Social Psychology

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Psychology & Brain Sciences

Social Psychology Conformity: A change in behavior due to real or imagined influence of other people. - giving into perceived group pressure - acting in a certain way because of others - acting differently than if you were alone example: teens dressing alike/laughing at a bad joke Asch study – conformity in an unambiguous situation Method: groups of subjects participate in a perceptual judgmental task. Only one person was a real subject, but the rest were confederates View a target line and three comparison lines. Each person says which comparison line matches the target line Notes: first few trials, confederates say correct line. Then, all the confederates say the same incorrect line Results: If tested alone – 99% accuracy When tested with the group of confederates: 76% of subjects conformed at least once. 37% of responses were conforming Social Influence – Why conformity? Informational influence – the influence of other people that leads us to conform because we see them as a source of correct information and use it to guide our behavior - we conform because we may not know what is the right behavior to commit so we look to others Information from others  conformity Normative influence – the influence of other people that leads us to conform in order to be liked and accepted by them Desire for acceptance  conformity Social Influence – When conformity? 1. Group size - increases from one to five - over five people – not much increase 2. Group unanimity - when everyone agrees - BUT, when there is one who disagrees… 3. Group cohesion - is the group attached and does it have strong bonds? 4. Group/individual status - person conforming’s status – high vs. low - group’s status – high vs. low 5. Prior commitment - backing down? 6. Private vs. Public conformity Social Influence – Obedience Obedience – instance in which someone in a position of authority simply tells another person to do something and they do it. The most famous social psychology study… Stanley Milgram – Obedience to Authority studies  Would people obey commands from a relatively powerless stranger who told them to inflict considerable pain on another person  Interest came from observing the tragic events of the holocaust during WWII Method: experime
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