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Chapter 13

Chapter 13- Behaviour in Social Context

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Psychology 1000
Shauna Burke

Chapter 13: Behaviour in a Social Context 1 Social Thinking & Perception: Attribution: Perceiving the Causes of Behaviour: • attribution: judgements about the causes of our own & other people’s behaviours & outcomes - personal (internal): people’s behaviour is caused by their characteristics; i.e.Ab/c studied hard - situational (external): aspects of situation cause behaviour; i.e.Ab/c easy test - information that determines attributions: 1. consistency, 2. distinctiveness, 3. consensus • fundamental attribution error: we underestimate the impact of the situation & overestimate the role of personal factors when explaining other people’s behaviour - more info about present situation when making judgments about ourselves - perceptual principle of figure-ground relations • self-serving bias: making relatively more personal attributions for successes & more situational attributions for failures; i.e. athletes- winning (personal) vs losing (situational) • Westernized emphasis on individualism: attribute other people’s behaviour to personal factors • link between holistic thinking & beliefs about causality: information seeking differences b/w cultures & among individuals within each culture Forming & Maintaining Impressions: • primacy effect: tendency to attach more importance to initial information that we learn about a person; new info has to work harder to overcome initial impression - more alert during 1st info - 1st info may influence subsequent info - esp. for people who dislike ambiguity & uncertainty - i.e. athlete: great training, but bad competitions=bad luck, fatigue, etc. • recency: giving greater weight to most recent info; when asked to avoid snap judgements & consider evidence • schema: mental framework that help us organize & interpret info - i.e. told George is shy vs cold=diff impressions • stereotype: generalized belief about group or category of people - i.e. Hannah: blue-collar (lower rating) vs white-collar family (higher rating) Chapter 13: Behaviour in a Social Context 2 • self-fulfilling prophecy: w/o conscious awareness; when people’s erroneous expectations lead them to act toward others in a way that brings about expected behaviours, confirming original impression Attitudes &Attitude Change: • attitude: positive or negative evaluative reaction toward stimulus, i.e. person, action, object, concept • Richard LaPiere (1930): toured US w/Asian couple; prejudice • attitudes predict behaviours... 1. more strongly when counteracting situational factors are weak; i.e. financial incentives, conformity/obedience, groupthink - theory of planned behaviour: intention to behave in behaviour is strongest when we have positive attitude; when subjective norms support attitudes & believe behaviour is under control - i.e. screening for breast cancer, become smokers, seek therapy 2. greater influence when we are aware of them & when they are strongly held 3. general attitudes are better at predicting general classes of behaviour & specific attitudes are better at predicting specific behaviour • theory of cognitive dissonance: people strive for consistency in cognitions; when 2+ cognitions clash, person experiences uncomfortable state of tension (cognitive dissonance) - boring lab task: paid $1 vs $20 to tell student it was fun: $1=changed attitude about task to bring it more into line w/ how they behaved - counter-attitudinal behaviour: produces dissonance only if we perceive that our actions were freely chosen rather than coerced - heightened physiological arousal when engage in counter-attitudinal behaviour - dissonance at max: behaviour threatens sense of self-worth, produces negative consequences • self-perception theory: make inferences about our attitudes by observing how we behave - less likely to create significant arousal- still alter attitudes to be more consistent w/ behaviour • Persuasion: - communicator: communicator credibility- how believable communicator is - > expertise & trustworthiness (present truth in unbiased manner) - > point of view contrary to his/her own self interest Chapter 13: Behaviour in a Social Context 3 - > physically attractive, similar to us, likable - message: two-sided refutational approach=more effective - > moderate degree of discrepancy - > arouse fear (only moderate & ways to reduce threat); too much anxiety=disagree completely - audience: - > central route for persuasion: people think carefully about message & influenced b/c find arguments compelling; high need for cognition - > peripheral route for persuasion: people do not scrutinize message; influenced by other factors- speaker’s attractiveness, message’s emotional appeal; low need for cognition Social Influence: Mere Presence of Others: • performance improves in presence of coactors or passive, silent audience 1. physical presence of another person increases arousal 2. when arousal increases, we become more likely to perform dominant response - unskilled=audience decreases performance; skilled=audience increases performance • social facilitation: increased tendency to perform one’s dominant response in mere presence of others social norm: shared expectations about how people should think, feel & behave; binds social • systems together; regulate daily behaviour w/o conscious awareness, until violated • social role: set of norms that characterizes how people in given social position ought to behave - i.e. Philip Zimbardo- Stanford prison study • personal space when communicating Sherif (1935): auto-kinetic effect- dot is “moving;” put into groups & develop norm - > humans • placed together seem to develop common standards for behaviour & judgement Conformity & Obedience: • informative social influence: follow opinions/behaviours of others b/c we believe they have accurate knowledge & are doing the right thing Chapter 13: Behaviour in a Social Context 4 • normative social influence: conform to obtain rewards that come from being accepted by other people & avoiding rejection Factors: • - group size: increased 5-35% when confederates increase from 1-5; further=no effect - presence of dissenter: when someone else dissents, this person serves as model for remaining independent from group - > conformity decreases when consequences are more costly & increases when stakes become higher (task is harder) • Milgrim: - remoteness of victim: same room=obedience dropped by 40%; shock plate: 30% - closeness & legitimacy of authority figure: over phone or “ordinary person” dropped by 20% - cog in wheel: obedience increases when someone else has to do dirty work; 93% - personal characteristics: politics, religion, occupation, education= weak difference • by arranging situation appropriately, most people-ordinary, decent citizens- can be induced to follow orders from authority figure they perceive as legitimate, even when doing so contributes to harming innocent people • norm of reciprocity: expectation that when others treat us well, we should respond in kind • door in the face: persuader makes large request, expecting you to reject it, then presents smaller request - > refusing first produces guilt & replying w/ smaller=reduce guilt • foot in door: persuader gets you to comply w/ smaller request & then presents w/ larger request • lowballing: persuader gets you to commit to some action & then before you perform behaviour- increases cost of the same behaviour Crowd Behaviour & Deindividuation: • deindividuation: loss of individuality that leads to disinhibited behaviour - i.e. cheating, stealing, riots by sports fans, genocide • Postmes & Spears: anonymity to outsiders- conditions make individual less identifiable to people outside group reduce feelings of accountability & increase risk of antisocial behaviour Group Influences on Performance & Decision Making: Chapter 13: Behaviour in a Social Context 5 • Alan Ingham: participants exerted 18% less force when thought they were in a group • social loafing: contrast to social facilitation; tendency for people to expend less individual effort when working in group vs working alone • Factors: - people believe that individual performance within group is not being monitored - task has less value/meaning to person - group is less important to person - task is simple & person’s input is redundant w/ that of other group members - fatigue - gender & culture: all-male groups- social loafing=higher vs all-female & mixed-sex groups • social compensation: work harder in group than alone if expect that their colleagues either don’t have enough ability or will slack off • group polarization: when group of like minded people discuss an issue, whether face-to-face or through email, “average” opinion of group members tends to become more extreme - normative social influence: individuals who are attracted to group may be motivated to adapt a more extreme position to gain group’s approval - informational social influence: during group discussions people hear arguments supporting their positions that they had not previously considered • groupthink: tendency for group members to suspend critical thinking b/c they are st
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