Social Psychology Class Notes.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Christine Zaza

Social Psychology 02/10/2012 14:49:00 Attributions and social interactions  Difference between attributions face-to-face versus social media? o Can be easier but tone is more easily confused o Missing facial expressions o More accurate face-to-face o Can choose words more carefully over social media o More courageous when not to their face o You have the power to choose what people see about you in social media o Attributions are easier to make over social media NEXT WEEK MIDTERM IS FROM 7 TIL 9 AND IS WORTH 30% - 80 MARKS TOTAL READ ARTICLE *4 classic studies to know the names and outcomes TODAY Attitude When it predicts behaviour - When it doesn’t - Why/how it does - Examples -  Attitude is a person’s evaluation, positive or negative of a person, object or idea  Include these components: o Affective o Behavioural o Cognition  Affective component stems from values and beliefs (abortion, death penalty); if something is pleasing to you (sensory reaction) and the conditioning you’ve had over the years (classical and operant)  Behavioural component o Based on self-perception of one’s own behaviour o Wen attitude is ambiguous or weak o When no other plausible explanations for the behaviour o A bit like introspection in a sense  Cognitive component o Based on a person’s beliefs about the properties of the attitude object (choosing a computer) o Purpose is to evaluate the object o Weighing the pros and cons When attitude affects behaviour  Attitudes do affect behaviour in some instances  Can’t say that attitude will predict behaviour  When do attitudes predict behaviour? o When we minimize other influences on our attitude expression (do you like the course? Answer in class in front of prof or anonymously) o There are minimal other influences on the behaviour o We measure specific attitudes not general ones (attitude of jogging? Attitude of healthy living? Jogging is more specific to measuring the behaviour) o The behaviour in question is a deliberate one (if we are putting thought into the behaviour) o The attitude is potent (when attitude is formed by past experience, like my attitude towards Katimavik)  Strength of attitudes are more resistant to change  4 major determinants o ambivalence makes attitudes weak if you’re highly ambivalent o accessibility is the ease with which you can express how you feel about something, the faster the stronger the attitude o subjective experiences has to do with how easily you can come up with arguments for or against a topic o autobiographical recall strong attitude due to your own experience When attitudes don’t predict behaviour  Bickman studied attitudes about littering and though most were against it, most also didn’t pick up litter  The situation matter and external influences can override inner convictions attitudes cannot be observed Why/how do attitudes predict behaviour?  Theory of planned behaviour o To predict and understand the motivational influences on behaviour o To identify how and where to target strategies for changing behaviour (smoking) o In order to change behaviour you must understand motivation behind it o Attitude (influenced by beliefs), subjective norms (your perception of what your important peeps think about it), perceived control (if you think you can do it easily)  intention  behaviour o The intention is how hard the person is willing to try and how much of an effort they will exert in order to perform the behaviour o Remember this is the theory of planned behaviour (not spontaneous) o Assumptions of TPB include:  People are rational and make systematic use of information available to them  People consider the implications of their actions before they decide to engage or not engage in a behaviour When behaviour predicts of affects attitudes  Zimbardo’s Stanford university prison study **** o The role playing in the experiment lead to changes in attitudes in the subjects o The study was supposed to last 2 weeks and only lasted 6 days for security/ethical reasons o The students didn’t have any preconceived attitudes toward each other and while playing their roles they developed attitudes that weren’t there before Why/how do behaviours affect attitudes?  Self-perception theory  Self-presentation theory o Keeping some sort of consistency o Want to avoid looking foolish o Saying becomes believing effect o Social movements o Social policies  Cognitive-dissonance theory o When you have to resolve the fact that your attitude and behaviour don’t match o Justification (don’t like wearing helmet but must by law), investment and freedom of choice affect dissonance o When there is no justification, we freely choose a behaviour, and the attitude is important to us, cognitive dissonance is likely to occur o We tend to want to reduce inner conflict (dissonance) when possible o Ways to reduce dissonance: o Indirect tactics  Distraction (drink excessively) o Add new cognitions  Distracting with other priorities o Change dissonant cognitions  The studies aren’t conclusive o Using someone’s dissonance is the easiest way to get them to change their behaviour by making them more self-aware o Post-decision dissonance is when there are 2 equally attractive options and you can only choose one  People tend to rationalize their choice afterwards  The certainty you have in your decision is much higher right after making it than right before o Dissonance: effort justification  If we extend a lot of effort to get something we will experience dissonance if we then don’t like it very much  We talk ourselves into liking the results since we can’t undo the effort  Self-affirmation theory o When self-esteem or self-concept is threatened in one area you compensate by publicly affirming other positive aspects of yourself o Goal is to maintain positive self-concept o Tend not to do this if you don’t need to o Intrinsic motivation  The desire to engage in an activity because we enjoy it, find it interesting o Extrinsic motivation  The desire to engage in an activity because of the external rewards or pressures o Over-justification effect  Occurs when people are extrinsically rewarded for engaging in a behaviour that they intrinsically enjoy  By shifting the focus to extrinsic motivation you can reduce the amount of time spent of the activity which they used to not need a reward to get them to do the activity  Rewards undermine performance only when initial interest in a task is high  Only occurs for task-contingent rewards, not performance-contingent reward MIDTERM PREP TIPS  Remember how to fill in a scantron card… seriously :/  Be able to define and give examples for concepts  Know the main headings Social Psychology Laura Briggs PERSUASION (week 5) Routes to persuasion:  Central Route o High personal relevance o High need for cognition (you are interested in the facts) o Able to pay attention o Sad or neutral mood makes this route more effective o Communicator speaks at a normal pace makes it more effective  Peripheral route o Low personal relevance o Low need for cognition o Use of heuristics to convince consumers o Difficult to pay attention such as passing billboards o Works well when people are in a positive mood (more willing to spend) o Communicator speaks rapidly Effects of the routes:  Central route o Use to maintain attitude over a long period of time o Creates resistance to counter-persuasion techniques o Forms strong attitudes o Attitudes that are changed by the central route tend to be more predictive of behaviour over time  Peripheral route o Creates weak attitudes o Attitudes are susceptible to counter-arguments o Newly formed attitudes due to this route are not predictive of behaviour over the long term Processing through the central route: Pay attention to the message  understand the message  believe the message  remember the message  behave accordingly and take action Processing through the peripheral route:  Reliance on o Heuristics o Incidental cues  Attractiveness, credibility, length of message Self-Persuasion  Uses central route  Inducing hypocrisy or creating cognitive dissonance through mindfulness and awareness of own behaviour (ex. Short shower  water conservation) Elements of Persuasion: WHO The communicator  Credibility o Perceived expertise o Perceived trustworthiness  Attractiveness and liking (we pay more attention to pretty people because we are drawn in) o Strong authoritative male voices are most commonly used Elements of Persuasion: WHAT  The message content o Cultural attitudes  Appeal to cultural values o Reason vs. emotion  Emotional connections are strong  *Fear is double-edged; rouse enough fear to make them pay attention but not too much to make them react negatively to the message; you must also give them a solution for getting rid of the fear that was just aroused* o Discrepancy  Message that advocates for a view which is very far fro the currently held belief or attitude o One-sided vs. two-sided appeals  If advocating to an audience that have split views, use a two-sided message o Primacy vs. recency  If there’s a time gap between two messages to be delivered, the second will be better remembered. If the messages are back-to-back, the first will be better remembered. Elements of Persuasion: HOW  The channel of communication o Fluency  Slogans o Repetition o Active vs. passive  Engage audience vs. lecturing them o Personal vs. media  We are more affected by our personal contacts Elements of Persuasion: TO WHOM  Audience o Age  Younger people are easier to persuade than older people o What they are thinking  Need for cognition (something which needs deep thought)  Forewarning (tell them ahead of time about the issue, time to form arguments against)  Distraction from counter-arguing  Uninvolved Persuasion Principles and Techniques  When a request is followed by a reason (whether it’s a placebic reason or not such as can I use the photocopier because I need to make photocopies) the request is more likely to be granted  The reciprocity principle: repay in kind what another person has given to you (ex. the Christmas card experiment) o Universal norm o Rule is adaptive for societies o The rule can be exploited:  Doing someone a favour in order to ‘have one in the bank’  Applies to uninvited favours (like free samples)  We feel a social obligation to accept a free gift  Unfair exchange of something cheap for a large donation  Reciprocal concessions (taking the smallest bedroom, they give you the office)  Door-in-the-face technique: start with unreasonable request then tone down (he gave up a chunk of the request, so you have to agree)  The scarcity principle o People prize things they believe to be scarce, even if they don’t need them  The commitment-consistency principle o Once we make a choice we feel pressure to behave consistently with it o Strategies based on this principle (start small) then build to elicit ‘mindless’ compliance  Foot in the door technique  Low-ball technique o Freedman and Fraser Foot-in-the-door experiment with the safe driving sign  Six persuasion principles: o Authority (9 out of 10 dentists agree) o Liking (Tupperware party) o Social proof (but your neighbours are doing it!) o Reciprocity (Christmas cards to strangers experiment) o Consistency (buying the furby even after Christmas since you couldn’t get it before) o Scarcity (the shopping channel)  the low-ball technique is being caught off-guard then adjusting, vs. foot- in-the-door where there are two separate commitments.  An appeal to or creation of needs (old spice – manly-man)  Social and prestige suggestion (buying the status of the product)  Loaded words and images (gluten-free products that were always gluten-free) Resisting persuasion  Reactance theory o When people feel their freedom is threatened o They attempt to restore their freedom of choice  Just watch me! o They become more likely to perform the undesired behaviour following strong admonitions  Strengthening personal commitment o Challenging beliefs o Developing counter-arguments  Inoculation programs o Exposing people to weak attacks on their attitudes so that when strong attacks come along they will be able to refute them Cults  They are counting on your behaviour leading to an attitude change  Compliance will lead to acceptance  The communicator is generally very charismatic and appears to care a lot about you  The message is very loaded and caring  The audience tends to be people at a crossroads in their life or looking for a change  Isolation o Programming to create in-groups and out-groups o Group pressures  Foot in the door  Active participation  Role playing  Behavioural commitment  Self-perception theory (I do it so I must believe it)  Forced public compliance (always together in public)  Repetition (singing, chanting)  Sharing (to promote cohesion) CONFORMITY (week 6) Conformity – no requests or demands (face the rear in the elevator) Compliance – direct requests (free sample) Obedience – direct demands (prof says ‘close your eyes’) The Classic Studies:  Sherif o What is a norm? o How do norms develop and hold their potency? o Propaganda before WW2 is currently going on during his study o He asked people how they would make sense of a stimulus that was completely ambiguous, and what would happen when 2 people were but in an ambiguous situation o Shone a pinpoint of light for 2 seconds and asked how far it moved (when it didn’t). each person established his own median and range. o Subjects came back for sessions 2 and 3 where each person maintained that median with decreasing variation o Concludes that when no norm exists in an ambiguous situation, individuals generate one  Why? In order for their judgements to have a reference point o Implications are that people generate anchors for themselves and use those anchors regardless of the accuracy, o The usefulness of established reference point doesn’t depend on accuracy, o People use others as a source of information o Sherif concludes that norms are social products that continue to have meaning and influence after they are initially formed o Groups have a binding power that locks individuals into their judgements o It is possible to construct a situation of ambiguity then establish a desired social norm o Even though people may initially be hesitant about accepting a norm they use it later as a reference point to anchor their social judgements o This means minority influence can be powerful o Implies that you cannot separate the individual from society o Reality is a social psychological construct o This is a classic study because it revolutionalized current thinking about social influence, the first to do empirical work on the notion of a shared reality, is considered the most influential researcher on the understanding of inter and intra group relations  Asch o Why/when social rules, norms and roles are followed and resisted o Set up very clear unambiguous line judgement task o Three quarters of the participants conformed with the wrong answer at least once o Almost one quarter did not conform o The participants did not let the ‘wrong’ majority passively sway them o There is mindful consideration behind why they gave the wrong answer  Being polite to others  Don’t want to ruin the study  Want to maintain harmony in the group o Found that 5 is the critical number for swaying people o If someone breaks the unanimity, people will speak their minds o Informational social influence: looking to others to see what the right answer is o We look to others for informational social influence when:  Ambiguous or difficult tasks  Crisis situations; can incite contagion  Others are seen as experts  When the task is seen as important o People conform in this study because they need to be accepted and they don’t want to risk social disapproval Week 7 02/10/2012 14:49:00 Group influence Milgram’s Studies  The Eichmann experiments  18 experiments in total  subject (teacher) reads pairs of words to the learner (confederate)  it was a memory test  when the ‘learner’ got the answer wrong, he received a shock  prodding statements increased in intensity  results show that the lab coat and the proximity of the learner seriously affect the results  reasons why people obeyed: o binding factors that make you feel like you owe the researchers your participation o avoid awkwardness of withdrawing o unfamiliar situation o adjustments in thinking (this is a study) o gradual, incremental nature o become immersed in the procedures o transfer of responsibility to the researchers  factors affecting obedience: 1. institutional prestige 2. proximity of the victim (learner) 3. proximity of the authority figure 4. legitimacy of the authority figure (labcoat) 5. models of disobedience (other disobedient participants)  do Milgram’s studies explain the holocaust? o Participants in the study were similar to the Nazis o Milgram believes that Nazis weren’t motivated by hatred but by obedience factors o He believes his study explains the holocaust o The subjects did not have a prejudice toward the learner, unlike Nazis Other important studies (recap)  Sherif o How norms form  Asch o People will conform even if they’re with strangers because of the power of the group  Milgram o Authority figures are a powerful part of our decision-making What is a group?  2 or more people who are interacting  interdependent working toward some common goal Why do we join groups?  Because it is part of our identity  Plays a role in motivated us to become involved in social change  Groups help to establish social norms  Groups establish well-defined social roles such as authority, subordinate  To fulfil a sense of belonging Group cohesiveness  Qualities of the group that bind members together and promote liking between members  The more cohesive a group is, the more likely the members will stay Influence of a group on behaviour and performance  Social facilitation theory says that our dominant response will be enhanced in front of other people o Others  arousal  dominant response o But this interferes with complex responses  Psychological arousal o Makes us more concerned about others watching, than the task o Why?  Mere presence  Evaluation apprehension  Distraction  Social loafing o Not pulling your weight  Deindividuation o Decreased level of self-awareness o Anonymous feeling o Just a face in the crowd o Tendency to perform in a less de
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