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Chapter 15

PSY100Y5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 15: Solomon Asch, Social Loafing, Social Proof

Course Code
Dax Urbszat

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Conformity and Obedience
-Social roles are widely shared expectations about how people in certain positions are supposed
to behave
-Once people begin behaving a certain way, others become caught up in the pressure to conform
-Conformity occurs when people yield to real or imagined social pressure (ex: you maintain a
well-groomed lawn to avoid complaints from the neighbours)
-Solomon Asch found that group size and group unanimity are key determinants of conformity
He reasoned that when groups grow larger, conformity increases
Two key processes contribute to why people conform; a) normative influence operates
when people conform to social norms for fear of negative social consequences and b)
informational influence operates when people look to others for guidance about how to behave
in ambiguous situations
Thus, people conform as they're scared of being rejected or because they're uncertain how
to behave
Informational influence is about being right whereas normative influence is about being
-Many cultures foster more collective, group oriented values and concepts of conformity,
obedience and compliance enjoy much higher status
-Consistent with this analysis, studies have found higher levels of conformity in collectivist if
cultures than individualistic cultures
Behaviour in Groups: Joining with Others
-Most groups have roles that allocate special responsibilities to some members, norms about
suitable behaviour, a communication structure that reflects who talks to whom, and a power
structure that determines which members wield the most influence
-The bystander effect is when people are less likely to provide needed help when they're in
groups than when they're alone
-Latane and Nida estimated that subjects who were alone provided help 75% of the time,
whereas subjects I the presence of others provided help only 53% or the time
The only significant limiting condition on the bystander effect is that it is less likely to
occur when the need for help is unambiguous
Intervention is more likely to occur when there is surveillance (i.e: camera)
-Two factors contribute to reduced individual productivity in larger groups
One is reduced efficiency resulting from the loss of coordination among workers efforts
The second factor contributed to low productivity in groups involved effort rather than
-Social loafing is a reduction in effort by individuals when they work in groups as compared to
when they work by themselves
-In a study, subjects were led to believe that they were either working alone or in a group of two
or six, when in fact they were working along and individual output was actually being measured
-Social loafing occurs in situations where individuals can hide in the crowd
-Social loafing and the bystander effect appear to share a common cause: diffusion of
responsibility in groups
As group size increases, the responsibility is more divided and thus the work is eased up
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