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Social influence

The greatest contribution of social psychology is its study of attitudes, beliefs, decisions, and actions and the way they are molded.



Adjusting ones behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard.

Ex: cats are under extreme pressure I remain useless (think picture)



Compliance toward authority.


Solomon Asch's Conformity experiment

Suggestibility is a subtle type of conformity - adjusting our behavior or thinking toward some group standard.

When five people (one person was the experiment) were shown a line of a certain length, they had to choose from three others which one was of the same length. When all the other people chose the wrong answer, even when the subject knew they were wrong, he also chose the wrong answer to conform with the group.


Normative social influence

Influence resulting from a persons desire to gain approval or avoid rejection. Respecting normative behavior, because price may be severe if not followers.


Informative social influence

The group may provide valuable information (accepting others opinion about reality).

When people assume the behaviors of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given equation.


Conditions that strengthen conformity

Know that there are 7. See book.


Stanley Milgram (1933-1984)

Designed a study's that investigated the effects of authority on obedience.

Did the experiment that was extremely unethical where he had subjects shock victims to see how far their obedience would go, even in the face of mortality.



Loss of self awareness (capacity for introspection and ability to identify oneself as an individual in an environment) and self restraint in group situations that foster emotional arousal and anonymity.


Social facilitation

Refers to improved performance on a task in the presence of others. Triplett noticed cyclists race time were faster when they competed against others, instead of a clock.


Social loafing

Tendency of an individual in a group o exert less effort toward attaining a common goal when tested individually.


Group polarization

Enhances a groups prevailing attitudes through discussion. If a group is like-minded, discussion strengthens its prevailing opinions and attitudes.



Mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision-making results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome.