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© West Educational Publishing Sociocultural Influences: Attitudes and Beliefs C HAPTER 20 M any of our attitudes and beliefs are based on the behaviors of others. Here we look at cultural and group origins. EXIT
© West Educational Publishing An ethnic group is made up of people who share important cultural and racial features, including national origin. Culture is a set of beliefs, attitudes and values that are held in common by people. Race is a set of hereditary physical characteristics that distinguish one major group from another. EXIT
© West Educational Publishing Multicultural America EXIT
© West Educational Publishing Multicultural Psychology All people are shaped by their culture. Most psychological studies have been in America and Europe. Thus, psychology itself has a bias. We are not sure how much of the results apply to other cultures. When minorities are studied they are compared with the dominant white culture. The reason of just being different is rarely used. EXIT
© West Educational Publishing Group Influences When people think in similar ways, both positive and negative things occur. When goals are admirable, it is good. When goals are deceitful, it is bad. Reference Groups A reference group is a particular group that an individual identifies with and that provides standards of behavior. You may have many reference groups. Group Effects Fitting Attitudes to the Group An attitude is a general, long-lasting evaluation that includes emotional responses and a tendency to act in a certain way. People get their initial attitudes from families. Later, reference groups become more influential. EXIT
© West Educational Publishing The Prisoner - Guard Experiment Dr. Philip Zimbardo set up a mock prison at Stanford University. He hired 20 college students for the experiment. Half were randomly assigned to be either a prisoner or a guard. Each group had either prisoner or guard clothes. This served to deindividualize the students and align them with their reference groups. By the end of six days, the experiment had to be called off. (continued...) EXIT
© West Educational Publishing The guards became very hostile and violent. The prisoners became withdrawn and passive. The students in this study never forgot the experiment. Several suffered emotional problems. They never realized they were capable of such behavior. This study has been relevant and distressing to many people. Ethical standards would prevent this experiment from being repeated today. The Prisoner - Guard Experiment (continued) EXIT
© West Educational Publishing How We View Others A stereotype is a generalization about a member of a group. Stereotypes are usually broad in scope and inclusive. They are used to convey ideas about individuals that may or may not be true. Stereotypes EXIT
© West Educational Publishing Prejudice and Discrimination Prejudice is a biased judgment of other people based on partial information. Discrimination occurs when people are treated differently because of their memberships in different groups. Illusory correlations are formed when people see only behaviors that fit the stereotype and ignore ideas and behaviors that do not follow the stereotype. EXIT
© West Educational Publishing Overcoming Prejudice Interacting with individuals from a different group changes people’s attitudes. In face-to-face encounters, people are willing to help someone who belongs to a different group. In a non-face-to-face encounter, people are not likely to help someone from another group. EXIT
© West Educational Publishing Scapegoats People will blame others for the troubles of some. This leads to prejudice toward the one group. By using scapegoats, one does not have to assume responsibility for behavior. It is someone else’s fault. EXIT
© West Educational Publishing Changing Attitudes When some beliefs are contrary to other beliefs, cognitive dissonance occurs, creating an imbalance. To decrease cognitive dissonance, people either justify the belief as reasonable or change the belief. Cognitive Dissonance Beliefs Contrary Beliefs EXIT
© West Educational Publishing Yielding to Others (Conformity) In one experiment, people had to judge the length of lines. The people working with the experimenter judged the length of lines as either too short or too long. (The idea was to put pressure on the third person to change an answer to conform to the other two people.) Members of groups tend to conform. AB CD Which line (B,C,D) matches line A in length? Roughly 25% of the people changed their answers to conform to the incorrect group answer. EXIT
© West Educational Publishing Compliance with Authority (Milgram Experiment) A learner was asked to memorize and repeat a list of paired words. If the learner made an error, the “teacher” was asked to shock the learner. The learner never actually received any shocks. But, the “teacher” believed he or she did. (Actually, today this experiment would not be done because of ethical standards!) EXIT
© West Educational Publishing (When psychiatrists were asked to predict how many people would administer the full “450 volts,” they replied fewer than 5%.) Amazingly, in Milgram’s experiment, over 65% obeyed the instructions to give the severe shocks. There were no differences between males and females! DANGER!! MILD VOLTAGE EXIT
© West Educational Publishing Verbal Persuasion Psychologists develop defenses against persuasion called immunization. creating a two-sided argument comparing opposing viewpoints. preparing a position paper defending an opposing belief. The techniques include EXIT
© West Educational Publishing people are more likely to believe an expert rather than a movie star. how something is said is more important than what is being said. if the source of information is reliable, people tend to agree with it (credibility). Verbal Persuasion (continued) people do not like to admit that their behavior has been influenced by others. Psychologists studying persuasion note that But, you know I love you. EXIT
© West Educational Publishing Effective Ways to Influence Attitudes Have an expert endorse the product. Make the message sound believable. Repeat ideas often. EXIT
© West Educational Publishing Social Influence: Brainwashing Friendliness If the “enemy” is friendly, it causes confusion. If the enemy is hateful, it can unite a group of people. Sensory Deprivation In experiments, prisoners have been deprived of all sensation. As a result, they feel confused, have hallucinations, and are mentally weakened. When a person receives special privileges for giving information, it divides the group, setting one apart from the others. Compliance by small request gets people to agree to small steps and then follows up with a large request. EXIT
© West Educational Publishing Summary of Main Topics Covered Multicultural Psychology Group Influences How We View Others Changing Attitudes Verbal Persuasion Social Persuasion: Brainwashing Cultural Diversity EXIT
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