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Nicholas Pearson

03/01/12 Chapter 8 – Conformity – To understand how people construe the world – These motives are important determinants of: – How we perceive others – Social perception – How we perceive ourselves: self justification – How we respond to social influence – Conformity – How and why do people change their behavior in response to the real or imagined influence of other people? – Watch what happens at the mall – people walk on the right side of the mall because thats what everyone learned – Candid camera: people will do what you are doing (people on elevator turn around) Why do people conform to social influence? – Informational Function of Social Influence – Sherif (1935) studies, autokinetic effect – our eyes are constantly scanning horizontally – Ex: put a light in a room that is fixed in one place and ask how much its moving. People say that its moving about 6 inches or so. – Public compliance: complying with the rules (what others are doing) – Private acceptance: when people actually believe what everyone else agrees on (they are influenced by each other) Sherif (1935) – Informational Social Influence: we conform because we see other people as a source of information – Light experiment done a year later, and people used the same answer that they agreed on before When will people conform to Informational Social Influence – When the situation is ambiguous – Most important determinant – When the situation is in crisis – Having limited time to act may draw us to look to others for information to help – When others are experts – The more expert the person is thought to be, the more people will look to them for information in ambiguous situations Solomon andAsch – People will sometimes conform even when they know something is wrong – 1956 – 76% of the people in the study gave an answer they knew was wrong just because everyone else (confederates) gave that answer – People want to be accepted by others, even if they don't know them Private acceptance: None, they knew it was the wrong answer Public compliance: Yes, because they wanted to fit in with the other people in the study Implications for social decision making – Informational influence i
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