2 I. Conformity: a change in behavior or belief as the result of real or imagined group pressure.Conformity often occurs in response toestablished norms.A. Conformity: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly…and The NeutralB. Two Levels of Conformity…Level 1… Compliance: conformity that involves acting inaccord with an implied or explicit request while privatelydisagreeing.Level 2… Acceptance: conformity that involves actingand believing in accord with social pressure.
3 C. Informational Influence: the influence of other people that leads us to conform because we see them as a source ofinformation to guide our behavior. We conform because webelieve that others’ interpretation of an ambiguous situation ismore correct than ours and will help us choose an appropriatecourse of action.
4 D. Believing is Seeing… Sherif’s Research on Conformity 1) Autokinetic Phenomenon: the apparent movement of astationary point of light in the dark.
5 E. Social Contagion: the rapid spread of emotions or behaviors through a crowd.Contagious YawningShuffling PapersPitted Windshields!1) Mass Psychogenic Illness: the occurrence, in a groupof people, of similar physical symptoms with no knownphysical cause.School Sick for a DayMeowing Nuns!
6 F. Social Proof: we tend to see an action as more appropriate or correct when others are doing it.Coffee HousesRed BullCanned LaughterElevator in Candid CameraWhen in Rome…Monkey See, Monkey Do… Monkey Die!Social Proof accounts for the increase in suicides and murdersthat occurs soon after highly publicized suicides and murderstake place. The idea here is that the new suicides and murderers see themselves as similar to the people involved in the initial events.
7 G. Normative Influence: the influence of other people that leads us to conform in order to be liked and accepted by them;this type of conformity results in public compliance with thegroup’s beliefs and behaviors but not necessarily privateacceptance of those beliefs and behaviors.H. Is Everyone Nuts?!… Asch’s Research on Conformity1) The Ally Effect: if youintroduce a dissenter into thegroup (someone who takes theside of the real subject), thenthe real subject’s likelihood ofconforming drops significantly.
8 II. What Other Factors Predict Conformity? A. Group Size1) Social Influence Model: three to five pseudo subjects inthe group yields the greatest rate of increase in conformity;conformity begins leveling off after that.2) Social Impact Theory: greater group size = greater overallconformity; although the first source of influence yields thegreatest rate of increase in conformity.Groups have normative influence when group members want to beliked and informational influence when group members want to be right.When being liked is important, groups with three to five pseudo subjectslead to more conformity than only two pseudo subjects(Social Influence Model).When being right is important, the first person added to a group has themost influence (Social Impact Theory).
9 III. Non-Conformity: Let’s All Be Different Together B. Public ResponseC. Role ReversalIII. Non-Conformity: Let’s All Be DifferentTogetherA. Distinguishing between true independence of thoughtand non-conformity.B. How do we react to those that react against establishednorms (norm-violators)?
10 IV. Obedience: acting in accord with a direct order or command; usually when given by aperson with perceived authority.The Shocking Truth… Milgram’s Research onObedience to Authority1) Initial Predictions2) Outcome
11 3) Evidence for an “authority explanation”… Sex differences? NO Unaware of the trueharm that was beinginflicted? NONot a representativesample? (subjectswere a bunch of badapples?) NO
12 B. What Breeds Obedience? 1) Victim’s distance or depersonalization2) Closeness and legitimacy of the authority3) Institutional authority4) Liberating effects of group influenceC. Examples from the Real WorldFollow your doctor’s orders?
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