SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY – CHAPTER 9 SUMMARY
Conformity: Group influence inAction
- Social Influence is the efforts of one or many individuals to change attitudes or behaviours of one or many
- Most ppl will act according to social norms (rules of how people are expected to act in specific situations) –
this shows tendency towards conformity (Changing how you act to match social norms).
- Sherif and Asch were the first ones to study conformity – showing that most people will yield to social
- Factors that affect conformity are:
U NANIMITY : Whether those in the influencing group agrees w/ each other.
C OHESIVENESS : Degree of attraction felt by indv toward a group.
Whether the response if given publicly or privately.
Cultural background of the person being influenced.
Type of social norm in the situation
INJUNCTIVE : Norms that specify what should be done, what is accepted/frowned upon in
the given situation.
D ESCRIPTIVE : Norms that indicate what most people do in such a situation.
- Normative Focus Theory is the tendency to be influenced by norms when they are relevant to us.
- Situational norms (like other norms) can influence our behaviour automatically/unconsciously.
- Two motives that underlie the tendency to conform:
N ORMATIVE SOCIAL INFLUENCE : Desire to be liked/accepted by others.
I NFORMATIONAL SOCIAL INFLUENCE : Desire to be right (have accurate views of the world).
- Effects of social influence are powerful, usually magnified in situations of uncertainty.
- Conformity pressures are strong, but there are two sources of resistance:
Desire to retain individuality.
Desire to exert control over your own life.
- Some people cannot conform, even if they wish to. (eg those with physical disabilities, legal barriers) - Minorities can influence majorities to change attitude/behaviours under some conditions – must be
consistent in opposition, avoid appearing rigid or dogmatic, general social context should be consistent with
current social trends.
- Because of threatened viewpoint, minorities often overestimate those who share their beliefs.
- (+) effect of minorities: make majority systematically think about issues – can induce large-scale social
- People in a minority can rarely influence others via normative social influence. It is better to rely on
informative social influence.
Compliance: ToAsk Is (Sometimes) to Receive
- Many tactics to compliance (getting others to say yes to things/requests) rest on basic s