Unformatted text preview: Conformity
Conformity …The social psychology of this century reveals a
major lesson: often it is not so much the kind of
person a man is as the kind of situation in which
he finds himself that determines how he will act
(Milgram, 1974). Who is this man?
Who is this man? Jonestown, 1978
Jonestown, 1978 Conformity
A change in one’s behavior due to the real or imagined influence of other people. Chameleon effect
Chameleon effect Unconsciously mimicking or adapting to the behaviors, mannerisms, and actions of the people, that the person is interacting with. Mirror what others do Chameleon Effect
Chameleon Effect Chartrand & Bargh (1999)
Participants work on a task with a partner (confederate) who had the habit of rubbing his face or shaking his foot Hidden cameras revealed that participants mimicked these behaviors When participants were mimicked, they liked the confederate more. Confederate mimicks the participant. http://www.fox.com/glee/fullepisodes/ Comeback, 31 Types of conformity
Types of conformity Informational influence –Conforming because
we believe that others’ interpretation of an
ambiguous situation is more accurate than ours
and will help us choose how to act Normative influence – The influence of other
people that leads us to conform to be liked and
accepted fear social rejection; expected behavior desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval When does informational influence When does informational influence occur (figuring out how to behave)? Situation is ambiguous Most important Situation is a crisis Other people are experts Video Clip
Video Clip Dead Poets Society (2:00) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiKM6gdfBo&feature=related
Greatness of poems. Ripping out introduction. Informational influence– ambiguous situation so they followed the expert that was there= Robin Williams.
Normative influence Conformity
Conformity Two Types of acceptance Private acceptance – Conforming to other
people’s behavior out of a genuine belief that
what they are doing or saying is right. Public acceptance – Conforming publicly
without necessarily believing in what we are
doing or saying. Autokinetic studies (Sherif)
Autokinetic studies (Sherif) Procedure: A dot of light is projected onto a wall in a dark room People watch the light and estimate how far it moves back and forth The light actually never moves – autokinetic effect (illusion of motion) Later, people do the same task in groups Groups members’ estimates converge to a norm These results indicate that people used each other as a source of information,
coming to believe that the group estimate was correct.
. Autokinetic Studies
Autokinetic Studies Private acceptance or public compliance? People continued to conform to the group norm even when they performed the task alone again
Private acceptance. Truly used other people to determine where the light was moving because it was a very ambiguous task. What did Sherif’s work show? Conformity can occur without explicit pressure
People rely on each other to define reality
Social norms influence subsequent behavior Informational Social Influence Informational Social Influence Informational influence gone Informational influence gone wrong Mass psychogenic illness – similar symptoms with no known cause among a group of people Tennessee high school
Salem witch trials Crisis War of the Worlds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7HjUDV7d
Twitching disease. Anxiety stimulates this reaction. Conformity
Conformity Response to group pressure Experiment: Asch (1940s) A 123 Asch’s conformity study
Asch’s conformity study
C P* C
C Line Judgment Studies (Asch)
Line Judgment Studies (Asch) People conformed about 37% of the time
About 50% of people conformed at least half the time
Most (75%) people conformed at least once
“you can write down your response” almost always correct. Conformity and Social Approval:
Conformity and Social Approval:
The Asch Line Judgment Studies
These are classic normative reasons for conforming: People know that what they are doing is wrong but go along anyway so as not to feel peculiar or look like a fool. In contrast to informational social influence, normative pressures usually result in public compliance without private acceptance—people go along with the group even if they do not believe in what they are doing or think it is wrong. Asch’s conformity study
Asch’s conformity study
Does group size matter?
% Con f or m it y 30
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Majority # Line Judgment Studies (Asch)
Line Judgment Studies (Asch) Variations Written (not spoken) answers Conformity drops significantly Having an ally Just 1 ally decreases conformity Importance of accuracy More important = less conformity “Very important you get this correct”= less likely to conform to wrong group opinion. What factors determine whether or What factors determine whether or not people conform? Group importance Group cohesion Stronger with people we respect, care about, and identify with. Don’t want any negative feelings or rejection.
Not a lot of outside influence, not a big deal, don’t want to create negativity. Status High status = more impact on us What factors determine whether or What factors determine whether or not people conform? Public response Prior commitment Conform more in public. When people can see what we’re doing.
Cognitive dissonance—stick with the prior commitment because you don’t want to feel arousal from difference in what you said and wrote.
Less likely conform Culture Collectivist cultures conform more Nonconformity
Nonconformity Ralph Waldo Emerson: “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure”
Nonconformity includes: Independence = resisting influence Anticonformity = rebelling against influence Both types differentiate people from others, which can satisfy a need for individuation or uniqueness A strive for uniqueness motivates individuals to resist majority influence Resisting normative social Resisting normative social influence Minority influence
where a minority of group members influence the behavior or beliefs of the majority. Consistency is key. Stick to main point. Informational social influence. Can’t use normative because you don’t have the numbers. Idiosyncrasy credits Conform most of the time. Loyal to the group. Overall have best interests in mind. Allowed to deviate sometimes Consequences of nonconformity
The Johnny Rocco Case
The Johnny Rocco Case Participants read the “Johnny Rocco Case” and discussed it with group members.
3 confederates of the experiment were in the group:
3. Mode: Gave the most common viewpoint.
Deviate: Gave the most deviant viewpoint
Slider: Gave the most deviant answer initially, but eventually gave themost common viewpoint. The Johnny Rocco Case
The Johnny Rocco Case Participants then rated who they most wanted to leave the group.
0 Mode Slider Deviate Social Norms
Social Norms Descriptive norms: perceptions of how others are behaving/what is typical (e.g., how frequently they drink) Young adults overestimate risky health behaviors Injunctive norms: perceptions of approval or disapproval of behaviors
Depend on exposure (e.g., peers, media) and experiences (e.g., positive, negative)
Perception of norms predicts behavior Crafting Normative Messages to Crafting Normative Messages to protect the environment Crafting Normative Messages
Crafting Normative Messages Issue: Messages that focus on negative behaviors as being normative (e.g., littering) Impact of injunctive norm against littering may be undermined by descriptive (behavioral) norms of littering
Best: messages that include both types of norms in same direction (pro or anti) Misperceiving the norm
Misperceiving the norm
Pluralistic Ignorance Psychological state characterized by the belief that one's private attitudes and judgments are different from those of others, even though one's public behavior is identical Social pressure: Bring private attitude closer to norm (make attitude more positive towards behavior)
Bring norm closer to private attitude
Reject the group Pluralistic Ignorance
Pluralistic Ignorance Prentice & Miller, 1993: Study 1 Ps: 132 Princeton undergraduates
Questionnaire: How comfortable do you feel with the alcohol drinking habits of students at Princeton? How comfortable does the average Princeton undergraduate feel with the alcohol drinking habits of students at Princeton? Pluralistic Ignorance
Study 1 Results Pluralistic Ignorance
Pluralistic Ignorance Prentice & Miller, 1993: Study 3 Ps: 50 sophomores
Interviews in Sept. and Dec. Own comfort level Average Princeton undergrad’s comfort level Number of alcoholic drinks in the last week and in the typical week Pluralistic Ignorance
Study 3 Results Pluralistic Ignorance
Study 3 Results Reducing Pluralistic Ignorance
Reducing Pluralistic Ignorance
Social Norms Marketing Reducing the disparity between perceptions and the actual extent of the behavior by peers. Summary
Summary People conform for two main reasons: accuracy and acceptance. Informational and normative. Conformity isn’t inherently good or bad, but it can lead to negative outcomes. Johnny rocko case, minority influence. Uniqueness, resist normative
Conformity involves public compliance but not necessarily private acceptance
People do not always conform, but when they don’t, they may be punished by the majority
To ward against mindless conformity: Recognize the power of the social situation. Ally affect Take action – it often takes only one person to end others’ conformity ...
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