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two or more people who interact with and influence one another; perceive themselves as "us"


co-participants working individually on a noncompetitive activity

Social Facilitation: original meaning

tendency for people to perform simple or well-learned tasks better when others are present

Social Facilitation: current meaning

the strengthening of dominant responses in the presence of others

Why are we aroused in the presence of others? Three Factors (Zajonc):

evaluation apprehension, distraction, mere presence

Evaluation Apprehension

concern for how others are evaluating us


conflict between paying attention to others/ non human distractions such as light, and paying attention to the task

Social Loafing

tendency for people to exert less effort when they pool their efforts toward a common goal than when they are individually accountable

Free Riders

people who benefit from the group but give little in return

Group Polarization

whatever initial feeling of a group will strengthen over time; can be produced by discussion

Risky Shift Phenomenon

group decisions are usually riskier; occurs when a group decides by consensus and when individuals alter their decisions after discussion. may see this in: Juries, Business communities, Military organizations, teen drivers.

Group Polarization Experiments: MZ, MI, MB

Moscovici and Zavalloni; Mititoshi Isozaki; Markus Brauer

Moscovici and Zavalloni

discussion enhanced french students initially positive attitudes toward their president and negative attitudes towards americans

Mititoshi Isozaki

Japanese students gave more pronounced judgements of "guilty" after discussing a traffic case

Markus Brauer

french students' dislike for certain other people increased after discussing their shared negative impressions

Group polarization in schools: Accentuation Effect

over time initial differences among groups of college students become accentuated: students at school x become more intelligent than students at college y; independents compared to frat members become more liberal as time goes on

Group polarization in communities: Self Segregation

conservative places attract conservative people and become more so

Group polarization on the internet

e-mail, blogs, chat rooms offer a new medium for like-minded people to share and increase their ideas

Group polarization in terrorist organizations

arises among people whose shared grievances bring them together; in isolation from moderating influences, they progressively become more extreme

Information influence

influence that arises from accepting evidence about reality via persuasive arguments and active participation in discussion

Normative influence

influence based on a persons desire to be accepted/admired by others; arises from social comparison and pluralistic ignorance

social comparison

Leon Festinger; evaluating ones opinions and abilities by comparing oneself with others

pluralistic ignorance

a false impression of what most other people are thinking or feeling, or how they are responding

Irving Janis

analyzed decision making processes that led to major fiascos: Pearl Harbor, Bay of Pigs Invasion, Vietnam War


the tendency of decision making groups to suppress dissent in the interest of group harmony

Janis believes groupthink arises from:

Cohesive group, Isolation of group from dissenting viewpoints, Directive leader

Eight Symptoms of group think

illusion of invulnerability; belief in groups morality; rationalization; stereotyping of other groups; conformity pressure; self-censorship; illusion of unanimity, mind-guards

Preventing Groupthink

be impartial; encourage critical evaluation; subdivide group then unite and share differences; welcome critiques from outside experts; call a second-chance meeting

Vincent Brown's and Paul Paulus' three ways to enhance group brainstorming

Combine group/solitary brainstorming; Have group members interact by writing; Incorporate electronic brainstorming

Moscovici's determinants of minority inflence

consistency, self-confidence, defections from majority


a minority that sticks to its position is more influential

Minority-slowness effect

tendency for people with minority views to express them less quickly than do people in the majority

Defections from the Majority

a minority person who had defected from the majority is even more persuasive than a consistent minority voice


process by which certain group members motivate and guide the group


leadership that organizes work, sets standards, and focuses on goals


leadership that builds teamwork, mediates conflict, and offers support

Transformational Leadership

leadership that, enabled by a leaders vision and inspiration, exerts significant influence


change in behavior or belief as a result of real or imagined group pressure

Three types of conformity

compliance, obedience, acceptance


conforming to an expectation or request without really believing in what we are doing


acting in accord with a direct order or command


conformity that involving both acting an believing in accord with social pressure


Norm Formation; Used autokinetic phenomenon that asked groups of men to determine how much the point of light had moved—the responses of the med changed markedly; The point of light never move

Autokinetic Phenomenon

the apparent movement of a stationary point of light in the dark

"Werther effect"

Copy cat suicides


Group Pressure/conformity; Perceptual judgment experiment (line length); Six confederates gave incorrect answers to see if participant would agree even if he knew it was the incorrect answer


Obedience Experiments; Tested what happens when the demands of authority clash with the demands of conscience; complying with commands to shock another; 65 % of participants continued beyond expectations

What Breeds Obedience

Victim's distance or depersonalization; Closeness and legitimacy of authority; Institutional authority; Liberating effects of group influence

real life examples of norm formation

interpreting events differently after hearing from others; appreciating a tasty food that others love

real life example of group pressure / conformity

doing as others do; fads such as tattoos

real life example of obedience

soldiers or employees following questionable orders

norm formation

Sherif; assessing suggestibility regarding seeming movement of light


Asch; agreement with others obviously wrong perceptual judgements; when others unanimously gave a wrong answer, the participants conformed 37% of the time


Milgram; complying with commands to shock another

what predicts conformity?

group size; unanimity; cohesion; status; public response; prior commitment:

Group Size

people conform most when three or more people/groups model the behavior/belief


conformity is reduced if the modeled behavior or belief is not unanimous

public response

people conform most when their responses are public

Personality scores

are poor predictors of specific acts of conformity but better predictors of average conformity


a motive to protect or restore ones sense of freedom; arises when someone threatens our freedom of action


a process by which a message induces change in beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors

what two paths lead to persuasion?

central route and peripheral route

Central Route

occurs when interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favorable thoughts; more durable and more likely to influence behavior

Peripheral Route

occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues, such as a speaker's attractiveness; superficial and temporary attitude change


Believability; Perceived expertise: speak confidently; Perceived trustworthiness: eye contact, arguing against own self-interest

Sleeper Effect

delayed persuasion, after people forget the source or its connection with the message

Discrepancy (cognitive dissonance)

Depends on the communicator's credibility;

One-sided message

more effective if the person initially agrees with the message

Two-sided message

more effective is people are (or will be) exposed to opposing arguments; the primacy effect often makes first message more persuasive, if there is a time gap in between the messages the result will be a recency effect in which second message prevails

Primacy Effect

Stronger; information presented first usually has the most influence

Recency Effect

information presented last sometimes has the most influence; Recency effects are less common than primacy effects

Cult (new religious movement)

group characterized by distinctive rituals or beliefs related to its devotion to a god or person; isolation from the surrounding "evil" culture; charismatic leader

Attitude Inoculation

mild attack might build resistance; exposing people to weak attacks upon their attitudes so that when stronger attacks come, they will have refutations available

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