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The Regulation of Good and Evil: A Deviance Regulation Analysis of Societal Control Hart Blanton Texas A&M University.

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Presentation on theme: "The Regulation of Good and Evil: A Deviance Regulation Analysis of Societal Control Hart Blanton Texas A&M University."— Presentation transcript:

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2 The Regulation of Good and Evil: A Deviance Regulation Analysis of Societal Control Hart Blanton Texas A&M University

3 Societal Influences

4 Carrots & Sticks Negative Incentive Systems Negative Incentive Systems Legal CodesLegal Codes Moral/Religious PrescriptionsMoral/Religious Prescriptions Peer PressurePeer Pressure Positive Incentive Systems Positive Incentive Systems Social RolesSocial Roles IncomeIncome Social StatusSocial Status

5 Thesis Negative incentive systems function to promote conformity. Negative incentive systems function to promote conformity. Uniformity in groupsUniformity in groups Individual movement toward behavioral normsIndividual movement toward behavioral norms Positive incentive systems function to promote uniqueness. Positive incentive systems function to promote uniqueness. Variability in groupsVariability in groups Individual movement away from behavioral normsIndividual movement away from behavioral norms

6 Outline 1. Introduce Deviance Regulation 2. Social Influence Studies 3. Self-Regulation Studies 4. Musings on Societal Controls

7 Program Notes Multiple Levels of Analysis Multiple Levels of Analysis Broad Discussion Broad Discussion Study Overviews Study Overviews

8 Deviance Regulation Theory A behavioral decision model that focuses attention on the social consequences of being different. A behavioral decision model that focuses attention on the social consequences of being different.

9 Difference = Information Attribution models Attribution models Jones & Davis (1965)Jones & Davis (1965) Kelley (1972)Kelley (1972) Spontaneous self-concept Spontaneous self-concept McGuire & McGuire (1980)McGuire & McGuire (1980) Group Identity Group Identity Tajfel & Turner (1979)Tajfel & Turner (1979) Social Projection Social Projection Mullen & Goethals (1990)Mullen & Goethals (1990)

10 Illustration: Deciding to Smoke

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14 Decisions based on evaluation of not smoking. Decisions based on evaluation of smoking.

15 Social Influence Studies: Applying Positive & Negative Incentives

16 Message Framing Negative FramePositive Frame

17 Positive Message Frame Non-Smoking Identity = Good Negative Message Frame Smoking Identity = Bad

18 Condom Use Intentions

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20 Replication

21 Interpretation Social influence should target counter-normative choices. Social influence should target counter-normative choices.  Positive incentives are well-suited for changing the status quo.  Negative incentives are well-suited for reinforcing the status quo.

22 Influence over Time

23 What is Normative? Positive Frame Negative Frame Undesired Behavior Desired Behavior Start

24 Social Influence Studies II: Conversational Pragmatics

25 Assumption Most communicators have an implicit understanding of Deviance Regulation Theory. Most communicators have an implicit understanding of Deviance Regulation Theory. Individuals and social organizations thus drift toward “correctly framed” influence. Individuals and social organizations thus drift toward “correctly framed” influence.

26 Indirect Evidence: Provocative Message Frames

27 Provocative Praise “That outfit doesn’t make you look fat.” “Honey, I appreciated you not making a fool of me at the party tonight.”

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29 Conversational Inferences Praise reveals more negative assumptions. Praise reveals more negative assumptions. Criticism reveals more positive assumptions. Criticism reveals more positive assumptions.

30 Praising Abstaining

31 Estimated Virginity Prevalence

32 Behavioral Intentions Positive Message Frame Refusal Intention Normative Beliefs -.36*.06* -.17 ** (-.7 † )

33 Behavioral Replication Study 1: Framing effect on behavior Study 2: Laboratory study establishing mediation

34 Conclusion Positively framed influence can make desired actions seem less common. This can undermine the attempt at influence.

35 Negative Incentives over Time What is Normative ? Positive Frame Negative Frame Undesired Behavior Desired Behavior Start

36 Interim Summary Two reasons why negative promotes conformity: Two reasons why negative promotes conformity:  To reinforce the status quo.  To reinforce the perception or expectation of the status quo. It is assumed individuals and groups make this shift spontaneously. It is assumed individuals and groups make this shift spontaneously.

37 Outline 1. Introduce Deviance Regulation 2. Social Influence Studies 3. Self-Regulation Studies 4. Musings on Societal Controls

38 Internalized Standards Ideal Self Guides Ideal Self Guides Encourage successEncourage success Initiate approach motivationInitiate approach motivation Source of positive affectSource of positive affect Ought Self Guides Ought Self Guides Discourage failureDiscourage failure Initiate avoidance motivationInitiate avoidance motivation Source of negative affectSource of negative affect

39 Deviance Mechanisms? Ideal Self Guides Ideal Self Guides Encourage good behaviorsEncourage good behaviors Therefore promote (good) distinctivenessTherefore promote (good) distinctiveness Ought Self Guides Ought Self Guides Discourage bad behaviorsDiscourage bad behaviors Therefore, discourage (bad) disctivenessTherefore, discourage (bad) disctiveness

40 Goal Priming Study 1: Thought Listing Study 1: Thought Listing Ideal or Ought Self-Description (or Control)Ideal or Ought Self-Description (or Control) Study 2: Thought Listing Study 2: Thought Listing What means to achieve or be ethnicalWhat means to achieve or be ethnical Study 3: Supraliminal Primes Study 3: Supraliminal Primes Morality, ideal or control word associationsMorality, ideal or control word associations Not Shown: Subliminal Primes Not Shown: Subliminal Primes

41 Study 1 Being distinctive is _____ important to me. 0 = not at all = Slightly = Quite = Extremely

42 Study 2: Behavior

43 11 Pens 11 Pens 7 Black-Ink Pens7 Black-Ink Pens 2 Bright-Red Pens2 Bright-Red Pens 2 Bright-Green Pens2 Bright-Green Pens Mediation: Desire for Distinctiveness

44 Study 3: Novel Word Associations Chair Chair Table (normative)Table (normative) Cloth, Stool … (counter-normative)Cloth, Stool … (counter-normative) Eagle Eagle Bird (Normative)Bird (Normative) Falcon, Bald … (counter-normative)Falcon, Bald … (counter-normative)

45 Study 3: Novel Word Associations

46 Interim Summary Social mechanisms for promoting good (ideals) promote distinctiveness striving. Social mechanisms for promoting good (ideals) promote distinctiveness striving. Social mechanisms for discouraging bad (oughts) promote conformity striving. Social mechanisms for discouraging bad (oughts) promote conformity striving.

47 Outline 1. Introduce Deviance Regulation 2. Social Influence Studies 3. Self-Regulation Studies 4. Musings on Societal Controls

48 Carrots & Sticks Negative Incentive Systems Negative Incentive Systems Legal CodesLegal Codes Moral/Religious PrescriptionsMoral/Religious Prescriptions Peer PressurePeer Pressure Mostly Positive Incentive Systems Mostly Positive Incentive Systems Social RolesSocial Roles IncomeIncome Social StatusSocial Status

49 Language of Conformity: Go Negative Deviance Regulation Analysis Deviance Regulation Analysis Reinforcing status quoReinforcing status quo Reinforcing perceptions of status quoReinforcing perceptions of status quo Complementary Processes Complementary Processes Monitoring and controlMonitoring and control Person perceptionPerson perception Losses relative to gainsLosses relative to gains

50 The Downside of Negatives Deviance Regulation Analysis Deviance Regulation Analysis Reduce desired variability in groupsReduce desired variability in groups Diminish high-end performancesDiminish high-end performances Dampen individual and group creativityDampen individual and group creativity Additional Considerations Additional Considerations Reactance / anti-conformityReactance / anti-conformity Need for “moral authority”Need for “moral authority”

51 Language of Conformity: Go Positive Downsides Downsides Less inherently motivatingLess inherently motivating Requires ingenuity over the long haulRequires ingenuity over the long haul Upsides Upsides Benefits can accrue with large numbersBenefits can accrue with large numbers Motivates the group to be more than the individualMotivates the group to be more than the individual Encourages experimentation, learningEncourages experimentation, learning

52 High-Functioning Groups? Negatives should be reserved for actions that: Negatives should be reserved for actions that: Are necessary for group functioningAre necessary for group functioning Are central to group identityAre central to group identity Can be asserted with moral authorityCan be asserted with moral authority Positives should cultivated widely for actions that: Positives should cultivated widely for actions that: Aggregate needs and wants are “optional” at the individual levelAggregate needs and wants are “optional” at the individual level Are ability-based or competency-dependentAre ability-based or competency-dependent Might spark reactance/anti-conformityMight spark reactance/anti-conformity

53 Societal Influences

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55 Collaborators and Contributors Melissa Burkley Melissa Burkley Oklahoma State UniversityOklahoma State University Charlene Christie Charlene Christie SUNY at OneontaSUNY at Oneonta Deborah Hall Deborah Hall Duke UniversityDuke University Anne Stuart Anne Stuart American International CollegeAmerican International College

56 Thanks


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