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Chapter 9: Social Influence: Changing Others’ Behavior.

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1 Chapter 9: Social Influence: Changing Others’ Behavior

2 Social Influence Social Influence- efforts to change our attitudes or behavior u Why do we obey? u What are the major compliance techniques? u Why do people conform? 9.4Baron & Byrne- Social Psychology 9/e, Allyn and Bacon

3 Obedience Obedience- change behavior in response to direct orders from authority (most direct form) u Milgram’s Obedience Study u Participants told to deliver increasing levels of shock to a “learner” each time he made an error on a simple learning task 65% were fully obedient (shocked to the limit- 450 volts) u Why did so many people obey? What was wrong with them? 9.14Baron & Byrne- Social Psychology 9/e, Allyn and Bacon

4 Why did so many obey? u experimenter said he was responsible (diffusion) u commands were gradual in nature u participants had little time for reflection u experimenter was perceived as an authority figure u People believed he had the power to influence/control their behavior

5 Sources of Authority (Power) Referent Expert Legitimate Reward Coercive Ability to punish or remove positive consequences. Ability to provide positive or remove negative consequences Person has expertise (knowledge) not widely available Believe person has influence because of role. People identify with or want to be like authority figure SourceDefinition

6 Resisting Obedience u Ways to resist obedience u take responsibility for any harm produced u realize total submission is inappropriate u question authority’s motives u increase awareness of the power of the situation 9.15Baron & Byrne- Social Psychology 9/e, Allyn and Bacon

7 Summary u Obedience is most direct form of social influence u Persons readily obey commands, even those from a relatively powerless source of authority u Many factors influence obedience u diffusion of responsibility u perceived authority u gradual escalation of commands u rapid pace of situation u Several strategies can be used to reduce obedience

8 Compliance Compliance- getting people to say yes to a request u Principles underlying compliance u friendship/liking- “she seems genuine and nice” u commitment/consistency- “I’m committed to the cause” u scarcity- “only one left” u reciprocity- “she helped me so I should return favor” u social validation- “everyone else is doing it” u authority- “he seems legitimate” 9.10Baron & Byrne- Social Psychology 9/e, Allyn and Bacon

9 Compliance Techniques u Tactics based on liking u ingratiation- enhance self or flatter target u personal appeals - appeal to feelings of loyalty, friendship u Tactics based on commitment/consistency u foot-in-the-door- small request followed by larger one u lowballing- changing the deal midstream 9.11Baron & Byrne- Social Psychology 9/e, Allyn and Bacon

10 Compliance Techniques 2 u Tactics based on reciprocity u door-in-the-face- large request followed by smaller one u “that’s not all”- sweeten the deal midstream u Tactics based on scarcity u playing hard to get- suggesting item is scarce (valuable) u deadline technique- limited time to buy

11 Compliance Techniques 3 u Rational Persuasion u Elaboration-Likelihood Model u Tactics based on mood u complaining- expressing discontent or frustration works better on women than men u good mood- prime happy thoughts (AIM model) u Inspirational appeals 9.12Baron & Byrne- Social Psychology 9/e, Allyn and Bacon

12 Compliance Techniques: Individual Differences Agreeableness Neuroticism Conscientiousness Openness to Experience Extraversion Rational or Inspirational Appeals Rational or Inspirational Appeals Rational Appeals or Pressure Tactics Anything but Rational Appeals

13 Summary u There are many different tactics people use to gain compliance. u These compliance tactics are based on well-known psychological principles. u The compliance tactics we use to exert social influence are related to our personalities

14 Conformity Conformity- change attitudes and behavior in order to adhere to social norms u Types of Norms- rules for behavior u explicit (written) u implicit (unwritten) u descriptive- what most people do u injunctive- what should be done 9.5Baron & Byrne- Social Psychology 9/e, Allyn and Bacon

15 Why Do We Conform? u Normative Influence u desire to be liked or accepted u Informational Influence u desire to be right or accurate (esp. when uncertainty is high) Once we conform, we tend to view conformity as justified 9.7Baron & Byrne- Social Psychology 9/e, Allyn and Bacon

16 Resisting Conforming Ways to resist conformity u Desire for individuality u more conformity occurs in collectivistic cultures, regardless of group size u Desire to exert control over one’s life u as the need for personal control increases, conformity decreases 9.8Baron & Byrne- Social Psychology 9/e, Allyn and Bacon

17 Asch’s Line Judgment Task u Line Study u Participants asked to indicate which of three lines best matched a standard line after group gives wrong answer On 37% of critical trials Ss conformed to false majority When given an ally, conformity decreased to 8% 9.6Baron & Byrne- Social Psychology 9/e, Allyn and Bacon

18 Factors Influencing Conformity u Cohesiveness u as cohesiveness increases- conformity increases u Group Size u as group size increase to 8+- conformity increases u Norms u activating descriptive (to strengthen) and injunctive norms (to remind) increase conformity

19 Summary u Most people behave in accordance with social norms most of the time (conformity) u Many factors determine to what extent conformity occurs u Cohesiveness u Group size u Norms u Resistance to conformity comes from: u Strong need for individuality (individuation) u Strong need for control


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