influences that people have upon the beliefs, feelings, and behavior of others.
amateur social psychologists
- test hypotheses to their own satisfaction.
- these "tests" lack results of scientific research.
- what most people "know" to be true.
tendency to overestimate our powers of prediction once we know the outcome of a given event.
professional social psychologists
- conduct experiments in which everything can be held constant, except the particualr events being investigated.
- therefore, they can draw conclusions based on data far more precise and numerous than those available to the amateur social psychologist.
Aronson's first law
people who do crazy things are not necessarily crazy.
- "prison" experiment.
- group of normal, mature, stable, intelligent, young men.
- randomly assigned to be guards or prisoners.
- after 6 days the prison had to be shut down.
- the experience undid (temporarily) a lifetime of learning.
- human values were suspended, self-concepts were challenged, and the ugliest, most base, pathological side of human nature surfaced.
- groups of students met for a discussion of the case of a juvenile delinquent.
- after reading the case they were supposed to assign a treatment ranging from "very lenient" to "very hard treatment".
- each group consisted of 9 people. six where real subjects and 3 were confederates.
- confederates were supposed to portray one of 3 characters: the modal, the deviate and the slider.
- modal: took a position that conformed to the average position of the real subjects.
- deviate: took a position diametrically opposed to the general orientation of the group.
- slider: initial position was similar to the deviate's but who in the course of the discussion gradually "slid" into a modal, conforming position.
- liked the most: modal.
- liked the least: deviate.
Kruglanski and Webster
when nonconformists voiced a dissenting opinion close to the deadline (when groups were feeling the pinch to come to closure), they were rejected even more than when they voiced their dissenting opinion earlier in the discussion.
circumstances where deviation becomes unthinkable:
- hitler's inner circle.
- NASA administrators.
- relatively cohesive groups isolated from dissenting points of view. when such groups are called upon to make decisions, they often fall prey to social pressure.
- mode of thinking that persons engage in when concurrence seeking becomes so dominant in a cohesive ingroup that it tends to override realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action.
- groups engaging in this maladaptive decision-making strategy perceive themselves as invulnerable. they're blinded by optimism. optimism is perpetuated when dissent is discouraged. conformity pressures, individual group members come to doubt their own reservations and refrain from voicing dissenting opinions.
- consensus seeking is very important.
people who censor troublesome incoming information.
change in a person's behavior or opinions as a result of real or imagined pressure from a person or group of people.
- perceptual judgement experiment.
- four other participants.
- experimenter shows all of you a straight line (line X).
- he shows you 3 other lines for comparison (line A, B, and C). which ones is closest in length to line X?
- judgement is easy. correct answer is B.
- the other participants answer before you do. "line A", and so do the next 3 participants. you end up choosing the wrong answer as well.
- 3/4 of the participants conformed at least once by responding incorrectly.
- region of the brain associated with pain and emotional discomfort.
- going against the group is painful.
factors that incfease or decrease conformity
- person and culture.
- the group exerting pressure.
- crucial factors that determines the likelihood that the participant’s opinion will conform to that of the majority is whether the majority opinion is unanimous.
- if a participant is joined by even one ally who gives the correct response, his or her conformity to the erroneous judgment of the majority drops sharply.
- even if unanimity is broken by a non-ally, the power of the group is seriously diminished.
- it only takes 3 people to exert pressure when in a group. it's been seen that +3 the results are pretty much the same.
- one way conformity to group pressure can be decreased is by inducing the individual to make some sort of commitment to his or her initial judgment.
- in an experiment by Morton Deutsch and Harold Gerard (>6%) conform vs Asch's(25%) when the individuals had publicly committed themselves before hearing the judgment of other "subjects".
- increases conformity.
- having to explain/justify afterwards your decision to the group.
Accuracy vs. Cooperative (Quinn and Schlenker)
- half of the group thought about the importance of being accurate and half thought about the importance of cooperation.
- experimenter made it clear that after they made a decison they would need to talk to their partners about their decision and justify having made it.
- the people that showed the most independence and made the best decisions were those who were oriented toward being accurate and had to explain their nonconformity to the very people whose influence they resisted. note that the people in this condition behaved with greater independence vs those people who were oriented toward being accurate but were not held accountable.
- this suggests is that most people will go along to get along unless they know that they will be held accountable for a dumb, compliant decision.
the person and the culture
- characteristics of the target person.
- low self-esteem: more likely to yield to group pressure.
- task-specific self-steem plays an important part. tendency to conform increases.
- security in a group is important. if you are liked in a group you are more likely to voice disagreement than if you feel insecure in your relationship with them.
Dittes and Kelley
- college men joined a prestigious group.
- they could be removed at any given time.
- group engaged in a discussion of juvenile delinquency.
- interruption in order to rate every other member's value to the group.
- ratings were disclosed. feedback was false.
- some where led to believe they were well accepted and others to believe they were not terribly popular.
- their opinions was then based by his vulnerability on the group. it's easier for an individual who is securely ensconced in a group to deviate from that group.
- America vs. Asia (culture)
group exerting pressure:
- a group is more effective at inducing conformity if:
- it consists of experts.
- the members are high social status.
- the members are comparable with the individual in some way.
- more likely to compell to a person in uniform than to a civilian.
- "tipping point": sudden changes when a major change reaches a critical mass.
- "connectors": people who induce these changes.
acceptance and rejection
most potent rewards and punishments
physical reality vs social reality
- they are more likely to conform to what other people are doing,not because they fear punishment from the group but
- because the group’s behavior supplies them with valuable information about what is expected of them.
- restroom example.
- jaywalking example.
Schachter and Singer
- people conform to others even in assessing something as personal and idiosyncratic as the quality of their own emotions.
- injected volunteers with epinephrine (adrenaline) or with placebo.
- subjects were told it was a vitamin.
- some of the subjects were informed about the side effects. so when they appeared they knew it was because of the injections.
- others were not told about the side effects. when the side effects kicked in the subjects made of it whatever the people around them made of it.
- stooges were programmed to act euphorical or angry. participants then thought they were feeling the same way because of the side effects (physiological arousal) they were experiencing.
- when physical reality was clear and explainable, the participants’ emotions were not greatly influenced by the behavior of other people. However,when they were experiencing a strong physiological response,the origins of which were not clear, they interpreted their own feelings as either anger or euphoria, depending on the behavior of other people who supposedly were in the same chemical boat.
- both feeling component and cognitive content.
- requires both physiological arousal and a label.
- biologically: sympathetic nervous system.
- even when there's physiological arousal you need stimulus to have an emotion, otherwise you won't.
responses to social influence
- behavior of a person who is motivated by a desire to gain a reward or avoid punishment.
- this behavior is only as long-lived as the promise of reward or the threat of punishment.
- least enduring and has the least influence on the individual.
- as soon as the reward/punishment is removed the influence is gone.
- major component: power.
- response to social inflence brought about by an individual's desire to be like the influencer.
- behavior in itself is not intrinsically satisfying; rather, we adopt a particular behavior because it puts us in a satisfying relationship to the person(s) with whom wer are identifying.
- we do come to believe in the opinions and values we adopt, although not very strongly.
- good-old-uncle-Charlie phenomenon.
- the influence continues as long as the person remains important to you, that person still holds the same beliefs, and those beliefs are not challenged by counteropinions that are more convincing.
- major component: attractiveness.
Cohen and Prinstein
- high school students participating in online chat room discussions with one another.
- topic: what would you do if you are offered marijuana at a party?
- in one conditions, subjects believed they were talking with 2 popular, admired classmates.
- in the other, subjects believed they were talking to average classmates.
- when participants believed they were chatting with the
- classmates who were popular,they were far more likely to adopt their opinions.
- major component: credibility.
- most permanent, most deeply rooted response to social influence.
- motivation: desire to be right.
- reward: intrinsic.
- if the person who provides the influence is perceived to be trustworthy and to have good judgment, we accept the belief he or she advocates and we integrate it into our system of values.
- once it is part of our own system, it becomes independent of its source. becomes very resistant to change.
Once we have been induced to comply,and therefore do not smoke for several days,it is possible for us to make a discovery. Over the years, we may have come to believe it was inevitable that we awaken every morning with a hacking cough and a hot, dry mouth, but after refraining from smoking for a few weeks,we may discover how delightful it feels to have a clear throat,fresh breath,and an unparched mouth.This discovery may be enough to keep us from smoking again. Thus, although compliance, in and of itself, usually does not produce long-lasting behavior,it may set the stage for events that will lead to more permanent effects.
Milgram; Obedience studies.
- studied german. why were them so obedient during WW2?
- 40 men volunteer for an experiment advertised as a study of learning and memory. (cover story)
- obedience study. (truth)
- learner (memorizes a list of words) and teacher (test him over them).
- "shock generator"
- "although teh shocks can be extremely painful, they cause no permanent tissue damage."
- learner is a stooge. acts as if he is being really hurt. he will answer correctly several times but makes mistakes here and there. with each mistake, the teacher must turn on the next swith until he reaches the "extreme shock: danger" label. teacher hears the victing pound the wall and beg to be left out of the room. teacher keeps going.
- 99% of people say they wouldn't continue administering the shocks.
- study shows that 67% continued to administer the shocks till the very end.
- astonishingly large proportiono f people will cause pain to other people in obedience to authority.
uninvolved bystander as conformist
- Kitty Genovese stabbed to death in NYC.
- 38 of her neighbors heard what was happening and no one help or even called 911.
Eleanor Bradley broke her leg in the middle of the day on 5th Ave. she lay there for 40 min with hundreds of people passing by without helping her.
Darley and Latane
- a victim is less likely to get help if a large number of people are watching his or her distress.
- nonintervention can be viewed as an act of conformity.
- “After all,” you ask yourself, “if it’s so damn important,why are none of these other people doing anything about it?”
- Thus, the fact that there are a lot of other people around, rather than increasing the likelihood that someone will help, actually decreases the likelihood that any one of them will help.
- "lady in distress" experiment.
- "subway" experiment.
the presence of another bystander tends to inhibit action.
- when you are the only one that witnesses something the responsability falls only in you vs. when there's a lot of witnesses in which the responsability diffuses.
- "epileptic attack" experiment.
- "subway" experiment.
- "break-in" experiment.
- "smoke" study.
prerequisites for helping
- emergency. Bickman's experiment. "crash and yelling lady"
- the less ambiguous the emergency, the greater the likelihood of helping.
- assuming personal responsibility. when you think no one else can help you feel more compelled to do it yourself.
- costs of helping. if you are late for something, repulsed by blood, etc.
- benefits their assisance will provide. Baron showed that when an individual was in obvious pain—and
- when the bystander knew his or her response could alleviate the suffering—then the greater the apparent pain, the more quickly the bystander responded. But when the bystander did not believe he or she could reduce the victim’s pain, there was an inverse relationship between pain and speed of responding—that is,the greater the apparent pain, the more slowly the bystander responded.
- personal benefits and costs of not helping. The discomfort aroused by seeing a victim’s plight can be assuaged if the witness can redefine the incident as a nonemergency or relinquish the responsibility for intervening. When it is easy to remove oneself from the situation, helping is reduced.
- connection between victim and bystander increases empathy and discourges leaving or not helping.
- take a stab at uncovering the "lawful relationship"
psychology: art or science?
- scientist: look closely at our environment and try to organize the unknown in a sensible and meaningful way.
- artist: reorganize the known environment to create something entirely new.
- independent variable: manipulated. (cause)
- dependent variable: response is assumed to be "dependent" on the particular experimental conditions the participant had been assigned to. is measured to assess the effects of the independent variable. (effect)
- control is an important aspect.
- major advantage: random assignment. equal chance to be in any condition in the study. crucial difference between the experimental metod and the nonexperimental approach. distributes any variables randomly across various experimental conditions.
- cause-effect relationship.
experimental realism vs mundane realism
- experimental realism: if an experiment has an impact on the participants, forces them to take the matter seriously, and involves them in the procedures.
- mundane realism: the question of how similar the laboratory experiment is to the events that frequently happen to people in the outside world.
- doesn't state causality but just association.
- positive correlation: both variables increase or decrease together.
- negative correlation: relationship between two variables in which one variable increases as the other decreases, and vice versa.
- if they knew what we were trying to get at, they
- might be apt to behave in a manner consistent with their own hypotheses—instead of behaving in a way that is natural and usual for them. For this reason, we try to conceal the true nature of the experiment from the participants. Because we are almost always dealing
- with very intelligent adults, this is not an easy task; but it is an absolute requirement in most experiments if we are to stand a chance of obtaining valid and reliable data.
- cover story: settings that are designed to increase experimental realism by producing a situation in which the participant can act naturally without being studied.
1. unethical to lie to people.
2. deception frequently leads to an invasion of privacy.
3. often entail some unpleasant experiences.
procedure whereby the purpose of the study and exactly what transpired is explained to participants at the end of an experiment
personality psy vs social psy
- personality psy: abnormal individual.
- social psy: abnormal situation.
- cognitive psy.
- thought processes.
- variables: independent, dependent, extraneous.
- independent: measured/manipulated.
- dependent: observed and measured.
- extraneous: controlled, observed and measured. variables other than the independent variable that may bear any effect on the behavior of the subject being studied. ex. weather, temperature, time, place, environment, density.
- random assignment.
- cover story.
- lab vs field experiments.
- behavior (social experiments in a lab setting may NOT be that natural).
- people may try to do/behave socially desirable and get acceptable results.
validity vs reliability
- validity: measures what it is suppose to measure.
- internal -- dictates how an experimental design is structured and encompasses all of the steps of the scientific research method
- external -- process of examining the results and questioning whether there are any other possible causal relationships
- reliability: any significant results must be more than a one-off finding and be inherently repeatable
collective history vs individual history
- collective: something that may happen that affects the results while impacting everybody.
- individual: something that happens only to an individual and affects the results of the experiment.
a group of subjects closelyresembling the treatment group in many demographic variablesbut not receiving the active medication or factor under study andthereby serving as a comparison group when treatment resultsare evaluated.
it's a problem when conducting experiments because instead of real behavior or results you would get "socially acceptable" responses if the subjects know what you are testing for.
results won't be representative of real life so you need to lie.
reactance vs stress
- reactance: emotional reaction in direct contradiction to rules or regulations that threaten or eliminate specific behavioral freedoms.
- stress: describes a negative concept that can have an impact on one’s mental and physical well-being.
an actor who participates in a psychological experiment pretending to be a subject but in actuality working for the researcher (also known as a 'stooge').
- correlation association relationships.
- observation: leads to reactivity. hard to get them to act naturally.
- survey: interviewing
team player vs. wishy washy
- essentially that if you make any exceptions to a rule, or if you make rules that depend on fine distinctions, pretty soon people will be ignoring the rule or rules entirely because they won't accept the difference between the exception and everything else.
- it's hard to say NO when you already said YES to a certain degree.
conformity vs obedience
- explicitness: (conformity) nobody tells you to do anything; ppl tell you how/when to do something (obedience)
- differentiation: homogenity (conformity); differentiation of classes (obedience).
- denial: ppl deny that they conform; ppl deny responsability for actions (obedience)
- Cialdini: social situations in which you want to refuse to do something but you can't.
- foot-in-the-door: they got you, because you already committed somehow."more likely to cave in".
- door-in-the-face: outrageous request, then back down. you feel relieved that you didn't have to agree to the ridiculous request and just got by with accepting to the small request.
- low-ball: pressure you for a limited time only. bait and switch. "too good ot be true".
psychological factors that will make us help or not.
- warm glow of success: ppl who feel good by doing something that make them feel proud of themselves are more likely to help because they are feeling good about themselves.
- happines: compliance is due to your state or mood.
- anonymity: more likely to comply if it's more specific.
- competence: important for you to know what to do in order to help.