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Behaviour in Social and Cultural ContextIntroducing Psychology 4/12/2017 Behaviour in Social and Cultural Context Chapter 8 Prepared by Kristine A. Peace, Ph.D. These slides © 2010 Pearson Education Canada. Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada 8-1 ©1999 Prentice Hall
Chapter Outline Roles and Rules Social Influences on BeliefsIndividuals in Groups Us versus Them: Group Identity Group Conflict and Prejudice The Question of Human Nature Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada 8-2 -2
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaRoles and Rules Norms Rules that regulate social life, including explicit laws and implicit conventions Role A given social position that is governed by a set of norms for proper behaviour Social roles shaped by culture Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaCulture & Roles Culture A program of shared rules that govern the behaviour of people in a community or society A set of values, beliefs, and customs shared by most members of that community E.g., cultural differences in conversational distance Conversational distance – how close people normally stand to one another when they are speaking. Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaThe Obedience Study Milgram designed series of studies to test whether people would obey an authority figure when directly ordered to violate their ethical standards Learner = confederate Teacher = participant Experimenter = authority figure Task involved teacher giving “electric shock” to learner when incorrectly answered word pair questions Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaThe Obedience Study Milgram found that most people were far more obedient than anyone expected Every single participant administered some shock to the learner when told to do so 2/3 of participants shocked the learner to the maximum level (labelled 450V or XXX) Recent research has replicated these results even when easier for participants to disobey Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Factors Leading to DisobedienceWhen the experimenter left the room When the victim was right there in the room When two experimenters issued conflicting demands When the person ordering them to continue was an ordinary man When the participant worked with peers who refused to go further Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Evaluating the Obedience StudyRaises ethical questions regarding the use of deception in study Ethical concern over emotional pain experienced by participants Influence of the situation over personality traits questioned by some Linked to actions in Nazi Germany and prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib in Bagdad Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaThe Prison Study Zimbardo and Haney designed classic Stanford Prison Study Male university students randomly assigned to be prisoners or guards Prisoner role – associated with distress, helplessness, apathy, rebellion, and panic Guard role – some were nice, others “tough but fair”, but a third of guards became punitive and harsh Powerful demonstration of how the social situation affects behaviour Study prematurely cancelled after 6 days upon seeing the dramatic effects of the situation on the prisoners (including physical ailments, emotional distress) and guards. Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaWhy People Obey Allocating responsibility to the authority Routinizing the task Wanting to be polite Becoming entrapped Entrapment: gradual process in which individuals escalate their commitment to a course of action to justify their investment of time, money, or effort Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Social Influences on BeliefsSocial cognition An area in social psychology concerned with social influences on thought, memory, perception, and beliefs Social-cognitive neuroscience New specialty that uses technologies from neuroscience to study the emotional and social processes underlying beliefs, prejudices, and social behaviour Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaAttributions Attribution theory Argues that people are motivated to explain their own and other people’s behaviour by attributing causes of that behaviour to a situation or a disposition Situational attribution: something in the situation or environment caused the behaviour Dispositional attribution: something in the person (e.g., traits or motive) caused the behaviour Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaAttributions Fundamental Attribution Error The tendency, in explaining other people’s behaviour, to overestimate personality factors and underestimate the influence of the situation More prevalent in Western versus Eastern cultures Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaOther Attributions Self-serving bias The tendency, in explaining one’s own behaviour, to take credit for good actions and rationalize mistakes Group-serving bias The tendency to explain favourably the behaviours of members of groups to which we belong Just-world hypothesis Notion that people need to believe the world is fair and justice is served; bad people are punished and good people are rewarded When assumption called into question, people may engage in attributions involving blaming the victim Blaming the victim attributions – thinking that the victim of an action must have done something to deserve what happened or to provoke it Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaAttitudes Attitudes are beliefs about people, groups, ideas or activities Explicit attitude: an attitude that we are aware of, that shapes our conscious decisions and actions, and that can be measured on questionnaires Implicit attitude: an attitude that we are unaware of, that may influence our behaviour in ways we do not recognize, and that is measured in various indirect ways Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaAttitude Change Attitudes may change with new experiences and information, but also because of need for consistency Cognitive dissonance: state of tension that occurs when a person simultaneously holds two cognitions that are inconsistent; or when beliefs are incongruent with behaviour Resolve by changing attitude or behaviour Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaFriendly Persuasion Attitudes & belief vulnerable to social influence Familiarity effect: when people feel more positively toward a person, item, or product the more familiar they are with it Validity effect: when people believe a statement is true or valid simply because it has been repeated many times Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Persuasive InfluencesAdditional influences: Messages presented by admired, knowledgeable, or beautiful persons Messages associated with positive “fuzzy” feelings Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaCoercive Persuasion Coercive persuasion occurs when: The person is put under physical/emotional stress The person’s problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized The leader offers unconditional love, acceptance, and attention A new identity based on the group is created The person is subjected to entrapment The person’s access to information is severely controlled Coercive persuasion = involves techniques designed to suppress an individual’s ability to reason, think critically, and make choices in his or her own best interests Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Group Behaviour & ConformityDecisions we make in groups depend more on group structure & dynamics compared to personal factors Conformity involves taking action or adopting attitudes as a result of real or imagined group pressure E.g., Asch’s line studies Related to both social norms and culture Participants in a group were asked to match line lengths; confederates in the group picked wrong line; participants went along with wrong answer 37% of trials Meta-analyses demonstrate that conformity has decreased in US since May be due to changing social norms. Research also has demonstrated that conformity may vary according to culture: Individualist Cultures: Are those in which individual goals and wishes are prized above duty to and relations with others Collectivist Cultures: Are those in which harmony with one’s group is prized above individual goals and wishes Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaGroupthink Groupthink is a tendency for all members of a group to think alike for the sake of harmony and to suppress disagreement Symptoms of groupthink: An illusion of invulnerability Self-censorship Pressure on dissenters to conform An illusion of unanimity Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaThe Anonymous Crowd Diffusion of responsibility In groups, the tendency of members to avoid taking action because they assume others will Bystander apathy: in crowds, individuals’ failure to take action or call for help because they assume someone else will do so (e.g., Kitty Genovese) Social loafing: in work groups, where each member of a team slows down, letting others work harder Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaDeindividuation Deindividuation In groups or crowds, the loss of awareness of one’s own individuality Factors influencing deindividuation: Size of the city or group; wearing uniforms or masks Influences conforming to the norm of the specific situation, not overall mindlessness Implications for sense of responsibility for behaviour Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaAltruism & Dissent Altruism The willingness to take selfless or dangerous action on behalf of others Includes disobeying orders believed to be wrong or going against prevailing beliefs (dissent) E.g., fight for Canadian women to have legal status Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaAltruism & Dissent Situational factors in altruism & dissent: Perceive the need for intervention or help Situation increases the likelihood that you will take responsibility Cultural norms encourage you to take action Cost-benefit ratio supports your decision to get involved You have an ally You become entrapped Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Us versus Them: Group IdentitySocial identity The part of a person’s self-concept that is based on their identification with a nation, religious or political group, occupation, or other social affiliation Ethnic identity A person’s identification with a racial or ethnic group Acculturation The process by which members of minority groups come to identify with the mainstream culture Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaEthnic Identities Bicultural identity: person has strong ties to their ethnicity and the larger culture Assimilated identity: person has weak feelings of ethnicity but a strong sense of acculturation Marginal identity: person feels connected to neither their ethnicity or dominant culture Ethnic separatist identity: person has strong sense of ethnicity but weak acculturation Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaEthnocentrism Ethnocentrism The belief that your own ethnic group, nation, or religion is superior to all others Universal belief & may aid survival Based on social identity of “us”, where everyone else is “them” Fostered by competition, reduced by interdependence in reaching mutual goals E.g., Robbers Cave studies Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Robbers Cave ExperimentBoys randomly assigned to be “Eagles” or “Rattlers” Competitions fostered hostility between groups Situations that required cooperation for success reduced hostility & increased cross-group friendships Figure 8.3 The Experiment at Robbers Cave In this study, competitive games fostered hostility between the Rattlers and the Eagles. Few boys had a best friend from the other group (upper graph). But after the teams had to cooperate to solve various problems, the percentage who made friends across “enemy lines” shot up (lower graph) (Sherif et al., 1961). Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaStereotypes Stereotype Summary impression of a group, in which a person believes that all members of the group share a common trait or traits (positive, negative or neutral) May distort reality in three ways: Exaggerate differences between groups Produce selective perception Underestimate differences within other groups Stereotypes can be good as linked to mental efficiency – help us quickly process new information, organize experiences, retrieve memories Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Group Conflict & PrejudiceA strong, unreasonable dislike or hatred of a group, based on a negative stereotype The origins of prejudice are universal because it has so many sources and functions: Psychological, social and cultural, economic Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaOrigins of Prejudice Psychological functions People inflate their own self-worth by disliking groups they see as inferior Social and cultural functions By disliking “them”, we feel closer to others who are like us Economic functions Legitimizes unequal economic treatment Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Defining & Measuring PrejudicePrejudice is difficult to define and measure Not all people are prejudiced in the same way or to the same extent People know they shouldn’t be prejudiced so measures of these attitudes have declined Difference between explicit and implicit prejudice Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaExplicit Prejudice Surveys conducted often reflect a decrease in prejudiced attitudes toward specific groups over time Does this reflect true change or hidden attitudes? Figure 8.4 Changing Attitudes toward Gays North American attitudes toward the employment of gay men and lesbians have changed dramatically over the years. In 1977, large numbers of straight people thought that gays should not be permitted to serve in the military or work as teachers, doctors, and clergy. By 2003, the percentages were much lower (American Enterprise Institute, 2004). Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education CanadaImplicit Prejudice Measuring implicit prejudice: Measures of symbolic racism Measures of behaviours rather than attitudes Measures of unconscious associations with target group (e.g., Implicit Association Test) Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
Reducing Prejudice & ConflictBoth sides must have equal legal status, economic opportunities, and power Authorities and community institutions must provide moral, legal, and economic support for both sides Both sides must have opportunities to work and socialize together, formally and informally Both sides must cooperate, working together for a common goal Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
The Question of Human NatureSocial and cultural psychology would argue that ALL human beings contain the potential for both good and evil Normal processes involving roles and situations can often lead people to behave in ways they may not otherwise Reflects “the banality of evil” (Arendt, 1963) Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada
End of Chapter 8 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education Canada-38 -38
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