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Social Psychology Lecture Notes Midterm #2

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PSYC 2310
Saba Safdar

October 4 2012 Chapter 7 Conformitywhen people are free to do as they please they usually imitate each otherConformitya change in behaviour or belief as a result of real or imagined pressure from others KieslerKiesler 1969Why Conform 1 The Need to KnowInformational social influence other people provide information which has influence on us to change our behaviour o Accepting others interpretation of an ambiguous reality in order to obtain accurate information o Muzafer Sherifs studiesAutokinetic effect light o People start changing their opinions once hearing other peoplesWhen retested alone weeks later they kept this changed opinion made within the group atmosphereAutokinetic studies by Sherif are illustrations of how other people can be a source of informationMultigenerational NormsStudy of transition of norms from generation to generation by MacNeil and Sherif 1976 o 4person group in the laboratory o Three members were confederates o Establishing an arbitrary group norm of 12 inches o Completing 30 judgement trials o Replacing one of the confederates with a new nave member after each 30 trialsnow 2 real participants 2 confederates o Continuing the study for 11 generations each one involving the replacement of the oldest group member with a new member Soon after 12 generations the norm stayed 12 inchesWhy Do We Conform 2 The Need to be Accepted Normative social influenceto just fit in with the norm o Conforming to other people in order to be liked and accepted by them o Asch 1950Had a group of 57 people coming to the lab sit around the table and everyone was confederate except one confederate at the endShown imageschoose the line that fits the similar one on the rightParticipant is the last person everyone choose athe clearly incorrect oneResults of Solomon Aschs studies o Condition unambiguous stimuli o Participants alone 1 gave wrong answers o Participants in groups 23 always gave the correct answers 77 at least gave one wrong answer 32 gave 7 or more wrong answers i People gave the wrong answer in order to not stick outFactors related to conformityNature of the task o When it is confusing when you dont know what is right or wrong answer o Ambiguitythe more ambiguous the more likely we conform o Difficultythe more difficult it is because you dont know the answer the more likely to conform1 Conform for informationwant the information conform for normativeIndividual Differenceso Conformity varies in different stage of life span childhood adolescence and old ageConformity drops at old agehave very different experiences dont need to conformGroup size o As group size increases conformity increasesAround 6 7 it stops it doesnt matter at 7Resisting ConformityThe best way to percent ourselves from following the wrong social norm o Becoming aware of normative influence o Taking actionIdiosyncrasy credits o Individuality o If you conform to a group for a long time then it is like you are sage then the group allows you once in a while to not conformif you have enough credit then you can break conformityThe Positive Aspects of ConformityConforming to basic social norms is required if we want to live in an orderly society o Citizens are expected a certain level of conformityWhy the Majority Doesnt Always RuleMinority influence o Norms change within societies o Serge Moscovici 19851994 argues that minority can influence the behaviour or beliefs of the majority o The key is consistency people are more likely to conform to others responses when a task is difficult than when it is easy This is because an ambiguous or difficult tasks other peoples responses could potentially exert both information and normative influence whereas on clear and easy tasks only normative influence occursOctober 9 2012 ObedienceConformity Across CultureAsch Study Across CulturesVersions of Aschs experiment have been replicated in more than a dozen countriesConformity StudiesThe higher the conformity the higher the error Individualistic Cultures Errors Collectivistic Cultures Errors British unemployed blacks 39 Indian teachers in Fiji 58 US students 37 Japanese sports club members 51 Dutch students 24 Lebanese students 31 British students 17 Japanese students 25 Belgian students 14 Kuwaiti students 29Conformity varies among individualistic and collectivistic culturesConformity tends to be higher in interdependent people both individualistic and collectivistic societies ie immigrantsConformity tends to be higher in collectivistic societiesStudents have lower levels of conformity cross culturallyConformity Across CultureHunting and gathering societies and upper social segments of industrial societies are low in conformity2
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