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Chapter 8

Chapter 8

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Psychology 2070A/B

Chapter 8: Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience - Conformity: the general concept that refers to a change in behaviour caused by other people; e.g. booing the ref at a hockey game because the crowd is doing it - Compliance: a change of behaviour that is requested by another person (with the option of refusing); e.g. being asked by a party official to put an NDP sign on the lawn for support - Obedience: a change in behaviour that is ordered by another person (cannot fail to obey); e.g. cleaning your bedroom because your parents order you to do it - Why do we conform? o Informational influence: when people are influenced by others because of a desire to be correct and obtain valid information- trust others’ judgment/ knowledge o Normative influence: when people are influenced by others to gain rewards or to avoid punishment- obeying laws just to avoid being punished o Can happen at the same time- we often want to please (normative) people whose judgement we seek (informational) Conformity: Doing as Others Do - Sherif’s Autokinetic Effect Studies o He wanted to study the development and influence of social norms o Autokinetic Effect: when in a darkened room, a stationary point of light will appear to love periodically because no other visual frame of reference is available and occasional rapid eye movements o Studies including testing people in how far they would estimate that the light had moves. They all showed that when tested with others, their answers influence your answers. In an experiment when the first set of trials were with a partner and then alone, the first set established the group norm, and that carries over to influence the participants judgment when alone- they were very similar o Mutigenerational norms can persist long after their original instigators are gone e.g. tipping a waiter - Asch’s Length Judgement Studies o Participants were given a standard line and 3 lines from which to choose the one that is the same length which was easy and obvious. The 6 people who answered BEFORE the participant were instructed to give the wrong answer to see whether the naïve participant would conform knowing and also give the wrong answer or say the right one o In the face of the pressure, only 23% ALWAYS gave the correct answer all 12 trials o Cruthfield apparatus: stimulates the responses of others by illuminating the corresponding light on the panel- everyone gets the question at the same time, and can see each other’s responses  Crutchfield replicated Asch’s experiment with the lines and others to test social pressure and found that in virtually all tasks, people showed some conformity to the judgement of others except when expressing personal preferences- choosing between 2 pictures o The AMOUNT of conformity depends on features of the judgement task  Conformity is more likely when tasks are ambiguous and difficult • Happens because easy tasks only have normative influence, and difficult/ambiguous tasks also have informative because we use others’ judgements as a source of information for the right answer o Studies show that people that do not conform to pressure are higher in their motivation to achieve and in their leadership ability and are less concerned with the approval of others than people who conform; generally people with a strong sense of self remain independent because they are more confident in their own judgements o Conformity also increases as the group size increases ; studies show however, that group increases beyond 4-5 have relatively little effect on conformity o To how eliminate conformity  Anonymous/public judgements- only conformed in public  Having at least ONE person say the correct answer- break the wall of pressure against them Cultural and Gender Differences in Conformity - Studies show conformity was higher in collectivist than in individualist cultures. Culture pressure was found to predict participants’ conformity more strongly than other factors such as group size - Women conform slightly more than men but ONLY in public situations which indicates that women may be more susceptible to normative influence than men Compliance: Doing What Others Want- 6 techniques: The Foot-in-the-Door Technique - Strategy where if you can get someone to comply to a small request, you are more likely to get them to comply to a bigger, related request later. Works because: o Self-perception processes- by agreeing to an initial first request, they stimulate a self-perception of helpfulness so that when they are asked for a second request they think of themselves as helpful people and are more likely to comply o Consistency processes- because people want to be consistent (dissonance theory) and appear consistent with others (impression management theory). After agreeing to a small request, they may see rejecting a second related request as inconsistent The Door-in-the Fact Technique - Strategy where you begin by making a big request that is usually turned down, and then following it by a small request that people are more likely to agree with - Works because of the norm of reciprocity; suggests that people view the second, smaller request as a compromise by the requester because you refuse to do to first large request and people feel that to give something back, they should agree with the smaller request so to make a compromise back The Free-Gift Technique - Giving someone a small gift/favour, will make them feel indebted, which increase the willingness to comply with a subsequent request - Charities do this but sending a gift in the m
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