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Chapter 9: Social Influence- LECTURE
Terms in this set (55)
Yielding to perceived group pressure by copying the behavior and beliefs of others
Publicly acting in accord with a direct request
Performing an action in response to a direct order
The continuum of social influence
is a scale
on the left: individual is yielding to influence
on the right: resisting influence
from left to right: Obedience, compliance, conformity, independence, assertiveness, defiance
Conformity is extremely ___________________
______________ are an important part of conformity.
Socially accepted way of thinking, feeling, and behaving
2 Classic early conformity studies
1) Sherif (1936) Autokinetic Effect Study
2) Asch (1951) Line Length Study
Autokinetic effect is a phenomenon that takes place when the eye looks at an stationary, bright light in the dark for a long time. After a period of time, the light appears to move, but really is not.
This long stare causes the eyes' muscles to become tired, causing a slight involuntary movement of the eyeball.
Sherif's study (1936) Autokinetic Effect Study
Muzafer Sherif conducted a classic study on conformity in 1936. Sherif put subjects in a dark room and told them to watch a pinpoint of light and report how far it moved. Psychologists had previously discovered that a small, unmoving light in a dark room often appeared to be moving. This was labeled the autokinetic effect. The autokinetic effect is an illusion because the light does not actually move. However, people almost always believe that it does.
Why did Sherif study the autokinetic effect?
Realizing that an experience that is completely "in people's heads" might be readily influenced by suggestion, Sherif decided to study how people were influenced by other people's opinions, in their perception of the autokinetic effect.
First Sherif studied how subjects reacted to the autokinetic effect when they were in a room by themselves. He found that they soon established their own individual norms for the judgment—usually 2 to 6 inches. In other words, when given many opportunities (trials) to judge the movement of the light, they settled on a distance of 2-6 inches and became consistent in making this judgment from trial to trial.
What happened when people judged the autokinetic effect by themselves?
What happened when people were put into groups?
In the next phase of the experiment, groups of subjects were put in the dark room, 2 or 3 at a time, and asked to agree on a judgment. Now Sherif noted a tendency to compromise. People who usually made an estimate like 6 inches soon made smaller judgments like 4 inches. Those who saw less movement, such as 2 inches, soon increased their judgments to about 4 inches. People changed to more resemble the others in the group.
Sherif's subjects were not aware of this social influence. When Sherif asked subjects directly, "Were you influenced by the judgments of other persons during the experiments," most denied it. However, when subjects were tested one at a time, later, most now conformed to the group judgment they recently made. A subject who previously settled on an estimate of 2 inches or 6 inches was more likely (after the group experience) to say the light was moving about 4 inches. These subjects had been changed by the group experience, whether they realized it or not. They had increased their conformity to group norms.
Group norms are agreed-upon standards of behavior. Sherif's experiment showed group norms are established through interaction of individuals and the leveling-off of extreme opinions. The result is a consensus agreement that tends to be a compromise...even if it is wrong.
Line Judgment Study (Asch)-
Asch (1951) devised what is now regarded as a classic experiment in social psychology, whereby there was an obvious answer to a line judgment task. If the participant gave an incorrect answer it would be clear that this was due to group pressure.
Aim: to investigate the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform.
Procedure: Asch used a lab experiment to study conformity, whereby 50 male students from Swarthmore College in the USA participated in a 'vision test'. Using a line judgment task, Asch put a naive participant in a room with seven confederates.The confederates had agreed in advance what their responses would be when presented with the line task. The real participant did not know this and was led to believe that the other seven participants were also real participants like themselves. Each person in the room had to state aloud which comparison line (A, B or C) was most like the target line. The answer was always obvious. The real participant sat at the end of the row and gave his or her answer last. There were 18 trials in total and the confederates gave the wrong answer on 12 trails (called the critical trials). Asch was interested to see if the real participant would conform to the majority view. Asch's experiment also had a control condition where there were no confederates, only a "real participant".
Results: Asch measured the number of times each participant conformed to the majority view. On average, about one third (32%) of the participants who were placed in this situation went along and conformed with the clearly incorrect majority on the critical trials.
Over the 12 critical trials about 75% of participants conformed at least once, 50% conformed on half of the trials or more, and 25% of participant never conformed. In the control group, with no pressure to conform to confederates, less than 1% of participants gave the wrong answer.
Conclusion: Why did the participants conform so readily? When they were interviewed after the experiment, most of them said that they did not really believe their conforming answers, but had gone along with the group for fear of being ridiculed or thought "peculiar". A few of them said that they really did believe the group's answers were correct.
Apparently, people conform for two main reasons: because they want to fit in with the group (normative influence) and because they believe the group is better informed than they are (informational influence).
Asch believed that the main problem with Sherif's conformity experiment was that:
There was no correct answer to the ambiguous autokinetic experiment. (How could we be sure that a person conformed if there was no correct answer?)
In Asch's Line Judgment Study:
Results- ______% conformed on at least one trial
______% conformed on half of the trials or more
_______% never conformed
75%; 50%; 25%
Similarities of Asch's & Sherif's studies
1) Both yielded high levels of CONFORMITY
2)Both demonstrate the power OTHERS have on our PERCEPTIONS
In Sherif's study, the task was ______________ and the physical reality was _______________________
In Asch's study, the task was ___________________ and the physical reality was _______________
simple; very clear
Why do we conform?
Informational & Normative Influence
People conform because they want to be correct in their judgments
Explains SHERIFS EXPERIMENT
People conform because they fear the consequences of being deviant
Explains ASCH'S EXPERIMENT
Different types of influence produce different types of ____________________
Informational influence produces __________________________
A change in beliefs that occurs when a person actually believes the position taken by others
Normative Influence produces ____________________
A superficial change in overt behavior, without a corresponding change of opinion, produced by real or imagined group pressure
5 Factors affecting conformity pressure
1) Group Size
4)Expertise & Status of group members
Compliance techniques focus on...
getting people to agree to a request
3 Approaches to compliance
1)Reason (aims at the head-educated logic behind why they should do something)
2)Emotion (aims at the heart-make them feel for why they should do something)
3)Norms (everyone else is doing this)
A ______________________ and ___________________ mood can help increase compliance.
positive and negative (like guilt)
Robert Cialdini studied how successful marketing results in __________________________
For example, soft drink labels have long used celebrities to increase compliance. The ordinary consumer would buy the drink because
they liked the celebrity, assumed that the celebrity approved of the product, and believed what he had to say about it.
Six Universal principles of influence
1)Reciprocity (Door in the face/that's not all)
2)Commitment & Consistency (Foot in the door/low balling)
At an arts fair on a college campus, some people who approached the booth of the psychology club bake sale were told that one cupcake and two medium-sized cookies cost a total of 75 cents.
Others were initially told that each cupcake cost 75 cents, and then, before they said whether they wanted one or not, they were told the price included two medium-sized cookies.
(73% of people purchased the snacks in the second condition, whereas only 40% in the control- "all at once" condition)
What is this approach called?
That's not all technique
Influencer makes an outrageous request that is sure to be refused, then counteroffers with a much smaller, more reasonable request.
Why does the door-in-the-face technique work?
Norm of reciprocity
Norm of reciprocity
a norm dictating that people should provide benefits to those who benefit them
Influencer sets the stage for the real request by first getting person to comply with a much smaller request
Why does the foot-in-the-door technique work?
1) Self-perception theory
2) Consistency & Commitment
Why is the self-perception theory evidence for the foot-in-the door technique?
The idea is that the initial agreement to the small request will lead to a change in the target person's self image as someone who does this sort of thing or who contributes to such causes.
-The person then has a reason for agreeing to the subsequent, larger request. She thinks "it's just who I am"
Rummage through House study & Billboard study were both examples of _____________________ compliance approaches.
Rummage through the House Study- Freedman & Fraser (1966)
IV: small request first, no request first
Initial request (small): by phone, asked women to complete a short survey on household products
Intrusive request (big): 3 days later, asked women to allow a few men into the house for 2 hours to rummage through their drawers
RESULTS: Those who were first asked an initial small request 3 days earlier, were more likely to agree to let the men take inventory of their home (around 50%) Those who had no initial request were much less likely to allow the men to do so. (around 20%)
Billboard study- Freedman & Fraser (1966)
Investigators knocked on doors in a residential neighborhood and asked homeowners wether they would be willing to have a large billboard sign bearing the slogan "drive carefully" installed in their front yard for one week. One group saw a picture- it was large & unattractive- only 17% agreed to the request.
Another group of residents was approached with a much smaller request- to display in a window of their home a 3-inch square sign bearing the phrase "be a safe driver" and virtually all agreed to do so.
Two weeks later, 2nd group was asked to display a billboard - 76% agreed!
Demonstrates the FOOT IN THE DOOR TECHNIQUE
Human behavior is subject to momentum- getting people started on something small often makes it easier to
get them to do much bigger things down the road
Chaperone Study: Cialdini (1975)
IV: large request first vs. no initial request
Asked students to volunteer for 2 hours/week for 2 years to work with juvenile delinquents
(or no large request first at all)
Followed with smaller request: will you escort juvenile delinquents to the zoo?
Results: Those who had the outrageous initial request were much more likely to agree to chaperone delinquents at the zoo (50%)
Those who had no initial request, were less likely to agree to chaperone delinquents at the zoo (<20%)
Demonstrates the DOOR IN THE FACE TECHNIQUE
Influencer secures agreement with a request, then increases the size of the request by revealing hidden costs
How does it work? Psychology of commitment
7:00 AM Study (Cialdini, 1975)
Asked intro psych students to participate in experiment
IV: low balling (secures agreement with request, then reveals hidden costs) or up-front
Half were told in advance that it would start at 7 am & half were told after agreeing that it would start at 7 am
More likely to agree if asked after agreeing to be "in an experiment" (>50%) than when just asked to be in 7:00 experiment (about 30%)
Why does this work?
Psychology of Commitment
People's perceptions about what most people do
Prescriptive norms are also known as ___________________ norms
Prescriptive (Injunctive) norms
People's perceptions of what people OUGHT to do
University administrators often say that students should get 8-9 hours of sleep a night (____________________ norm), but most students sleep much less (__________________________ norm)
For an appeal to be effective, norms should not ________________ (example?)
ex: By telling people they shouldn't remove petrified wood from the Petrified National Forest (prescriptive norm), park officials are communicating that stealing wood is something people do (descriptive norm). This can increase the very action-theft-the authorities are trying to prevent!
When members of a group mistakenly believe that everyone in the group feels a certain way or holds a certain belief.
Alcohol ex. of pluralistic ignorance
University students believe drinking alcohol is more popular among their peers than it really is. Because of this belief, they sensor their own reservations about drinking, thus furthering the illusion that alcohol is so popular.
People say yes to the ________________ they _______________
people they like
People say yes to people they regard as ________________________________
Most famous set of social psychological experiments conducted that study when and why people obey the commands or instructions of someone in authority
Stanley Milgram's experiments
Uses a shock generator that looked real but was actually just a prop
Studied whether participants would continue to obey instructions and deliver electric shocks to a learner, even when they thought the learner was in grave distress
Recommended textbook explanations
Psychology: Principles in Practice
Spencer A. Rathus
Myers' Psychology for the AP Course
David G Myers
Myers' Psychology for AP
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Myers' Psychology for AP
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