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2070Final Notes.doc

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Western University
Psychology 2070A/B
Richard Sorrentino

1Chapter 8Order of the Solar Templemass suicideDefining Conformity ComplianceObedienceChanges in behaviour caused by OTHER peopleCONFORMITYmost generalrefers to any chance in behaviour caused by another person or groupoLimited to changes in behaviour caused by other people it does not refer to a change in behaviour that is requested by another person or groupCOMPLIANCErefers to a change in behaviour that is requested by another personoPOSSIBLE to refuse or declineOBEDIENCEchange in behaviour that is ORDERED by another personoEx members of the Solar Temple followed orders to take their own livesConformity encompasses complianceobedience bc it refers to any behaviour that occurs as a result of others influenceWhy do we conformo1 INFORMATIONAL INFLUENCEpeople are influenced by others bc of a desire to be correctto obtain valid informationPeople often rely on others as a source of informationthey trust others judgments to be useful in a particular contexto2 NORMATIVE INFLUENCEpeople are influenced by others to gain rewards or to avoid punishment Might simply want to be liked or to avoid conflictoInformationalnormative influence can occur simultaneouslyConformity Doing as Others do Sherifinvestigated conformity in situations where the correct judgment was ambiguous Aschinvestigated conformity in situations where the correct judgment was obviousSherifs Autokinetic Effect StudiesoConformity as addressing the development of social normsoTypically the reward for following a norm is social acceptance or approval whereas the punishment for breaking a norm is social rejection oAUTOKINETIC EFFECT in a darkened room a stationary point of light will appear to move periodically not really movingit is an illusionIllusion occurs bc no other visual frame of reference is available to locate the lightpartly bc of the occasional rapid movements of your eyest1 studyasked men participating individually to report how far the light appeared to move reported movements ranged from 125cmnd2 studyassembled people in groups of two or three had to announce out loud the distance of perceived motion of what was really a stationary point of light1 When they started alone a wide range of perceived movement was observedWhen the participants began making their judgments in groups of 2 or 3 judgments of perceived movement began to convergeBy the end of the 3 sessions together judgments of the 23 people in a group were very similar 2 the other group made their judgments in the group situation from the very beginningthese groups converged very rapidly on their own group normsDuring the last session the participants in these groups were broken upmade their judgments alonethe group norm carried on the judgments now being made individually were nearly identical to the standard that had been established for the group STUDY participants were assembled in groups of 2 but only one member of each pair was nave about the procedureFor the first 50 judgment trials the two participants in each pair made their judgments togetherFor the second set of 50 trials the nave participant was tested aloneRESULTS the nave participants individual responses in the second set of trial remained very close to the standard established during the first 50 trials2The arbitrary standard introduced by the confederate clearly established a group normthat norm then carried over to influence the nave participants judgments when aloneoMultigenerational NormsGroup norms are spontaneously establishedcarry over into individual judgmentsSTUDY transmission of a norm from generation to generationpossible to model in the labRESULT after 11 generations responses were beginning to drift from the initial group norm of 30 cm but not farthe original standard was still evidentnorms can persist long after their original instigators are gone Aschs Length Judgment StudiesoSTUDY shown one standard linethree comparison linesyour task is to indicate which of the three comparison lines matches the standard line in length oNOT ambiguousvery easystudents rarely make an error when the make the judgments aloneo7 members of each group were confederates of the experimentonly one participant was nave about the experimental situationoRESULTS if confederates unanimously selected the wrong comparisononly 23 of the critical participants always gave the correct answerwent against the group on all 12 trials oThe remaining 77 of the critical participants went along with the group on at least one of the 12 trials oCRUTCHFIELD APPARATUSa machine that consists of an electrical panel with several rows of lights it allows the efficient study of conformity by simulating the responses of numerous hypothetical participants Procedure is very efficient bc no confederates are neededall 5 participants can be treated as critical participantsalso affords a high degree of experimental control On any given judgment trial each person can be instructed to respond in any of the possible serial positionsAlso by controlling the lights the experimenter can create any pattern of responses among the other participantsSTUDY reproduced the original Asch experimentunanimous majority of other respondents providing the wrong answerAdditional studiesparticipants showed some conformity to the judgments of othersONLY EXCEPTIONselecting which of 2 drawing was preferredexpressing personal preferences little effect of group pressureoNature of the TaskAMOUNT of conformitydepends on features of the judgment taska Ambiguityconformity is more likely when tasks are ambiguous oSTUDY participants were required to solve a number serious that had no solutionthe other simulated participants unanimously provided the same incorrect answer79 of the participants were along with itb Difficultydifficult tasks might increase conformity bc people are less certain of their own answerOR difficult tasks might reduce conformity bc it is okay to differ from others when a task is difficultoSTUDY more conformity was found when judgments were based on memory than when the lines were in plain sight On ambiguousdifficult tasks other peoples responses exert both informationalnormative influence whereas on cleareasy tasks only normative influence occurs oThe additional impact of informational influence increases the overall rate of conformity on ambiguousdifficult tasks oIndividual DifferencesPeople who remain independent are somewhat higher in their motivation to achievein their leadership ability than people who conformPeople who remain independent tend to be less concerned about obtained the approval of others less authoritarianless conscientiousnessIndividuals with high selfesteem are less likely to conform than individuals with low selfesteem especially when high selfesteem is based on intrinsic qualities like honesty or generosity Strong sense of self is associated with remaining independent More confident about their own judgments3Conformity to sameage peers increases during elementary school peaks around grade 9then declines up to the university years Grade 9 is about the time when adolescents are most concerned about being popularnot being ridiculedAdultstendency for conformity to decrease as age increasesless pressure to agree with others although some degree of conformity pressure remains throughout the life spanoEffects of Group SizeORIGINALLYConformity did increase as the size of the group grew from one to threeUnanimous groups numbering more than 3 however did not produce further increases in conformity LATER RESEARCHconformity continued to increase when the size of the majority grew beyond 3Conformity rose rapidly as the group size grew from 15 but additional increases in size had no impact on conformity downward turn for groups of 6increases in the group beyond 4 or 5 members have relatively little effect on conformityVery large grounds d indeed more conformity pressure than small groups oHow to Make Conformity DisappearShift to private confidential judgments by the critical participants produce a dramatic reduction in conformity When judgments are anonymous rather than facetoface with the opposing majority Individuals are more likely to conform to other peoples judgments when they must communicate their judgments to those people STUDY when the unanimity of the group was broken upPresence of just one partner someone else who called it the same way as the critical participant virtually eliminated yielding to the majorityA little social support was all that participants needed to stand up against the majority in this context Cultural Differences in ConformityoIndividual vs CollectivismPeople from individualist cultures will conform LESS than people from collectivist culturesSTUDY culture predicted participants conformity even more strongly than did other influential factors ex size of group oIndividual Differences in Independent vs Interdependent Self ConceptsPeople whose self concepts are independents individualists will conform less than people whose selfconcepts are interdependentSelf Construal Scalemeasure the extent to which individuals self concepts are independent or interdependent Gender DifferencesoWomen conform slightly more than do menoREASONSMost conformity researchers have been men who may have been unconsciously biased toward finding greater independence among men than womenTopics in conformity studies have typically been masculine with the result that women were less confident in their judgments than mentherefore more susceptible to social influence Women are more concerned about harmony in social relationships than are men which makes them less willing to disagree with others oGender difference in conformity appears only when participants responses are PUBLICoWhen responses are private women do NOT conform more than menWomen may be somewhat more susceptible to normative influence than men oWomens historically disadvantaged status has required them to be careful about deviating from others judgmentsthey have to pickchoose when to disagreeCompliance Doing as Others WayFoot in the Door Techniqueif you can get someone to agree to a small request then heshe is more likely to also agree to a much larger related requestoSTUDY the initial contactsmall request foot in the doordramatically increased complianceoProbably one of the most common compliance techniques in everyday life
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