Chapter 8 - Psych-2310

Chapter 8- - Chapter 8 Social norms unspoken but shared rules of conduct in a formal or informal group Conformity the tendency to change our

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Chapter 8 Social norms: unspoken but shared rules of conduct in a formal or informal group. Conformity: the tendency to change our perceptions, opinions, or behaviours in ways that are consistent with perceived group norms Example: teenagers may feel pressure from others in their social groups to drink alcohol or smoke Compliance: changes in behavior that are caused by a direct request. Example: obey orders that may harm or kill people or ourselves Obedience: behavior change produced by the commands of authority Obeying orders produced by authority figures Social norms Social norms are unspoken but shared rules of conduct within a particular formal or informal group o Example: waiting in line at the post office, and raising your hand before asking a question in your psychology lecture are all examples of norms that regulate our behavior in socially acceptable ways. Social psychologists distinguish between two kinds of social norms o Descriptive norms – describe how people behave in a given situation o Injunctive norms - describe what people ought to do in a given situation, meaning the type of behavior is approved in a given situation. Example: reporting cheating to a professor might be an injunctive norm Study: researchers found that simply knowing how many other people had downloaded a song influenced how likely others were to download the song., clearly showing that social norms influenced music ratings. Research suggests that even in cases in which our behavior is influenced by our perception of social norms, we aren’t necessarily aware of this type of influence. Pluralistic ignorance: a particular type of norm misperception that occurs when each individual in the group privately rejects the groups norms, but believes that others accept these norms.
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Example: when the professor asks if there is any questions everyone in the class believes that everyone else understands the material really well in which why no one is asking any questions but individuals actually do have questions. These students believe that they are the only ones not raising a hand due to embarrassment and fear of looking stupid. Do we conform more after seeing others rejected? o In a study done on college students, jokes made by comedian ridiculing others and those who watched someone else be ridiculed and rejected conformed the most. (page 255) Examples of the influence of social norms The power of social norms: when derrick’s family moves and he must attend a new high school, he suddenly changes his style of dress and music preferences. Errors in perceiving social norms: Sonja’s belief that most other students rarely study until the night before an exam leads her to procrastinate on her own work, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Why we conform?
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2011 for the course PSYC 2310 taught by Professor Safdar during the Spring '11 term at University of Guelph.

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Chapter 8- - Chapter 8 Social norms unspoken but shared rules of conduct in a formal or informal group Conformity the tendency to change our

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