INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL PSYCH COMPLETE NOTES [Part 10] - I got a 4.0 in this course!

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University of Pittsburgh
PSY 0105

11/13 Social Influence Social Influence • Definition: efforts to change the attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, or behaviors of others o Symbolic social influence: thoughts of others are enough to influence behavior  Imagined others  Ex. thinking about how others will perceive you as you get dressed in the morning Conformity Conformity: individuals change their attitudes or behavior in order to adhere to existing social norms o Social Norms—create social order; ex. maintaining a good learning environment, this is natural and we usually don’t think about why we do it  Explicit vs. Implicit • Explicit involve signs and is more outward • Implicit is not obvious or stated, like when you sit and pay attention in class  Descriptive: norms that simply indicate what most people do • Ex. Partying or studying over the weekend?  Injunctive: norms specifying what ought to be done • Ex. you should stay in and study • Some evidence that they are stronger than descriptive norms  Study • Mall parking lot • Put flyer on cars • Either trashy or clean environment 11/13 • Confederate either cleaned up or did not • Found that participants littered the least when it was clean and they saw the confederate • Increased norm salience  Study • Least littering occurred when there was only one flyer on the ground • Stressed the injunctive norm as well as the descriptive o Conformity Influence  Normative Social Influence: social influence based on the desire to be liked or accepted by other persons • New members of groups • When something is really important to a person • No friends in the group • Pressure o Personal  Desire for approval  Collective sense of self o Situational  Others’ appeal  Public observability  Informational Social Influence: social influence based on the desire to be correct (accurate) • Used in cases of uncertainty • Pressure o Used in…  Ambiguous situations 11/13  When there are experts involves (because you trust their opinion) o Minority Influence strong when…  They are consistent  Avoid rigidity, dogmatic-ness  Consistency with social trends  Minority pushed majority into systematic processing  Eyewitness Study • Showed participants the scene of a crime for .5 sec • Were told that the study was or was not important • A lot of conformity when there was high importance • Only 35% of people conformed in the low importance condition • Informational influence • Part 2 o Shown two-5 sec pictures o Error was 5% o With low importance, 35% conformed o With high importance, 16% conformed o More sure of their answers, so they used normative influence  Sherif—Auto Kinetic Effect • Watch point of light, it appears to move because of how the eye works • Estimates of movement very between people • Brought people in groups to estimate • Individually, they differed greatly 11/13 • As a group, their answers were very close together • Due to uncertainty, they relied on their group members (informational social influence)  Asch—Line length Experiment • Asked to match one line with one of three choices • Went along with the group 37% of the time • Agreed with the group because they thought the group was right o Either normative or informational • Error rate was 5%, showing that they knew the correct answer • The error rate as a group was much higher • Only 25% of people never conformed • Some people always conformed • 76% of people conformed at least once • When participants wrote their answer privately, they didn’t conform  Public Conformity vs. Private Acceptance • Public is when you try to fit in • Private is when you come to believe what others do  Factors influencing conformity • High cohesiveness—if they are bonded together they will not want to make waves within the group • Size of group—diminishing returns at some point • Norm type • Norm salience—more leads to more conformity • Unanimity—does every member of the group follow this norm? • Importance of group 11/13 • Similarity to each other • Status—the closer people are in status, the more conformity • Public response  Resisting Conformity • Need for Individuation—how unique you need to feel • Need to maintain control • Reactance—if you don’t like to be told what to do • Self-efficacy—varies; more control leads to less conformity  Contagion: rapid spread of emotion or behaviors through a crowd (*hard to prove) • AKA mass hysteria • Orson Wells “War of the Worlds” caused mass hysteria • Occurs often in schools—students smell something, suddenly get sick, etc. • Indications: no
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