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Social Influences on Behavior Mr. Koch AP Psychology Forest Lake High School.

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1 Social Influences on Behavior Mr. Koch AP Psychology Forest Lake High School

2 Deindividuation – Phenomenon when a person becomes submerged in a group and loses sense of individuality – Tend to do things would not normally do when alone (feel anonymous)

3 Social influences on motivation Norman Triplett (1897) – Noticed bicycle racers tended to go faster when others were present – Experiment – 3 conditions: – Race alone against clock – With another cyclist, but not competing – With another cyclist, in competition Result: went faster with another cyclist, regardless of competition – Found similar results in experiment with adolescents winding fishing reels

4 Robert Zajonc – Social facilitation vs. Social impairment Presence of others increases general level of arousal Arousal increases tendency to perform behaviors that are most dominant (the ones we know best) – Improves performance for easy, familiar tasks – Performance may suffer for hard, unfamiliar tasks

5 Social Loafing – Exerting less effort when performing a group task than when performing the same task alone – Harder to evaluate the performance of individuals when in group – Rewards may come to group regardless of individual giving more effort – Groups rewards usually divided equally rather than by effort

6 Group polarization – Interaction and discussion of individuals in a group with similar beliefs/attitudes tends to make these beliefs/attitudes more extreme risky shift and conservative shift

7 Groupthink – A pattern of thinking in which group members fail to realistically evaluate the wisdom of various options and decisions – Likely when place higher value on reaching decision/consensus than assuring decision is right – Best way to avoid is by encouraging diverse perspectives and dissent to be expressed


9 Conformity Changing ones behavior or beliefs to match those of others, generally as a result of real or imagined, though unspoken group pressure – Compliance – adjusting ones behavior because of an explicit or implicit request

10 Solomon Aschs Conformity Study Subjects asked to pick which of 3 lines was same size as standard line – Didnt realize that other subjects in panels were confederates – On 6 trials, confederates would choose the correct answer – But on 12 of the trials, created social reality by all choosing the wrong line

11 Aschs Conformity Study Control condition – less than 1% of participants ever made a mistake Experimental condition – about 70% made at least one error by conforming to the group norm Conformed on over 1/3 of all responses Why did they conform? – Public conformity Didnt believe, but saw it as socially desirable thing to do – Private acceptance Saw others responses as legitimate evidence of reality, were convinced their own perceptions were wrong, and changed their minds

12 Factors influencing conformity Ambiguity – When something is less certain, rely more on others opinions Group Size and Unanimity – More powerful at 3 people or more – If even one person disagrees, greatly reduces conformity (<10% in Asch study) Social Status Prior commitment Culture that promotes importance of social standards Research has shown no legitimate gender-based differences Minority influence – much more rare, but can be powerful


14 Asch Conformity Study

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