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PSYC 1113 Chapter 12
 

PSYC 1113 Chapter 12

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  • I like to discuss with students the effect of a nonconformist on others in the group by discussing a study by Moscivici & Personnaz: (a) Showed blue slides to a group of people with a few confederates sprinkled in there. In group 1, a majority of the group said “green” when the slide was actually blue; in group 2 a minority of people said “green” when the slide was actually blue (b) The hypothesis was that when a minority of people stuck up for their position (green not blue) that other people might listen and really try to see green (c) When they showed a white screen and asked for the color of the afterimages, group 1 reported yellow afterimages (seeing only blue), but group 2 reported orange afterimages (seeing a little red in there which is the complement of green!)

PSYC 1113 Chapter 12 PSYC 1113 Chapter 12 Presentation Transcript

  • Chapter 12:Social Psychology
  • Social PsychologyThe branch of psychology thatstudies how people think, feel, andbehave in social situations
  • Social CognitionThe mental processes that people use tomake sense out of their social environment– Person perception– Social categorization– Implicit personality theory– Attribution– Attitudes– Stereotypes
  • Person Perception• Your reactions are determined byyour perceptions of others• Your goals determine the amount andkind of information you collect• You evaluate people partly in terms ofhow you expect them to behave(social norms)• Your self-perception influences howyou perceive others
  • Physical Attractiveness• Implicit cultural message is “beautiful is good”• Attractive people are perceived as moreintelligent, happier, and better adjusted• Really no difference between attractive and lessattractive people on these characteristics• Attractive people are more likely to attributeother people’s approval of theiraccomplishments to looks rather than to effort ortalent.
  • Attribution• Process of inferring the causes ofpeople’s behavior, including one’sown• The explanation given for a particularbehavior
  • Attribution Bias• Fundamental attribution error• Actor-observer discrepancy• Blaming the victim (just-worldhypothesis)• Self-serving bias• Self-effacing bias
  • Using Attitudes as Waysto “Justify” Injustice• Just-world bias– a tendency to believe that life is fair; for example,it seems horrible to think that you can be a goodperson and bad things could happen to youanyway• Just-world bias leads to “blaming the victim”– we explain others’ misfortunes as being their fault,as in: She deserved to be raped. What was shedoing in that neighborhood anyway?
  • AttitudesWhat is an attitude?– Predisposition to evaluate some people,groups, or issues in a particular way– Can be negative or positive– Has three components• Cognitive—thoughts about given topic orsituation• Affective—feelings or emotions about topic• Behavioral—your actions regarding the topicor situation
  • The Components of Attitudes
  • Cognitive Dissonance• Unpleasant state of psychological tensionor arousal that occurs when two thoughtsor perceptions are inconsistent• When attitudes and behaviors are inconflict– it is uncomfortable for us– we seek ways to decrease the discomfortcaused by the inconsistency
  • Dissonance-Reducing Mechanisms• Avoiding dissonant information– we attend to information in support of ourexisting views, rather than information thatdoesn’t support them• Firming up an attitude to be consistentwith an action– once we’ve made a choice to do something,lingering doubts about our actions would causedissonance, so we are motivated to set themaside
  • PrejudiceA negative attitude toward people whobelong to a specific social group
  • StereotypesWhat is a stereotype?– A cluster of characteristics associated withall members of a specific group of people– a belief held by members of one groupabout members of another group
  • Social Categories• In-group—the social group to which webelong– In-group bias—tendency to make favorableattributions to members of our in-group– Ethnocentrism is one type of in-group bias• Out-group—the social group to which youdo not belong– Out-group homogeneity effect—tendency tosee members of the out-group as more similarto one another
  • Social Identity and CooperationSocial identity theory– states that when you’re assigned to a group, youautomatically think of that group as an in-group for you– Sheriff’s Robbers Cave study• 11- to 12-year-old boys at camp• boys were divided into 2 groups and kept separatefrom one another• each group took on characteristics of distinct socialgroup, with leaders, rules, norms of behavior, andnames
  • Robbers Cave (Sheriff)• Leaders proposed series of competitiveinteractions which led to three changesbetween groups and within groups–within-group solidarity–negative stereotyping of other group–hostile between-group interactions
  • Robbers CaveOvercoming the strong we/they effect–establishment of superordinate goals• eg, breakdown in camp water supply–overcoming intergroup strife• stereotypes are diluted when peopleshare individuating information
  • The Jigsaw Classroom• Aronson (1992) brought together students in small,ethnically diverse groups to work on a mutualproject.• Each student had a unique contribution to maketoward the success of the group; interdependenceand cooperation replaced competition• Results: Children in the jigsaw classrooms hadhigher self-esteem and a greater liking for childrenin other ethnic groups than those in traditionalclassrooms• Less negative stereotypes and prejudice and areduction in intergroup hostility
  • Social Influence• How behavior is influenced by thesocial environment and the presenceof other people•Conformity•Obedience•Helping Behaviors
  • Conformity• Adopting attitudes or behaviors of othersbecause of pressure to do so; the pressurecan be real or imagined• Two general reasons for conformity– Informational social influence — other people canprovide useful and crucial information– Normative social influence — desire to beaccepted as part of a group leads to that grouphaving an influence
  • Effects of Nonconformity• If everyone agrees, you are less likely todisagree• BUT, if one person disagrees, even if theygive the wrong answer, you are more likely toexpress your nonconforming view• Asch tested this hypothesis– one confederate gave different answer from others– conformity dropped significantly
  • Asch’s Experimentson ConformityPrevious research had shown peoplewill conform to others’ judgments moreoften when the evidence is ambiguous
  • Asch’s Experimentson Conformity• All but 1 in groupwas confederate• Seating was rigged• Asked to rate whichline matched a“standard” line• Confederates wereinstructed to pickthe wrong line 12/18times
  • Asch’s Experimentson Conformity• Results– Asch found that 75% participants conformed to atleast one wrong choice– subjects gave wrong answer (conformed) on37% of the critical trials• Why did they conform to clearly wrong choices?– informational influence?– subjects reported having doubted their ownperceptual abilities, which led to theirconformance – didn’t report seeing the lines theway the confederates had
  • Obedience• Obedience– compliance is due toperceived authority ofrequester– request is perceived asan order• Milgram wasinterested inunquestioningobedience to orders
  • Stanley Milgram’s StudiesBasic study procedure– teacher and learner(learner alwaysconfederate)– watch learner beingstrapped into chair– learner expressesconcern over his“heart condition”
  • Stanley Milgram’s Studies• Teacher goes to another room withexperimenter• Shock generator panel – 15 to 450volts, labeled “slight shock” to “XXX”• Asked to give higher shocks forevery mistake learner makes
  • Stanley Milgram’s Studies• Learner protestsmore and more asshock increases• Experimentercontinues torequest obedienceeven if teacherbalks
  • Obedience• How many people would go tothe highest shock level?• 65% of the subjects went tothe end, even those whoprotested
  • Explanations forMilgram’s Results• Abnormal group of subjects?–numerous replications with variety ofgroups shows no support• People in general are sadistic?–videotapes of Milgram’s subjectsshow extreme distress
  • Explanations forMilgram’s Results• Authority of Yale and value of science• Experimenter self-assurance andacceptance of responsibility• Proximity of learner and experimenter• New situation and no model of how tobehave
  • Follow-Up Studies to Milgram
  • Critiques of Milgram• Although 84% later said they wereglad to have participated and fewerthan 2% said they were sorry, thereare still ethical issues• Do these experiments really help usunderstand real-world atrocities (eg,abuse at Abu Ghraib)?
  • Why Don’t People AlwaysHelp Others in Need?• Diffusion of responsibility–presence of others leads todecreased help response–we all think someone else will help,so we don’t have to help
  • Why Don’t People AlwaysHelp Others in Need?• Latane studies– several scenarios designed to measure thehelp response• found that if you think you’re the only onethat can hear or help, you are more likely todo so• if there are others around, you will diffusethe responsibility to others• Kitty Genovese incident
  • Increasing Bystander Helping• “Feel good, do good” effect• Feeling guilty• Seeing others who are willing to help• Perceiving the other person as deserving help• Knowing how to help• A personal relationship
  • Social Pressure inGroup Decisions• Group polarization– majority positionstronger after a groupdiscussion in which aminority is arguingagainst the majoritypoint of view• Why does this occur?– informational andnormative influencesAgainst ForGroup 1 Group 2Before group discussionStrength of opinion(a)Against ForGroup 1 Group 2After group discussionStrength of opinion(b)
  • Individual and Groups• Social loafing — tendency to expend lesseffort on a task when it is a group effort• Reduced when– Group is composed of people we know– We are members of a highly valued group– Task is meaningful• Not as common in collectivist cultures
  • Individual and Groups• Social facilitation — individual performanceis enhanced in the presence of others• Deindividuation — when group membersfeel anonymous. Reduction of self-awareness and inhibitions when person ispart of a group where members feelanonymous (eg, riots)
  • Sales Techniques andCognitive DissonanceFoot-in-the-door technique– ask for something small at first, then hitcustomer with larger request later– small request has paved the way tocompliance with the larger request– cognitive dissonance results if person hasalready granted a request for one thing, thenrefuses to give the larger item
  • The Reciprocity Normand ComplianceWe feel obliged to return favors, eventhose we did not want in the first place– opposite of foot-in-the-door– salesperson gives something to customer withthe idea that they will feel compelled to givesomething back (buying the product)– even if person did not wish for favor in the firstplace
  • Defense Against PersuasionTechniques• Sleep on it — don’t act on somethingright away• Play devil’s advocate — think of allthe reasons you shouldn’t buy theproduct or comply with the request• Pay attention to your gut feelings — ifyou feel pressured, you probably are