understand world and respond effectively o Informational social influence: follow others because believe they have accurate knowledge that they’re “right” o Normative social influence: conform for rewards from being accepted / avoiding rejection - Solomon Asch o Visual task (one participant, rest “confederates”), participant next to last, sometimes confederates gave wrong answer purpose o 37% conformity; 25% never, 25% frequently, rest little; HIGH because easy task no pressure o Went along avoiding “making waves”, rejection; then doubted own eyesight/judgement Factors That Affect Conformity - GROUP SIZE: conformity increases 5-35% as size increased from 1 to 5 confederates o But then further increases in group size didn’t increase conformity - PRESENCE OF DISSENTER: when someone else dissents (even if still wrong), less model for remaining independent .: less conformity - Easy tasks: stakes increase, conformity lower - Hard tasks: stakes increase, conformity higher - Higher for collectivist cultures - Overall level of conformity decreasing - No gender change Minority Influence - To maximize influence (Serge Moscovici, 1985) o Minority highly committed to point of view, remain independent in face of majority pressure, be consistent, - If unreasonable, deviant, negative  majority entrenched, shift some attitudes even farther from minority Obedience to Authority - Like conformity, obedience to authority figure inherently neither good nor bad - Without obedience, society goes to chaos; “i was just following orders”  genocide - We say “following orders” not excuse, but would we not? Research Foundations – The Dilemma of Obedience: When Conscience Confronts Malevolent Authority - Stanley Milgram originally conform to electric shock victim, then obedience - 65% kept going with extreme shocks - Controversy – ethics o Participants deceived, exposed to substantial stress, risked long-lasting negative effects to their self-image  But socially very important; no longterm effects - Transferred responsibility to experimenter though they flipped switch - Consistent results - We think WE would not obey but not sure about others Factors That Influence Destructive Obedience - Can vary a lot - Remoteness of victim: learner out of sight, more, etc - Closeness and legitimacy of authority figure: physically close, or legit (vs confederate taking over) - Cog in a wheel: obedience increases when someone else does dirty work - Personal characteristics: don’t really affect Lessons Learned: From the Holocaust to Airline Safety - We’re NOT apathetic/evil (people become stressed because care); not herded sheep (obedience not always high) - Arranging situation makes good people do bad things - Holocaust explains a little, co-pilot being more assertive important Detecting and Resisting Compliance Techniques - Persuaders come armed with special compliance technique: strategies to manipulate you into saying yes when you really want to be saying no; know them and you can resist - Norm of reciprocity: involves expectation that that when others treat us well, we should respond in kind o .: i do something nice so you pressured - Door-in-the-face technique: persuader makes large request (you slam door) then compromises and makes smaller request, you feel guilty, you give in to smaller request - Foot-in-door technique: persuader gets you to comply with small request first, and later presents larger request - Lowballing: persuader gets you to commit to some action and then (before you actually perform the behaviour) they increase “cost” of same behaviour o E.g. “car for $8000, wait sorry no $8400, ok? Still low” Crowd Behaviour and Deindividuation - Why people encourage suicide? - Gustave LeBon (1895): anonymity that exists in mobs leads to loss of personal identity and weakening of restraints o Deindividuation: loss of individuality that leads to disinhibited behaviour (diff types anti-social – cheating/robbing/geno) - Tom Postmes and Russell Spears (1998): anonymity to outsiders key o Conditions making individual less identifiable to people OUTSIDE group increase chance of antisocial/reduce accountability o More response to group norms Group Influences on Performance and Decision Making Social Loafing: Failing to Pull Your Own Weight - Social loafing: tendency for people to expend less individual effort when working in a group than when working alone (e.g. blindfold) - Also occurs on cognitive tasks - Steven Karau and Kipling Williams: collective effort model = collective task, people will put forth effort only to extent they expect effort to contribute to desired goal - .: more likely to occur when... o People believe that individual performance within the group is not being monitored o Task (goal) has less value or meaning to person o Group is less important to person o Task is simple and person’s input redundant with that of other group members - Fatigue increases likelihood - Occurs more often in all male (vs all female or coed) - More in individualistic vs collectivistic - “whole is less than sum of all parts” o But can disappear if individual performance monitored or when members highly value group or task goal  Social compensation: will work harder in group than alone if expect colleagues either don’t have enough ability or will slack off Group Polarization: Going to Extremes - Group polarization: when a group of like-minded people discusses an issue, whether face to face or through e-mail, the “average” opinion of group members tends to become more extreme o Because normative social influence: individuals who are attracted to group may be motivated to adopt a more extreme position in order to gain group’s approval o Because informational social influence: during group discussion, people hear arguments supporting their positions not previously considered .: initial position even more valid Groupthink: Suspending Critical Thinking - Groupthink: tendency for group members to suspend critical thinking because they are striving to seek agreement (Irving Janis, 1972) o Antecedent Conditions 1. High stress to reach decision 2. Insulation of group from outside input 3. Directive leadership (promoting personal agenda) 4. High cohesiveness (reflecting spirit of closeness and ability to work well together) o Some symptoms of groupthink 1. Illusion of invulnerability (group overestimates itself) 2. Direct pressure on dissenters 3. Self-censorship (withholding doubts, don’t speak true minds) 4. Illusion of unanimity 5. Self-appointed mind guards (by preventing negative information from reaching group) o Groupthink increases risk of defective decision making 1. Incomplete survey of alternatives 2. Incomplete survey of objectives 3. Failure to examine risks of preferred choice 4. Poor information search 5. Failure to reappraise alternatives - Group so committed to happy consensus that critical thinking suspended - Pearl Harbour / Cuba, Nixon / Watergate, NASA / Challenger = examples - Prevention o Leader impartial during discussions o Regularly encourage critical thinking o Bring in outsider opinion o Divide to subgroups, see if independently reach same decision **In Review, p. 687 SOCIAL RELATIONS Affiliation and Interpersonal Attraction Why do We Affiliate? - Humans social beings - Biological disposition more likely to survive/reproduce o Greater access to sex mates, more protection from predators, efficient division of labour, passing of knowledge across generations, .: socially oriented lifestyle had considerable adaptive value - Craig Hill (1987): we affiliate: to obtain positive stimulation, to receive emotional support, to gain attention, and to permit social comparison: involves comparing our beliefs, feelings, and behaviours to those of other people o Helps us see if our responses are “normal”, judge level of abilities (cog phys) - Differ in extent wish to affiliate o High need = psychologically sense of community – feeling of being part of larger collective, engaging with others in pursuing common goals  Extracurrics, keep up with news - Situational factors o Fear-inducing (gauge normalcy, be with the experienced) e.g. heart surgery Initial
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