Social Influence

Social Influence - Chapter 8 Social Influence: Changing...

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Chapter 8 – Social Influence: Changing Others’ Behavior Conformity: Group Influence in Action Social Influence – efforts by one or more individuals to change the attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, or behaviors of one or more others. Western culture places great value on independence . For one thing, we expect people to make moral choices based on what they themselves think is right and wrong. For another, we believe in democracy, the idea that governments and other organizations act most wisely when they allow each person to express his or her views. People’s judgments/behavior influenced by what they believe other people think. Example- adolescents and drugs, sex Conforming –acting at odds with one’s beliefs or perceptions because other people are acting in that way. Conformity - changing attitudes or behavior in order to adhere to existing social norms Social Norms - The rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. Failure to follow leads to punishment, like exclusion. Injunctive Norms - behaviors perceived as being approved of by other people Descriptive Norms- how other people are actually behaving Explicit Norms- written or spoken openly (laws) Implicit Norms- not openly stated A. Asch’s Research on Conformity: Social Pressure – The Irresistible Force? You sign up for a psychology experiment, and on a specified date you and seven others arrive and are seated at a table in a small room. You don't know it at the time, but the others are actually associates of the experimenter, and their behavior has been carefully scripted. You're the only real subject. The experimenter arrives and tells you that the study in which you are about to participate concerns people's visual judgments.
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The experimenter asks all of you, one at a time, to choose which of the three lines on the right card matches the length of the line on the left card. The task is repeated several times with different cards. On some occasions the other "subjects" unanimously choose the wrong line. 1/3 went along with other participants on wrong answers. What would you do? Why did the subjects conform so readily? Didn’t want to stand out; actually thought the majority was right and that they were just missing something. B. Factors Affecting Conformity 1. Cohesiveness- degree of attraction felt by individual toward influencing group (closer you feel, more likely you are to conform) 2. The need for social respect- wanting to avoid criticism 3. Informational conformity- using others as guidelines 4. Group size- larger the group, the more pressure we feel 5. Social support- less likely to conform if others refuse C. Criticisms of Asch Unrealistic- would fight more for own opinion on real-world, complex topics D. The Bases of Conformity 1. Genetic Predisposition- need to stay within the group in order to survive (evolutionary response) 2. Normative Social Influence- desire to be liked (approved of, accepted; influence of culture)
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course PSYC 2040 taught by Professor Adair during the Spring '10 term at LSU.

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Social Influence - Chapter 8 Social Influence: Changing...

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