Social Psych Lecture 7 - Conformity.docx

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27 Mar 2012

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Chameleon Effect
We conform to the actions of other people around it
It makes others like us more
e.g. at an interview
Social Influence
Informational social influence vs normative social influence
Normative : change so that others will like us
Informational: change
Informational Social Influence
Changing behavior because we believe that another's action is more appropriate than ours
Not changing just so someone would like us
We conform because we think it is the "right" thing to do
Will continue to act this way even not in the presence of the subject
Autokinetic Study - Sherif 1936
Dark room by yourself with a dot on a screen
participants asked to estimate how far a dot moves on a screen throughout the day
The dot didn’t move at all - > optical illusion
Participants answers about how far the dot moved converged as they disclosed their answer in
front of others
Informative social influence
When do we conform to social influence?
1. When the situation is ambiguous - e.g fire alarms
2. Where there is a crisis
3. When others are experts
Normative Social Influence
Conforming to be liked and accepted by others or to fulfill their expectations
Will not change behavior when particular subject is not present
Public compliance : conformity that involves publicly acting in accordance with social pressure
while privately disagreeing
Social Pressure Study (Asch, 1951)
Participants brought into lab
7 chairs, participants sit into 6th chair
Told that it was a study on perception
All the other subjects were just actors, not particpants
First 2 trials everyone agrees, right answer is chosen
3rd trial, wrong answer is chosen, participant usually conforms and choses the wrong answer
75% of participants conformed at least once by giving an answer they knew to be wrong
Types of conformity
Compliance: e.g. asch study
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