5.17 Social Psychology

5.17 Social Psychology - May 17, 2011 Social Psychology We...

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May 17, 2011 Social Psychology We are profoundly social animals; we are built to be social. Social psychology : the study of how our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are influenced by the real, implied or imagined presence of others. Brief History of Social Psychology First social psychology study: Group influence and “mere presence” of others Triplett (1898)-discovered the “social facilitation effect” with bicycles. -Bikers went faster if others are on the track -He did an experiment with fishing reels Pessin-found “social inhibition” -essay writing task. People were slower when others were around Zajonc-explained how both facilitation and inhibition could be true -gave a “drive” explanation that accounted for both effects -the presence of others increases physiological arousal -arousal facilitates the dominant response -if easy or well-practiced task-facilitation -if hard or new task-inhibition -the shoes and coat study -not embarrassment because cockroaches do it too -cockroach stadium study The presence of others also affects our conformity. Conformity : yielding to real or imagined social pressure -Asch’s line length study: 1 participant and 5 confederates -76% conformed on at least 1 trial What affects conformity? -normative influence : we want to be liked, will do what it takes to get along - Cohesiveness : liking for a group increases conformity-normative -informational influence : if ambiguous situation, look to others -group size: up to 3-4 increasing numbers increases conformity Support: even one ally reduces conformity -even if ally is incompetent -even if has different view Different Reasons for Conforming
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5.17 Social Psychology - May 17, 2011 Social Psychology We...

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