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Social Psychology

Social Psychology - SocialPsychology SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY The...

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Social Psychology 14:01 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY: The impact of group factors on individuals Includes topics: conformity, obedience, bystander intervention, attitude change, prejudice Lies at the interface of sociology and psychology Follows naturally from emotions (inherently interpersonal) Far more social than we realize Loneliness: predictor of depression Has effect on immunity, depression, etc. Kip Williams & co. Engage participants in virtual game catching ball (with exclusion) Looked at areas of brain activation (when excluded) = areas of physical pain Give Tylenol Physical and psychological pain come from same areas The Fundamental Attribution Error (Lee Ross) The tendency to overestimate the impact of dispositional influences on behavior Commonly made in daily life when evaluating and judging others’ behavior We also tend to underestimate the impact of certain situations We might not understand the impact something could have on someone else “Would I have done it? Of course not!” – that’s the error Collective Delusions and Mass Hysteria Normal people fall prey to group influence and engage in irrational behavior
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Striking cases studies in group influence “war of the worlds” (Orson Welles, 1938) radio show claiming aliens invaded “Flying Saucers” (Arnold, 1947) “Koro” outbreaks (Malaysia) men become convinced that their genitals are disappearing Conformity (The Asch study) and Groupthink Conformity and obedience : illustrate power of the situation Asch (1956) conformity study : Aimed to ascertain how much individuals will conform to group opinions that contradict their own Method Required subjects to make simple judgments of line length while either alone or with a group of people (confederates) who contradicted an obvious fact. The task was presented as a perceptual judgment test. Findings : When alone, accuracy rates were nearly 100% BUT when in groups, subjects yielded to the majority (i.e., made errors) 37% of the time. 75% of subjects yielded to the majority at least once Subjects typically reported feeling uncertain, puzzled, disturbed, alienated. Often apologized when they did not conform Results affected reporting , not perception , of line length Variables influencing conformity Unanimity of the majority Size of majority – increased with larger group size (up to a certain point) Difference between length of test and comparison lines Order in which subjects were called Individual and group differences Self-esteem Cultural factors (Japanese > Americans)
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No clear sex differences
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