Social psychology lecture 6
Persuasion and group influences
o Cult (or new religious movement) a group typically characterized by a district rituals of
devotion to a god or person, isolation from the surrounding “evil” culture, and a
o Cults fill in societies missing functions
o If you don’t stand for something you fall for everything
o Everyone is vulnerable under the right conditions.
o Cults use the same forms of mind control as other compliance agents
Creating a cult
o Create your own social reality
o Establish an in-group of followers and an out-group of unredeemed
o Generate commitment via dissonance reduction
o Establish a cult leader who is attractive and charismatic
o Send members to convert/educate the unredeemed (which brings in new members
o Distract or prevent members from thinking undesirable thoughts.
o Fixate members on a promise land, etc.
Is it a cult or a group?
o Are alternatives being provided or taken away?
o Is access to information being broadened or denied?
o Do individuals maintain autonomy or is it unspurred by the group or leader?
o Persuasion is the power to cause change in one’s actions or beliefs
Routs to persuasion
o Central route: involves persuasion that occurs when interested people focus on
arguments and respond with favourable thoughts. (using arguments to convince
o Peripheral route: involves persuasion that occurs when people are influenced by
incidental cues such as a speaker’s attractiveness.
o Automatic processing: The many types of processing that are considered non-conscious
i.e., lack of intent, effort, control, awareness.
o Conscious processing: is sequential, effortful, aware, directed by a person’s intentions
Effects if autonomic processing
Implicit egotism and its effect
o People are disproportionately