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Chapter 8

PS102 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Acculturation, Deindividuation, Milgram Experiment

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Don Morgenson

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Chapter 8 Behaviour in Social and cultural context
- Social norms: rules that regulate social life
- Social roles: given social position that is governed by set of norms
- Culture: program of shared rules that govern the behaviour of people/ set of values, beliefs, and
customs shared by most members
- Milgram experiment applying shock to another person in a room that gets a mistake. Less
likely to occur if (concluded that personality is irrelevant to whether or not people obey)
o The experimenter left the room
o The victim was right in the room
o The two experimenters issued conflicting demands
o The person ordering them to continue was an ordinary man
o The participant worked with peers who refused to go further
- Prison study demonstrates how social situation affects behaviour causing some people to
behave in a way that they normally wouldn’t
- People obey to avoid negative consequences, to appease with the authority or to avoid trouble
- Entrapment: individuals escalate their commitment to a course of action in order to justify their
investment in it
- Social cognition: social influences on thought, memory, perception, and beliefs
- Attribution theory: people are motivated to explain their own and other people’s behaviour by
attributing causes of that behaviour
o Situational attribution: the cause of an action as something in the environment
o Dispositional attribution: the cause of action as something in the person
- Fundamental attribution error: tendency to overestimate personality factors and underestimate
influence of situation
o People rely on different sources of error to judge their own behaviour than that of
o Self-serving biases: habits of thinking that make us feel good about ourselves
- 2 cognitive biases in fundamental attribution error:
o Bias to choose the most flattering and forgiving attribution of our own lapse: group-
serving bias tendency to view groups to which we belong favourably
Individualist cultures more likely to partake in group-serving biases
o Bias to believe that the world is fair just-world hypothesis: attributions are affected by
the need to believe that the just always prevails
Usually results in blaming the victim
- Attitude belief about people, groups, ideas or activities (explicit or implicit)
o Familiarity effect tendency to hold positive attitudes toward familiar things
o Validity effect: tendency to believe something is true because it has been repeated
- Convincing usually involve coercive persuasion suppress individual’s ability to reason, think
and make choices for his/her interests
o The person is subjected to entrapment gradually the demands increase
o Person’s problems are explained by one simple attribution
o Person is offered new identity/salvation
o Person’s access to disconfirming information is controlled
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