Psyc 391 the passive activist 03/05/2014
The Passive activist Reading 1 ( Feb 24)
Interpersonal confrontation: means of expressing one’s displeasure or disagreement with the actions of
others and are effective in influencing others’ future behaviors.
Expt: p’s watched videos between two college students with clear pro and antienvironmental beliefs.
prior to experiment, half and p’s were given information to suggest that the proenvironmental speaker had
a strong background in environmental activism ( therefore high expectations to confront)
during discussions, the proevnt speaker either confront or didn’t confront the anti envt guy.
participants have less favorable recycling attitudes and decreased intentions to recycle when the high
expectancy speaker didn’t confront
if someone doesn’t confront, people may misinterpret silence as conformity.
people tend to engage in target social referencing to interpret whether the issue needs to be confronted
and interpret meaning within the situation, encouraging pluralistic ignorance
being able to confront offensive behavior is a means of social influence.
people often respond in a less prejudiced manner when norms of fairness and egalitarianism are made
salient within a situation when other people share their opinions.
confronting antienvironmental behaviors may create or emphasize existing descriptive norms( we recycle
around here!) and injunctive norms( you should recycle too!) has been shown to be effective in producing
environmentally friendly behaviors.
guilt is also a powerful motivating factor in changing people’s behaviors.> people who experience guilt
after engaging in personally inconsistent prejudiced responding are highly motivated to change their
behavior in future situations. 03/05/2014
Congruent or conflicted? Reading 2 ( feb 24)
examines the use of injunctive and descriptive norms on intentions to engage in proenvt behavior.
a conflict between the group level injunctive and descriptive norm was associated with weaker behavioral
intentions to engage in green behavior.
the beneficial effects of a supportive injunctive norm were undermined when presented with an
unsupportive descriptive norm.
in both western and nonwestern contexts, the extent to which norms were aligned determined intentions
more than other kinds of factors, such as attitudes..etc.
structural interventions, such as enforcing economic incentives and making people pay taxes for negative
environmental behavior only leads people to believe that they can keep doing it as long as they can afford
social norms is the strongest predictor of actual behavior.
Social norms: group based standards or rules regarding appropriate attitudes and behaviors. They
determine how people shape and interpret their social environment.
There are two types of norms
injunctive norms: reflect perceptions of what people approve of and don’t approve of. They motivate
action because others do not want to feel social exclusion from not engaging in the behavior.
Descriptive norms: reflect perceptions of what people actually engage in the normative behavior
themselves. They motivate action because it lets people understand what is an effective behavior in a
Although injunctive and descriptive norms hold two different motivations, the combination of both
norms is important to influence behavior.
Other predictors of behavioral intentions( according to the theory of planned behavior)
1) attitude: people are more likely to engage in a behavior if they have a positive attitude.
2) Perceptions of behavioral control: people will be more likely to enage in the behavior if they feel
they are in control.
The role of cultural context
Hoftstede’s model of individualism and collectivism: collectivist and individualistic cultures value
norms differently. 03