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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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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
cialdini s techniques


  • 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)

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
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
next week


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