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PSY220H1- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 30 pages long!)


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY220H1
Professor
Jason Plaks
Study Guide
Final

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UTSG
PSY220H1
Final EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Chapter 6: Conformity
Conformity: a change in behaviour/belief to accord w/ others !
Not just acting the way other people act, but being aected by how they act !
Acting/thinking dierently than if you were alone !
Variants of conformity:!
1. Compliance: conformity that involves publicly acting in accord w/ social pressure while
privately disagreeing (e.g. wearing a necktie for an event even though you don’t like
neckties) !
2. Obedience: acting in accord w/ a direct order !
Compliance to an explicit command !
3. Acceptance: conformity that involves both acting & believing in accord w/ social
pressure !
Sincere, inward conformity !
Acceptance can follow compliance (attitudes follow behaviour) !
Classic Conformity & Obedience Studies
1. Sherif norm formation: observed the emergence of a social norm in the lab !
Participants had to estimate the distance a point of light travelled (the point of light
wasn’t actually moving; Sherif used autokinetic phenomenon) !
Participants changed their answers according to what the other two participants in the
experiment said !
The answers typically converged as the experiment was repeated over several days &
participants continued to support the group norm even a year later (could’ve been
acceptance) !
2. Jacobs & Campbell transmission of false beliefs: !
Also used autokinetic phenomenon !
Had a confederate (accomplice of experimenter) give an inflated estimate of how far
the light moved, then the confederate was replaced by a real participant who was
asked to give their own estimate & who was then replaced by another participant & so
on!
Inflated illusion of how far the light moved persisted for 5 generations of participants,
although it diminished !
Conclusion of both studies: our views of reality aren’t ours alone b/c of suggestibility (e.g.
laugh tracks) !
We’re even more suggestible when we believe the other people laughing in a laugh track
are like us !
Other examples of suggestibility: !
Mood linkage (e.g. being around happy people can make us happier) !
Chameleon eect: unconscious mirroring of behaviour (e.g. we mirror grammar that
we read/hear) !
Mimicking enhances social bonds, makes other people like us more/more likely to
buy what we’re selling !
Suicides/UFO sightings come in waves !
Werther eect: imitative suicidal behaviour (e.g. after Marilyn Monroe committed
suicide, there was a spike in suicides only in areas where the story was published) !
3. Asch group pressure: !
Showed lines & asked participants to identify which ones were identical !
Had 3 trials, everyone agreed on the first 2, all the confederates said the wrong answer
during the third trial !
63% of people didn’t conform (didn’t agree w/ everyone else) most people told the
truth even if others didn’t !
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Keep in mind: there was no obvious pressure to conform (no rewards/punishments) in both
Sherif & Asch’s experiments !
4. Milgram obedience: studied demands of authority vs. the demands of our conscience !
Had a stern experimenter tell participants that this was a study of the eect of
punishment on learning !
Learner was a confederate, participant was the teacher !
Teacher was told by experimenter to deliver a shock for every wrong/absent response !
Experimenter & teacher were in the same room, while the learner was strapped into an
electric chair in the next room!
Most people (65%) went all the way to XXX (highest degree of shock, where the learner
has stopped screaming & has fallen silent) !
Even when Milgram made the experimenter mention the learner’s heart condition, most
people still obeyed to XXX !
Later studies found that women’s compliance rates were similar to men’s !
Most participants said they were glad to have participated!
What Conditions Breed Obedience?
1. Victim’s emotional distance !
Greatest obedience (least compassion) when learners (from Milgram’s experiment)
couldn’t see the teacher or be seen/heard by the teacher!
Most people (60%) didn’t obey to XXX when the learner was put in the same room as
them!
Only 30% obeyed to XXX when they needed to force the learner’s hand onto a shock
plate !
A person who’s depersonalized/distant is easier to abuse (e.g. why an executioner
places a hood over the prisoner’s head)!
E.g. concrete gas chambers allowed killers to not see/hear those being gassed !
2. Closeness & legitimacy of authority !
Physical presence of the experimenter increased obedience (i.e. telephone commands
decreased obedience) !
E.g. a light touch on the arm makes people more likely to lend a dime, sign a petition, or
sample food !
Authority must be perceived as legitimate (i.e. a clerk rather than the experimenter
directing commands led to less obedience) !
Participants openly rebelled against the clerk (illegitimate authority) vs. the deferential
politeness shown to the experimenter !
3. Institutional authority !
Obedience dropped when Milgram set up his experiment away from Yale, in a less
prestigious setting !
4. The liberating eects of group influence !
When confederates in the experiment stood up against the experimenter, most people
(90%) conformed w/ the defiant confederates !
Reflections on the Classic Studies: (1) Behaviour & Attitudes
Attitudes fail to determine external behaviour when external influences override inner
convictions (i.e. Asch’s participants always gave the correct answer when they were alone) !
The intensity of the shocks increased only gradually by the time participants got to XXX,
they’d already complied many times & reduced their dissonance) !
Their external behaviour (delivering shocks) fed their internal disposition !
Many participants devalued the victim (e.g. calling him stupid, saying he deserved to get
shocked) !
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