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Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 Chapter Eight Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 Chapter Eight Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 Chapter Eight Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience

2 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 Conformity, Compliance, Obedience Conformity –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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8

8 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8

11 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 Compliance: Foot-in-the-Door 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 Compliance: Door-in-the-Face 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 Concept Review

19 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 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 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 Concept Review

24 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8 Social Impact Theory Strength –the intensity of social forces Immediacy –the closeness of social forces Number –the quantity of social forces

25 Social Psychology Alive, Breckler/Olson/Wiggins Chapter 8


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