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Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience

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1 Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience
Chapter Eight Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience

2 Conformity, Compliance, Obedience
any change in behavior caused by another person or group Compliance a change in behavior requested by another person or group Obedience a change in behavior that is ordered by another person or group

3 Why Conformity? People conform when faced with a new or unusual situation By using the behavior of others as a guide we can (presumably) also behave in an appropriate way Informational influence leads us to conform we want to be right Normative influence leads us to conform we want to be liked

4 Why Compliance? People make direct requests of us all the time salespeople, peers, friends, family Honoring those (reasonable) requests helps maintain the social fabric helping others and anticipating their help in the future makes for good social bonds

5 Why Obedience? Many people have power over us law enforcement, parents, military Following the direct orders of a (legitimate) authority is usually not a matter of debate when the officer asks to see your driver’s license, it’s usually prudent to obey

6 Conformity: Doing as Others Do
Sherif’s autokinetic effect studies a stationary point of light in a dark room appears to move of its on accord social norms can lead us to converge with others in estimates of the amount of movement In this ambiguous situation, informational influence drove conformity Norms can persist over generations

7 Figure 8.1 Conditions in Sherif’s (1936) second study of social norms

8 Asch’s Length Judgment Studies
Asch asked people to judge the length of a line in the presence of others judgments conformed to the estimates of the group In this unambiguous situation, normative influence drove conformity Crutchfield replicated and extended these original findings

9 Limits to Conformity Ambiguity affects the amount of conformity Task difficulty affects the amount of conformity Individual differences affect conformity: not everyone conforms in a given situation Group size affects conformity Conformity can disappear private versus public judgments lack of unanimity

10 Figure 8.4 Percentage of conforming trials as the size of the group increases

11 Cultural Differences in Conformity
Individualism and collectivism members of individualistic cultures should conform less often Independent versus interdependent self-concept people with independent self-concepts should conform less often

12 Gender Differences in Conformity
Women conform slightly more often than do men the extent and magnitude of gender differences is small, though reliable could be due to gender bias could be due to topics studied could be due to strivings for harmony and interdependence

13 Compliance: Foot-in-the-Door
compliance with an initial, small request makes us more likely to comply with a later, larger request Due to self-perception Due to consistency motivations

14 Compliance: Door-in-the-Face
refusing an initial, large request makes us more likely to comply with a later, smaller request Due to pressure to honor the norm of reciprocity we feel urge to repay a favor with a favor

15 Compliance: Free gift technique
Free gifts giving someone a free gift also activates the norm of reciprocity we comply to repay this nice “favor”

16 Compliance: Low-Ball Low-Ball we agree to an initial, attractive deal something happens to alter the bargain bad elements are introduced, or good elements are removed we still go along with the modified, worse deal

17 Compliance: Scarcity and Liking
What is scarce is valuable limited-time offers, limited availability make an offer seem more attractive than it might otherwise Like-me-then-help-me we are more likely to be influenced by attractive, nice, similar, trustworthy others

18 Concept Review

19 Obedience: Following Commands
Milgram’s obedience studies illustrate the capacity to obey the orders of a perceived authority “teachers” administer electric shocks to “learners,” even to the point of incapacitation or “death” this, despite most people’s predictions that few if any people would do so

20 Milgram Variations Closer proximity between teacher and learner reduced extent of obedience Watching the proceedings, rather than participating, leads to passive acceptance of the activities Experimenter disagreement reduces the extent of obedience

21 The Legacy of the Milgram Experiments
Ethicality of experiments led to an examination of experimentation in the field of social psychology Practical applications were considered military, governmental examples of mindless obedience received a closer look

22 Mechanisms Underlying Social Influence
Informational and normative influence people want to be right people want to be liked Terror management we don’t like contemplating our own mortality mortality salience affects our behavior in self-affirming ways

23 Concept Review

24 Social Impact Theory Strength the intensity of social forces Immediacy the closeness of social forces Number the quantity of social forces

25 Figure 8.7 A pictorial representation of social impact theory, showing the influence of strength, immediacy, and number of sources on a target

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