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Chapter 13

Psych 1000 Chapter 13 Notes

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Laura Fazakas- De Hoog

CHAPTER 13 – BEHAVIOR IN A SOCIAL CONTEXT Kimveer Gill opened fire in Dawson College -> believed life was a video game (must die sometime) Social influence – how other people influence our behavior Social relations – how we behave towards other people Attribution Attributions – judgments about causes of our own and other people’s behavior and outcomes Personal (internal) attributions – people’s behavior caused by their characteristics Situational (external) attributions – aspects of the situation cause a behavior Kelley: 3 types of information determine attribution we make: Consistency, distinctness, consensus Situational attribution = all 3 high Personal attribution = high consistency, low distinctiveness and consensus Attributional Biases Fundamental attribution error – underestimate impact of situation + overestimate role of personal factors when explaining other’s behavior Self-serving bias – making more personal attributions for success + more situational attributions for failure Culture and Attribution Western/British: tendency to attribute others’ behavior to personal factors Asian/individualistic: tendency to attribute others’ behavior to situational factors Korean: those who think holistically take more info into account when making attributions Forming + Maintaining Impressions Primacy effect – tendency to attach more importance to initial information that we learn Eventually primacy effects decrease and recency effects may occur Recency effect – giving greater weight to most recent information Mental set – readiness to perceive the world in a certain way (shapes how we see stimuli) Schemas – mental frameworks that help us organize/interpret info (fit behavior into these) Stereotype – generalized belief about a group or category of people (a type of schema) Self-fulfilling prophecy – people’s wrong expectations unconsciously lead them to act towards others in a way that brings about the expected behavior (confirms expectation) Attitudes Attitude – positive/negative evaluative reaction toward a stimulus (define identities/judgments) Attitudes’ Influence on Behavior (3 factors) 1. Influence behavior stronger when counteracting situational factors are weak Theory of planned behavior – intentions to engage in a behavior is strongest when we have a positive attitude towards the behavior, when subject norms (perceptions of what others think we should do) support our attitudes, and we think we can control our behavior 2. Greater influence on behavior when we are aware of them/when they are strongly held Attitudes stronger if formed through direct personal experience 3. General attitudes better at predicting general classes of behavior Multiple-act behavioral criterion – combines general and specific behaviors Behavior’s Influence on Attitudes Self-Justification Theory of cognitive dissonance (Festinger) – people want consistency in cognitions Cognitive dissonance – when 2+ cognitions contradict with each other, person experience tension (tries to reduce) Change one of their cognitions or add new cognitions Paid nothing = boring Paid $1 = interesting (high dissonance) Paid $20 = slightly boring (low dissonance) Counter-attitudinal behavior – behavior inconsistent with our attitudes Produces dissonance only if we think that our actions were freely chosen Dissonance maximized if behavior threatens self-worth/has consequences Dissonance can be reduced by external justification/making excuses Self-Perception Self-perception theory (Bem) – we make inferences about our own attitudes by observing how we behave Persuasion Communicator delivers a message through a channel to an audience within a context Communicator credibility – how believable the communicator is 2 components: expertise and trustworthiness (both = effective) Physically attractive/similar to us/likeable may persuade us easier Message 2-sided reputational approach (present both arguments) is more effective Moderate degree of discrepancy more effective for audience that disagrees Best when message evokes moderate fear + provides ways to reduce threat Audience 2 basic routes to persuasion (Petty + Cacioppo) Central route to persuasion – people think carefully about message and are influenced b/c they find the arguments compelling (stronger) When it is personally relevant/have high need for cognition Uncertainty-oriented (look for new info) Peripheral route to persuasion – people don’t scrutinize the message but are influenced by other factors (ex. message’s emotional appeal) People have low need for cognition Certainty oriented Mere Presence of Others Arousal increases = more likely to perform dominant response behavior to that specific situation Difficult task -> dominant response is to make mistakes -> less likely to perform correctly Simple task -> dominant response is to perform correctly -> more likely to perform correctly Social facilitation – tendency to perform one’s dominant response in presence of others Skilled = being watched increases performance vs. unskilled = decreases performance Social Norms Social norms – shared expectations about how people should think/behave (binds social system) Social role – set of norms that categorizes how people in a given social position ought to behave Role conflict – norms accompanying different roles clash (ex. student + employee) Conformity and Obedience Conformity – adjustment of individual behaviors/attitudes/beliefs to a groups standard Norms can only influence behavior if people conform to them Why Conform? Informational social influence – follow opinions of others b/c believe they have accurate knowledge and what they are doing is “right” Normative social influence – conform to obtain rewards (acceptance) + avoid rejection Asch: pick line that resembles a sample (you’ll vote the same as them) Factors that Affect Conformity Group size Conformity increases as group size increases (up to 4/5 confederates) Presence of a dissenter Dissenter picks 1, group picks 3, gives you permission to not join group (you pick 2) East task -> conformity decreases as stakes get higher Hard task -> conformity increases as stakes get higher Minority Influence Strongest when maintains a highly consistent position over time But too unreasonable/negative = majority will shift further away Factors that Influence Destructive Obedience Remoteness of victim/closeness and legitimacy of authority figure/you don’t do “dirty work Personal characteristics unrelated (gender/education/religion) Detecting and Resisting Compliance Techniques Norm of reciprocity – when others treat us well, we should respond in kind Door-in-the-face technique – persuader makes a large request, then presents small request Foot-in-the-door technique – persuader makes small request, then presents larger request (different behavior) Lowballing – persuader gets you to commit to some action and before you can perform the behavior, increases cost of same behavior Research Foundations – Milgram’s Obedience Experiment Hear someone learning -> shock them if they do something wrong (65% shock until death) Crows Behavior and Deindividuation Deindividuation – loss of individuality that leads to disinhibited behavior (ex. genocide/stealing) Key is anominity to outsiders (less identifiable to people outside group = reduce accountability) Group Influences on Performance and Decision Making Social Loafing – tendency for people to expend less individual effort when in a group Collective effort model – on a cognitive task, people will put forth effort only to the extent that they expect their effort to contribute to obtaining a valued goal More likely to occur when/by Believe individual performance isn’t measured Goal/group has less importance to the person Task is simple and person’s input is redundant with that of other members # of males in group (more males = more loafing) Culture (more in individualistic cultures than collectivistic cultures) Social compensation – work harder in group if expect colleagues lack ability/will slack off Group Polarization Group polarization – when a group of like-minded people discuss an issue, the “average” opinion of group members tends to be more extreme Occurs due to Normative social influence – individuals who are attracted to a group will be more motivated to adopt a more extreme position to gain the group’s approval Information social influence – during group discussions, hear arguments supporting position that they hadn’t previously considered (makes position seem more valid) Groupthink Groupthink – tendency for group members to suspend critical thinking to seek agreement Most likely to occur if under high stress/little outside input/directive leader/high cohesion Members serve as mind guards by preventing negative info from reaching group Members display self-censorship (withhold doubts) Results in illusion of unanimity (members think everyone agrees) To avoid -> leader impartial, encourage critical thinking, divide into subgroups SOCIAL RELATIONS 4 types (attraction, prejudice, altruism and aggression) Affiliation and Interpersonal Attraction Hill: 4 reasons we affiliate Positive stimulation, receive emotional support, gain attention, allow social comparison Social comparison (Festinger) – comparing our beliefs/feelings/behaviors with that of others Helps us determine if our responses are “normal” Initial Attraction Proximity: best predictor for who will cross paths Mere exposure effect – related exposure to stimulus increases our liking for it Similarity: People often attracted to others who are similar to them (validate view of world) Fatal attractions – initially find a characteristic that we find attractive, later dislike Physical attractiveness: #1 predictor (good looking people portrayed as smart/moral) Self-cons
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