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Chapter 6

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Jason Plaks

Chapter 6 Conformity 6.1 Define Conformity  Conformity: A change in behaviour or belief to accord with others  3 Varieties of Conformity: Compliance (Conformity that involves publicly acting in accord with social pressure while privately disagreeing), Obedience (Acting in accord with a direct order), and Acceptance (Conformity that involves both acting and believing in accord with social pressure). 6.2 Describe the Classic Conformity and Obedience Studies Sherif’s Studies of Norm Formation  Confederate: An Accomplice of the experimenter  Mood Linkage: Being around happy people can help us feel happier  The Chameleon Effect: Another social contagion, which is unconscious feeling that, inclines you to feel what the other person feels  Mimicry would incline the other person to like you and be helpful to you and to others (enhance social bonds, which also lead to donating more money)  The Werther Effect: Publicized suicide stories increase the suicidal behaviors in the society Asch’s Studies of Group Pressure  We would still be conformed in an even less ambiguous situation compare to Sherif’s darkened-room autokinetic experiment. Milgram’s Obedience Studies The Factors that Breed Obedience (More like what effect obedience)  The Victim’s distance  The obedience rate drops when the confederate student is seen by the teacher.  Soldiers are easier to obey when they kill with the more distant artillery or aircraft weapons  Concentration camp: the killers would not see or hear the human consequences of their horror; therefore it was easier for them to kill that using machine gun and kill in front of them.  Closeness and legitimacy of the authority  The physical present of the experimenter affects obedience  How the authority is perceived affects obedience (must be legitimate): the teachers (participants) mostly would not follow the clerical role’s order Nurse obeys the doctors’ orders, not other non-authority figures: “Rectal earache”  Funny case of McDonald  Institutional authority  The prestige of the institution (Yale University was where Milgram studied)  The liberating effects of group influence  Group effects Implications of the Classic Studies  Both Asch and Milgram studies show that compliance can take precedence over moral sense  The link between behaviour and attitudes and the power of the situation  Behaviour and Attitudes  A powerful social pressure (experimenter’s commands) vs. the weaker one (the remote victim’s pleas)  “Blame-the-victim”: he’s stupid so he deserves to be shocked  Power of the Situation  We don’t usually break with social constraints  It’s difficult to violate the norms (even it’s being nice and moral)  Evil situations produce evil behaviours  The drift toward evil usually comes in small increments (勿以惡小而為之) 6.3 When
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