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Chapter 7

1X03 ch. 7 Part 2 notes.docx

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Christopher Teeter

Section 3: The Influence of Others Obedience: • Milgram – ‘teacher’ (subject) had to administer shocks to ‘student’ for each wrong answer and increasing the voltage each time (teacher and learner were in separate rooms and experimenter was with teacher)– it was predicted that 1% would continue to the last stage of 450V 2 times but 65% did • Not one refused before the 300V mark • When location was moved to backstreet office instead of Yale University office, 48% went all the way • With teacher and learner in same room, 40% went all the way • When teacher had to administer shocks directly to student, 30% went all the way • When experimenter was not in the room, 22% did it • When a non-professor was supposedly in charge, 20% did it • Milgram’s study demonstrates that we can be inaccurate at predicting our own behaviour/capable of acting in ways we would never expect • Why People Obey: • Strong desire to be polite/don’t like to cause problems • Uncomfortable with confrontations • Subjects (in above experiment) could not tell when to draw the line – begin and became uncomfortable but can’t decide when to quit – gave a shock already and this one is just a bit above the previous one • Hofling, Brotzman, Dairymple, Graves, & Pierce (1966) – nurses were given a hypothetical question and asked what they would do in this situation (a doctor asks you to administer a dosage to a patient that is 2x the max daily dosage) – almost all said they would refuse to do it but when 22 other nurses were put in this situation, all but 1 did it immediately Conformity: • Sherif (1935, 1937) – autokinetic phenomenon – unmoving point of light in the dark looks like it moved – subjects had to estimate the distance it moved (most said around 5cm) – when placed in a room with a bunch of ‘subjects’ (confederates) who guessed 15-20cm (subjects’ estimates gradually conformed to the others, regardless of starting point) • Asch (1951, 1956) – 1 subject with 6 other confederates (‘subjects’) had to judge line lengths – first few trials, the whole group agreed – after that the confederates all agreed on the wrong answer and the 1 real subject often went with the wrong answer even though they knew it was wrong (25% kept their own answers) • more likely to keep own answer if even one of the confederates chooses a different line than the others (less than 10% conformed if 1 of the confederates chose something different) – reduced conformity even if the different answer was also wrong • when group was reduced to just one confederate, conformity was reduced to 5% • Why We Conform: • Normative social influences – want to be approved by the people we associate with (What will the others think if I disagree with their line choice? • Informal social influences – open to learning and gaining info from the group/group can provide important info about reality (I must be wrong) Section 4: The Influence of Groups • Norms – commonly accepted but unwritten rules of behaviour (depend on context and culture) Roles: • Philip Zimbardo (1970s) – prisoner/guard roles experiment Crowds: • When people are a part of a bigger group, they sometimes just act as part of the crowd – can lead to “mob mentality” – people who are normally very law-abiding participate in looting and violence toward others (ex. in Vancouver) • If you believe no one is paying attention to you/watching you that knows who you are, you tend to act more irresponsibly • Wilson and Kelling (1982) – broken windows theory – if you see many broken windows and lots of garbage all over the street, you think nobody cares – send a message that you can get away with things here • One way to prevent serious crimes was to fix the small problems (clean up the streets and fix broken windows) – respectable residents take responsibility for their own actions and the actions of others – someone disobeying the law would stand out • Individual’s behaviour affected by social norms – measure our own behaviour based on what others will think/measure other’s behaviour against social norms to see if they are following them (let them know if they aren’t) • Zimbardo (1970) – parked 2 10-yr old cars with hoods up, 1 in a large city (the Bronx, NY) and 1 in a small city (Palo Alto, CA) – Bronx car sat on the street for less than 10 min before being stripped (just a shell in 3 days)/ Palo Alto car sat on the street untouched for over a week – the only person who touched it just put the hood down when it started to rain Section 5: Acting in a Group • Norman Triplett (1898) – first social psych study – cyclists clocked faster times when they went in groups vs. alone/children wound fishing line faster when in pairs • Presence of others can facilitate performance • Berger, Carli, Garcia, and Brady (1982) – presence of audience worsened memorization of nonsense syllables • Zajonc (1965) – presence of other people inc. arousal – for simple tasks arousal improves performance/for complex tasks it inhibits it Social Loafing: • Latane, Williams, and Harkins (1979) – instructed people to clap as loud as they can alone/in a group of 6 (6 people were less than 3x as loud as 1) • Other subjects wore blindfolds and headphones and were told they were alone/with 6 people – produced 1/3 less noise when they believed they were in a group vs. alone • Social loafing: tend to expend less effort when we believe our contribution will be averaged among others • Sweeny (1973) – students on exercise bikes did less work when they thought their efforts were being averaged in with a group vs. when they thought their efforts would be measured alone Group Dynamics: • Stoner (1961) – discovered The Risky Shift – presented subjects with the following scenario: • Helen is a writer – said to have considerable creative talent but has so far been earning a comfortable living writing cheap Westerns – recently has come up with the idea for potentially significant novel – if it could be written, it could have literary impact and boost her career – if novel is a flop/she can’t work out her idea, she will have expended a lot of time and energy without pay – Should Helen write the novel? What is the lowest probability of success that is acceptable for her to write it?  Subjects made individual judgments if she should write the book and then came together to come to a consensus on the acceptable risk level for Helen – group decision was riskier than the individual ones • Second scenario:  Roger is a young married man with school-aged children and a secure, low-paying job – can afford necessities but few luxuries – hears that a stock of relatively unknown company may soon triple in value if their new product if received favourably/decline significantly if it fails – Roger has no saving and is considering selling his life insurance policy to invest in this company – Should He do it? What is the lowest probability of success that is acceptable to advise him to sell?  Group decision was less risky than individual ones • Risky Shift not about risk necessarily – decisions shift in a group due to Group Polarization: groups tend to strengthen original inclinations – discussions in a group force people to state their views and making such statements tend to make attitudes more extreme Group Conflict: • Muzafer and Carolyn Sherif (1954) – Robber’s Cave Study – took charge of a camp for 11yr olds – divided kids into 2 groups – patterns that emerged: • within 1 group, children settled into roles (leader/follower) and the group became cohesive • introducing another group and mixing it up with competitions leads quickly to hostility between groups • if you force them to work together, they learn to get along Groupthink: • when group members are motivated to agree, they can effectively put blinders on and stop thinking critically • when no one is willing to voice disagreements, the results of group decisions can be disastrous • Irving Janis (1983) – proprosed concept of groupthink – likely to occur when:  Group is highly cohesive and shut off from non-group members  Leader is directive and subordinates are not encouraged to challenge the leadership  Group is under pressure to make a decision • To avoid groupthink: sub-divide group, offer group members second chances to disagree, and assign a ‘devil’s advocate’ to f
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