Textbook Notes (362,870)
Canada (158,081)
Psychology (4,729)
Phills (15)
Chapter 7

Chapter 7 Conformity.pdf

3 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Psychology 2070A/B

Chapter 7: Conformity February-28-14 6:12 PM Conformity: When and Why CONFORMITY: A change in behavior as a result of the real or imagined influence of other people Informational Social Influence: The Need to Know What's "Right" - Asking others what they think or watching what they do helps us reach a definition of the situation INFORMATIONAL SOCIAL INFLUENCE: Conforming because we believe that others' interpretation of an ambiguous situation is more correct than ours and will helpus choose an appropriate course of action  STUDY:  One group's judgements in autokinetic studies  People estimated how far a point of light appeared to move in a dark room  When they saw the light by themselves, their estimates varied widely  When they were brought together in groups and heard other people announce their estimates, they conformed to the group's estimate of how much the light moved - Information social influence can lead to private acceptance PRIVATE ACCEPTANCE: Conforming to other people's behavior out of a genuine belief that what they are doing or saying is right PUBLIC COMPLIANCE: Conforming to other people's behavior publicly , without necessarily believing in what they are doing or saying - Another variable that affects informational social influence: how important it is to the individual to be accurate at the task - When we are facing an important decision, we are even more likely to rely on other people for information and guidance When People Conform to Information Social Influence When the Situation is Ambiguous - When you are unsure of the correct response, the appropriate behavior, or the 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 - 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 — and to do likewise CONTAGION: The rapid transmission of emotions or behavior through a crowd 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 When Informational Conformity Backfires MASS PSYCHOGENIC ILLNESS: The occurrence of similar physical symptoms in a group of people for which there is no known physical or medical cause Resisting Informational Social Influence  STUDY:  Pre-decision and post-decision construals by conformity decision  People who conformed to the group's opinion that the police where to blame for the death of an African-Canadian teenager subsequently formed a more police-blaming interpretation of the event  Those who decided not to conform to the group (i.e., the dissenters) later reinterpreted the situation such that the police were seen as less blameworthy Normative Social Influence: The Need to Be Accepted NORMATIVE SOCIAL INFLUENCE: The influence of other people that leads us to conform in order to be liked and accepted by them; this type of conformity results in public compliance with the group's beliefs and behaviors but not necessarily in private acceptance SOCIAL NORMS: The implicit or explicit rules a group has for the acceptable behaviors, values, and beliefs of its members - "Jeer pressure" — when we observe someone else being ridiculed, we will be especially likely to go along with the group to avoid being the next target Conformity and Social Approval: The Asch Line Judgement Studies  STUDY:  The judgement task in Asch's line studies  In a study of normative social influence, participants judged which of the three comparison lines on the right was closest in length to the standard line on the left — the correct answer was obvious (as it is here)  However, members of the group (actually confederates) said the wrong answer out loud putting the participant in a dilemma — should he say the right answer and go against the whole group, or should he conform to their behavior and give the obviously wrong answer?  STUDY:  Results of the Asch line judgment study  Participants in the Asch line study showed a surprisingly high level of conformity, given how obvious it was that the group was wrong in its judgements: 76% of the participants conformed on at least one trial; only 24% of participants never conformed at all Test 2 Notes Page 1 76% of the participants conformed on at least one trial; only 24% of participants never conformed at all  Most participants conformed on one to three of the 12 trials when the group gave the wrong answer  However, a sizeable number of participants conformed to the group's response nearly every time it gave the wrong answer - In contrast to informational social influence, normative pressures usually result in public compliance without private acceptance — that is, people go along with the group even if they do not believe in what they are doing or think it is wrong - Brain imaging research supports the idea that 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 When People Conform to Normative Social Influence SOCIAL IMPACT THEORY: The theory that conforming to social influence depends on the strength of the group, its immediacy, and the number of otherpeople in the group 1) Strength (how important is the group to you?) 2) Immediacy (how close is the group to you in space and time during the influence attempt?) 3) Number (how many people are in the group?) - Conformity will increase as strength and immediacy increase - Number, however, operates in a different manner — when the group is small, adding another member will increase conformity pressure, but if the group is large, adding yet another voice to the chorus doesn't have much effect When the Group Size Is Three of More  STUDY:  Effects of group size on conformity  Asch varied the size of the unanimous majority and found that once the majority numbered four people, adding more people had little influence on conformity - The size of a group is most likely to affect conformity when normative social influence is operating, and it does not take an extremely large group to create normative social influence When the Group Is Important - Groups to which we are highly attracted and with which we strongly identify will exert more normative influence on us than groups to which we have little or no attachment - When we are attracted to a group and are reminded that we don't quite fit in, we are especially motivated to conform When the Group Is Unanimous - Observing another person resisting normative social influence emboldens the individual to do the same Gender Differences in Conformity - Women are more conforming than men, but the size of the difference is very small - Gender differences are especially likely to be found in group-pressure situations in which an audience can directly observe how much you conform — when faced with this kind of social pressure, women are more likely to conform than men - In situations in which conformity is private, gender differences in influenceability virtually disappear  STUDY:  A questionnaire was constructed in which some topics were more familiar to men, some topics were more familiar to women, and others were gender- neutral  Women conformed more than men on the masculine items, men conformed more than women on feminine items, and women and men conformed equally on the gender
More Less

Related notes for Psychology 2070A/B

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.