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Flashcards in 5A/5B Deck (26):


the adjustment of individual behaviours, attitudes and beliefs to a group standard


Influencing Factors on Comformity (3)

Group Size – increases with group size up to 5 members
Presence of a Dissenter – one person disagreeing greatly reduces conformity
Culture – greater in collectivistic cultures


Asch (1956) – Conformity

A subject was put in a room with several actors
They were asked to compare the lengths of lines and all the actors chose the wrong answer
Majority of subjects conformed, and in the control group less than 1% of people conformed


Obedience definition

the compliance with commands given by an authority figure


Influencing Factors of Obedience

Remoteness of the victim
Closeness and legitimacy of the authority figure
Diffusion of responsibility: obedience increases when someone else does the dirty work
Not personal characteristics


Milgram (1974) – Obedience

There was one subject, an experimenter and an actor
The experimenter asked the actor questions, and instructed the subject to administer an ‘electric shock’ when the actor answered incorrectly
Even when the shock level reached lethal doses and the actor played dead, most subjects still obeyed


Social Loafing:

the tendency for people to expend less individual effort when working in a group than when working alone.


Influencing Factors - when is social loafing likely to occur? (4) + (2)

The person believes that individual performance is not being monitored
The task (goal) or the group has less value or meaning to the person
The person generally displays low motivation to strive for success
The person expects that other group members will display high effort

Depends on gender and culture
Occurs more strongly all-male groups
Occurs more often in individualistic cultures


When might social loafing disappear? (2)

Individual performance is monitored
Members highly value their group of the task goal


Group Decision-Making
2 types of phenomenon

Group Think
Group Polarisation


Group Polarisation:

tendency of people to make decisions that are more extreme when they are in a group as opposed to a decision made alone or independently.


Influencing Factors of Group Think - Most likely to occur when...

Is under high stress to reach a decision
Is insulated from outside input
Has a directive leader
Has high cohesiveness


Leadership Styles (Kurt Lewin) (3)

Autocratic or Authoritarian: all decisions made by leader
Participative or Democratic: makes decisions after consulting group
Laissez-faire or Free Rein: leaves the group entirely to itself


The Bystander Effect

1) Notice the event
2) Decide if the event is really an emergency. Social Comparison.
3) Assuming responsibility to intervene. Diffusion of Responsibiliy.
4) Self-efficacy in dealing with the situation
5) Decision to help (based on cost-benefit analysis)


Social comparision

look to see how others are responding


Diffusion of Responsibility:

believing that someone else will help


How to overcome The Bystander Effect

Reduce restraints on helping
Socialise Altruism


Reducing restraints on helping

Reduce ambiguity and increase responsibility
Enhance guilt and concern for self image


Socialise altruism

Teaching moral inclusion
Modelling helping behaviour
Attributing helpful behaviour to altruistic motives
Education about barriers to helping


Confirmatory Bias

The tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions, often leading to errors


Sunk Cost Fallacy

Rationally, the only factor affecting future action should be the future costs/benefit ratio
BUT, humans do not always act rationally
Often, the more we have invested in the past, the more we are prepared to invest in a problem in the future


Gambler’s Fallacy

A logical fallacy involving the mistaken belief that past events will affect future events when dealing with independent events



any approach to problem-solving, learning or discovery that employs a practical method not guaranteed to be perfect, but sufficient for the immediate goals.


Availability Heuristic

Probabilities are estimated on the basis of how easily and/or vividly they can be called to mind

People tend to heavily weigh their judgements toward more recent information


Representative Heuristic

Subjective probability that a stimulus belongs to a particular class based on how ‘typical’ of that class it appears to be (regardless of base rate probability)
Whilst often very useful in everyday life, it can also result in neglect of relevant base rates and other errors


Strategies for improving clinical decision-making

Recognise that heuristics and biases may be affecting our judgement even though we may not be conscious of them
Counteract the effect of top-down information processing by generating alternative theories and looking for evidence to support them rather than confirming our preferred theory
Understand and employ statistic principles (e.g. Bayes theorem)
Use of algorithms and decision-support systems