Gass and Seiter - Chapter 6
Terms in this set (63)
Heaven's Gate cult
-committed mass suicide so they might shed their bodies and be whisked away by an alien spaceship that was flying around in the tail of the Hale-Bopp comet
-leaders: Bo and Peep (Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Lu Nettles) must have been highly charismatic and trusted by their followers
-the cult members must have been highly persuadable
-strong group dynamic may have contributed to the suicide
-seemed to be pressure within the cult to "fit in" - members reportedly looked the same (androgynous appearances - women wore cropped hair, many of the men were castrated, they all dressed in "black pajamas")
-being a member of a cult satisfies a need to belong
expectations held by a group of people about what behaviors or opinions are right or wrong, good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable, appropriate or inappropriate.
-once norms are understood, we feel a pressure to conform to them
written or spoken openly
Ex: road signs indicate howfast you are permitted to drive
Ex: monopoly rules
not openly stated
Ex: when you are a guest in someone's home, you don't put your feet on the dinner table even though you've never read a rule sayin you shouldn't.
Ex: taking your clothes off in the middle of lecture
Experiment on Conformity
participants had to choose which line matched the same length as the line on a card. All the people at the beginning gave the wrong answer. 75% of the subjects went along with the group and gave the wrong answer in at least one of the trials.
This illustrates the tremendous power of groups to exert influence.
social impact theory (SIT)
argues that the first person you add to a group has the most influence. Each additional member has some impact, but each has less than the person added before him or her.
social influence model (SIM)
argues that the 3rd and 4th people added to the group have the most impact because no minority is possible with only 2 people.
In other words, it is easier to disagree with one person than it is to disagree with 2 or 3 people.
Cambell and Fairey argued that when you are making ad decision in a group, you are motivated by 2 things:
1. you want to be right
2. you want to be liked
we have a desire to be right and we conform to the group because we think the group may be correct
we conform in order to gain rewards (be liked) and avoid punishments (scorn)
Normative influence is stronger when?
when people respond in front of the group
informational influence is stronger when?
when people respond in private
The Effect of More Than One Dissenter
having an ally helps a person resist conforming to a group
-a single subject is likely to conform when he or she is faced with four other people who disagree, but if one of those four sides with the subject, the subject continues to dissent. (even if the supporting partner's judgments are questionable....Ex: when trying to make judgments about visual stimuli, even a supporting partner who seemed visually impaired (wore glasses and seemed to have hard time seeing) prevented subjects from conforming)
morality as motivated resistance hypothesis
people with stronger moral convictions should be more resistant to majority influence than people with weaker convictions
Ex: people with strong convictions against torture were more likely to express opposition to torturing suspected terrorists, even when all the members of their groups expressed support for such torture.
It may be possible for the minority to influence the majority even when they are alone in the group
2 strategies a minority can try are:
1. conforming with the group then deviating
2. consistently disagreeing with the group
hazing and similar practices build cohesiveness by encouraging bonding among new recruits.
We value a group more if our indoctrination into the group is severe and intense.
Once we value a group, we are likely to conform to it.
Some people estimate that as many as __________________ Americans are or have been involved with cultic groups
Indoctrination into cults occurs in 4 stages
1. softening-up stage
4. consolidation stage
recruits are targeted when vulnerable (following divorce or death of loved one) and befriended by a member and invited to meetings
There, recruits are showered with attention and praise from cult members (called "love bombing")
recruits, feeling important and loved, tentatively experiment with some of the behaviors requested by the cult (may include changes in diet, sleep, and appearance)
recruits begin to consider some of the demands and beliefs of the cult (all nonmembers are evil) to be more acceptable
recruits become loyal to the cult and demonstrate their allegiance with costly behaviors such as abandoning their careers or academic goals, donating all their personal possessions to the cult, and recruiting new members
occurs when people are united in substance (when they share attitudes, activities, ideas, possessions, etc.
group that has the power to influence us through the process of identification
-not all groups are reference groups (a group getting together to study for a test would probably not exert much influence not he way you think and behave on a daily basis)
-we tend to conform more to a group of people who are similar to us than a group of people who are not.
although fitting in and getting along with others can be a good thing, too much identification can have negative consequences.
belief that one's culture is the standard by which all others should be evaluated
-occurs when members of a culture identify too strongly with their own culture
-can lead to hatred, discrimination, and violence toward members of another culture
-small group contexts
-occurs when members in a group are so concerned with achieving consensus and getting along with each other that they don't disagree when they should
-groups with this are notorious for bad decision making because they involve collectives of people who are all thinking in the same way
exist when employees identify so much with their organization that they conform to the organization's values and actions
Organization and groups need members who will occasionally...
rock the boat, blow whistles, and play devil's advocate
Gender and conformity
-females are more likely to conform than males
Ex: if person in front of them in line got dessert, 77% of women conformed and got a dessert as well, but only 43% of men did.
Ex: male and female participants viewed photos of opposite-sex models. In some photos, the models were alone. In others, the models were surrounded by members of the opposite sex who appeared as if they were attracted to the models. Results revealed that the male participants rate the solo and surrounded models as being equally attractive. In contrast, the female participants rated the surrounded models as most attractive.
one study conducted on more than 3,000 teens found that...
more than 2/3 of them felt substantial peer pressure to have sex, drink, and take drugs
_____________________ is the most important factor in determining whether teens begin smoking
is peer pressure always a bad thing?
personality and conformity
-managers with high cognitive complexity tend to perform best in turbulent environments largely because they conform less than managers with low cognitive complexity.
-people high in desire to control events in their lives react negatively to group pressure and are, therefore, less likely to conform than people with a low desire for control.
-high self-monitors, who pay close attention to social cues on appropriate behavior, are more likely to conform than low self monitors.
-people who are high in need for affiliation and group identification conform more than people without such needs
4 dimensions of values along which any culture can be placed
1. power distance
2. uncertainty avoidance
people from cultures that score high on power distance value hierarchy and obedience to authority, whereas those who score low on power distance prefer equality and participative decision making
cultures with low power distance scores (israel, australia) are less likely to conform than those from cultures with high power distance scores (phillipines, mexico, venezuela, india, singapore)
cultures that are uncomfortable with ambiguous situations (greece, portugal, japan, peru, chile, spain) should conform more than cultures that are comfortable with ambiguity (U.S., Singapore, India, England, Sweden)
masculinity/femininity in cultures
masculine cultures value competition, strength, assertiveness, and achievement. Whereas some are characterized as feminine and value cooperation, affection, intuition, and nurturance.
-those that are from masculine cultures (Japan, Italy, austria, Mexico, England, Venezuela) conform less than members from feminine cultures (Scandanavian cultures, portugal, netherlands)
individualism vs collectivism in cultures
individualistic cultures values personal goals, self-autonomy, etc.
collectivistic cultures emphasize importance of group goals and harmony
individualistic cultures (U.S., England, Australia, Canada, Italy, Denmark) are less conforming than collectivistic cultures (Columbia, Korea, Peru, Taiwan, Pakistan, Chile)
group locomotion hypothesis
this view suggests that members of a group are motivated to achieve the group's goals. When a member of the group believes that going along with the group will help achieve those goals, he or she is motivated to conform.
social composition theory
suggests that you determine things such as if you are attractive, tall, weird, or good at something by comparing yourself to others, which can lead to conformity.
(Ex: if you spank your kids but learn none of your friends spank their kids, you may stop spanking them)
consistency (or balance) theory
suggests that it is uncomfortable to disagree with a group that you like and find attractive. Thus to restore balance, you are motivated to go along with the group and perhaps even convince yourself that the group was correct all along.
epistemological weighting hypothesis
suggests that we gain knowledge in 2 ways:
, through trial and error and perceptual observation
, through observations and communication with others
argues that we conform to avoid pain (rejection, scorn) and gain pleasure (acceptance, love, approval)
the tendency to view behaviors as more appropriate or correct when a lot of other people are engaging in such behaviors
-can make us vulnerable to the persuasive attempts of others, because we are more likely to engage in behavior when persuaders lead us to believe hat a lot of other people are engaging in that behavior
Ex: singer in subway puts some of their own money in guitar case before they even start playing because when people pass by, they think others have contributed and are more likely to do the same.
companies encourage individual customers to make purchases through buying groups, which receive a discounted group rate
-Example: The lululemon bulk order groupme!!
-customers who want the discount spread the word, essentially becoming sales agents for the company
because social proof is rooted in people's tendency to conform, it should be especially effective in what culture?
collectivistic culture where conformity is prevalent
the act of excluding others
ostracized people ma behave in more socially acceptable ways
Ex: "cyberball", a computer ball-tossing game. Two players who were computer generated and programmed to hardly ever have the ball tossed to them. After a few minutes, they were excused from the game. Then, shortly after, they were approached by someone collecting donations. Students who had been ostracized were significantly more likely to make a donation.
being in a group causes people to become less aware of themselves and less concerned with how others will evaluate them.
Because being in a large group makes a person both more aroused and anonymous, the person focuses less on himself or herself and behaves more impulsively
Ex: Woodstock concert: lady admits to doing things she wouldn't have done if she had not been lost in the crowd
Ex: trick or treating, people left the bowl by the door for a second and told them to only a take a piece. When children were alone, 7.5% of them took more candy than they were supposed to. But when in groups, 20.8% stole candy. Moreover, when the children remained anonymous,, they stole more candy than they did when the experimenter asked their names.
public self awareness
refers to how we view ourselves as social objects and our concerns about such things as our appearance and the impression we are making on others.
private self awareness
refers to our focus on hidden aspects of ourselves such as our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions
-deindividuation is decreased only when this is increased.
reduction in motivation and effort when individuals work collectively compared with when they work individually or coactively
Ex: moving a big piece of furniture with several others, do you really try as hard as you can?
collective effort model
argues that we tend to get lazy if we don't expect our efforts to lead to personally valued outcomes or if we don't think our effort will be instrumental in obtaining those outcomes
(we won't get the credit we are due or achieve the results we desire)
free ride effect
suggests that when they can get away with it, people try to benefit from the efforts of others. That is, they slack off when others are working, when they are anonymous, and when they don't think their own efforts will be evaluated.
occurs when people suspect that others may be taking a free ride. Rather than be a "sucker" who does all the work, people slack off in order to match the level of work done by others.
social loafing can be reduced or overcome by
-providing individuals with feedback about their own performance or the performance of their work group
-monitoring individual performance or making such performance identifiable
-assigning meaningful tasks
-making tasks unique such that individuals feel more responsibility for their work
-enhancing the cohesiveness of work groups
-making individuals feel that their contributions to the task are necessary ad not irrelevant
people who are open to new experiences, conscientious, agreeable, and high in the need for cognition...
are less likely to loaf than their counterparts
are people who increase their efforts and willingly work alone in an effort to rescue group projects
the tendency to perform better when other people are around
-the presence of others tends to improve performance on simple or well-rehearsed tasks while impairing performance on complex or unfamiliar tasks
risky shift phenomenon
individuals made riskier decisions when they were in groups than they did when alone.
(While an individual might decide to allow surgery when there was a 1% chance of death, a group might allow it when there was a 50% chance)
group polarization phenomenon
groups cause people to become more extreme in their decisions. Thus, if you are predisposed to making a slightly risky decision, being in a group may cause you to make a riskier decision; if you are predisposed to make a conservative decision, being in a group may cause you to make an even more conservative decision
persuasive arguments theory
asserts that before entering a group discussion, each member ha one or more arguments that support his or her own position. The position that has the best and largest number of arguments supporting it is the position toward which members shift
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