+ Module Twelve: Lesson Content 'The line between good and evil is permeable and almost anyone can be induced to cross it when pressured by...
This question has been answered
Question

+ Module Twelve: Lesson Content

"The line between good and evil is permeable and almost anyone can be induced to cross it when pressured by situational forces."

― Philip Zimbardo

 

 

This Module will focus on social psychology- the scientific study of how a person's behavior, thoughts, and feelings are influenced by the real, imagined, or implied presence of others. Social psychology can be broadly divided into the areas of social influence, social cognition, and social interaction. Social psychology differs from psychology in its focus on the influences of the social world in which we exist. Here is my brief introduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q16Y4THCwC0&feature=emb_title

Social Influence

Social influence is the process in which the presence of other people influences the behavior, feelings, and thoughts of an individual. Conformity involves changing one's own behavior to more closely match the actions of others. In 1951 Solomon Asch conducted a classic experiment on conformity by having subjects judge the length of a line after hearing a group of confederates all report an obviously incorrect answer. Asch found that the subjects conformed to the group answer around one-third of the time and that conformity increased as the group size increased, up to a group of four confederates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3MPAgnbMk8&feature=emb_title

In a later study, Asch found that conformity greatly decreased when at least one confederate gave the right answer. Groupthink is a type of conformity in which people feel it is more important to maintain the group's cohesiveness than to consider the facts more realistically. Social influence can also be used to describe the phenomenon of compliance, which occurs when people change their behavior as a result of another person or the group asking or directing them to change. 

There are a number of techniques that people use to obtain the compliance of others including the foot-in-the-door techniquein which compliance with a small request is followed by a larger request, and the door-in-the-face technique, which is the process of making a large request which is almost always refused and then a smaller request that is often agreed to. The door-in-the-face technique relies on the norm of reciprocity, which states that if someone does something to you, you should do something in return. Here the two methods are compared: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsu5rlvB684&feature=emb_title

Two additional compliance techniques include the lowball technique in which the cost of the commitment is increased after the commitment is already made and the that's-not-all technique in which an offer is made and before the individual can make a decision, something "extra" is added to the offer.

In compliance, an individual changes his or her behavior because someone asks him or her; in obedience, an individual changes his or her behavior because an authority figure gives him or her an order. Stanley Milgram conducted one of the most famous experiments on obedience in which he measured (on a machine as depicted at the top of this page) the number of volts a participant would administer to another participant simply because the experimenter instructed him or her to do so. In reality, no electrical shocks were being administered. Milgram found that about two-thirds of the subjects (65 percent) administered Pseudo-electrical shocks up to a lethal level of 450 volts when instructed to do so. The presence of others can also influence how well an individual performs a specific task in a process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJFzqfLMBIw&feature=emb_title

Note that, in obedience, there is a difference in status between the one who obeys and the one who makes the request, with the latter having greater perceived status.

The Stanford Prison Experiment considers similar variables and responses to authority. The study was a classic psychology experiment that inspired an award-winning movie, and a New York Times bestseller. Besides obedience to authority, the study raises crucial questions about our jails, prisons ( https://www.urban.org/features/prison-research-and-innovation-initiative )

 (Link to Urban Institute) and the war time issue of detaining and torturing enemy combatants (Links to an external site.)

 (Link to article: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/07/lessons-of-abu-ghraib/302980/). Here is the trailer from the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9v02ZBdBp9E&feature=emb_title

You have learned that Asch's study, the Milgram experiment, and the Stanford Prison Experiment were designed to learn various aspects of human behavior including conformity and obedience to authority. nWorthwhile topics of course but were these experiments truly ethical? A look at Principle A of the APA Code of Ethics (Links to an external site.)

 (link) states

Psychologists strive to benefit those with whom they work and take care to do no harm

 

Do research insights offset the risk of harm in such experiments?. That is the subject of this week's discussion (Link to discussion).

 

Social Cognition

Social cognition deals with the ways people think about other people and includes attitudes, impressions, and attributions. An attitude can be defined as a tendency to respond positively or negatively toward a certain idea, person, object, or situation. Attitudes are composed of the way people feel, act, and think. The affective component describes the feelings associated with attitudes, the behavior component describes the actions, and the cognitive component describes the thoughts. Attitudes have been found to be only weak predictors of actual behavior. Attitude formation occurs in or as a learning process that occurs through direct contact, direct instruction, interaction with others, and vicarious (or observational) learning.

Persuasion is the process by which one person tries to change the belief, opinion, position, or course of action of another person through argument, pleading, or explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6oyCeYQWPE&feature=emb_title

Factors that influence the effectiveness of persuasion include the source, the message, and the target audience. The elaboration likelihood model examines how likely it is that an individual will elaborate on a persuasive message and what the outcome of the elaboration will most likely be. When people attend to the content of the message, the model describes it as central-route processing, and when people pay attention to information outside of the message content itself, it is referred to as peripheral-route processing.

Cognitive dissonance is a sense of discomfort that occurs when a person's behavior does not match up with that person's attitudes. When a person experiences cognitive dissonance, he or she typically changes the conflicting behavior to match the attitude, changes the attitude to match his or her behavior, or forms new cognitions to justify his or her behavior. By the end of this video, you'll have a better sense of what cognitive dissonance is and what effects it produces: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Y17YaZRRvY&feature=emb_title

Impression formation involves the process of forming the first knowledge that a person has concerning another person, in other words, the "first impression." One component of impression formation involves social categorization, which is the assignment of a person to a category based on characteristics the person has in common with other people with whom one has had experience in the past. Social categorization can often result in stereotypes, or a set of characteristics that people believe are shared by all members of a particular social category. 

The final aspect of social cognition discussed in the textbook is attribution, or the process of explaining one's own behavior and the behavior of others. Fritz Heider originally described attribution theory and divided attributions into two categories: situational causes were explanations that relied on external causes and dispositional causes assume behavior is the result of some internal factor. The fundamental attribution error is the most well-known bias of attribution and is the tendency for some people to almost exclusively use dispositional attributes (not situational causes) to explain other people's behavior.

 

Social Interaction

Social interaction, or the relationship between people, is the third main area of study in the field of social psychology. When a person holds an unsupported and often negative attitude about the members of a particular group it is called a prejudice, and when a person acts differently towards a person based on that attitude it is called discrimination.

The creation of in-groups (us) and out-groups (them) can often intensify discrimination. We may have evolved with the innate capacity to instantly identify us vs them and thus to discriminate. As Licht notes in your text:

"Evolutionary psychologists suggest that stereotypes have allowed human beings to quickly identify the group to which they belong—an adaptive trait, given that groups provide safety. But because we are inclined to think our group is superior, we may draw incorrect conclusions about members of other groups, or outsiders in general. We tend to see the world in terms of the in-group (the group to which we belong, or us) and the out-group (those outside our group, or them)". See Infographic 11.3 for details about stereotypes, discrimination and prejudice. 

Your class project has focused on implicit bias. Remember, an implicit bias or stereotype is the unconscious attribution of particular qualities to a member of a certain social group. Such a bias tends to be influenced by experience, and is based on learned associations between certain attributes and social categories. Those categories include race, gender, and body type. 

The realistic conflict theory states that prejudice and discrimination will be increased between groups that are in conflict. Jane Elliot used her second-grade classroom to demonstrate the power of prejudice and discrimination by dividing her class based on the color of the students' eyes and observing the effects:

Conflicts between groups tend to increase as pressures and stresses increase.

 

Often the prejudice exists because of the need for a scapegoat, a person or group who serves as the target for the frustrations and negative emotions of the group with the prejudiced attitude. Several theories have been proposed to explain the formation and persistence of prejudice. Social identity theory suggests that the three processes of social categorizationsocial identification, and social comparison are involved in the formation of prejudice attitudes. Stereotype vulnerability refers to the effect that a person's knowledge of someone else's stereotyped opinion can have on that person's behavior. The resulting feeling of anxiety is referred to as stereotype threat. The negative impact of stereotype threat on an individual's performance can actually cause a person to act in the way that the stereotype predicts, thus confirming an outside observer's prejudice attitude. Self-fulfilling prophecy occurs when a person acts according to his or her existing beliefs and his or her actions make it more likely that his or her beliefs are confirmed. The best defense against prejudice is becoming informed about people who are different from you. Equal status contact, in which all individuals involved have the same amount of power in the situation, is crucial for reducing prejudice. Educators have attempted to create situations of equal status in the classroom by setting up jigsaw classrooms, in which students have to work together to reach a specific goal.

 

Attraction

Another area of social interaction discussed in your textbook is interpersonal attraction, or liking or having the desire for a relationship with someone else. Dawn Maslar explores how our five senses contribute to this mating game, citing some pretty interesting studies along the way in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=169N81xAffQ&feature=emb_title

Several factors are involved in the attraction of one person to another including physical attractiveness, proximity (or how close a person is to you physically), similarity, and reciprocity of liking (or liking someone who likes you). Proximity to others and attraction are positively correlated.

Robert Sternberg proposed a theory of love that contains three components: intimacy, passion, and commitment. He felt that seven types of love could be described by various combinations of these three components. Two of Sternberg's proposed types of love are romantic love and companionate love.

For much more on the science of love attraction and companionship see this article which describes infatuation as a "total eclipse of the brain" (Links to an external site.)

 (link to article). 

 

Aggression

A very different type of social interaction is that of violence. Aggression is defined as any behavior intended to hurt or destroy another person. Social psychologists have examined the role of both biology and the environment on aggression. Twin studies have shown a higher correlation of aggression levels in identical twins than in fraternal twins. Research (https://www.technologyreview.com/2007/11/07/223136/the-neurological-roots-of-aggression/ )

 (link to article) shows that certain areas of the brain, like the prefrontal cortex) have been found to control aggressive responses. Testosterone levels are related to aggression. However, a large portion of human aggression is influenced by learning. Several studies have suggested that taking on a particular social role can lead to an increase in aggressive behavior. A number of studies have also supported the link between exposure to violent media and aggression.

The findings of a new study show the brains of violent video game players become less responsive to violence, and this diminished brain response predicts an increase in aggression: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAG4uJfunwU&feature=emb_title

This comprehensive article (Links to an external site.)

 (link to article: http://psychology.iresearchnet.com/social-psychology/antisocial-behavior/media-violence-and-aggression/) details how more than five decades of scientific data lead to the irrefutable conclusion that exposure to violent media increases aggression.




Read your text and Lesson Content on obedience, conformity, and response to authority. Then go to the Stanford Prison Experiment:  https://www.prisonexp.org/the-story

"The Story" and study the experiment. Finally, watch the interview of the author of the experiment, Phillip Zimbardo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G-MhGE5Au0&feature=emb_title

Finally answer these questions:

  1. Summarize the experiment
  2. If you were a guard, what type of guard would you have become? How sure are you?.
  3. Was it ethical to do with this study? Was it right to trade the suffering experienced by participants for the knowledge gained by the research?

Answered by Expert Tutors
  1. dictum vitae odio. Done
  2. , consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam lacinia pulvinar tortor nec facilisis. Pellentesque dapibus efficitur laoreet. Nam risus ante, dapibus a molestie consequat, ultrices ac magna. Fusce dui lectus, congue vel laoreet ac, dictum vitae odio. Donec aliquet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam lacinia pulvinar tortor nec facilisis. Pellentesque dapibus efficitur laoreet. Nam risus ante, dapibus a molestie consequat, ultrices ac magna. Fusce dui lectus, congue vel laoreet ac, dictum vitae odio. Donec aliquet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam lacinia pulvinar tortor nec facilisis. Pellentesque dapibus efficitur laoreet. Nam r


    Donec aliquet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam lacinia pulvinar tortor nec facilisis. Pellentesque dapibus efficitur laoreet. Nam risus ante, dapibus a molestie consequat, ultrices ac magna. Fusce dui lectus, congue vel laoreet ac, dictum vitae odio. Donec aliquet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam lacinia pulvinar tortor nec facilisis. Pellentesque dapibus efficitur laoreet. Nam risus ant


    ultrices ac magna. Fusce dui lectus, congue vel laoreet ac, dictum vitae odio.

    molestie consequat, ultrices ac magna. Fusce dui lectus, congue vel laoreet ac, dictum vitae odio. Donec aliquet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam lacinia pulvinar tortor nec facilisis. Pellentesque dapibus efficitur laoreet. Nam risus ante, dapibus a molestie consequat, ultrices ac magna. Fusce dui lectus, congue vel laoreet ac, dictum vitae odio. Donec aliquet. Lorem


    ur laoreet. Nam risus ante, dapibus a molestie consequat, ultrices ac magna. Fusce dui lectus, congue vel laoreet ac, dictum vitae odio. Donec


    ng elit. Nam lacinia pulvinar tortor nec facilisis. Pellentesque dapibus efficitur laoreet. Nam risus ante, dapibus a molestie consequat, ultrices ac magna. Fusce dui lectus, congue vel laoreet ac, dictum vitae odio. Donec aliquet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam lacinia pulvinar tortor nec facilisis. Pellentesque dapibus efficitur laoreet. Nam risus ante, dapibus a molestie consequat, ultrices ac magna. Fusce dui lectus, congue vel laoreet ac, dictum vitae odio. Donec aliquet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam lacinia pulvinar tortor nec facilisis. Pellentesque dapibus efficitur laoreet. Nam risus ante, dapibus a molestie consequat, ultrices ac magna. Fusce dui lectus, congue vel laoreet ac, dictum vitae odio. Donec aliquet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consec



    sum dolor sit

    ng elit. Nam lacinia pulvinar tortor nec facm risus ante, dapibus a molestie conse

The student who asked this found it Helpful
Overall rating 100%
Get unstuck

443,297 students got unstuck by Course
Hero in the last week

step by step solutions

Our Expert Tutors provide step by step solutions to help you excel in your courses