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How Do Others Affect the Individual? . Social Psychology. Conformity. Changes in attitudes or behaviors to be consistent with those of others May lead to positive or negative behaviors. Video. Conformity. Which of the lines below is the same as the one to the left?.

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Presentation Transcript
  • Changes in attitudes or behaviors to be consistent with those of others
    • May lead to positive or negative behaviors


  • Which of the lines below is the same as the one to the left?
  • What if 6 other people answered line 1 before it was your turn to answer?
  • Some participants conformed and gave the wrong answer!

Conformity increases when the following factors are applied:

  • Feel insecure or do not know what you are doing
  • The group is made up of 3 or more people
  • Rest of the group is unanimous in their opinion
  • You are impressed by the status of the group
  • Feel other people in the group are watching and judging you
social influence
Social Influence
  • Informational Social Influence
    • influence resulting from one’s willingness to accept others’ opinions about reality
social influence1
Social Influence
  • Normative social influencecauses a person to conform, or change a behavior for the purpose to either gain approval or avoid disapproval from a group
  • When someone refers to being part of the norm or the crowd, it is implied as doing some behavior or sharing some thought that everyone else is displaying or thinking.
  • Obedienceis the tendency to follow a person’s orders or requests because he or she is seen as an authority figure
stanley milgram
Stanley Milgram
  • Stanley Milgram was a social psychologist who studied the effects of obedience on a person’s behavior
  • Specifically he wanted to know if a person would deliver shocks to another person becausethey were told by an authority figure to do so.
milgram s study
Milgram’s Study

The experiment involved the:

  • The Experimenter- person who worked with Milgram and played the part of the authority figure by dressing in a lab white coat and looking intelligent
  • The experiment also involved two subjects: one was The Learner who knew the purpose of the study and was given instructions from Milgram on what to do.
  • The teacher, who was the subject being studied and was unaware of the intentions of the experiment
milgram s study1
Milgram’s Study
  • Teacher delivers increasing shocks to the learner (or so the teacher thought)
  • Learner protested
  • Experimenter ordered the teacher to continue
  • Would the teacher continue?
milgram s study2
Milgram’s Study

75% of the “teachers” gave the highest shock 450 volts and no one stopped before administering the 300 volt level.

possible explanations
Possible explanations…
  • The teacher was told by the experimenter, who was the authority figure, to administer the shocks resulting in the teacher justifying the shocks given to the learner- he or she was told to do it
  • The teacher believed and trusted that the experimenter, who was the expert and authority figure, would not allow any harm to happen to the learner.
  • The teacher could not see the learner receive the shocks, which could have made it easier to give the shocks.
    • This effect was evaluated in subsequent studies
social influence2
Social Influence
  • Milgram’s follow-up obedience experiment
obedience to authority
Obedience to Authority
  • Factors that Facilitate/Inhibit Obedience
    • Presence of someone who refuses to obey
    • Background authority increases obedience
    • Culture does NOT have much of an effect on obedience
  • Ethical concerns of Milgram’s Study
    • Deception
    • Potential for psychological harm to participants


group performance
Group Performance
  • Social Facilitation
    • Improved performance of tasks in the presence of others
    • Occurs with simple or well-learned tasks but not with tasks that are difficult or not yet mastered
group performance1
Group Performance
  • Social Loafing
    • Worsened performance when part of a group
      • Due to decreased effort and motivation
      • More likely when individual performance is difficult to identify
  • Less likely when
    • The task is rewarding
    • The group is cohesive
    • Individuals are identified
group decision making
Group Decision Making
  • Often results in poorer decisions than those made by individuals
    • Due to Groupthink
      • mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides realistic appraisal of alternatives
group decision making1
Group Decision Making
  • Sometimes groups make more extreme decisions than individuals would make
    • Group Polarization
      • enhancement of a group’s prevailing attitudes through discussion within the group
    • Choice Shift
      • A choice shift occurs when, after a group’s interaction on an issue, the mean attitude of group members differs from the members’ mean initial attitude.
social influence3
Social Influence
  • If a group is like-minded, discussion strengthens its prevailing opinions
group performance2
Group Performance
  • Deindivuduation
    • loss of self-awareness and self-restraint in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity
  • Helps explain behavior of mobs
  • Loss of self awareness
  • Leads to behavior we typically would not do
    • Stanford Prison Experiment


extra credit
Extra Credit???
  • Ready to apply these concepts? Ready to earn some extra points??!!
  • Let’s do some Norm Violations!
    • Working with a partner (does not have to be in this class) violate a norm and document the reactions that occur.
    • Applying the concepts of social psychology (attribution theory, actor/observer, conformity, etc.) write a 1-2 page report of your findings