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Chapter 7

Chapter 7

8 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB10H3
Professor
Elizabeth Page- Gould

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Chapter 7
Conformity: Influencing Others
Conformity: When and Why
-conformity is defined as a change in behavior as a result of real or imagined influence of
others
-North American culture stresses importance of not conforming
opart of being an individualistic culture, one that emphasizes being independent,
thinking for yourself, and standing up for yourself
-in one study, students were asked to rate how satisfied they felt with their intellectual
abilities
owere allowed to see same ratings supposedly given by another student
-if other student provided a positive self assessment, participants also evaluated
themselves positively, more so than if other student had provided negative self-
assessment
-we probably conform a lot more than we realize or want to admit
Informational Social Influence: The Need to Know What’s Right
-asking others what they think or watching what they do helps us reach definition of
situation
-when we subsequently act like everyone else, we are conforming, but not because we are
weak, spineless individuals with no self reliance
oinfluence of other people leads us to conform because we see them as source of
information to guide our behavior, called informational social influence
-classic experiment by Muzafer Sherif
osit in dark room and are asked to focus attention on dot of light
oyou have to estimate how far the light has moved, and go through several of these
trials
olight is not actually moving at all, called the autokinetic effect
oparticipants were paired with two other people
oover course of several trials, people reached common estimate and each member
of group conformed to that estimate
opeople were using each other as source of information, coming to believe that
group estimate was correct one
-important feature of informational social influence is that it can lead to private
acceptance, whereby people conform to behavior of others because they genuinely
believe that these other people are correct
www.notesolution.com
-public compliance is where person conforms publicly without necessarily believing in
what group is saying or doing
-another variable affects informational social influence: how important it is to individual
to be accurate at task
When Will People Conform to Informational Social Influence?
When the Situation is Ambiguous
-when you are unsure of correct response, appropriate behavior, or right idea, you will be
most open to influence from others
-the more uncertain you are, the more you will rely on others
When the Situation is a Crisis
-when situation is crisis, we usually do not have time to stop and think about exactly
which course of action we should take
-if we feel scared and panicky, and are uncertain what to do it is only natural for us to see
how other people are responding
-people we imitate may also feel scared and panicky, and not behave rationally
-contagion is the rapid transmission of emotions or behavior through a crowd
-instances of mind control or brainwashing can actually be extreme cases of informational
social influence
When Other People Are Experts
-the more expertise or knowledge a person has, the more valuable he or she will be as a
guide in an ambiguous or crisis situation
-however, experts are not always reliable sources of information
When Informational Conformity Backfires
-if other people are misinformed, we will adopt their mistakes and misinterpretations
-example of extreme and misdirected informational social influence is mass psychogenic
illness
ooccurrence of similar physical symptoms in group of people for which there is no
known physical or medical cause
-toxic bus case: a man made mysterious comment about bus drive having bad day
ofelt sick, started vomiting, other people on bus said they felt same symptoms
oeven paramedics fell victim
-mass media means it only takes a few minutes for most of the world to learn about unsual
even today
www.notesolution.com
oalso has power to quickly squelch uprising of contagion by introducing more
logical explanations for ambiguous events
Resisting Informational Social Influence
-it is possible to resist illegitimate or inaccurate informational social influence
-if you decide to accept other people’s definition of situation, you will come to see world
as they will come to see world
-if you decide to reject other people’s definition of situation, you will come to see world
differently from the way that they do
Normative Social Influence: The Need to Be Accepted
-we also conform so we will be liked and accepted by other people, known as normative
social influence
-results in public compliance with group’s beliefs and behaviours but not necessarily in
private acceptance
-through interactions with others, we receive emotional support, affection, and love, and
we partake of enjoyable experiences
-we often conform to be accepted by group to which we belong
-groups have certain expectations about how group members should behave, and members
in good standing conform to these rules, or social norms
-members who do not are perceived as different, difficult, and eventually deviant
-groups use ridicule as means of punishing group members who fail to comply with
group’s norms
Conformity and Social Approval: The Asch Line Judgment Studies
-Solomon Asch conducted series of classic studies exploring parameters of normative
social influence
-experimenter shows everyone two cards and asks each of 7 participants to announce
aloud which of three lines on second card is closest in length to line on first card
-answer is obvious and everyone says the correct answer
-go through several trials, until confederates state wrong answer
-fear of being lone dissenter is strong, causing people to conform
-normative pressures normally result in public compliance without private acceptance
opeople go along with group even if they do not believe in what they are doing or
think it is wrong
-normative social influence occurs because people feel negative emotions, such as
discomfort and tension, when they stand up for their beliefs and go against the group
-people were concerned about looking foolish in front of complete strangers
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Chapter 7 Conformity: Influencing Others Conformity: When and Why - conformity is defined as a change in behavior as a result of real or imagined influence of others - North American culture stresses importance of not conforming o part of being an individualistic culture, one that emphasizes being independent, thinking for yourself, and standing up for yourself - in one study, students were asked to rate how satisfied they felt with their intellectual abilities o were allowed to see same ratings supposedly given by another student - if other student provided a positive self assessment, participants also evaluated themselves positively, more so than if other student had provided negative self- assessment - we probably conform a lot more than we realize or want to admit Informational Social Influence: The Need to Know Whats Right - asking others what they think or watching what they do helps us reach definition of situation - when we subsequently act like everyone else, we are conforming, but not because we are weak, spineless individuals with no self reliance o influence of other people leads us to conform because we see them as source of information to guide our behavior, called informational social influence - classic experiment by Muzafer Sherif o sit in dark room and are asked to focus attention on dot of light o you have to estimate how far the light has moved, and go through several of these trials o light is not actually moving at all, called the autokinetic effect o participants were paired with two other people o over course of several trials, people reached common estimate and each member of group conformed to that estimate o people were using each other as source of information, coming to believe that group estimate was correct one - important feature of informational social influence is that it can lead to private acceptance, whereby people conform to behavior of others because they genuinely believe that these other people are correct www.notesolution.com
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