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Chapter 8

Chapter 8- Conformity Compliance and Obedience .docx

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Psychology 2720A/B
Clive Seligman

Chapter 8 Conformity Compliance and Obedience IntroGave example of Social Temple group who believed that being consumed by fire would initiate a death voyage leafing to rebirth on a planet orbiting the star SiriusWorld would end in a terrible fire Led to mass group suicides No psychological problems there were ordinary people who became victims of powerful pressure for conformity and obedience These social pressures are with us every day and influence much of what we doDefining Conformity Compliance and Obedience These 3 terms all refer to changes in behaviour caused by other people but differ in their breadth Conformity most general concept it is any change in behavior cause by another person group they act in some because of influences from otherso Ex a person at a hockey game might boo ref because other fans are booingoIt is limited to changes in behavior external Compliance it is a change in behaviour that is requested by another persongroup they act in some way because others asked them to do so You can disagreeo Ex during elections a supporter for NDP agreed to put a sign on her lawn Obedience it is a change in behaviour that is ordered by another persongroup they act in some way because others commanded them to do so Disagreeing is not an option o Ex kid cleans up bedroom because his parents ordered him toConformity encompasses compliance and obedience because it refers to any behaviour that occurs as a result of others influence Compliance professionals could be salesperson agreeing to go with a friend to an event that you really didnt want to go to Obedience is more extreme form of social influence o Obedience commands start early in childhood when were socialized to follow orders from parents and teachers o When were adults we learned to be obedient we follow orders from police govt officials our bosses etc and we dont question them Why Do We ConformConforming behaviours happen for two principles1 Informational Influence o Occurs when people are influenced by others because of a desire to be correct and to get valid infoo Reflect how people often rely on others as a source of info they trust their judgments to be useful or the other person is more knowledgeable we conform behaviour while driving like our instructorso Or judgment is ambiguous and person is unsure about correct answer like on Price is Right they use audience as a guide to help them2 Normative Influence o Occurs when people are influences by others to gain rewards or to avoid punishmento They might want to be liked or to avoid conflictBoth of these influences can occur at the same time a novice automobile mechanic might ask advice from the supervisor because the supervisor is an expert and also because the mechanic hopes t be rewarded for showing respect We often want to please others normative whose judgments we seek informational Conformity Doing as Others DoSherifs Autokinetic Effect Studies Conceptualized his research on conformity as addressing the development of social norms a rule in a groupculture about what behaviours are proper or improper Norms can be formallaws contracts OR informal customstraditionsHe set up a novel situation where subjects had littleno prior experience and he expected norms to mergeAutokinetic EffectAutokinetic effect in a darkened room a stationary point of light will appear to move periodically st1 studyIN his first study 1935 asked men to report individually how far the light appeared to move A relatively wide range perceived movement occurred form person to personnd2 Studynd In 2 study 1936 he put peoples in groups and the task was the same as in the first study to report out loud the distance of perceived motionHalf of the subjects the first set of judgment were made alone and then together In the first session a wide range of perceived movement was observed and in the last sessions the judgments of perceived movement started to converge Their judgments were similar The other half made judgments together at the beginning they converged rapidly on their own group norms During the last session when they judged alone the group norm carried on and judgments were almost identical to the first sessionsrd3 StudyHaving observed the development and impact of a group norm Sherif 1937 wanted to know if such standards could be arbitrarily done by experimental assistants Subjects were put in groups of two one was nave about procedure and other was planted by experiments and was told to vary their judgments around a certain standard
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