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Chapter 13

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Psychology 1000

Chapter 13 – Behaviour in a Social Context • Social Thinking and Perception o Attribution: Perceiving the Causes of Behaviour  Attribution – judgement about causes of our and other people’s behaviour • Attribution about defendants behaviour influence guilt vs. innocence o Personal vs. Situational Attributions  Fritz Heider  2 Types of Attributions – Personal (internal) Attributions and Situational (external) Attributions • Internal – behaviour is caused by the person’s internal characteristics o Person behaves rudely because they are rude in character • External – behaviour is caused by situations o Person was provoked, so they insulted the other person.  Determining Type of Attribution • 3 Types of info help with determination o Consistency  Is the behaviour/response consistent, will it be the same in 2 weeks o Distinctiveness  Is the behaviour/response distinctive, is it specific to one thing or does it apply to many other things as well o Consensus  How many other people respond the same way, how do others respond? • When consistency, distinctiveness, and consensus are high  situational attribution o External causes result in the response/behaviour • When consistency is high and others are low  Personal Attribution o Internal causes lead to the response/behaviour • Personal attributions sometimes result when person makes a snap judgement without looking at the consensus and distinctiveness, biasing their judgement o Attributional Biases  Fundamental Attribution Error • Underestimating impact of situation and overestimating role of personal factors when explaining behaviour  People don’t take into account that sometimes people’s behaviour is such because of their situation • Students made to read pro-castro or anti-castro speech o If the speech writer freely chose the role than the behaviour is different from if they were assigned the role  People reading the speeches read by an assigned writer don’t pay enough attention to the fact that they were potentially forced to write a speech that they don’t agree with • Thus they attribute the forced pro-castro writer to holding such beliefs  People believe that movie stars have same character traits as the characters they play • Don’t realize that they are in a situation where they are forced to act like that o Attribute an anti-social, attribution to Leonard Nimoy because he played the emotionless spock.  Sometimes people pay attention to situational factors  columbine • People blamed situational factors like parenting and gun availablilty and only 11% made personal attributions about the shooters’ personality  When you have time to think about some things you are able to reduce the fundamental attribution error o Self-Serving Bias  Looking at ones own behaviour – make more personal attribution for success and more situational attributions for failure • Sports players post game statements – when they win, they attribute it to personal successes • When they lose – bad referees, the other side was lucky, everything the other side shot was going in.  Depressed are opposite – take little credit for successes and too much credit for failures • Enables a cycle of depression o Culture and Attribution  Western culture is individualist  tend to attribute other people’s behaviour to personal factors  Americans and Brits more likely to make personal attributions for criminal behaviour than Koreans or Nigerians who are more collectivist  Value of Modesty in some cultures affects how much crdit people will take for their successes and will accept more personal responsibility for failures  Causality and Holistic Thinking • Some cultures believe that you cannot look at an event in isolation o You need to look at a whole cahin of connected events o Thus some cultures’ attributions reflect holistic thinking  Take much more info into account when making attributions for people’s behaviour  Same underlying Psychological Principle – Link b/w Holistic thinking and Causality  differences between info that people take into account when making attributions • Forming and Maintaining Impressions o Primacy effect  Tendency to attach more importance to initial info learned about a person  Need a lot of info to reverse this opinion  Tend to be most alert to info we receive first  Why do we have this effect? • Adaptive value in making quick snap decisions in evaluating stimuli  Decreases and gives way to recency effects o Recency Effect  Giving more weight to recent information • Usually gets more weight when we have time to make decisions • When reminded to carefuly consider evidence • Mental Sets and Schemas – Seeing What We expect to See o Schemas – mental framework that help organized and interpret information  So when you get an impression of someone, if you have some pre- existing Idea of who they are, you fit your interaction with them into the schema  Mental set – readiness to perceive the world in a specific way o Stereotype  Generalized belief about a group or category of people  Powerful type of schema  Preconceived thoughts which come from generalizations lead to biases in perception of others’ behaviours • Self-Fulfulling Prophecies – Creating What We Expect to See o Occurs without conscious awareness o Erroneous expectations lead one to act towards others such that the expected behaviours are confirmed. o You act in a way such that the other person’s response fits your initial impression/preconception of them o Unfounded expectations influence how we behave  shaping their behaviour so that it confirms our expectations • Attitudes and Attitude Change o Attitude – positive or negative evaluative reaction towards stimulus (person, action, object or concept)  Supported by ones personal belief and value system o Do attitudes Influence our Behaviour  Some studies have shown that peoples attitudes don’t influence behaviour • Went around US with Asian couple, and they were only refused service at a hotel once o Wrote those same places letters asking if they would provide service to chinese patrons, and those same places said no o Clearly attitudes didn’t influence behaviour ultimately o Prejudicial attitudes did not directly relate to discriminatory behaviour  In general though, attitudes do predict behaviour  Attitudes work well when the other counteracting factors in the situation are weak • But money, conformity, obedience pressures often lead us to behave in ways which are different from our convictions o Theory of Planned Bahviour  Intention to engage in behaviour is strongest when we have positive attitude towards a behaviour and when subjective norms support those attitudes • Subjective norms – perceptions of what other people think we should do o Attitudes have great effect when we are consciously thinking about them  Not when we act on impulse autonomically  Attitudes are also stronger when they are formed first hand o General attitudes  predict well general behaviour, Specific attitudes  predict well specific behaviour • Does Behaviour Influence Attitudes o Self – justification  Do experiment which is boring and then you are asked to lie to the next person and tell them that the tasks are interesting • Give you 1$ or 20$ • Those who took 1$ rated it as more enjoyable  Cognitive dissonance • People strive for consistency in cognitions o 2 cognitions contradict one another o I am truthful, and I just told another student that those tasks were interesting • But, who wouldn’t tell a lie for 20$ - enough justification • But 1$, is not enough to justify their behaviour o So they convince themselves that the task was enjoyable so they weren’t actually lying • Change their attitude to bring in line with how they behaved o Counterattitudinal Behaviour  Behaviour that is inconsistent with attitude  Dissonance only happens when did what we did with our own free will o Dissonance doesn’t always happen  Make excuses, find external justification • I may not be perfect but other people are still worse. o Self-Perception  Make inferences about our own attitudes by observing how we behave  Retroactively look at how you behaved so you must have felt a certain way to behave like that • Rejects cognitive dissonance  Agrees with idea of counterattidunal behaviour results in attitude change • Dissonance believes that we are physiologically aroused by tension from dissonance which self-perception theory doesn’t believe  If arousal  attitude change, reducing arousal should lead to reducing change • Told that arousal is due to pill, wont change their views  Dissonance – explains better when people change views because they behaved in a way which challenged their attitudes • Works best when the attiude threatens their self images • When doesn’t challenge self-image  no arousal , so cant explain change • This is where self-perception comes into the picture • Persuasion o Communicator – person who delivers message  Credibility – how believable the communicator is  Many times people pay little attention to the speech, but rather they will just agree with the opinions of a credible source  2 Components to credibility • Expertise and trustworthiness o Need to appear to be both an expert and unbiased o Needs to advocate point of view contrary to their own sometimes  Things that help: attractiveness, likability, similarity • This is why campaigns afvertis o Message –  Two sided refutational approach • Discuss both sides of the issue • Perceives it as less biased  When audience disagrees with you better to be moderately discrepant with their viewpoint • High credible communicators can do this  Arousing fear can sometimes be effective  Too frightening  may deny the message and credibility of communicator o Audience  Logical arguments can work for some audiences but not for others  2 routes to persuasion • Central route to persuasion o People carefully think about message o Convinced by message o Has stronger foundation  Attitude change lasts longer, predicts behaviour better if convinced by arguments of the central route o More likely to follow message when there is personal relevance  If it can affect you in some way o Need for cognintion  People who need to think things through, follow this route  Those who are willing to invest the mental effort • Peripheral route to persuasion o People don’t scrutinize message look at other things like attractiveness of speaker, message’s emotional appeal o Works better for people of less need for cognition  Affected more by attractiveness of person endorsing product or giving speech • Uncertainty oriented  look for info o Central route • Social Influence o Mere presence of others  Energizes performance  People tend to perform better individually when in groups  When people are in each other’s presence they perform better  Coactor • The other person present  Also observable in ants • Carry more dirt in presence of other ants  However, performance on learning tasks worsen when audience is present o Arousal  When other person is present arousal increases  Behaviour becomes dominant response • Dominant response – most typical response  Social Facilitiation • Tendency to perform dominant response in presence of others • With difficult tasks  dominant response  make errors • Simple task  dominant response  perform it well • Occurs in many species • Explains why in presence of audience experienced people perform better and worse than average people perform worse • Most basic of social influence processes • Lesson to learn: when learning complex tasks  minimize other people’s presence • Social Norms – Rules of the Game o Social Norms  Shared expectations • Based on how people should think feel, bejave  Cement social systems  Take them for granted  Regulate our day  Only notice them when they get violated o Social Role  Set of norms  How someone ought to behave in their social position • Teacher, professor, student, spouse are different roles.  Role conflict – • Norms connected to different roles clash • When people have trouble when they have different jobs/positions o Like students who also have jobs  Zimbardo Prison Experiment • Students – half were assigned to be guards and half were assigned to be prisoners • Guards wore uniforms, Prisoners were kept in cells • Led the guards to be be extra brutal in their treatment, and the study had to be called off • What happened was that the students who were guards were generally OK people, but their new role as guard overrode their values  dehumanizing treatment of prisoners o Culture and Norm Formation  Norms become visible when they are violated and also when we look at other cultures  Different norms for personal space  Norms affect gender roles, sexual practices, views of love and marriage, and social behaviour  How norms are formed: • Took advantage of Autokinetic effect – where people stare at dot and think its moving even thought its really stationary • When placed individually- the subjects had very different judgements • When placed in groups of 3 – they discussed the distance the dot moved and it converged on a norm. o Different groups formed different norms o Norms are not necessarily the average of the 3 people’s perceptions • Individuals were retested a year later, and they reflected the groups norm  Thus without explicitly deciding on creating a norm, the norm happens • Conformity and Obedience o Why do people conform?  Motive – desire to understand world and  Informational Social Influence • Follow other peoples behaviour because we think its right  Normative Social Influence • Conform to be accepted by other people • Be rewarded • Avoid rejection o Solomon Asch’s Experiments  Used groups of university students • All but one were confederates • Asked to compare 3 lines to one standard line • All confederates gave the wrong answer • Causes the subject to wonder whether their judgements were incorrect • Participants conformed 37% of the time compared to 1% of the time where the people judge the lines by themselves • Felt group was wrong but didn’t want to get rejected by the group o Factors that affect Conformity  Group size • Increases from 5-35% when group size increased from 1 confed. to 4 o Just as likely conform when 4 people to 15  Presnece of Dissenter • When one confederate disagrees with others • Reduced conformity o Thus that person is a model for the subject  Collectivism • More likely to conform in collectivist culture than individualist culture • People want to be in harmony with the group its more important o Minority Influence  Minority can influence the behaviour of the majority  Occurs best when: • Minority are highly committed • Independent in face of majority pressure • Consistent over time • Appear to have open mind  May cause majority members to privately change their views  If minority is unreasonable, negative or deviant, people hate them even more though. o Obedience to Authority  Sometimes its good sometimes its bad  You expect your co-pilot to follow the pilots orders  Nuremberg Trials – Nazis said they were just following orders • We tend to reject these justifications o Factors that influence Destructive Obedience  Milgram  Remoteness of Victim • When learner was out of sight – obedience was out of sight • When teacher and learner were in same room - obedience went down • When physical contact had to be made to administer shock, obedience went down even more  Closeness and Legitimacy of authority figure • If close and legitimate  high obedience • If just a normal person/over the phone  low obedience  Cog in the Wheel • Someone else flipped the switch, and they just did some other stuff they were more likely to be obedient • But if made to feel responsible for the learners safety  no one fully obeyed.  Personal Characteristics • Different jobs religious affiliation  don’t really lead to major differences in obedience • No significant difference between men and women • Milgram’s Experiment o When conscience confronts malevolent authority o Wanted to test whether people would conform to pressure and give shocks to protesting victims o Every time the learner (confederate) would make a mistake  would get shocked by the teacher (test subject) o Was not actually shocked  They made a tape, so that each person was given the same standardized recording of the sounds o Full obedience – operational definition – will go up to 450 V o Would have to increase voltage from 75V to 450V  Experimenter would tell the teacher (subject) – you must continue, or you have no other choice o Most protested at one time or another and wouldn’t continue. o But 65% obeyed to the end. • Lessons Learned : From Holocaust to Airline Safety o People are not evil  they became very stressed because they cared about the safety of the victim o Most people can be induced to follow orders from a legitimate authority figure o Holocaust  Most people responsible were cogs in a wheel  Victims were remote at time of murder o Airlines –  Sometimes its good that a co-pilot challenges the pilots commands  Sometimes the fact that the co-pilot didn’t challenge has led to plane crashes • Detecting and Resisting Compliance Techniques o Compliance techniques – techniques to manipulate you to say yes  Norm of reciprocity • If someone treats us well, we should respond in kind • Used by Hare Krishna o Give flowers to people as a gift, and then asked for a donation o People feel pressure to reciprocate  Door in the Face Technique – • Person makes large request assuming u will “Slam the door” in their face • Then they make a smaller request o Refusing first request  guilt  complying with second smaller request  Foot in Door Technique • Ask for smaller request (getting their foot in the door) o Then ask for something bigger, most people will comply  Lowballing • Get you to commit to something and then raise the cost of it • Since you are already committed you are more than likely to comply o Might feel obligated to person to whom you made the commitment  Difference between Lowballing and Foot in door • Foot in door – leads to larger request after the smaller request has been completed • Lowballing – stakes are raised for same request, before you consummate the behaviour • Crowd Behaviour and Deindividuation o When person sits on ledge and threatens to jump crowds tend to encourage the person to jump. o Why would people want/encourage other people to end their lives  LeBon • Mobs  anonymity of the individual  weakiening of restraints of a person o People will behave in ways they would not behave as individuals  Deindividuation – loss of individuality  leads to disinhibited behaviour • Explains cheating, stealine, riots, genocide  Key Leading Characteristic • Anonymity to outsiders o Makes person less identifiable therefore less accountable o Increases risk of antisocial behaviour  Stanford Prison Study (Zimbardo) • All guards wore same uniform, didn’t have name tags, and were referred to as Mr. Correctional Officer • Had mirrored lenses – so couldn’t even make eye contact o Disindividuation  reduced anonymity  less accountability  cruelty • Group Influences on Performance and Decision Making o Groups formed  to accomplish tasks that are too complex or demanding for one person alone o Social Loafing – Failing to Pull Your Own Weight  When people don’t coordinate themselves well (timing) then theres loss of efficiency • Or also, each person exerts less effort in a group  People tend to pull 18% less force when they think that they are in a group • This is what social loafing is.  Social loafing – tendency for people to expend less individual effort when working in a group than when working alone.  Even occurs on cognitive tasks, when people need to work together  Collective Effort Model • People put forth effort to extent that they expect it to contribute to obtaining the valued goal • Happens when o People believe that individual performance in group isn’t monitored o Task is less valuable to the person o Group is not important to the person o Task is simple, and the persons input is redundanct  Fatigue increases social loafing  Women tend to care more about groups  Individualist cultures – more likely to engage in social loafing than collectivist (collectivists care more about the group)  Social Compensation – • For highly desired goal, will work harder in group than alone • Especially if they think that colleages lack ability to slack off. • Group Polarization – Going to Extremes o Groups are more likely to be extreme (either conservative or liberal/riskier)  use of juries to handle criminal cases o Group polarization – group of likeminded people discuss something, the average opinion becomes more extreme. o Why? – Normative Social influence  People want to be more extreme to gain others approval o Why – Informational Social Influence  People hear other arguments supporting what they want that they have never heard before. • Groupthink – Suspending Critical Thining o Tendency for group members to suspend critical thinking when trying to seek agreement. o More likely to occur –  High stress to reach decision  Insulated from outside input  Have directive leader with own personal agenda  High cohesion in group o Occurs a lot when there is a collective threat  So they need to maintain positive view of group so they reach agreement without looking carefully at opposing views o Direct pressure  When members who express doubt are pressured not to rock the boat o Mind Guards  People stop negative information from reaching the group o Self-Censorship  Withhold doubts o Illusion of Unanimity  Everyone seems to agree with decision o Can lead to fatal accidents, like the Challenger crash o Could be prevented if leader is impartial, and encourages critical thinking • Social Relations • Affiliation and Interpersonal Attraction o Maslow – belongingness and love – basic psychological needs o Why do we affiliate?  Those who were predisposed to affiliate  more likely to survive • Evolution  More access to mates  More protection from predators  Division of labour  Knowledge gets passed trhough generations  Hill • 4 Basic Reasons: Positive stimulation, emotional support, attention and social comparison • Social Comparison o Comparing beliefs, feelings, behaviours with others o Determines whether we are normal, cognitively and physically  Need for affiliation • A criterion which is tested on a personality test • People with higher need for affiliation  make more friends o More likely to be thinking about friends, wishing they could be with people • Stronger sense of community o Feeling of being part of larger collective o More likely to be in more extracurricular activities  Fear –Induced Need for Affiliation • Emergencies – prefer to be with other people • Many times people bond to strangers during emergencies • Initial Attraction o Proximity and Mere exposure  Proximit
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