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Social Influence Module 56. Social Psychology. Social influence Conformity and Obedience Group Influence. Social Influence. The greatest contribution of social psychology is its study of attitudes, beliefs, decisions, and actions and the way they are molded by social influence.

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social psychology
Social Psychology

Social influence

  • Conformity and Obedience
  • Group Influence
social influence
Social Influence

The greatest contribution of social psychology is its study of attitudes, beliefs, decisions, and actions and the way they are molded by social influence.

conformity obedience
Conformity & Obedience

Behavior is contagious, modeled by one followed by another. We follow the behavior of others to conform.

Other behaviors may be the expression of compliance (obedience) toward authority.

Conformity Obedience

the chameleon effect
The Chameleon Effect

Conformity:adjusting one’s behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999).

group pressure conformity
Group Pressure & Conformity

Suggestibility is a subtle type of conformity– adjusting our behavior or thinking toward some group standard.

group pressure conformity7
Group Pressure & Conformity

Influence resulting from one’s willingness to accept others’ opinions about reality.

Asch’s conformity experiment (1955)

conditions that strengthen conformity
Conditions that Strengthen Conformity
  • One is made to feel incompetent or insecure.
  • The group has at least three people.
  • The group is unanimous.
  • One admires the group’s status and attractiveness.
  • On has no prior commitment to response.
  • The group observes one’s behavior.
  • One’s culture strongly encourages respect for social standard.
reasons for conformity
Reasons for Conformity

Normative Social Influence:influence resulting from a person’s desire to gain approval or avoid rejection. Respecting normative behavior, because price may be severe if not followed.

Informative Social Influence:The group may provide valuable information, only stubborn people will never listen to others.

informative social influence
Informative Social Influence

Baron and colleagues (1996) made students do an eyewitness identification task. If the task was easy (lineup exposure 5 sec.) conformity was low compared to difficult (1/2 sec. exposure) task.

informative social influence11
Informative Social Influence

Baron et al., (1996)

obedience
Obedience

People comply to social pressures. But how would they respond to outright command?

Stanley Milgram designed a study that investigated the effects of authority on obedience.

Stanley Milgram

(1933-1984)

individual resistance
Individual Resistance

A third of individuals in Milgram’s study resisted social coercion.

An unarmed individual single-handedly

Challenged a line of tanks at Tiananmen Square.

is authority always right
Is authority always right?

9/11: Morgan Stanley – Ray Rescorla - a hero because he did NOT obey authority -- 2700 lives were saved.

All but six of Morgan Stanley's 2700 workers survived.  Richard Rescorla was one of the lost six.

lessons from the conformity and obedience studies
Lessons from the Conformity and Obedience Studies

In both Ash's and Milgram's studies participants were pressurized between following their standards and being responsive to others.

In Milgram’s study, a step forward, participants were torn between hearing victims pleas and experimenter’s orders.

group influence
Group Influence

How do groups affect our behavior? Social psychologists study all kinds of groups:

One person affecting another

Families

Teams

Committees

individual behavior in the presence of others
Individual Behavior in the Presence of Others

Social facilitation: Refers to improved performance on a task in the presence of others. Triplett (1898) noticed cyclists’ race time were faster when they competed against others than against a clock.

social loafing
Social Loafing

Tendency of an individual in a group to exert less effort toward attaining a common goal than when tested individually (Latané, 1981).

deindividuation
Deindividuation

Loss of self-awareness and self-restraint in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity.

Mob behavior

effects of group interaction
Effects of Group Interaction

Group Polarization: enhances group’s prevailing attitudes through discussion. If a group is like-minded, discussion strengthens its prevailing opinions and attitudes.

groupthink
Groupthink

Mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides realistic appraisal of alternatives.

Attack on Pearl Harbor

Kennedy and Cuban Crisis

Watergate Cover-up

Chernobyl Reactor Accident

power of individuals
Power of Individuals

The power of social influence is enormous but so is the power of the individual.

Non-violent fasts and appeals by Gandhi led to the independence of India from the British.

Gandhi