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Chapter 7 Conformity.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 7 Conformity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 7 Conformity

2 Figure 7.1: Continuum of Social Influence

3 Figure 7.2: The Chameleon Effect
From Psychology, 3rd Edition by Saul Kassin. Copyright © Reprinted by permission of Prentice-Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ.

4 Conformity Tendency to change perceptions, opinions, or behavior in ways that are consistent with group norms.

5 Putting Common Sense to the Test…
True or False? When all members of a group give an incorrect response to an easy questiaon, most people most of the time conform with that response. Answer: False… Let’s see why!

6 Figure 7.3: A Classic Case of Suggestibility

7 Figure 7.4: Line Judgment Task Used in Asch's Conformity Studies

8 What Did Asch’s Participants Do?
Participants went along with the clearly incorrect majority 37% of the time. However, 25% of the participants NEVER conformed. Still, 50% conformed for at least half of the critical presentations. The rest conformed on an occasional basis.

9 Sherif’s vs. Asch’s Studies
Sherif: Because of ambiguity, participants turned to each other for guidance. Asch: Found self in awkward position. Obvious that group was wrong

10 Why Do People Conform? Informational Influence: People conform because they believe others are correct in their judgments. Normative Influence: People conform because they fear the consequences of appearing deviant.

11 Types of Conformity Private Conformity: Changes in both overt behavior and beliefs. Public Conformity: Superficial change in overt behavior only.

12 Figure 7.6: Distinguising Types of Conformity

13 Table 7.1: Two Types of Conformity

14 Majority Influence: Group Size
Conformity increases with group size -- but only up to a point. Why? Law of “diminishing returns”? Perception that others are either in “collusion” or “spineless sheep”?

15 Majority Influence: Awareness of Norms
Conform only when know about and focus on social norms. Often misperceive what is normative. Pluralistic ignorance

16 Majority Influence: Having an Ally in Dissent
When there was an ally in Asch’s study, conformity dropped by almost 80%. Why does having an ally reduce majority influence on our behavior? Substantially more difficult to stand alone for one’s convictions than when one is part of even a tiny minority. Any dissent can reduce the normative pressures to conform.

17 Majority Influence and Gender Differences
Sex differences appear to depend on: How comfortable people are with the experimental task Type of social pressure people face

18 Majority Influence and Culture
Cultures differ in the extent to which people adhere to social norms. What determines whether a culture becomes individualistic or collectivistic? The complexity of the society The affluence of the society The heterogeneity of the society

19 Minority Influence: The Power of Style
Moscovici: Nonconformists derive power from the style of their behavior. “Consistent dissent” approach Hollander: Minorities influence by first accumulating idiosyncrasy credits. “First conform, then dissent” strategy

20 How Does Minority Influence Work?
Does minority influence work just like the process of conformity? Do majorities and minorities exert influence in different ways? Because of their power and control, majorities elicit public conformity through normative pressures. Because seen as seriously committed to their views, minorities produce private conformity, or conversion.

21 Majority vs. Minority Influence
Relative impact of each depends on whether the judgment that is being made is objective or subjective. The relative effects of majority and minority viewpoints depend on how conformity is measured. Direct, public measures vs. more indirect, private measures of conformity

22 Compliance Changes in behavior that are elicited by direct requests.

23 The Language of Requests
Talking fast and catching people off guard can improve compliance rates. People can be disarmed by the simple phrasing of the request. How you ask for something can be more important than what you ask for. Langer: We often respond mindlessly to words without fully processing the information they are supposed to convey.

24 Langer et al (1978)

25 Norm of Reciprocity The powerful norm of reciprocity dictates that we treat others as they have treated us. This norm leads us to feel obligated to repay for acts of kindness, even when unsolicited. Norm of reciprocity is relatively short-lived.

26 Sequential Request Strategies: Foot-in-the-Door Technique
Person begins with a very small request; secures agreement; then makes a separate larger request. Why is it effective? Self-perception theory revisited

27 Freedman and Fraser

28 Sequential Request Strategies: Low-Balling
Person secures agreement with a request and then increases the size of that request by revealing hidden costs. Why is it effective? Psychology of commitment

29 Cialdini et al

30 Putting Common Sense to the Test…
True or False? An effective way to get someone to do you a favor is to make a first request that is so large the person is sure to reject it. Answer: True… Let’s see why!

31 Sequential Request Strategies: Door-in-the-Face Technique
Person begins with a very large request that will be rejected; then follows that up with a more moderate request. Why is it effective? Perceptual contrast? Reciprocal concessions?

32 Cialdini et al

33 Sequential Request Strategies: That’s Not All, Folks!
Person begins with a somewhat inflated request; then immediately decreases the apparent size of the request by offering a discount or bonus.

34 Burger et al

35 Table 7.3: Sequential Request Strategies

36 Assertiveness: When People Say No
To be able to resist the trap of compliance techniques, one must: Be vigilant Not feel indebted by the norm of reciprocity Compliance techniques work smoothly only if they are hidden from view.

37 Obedience Behavior change produced by the commands of authority

38 Putting Common Sense to the Test…
True or False? In experiments on obedience, most participants who were ordered to administer severe shocks to an innocent person refused to do so. Answer: False… Let’s see why!

39 Milgram’s Research: Forces of Destructive Obedience
Conducted his experiments during the time that Adolph Eichmann was being tried for Nazi war crimes. His unorthodox methods have been the subject of much ethical debate. Description of Milgram’s obedience experiments.

40 Table 7.4: The Learner's Protests in the Milgram Experiment
Experiment 5: New Base-Line Condition. The Learner's Schedule of Protests, pp , AND figure created from Table 2 Maximum shocks Administered in Experiments 1,2,3, and 4, p. 35 from OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY: AN EXPERIMENTAL VIEW by STANLEY MILGRAM Copyright © 1974 by Stanley Milgram. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

41 The Prods Used in Milgram’s Experiment
“Please continue (or please go on).” “The experiment requires that you continue.” “It is absolutely essential that you continue.” “You have no other choice; you must go on.”

42 Table 7.5: Milgram's Baseline Results
Experiment 5: New Base-Line Condition. The Learner's Schedule of Protests, pp , AND figure created from Table 2 Maximum shocks Administered in Experiments 1,2,3, and 4, p. 35 from OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY: AN EXPERIMENTAL VIEW by STANLEY MILGRAM

43 The Obedient Participant
Milgram’s participants were tormented by experience. No gender differences observed in level of obedience. Milgram’s basic findings have been replicated in several different countries and among different age groups.

44 Are We All Nazis? No, an individual’s character can make a difference.
Authoritarian Personality: Submissive toward figures of authority but aggressive toward subordinates.

45 Figure 7.7: Factors That Influence Obedience
Based on Stanley Milgram, Obedience to Authority, 1974.

46 Important Factors That Influence Obedience
Physical presence and apparent legitimacy of the authority figure The victim’s proximity The experimental procedure Participants were led to feel relieved of personal responsibility for the victim’s welfare. Gradual escalation was used.

47 Defiance: When People Rebel
Social influence can also breed rebellion and defiance. Having allies gives individuals the courage to disobey.

48 The Continuum of Social Influence

49 Putting Common Sense to the Test…
True or False? As the number of people in a group increases, so does their impact on an individual. Answer: False… Let’s see why!

50 Social Impact Theory Social influence depends on three factors:
The strength of the source The immediacy of the source to the target in time and space The number of sources

51 Figure 7.8: Social Impact: Source Factors and Target Factors
From B. Latane (1981) "The Psychology of Social Impact," American Psychologist, 36, Copyright (c) 1981 by the American Psychological Association. Reprinted with permission.

52 Putting Common Sense to the Test…
True or False? Conformity rates vary across different cultures and from one generation to the next. Answer: True… Let’s see why!

53 Perspectives on Human Nature
Are people generally malleable or unyielding? Cultural differences Some cultures value autonomy and independence whereas others place more emphasis on conformity to one’s group. Within a given culture, these values can change over time.

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