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Chapter 9

PSYC 215 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Normative Social Influence, Social Proof, Social Influence


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 215
Professor
Mark Baldwin
Chapter
9

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CHAPTER 9: SOCIAL INFLUENCE (303-345)
In 1980, it was more likely to see a woman smoking a cigar than sporting a tattoo
- Now, over 40% of Americans under 40 have at least one tattoo.
- Shows the power of social influence, implicit and explicit.
“oial ifluee otriutes to priso guards ausig iates, like Milgra’s eperiet.
- Experiment: You are 40% more likely to be obese if a family member or friend is obese,
and 20% if a friend of your friend is.
Homophily: People’s tede to assoiate disproportioatel ith people ho are like
them.
- Not the sole factor contributing to the social influence network
Experiment: People canvassed residents and encouraged them to vote, which also
influenced the other household members.
Experiment: When playing a game, one participant would be altruistic or selfish based on
how others were on the previous round.
Social influence: The many ways people affect one another, including changes in attitudes,
beliefs, feelings, and behavior resulting from the comments, actions, or even the mere
presence of others. Relates to informational social influence and normative social influence.
- Eaple: A fried’s pressure to go out drikig, u’s desire for ou to stop screwing
up your life, etc.
Conformity: Chagig oe’s ehaior or eliefs i respose to epliit or ipliit pressure
(real or imagined) from others.
- Implicit: Adopting skinnies instead of elephant pants.
- Explicit: When a group encourages one another to smoke cigarettes.
Compliance: Responding favorably to an explicit request by another person.
- Example: If your partner encourages you to do drugs, you might comply.
Obedience: In an unequal power relationship, submitting to the explicit demands of the
person in authority.
I toda’s Wester World, oforit is see as ad.
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- In reality, in some cases it can be bad (driving while drunk), while in some they are
neither positive nor negative, like wearing athletic pants very long (as in the 1990s).
Automatic Mimicry: The tendency to reflexively mimic the posture, mannerisms, facial
expressions, and other actions of those around us.
- Experiment: When talking to a confederate either rubbing his face or shaking his foot,
undergraduates tended to rub their face and shake their foot more, respectively.
- This tendency is all the more prevalent when people have a need to affiliate with
others and the other person is well liked.
Ideomotor Action: An explanation for automatic mimicry. Ideomotor action is the
phenomenon whereby merely thinking about a behavior makes performing it more likely.
- Example: Because the brain regions responsible for perception overlap with those
responsible for action, when you think about eating a bowl of ice cream, you have
greater chances of going to the freezer and getting some.
Another proper reason for Automatic Mimicry is our preparation to interact with them.
- Experiment in Chapter 4: When participants were led to think about elderly people,
they acted more like older people themselves.
- This only works if the participant has a positive attitude towards the group. Those who
hated old people tended to walk faster.
- Experiment: People are more liked when they mimic others.
The epetatios regardig ho uh soeoe ill ii us differs fro oe ulture to
another.
- Example: Hispanic cultures are more attuned to the emotions of others than Anglo-
American cultures.
- Experiment: In an interview-like session, the interviewer mirrored the iterieee’s
behavior, while he avoided doing so in the latter.
- Result: When the Hispanic group was interviewed, the participant reported less anxiety
when he was mirrored. For Anglo-Americans, this made no difference.
Groups can also have an Informational Social Influence.
- Experiment: Sherif showed the Müller-Lyer figure to participants, an illusion where one
line appears longer than the other because of how they are framed by two sets of
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arrows. This is an autokinetic illusion where it looks like the lines are moving. In part 1,
he asked people individually how much the line moved. Some said a lot, some said very
little. In part 2, he asked a group. Those who said a lot lowered their estimates, and
those who say very little raised them. Everyone’s idividual judgets fused ito a
group norm, and the norm influenced how far the light was seen to move.
- Note that because the topic was imbiguous, the informational social influence was
strong.
Normative Social Influence is even cooler, because Asch proved that in a case of clear
conflict etee a perso’s o positio ad the iepoit of the group, there ill e far
less conformity than that observed by Sherif.
- Experiment: Asch showed three lines and asked people to find which one corresponded
to the original one in terms of length. Only one of the eight participants was a real
participant. Then, the actors started collectively screwing up.
- Result: 75% of the participants conformed to the erroneous majority at least once, and,
overall, participants conformed on a third of the critical trials. In the absence of social
pressure, control participants got the answer right near 100% of the time.
Normative Social Influence: The influence of other people that comes from the desire to
avoid their disapproval and other social sanctions (ridicule, barbs, ostracism). Related to
informational social influence.
- Example: In a sorority, more binge eating was associated with more popularity. In that
sorority, deviations from it in either direction were punished by rejection, while those
most inclined to binge were rewarded with acceptance and popularity.
Factors influencing conformity pressure:
- Group size: Larger groups exert more informative and normative social influence than
smaller groups. However, this is only true until the group reaches a number of three or
four confederates: afterwards, the conformity rates level off.
- Group unanimity: The tendency for people to go along with a misguided majority drops
preipitousl oe there’s a reak i the ajorit, alas he there is ee just one
person willing to dissent. The answer from the ally does not matter, as long as it is not
the sae as the ajorit’s. What matters is the break in unanimity.
- Expertise and Status: The expertise and status of the group members powerfully
influence the rate of conformity. This makes sense, because we grant greater status to
those with expertise, and often assume that those with high status are experts. In an
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