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Chapter 5

PSYCH 253 CHAPTERS 5, 6, 7, 11, 12

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH 253
Professor
Jennifer Schulenberg
Semester
Winter

Description
EXTREME PERSUASION: HOW DO CULTS INDOCTRINATE? - march 22, 1997- Marshall Herff Applewhite and 37 of his discipline decided the time had come to shed their bodies and be whisked up to a UFO trailing Hale-Bopp Comet, en route to heaven’s gate o they put themselves to sleep by mixing phenobarbital into pudding or apple source, washing it down with vodka, and then fixing plastic bags over their heads so they would suffocate in their slumber - on the same day, a cottage in the French- Canadian village of St. Casimir exploded in an inferno, consuming five people- the latest of 74 members of the Order of the Solar Temple have committed suicide in Canada, Switzerland and France o all were hoping to be transported to the star Sirius, nine light-years away - hindsight analysis uses persuasion principles as categories for explaining, a troubling social phenomenon - explaining why people believe something says nothing about the truth of their beliefs Cults- a group typically characterized by (1) the distinctive ritual of its devoting to a god or a person, (2) isolation from the surrounding “evil” culture, and (3) a charismatic leader. (A sect, by contrast, is a spinoff from a major religion) also called a new religious movement - 1978 in Guyana, 914 followers of the Reverend Jim Jones have drink strawberry laced drink with tranquilizer, painkillers, and a lethal dose of cyanide o he required a 10% of income contribution, and it increased to 25% - 1994, a high school drop out David Koresh used his talent for memorizing Scripture and mesmerizing people to seize control of a faction of a set called the Branch Davidians o overtime, these members were relieved of their bank accounts and possession o he got the men to allow him to sleep with their wife and daughter and convinced his “19” wives that they should bear his children ATTITUDES FOLLOW BEHAVIOR - people usually internalize commitments made voluntarily, publicly, and repeatedly Compliance breeds acceptance - behavioral rituals, public recruitment, and fund-raising strengthen the initiates identities as members - cult initiates become committed advocates - the greater the personal commitment, the more the need to justify it The foot in the door phenomenon - once into a cult, converts find that monetary offering are at first voluntary, then mandatory PERSUASIVE ELEMENT - analyze persuasion using: Who (the communicator) said what (the message) how (the channel) to whom (the audience) The communicator - Successful cults usually have a charismatic leader- someone who attracts and directs the members - A credible communicator is someone the audience perceives as experts and trustworthy ex. “Father” moon - Trust is another aspect of credibility - Cult researcher Margaret Singer noted that middle-class Caucasians youths are more vulnerable b/c they are more trusting o They lack the “street smarts” of lower-class youths (who know how to resist a hustle) and the wariness of upper class youths (who have been warned of kidnappers since childhood) o Many cult members have been recruited by friends or relatives, people they trust The message - the emotional messages and warmth and acceptance with which the group showers them can be appealing The audience - Recruits are often young people under 25 - Potential converts often are at a turning point in their lies, facing a personal crisis or vacationing or leaving from home - They have needs, the cult offers them an answer - Most of those who carried out suicide bombings in the Middle East are young men at transition between adolescence and maturity - To overcome the will to survive, each candidate makes public commitments, creating a will, writing goodbye letters, making a farewell video- that creates a psychological point of no return GROUP EFFECTS - the cult typically separates members from their previous social support system and isolates them with other cult members - “social implosion”: external ties weaken until the group collapses inward socially, each person engaging only with other group members - formed a group of two, reinforcing each other’s aberrant thinking- a phenomenon that psychiatrists call folie a dexux (French for insanity for two) - techniques including behavioral commitments, persuasion, and group isolation do not have unlimited power - during the pledge period, new members are somewhat isolated, cut off from old friends who did not pledge, they spend time studying the history and rules of their new group Jerome Frank recognized years ago that it takes persuasion to change self-defeating attitudes and behaviors - noted that the psychotherapy setting, like cults and zealous self-help groups, provide (1) a supportive, confiding social relationship, (2) an offer of expertise and hope, (3) a special rationale that explains one’s social difficulties and offers a new perspective, and (4) a set of rituals and learning experiences that promises a new sense of peace and happiness - the success of cults have resulted from three general techniques: eliciting behavioral commitments, applying principles of effective persuasion and isolating members In like- minded groups HOW CAN PERSUASION BE RESISTED? - being persuaded comes naturally - it is easier to accept persuasive message than to doubt them STRENGTHENING PERSONAL COMMITMENT - before encountering others’ judgments, you can resist persuasion by making a public commitment to your position Challenging beliefs Charles Kiesler offered one possible way: Mildly attack their position - he found that when committed people were attacked strongly enough to cause them to react, but not so strongly as to overwhelm them, they became even more committed - he explained: “when you attack committed people and your attack is inadequate strength, you drive them to even more extreme behaviors in defense of their previous commitment” Developing counter-arguments William McGuire found some cultural truisms such as, “it’s a good idea to brush your teeth after every meal if at all possible” - he even showed that people were vulnerable to a massive, credible assault on these truisms (ex. Prestigious authorities were said to have discovered that too much tooth brushing can damage your gums) - before having their belief attacked, they were “immunized” by first receiving a small challenge to their belief, and if they read or wrote an essay in refutation of this mild attack, then they were better able to resist the powerful attack - experiments show that when people resist but feel they’ve done so poorly- with weak counter-arguments- their attitudes weaken and they become more vulnerable to a follow-up appeal - resisting persuasion also drains energy from our self-control system o soon after resisting, or while weakened by tiredness or other self-control efforts such as dieting, we may become worn down and more susceptible to persuasion Robert Cialdini and his colleagues agreed that appropriate counter-arguments are a great way to resist persuasion but they wondered how to bring them to mind in response to an opponent’s ads - the answer they suggest is a “poison parasite” defence- one that combines a poison (strong counter-arguments) with a parasite (retrieval cues that bring those arguments to mind when seeing the opponent’s ads) Attitude inoculation- exposing people to weak attacks on their attitudes so that when stronger attacks come, they will have refutations available INOCULATION PROGRAMS Inoculating children against peer pressure to smoke - use attractive peers to communicate information, they trigger the students own cognitive processing Alfred McAlister had high school students “inoculate” students in grade seven against peer pressure to smoke - the grade 7 students were taught to respond to advertisements implying that liberate women smoke by saying “she’s not really liberated if she is hooked on tobacco” - they also acted in role plays; after being called “chicken” for not smoking a cigarette, they answered with statements like “I’d be a real chicken if I smoked it to impress you” - after several sessions, the inoculated students were half as likely to begin smoking as inoculated students at another junior high school that had an identical parental smoking rate Inoculating children against the influence of advertising - Advertising to children is prohibited by law in Quebec and regulated in other provinces by guidelines set forth in the Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children - Smokers often develop an “initial brand choice” in their teens - Researchers have studied how to immunize young children against the effects of television commercials o Their research was prompted partly by studies showing that children, especially those under eight years old (1) have trouble distinguishing commercials from programs and fail to grasp their persuasive intent (2) trust television advertising rather indiscrimately and (3) desire and badger their parents for advertised products o Children are an advertiser’s dream b/c they are gullible, vulnerable and easy sell - Commercial interests claim that ads allow parents to teach their children consumer skills and more important, finance children’s television program - Government agencies are stuck in the middle, pushed by research findings and political pressures while trying to decide whether to place new constraints on TV ads aimed at underage youth - Researchers have found that inner-city grade 7 students who are able to think critically about ads- who have “media resistance skills also better resist peer pressure as grade 8s and are less likely to drink alcohol in grade 9 Norma Feshbach gave small groups of elementary schoolchildren three half hour lessons in analyzing commercials - the children were inoculated by viewing ads and discussing them - ex. After viewing a toy ad, they were immediately given a toy and challenged to make it do what they just seen n the commercial IMPLICATIONS - people who live amid diverse views become more discerning and more likely to modify their views in response to strong but not weak arguments - a challenge to one’s views, if refuted, is more likely to solidify one’s position than to undermine it, particularly if the threatening material can be examined with like-minded others - cults apply this principle by fore-warning members of how families and friends will attack the cult’s beliefs - another implication is, for the persuader, an ineffective appeal can be worse than none o those who reject an appeal are inoculated against further appeals Susan Darley and Joel Cooper invited students to write essays advocating a strict dress code because that was against the students’ own positions and the essays were to be published, all chose not to write the essay- even those offered money to do so - after turning down the money, they became even more extreme and confident in their anti- dress-code opinions - those who have rejected initial appeals to quit smoking may likewise become immune to further appeals - ineffective persuasion, by stimulating the listener’s defenses, may be counterproductive CHAPTER 6- CONFIRMITY WHAT IS CONFIRMITY? - north American and European social psychologists give conformity negative labels rather than positive ones - in Japan, going along with others is tolerance, self-control and maturity - we choose labels to suit our values and judgments - labels both describe and evaluate, and they are inescapable - conformity is acting or thinking differently from the way you would act and think if you were alone Conformity- a change in behavior or belief to accord with others - several varieties of conformity-> compliance, obedience and acceptance - sometimes we conform to an expectation or request without really believe in what we are doing Compliance- conformity that involves publicly acting in accord with social pressure while privately disagreeing - if our compliance is to an explicit command, it is obedience Obedience- acting in accord with a direct order Acceptance- conformity that involves both acting and believing in accord with social pressure o sometimes follows compliance WHAT ARE THE CLASSIFIC CONFORMITY AND OBEDIENCE STUDIES? - some of these studies revealed such startling findings that they have been widely replicated and widely reported by other researchers, earning them the name of “classic” experiments SHIEF’S STUDIES OF NORMS FORMATION Muzafer Sherif wondered whether it was possible to observe the emergence of a social norm in a lab - he wanted to isolate and then experiment with the social phenomenon of norm formation - sit in a dark room, five metres in front of you a pinpoint of light appears, nothing happens then for a few seconds it moves erratically and finally disappears, and now you have to guess how far it moved but the dark room gives u no judge distance so you offer an uncertain “15 cm” and repeat the experiment and get “25” and then it averages to 20 cm - the next day come back and joined by two participants who had the same experience the day before - when the light goes off the first time, the other two offer their best guesses from the day before, 1 says “5” and other says “2” - his participants changed their estimates markedly - the norm was false, the light never moved and took advance of an optical illusion called autokinetic phenomenon Autokinetic phenomenon- self (auto) motion (kinetic). The apparent movement of a stationary point of light in the dark. Perhaps you have experienced this when thinking you have spotted a moving satellite in the sky, only to realize later that it was merely an isolated star - he used this technique to answer questions about people’s suggestibility Robert Jacobs and Donald Campbell studied the transmission of false beliefs. Using the autokinetic phenomenon they had a confederate give an inflated estimate of how far the light moved - the confederate then left the experiment and was replaced by another real subject who was in turn replaced by a still newer number Confederate- an accomplice of the experimenter - the inflated illusion continued for five generations of participants, these people had become “unwitting conspirators in perpetuating a cultural fraud” - the lesson of these experiment: our views of reality are not ours alone Michael Platow and colleagues, found that being around happy people can help make us happier, a phenomenon that Peter Totterdell called “mood linkage” - they found in their studies that people in the same work groups tended to share up and down moods Tanya Chartrand and John Bargh - another form of social contagion, they call is “the chameleon effect” - participant works next to confederate who occasionally either rubbed her face or shook her foot, it is an automatic behavior to rub your face when she does or shake your foot when she is, this behavior is done without any conscious intention to conform and it would incline you to feel what the other person feels Netherlands by Rick Van Baaren and his colleagues indicated that your mimicry would also incline the other person to like you and be helpful to you and to others - more likely to pick up dropped pens for someone whose behavior mimicked their own - being mimicked seem to enhance social bonds Chartrand, van Baaren and their colleagues had an interviewer invite students to try a new sports drink, while sometimes mirroring the student’s posters and movements, with just enough delay to make it not noticeable, the copied students became more likely to consume the new drink and say they would buy it David Phillips confirmed such imitative suicidal behavior and described it as “the Werther effect” a book with Werther commits suicide with a pistol after being rejected by a woman he loved - young men started imitating his desperate act - Phillip discovered that suicides and disguised suicides increased - Ex. Marilyn Monroe suicide there were 200 more august SUICIDES THAN NORMAL o The increase happened in only areas the suicide story was publicized o The more publicity, the greater the increase in later fatalities - In both Germany and US, suicide rates rise slightly following fictional suicides on soap operas, etc - Phillip reports teenagers are most susceptible ASCH’S STUDIES OF GROUP PRESSURE - participants in Sherif’s darkened-room autokinetic experiments faced an ambiguous reality - asked his father about the cup and the prophet Elijah is suppose to drink from the cup and the cup did go down (do not get to physically see the prophet) - he recreated his boyhood experience in his lab - participants sit in sixth in a row of seven people, asked to say which one of the three lines matches the standard line, easily say it’s line 2 - third trial startles you, correct answer seems clear but the first person gives a wrong answer, the third person agrees with the first two, and then you wonder if you are wrong because everyone else agrees - those in a control condition who answered alone was correct 99% f the time - 37% conform (copy others) 63% did not - this experiment shows that most people “tell the truth even when others do not”- noted by Bert Hodges and Ann Geyer - these experiments lack mundane realism but have experimental realism - people became emotionally involved in the experiments MILGRAM’S OBEDIENCE STUDIES - Milgram’s studies on what happens when the demands of authority clash with the demands of consciences have become social psychology’s most famous and controversial studies. - 2 man come in lab to participate in a study of learning and memory - experimenter explains this is a pioneering study of the effect of punishment on learning - the experiment requires one of them to teach a list of word pairs to the other and punish errors by delivering shocks of increasing intensity - the confederate says his said “learner” - the other man is assigned as the “Teacher” - teacher takes his place in front of a shock generator which switches ranging from 15 to 450 volts in 15-volts increments - the switches are labeled “slight shock, very strong shock, danger: severe shock” and under 435-450 volt labels “XXX” - the experimenter tells the teacher to move one level higher on the shock generator every time the learner gives the wrong answer - hears the learner grunt at 75, 90 and 105 volts - at 120 the learner shouts that the shocks are painful, at 150 volts, he cries out “experimenter, get me out of here! I won’t be in here anymore! I refuse to go on” by 270 volts his protest becomes screams of agony and keeps insisting to be let out - at 330 volts, he falls silent - experimenter says non responses should be treated as wrong answers, he says “please continue, the experiment requires that you continue, it is absolutely essential that you continue, you have no choice: you must go on” - his study of 40 men between 25- 50 years old, 26 of them (65%) went all the way to 450 volts - those who stopped did at the 150 volt point - a man with heart condition being the learner, 25 (63%) still complied to the demand, and the one of a woman found that women compliance rates were similar to men’s Jerry Burger replicated Milgram’s study- only to 150 volt point - 70% participants were obeying The ethics of Milgram’s studies - the obedience of his subjects disturbed him - the learner did not receive any shocks, they had a tape recorder - critics say Milgram did to his participants what they did to their victims, he stressed them against their will - many of the teachers did experience agony, they sweated, trembled, bit their lip, etc - when surveyed afterwards, 84% said they were glad they participated, only - 1% regretted volunteering WHAT BREEDS OBEDIENCE? - four factors that determined the level of obedience were the victim’s emotional distance, the authority’s closeness and legitimacy, whether or not the authority was part of a respected institution and liberating effects of disobedience fellow participants The victim’s distance - Milgram’s participants acted with greatest obedience and least compassion when the learners could not be seen - When the teachers heard no complaints nearly all obeyed calmly to the end - When the learner was in the same room, only 40% obeyed to 450 volts - People act more compassionately towards those who are personalized - Ex. Woman who see their ultrasound photo expressed more commitment towards their pregnancy Closeness and legitimacy of the authority - the physical presence of the experimenter also affected obedience - the command by phone, full obedience dropped to 21% many lied and said they were obeying - when the one making the request is physically close, compliance increases - the authority must be perceived as legitimate. When the experimenter left the room for a phone call, he said that since the equipment recorded data automatically, the teacher should go ahead o when the experimenter left, another person who had been assigned a clerical role (a confederate) assumed command o the clerk decided that the shock should be increased one level for each wrong answer and instructed the teacher o 80% of the teachers refused to comply fully o the clerk tried to take over the teacher’s role because the participant protested  some of them tried to unplug the generator, one man lifted the confederate from his chair and threw him across the room  this rebellion against an illegitimate authority contrasted sharply with the deferential politeness usually shown the experimenter Institutional Authority - Yale university legitimized the commands - Many participants volunteered said it wasn’t for Yale’s reputation, they would have not obeyed - He moved the study to Bridgeport, Connecticut - “learner has a heart condition” 48% obeyed compared to 65% at Yale The liberating effects of group influence - conformity can also be constructive - captured liberating effect of conformity by placing the teacher with two confederates who were to help conduct the procedure - they ordered the teacher to continue alone but 90% liberated themselves by conforming to the defiant confederates REFLECTIONS OF THE CLASSIC STUDIES - the common response to Milgram’s result is to note their counterparts in recent history: “I was only following orders” defences of Adolf Eichmann - both Asch and Milgram studies share certain commonalities, they show how compliance can take precedence over moral sense - social psychological principles -> the link between behavior and attitudes and the power of situation Behavior and attitudes - criticism produces contempt, which licenses cruelty, then leads to brutality, then killing, then systematic killing The power of the situation - difficult to violate the norms of being “nice” rather than confrontational Janet Swim and Lauri Hyers engaged students in discussion where men making sexual comments, 55% said nothing o hard to predict behavior and our own behavior because these women thought they would react but did not - Miglram’s study also offers a lesson on evil - Evil results from social forces - The most terrible evil evolves from a consequence of small evils WHAT PREDICTS CONFIRMITY - did not grow if the judgments were difficult or if the subjects felt incompetent - the more insecure we are about our judgments, the more influenced we are by others - conformity is highest when the group has three or more people and is cohesive, unanimous and high in status GROUP SIZE - 3-4 people will elicit much more conformity than just one or two Migram had 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 or 15 people pause on a busy sidewalk and look up o the %age of people looking up increasing as more people looked up - the way the group is “packed” makes a difference David Wilder gave students a jury case, before giving their judgments, the students watched video types of 4 confederates giving their judgments - when confederates were presented as two independent groups of two people, the participants conformed more than when the four confederates presented their judgment as a single group - the agreement of several small groups makes a position more credible UNANIMITY - someone who punctures a group’s unanimity deflates its social power - people will always voice their convictions if just one other person has also differed from the majority o the participants in these experiments often say they felt warm towards and close to their nonconforming ally but they deny it influenced them - conformity experiments teach the lesson that it is easier to stand up for something if someone else stands up with you - observing someone else’s dissent even if it’s wrong, can increase our own independence Charlan Nemeth and Cynthia Chiles discovered this after having people observe a lone individual in a group of four misjudge blue stimuli as green. - although the dissenter was wrong, observing him enabled the observers to exhibit their own form of independence: 76% of the time they correctly labeled red slides “red” when others called it “orange” COHESION - the more cohesive a group is, the more power it gains over it’s members Cohesiveness- a “we feeling” – the extent to which members of a group are bound together, such as by attraction for one another STATUS - higher status people have more impact - clothes seem to “make the person” Michael Walker, Susan Harriman, and Stuart Costello found that Sydney pedestrians were more compliant when approached by a well-dressed survey-taker than one who was poorly dressed Milgram’s study reported that in his obedience studies people of lower status accepted the experimenter’s commands more readily than people of higher status PUBLIC RESPONSE - people conform more when they must respond publicly in front of others rather than writing their answers privately - Asch’s participants-> after hearing others respond, were less influenced by group pressure if they could write an answer that only the experimenter would see - Easier to stand up for what we believe in private NO PRIOR COMMITMENT - prior commitments restrain persuasion - making a public commitment makes people hesitant to back down WHY CONFORM? - two possibility to what causes conformity o to be accepted and avoid rejection OR o to obtain important information Normative influence- conformity based on a person’s desire to fulfill others’ expectations often to gain acceptance Informational influence- conformity that results from accepting evidence about reality provided by other people - the first springs from our desire to be liked and the second from our desires to be right - normative influence is “going along with the crowd” Gerard in one of his conformity experiments a participant asked to leave the room and came back looking sick and refused to discontinue through the 36 trials. After the experiment was over, he explained the subterfuge to him and his body was signed with relief and he asked why he left the room and it was to vomit. He wanted to be accepted and liked by others and was afraid he would not. NORMATIVE PRESSURE OPERATING WITH A VENGEANCE - informational influence leads people to privately accept others’ influence - our friends influence the experiences that inform our attitudes - used a functional magnetic resonance imagining brain scanner while having them answer perceptual questions after hearing others responses o when the participants conformed to a wrong answer, the brain regions dedicated the perception (and not conscious decision-making brain regions) became active o when they went against the group, brain regions associated with emotion became active o these results suggest that when people conform, their perceptions may be genuinely influenced - concern for social mage produces normative influence and the desire to be correct produces informational influence Dale Griffin and Roger Buehler: some participants were told that “most people” thought a character named Robert should make the risky choice to pursue his dream of studying music rather than accepting an offer to attend medical school others were told “most people” supported the opposite choice o participants who were conformed changed their perceptions of acceptable risk for Robert o those who conformed to the recommendation that Robert go to medical school believed that he should consider music if he was certain of success: those who were recommended music thought he should do so even if success was only a remote possibility o participants also changed their construal of the situation in ways that justified their decision to conform or dissent. EX. Thought music was for fame not local symphony orchestra therefore the act of dissenting or conforming driven by normative influence led participants to interpret the situation quite differently o found that normative influence can even cause informational influence as people construct reasons to justify their conformity o found that participants who chose to conform to a group standard subsequently interpreted information in ways that upheld their decision - conformity is greater when people respond before a group; this reflects normative influence b/c subjects receive he same info whether they respond publicly or privately - conformity is greater when participants feel incompetent, when the task is difficult and when the subjects care about being right- signs of informational influence WHO CONFORMS? - three predictors: personality, culture and social roles PERSONALITY - internal factors (attitudes, traits) predict a specific action, they better predict a person’s average behavior across many situations - personality predicts behavior better when social influences are weak - positive moods, which induce more superficial information processing, tend to enhance conformity, negative moods to reduce conformity CULTURE James Whittaker and Robert Meade repeated Asch’s conformity experiment in several countries and found similar conformity rates in most- 31% in Lebanon, 32% in Hong Kong, 34% in Brazil but 51% among the Bantu of Zimbabwe, a tribe with strong sanctions for nonconformity - French are less conforming than the Norwegian - Those in collectivist countries are more responsive to other’s influence - In individualist countries, university students see themselves as more nonconforming than others in their consumer purchases and political views Nicole Stephens and her co-researchers found that working-class people tend to prefer similarity to others while middle-class people more strongly preferred to see themselves as unique individuals - people chose a pen from among five green and orange (with three or four of one color) - university students from working-class backgrounds, 72% picked one from the majority color as did 44% of those from middle class backgrounds - those from working-class backgrounds came to like their chosen pen more after seeing someone else make the same choice - conformity and obedience are university phenomena, yet they vary across cultures and eras SOCIAL ROLES - social roles will vary with culture - in all cultures, role expectations guide the conformity found in social relations - social roles involve a certain degree of conformity, and conforming to expectations is an important task when stepping into a new social role DO WE EVER WANT TO BE DIFFERENT? - knowing someone is trying to coerce us may even prompt us to react in the opposite direction REACTANCE - individual value their sense of freedom and self-efficacy and when social pressure threatens their sense of freedom, they often rebel Reactance- a motive to protect or restore one’s sense of freedom. Reactance arises when someone threatens our freedom of action - attempt to restrict a person’s freedom often produce an anti-conformity “boomerang effect” - researchers suspected that this reflects a reactance against the restriction ATTRIBUTIONS FOR CONSENSUS - university of british Columbia students imagined they were doing a committee design which computer networking system a company would adopt - they cast their vote after hearing that the rest of the committee preferred Wobblenet - if that’s all they knew then the participants conformed and supported it themselves - but if they also knew the company’s president ordered the committee to choose Wobblenet then they are now facing pressure from both the group and an authority figure but they conformed - if the president stepped down before they vote, they no longer conformed, participants attributed the group’s consensus to the coercive power of the president - once the pressure was removed, they were less likely to confirm the group itself ASSERTING UNIQUENESS C. R Synder and Howard Fromkin have shown, people feel better when they see themselves as moderately unique. Moreover, they act in ways that will assert their individuality - Synder led university students to believe that their “10 most important attitudes” were either distinct from or nearly identity to the attitudes of 10 000 other students - When they then participated in a conformity experiment, those deprived of their feelings of uniqueness were most likely to assert their individuality by nonconformity - Individuals who have the highest “need for uniqueness” tend to be the least responsive to majority influence William McGuire and his colleagues reported that when children are invited to “tell us about yourself,” they are most likely to mention their distinctive attributes - ex. Foreign born children mentioning heir birthplace, light and heavy children are most likely to refer to their body weight - Rivalry is often most intense when the other group closely resembles your own CHAPTER 7- GROUP INFLUENCE - group interactions often have more dramatic effects WHAT IS A GROUP? Group- two or more people who, for longer than a few moments, interact with and perceive one another as “us” - groups perceive themselves as “us” in contrast to “them” - three example of collective influence: social facilitation, social loafing, and deindividuation - four examples of social influence in interacting groups: group polarization, groupthink, leadership, and minority influence SOCIAL FACILIATION: HOW ARE WE AFFECTED BY THE PRESENCE OF OTHERS? Co-actors- a group of people working simultaneously and individually on a non-competitive task THE MERE PRESENCE OF OTHERS Norman Triplette interested in bicycle racing noticed that cyclist’s times were faster when racing together than when racing alone - children told to wind string on a fishing reel as rapidly as possible would faster when they worked with cofactors than when they worked a long Social facilitation- (1) original meaning: the tendency of people to performed simple or well-learned tasks better when others are present; (2) current meaning: the strengthening of dominant (prevalent, likely) responses owing to the presence of others - social facilitation effect also occurs with animals ex. presence of others, chicken eats more grain but some tasks can hinder performance. Ex. Cockroaches complete mazes more slowly - people solve easy anagrams fastest when they are anxious - on complex tasks, for which the correct answer is not dominant, increased arousal promotes incorrect responding - on harder anagrams, people do worse when anxious CROWDING: THE PRESENCE OF MANY OTHERS - even a supportive audience may elict poorer performance on challenging tasks - the effect of other’s presence increases with their numbers Jonathan Freedman and his coworkers had an accomplice listen to a humorous tape or watch a movie with others. When they all sat close together, the accomplice could more readily induce them to laugh and clap. Gary Evans tested 10 person groups either in a room 7 by 10 or in one 3 by 4 metres, compared to those in a big room, those densely packed had higher pulse rates and blood pressure (indicating arousal). On difficult tasks they made more errors, crowding has a similar effect to being observed by a crowd: it enhances arousal, which facilitates dominant responses WHY ARE WE AROUSED IN THE PRESENCE OF OTHERS? Evaluation apprehension Evaluation apprehension- concern for how others are evaluating us Nickolas Cottrell surmised that observers make us apprehensive b/c we wonder how they are evaluating us. - Joggers on a jogging path sped up as they came upon a woman sitting on a grass, instead of facing her back to them - The self-consciousness we feel when being evaluated can also interefere with behaviors that we perform best automatically Driven by distraction - when people wonder how co-actors are doing or how an audience is reacting, they get distracted Mere presence - Zajoc believed that the presence of others produce some arousal even without evaluation apprehension or arousing distraction SOCIAL LOAFING: O INVIDIDUALS EXERT LESS EFFORT IN A GROUP? MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK Alan Ingham blindfolded participants who were assigned the first position in the apparatus and told to “pull as hard as you can” pulled 18% harder when they knew they were pulling alone than when they believed that behind them two to five people were also pulling Social Loafing- the tendency for people to exert less effort when they pool for efforts towards a common goal than when they were individually accountable Lante, Williams and Harkins blindfolded six people, seat them in a semicircle and have them put on headphones with people shouting and clapping - people could not hear themselves - people who were told about this experiment guessed that participants would shout louder when with others b/c they would be less inhibited - when the participants believed 5 others were clapping, they produced one third less noise than when they thought themselves alone - those who clapped thought they were clapping equally in both situations Free- riders- people who benefit from the group but give little no return - when being observed increases evaluation concerns, social facilitation occurs; when being lost in a crowd decreases evaluation concerns, social loafing occurs - to motivate group members, one strategy is to make individual performance identifiable SOCIAL LOAFING IN EVERYDAY LIFE Latane and his coresearchers repeated their sound-production experiments In Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Indian and Malaysia, they found that social loafing was evident in all of those countries, too - people may be motivated o slack off when their efforts are not individually monitored or rewarded - situations that welcome free riders is a “paradise for parasites” - people in groups loaf less when the task is challenging, appealing or involving - on challenging tasks,, people may perceive their efforts as indispensable - when people see other in their groups as unreliable, they work harder - challenging another group promotes collective effort - group members will work hard when convinced that high efforts will bring rewards - group also loaf less when the members are friends - even just expecting to interact with someone again serves to increase efforts on team projects - when groups are given challenging objectives, when they are rewarded for group success, and when there is a spirit of commitment to the “team” group members work hard DEINDIVIDUATION: WHEN DO PEOPLE LOSE THEIR SENSE OF SELF IN GROUPS? DOING TOGETHER WHAT WE WOULD NOT DO ALONE - groups can generate a sense of excitement, of being caught up n something bigger than one’s self - in certain kinds of group situations, people are more likely to abandon normal restraints, to lose their sense of individual responsibility, to became labeled deindividuated Deindividuation- loss of self-awareness and evaluation apprehension, occurs in a group situations that foster anonymity and draw attention away from the individual Group Size - when the crowd was small and exposed by daylight, people usually did not try to bait the person - but when the large crowd or the cover of night gave people anonymity, the crowd usually baited and jeered Physical anonymity Phillip Zimbardo got the idea from his students who questioned how good boys in Lord of the flies could become monsters after painting heir faces - to experiment, he dressed women in identical white coats and hoods, asked to de
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