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Chapter 6

Chapter 6 CONFORMITY.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY220H5
Professor
Dax Urbszat
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 6 CONFORMITY Chapter 6 CONFORMITY WHAT IS CONFORMITY?  Individualistic cultures, give conformity negative labels (submission, compliance) rather than positive ones (communal, sensitivity, responsiveness, cooperative team play)  In Japan going along with others is a sign NOT of weakness but of tolerance, self- control and maturity Conformity: a change in behaviour or belief to accord with others There are several varieties of conformity: compliance, obedience and acceptance Compliance: conformity that involves publicly acting in accord with social pressure while privately disagreeing - We comply primarily to reap a reward or avoid a punishment Obedience: acting in accord with a direct order Acceptance: conformity that involves both acting and believing in accord with social pressure - Acceptance sometimes follows compliance WHAT ARE THE CLASSIC CONFORMITY AND OBEDIENCE STUDIES SHERIF’S STUDY OF NORM FORMATION 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 Confederate: an accomplice of the experimenter  Our views of reality are not ours alone mood linkage: share up and down moods. Being around happy people can make us feel happier Chapter 6 CONFORMITY The Chameleon effect: mimicry done without any conscious intention to conform and it would incline you to feel what the other person feels  Mimicry inclines the other person to like you and be more helpful to you and to others The Werther effect: imitative suicidal behavior that increases after well publicized suicides ASCH’S STUDY OF GROUP PRESSURE (pg.201)  The experiment lacks “mundane realism” of everyday conformity but they do have “experimental realism”  37% of responses conformed, 63% did not conform  Reasonably intelligent and well-meaning young people are willing to call white black MILGRAM’S OBEDIENCE STUDIES  Studied what happens when the demands of authority clash with the demands of conscience 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  In everyday life it is easiest to abuse someone who is distant or depersonalized ex. Internet abuse would do it in their face tho  People act compassionately toward those who are personalized ex. Love for unborn child  When the one making the request (authority figure) is physically close, compliance increases  However authority figure must be perceived as legitimate for compliance  Compliance can take precedence over moral sense SUMMING UP: WHAT ARE THE CLASSIC CONFORMITY AND OBEDIENCE STUDIES? Three classic sets of experiments illustrate how researchers have studied conformity:  Muzafer Sherif observed that others’ judgments influenced people’s estimates of the movement of the point of light that actually did not move  Soloman Asch had people listen to others judgments of which three comparison lines was equal to a standard line and then make the same judgment themselves. Chapter 6 CONFORMITY When the others unanimously gave the wrong answer, the subject conformed 37% of the time  65% of Mailgram’s adult male subjects fully obeyed instructions to deliver what were supposedly traumatizing electric shocks to a screaming innocent victim in an adjacent room Three classic studies expose the potency of several phenomena:  Behavior and attitudes are mutually reinforcing, enabling a small act of evil to foster the attitude that leads to a larger evil act  The power of the situation is seen when good people, faced with dire circumstances, commit reprehensible acts (although dire situations may produce heroism in others) WHAT PREDICTS CONFORMITY? Some situations trigger much conformity, others little conformity. If you want to produce maximum conformity, what conditions would you choose?  People will nearly always voice their convictions if just one person has also differed from the majority  Milgram reported that in his obedience studies people of lower status accepted the experimenter’s commands more readily then people of higher status  People conform more when they must respond publically in front of others rather then writing their answer privately Cohesiveness: a “we feeling” – the extent to which members of a group are bound together, such as by attraction for one another Ex. Friends tend to share binge eating tendencies especial
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