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PSY220H1 (200)

study guide for all unit 1 material (lecture + txtbook notes)

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University of Toronto St. George
Jason Plaks

PSY220H1 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY TEST 1 STUDY NOTES PEOPLE AS SOCIAL ANIMALS: THE SOCIAL ORIGINS OF THOUGHT & BEHAVIOUR CONFORMITY AND OBEDIENCE -Conformity a change in behaviour or belief to accord with others -compliancepublically acting in accord with social pressure while privately disagreeing (compliance primarily to reap an award or avoid punishment) -obedienceacting in accord with a direct order -acceptanceinvolves both acting and believe in accord with social pressure Sherifs Studies of Norm Formation (Muzafer Sherif 1935, 1937) -used autokinetic phenomenon to test norm formation -autokinetic phenomenonthe apparent movement of a stationary point of light in the dark -Findings: -when subjects sat with others, they arrived at a group average (the group norm) -when subjects retested over a year later, they continued to support the group norm -internalized it -Jacobs and Campbell built on Sherifs orig experiment (1961) -findings: group norm can be maintained over generations (an intergenerational transmission of the norm) -social suggestibility/social contagion -accounts for why UFO sightings, hijackings and suicides appear in waves -mood linkagebeing around happy people makes us feel happier -the chameleon effect automatic behaviour mimicrying those around you -done without any conscious intention to conform -inclines one to feel what the other feels (appears to enhance social bonding) -the Werther Effectimitative suicidal behaviour -named after wave of suicides/imitative behaviour following the publication of Goethes book the Sorrows of Young Werner www.notesolution.com Aschs Studies of Group Pressure -participants judge length of lines (attempt to match them to a standard) -confederates present to give inaccurate answers and to see whether subjects conform -Findings: -3/4 (75%) of S conform at least once -in total 37% of responses were conforming -63% of the time, people did not conform -Subjects would display uneasiness after hearing the confederates give the wrong answer Moscovici & Personnaz -attempted to test whether group norm actually influenced perception at the physiological level -used the principle of afterimages in colour vision -subjects told to look at an aquamarine patch on wall (colour halfway between blue and green) -half of subjects told patch was green, other half told patch was blue -subjects told to look at white wall, asked what afterimage colour they saw -Findings: -those told they were looking at a blue patch, saw a yellow afterimage -those told they were looking at a green patch, saw a red afterimage -the group norm influenced perceptions (apparently even at the physiological level) Behavioural Study of Obedience Milgram -study inspired by the Holocaust/WW2 -main dependent variablemaximum shock subject is willing to administer before he refuses to continue further -paid for participation and told that the money was theirs no matter what happened after they arrived -subject is the teacher, the confederate is the learner (and victim) -shock generator15-450 V (15 V increments) -original hypothesis from Yale Psych majorsthat only 0-3% of subjects would go all the way with the shocks (class mean was 1.2%) -3 types of variables: -Authority -variations: experimenter doesnt wear lab coat, or experiment held in random building in Connecticut (and not the Yale Psych building) www.notesolution.com -Victim -variations: Milgram varied amount of detachment between learner and teacher (same room or different room, -Procedure -incremental increase in voltage responsible for obedience (easier to rationalize each increase) -variations: subject participates as a bureaucrattells someone else to push the shock lever (almost total obedience) Results: -2/3 of subjects went all the way to 450 in the original experiment -orig experiment: no subject stopped before shock level 20 (300 V) -subjects showed clear levels of nervous tension (clearly acting against their own personal wishes) -aware that shocks were painful to learner -breaking out into nervous laughter, one broke out into a seizure -when Subject participates as a bureaucrat there is almost total obedience (93%) Adolf Eichmann -defiant and obedient subjects asked about responsibility in giving the victim shocks against their will: -both defiant and obedient subjects according the same amount of responsibility to experimenter -defiant subjects placed more responsibility on themselves than obedient subjects -defiant subjects placed less responsibility on victims than obedient subjects -Milgrams explanations -experiment connected to Yale (and first run took place on Yale grounds) -experiment aimed at achieving a worthy purpose (knowledge about learning and punishment) -obedience not an end in itself but an instrumental element in a situation the subject deems significant and meaningful -subject perceives victim as voluntarily submitted to the authority system of the experimenter -subject sees himself as having made a commitment to aid the experimenter -subject assumes that the fact that he is teacher and the other individual is learner, is due to chance. Because roles allocated by seemingly fair means, subject sees the learner deprived of any basis of complaint on this count. -subjects assured that the shocks are painful but not dangerous -Until Shock level 20 (300) the learner is still providing answers (and thus is still willing to play the game) -subject must respond to the competing demands of two persons: Experimenter and Learnereither individuals satisfaction is mutually exclusive. -experiment gives Subject little time for reflection www.notesolution.com What Causes Obedience? (Milgram) -victims distance -greatest obedience and least compassion when victim could not be seen -eg. ethics of war (Soldiers able to bomb whole unarmed villages) -eg. Himmler created the gas chambers so as to visually separate the killers and their victims -closeness and legitimacy of authority -compliance increases when authority is physically close -eg. Milgram exp. When experimenter gave instructions by phone, full obedience dropped to 21% -eg. hospital nurse study (nurses ordered by doctor to give an obvious overdose; all but one complied) -institutional authority -obedience dropped when experiment moved from Yale grounds to a random building in Connecticut -the liberating effects of group influence -conformity as constructiveif others object, makes it easier for you to object as well -eg. Milgram exp. When two defiant confederates were introduced, 90% of subjects followed the defiants Behaviour and Attitudes -behaviour and attitudes are mutually reinforcing -the foot-in-the-door phenomenon -in Milgram exp. Subject gave shocks in increments -changing attitudes of subjectsblaming the victim for the wrong answers, and thus deserving the shocks (reducing their dissonance for every increasing level of shock) -compliance breeds acceptance (the blame the victim processused by Greek military junta in the 70s) The Power of the Situation -the difficulty of breaking with social constraints (and thus the difficulty in predicting behaviour) -eg. the murder of Shidane Arone in 1994 by Canadian soldiers in Somalia16 people passed through area but no one intervened -eg. Abu Ghraib prison scandal -U.S military police under stress, angered by deaths of comrades, overdue to return home, under lax supervision (breakdown of command) -eg. Stanford Prison Study -Philip Zimbardo and colleagues www.notesolution.com
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