psych notes part 10b - Power of Situation

psych notes part 10b - Power of Situation - The Power of...

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The Power of the (Social) Situation Let’s start with an empirical observation: People who normally observe social norms when acting individually may violate those norms when acting as members of a crowd. Deindividuation Deindividuation is: - A hypothetical psychological state; - Designed to explain this empirical observation. Hypothetical antecedents to deindividuation: - anonymity; - high level of arousal; - strong ties to the group. Hypothetical state of mind: - Feeling that one has “lost one’s personal identity and has merged anonymously into the group” Hypothetical results: - Diminished control of impulses; - The person acts in ways he would not act alone. Possible explanations of antisocial crowd behavior: - Membership in the group (i.e., crowd) diffuses responsibility . - The behavior of the crowd establishes a norm specific to the crowd. Examples of the Power of the (Social) Situation A salesman enters a bar, hoping to sell a new coin-operated machine. The way the machine works is: After someone puts money into the machine, s/he blows throw a straw into an opening in the machine. The LED readout shows the customer’s blood alcohol content (BAC). The sales pitch is based on the idea that, if your bar’s customers use the machine to determine their BAC, they’ll know when they’ve had too much to drink. Then they’ll call a cab, ask a friend for a ride home, or something similar.
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This note was uploaded on 10/03/2008 for the course PSYC 100 taught by Professor Capo during the Spring '08 term at Maryland.

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psych notes part 10b - Power of Situation - The Power of...

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