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Social Influence Dr. Fenja Ziegler Foundations in Psychology.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Influence Dr. Fenja Ziegler Foundations in Psychology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Influence Dr. Fenja Ziegler Foundations in Psychology

2 Social Influence Behaviour/ attitudes influenced by presence of others? – When? Why? How? ConformityObedience ImpliedExplicit

3 Norm Development Sherif, judgements in private: how far in inches? Autokinetic effect (appears to oscillate) Judgements with 2/ 3 others present Converge away from individual to common standard= Social Norm Pps deny being influenced by others

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5 Norm Development Sherif, 1935

6 Uncertainty and Social Norms Uncertainty and little information in tasks – Use a heuristic – Look for new source of information in difficult task → other people – Majority rule (democracy!) Applies to attitudes or judgements in social context (real/ imaginary) – Influenced by those around us Sherif: how group attitudes are formed

7 No Uncertainty – Group Norm? Asch, 1951

8 Informational and Normative Deutsch & Gerard, 1955 Informational: – Converge to group norm to gain information – Useful heuristic Conversion public & private Normative: – Gain acceptance and praise – Avoid punishment and exclusion Compliance public Explicit aim for group to be accurate (increase group pressure) & ½ trials: lines disappear before judgement (increase uncertainty) –Increase in conformity

9 Compliance and Conversion Uncertain own opinion Difficult task Little Info Informational Influence Conversion: Private & Public Attitudes Certain own opinion Easy task Detailed info Normative Influence Compliance: Change in public attitude only

10 Moderators of Normative Social Influence 1.Group cohesiveness – More cohesive, more conformity 2.Group size – 2 is not a group, from 3, no change 3.Social Support – Correct or incorrect breaking of social consensus – Not if incompetent (e.g. thick glasses)

11 Moderators of Informational Influence 1.Perceived self-confidence 2.Task difficulty 3.Cultural norms (individualistic and collectivist) Pendry & Carrick, 2001 Henry who is an Accountant Henry who is a punk rocker

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13 Moderators of Informational Influence 1.Perceived self-confidence 2.Task difficulty 3.Cultural norms (individualistic and collectivist) Pendry & Carrick, 2001 Decreased conformity for Punk prime, then no prime, then Accountant Henry who is an Accountant Henry who is a punk rocker

14 Group Polarization Pressure to conform at group level – Can change social norm – Initial attitude becomes exaggerated Normative influence: – Fit in with group → move towards group norm Informational Influence: – Group as source of information – Encounter many arguments in favour of position → become more convinced

15 Extreme GP: Group Think Excessive desire to achieve consensus: – Deterioration in mental efficiency, reality testing, moral judgement Symptoms: – Increased conformity, overestimation of group competence, close- mindedness

16 28 Jan 1986 Launch of Challenger cohesiveness (important/ high-profile project ) & Stress conform to group norm: Launch overconfident close-minded

17 Minority Influence on Majority?

18 Minority Influence on Majority? Moscovici (1980) Yes, if 1.Minority is consistent in behaviour 2.Not rigid and dogmatic 3.Committed ( can lead to conversion, i.e. private change) 4.Relevance to social trends Do they know something we don’t know? Majorities: – Social comparison → Compliance Minorities: – Private conformity – Leads to better judgements – Avoid groupthink

19 Just following orders? Why follow orders you know are wrong? Theory: Theory: – Germans are different. – They are obedient.

20 Obedience to Authority

21 Starts banging on the wall Complains of heart condition No further response Incorrect answer = shock; increase by 15volts Please continue, The experiment requires you to continue, please go on. It is essential that you continue. You have no choice, you must continue.

22 Obedience to Authority Learner complains of pain Pleads to be let out Screams and refuses to answer

23 Explaining It all 1.Cultural norm: obey authority 2.Gradual: from small shocks to lethal shocks over long period of time 3.Agency: no longer feel personally responsible

24 ♂ Gen Pop: 65% ♀ Gen Pop: 65% Students: 85% Students: 62% Students: 85% ♂ Gen Pop: 85% ♂ Students: 40% ♀ Students: 16% ♂ Students: 50% Students: over 90% Gen Pop: 80% Gen Pop: 92%

25 Influences on Obedience

26 Milgram’s (1963) findings Unethical (study or findings?) All capable of following orders which we know are not the right thing to do But, all participants were distraught whilst doing it – Educate on blind obedience – Take responsibility for own actions – Role models who refuse to obey – Question motives of authority issuing unreasonable orders

27 Obedience vs. Conformity Occurs within a hierarchy – Feeling that the person above has the right to prescribe behaviour – Links one status to another – Emphasis is on power Behaviour adopted differs from behaviour of authority figure Prescription for action is explicit Participants embrace obedience as explanation for behaviour Regulates the behaviour among those of equal status – Emphasis is on acceptance Behaviour adopted is similar to that of peers Requirement of going along with group implicit Participants deny conformity as an explanation for behaviour

28 references reading AS level, Chapter 2 watching


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