Social Psychology, Exam Three
Asch’s conformity study and variations
Line test; confederates would at first give the right answer but after later
trials, the confederates began to give outrageously incorrect answers. Due
to the overwhelming group pressure, the participant went along with
giving the wrong answer so as to avoid deviating from the group norm.
Results: about 1/3 of the time the average participant conformed to the
group. At least ¾ of the participants conformed at least once, some
conformed considerably more, some none.
Benevolent and hostile sexism
Benevolent: Chivalrous attitude toward women that feels favorable but is
actually sexist because it casts women as weak creatures in need of men’s
protection. May seem harmless, noble, or romantic, but its effects can be
devastating. Ideology that supports gender inequality.
o Example: Women need to be protected by men.
Hostile: Antagonistic view towards women. Overtly negative evaluations
and stereotypes towards women.
o Example: Women are incompetent and inferior to men.
Cialdini’s compliance tactics
Focused on compliance.
o Regan, 1971
Ingratiation (invokes liking)
o An individual attempts to become more attractive or likeable to
Lowball (invokes consistency)
o Get a yes to buy a car at $18,000 then come back with a final total
adding in smaller costs of $19,500.
That’s-not-all principle (invokes reciprocity)
o Item is $2.50 but will give it to buyer for $1.50 plus a free prize.
Playing hard to get (invokes scarcity)
Fast approaching deadline (invokes scarcity)
o “act now or miss out!”
Foot-in-the door (invokes consistency)
o Start with a small request then ask for a big request.
Door-in-the face (invokes norm of reciprocity-reciprocal concessions) o Start with an outlandishly large request then follow with a
seemingly more realistic request.
o Feel any overwhelming urge to buy whatever was offered to you.
Changing behavior in response to direct social pressure.
Possible compliance techniques,
invoke personal beliefs.
make moral appeal.
use threats or force.
behavior or belief that moves toward a group consensus as a result of real
or imagined group pressure / yielding to group pressure.
“Eye of the Storm” video (blue eyes/brown eyes”)
Dealt with racism, teacher made students see the racist side by having
them deal with it between those with blue eyes and those with brown eyes.
Fein and Spencer (1997)
1. People receive positive or negative feedback on a test of their intellectual
skills (self-esteem threatened or not threatened).
2. The job applicant to be evaluated was either Jewish or not Jewish.
1. How people evaluated the job applicant.
1. People who received negative feedback evaluated the Jewish applicant
2. People who received negative feedback and evaluated the Jewish applicant
negatively showed the largest increase in self-esteem. Group polarization
Group produced enhancement of member’s preexisting tendencies; a
strengthening of the member’s average tendency, not a split within the
group / the tendency for group decisions to be more extreme than those
made my individuals. Whatever way the individuals are leaning, group
discussion tends to make them lean further in that direction.
Involves the persuasiveness of the information brought up during group
discussion and people’s tendency to claim the “right” position in the
distribution of opinions within the group.
“The mode of thinking that persons engage in when concurrence-seeking
becomes so dominant in a cohesive in-group that it tends to override
realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action.” Irving Janis (1971)
Faulty thinking by the highly cohesive groups in which the critical scrutiny
that should be devoted to the issues at hand is subverted by social
pressures to reach consensus.
Comes from a shallow examination of information, a narrow consideration
of alternatives, and a sense of invulnerability and moral superiority.
Typically seen when groups are under the direction of a strong leader.
Self-censorship is the decision to withhold information or opinions.
Ways to prevent groupthink involve the leader not immediately discussing
his opinion and assigning someone the role of playing the devil’s advocate.
Replication of Milgram’s experiment.
Unknown doctors called nurses and asked them to administer twenty mg
of the drug “Astroten” to a patient on the ward.
The drug before being stopped and debriefed by one of the researchers.
Conforming to others because we think they know more than we do.
o Others are more knowledgeable.
o Judgment is ambiguous.
Milgram obedience study and variations
Effects of punishment on learner / shock machine.
Victim pounds on wall then becomes silent
remote feedback (basic scenario) 65%
Victim heard protesting voice feedback 50%
Victim in the same room
Teacher has to put victims hand on shock plate
Less prestigious location
study done in Bridgeport, CT 48%
telephone condition 30%
Less authoritative experimenter
younger RA in street clothes has to "substitute" 20%
Dissenting research assistants 10%
conflicting instructions 0%
Teacher does not deliver shock himself 93%
Teacher told to select the level of shock (control)
experimenter legitimizes all levels 3%
Minimal group paradigm (Tafjel)
Positive feelings toward those in the ingroup, negative feelings toward
those in outgroups.
Create groups based on seemingly meaningless criteria and examine how
members of these “minimal groups” are inclined to behave toward one
o Participants perform a trivial task and then are put into groups
based on their “answers” (actually, put into groups at random).
o Then, participants are put into a cubicle and are told to assign
points, redeemable for money, to successive pairs of their fellow
o No matter what, no matter how minimal the situation is, ingroup
members still exhibit a tendency to favor their minimal ingoup.
Contrasted to old-fashioned racism.
Rejection of explicitly racist beliefs while maintaining an enduring
suspicion of discomfort with or animosity toward African-Americans.
Concealed publicly, expressed when safe. Difficult to measure.
When alone or in no view of anyone else, people are more inclined to help
out black people that need help over white people BUT when there are
people in plain view, people are more inclined to help white people over
o Televised confrontation study (Duncan, 1976).
Video of argument in which a) a white man shoved a
black man OR b) a black man shoved a white man.
Ratings of both men’s behavior (violent behavior,