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Chapter 6

PSY220 chapter 6 textbook notes

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Dax Urbszat

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CHAPTER 6 WHAT IS CONFORMITY? -conformity: change in behaviour or belief to accord with others -3 types of conformity: -compliance: involves publicly acting in accord with social pressure while privately disagreeing -mainly to get 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 WHAT ARE THE CLASSIC CONFORMITY AND OBEDIENCE STUDIES? Sherif’s studies of norm formation -experiment: participants in dark room and see light 5m in front of them which moves around and then shuts off -have to determine how far it moved...then repeat -the next day come back and perform the same experiment with 2 other participants with you -answers changed and eventually a group norm typically emerged -when retested alone a year later estimates followed the group norm -confederate: accomplice of the experimenter -mood linkage: people within groups tend to share up/down moods -the chameleon effect: imitate unconsciously an automatic behaviour that would incline you to feel what the other person feels -a study done showed that your mimicry would also incline the other person to like you Asch’s studies of group pressure th -experiment: participants are sitting 6 in a row of 7 people and have to choose which of the comparison lines are the same as the standard line....everyone says “line 2” for example -next trials are the same...everyone agrees -then the 5 people before choose a line that to you obviously doesn’t match -3/4 of the tested individuals conformed at least once -those who answered alone in the control group were correct more than 99% of the time -37% of the responses were conforming  most people tell the truth even when others don’t Milgram’s obedience studies -experiment: confederate is learner, participant is the teacher -teacher tries to teach the learner pairs of words and delivers shocks of increasing intensity when the learner (in a separate room) gets a question wrong -the learner (actually the confederate) displays more verbal signs of agony and pain as the intensity of the shocks increase -when the teacher asks to end the experiment the experimenter uses 4 verbal prods: 1) please continue 2) the experiment requires that you continue 3) it is absolutely essential that you continue 4) you have no other choice; you must go on -participants were 40 men between the ages of 20 – 50 -65% went all the way to 450 volts on the learner -experiment: learner strapped to chair and protests even more compelling as well as a mention of a heart condition -Teacher also overheard that shocks will cause no permanent tissue damage -out of 40 men tested, 63% fully complied with the experimenter’s demands -similar studies performed on women showed that compliance rates were similar to men’s -the ethics of Milgram’s studies -“learner” never received a shock – actually a tape recorder -some critics say that Milgram stressed the participants against their will and many of the teachers did experience agony -however 84% who were surveyed after the experiment said they were glad to have been a part of the experiment...1% regretted volunteering -40 individuals who showed the most suffering were interviewed by a psychiatrist a year later and concluded that no harm had been done What breeds obedience? -4 factors that determined the level of obedience: -victim’s emotional distance -authority’s closeness/legitimacy -if the authority was part of a respected institution -liberating effects of a disobedient fellow participant -the victim’s distance -nearly all of Milgram’s participants obeyed until the end if the teacher and learner were in separate rooms and no complaints could be heard from the learner -when in the same room 40% obeyed right to the end -30% obeyed right to the end when forced to put learner’s hand on a shock plate -people act more compassionately toward those who are personalized -closeness and legitimacy of the authority -obedience fell to 21% in Milgram’s studies when commands were given over the telephone -other studies confirmed that when the person who is making a request is physically close then compliance increases -authority must be perceived as legitimate -80% of the teachers refused when the experimenter was called out of the room and replaced by a clerk -institutional authority -experiment performed at Yale 65% obeyed -performed at Bridgeport 48% obeyed -the liberating effects of group influence -more likely to refuse if someone else does too Reflections on the classic studies -Asch and Milgram studies show that compliance can take precedence over moral sense -behaviour and attitudes -if Milgram’s experiment was to deliver a 330 volt shock after the first wrong answer you’re probably less likely to do it -foot-in-the-door
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