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Conformity Theories. To passively agree to something to which there are no apparent consequences Example: Gender Conformity http:// Acquiescence Effect.

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acquiescence effect

To passively agree to something to which there are no apparent consequences

    • Example: Gender Conformity
Acquiescence Effect
bystander effect

When there is an emergency, the more bystanders there are the less likely we are to help

    • Example: Homeless man needed medical attention
  • Famous Case: Murder of Kitty Genovese (1960)
Bystander Effect
commitment theory

If we make a commitment we feel bound to follow through, for fear of social rejection

  • Makes it more difficult to change our minds
  • Example: Milgram Obedience Study
    • Participants felt obligated to continue shocking the ‘students’ even though they did not want to – were told they were obligated to participate
Commitment Theory
communication accommodation theory

When we talk to others, we tend to subconsciously change our style of speech (accent, rate, words etc.) towards the style used by the listener

  • To build rapport (relationship) and seek approval
    • Example – people who live in England but do not have a British accent, tend to speak with a mild accent after a period of time – and they use the slang/language that the local people use – in order to fit in
Communication Accommodation Theory

Group cohesion is more important than speaking up to avoid conflict

  • Occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of mental competence, reality, and moral judgment
  • Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups. 
  • Example: Launch of Space Shuttle Challenger (1986)
    • Determined to have a successful launch to regain public support for their program, officials ignored engineering reports that the O-rings installed to protect the rocket motors might not be safe. The spacecraft broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members.
impression management

Under scrutiny, we intentionally try to influence the impression others have of us

    • Ex. Job interview – dress appropriately, careful language etc.
    • Other Enhancement: To make others feel good through flattery
Impression Management
informational social influence

When unsure how to behave we copy others behaviours

  • Assume others know what they are doing
    • Example: Solomon Ashe Conformity Experiment
Informational Social Influence
normative social influence

The more we see others behaving in a certain way or making particular decisions, the more we feel obliged to follow suit

  • The forces are strongest when we care most about respect and love from others in the group
    • Example: Cult Behaviour
Normative Social Influence
pluralistic ignorance

Assume nothing is wrong as no one seems concerned

  • Adopting norms, even if you do not agree with them,
  • Part of the individual sacrifice that people accept as a price of group membership 
    • Research: Smoke filled room study
Pluralistic Ignorance
reciprocity norm

Common social norm where if someone helps you in any way, then you are obliged to return the favor

    • Research: Christmas Card Study
Reciprocity Norm

People will fall rapidly into the expectations they have about the roles they take even if it goes against their values or morals

    • Research: Stanford Prison Experiment
spiral of silence theory

People will be unwilling to publicly express their opinion if they believe they are in the minority

But are more vocal if they are part of the majority

Works because we fear social rejection

Spiral of Silence Theory