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Psych 221 Chapter 8 Conformity - Lecture Notes for 3/1/2012

Implications for social influence Conformity = How and why do people change their behavior in response to the real or imagined influence of other people Example = group in elevator turning to rear of elevator Why Do People Conform to Social Influence? Informational Function of Social Influence (we are influenced by other people bc we assume they know whats going on) 1. Sherif (1935) studies, autokinetic effect (our eyes are constantly scanning in a horizontal way naturally occurring phenomena.. point of light appears to be moving in a dark room. How far? Eventually all the people would come to an agreed upon distance the light moved) 2. Public compliance vs. private acceptance = internalize the beliefs Sherif (1935) Informational Social Influence (ISI) - we conform because we see other people as a source of information 1. Public Compliance and Private Acceptance Rohrer replicated with 1 year delay. Results = vast majority gave same response they did as when they gave with the group they really believed the answer that they were influenced into a year previous When will people conform to Informational Social Influence? When the situation is ambiguous. (if you know what do to already, wont be influenced) 1. Most important determinant of whether or not people will use each other as a source of information When the situation is in crisis. 1. Having limited time to act may draw us to look to others for information to help When others are experts. 1. The more expert someone is thought to be, the more people will look to them for information in ambiguous situations Why Do People Conform to Social Influence? Asch (1956) studies (which of three lines on right is closest in length to one on left?) Eventually all of the confederates would say a wrong answer, then.. 76% of people conformed on at least one trial Why? They were trying to fit in with the other members of the group Implications for social decision making Informational influence is bad only if our source doesnt have the right information John Kerrys primary example when later primaries occurred, they were influenced by Kerrys previous victories

Psych 221

Iowa and New Hampshire effectively determined the democratic candidate

Social Norms Implicit or explicit rules a group has for the acceptable behaviors, values, and beliefs of its members Injunctive norms 1. Perceptions of what behaviors are approved or disapproved of by others more powerful persuader (describes norms that should be followed / laws) Descriptive norms 1. Perceptions of how people actually behave in given situations Normative Social Influence Conformity in order to be liked and accepted by others Normative Social Influence - often results in Public Compliance without Private Acceptance. (going along w it but not actually believing its right) o But, can have public and private acceptance (informational social influence) More Examples Normative or Informational Social Influence? Answer = both (ppl who took it more seriously were informational) 1. Video Candid Camera White Squares (dont step on white tiles no one asks why, but everyone follows) Normative Social Influence in Everyday Life Womens attempts to create socially desired body types Dieting, eating disorders Men now also experience pressure to create socially desired body types Factors that lead to increased conformity Group size 1. Large increase in the likelihood of conforming with the addition of a few people (1 through 5) 2. After the group reaches 6 or more, the likelihood of conforming doesnt change much with increased size (6 through 5 billion) Group importance 1. Normative pressure is stronger when coming from a respected source 2. There is a greater cost when failing to conform When one has no allies (when no one else thinks its wrong or bad idea) 1. (It's difficult to be a dissenter)

Minority Influence: When the Few Influence the Many Minority Influence (Moscovici, 1985) 12 angry men o Consistency over time in arguement o Consistent unanimity among members of the minority 1. Otherwise similar to the majority

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3 Appear not to be driven by self-interest

Minority Influence (Wood et al., 1994) Majorities 1. Cause public compliance because of normative social influence 2. People then agree so no one yells at them Minorities 1. Cause private acceptance because of informational social influence 2. Listen to facts about argument to go from majority to minority