You are on page 1of 6

Common sense doesnt always equal research findings Normal Triplett 1st social psych experiment 1898 (1)

1) Cyclists raced faster when competing against each other in group (2) Same competitive effects in children performing task no reward for competition (3) Children to wind string on fishing rod as fast as possible alone & in groups o Fishing rod winded faster when other children present than alone Co-actor: another individual performing the same task Audience: group of people watching individual perform task Social Facilitation: increased performance when co-actors or audience present A complication Presence of co-actors and an audience didnt produce a great increase in performance o Evidence presence of others can hinder performance on tasks Learning nonsense syllables, completing maze, math problems Zajoncs Resolution Robert Zajonc 1965 Social Facilitation: A solution is suggested for an old social psychological problem o Presence of others increases arousal affects depend on task performed Simple task expert/well practiced = enhanced performance Complex task not expert/practiced = hindered performance Performance on stage practice = use crowds energy to put best show o Underprepared/ no confidence = audience pressure worse than normal Test writing Social Learning Theory Helps understand how complex cognitive skill (language) is learned by kids through reinforcementsame mechanism to explain how social behaviour shaped Albert Bandura (1970s) o Social learning theory: learn appropriate behaviours by imitating others

Module 1: Presence of Others

Module 2: Social Learning Theory

1 of 5

o Bobo

Differentiated from basic conditioning Behaviours learned dont require reinforcement to develop

Doll experiment (Albert Bandura) Ages 3-6 offerend many toys in play room with adult confederate Adult model either aggressive or passive play with toys After viewing adult, children went to play more likely to be aggressive if vewied aggressive play model o Aggressive behaviour was spontaneous no explicit reinforcement/ encouragement o Countered pure behaviorist ideas very influential at the time Suggested that learning of behaviour only occur with reinforcement What would happened if instead of Bobo doll, real person (clown) used in post-modeling phase o Follow-up of this experiment children attacked real person

Muzafer Sherif and Norm Funciton (1930) Autokinetic Effect: perceptual illusion o Pitch black room, lookin @ small dot of light at fromt of room o Light seems to move for few seconds, must observer how much it moves o 1st day many trials; report mean of 5 cm Autokinetic effect stationary light in pitch black room appears to move Eyes scan scene of dot against uniform dark background mistake movement of image on retina as motion of light o 2nd day in room with 2 under individuals & each discuss results you tink it moves 5cm, others say 15 & 20 cm all 3 of you return to 2 more days of testing o How will presence of others influence individual reports? Many days of testing, response gradually converge with others Norm of Formation Norm Formation manipulation by experimenter - Follow up experiment sheriff had confederate sit with subject, & report large estimate of light movement

Module 3: Conformity

2 of 5

- Groups responses converged towards large # **TV uses laugh tracks

Aschs Stimuli Why people fall in line with group easily? Subjects seated in room with other individuals, told they would complete simple experiment o See one sample line and 3 comparison lines identify which comparison line match standard After showing lines, experimenter asked group o Only one is real subject, other 6 are confederates of experiment o Subject = 6th to respond Expected that everyone will chose obvious line all confederates agree on incorrect line o 37% conformed to incorrect answer o 75% conformed to incorrect answer on at least 1 trial 2 reasons you conform to a group Normative Function: role of others in setting standards for our conduct based on fear of rejection o Fashion trends & popular culture o Standards set because you fear rejection/ostracism if not conforming Comparative Function: role of others in providing info about ambiguous situation o See what others are doing, how they interpret situation (fire alarm) o In controlled lab setting variation of Aschs line-judgment study Deutsch & Gerard (1955) Subjects in separate cubical, couldnt see or hear other subjects Subject made judgment after seeing lines by anonymous button pressing Before responding, lights in front of subject indicated anonymous responses of other subjects (normative function plays no role) Even though no reason to go along with wrong answer, subjects still went along with wrong answers for rest of trails Subjects conformed primarily on trials where correct answer was less clear subject conformed to group because though others were right, doubted his perceptions

3 of 5

Decision Making Effect of group on decision making/consensus? The Risky Shift James Stoner (1961) believed that group more cautious than individuals Tested idea asked subjects to read hypothetical situations & make risk assessment o Came together into groups to come to consensus Ex. Helen = creative write, earning comfortable living writing cheap westerns o Idea for potentially significant novel if accepted, big career boost o Cant work out idea/flop novel lots of time/energy with no pay o What would Helens agent advise is the lowest probability of success you would consider acceptable for her to write the new novel? o Probability of success in relation to individual/group Individuals probability of success goes up to 40% Groups probability of success goes up to 30% o First make personal judgment call, then join group to form consensus on lowest acceptable probability of success Groups decisions were riskier than the mean decision of individuals before group discussion Some cases, results would be vice versa Roger married with two young children; secure, low paying job o Can afford necessities, very few luxuries o Hears stock of relatively unknown company may triple in value o Investing in stock would mean selling life insurance policy Group Polarization Why groups riskier in Helens case but not Rodgers? group polarization Group Polarization decision making in group usually leads to more extreme views by strengthening original inclinations of individual group members o This moves group in either the risky or cautious extreme Supported by many experiments demonstrate group decision making enhances national price, negative racial and financial attitudes and financial attitudes

Module 4: Group Dynamics

4 of 5

Mock jury members decide on punitive damage awards either larger or smaller than amount that individual juror favored initially

Groupthink Titanic group polarization leads group astray Irving Janis; Group think: group decision making environment where group cohesiveness becomes so strong that it tends to override realistic appraisal of alternative options like mob mentality o Mean girls clique: Believe they are right and other groups are wrong, fail to critically test/analyze ideas of group rationalized & pressure to conform is high reject others who disagree with them How to avoid groupthink o Be impartial never endorse any particular position from outset o Allow critical evaluation devils advocate (counter arguments) o Divide group come to different decisions and discuss o second chance meeting to discuss any doubts Bystander Effect Kitty Genovese 1960s 30 min of torture in NY o 38 people witnessed, did nothing so many witnesses decreased each individuals feeling of responsibility for action 2 decisions When do bystanders intervene? 1. Emergency? Collective ignorance: look to people around us; behave in accordance with others 2. Response required? should I get involved Diffusions of Responsibility: As the number of people around us increase, we are less likely to act Latane & Darley experiment short questionnaire either alone or in room with others o Smoke seep into room @one pointhow many would report long? o Subjects alone report smoke & quickly o Many others in room likelihood of subject reporting decreased o Collective Ignorance: each individual in group sees no one responding to situation, conclude that it is not an emergency Latane & Darley experiment for question #2 subject asked to participate in group discussion, each person in different room communicating through intercom o One person was subject in experiment, others were prerecorded tapes

Getting help

5 of 5

Chose individual in crowd and give them the responsibility Seeing someone helping will increase probability that you will help in later situation o Confederate parked car on side of road with hood up (indicates help needed) # of drivers stopping to offer help was recorded o Another condition helping model (disabled car parked some distance before confederate was receiving help from driver) # of cars helping the lone confederate increased Helpful behavior is contagious Social Loafing Social Loafing: less motivated when working in group than when working alone o Alan Ingham (1975) participants brought into lab, blindfolded, told theyd be playing tug of war with group o Must pull as hard as they could on rope, others would be pulling on rope behind them All subjects really alone o Subjects pulled 18% less when they thought they were in group Latane, Williams & Harkins participants brought into lab, blindfolded, told they would be joining group of people who would be clapping/shouting as loud as they can o Headphones simulating groups of different sized (really alone) o Amount of noise measured by subject was less when in larger groups Subjects who were in both group and individual experiments said they made same amount of noise in both conditions

6 of 5