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Social Influence: Should We Resist?

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Presentation on theme: "Social Influence: Should We Resist?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Influence: Should We Resist?
8 Social Influence: Should We Resist?

2 How do Social Roles and Norms Define the Ways in Which We Behave?
The chameleon effect Unconscious tendency to mimic the behavior of one’s interaction partner Facial expressions Physical gestures Vocal tone

3 The term chameleon effect describes the tendency to nonconsciously mimic the behaviors of someone with whom one is interacting.

4 Social roles Expectations regarding appropriate behavior in different circumstances Stanford Prison Experiment (Zimbardo, 1971) Some students pretended to be prisoners, while others were guards What were the results? Why did the study have to be called off?

5 Monique’s Social Roles
Monique’s Social Roles. As we move through the day, we change our behaviors to meet the expectations of various social roles.

6 Social Norms Patterns of behavior accepted as normal
Individuals are expected to conform to norms “Rules" that govern behavior Can be explicit or implicit

7 Types of Norms: Folkways
Everyday customs that may be violated without serious consequences within a particular culture. These are sometime referred to as soft norms 7

8 Types of Norms: Mores Strongly held norms with moral and ethical connotations that may not be violated without serious consequences. Taboos are mores so strong that violation is considered extremely offensive and even unmentionable. 8

9 Types of Norms: Laws Formal, standardized norms that have been enacted by legislatures and are enforced by formal sanctions. Civil law deals with disputes among persons or groups. Criminal law deals with public safety and well-being. 9

10 Types of Norms: Situational
Norms that change according to the situation As an example: Normative behavior at a sporting event would not be appropriate within the context of the normal classroom

11 Social norms dictate many areas of our lives—even the ways in which we greet one another—and can vary greatly from one culture to another.

12 Descriptive and Injunctive Norms
Descriptive norms (Prescriptive) How people typically behave in a group or situation Injunctive norms (Proscriptive) Perceptions of what behaviors are or are not acceptable Have you ever eaten pizza at someone else’s house? Did you use your hands or a fork and knife?

13 Pluralistic Ignorance
Individuals in a group reject the group norm Those individuals believe, however, that others accept the group norm This belief is incorrect

14 What Factors Affect and Promote Conformity?
Conformity: Social influence in which we change our behaviors to be consistent with social norms

15 What Factors Affect and Promote Conformity?
Informational Social Influence occurs when the reality is ambiguous and group information is used to justify conformity This usually results in private conformity and the individual truly believes the group is right

16 What Factors Affect and Promote Conformity?
Normative Social Influence occurs when the reality is unambiguous but a desire for acceptance prompts one to go along with the group This is usually public conformity and the individual is only pretending to agree but privately believes the group is wrong

17 Musafer Sherif’s Conformity Research: Informational Influence
Subjects in a darkened room were asked to look at a point of light projected on a black wall. Although the point of light was stationary, observed believed the light began to move (the autokinetic effect).


19 Musafer Sherif’s Conformity Research: Informational Influence
When individuals discussed their estimate of the movement of light with each other, they converged on a common standard or norm. Although the data indicate that influence was present, subjects denied that they were influenced by others.

20 Musafer Sherif’s Conformity Research: Informational Influence
The more uncertain subjects were about reality, the more they were influenced by others, especially confident others. Norms, once established by the group, were used by participants even when they were alone.

21 For Asch’s study, participants were asked to identify which of the three comparison lines on the right matched the length of the standard line on the left.

22 Solomon Asch’s Conformity Research: Normative Influence
Asch’s research assistants tried to influence participants to pick the wrong line as the match for the line in the comparison card. Many (approximately 33%) went along rather than risk the opposition of the “group.”

23 Asch’s Conformity Research

24 What Factors Affect And Promote Conformity? (continued)
Public conformity – we go with the norm even when we disagree with it Private conformity – we go with the norm because we feel it is right

25 What Factors Affect And Promote Conformity? (continued)
Informational social influence We turn to members of a group to obtain accurate data Normative social influence We go along with a group for acceptance

26 Social Influence: Informational or Normative
Social Influence: Informational or Normative? Seeking information or striving to be accepted?

27 Factors Affecting Conformity
Characteristics of the group How many are in the ‘in-group’? Three confederates maximized conformity Social impact theory Conformity depends on the strength, immediacy, and number of ‘in-group’ members Demographic variables Age – conformity decreases as we get older

28 Factors Affecting Conformity (continued)
Peers versus parents These variables are negative correlated. What does that mean? Gender – women conform more in public, but not in private This finding is not true in all circumstances

29 Factors Affecting Conformity (continued)
Culture Collectivist cultures -> higher conformity Individualistic cultures -> lower conformity Remember these are generalizations and not absolute rules!

30 Factors Affecting Conformity (continued)
Resisting the pull of conformity Finding an ally – it is easier to resist conformity if you do not feel alone Motivation – how does one’s need for individuality affect their actions? Minority influence A small number of people can change a group’s attitudes or behaviors

31 What Methods do People Use to Get Others to Comply With Requests?
Compliance – getting someone to do what you want via direct request The request can be verbal or non-verbal, but can be effective either way

32 Compliance The Six principles of compliance (Cialdini, 1990s)
1. Friendship or liking Ingratiation techniques – getting someone to like us so they comply with our request(s) 2. Commitment or consistency Foot-in-the-door technique Start with a small request and then increase it Lowball technique Have you ever bought a car?

33 Compliance (continued)
The Six principles of compliance (Cialdini, 1990s) 3. Scarcity We really want things if we think we can’t have them 4. Reciprocity Compliance is enhanced by obligation Door-in-the-face technique Start with a large request and then decrease it The that’s-not-all technique Add something to the original offer to enhance its (apparent) value

34 Compliance (continued)
The Six principles of compliance (Cialdini, 1990s) 5. Social validation We comply with requests that are in line with our view of others like ourselves 6. Authority We are more likely to comply with requests from those with authority

35 How do Authority Figures Get Us to Obey Them?
Obedience – compliance with the orders of an authority figure Milgram, 1963 Was it ethical? At the time, perhaps. Now? No. Replications have lowered the "maximum shock" (Burger, 2009) Results were very similar to those of Milgram almost 50 years ago

36 Degrees of Disobedience
Degrees of Disobedience. Whether or not we obey depends upon the perceived level of authority, as demonstrated in Milgram’s controversial study on obedience.

37 How Do Authority Figures Get Us To Obey Them? (continued)
Obedience outside the lab Examples of obedience are all around you Reality television Abu Ghraib prison atrocities Stanford prison experiment McDonald’s in Mt. Washington, KY

38 How Do Authority Figures Get Us To Obey Them? (continued)
Bringing Milgram to prime time Essentially Milgram’s experiment was repeated on French television ‘Contestants’ were "ordered" to deliver up to 460 volts of electricity to a victim 64 of 80 people obeyed the orders Would YOU have stopped before the end? Are you sure? Cults and obedience

39 Jim Jones and the members of the Peoples Temple serve as a haunting example of just how far obedience can go.

40 Strategies for Resisting Obedience
Changing authority Remove the appearance of authority Milgram showed that the perception of authority is enough to elicit obedience Changing proximity Physical or psychological closeness can impact our willingness to be obedient Action learning: Using compliance techniques

41 Using Compliance Techniques for a Good Cause

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