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Psychology in Modules: Module 44.docx

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PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

Module 44 Page 1 Module 44 Social Influence Conformity: Complying with Social Pressures Automatic Mimicry o Helps us to empathize, which explains why we feel happier around happy people o Chameleon Effect: students worked alongside each other and sure enough students copied the confederates working for the experimenters with rubbing their face etc. o Empathic mimicking fosters fondness Conformity and Social Norms Conformity – adjusting our behaviour or thinking to coincide with a group standard We are likely to conform when we are:  Are made to feel incompetent or insecure  Are in a group with at least three people  Are in a group which everyone agrees  Admire the groups status and attractiveness  Have not made a prior commitment to any response  Know that others in the group will observe our behaviour  Are from a culture that strongly encourages respect for social standards Normative Social Influence – influence resulting from a person’s desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval. We are sensitive to social norms, because the price we pay for being different can be severe, we need to belong. Informational Social Influence – influence resulting from one’s willingness to accept others’ opinions about reality. “Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love the truth.” We conform because we want to be accurate.  Western Europeans and most English speaking countries prize individualism. Asian, African and Latin American countries place higher value on honouring group standards. Obedience: Following Orders  Social Psychologists Stanley Milgram (controversial & influential 20 experiments)  A learner and teacher draw slips, to see who will administer the shocks for each wrong answer. The learner grunts & yells "get me out of here" in pain, while the teacher is advised to please continue with the shocks by the experimenter Module 44 Page 2  Shocking results showed even when the learner had heart conditions, 65% of participants continued up until the final 450 volt shock, when the learner even fell silent. The psychologist predicted less than 1%.  The teachers displayed genuine distress; the perspired. trembled. laughed nervously & bit their lips Obedience was higher when:  The person giving orders was close by and was perceived to be a real authority figure  The authority figure was supported by a prestigious institution  The victim was depersonalized or in another room  There were no models for defiance (they saw no other participant disobey the experimenter) Lessons From the Conformity and Obedience Studies These experiments aimed not to re-create the literal behaviours of everyday life but to capture and explore the underlying processes that shape those behaviours. A dilemma we all face frequently; Do I adhere to
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