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Lecture 7

LECTURE 7 NOTES - Social Psychology.pdf

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PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

PSYC 1010 K (AB) November 8, 2012 ** These notes are not a substitution to attending class, reading the textbook, or taking your own notes** Brief continuation from last lecture: Punishment ‐ Should be constant ‐ Should be immediate Alternatives to Punishment 1) Reinforce the alternative desired behaviour 2) Ignore unwanted behaviour Social Psychology ‐ Study of people’s behaviour in social situations/groups/interactions with others ‐ Generally subdivided into two general categories A) Social Cognition – study of the way we perceive and evaluate others o Types of things that are studied: How we make first impressions, how we make attributions etc. B) Social Influence – the study of ways in which we influence each other’s behaviours, actions, and decisions 1) Compliance – agreeing to someone’s direct command or request 2) Obedience – similar as compliance, but you are asked by an authority figure 3) Conformity – adjusting your behaviour or thinking to coincide with a group standard a. E.g. Zimbardo’s experiment (in your textbook) Obedience Milgram – social psychologist at Yale University who studied why people obey. ‐ Milgram’s Study : ‐ He put out an add looking for male participants saying they’re looking at effects of punishment on learning. In the lab, there was a teacher and a learner. The subject was always the teacher. The ‘learner’ was one of the research confederates. The teacher would call out words. Whenever the learner missed the word, the teacher would zap the learner with an electric shock. There was a board in front of the teacher voltages ranging from 15 to 450 V and a sign XXXX for extremely high shock. The teacher did not know that he was actually NOT delivering a shock. The point of the study was to examine what percentage of people would go all the way and deliver, what they believed to be, a 450 V shock to the learner. 1    PSYC 1010 K (AB) November 8, 2012 Conditions of Milgram’s experiment: 1) Remote Condition ‐ The teacher and the learner were in two different rooms. The teacher could never hear the learner’s voice but when they got into higher levels of shock, the learner would bang on the wall. ‐ In this condition 65% were fully obedient. 2) Voice feedback condition ‐ When the shock started getting to the high end, the teacher would hear the learner scream. At one point, the learner would scream out “stop, I have a heart condition!” The teacher would typically become nervous, stop, and look at the experimenter. The experimenter would say “Teacher, you must go on.” Following this, there was no more sound coming from the learner from the shocks. The teacher continued ‘administering shocks.’ ‐ 62% were fully obedient 3) Proximity condition ‐ The teacher and the learner are sitting next to one another. ‐ Here, 40% were fully obedient. 4) Touch Proximity ‐ Teacher and learner sitting side by side. The teacher has to take the learner’s arm and place it on an electric grid which administered the shock. ‐ Here, 30% were fully obedient 5) No contact whatsoever – 100% were fully obedient Other variations were tried: 6) The experimenter would give instructions, and would then leave the room. Here 22% were fully obedient. 7) Co-teacher was introduced. This person was a confederate. They would stop and defy the commands of the experimenter. Here, obedience went down to 10%. Factors that influence our willingness to obey: 1) Social Norms ‐ The things deemed acceptable in a given society (e.g., chew with your mouth closed, don’t pick your nose in public, hold doors open for people etc.). ‐ Milgram believed there was a strong social norm in our society, namely that you don’t break a social contract. 2) Surveillance ‐ Example. Whether the experimenter was in the same room as the teacher and giving instructions or in a different room. 2     PSYC 1010 K (AB) November 8, 2012 3) Buffers ‐ The fewer the buffers between the teacher and learner, the less likely the obedience. Example: In the condition where the teacher and learner are in different rooms, buffer is larger, and obedience is lower. When teacher and leaner are in the same room, the buffer is smaller, and obedience increases. 4) Responsibility ‐ The teacher was told that the co-teacher would not be able to press the button and deliver the shock unless he pulled the switch first. Here, obedience soared to 93%. This is in part because this condition allowed them to shift the responsibility to the co-teacher. “even if I pull the switch, the last decision to deliver the shock is on the co-teacher…” Teacher Co-tea (chterr) Pull switch Deliver shock 5) Importance of science ‐ All the previous conditions were conducted at Yale University. Milgrim then set up a study off campus and in this scenario there was 48% obedience. Criticisms of Milgrim – exposed people to undue stress which might damage their self-concept. Another was that the studies had no practical relevance. Milgrim’s rebuttal was that he had interviewed the teachers and reported that they were happy to have participated in the study because they had learned something about human behaviour as well as about themselves. Would you get this type of obedience today? Yes. ‐ A 2009 study which replicated Milgrim’s study (but voltage went up to 150V and subjects could withdraw from study at any point in tim
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