Flashcards in Lecture 18: Social Psychology Deck (21)
What is social psychology?
The effect of social variables on individual behaviour, attitudes, perceptions and motives
Group and inter group phenomenas
What are the two main constructions of social reality?
Social cognition- process by which people select, interpret and remember social info
Social perception- process by which people come to understand and categorise the behaviour of others
What is obedience?
The compliance to the orders of an authority figure
What did Millgram discovier in his obedience researcj?
He studied to determine how far people would go in following orders from an authority figure
Participants were told experiments was on the effects of punishments on learning
They were asked to punish the learner's wrong answers with increasing electric shocks
The learner in the other room was a confederate of the experimenter (i,e, was an act, they didnt actually receive shocks)
The learner did respond with grunts, and screams and stopped responding after 300 volts
What were the results of Millgram's obedience study?
65% of participants shocked up to 450 volts
These included shocks delivered to a sobbing learner who pleaded to stop.
These even continued after the learner complained of heart problems.
Also continued after the learner screamed in agony and fell silent and unresponsive,
What does Millgram's study tell us?
The power of obedience is very strong
What are the situational factors which influence obedience?
Proximity of leaner: subjects were less likely to use high levels of shock when the learner was in the same room.
Proximity to experimenter: subjects were more likely to disobey when the experimenter was remote
Dissent: when other subjects dissented to give shocks, subjects were more likely to refuse to shock the learner
Modelling: when other subjects modelled shock behaviour, subjects were more likely to shock the learner
What are cognitive factors which affect obedience?
Normative influences- we obey to be liked.
Informational influences- we like to be right
Ambiguity of situation
Confusion about how to dissent
Obedience to authority is a social norm
What is conformity?
A change in attitudes or behaviour to accommodate the standards of peers or groups
What is Asch's conformity study? 1955
Subjects were asked to judge line lengths while working in a group of 7-9 people
Only one was a real subject, others were confederates
Confederates initially gave right answers then all started giving the same wrong answers
What are the results of Asch's conformity study?
50-80% of participants in different studies conformed with the false majority at least once
1/3 of participants agreed with false majority in half or more trials
Only 1/4 of participants remained independent
What factors affect conformity?
Group size: larger groups elicit more conformity
Dissention: if even one confederate dissented from the group, the subject followed own judgement
Personality: those with low self esteem are more likely to conform
Culture: people from collectivist cultures are more likely to conform
What is the bystander effect?
This is a theory proposed to explain the actions surrounding the murder of Kitty Genovese
The victim was subjected to stalking attack over a half jour period
38 witnesses heard her cries, at least one was eye witness to attack but no one went to help
What causes the bystander effect?
One main cause is the diffusion of responsibility:
This is where there is a diminished sense of personal responsibility to act because others are seen as equally responsible
Why do bystanders feel this way?
Bystanders who feel anonymous e.g. Part of a large crowd, are less likely to help
Bystanders act most quickly in 2-person groups
What are the factors that affect bystander intervention?
Bystander's awareness of the event
Bystander's interpretation of the event as an emergency
Bystander's willingness to take responsibility
What are social roles?
Socially defined pattern of behaviour that is expected of a person when functioning in a given setting or group
Different social situations make different roles available
E.g. Home vs. Work, family vs. Sports team
What provides the behavioural guidelines for specific settings?
What is the Stanford Prison experiment? (Zimbardo 1972, 1975)
Students were randomly assigned to be prisoners or guards in mock prison
Prisoner subjects were arrested, fingerprinted and dressed as prisoners
Guard subjects were dressed appropriately and given minimum instructions
What was the result of the Stanford Prison experiment?
Guards became agreesive, treated prisoners as less than humans
Prisoners became lethargic and depressed, half had to withdraw due to depression or anxiety
Experiment was aborted after 6 days