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Psychology 102: Social processes, society & culture

Psychology 102: Social processes, society & culture



This lecture provides an overview of several social psychology topics, particularly: what is social psychology, social influence (including conformity, obedience, and resistance), group ...

This lecture provides an overview of several social psychology topics, particularly: what is social psychology, social influence (including conformity, obedience, and resistance), group decision-making, aggression, pro-social behaviour, altruism, conflict, and peace psychology



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    Psychology 102: Social processes, society & culture Psychology 102: Social processes, society & culture Presentation Transcript

    • Psychology 102: Social processes, society, and culture Dr James Neill Centre for Applied Psychology University of Canberra 2009
    • Reading Gerrig et al. (Chapter 17): Social processes, society, and culture
    • NOTE: A related previous Psy101 chapter reading (not covered here) Gerrig et al. (Chapter 16): Social cognition & relationships
      • Constructing social reality
      • Social cognition
      • Attitudes
      • Persuasion / Social influence
      • Prejudice & Stereotypes
      • Relationships & Attraction
    • Overview
      • About social psychology
      • Power of the situation (social influence)
        • Conformity
        • Obedience
        • Group influence
        • Group polarisation
      • Aggression
      • Prosocial behaviour & altruism
      • Conflict & peace
    • What is social psychology? Influence of social processes on the way people:
      • Think (cognition)
      • Feel (emotions)
      • Behave (actions)
    • Person to Person
    • Group to Person Person to Group
    • Group to Group
    • Why is Social Psychology Important? Why does social psychology matter? … we need to get along – or we'll conflict
    • Topic matching activity Prejudice Aggression Group dynamics Crowd behaviour Social exclusion Allocate one of these topics to each of the following sets of slides... Environmental Relationships Prosocial behaviour Conformity Leadership
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    • 10
    • Power of the situation (Social influence)
    • Social influence questions
      • How do we influence each other?
      • How are we affected by pressures to conform and obey?
      • How are we affected by group interaction?
      • How do groups affect our behaviour?
    • Social influence The most significant contribution of social psychology is its study of how our attitudes, beliefs, decisions, and actions are moulded by social influence .
    • Video: The Power of the Situation Annenberg (1989). The Power of the Situation (Program 19) . [27 min video] Annenberg: Santa Barbara, CA.
    • The power of the situation
      • Social role
        • Social-defined pattern of behaviour
      • Rules
        • Behavioural guidelines
        • Can be explicit or implicit
      • Social norms
        • Expectation a group has for its members
    • Conformity When a person adopts a social role , follows a rule , or bends to a social norm , then s/he is, to some extent, conforming to social expectations.
    • Conformity
      • Tendency for people to adopt behaviours, attitudes, and values of other members of a group.
      • Adjusting one’s behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard.
    • Conformity: Informational influence
      • Wanting to be “correct” and to behave in the “right way” in a given situation
      • Why?
        • Group may provide valuable information.
        • When the task is difficult or you are unsure, it makes sense to listen to others.
      • e.g., Sherif’s autokinetic effect
    • Conformity: Normative influence
      • Desire to be liked, accepted, and approved of / not rejected by others
      • Why? Price may be severe if not normative behaviour is not followed.
      • Also known as the “Asch effect”
    • Asch’s conformity studies (1950's)
    • Asch’s conformity studies (1950’s)
      • Subjects asked to judge line lengths while working in a group.
      • 7 subjects; the 6th was real, rest were confederates.
      • Confederates consistently gave obviously wrong answers.
      • The subject often conformed and gave the same wrong answer.
      • On average, 37% of participants conformed .
      • Some never caved .
    • Conformity
      • Conformity in everyday life
      • Minority influence and nonconformity
        • Serge Moscovici
    • Conditions that  conformity
      • Feelings of incompetence, insecurity, low self-esteem.
      • Group size > 2
      • Group is unanimous (lack of dissension).
      • Group status desirable & attractiveness.
    • Conditions that  conformity
      • Group observes one’s behaviour.
      • No prior commitment to response.
      • Culture strongly encourages respect for social standard.
    • Obedience
      • People comply with social pressures. But what about outright command?
      • Milgram designed a study that investigated the effects of authority on obedience.
      Stanley Milgram (1933-1984)
    • Milgram’s obedience studies
    • Milgram’s Study
    • Milgram’s obedience studies
      • 63% complied with administration of shocks
      • Depending on subtle changes in conditions, however, compliance varied between 0 & 93%
      • Degree of obedience influenced by:
        • Physical proximity of authority figure
        • Status of authority figure
        • Depersonalisation of victim
        • Lack of defiant role models
    • Zimbardo’s prison study (1970’s)
      • Subjects played either prisoners or guards.
      • Prisoners were arrested, fingerprinted, dressed, and referred to by number.
      • Guards were dressed and given control over prisoners.
      • Subjects became their roles in action, thought and feeling.
    • Resistance
      • ~  a third of individuals resisted social coercion (Milgram).
      • One dissenter can have a disproportionate effect on reducing the compliance of others. (e.g., Asch)
      • The tendency of groups to make decisions that are more extreme then the decisions that would be make by the members acting alone
      • Two underlying process
          • Information-influence
          • Social comparison
      Group decision-making: Group polarisation
    • Group decision-making: Groupthink (Irving Janis)
      • Tendency of group to filter out the undesirable input so that a consensus may be reached
      • Factors leading Groupthink
        • High level of group cohesiveness
        • Isolation of group from outside information or influences
        • Dynamic, influential leader
        • High stress from external threats
    • Aggression, prosocial behaviour, altruism, conflict, and peace
      • Aggression
      • Prosocial behaviour
      • Altruism
      • Conflict & cooperation
      • Peace
      • Physical or verbal behaviour that causes (or is intended to cause) harm.
      • Emerges from the interaction of:
        • Biology
          • Genetic
          • Neural
          • Biochemical
        • Experience
          • Aversive events e.g., misery, temp, frustrate
          • Operant conditioning
          • Social learning
          • Scripts
    • Aggression
    • Aggression
      • Individual differences
        • Impulsive aggression
        • Instrumental aggression
      • Situational influences
        • Frustration-aggression hypothesis
        • Temperature and aggression
        • Direct provocation and escalation
      • Cultural constraints
        • Construals of the self and aggressive behaviour
          • Richard Nisbett
        • Norms of aggressive behaviour
      • Unselfish, intentional behavior that is intended to benefit welfare of others.
        • Behaviours which have no obvious gain for the provider
        • Behaviours which have obvious costs for the provider (e.g. time, resources)
      • Is there really altruism?
        • Altruism is often for self-benefit e.g., power, status, reward, psychological gain.
      • What matters in judging the act is the actor's intended outcomes.
      • Equity / Reciprocity
        • Give to relationships in proportion to what we receive (Social Exchange Theory)
      • Social responsibility norm
      • Reciprocal altruism
        • Natural selection favors animals that are altruistic if the benefit to each is greater than the cost of altruism
    • Bystander intervention
      • Bystander intervention
        • Bib Latané and John Darley
        • Willingness to assist a person in need
        • 75% help when alone vs. 53% in presence of others
      • Diminished sense of personal responsibility to act because others are seen as equally responsible.
      • Bystanders are less likely to help in presence of more people (e.g. part of a large crowd)
      • "Diffusion of responsibility": The larger the number of bystanders, the less responsibility any one bystander feels to help
      Bystander effect
    • Bystander intervention
      • Bystander must notice the emergency
      • Bystander must label events as an emergency
      • Bystander must feel responsibility
      • Prosocial behaviour
        • Carried out with the goal of helping people
      • Altruism
        • Pro-social behaviours without consideration for self safety or interests
      • Reciprocal altruism
      Altruism & prosocial behaviour
    • Motives for prosocial behaviour
      • C. Daniel Batson’s forces that prompt people to act for the public good:
        • Altruism
        • Egoism
        • Collectivism
        • Principlism
      • Superordinate goals
      • Communication
      • Graduated & Reciprocated Initiatives in Tension-Reduction (GRIT)
      • Genocide: Systematic destruction of other groups - Ervin Straub
      • Concepts and images of the “enemy”
      • Peace psychology: Interdisciplinary approach to conflict prevention & peace maintenance
      Psychology of genocide, war & peace
    • The 8 stages of genocide (Stanton, 1998)
      • Classification
      • Symbolisation
      • Dehumanisation
      • Organisation
      • Polarisation
      • Preparation
      • Extermination
      • Denial
    • Peace psychology
      • Analysing forms of leadership and Government
        • Kurt Lewin
        • Group dynamics
        • Fostering contact to facilitate conflict resolution
        • Reconciliation
          • Mabo
          • ‘Sorry’
          • Herbert Kelman
      • Perceived incompatibility of actions, goals, or ideas.
      • Conflicting parties, each rationally pursuing their self-interest, become caught in mutually destructive behavior  “ Social Trap ”:
        • Win-Lose
        • Lose-Win, or
        • Lose-lose.
      Game theory
    • Game theory
      • Gerrig, R. J., Zimbardo, P. G., Campbell, A. J., Cumming, S. R., & Wilkes, F. J. (2008). Psychology and life (Australian edition). Sydney: Pearson Education Australia.
      • Myers, D. G. (2001). Social Psychology (Ch. 18). In D. G. Myers (2001). Psychology (6th ed.) (pp. 643-688). New York: Worth.
      • Myers, D. G. (2007). Social Psychology (Ch. 18). In D. G. Myers (2007). Psychology (8th ed.) (pp. 723-771). New York: Worth.