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Chapter 15

Chapter 15.pdf

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Steve Joordens

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Chapter 15 : Social Psychology 15.1: Social Influences on Behaviour and Attitude Social psychology is a broad field of study that includes how individuals perceive and think about other people and how presence of other people can influence individuals’ behavior This field provides evidence regarding the idea that our behavior depends more on where we are then who we are Norms Roles and Conformity Norms and Roles  Social norms are the guidelines on how to behave in social contexts o Some norms exist at societal level while other exists at the level of smaller groups.  Social roles are “specific” sets of behaviour that are associated with a position within a group. o A psychological experiment (Standford prison study) depicts the influence of role on our behaviour o Volunteers with same personality, mental health and intelligence were randomly assigned a role of prisoner or a role of prisoner guard. o Guards either became brutal and calous or simply stood by while others perform brutal acts. o Prisoners accepted the brutal treatment and many express stress-related symptons. o Difference must be due to what they believed were the proper behaviours for their assigned role. Mimicry and Conformity  Mimicry occurs when one person copies another’s behaviour. o Chameleon effect occurs when individuals mimic another behaviour without meaning to or realizing that they are doing  Conformity refers to a change in behaviour to fit in with a group – a conscious decision o Solomon Asch study concluded that conformity sometimes occur because people think they are missing something while other times it arises because individuals want to avoid social discomfort. Group Influence and Authority  Social loafing occurs when an individual working as part of a group or team reduces his or her effort. o Given universal nature of social loafing, researcher have been able to identify a number of situational influences with the potential to turn just about anyone into loafer:  My effort will not help my performance  My performance will not make a difference to the group’s performance  Group may get rewarded but it won’t matter to me  No one else is trying very hard o Social facilitation occurs when an individual’s performance is better in the presence of others than when alone o Groupthink, a decision-making problem in which group members avoid arguments and strive agreement.  Does not promote good decision making  There is almost always a strong or directive leader when groupthink occurs If large number of members have many things in common especially sociopolitical perspective then they are more likely to fall into the patterns of groupthink Table 15.2 – risk factors for groupthink  Although, groupthink does not always lead to bad decisions o Obedience to Authority  Obedience – complying with instructions or orders from an individual who is on a position of authority  Classic study on obedience was done to explore how far an individual will go to obey authority figures  Participants were given the role of teacher by an experimenter and the leaner was an actor who works for the experimenter  It was one on one sessions  Each time the learner gets a wrong answer, the teacher is to increase the voltage shocks  Conclusion – more than 75% continue increasing the shocks past the extreme point.  Also this experiment pull out the fact that as the figure of authority (clothing style) was weakened, obedience was greatly reduced Attitudes and Actions  We tend to be blind to social influences on our beliefs Group Polarization  Group polarization occurs when members of a group discuss characteristics attitudes of their group and as a result their views become stronger Cognitive Dissonance  Cognitive Dissonance occurs when an individual has two thoughts that are inconsistent with each other and as a result experiences motivation to reduce the discrepancy  Ex: when a person spends years pursuing admission in law school and got rejected. He will experience tension between his goals and the reality. He will try to minimize the tension by claiming “there are too many of them anyway”  A person can reduce dissonance by 1) reducing the importance of one of the dissonant bits, 2) adding consonant elements, or 3) changing one of the dissonant elements Two step persuasive techniques – working the scientific literacy model  Foot-in-the-door technique involves making a simple request followed by a more substantial request  Door in the face technique begins with a large request that is likely to be turned down, followed by a small request that is likely to be accepted Central and peripheral routes to compliance 2 ways to persuade people:  Central route (to persuasion) in which individual take time, evaluate evidence and use valid logic and arguments  Peripheral route (to persuasion) in which quick judgments are made based on limited evidence and emotions and vague impressions are used more than logic 15.2 Social Cognition Intuitive thought is quick, effortless, automatic thinking Deliberative thought is a more careful, effortful and rational process. Person Perception  Person perception refers to the process by which individuals form judgments and categorize other people  Sc
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