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Social influence and cultural emergence. What is the difference between social influence and persuasion? Conformity vs. compliance vs. obedience Sherif , Asch, and Milgram classic studies What made for more conformity/obedience in these?

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Social influence and cultural emergence

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Social influence and cultural emergence

Social influence and cultural emergence

General information

  • What is the difference between social influence and persuasion?

  • Conformity vs. compliance vs. obedience

  • Sherif, Asch, and Milgram classic studies

    • What made for more conformity/obedience in these?


  • Informational vs. normative influence

General information

Sherif 1935 autokinetic effect

Sherif, 1935 autokinetic effect

Cialdini s techniques

  • Influence

  • Six techniques

    • Reciprocity

    • Social validation (social comparison theory)

    • Consistency (cognitive dissonance theory)

    • Liking

    • Scarcity (reactance theory)

    • Authority

  • Examples? Examples not in sales?

Cialdini’s techniques

Evolution and influence

  • How could these be evolutionary? What does adding that give us?

    • Goals

    • Relationships

  • Coalition formation, status, self-protection, mate selection, mate retention, parental care

  • What techniques would be more or less effective for the above goals? For strangers vs. children vs. partners?

  • Evolution or cultural evolution?

Evolution and Influence

Social norms and influence

  • Deviance regulation theory (Blanton & Christie, 2003)

    • What does it predict?

    • How does this relate to influence?

  • Social identity theory (Abrams & Hogg, 1990)

  • Focus theory of normative conduct (Cialdini, Kallgren, & Reno, 1991)

    • Injunctive vs. descriptive norms

    • Attention

    • How do injunctive vs. descriptive norms differ?

Social norms and influence

Focus theory

  • How does this approach explain why people only sometimes follow norms? Why they follow one vs. another norm?

  • When will descriptive vs. injunctive norms be most effective?

  • What norms do people follow (norms of whom)?

Focus theory

Social marketing

  • Examples of effective vs. ineffective campaigns?

  • What should we do to make people more aware of climate change or get them to take action (e.g., drive less), according to this approach?

  • What does this approach suggest about social norms marketing campaigns/pluralistic ignorance?

  • Avoid the stork

Social marketing

Distance and norms ledgerwood callahan 2012

  • What do they suggest about distance and norms?

  • Is this counter to SIT/DSIT?

  • Study 1: rear bike lights soon or later and most support or not—more influence if later

    • Alternate explanations?

Distance and norms (Ledgerwood & Callahan, 2012)

Social influence and cultural emergence

  • Study 2: thought about issue abstractly vs. concretely and tokens for or against in voting booth

    • Did abstract thinking increase influence or concrete decrease it?

  • How do the ideas here fit with Cialdini’s focus theory and the idea of descriptive vs. injunctive norms?

Cultural emergence

  • What is culture according to DSIT? Culture vs. evolution

    • How does evolution relate to culture?

    • According to DSIT?

    • According to Sariff, Norenzayan, & Henrich?

  • Bottom up vs. top down

Cultural emergence

Dynamic social impact theory latan 1996

  • Social impact theory (Latané, 1981)

    • What are the 3 factors?

    • What does it mean to have a multiplicative function? A marginally decreasing effect?

  • Catastrophe theory of attitudes (Latané& Nowak, 1994)

    • Involving vs. uninvolving attitudes

  • DSIT

    • What are the 4 C’s of culture? What do each of them mean?

    • What types of studies have shown support for DSIT?

    • Other examples?

Dynamic social impact theory (Latané, 1996)

Dsit issues

  • How does modernization affect DSIT predictions?

  • How do individual differences fit in?

  • What new directions are there to be tested with DSIT?

  • Are all the assumptions of DSIT supported?

  • Are there other explanations for the DSIT study results?

  • Are there other problems with this approach?

  • Is it consistent with evolutionary approaches?

DSIT issues

Evolution and culture norenzayan schaller heine 2006

  • “New look” evolutionary psych

  • How do evolved capacities make culture possible?

  • How can biological evolution and social communication work together to create culture?

  • What “moral norms” may have evolved and why? Ingroup/outgroup? Religion? Cultural artifacts? Myths?

Evolution and culture (Norenzayan, Schaller, & Heine, 2006)

Memes and cultural evolution

  • What things are more likely to be passed on?

    • Boyd & Richerson, 1985

    • Sperber, 1996

    • Chip Heath’s research

      • Memorability

      • Surprise

      • Emotions (esp. disgust)

      • Ease of communication

      • Push for novelty

      • Establishment of social identity

      • Cultural exchange

Memes and cultural evolution

Cultural evolution

  • Why might psychological phenomena be universal or not across cultures?

  • Does universal mean “innate”?

Cultural evolution

Infectious diseases and culture

  • More value placed on physical attractiveness in a mate (Gangestad & Buss, 1993)

  • Lower mean levels of sociosexuality, extraversion, and openness to experience, but do not differ on other personality variables (e.g., conscientiousness) (Schaller & Murray, 2008)

  • Fewer political/social rights (Thornhill, Fincher, & Aran, 2009)

  • More religious (Fincher & Thornhill, 2008)

  • More collectivist (Fincher, Thornhill, Murray, & Schaller, 2009)

Infectious diseases and culture


  • All known societies (?) have

    • Belief in supernatural agents

    • Who demand public expressions of commitment

    • And who manage fears of death, meaningless, and hopelessness

  • Minimally counterintuitive stories and concepts are better remembered and spread

    • Ghosts beat zombies

  • Why would religion evolve?

  • Is it culture or biology?


Atran, Norenzayan

And then there are high gods

  • Shariff, Norenzayan, & Henrich, 2010

  • What purposes do religions (and what parts of them) serve, according to them?

  • What are the 4 C’s of religion?

  • How did beliefs in high gods come about, according to them?

  • What do they mean by cultural selection of gods?

  • Should we not trust atheists?

  • Eyes effect—what does it mean?

And then there are high gods

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