• The ways that people are affected by the real and imagined( thinking how would authority
figure react if he was to know what I did) pressure of others (i.e. change our attitude, behaviors).
• The continuum of social influence.
Conformity ( no one has to say anything you comply)▯independence
Compliance (actively making request of us and asking us to do)▯assertiveness (saying no the person
who is asking favor of us)
Obedience (yielding to influence in the most way)▯defiance ( to go against it it like authority)
Social Influence as “Automatic”
• Shortly after birth( like 1 month), babies often mimic simple gestures ( you stick your mouth to
baby and the baby does that same. Like a reflex)
• Research looked at 162 infants ranging from 620 months old (i.e. as the child gets older)
– Infants first start to open their mouth wide, tap their fingers on the table and wave bye bye
before clapping hands, flexing their finger, or putting their hands on their heads. ( as the child
goes older, they can imitate a lot more fine tuned movement= assumed to be very automatic
– The chameleon effect: just like the chameleon, they are affected by the changes in their
environment. They change their color so they can catch pray as well as no being eaten when it
blends it to the environment. (Just like human being they imitate the environment, but they do
not do it purposely, it is automatic process just like us humans)
• Chartrand and Bargh Study… Participants interacted with a confederate… and they were given
a task on which they worked together. They were recorded on secret camera while they worked
on this task . They manipulated how the confederate acted:
• IV: The confederate rubbed his face vs. shook his foot (i.e. when we study or do exams)
• DV: Number of times participants rubbed face or shook foot ( how many time would you
imitate. As the chameleon effect suggest, we should unconsciously imitate.
• Results: the number of time that the participant imitated the behavior was very low BUT it was
as it was predicted by the chameleon effect. Whatever the confederate did that was what the
participant did ( if you were to use your phone, it is more likely that other people will
subconsciously do it as well)
Why might this effect occur…
• People are more likely to mimic others if they want to belong (i.e. if you want to be included in
the ingroups or want to make a desire impression.)
• Perhaps it facilitates social interactions ( in a very subtle way it might increase liking. Perhaps
to increase similarity. This is where attraction of people occurs.)
• Tell the confederate now to do what the participant was doing. The result showed that when the
confederate was doing more of what the participant was doing it increases more liking of
confederate by the participants
• The effect can also be related to mood (other people’s mood are often contagious. We catch their
– All participants heard a speech (the same kind). They only manipulated
– IV: How speech was recited (happy vs. sad vs. neutral) – Results demonstrated…that the happy tape increase mood while the sad tap actually decreased
mood of the one watching it ( it was not the content but rather how the material was presented.
Thus we catch people’s mood. This is related to the chameleon effect are not social in nature as
their was no interaction but still we caught their moods)
– This might explain why you don’t want to be around someone who is very negative because
they might make us feel the same way.
• The tendency to change our perceptions, opinions, or behavior in ways that are consistent with
group norm (if we don’t know how to react we look at other people around us. It can be a good
thing i.e. waiting for our turn in the line so it helps things run smoothly. But it can also be bad
if you think drinking drinking a lot is normal or if thinking bullying is normal.)
• Sherif’s classic study… (What happens if a norm has not be established)
– The autokinetic effect: the study where the light moved but it doesn’t. Male participants sat
in a completely dark room and 15 feet away a small dot of light appeared for two seconds
and it looks like it moves but it doesn’t actually but rather it is an illusion. The participants
task was when it the light lighted up, estimate how much the light moved? In first time they
make it individual, and then after that they do it with a group. As the participants spent more
time, their answers began to converge and they began to create a norm. ( they gradually
converged when they were in a group and conform to the norm that was developed in the
– Video (on EXAM): Asch’s conformity study. The idea behind it is that a participant is ina
room with a group of people. All the have to do was that they see a line and they see three
option (the lines vary in lengths). 1 of the 3 is the right answers. You just have to say what
line matches the other line.
– They have people (the confederates) give a wrong answer sometime before it is the turn of
the participants turn. What we are interested in whether or not if this participant conforms or
does not conform ( even though he knows the it is the wrong answer or does he assert his
independence if he does not conform)
– Results: participant conform 37% of the time (i.e. say the wrong answer even when they
know it is not right answer).
– Follow up: this was done several times in the next 30 years after the original study ( they all
still conform the same amount even though the culture change like the hippies=independence
and other changes).
This same thing of conformity is also seen in children’s who are 34 years old.
Why do people conform?
• Informational Influence: Influence that produces conformity when a person believes other
are correct in their judgment (this is what goes with the Sharif study and the auto kinetic
effect. Those people did not know if the light was moving=very difficult=very less
information=no accurate information=you think others are right so you conform to them)
– Video: who wants to be millionaire ( if you don’t know the ans you can ask the audience).
Indeed research shows that the audience is correct 91% of the time( perhaps the confound is that usually the easier questions are asked to the audience); the “phone a friend” is
correct only 61% of the time ( perhaps because the hard questions are asked by the these).
• Normative Influence: Influence that produces conformity when a person fears the negative
social consequences of appearing deviant (THE ASH STUDY was this example. don’t want
to be excluded form the group since they need a strong way of belonging)
Further Distinctions on Conformity
• Private Conformity: The change of beliefs that occurs when a person privately accepts the
position taken by others (like “true acceptance”. Not just behavior conformity but you are
changing you attitudes. Like “conversion of religion” since you actually belief them without
anyone forcing you to do it.). Goes with INFORMATION INFLUENCE + sheriff study.
Even if we are no longer with the group, we still believe in their answers.
• Public Conformity: A superficial change in overt behavior without a corresponding change
of opinion (like NORMALITIVE INFLUENCE. Like the ASH study they changed their
belief after the study they were asked)
– When Sherif had retested his participants alone at the end of the study session, he found
that their estimates continued to reflect the norm previously established by the group
– When Asch had participants write their answers privately (thus others in group didn’t
see). Conformity dropped significantly. ( public conformity)
• Baron and colleagues ( 2 by 2 design) (1996)… “Participants” in groups of 3 ( 1 participant +
2 confederates) acted as eyewitnesses. They would show a face and then they would have to
pick that face from a group of people. They manipulated:
• IV #1: difficult task (would see a face for 0.5 sec and one time only, so very hard to
remember that face) vs. easy task (10 sec+twice=easy to remember)
• IV #2: low motivation (just a pilot study don’t worry too much about you ans) vs. high
motivation (given a financial acceptance. If you made correct ans you will get money).
• DV: How frequently conformed to confederates wrong dec