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Influence of Groups on our Behaviors

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Presentation on theme: "Influence of Groups on our Behaviors"— Presentation transcript:

1 Influence of Groups on our Behaviors
Social Psychology Influence of Groups on our Behaviors

2 Attribution Theory: How we explain the behavior of others
Why did the Nazi’s during WWII commit atrocities against fellow human beings? Why are people homeless? Why are some people in prison? What are the major reasons why people become substance abusers?

3 Dispositional vs. Situational
Dispositional Attribution: Believe that people’s personality and personal choices can explain why they behave as they do. Situational Attribution: Look at the various factors and pressures in a person’s situation to help explain why they behave as they do.

4 Explanations for Your Behaviors
Why did you cheat on a test? Why do you sometimes lie? Why have you teased or bullied someone?

5 Make the Attribution Error for the behavior of others but for our own
When we are explaining other people’s behaviors, we overplay their disposition or personality and ignore the significant impact of situational variables. However, when explaining our own misdeeds, we are more than willing to address the pressures of the situation!

6 Conformity to Norms of Groups
Asch Experiment: Which line matches one on left?

7 Asch Study is a classic in demonstrating conformity
Groups have norms or standards of behavior We tend to conform to the norms of a group even if we don’t agree. Why? One-third of the time, subjects conformed to the wrong answer in the line experiment if 4 or more others first gave the wrong answer.

8 Group Think Groups members work more toward harmony and avoidance of discord than toward critical thinking Groupthink is more likely to occur when strong members speak early, frequently and strongly about their opinions

9 NASA: Challenger Shuttle Tragedy

10 Engineers under pressure from Directors of the Mission
Engineers knew that the weather was way too cold for the O ring to function properly to maintain the integrity of the shuttle Spent time making their case but in the end they caved, resulting in the inevitable explosion of the Challenger after take-off

11 Columbia Shuttle Crew

12 Left Wing Harmed Upon Take-off

13 Classic Group Think Engineers concerned about foam hitting the wing of Columbia Two directors of Columbia mission immediately dismiss their concerns and fairly quickly reduced dissent Why difficult to dissent at that point?

14 Columbia Disintegrating upon Reentry

15 Juries: 12 Angry Men

16 Plot of “12 Angry Men” Start with judge sending jury to room for deliberation Room is very hot and most want to get home as quickly as possible Take a close ballot and only one dissents from a vote of guilty Henry Fonda asks them simply to re-examine the evidence Much anger and bitterness develops See how jury moves from 11-1 for guilty to 12-0, not guilty—very absorbing drama.

17 Bystander Apathy: Kitty Genovese

18 This was the incident that started the research on bystander apathy
Over 38 people stated to the police that they had heard Kitty yell for help Many of them also had seen her being assaulted None came to her assistance or even called the police. Why?

19 What reasons did the witnesses give for not taking action?
Karl Ross called police at 3:50 but not before call friend to ask what he should do. Middle-class neighborhood but large apartment complex—therein lies the problem—diffusions of responsibility Rationales given to police by residents: Sounded like a “lovers’ quarrel.” Didn’t want to get involved Frankly, we were afraid. Were too tired.

20 Studies of Bystander Apathy
Number of witnesses to crises crucial to if someone will come forward to assist Ideal number is one or two Four or more and likely to ignore or observe without assisting

21 Scene of Bystander Apathy: Train Station in Liverpool

22 Famous Studies by Latane & Darley
Experiment where subjects sit in a room completing a questionnaire when smoke begins to enter the room. If subject is the only person in room, 75% leave room to report possible emergency If three subjects in room, only 38% of the time will one of them report the smoke If two passive confederates are in room with subject, subject reports only 10% of the time.

23 How respond when smoke flowing into the room

24 Explanation Give for Behavior
If report that smoke flowing into the room, state do so because it could be fire If not report the smoke but, instead stay seated, state not believe it was a dangerous situation No one ever mentions that presence of others doing nothing about the fire inhibited them from reporting smoke

25 Lady in Distress Experiment
Situation: Sitting in Room when hear woman fall and appear to have been hurt Sitting alone: 70% assist Sitting with stranger: 40% help Sitting with one passive confederate: 7% What are reasons give?

26 Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment
Male Stanford College Students Volunteer to participate Randomly assigned to be prisoners or guards Guards tended to conform to maltreatment of prisoners OR did nothing to protest treatment Prisoners initially work together but soon felt isolated

27 Video about Prison Experiment

28 Zimbardo Interview on Daily Show

29 Treatment of Iraqi Detainees by American Soldiers: No one in charge

30 Conforming Behavior in Schools
Gang up and bully certain kids More willing to perform anti-social behaviors in groups Why do we conform?

31 Obedience Experiment by Milgram
Obedience Experiment by Milgram

32 Obedience Experiment

33 Percentage that obeyed at each degree of shock

34 Programmed Responses

35 Degree of Obedience Depend on Situational Variables

36 Assertiveness Training
Have the right to refuse to request and to right a wrong Self-assertion: Stand up for these rights by speaking on your behalf Direct, honest expression of feelings and desires

37 Methods used by Cults Initially very affectionate and friendly to people who are a bit lonely and depressed Isolate from non-cult members to increase commitment and decrease critical thinking Ask small favors at first, like attending a meeting Slowly increase time, effort and $$ contributions

38 Encourage unquestioning acceptance of beliefs and dogma
Members begin as balanced, thinking people but taught to suspend faculties of independence and objective thought.

39 Members not know they are joining a cult!
Join because think group will fulfill genuine spiritual needs and for finding meaning in their life within an apparent caring community Cult leaders give lip service to being “humble” leaders when actually receive and expect honor from followers that borders on worship.

40 Use of Indoctrination Expose continually to propaganda of the cult
Use “Foot in the Door” tactics Start with small favors Slowly escalate in what asking of members

41 Gain Total Control Over Members
Sign over bank accounts Give control over children and women Leaders are portrayed as having total control Cult presents positive image to community Fundamentalist groups of all religions seem to be inclined toward forming cult-like societies

42 Leaders of Cults Speak and act from an infallible, unquestioned position of divine authority Authority to pronounce words and teachings that have the weight of absolute power behind them Usually a charismatic male

43 Jim Jones Cult Members Commit Suicide

44 Tragedy of Guyana: Jim Jones Story

45 Prejudice Increase under frustration
More commonly directed at group that presents a threat Conforming to our reference group Prejudiced personality: authoritarian, rigid, see things in black and white, impressed by power, accepts over-simplifications

46 Prejudice Experiencing frustration
Perceive a group or person as a threat Conforming to reference groups

47 Variable that Encourage Aggression
Biological Capacity for not sufficient Frustration Under High Stress Excessive heat Aversive stimuli around as a knife or gun Aggressive models

48 Factors that encourage pro-social & anti-social behaviors
Role models in your home Behavior of peers Stories covered in the media Role models shown on TV and in films

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