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Flashcards in Social Influence Deck (72):
0

What is social facilitation?

The tendency for people to perform tasks better when in the presence of others.

1

What was the first research into social facilitation?

Norman Triplett observed cyclists riding faster when together. He tested the hypothesis by recording the time it took children to turn a fishing reel 150 times. He found the worked faster in co-action.

3

What is co-action?

People working alongside each other on the same task.

4

What is a dominant response?

The response most likely to be given in a situation that is more appropriate or best practised. it takes priority over all other possible responses.

5

What is social inhibition?

The tendency for people to perform less well in the presence of others than when alone.

6

What is audience effect?

Impact on the individual task performance in the presence of an audience.

7

Who coined the term social facilitation, and what study did he do?

Allport, who found college students completed more multiplication problems in co-action.

8

What is arousal?

It acts as a drive that brings out the dominant response. In an easy or well practised task, dominant responses tend to be correct so social facilitation occurs. But when the task is difficult or not well learned, the dominant response tends to be incorrect and leads to social inhibition.

9

Who was behind the theory of arousal?

Zajonc.

10

Explain how arousal works with an easy task.

If the task is easy, arousal is low; the task is boring. The presence of an audience increases arousal, bringing out the dominant response; the correct answer.

11

What study did Zajonc do on arousal theory?

Cockroaches were put on a runway where they had to run down a straight corridor into a darkened goal box to escape a bright light. Sometimes they ran in pairs (co-action), or alone. They reached the box more quickly in pairs. He then made it more difficult by putting in a right angle before the dark patch, and cockroaches were faster on their own. It was also conducted with an audience of cockroaches placed alongside the runway, which again gave similar results to co-action.

12

What is the Yerkes-Dodson law?

When arousal is very high or low then performance is poor. performance is best at moderate (optimal) levels of arousal.

13

What are the two issue with arousal theory?

1. It doesn't explain why someone who is competent at a task can perform poorly in front of an audience. The Yerkes-Dodson law can explain this.
2. Doesn't acknowledge cognitive processes as important, such as what the presence of others might mean to the person doing the task. Some believe the thought of competition or being judged are important factors in social facilitation.

14

What is evaluation apprehension theory?

Cottrell argued that it isn't the presence of other that causes arousal, but the apprehension (anxiety) of being evaluated by others. Arousal in the presence of others isn't innate, is is learned. The mere presence of others is not enough to raise arousal.

15

What was the study by Henchy and Glass on evaluation apprehension theory?

Participants performance on tasks such as typing were assessed in one of four conditions.

1. alone - control condition
2. presence of two 'experts'
3. two non-experts
4. alone but filmed for later evaluation

Facilitation occurred in conditions 2 and 4. In conditions 1 and 3, performance was similar. Some concern about evaluation is necessary to produce dominant responses, supporting Cottrell's theory.

16

What is the issue with Henchy and Glass' study?

Ethical issues, subjecting participants to stress.

17

Where does further support for evaluation apprehension theory come from?

When the audience is blindfolded, there is no social-facilitation on well-learned tasks.

18

What is the issue with evaluation apprehension theory?

It doesn't explain social facilitation in animals that presumably don't experience evaluation apprehension (cockroaches).

19

What is distraction-conflict theory?

Baron suggested that the presence of others is distracting because attention is divided between the task and the audience or co-actors (response conflict).

20

What are the effects of distraction? How does it affect performance?

Leads to a negative effect on task performance, regardless of whether it is simple of complex, because one is less able to concentrate. The conflict increases arousal, making a dominant response more likely.

These processes impair the performance of complex tasks (distraction plus dominant response = incorrect) but improve performance on simple tasks (correct dominant response outweighs the negative effect of distraction).

21

What is the study by Sanders on distraction-conflict theory?

Participants were given a simple and complex digit-copying task. This was done alone or in co-action, with the co-actor performing the same task (distracting) or different task (non-distracting). The researchers believed that someone doing the same task would be a relevant source of social comparison, and therefore distracting. Participants in the distracting condition made more mistakes on the complex task but copied more digits correctly in the simple task than in the other two co-action conditions. This showed that simple tasks were facilitated by distraction, and complex tasks inhibited.

22

What is the issue with the Sanders study on distraction-conflict theory?

There is a degree of subjectivity in deciding what is distracting, and in distinguishing between simple and complex tasks.

23

What are the two good things about the distraction-conflict theory?

1. This theory can be applied to any distracting stimulus, and further study shows any type of distraction can cause social inhibition/influence.
2. It can explain results from social facilitation on animals. it is possible that cockroaches and other animals do get distracted.

24

What is conformity?

A form of social influence where group pressure, real or imagined, results in a change of behaviour.

25

What three features does conformity include?

1. Change in behaviour - someone may find themselves in total disagreement, but will behave as if in agreement.
2. A group - any group important to the individual can cause the change in behaviour. This can be a membership group or a reference group.
3. Pressure - it can be imagined or real.

26

What is a membership group?

A group to which we belong; a group we are in.

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What is a reference group?

A group that is psychologically significant for our behaviour and attitudes; consists of people we like or admire.

28

What is the autokinetic effect?

A visual illusion in which a pinpoint of light shining in complete darkness appears to move about.

29

What is the conformity study by Sherif?

Used a repeated measures design. The participants were tested individually, and shown a point of light in a totally darkened room. The light was not moving. They were asked to estimate how far and in which direction the light moved. In the darkened room, the autokinetic effect could be observed. They were tested a large number of times, and gave difference but consistent answers. They were then put into small groups of about three people, and each were asked to estimate the movement of light in the presence of others. Participants answers converged and they gave similar estimates. This shows that in an ambiguous situation, participants are influenced by the judgement of others (informational social influence by imagined pressure).

30

What is the main criticism of Sherif's study?

It isn't unusual for people to be influenced by the judgement of others when they are unsure of their own judgement.

31

What was the conformity study by Asch?

Male students were asked to take part in a study of visual discrimination. They were tested in groups of seven to nine. In each group, there was only on genuine or naïve participant.The rest were stooges. They were seated in a semi-circle and their task was to decide which one of three comparison lines was the same length as a standard line. They had to give their judgement aloud in the order they were seated, so the naïve participant was answering second to last. There were 18 trials. On six neutral trials the stooges gave the correct answer, but on the other 12 they all gave the same wrong answer. There was a control where 37 participants made their judgement in private. In the control condition, 0.7% errors were made. In the experiment condition, 37% errors were made. It was concluded that this was due to normative social influence.

32

What are the two types of social influence?

Informational and normative.

33

What is informational social influence?

Conformity in ambiguous situations, or unusual/new situations. There is a private acceptance of the majority view. See: Sherif.

34

What is normative social influence?

Conformity due to the powerful influence of group norms. the group is seen as powerful or important, and one wishes to belong. This is also known as compliance, and doesn't normally involve private acceptance. People conform without agreement. See: Asch.

35

What is internalisation?

Incorporating or taking in others' attitudes, values or beliefs; agreeing with the group privately as well as publicly. It persists even when pressure is removed.

36

How did Asch's participants say they felt in the group? Why did they say they conformed?

They felt uncomfortable, doubtful about their judgements, and even lonely. The conformed because;
- their perception must have been inaccurate. Perhaps they were suffering from eye strain or were sat in a bad position.
- not to stand out and look inferior or stupid.
- not to be an outcast.
- to convey a goo impression of themselves.
- not to spoil the experiment or upset the experimenter.

37

What did Asch believe was a major factor in conformity?

To avoid conflict and social disapproval.

38

What was the follow up study conducted by Asch?

One stooge gave incorrect answers in the presence of 16 naïve participants. He found the naïve participants acted in disbelief and laughed and ridiculed the stooge. Even the experimenter found it difficult to control his laughter, which makes is seem that the participants were justified in fearing conflict and social disapproval.

39

What are the issues with Asch's research?

1. Lack of ecological validity, no mundane realism.
2. Ethical issues; for the lone naïve participant and lone stooge.
3. Described as a conformity study, yet almost two-thirds of judgements made by participants were correct.

40

Conformity is presented as a negative thing. How can it be good?

It is important for social stability; group norms provide a standard and expectations of behaviour ensuring a structure and order for social groups.

41

What five variations were made to Asch's experiment?

1. Size of majority (number of stooges)
2. Unanimity - gave the naïve participant a supporter
3. Task difficulty - the greater the difficulty, the greater conformity was
4. Self-esteem - people with low self-esteem coform more
5. Anonymity - the stooges called out their judgements, but the naïve participants wrote his down privately. Conformity dropped. Real life example - voting

42

What was the study by Baron, Vandello and Brunsman that demonstrated both informational and normative social influence?

Students from Iowa University. There were two stooges and one naïve participant in each group. They were shown a slide of a stimulus person (suspect) followed by a slide of a four person line-up. They had to identify the suspect in the line-up. One group was told that the results were very important (of scientific value) and the other told their results weren't important (just a pilot study). The task was made difficult by giving all participants one second in which to view the line up and then identify the suspect, which was done in a group situation with the stooges giving the wrong answer. The error rate was 51% for those who believed it was important, and 35% for those who believed it was unimportant. It was concluded that when we are unsure what is correct and being right matters, we look to others for guidance. This demonstrates informational social influence.

In a follow up study it was made easier with five seconds to view the line-up. The error rate was only 16% when it was believed to be important, and 33% when it was unimportant. It was concluded that when it is easy but accuracy is unimportant, it is better to be wrong than risk social disapproval. This demonstrates normative social influence.

43

What are the two issues with the Baron, Vandello and Brunsman study?

1. Ethical issue - deception.
2. Can't generalise to non-student population.

44

What is obedience?

Performing an action in response to an order. It doesn't necessarily change their opinion about it.

45

What is obedience to authority?

A type of social influence where someone acts in response to a direct order from authority.

46

How is obedience different to conformity? (3 points)

1. Doesn't always involve a group of people.
2. The influence comes not from a peer group, but from an authority figure.
3. Obedience orders are direct.

47

How can obedience be good and bad?

Good - allows society to run smoothly.
Bad - can be abused e.g. Holocaust, My Lai in Vietnam.

48

What prompted Milgram's experiment?

Nazi Germany. People were pleading that they were only following orders, and they didn't appear to be evil men. They were often described as dull, ordinary, sane and normal. It was the banality of evil that intrigued Milgram.

49

What is the Milgram experiment?

Forty men aged 20 to 50 from a range of occupations volunteered to take part in a study on learning and memory at Yale University. The experimenter they met with was always dressed in a lab coat, they were paid, and then introduced to another 'participant' (stooge). They drew (fixed - deception) lots to decide the teacher and learner, and the participant was always the learner. The participant watched the learner get strapped into a chair, attached to electrodes linked to a shock generator and given a mild sample shock. The learner complained of a slight heart condition, and the experimenter said they might be painful, but weren't harmful. The participant was taken to a separate room and seated in front of a shock generator. The shocks ranged from 15 to 450 volts in 15 volt intervals. There were verbal descriptors under the numbers such as "intense shock", "danger: severe shock" and XXX under 450 volts. Every time the learner made a mistake on the test, the teacher had to deliver a shock, increasing the voltage. The teacher was also given a sample 45 volt shock before they began. The learner simply acted like they were receiving a shock. At 315, they let out a violent scream. At 330, there was silence. If the teacher hesitated in giving the shocks, there were verbal prompts the experimenter used.

50

What were the results of Milgram's study?

Before the study he asked staff, psychiatrists and students to predict how many would got up to 450 volts. The prediction was most would refuse after 150, and less than 1% would go up to 450. All participants went up to 300 volts, and 65% continued to the end.

51

Whjat are the ethical issues surrounding Milgram's study?

Deception - telling them the aim of the study was to investigate the effect of punishment on learning.
Right to withdraw removed - verbal prompts.
Protection of participants (mentally) - being told at the end they theoretically killed someone

52

What are the five situational factors that affect obedience?

Location - many carried on because it was a prestigious university. They moved the location to a run down office building, and obedience dropped to 47.5%
Proximity of victim - the learner was in the same room as the teacher of one and a half feet, dropping obedience to 40%. When the teacher had to force the learners hand onto the shock plate, it dropped to 30%.
Proximity of authority - the experimenter left the room giving instructions by telephone, obedience dropped to 20.5%. Teachers either pretended or lowered the shock.
Social support - the participant was in a team of three teachers (two stooges). At 150 one stooge refused to continue, and 210 the other refused. Obedience dropped to 10%.
A peer administers the shock - the teacher read word pairs and informed the stooge teacher whether to administer a shock. Obedience rose to 92.5%.

53

What is an agentic state?

Lacking a sense of personal responsibility and feeling under the control of an authority figure.

54

What is an autonomous state?

Taking control of one's own behaviour; feeling responsible for and aware of the consequences of behaviour.

55

Why do people obey? (three points)

Personal responsibility - when we obey orders, we are in the agentic state; acting as "agents". If the participant asked the experimenter who took responsibility for harm, it was said it was the experimenter's and the participant would normally continue. When the peer administered the shock, they felt even less responsible. When the researcher left the room, they felt more responsible, and obedience dropped putting the participant in an autonomous state.

Perception of a legitimate authority and orders - from an early age we are socialised to recognise the authority of people like parents and teachers. The researcher at a prestigious university was seen as legitimate. The impersonal prods and lab coat added to this (see Bickman). The order was seen as valid since it was in the pursuit of scientific knowledge.

56

What did Bickman do that demonstrated the power of uniform?

An experimenter dressed in the uniform of a guard ordered passers-by to pick up paper bags or give a coin to motorists wanting to park, and there was an 80% obedience compared to when they weren't in uniform (40%).

57

What did Bickman do that demonstrated the power of uniform?

An experimenter dressed in the uniform of a guard ordered passers-by to pick up paper bags or give a coin to motorists wanting to park, and there was an 80% obedience compared to when they weren't in uniform (40%).

58

What is the dispositional explanation of obedience to authority?

Certain personalities make people more likely to obey.

59

How is a person characterised who has an authoritarian personality? (four points)

1. hostility towards people of perceived lower status.
2. respect for people of perceived higher status.
3. preoccupation with power.
4. blind respect for authority.

60

What is an authoritarian personality believed to be a result of?

Harsh parenting, including punishment for disobedience.

61

What was Crutchfield's study that provided evidence for the authoritarian personality?

His participants were military and business people who were on an assessment course and became unknowing participants. He tested personality factors and conformity, and found that conformers tended to have authoritarian views and were generally submissive.

62

What is the study by Gamson on defiance of authority?

To see whether groups of people would defy an unjust authority. A fictitious human relations company, supposedly collecting information on community standards, asked groups to discuss the case of a petrol station manager. They were told the manager had been sacked by the oil company as he was living with a woman who he wasn't married to. He was suing the company. They were told the discussion would be video taped. During it, the coordinate came in, switched off the camera and ordered some of the members to argue as if offended by the manager's moral behaviour. The camera was turned on again, and repeated several times for more group members. They also signed an agreement so the discussion could be used as evidence in a court case. In 16 out of 33 groups, everyone rebelled. In 9, the majority rebelled, and in 8 a minority rebelled.

63

What is the main issue with Gamson's study?

Many participants reported high levels of stress and anxiety, and as a result they had to stop after 33 groups although they had planned for 80.

64

What happened in Le Chambon?

During WWII, Jews destined for deportation to Germany were being sheltered by villagers who openly defied the orders to co-operate with the new regime. They remained defiant throughout the war.

65

What are the five factors that can aid in defiance of authority? Give examples.

1. social support - in the study and Le Chambon, people supported one another, shared information, and received social support. Milgram also found that when two stooge teachers resisted, the participant was more likely to disobey than when alone.
2. role models - when ordered to give a list of sheltered Jews, the local pastor modelled defiance by openly refusing. Milgram's stooge teachers acted as models. In Gamson's study it needed one person to rebel, and the rest gradually followed.
3. personal experience, including education - villagers ancestors had themselves been persecuted, and church leaders preached resistance. One of Milgram's participants had experience a concentration camp and refused after 210 volts. In Gamson's study, one participant explained his disobedience due to knowledge of Milgram.
4. questioning motives - in Gamson's study, people began to question the motives of the authority. In contrast, Milgram's study was accepted as being of scientific value from the start.
5. loss of freedom - in Gamson's study, people felt manipulated and controlled. According to Brehm we believe we had a freedom of choice, and when it is threatened we disobey to restore it.

66

What are the five factors that can aid in defiance of authority? Give examples.

1. social support - in the study and Le Chambon, people supported one another, shared information, and received social support. Milgram also found that when two stooge teachers resisted, the participant was more likely to disobey than when alone.
2. role models - when ordered to give a list of sheltered Jews, the local pastor modelled defiance by openly refusing. Milgram's stooge teachers acted as models. In Gamson's study it needed one person to rebel, and the rest gradually followed.
3. personal experience, including education - villagers ancestors had themselves been persecuted, and church leaders preached resistance. One of Milgram's participants had experience a concentration camp and refused after 210 volts. In Gamson's study, one participant explained his disobedience due to knowledge of Milgram.
4. questioning motives - in Gamson's study, people began to question the motives of the authority. In contrast, Milgram's study was accepted as being of scientific value from the start.
5. loss of freedom - in Gamson's study, people felt manipulated and controlled. According to Brehm we believe we had a freedom of choice, and when it is threatened we disobey to restore it.

67

What is external validity?

Whether the findings of a study can be generalised to situations and people other than those in the study such as popualtion, locations, time.

68

What is ecological validity?

A specific type of external validity, referring to generalisations beyond the immediate setting to the real world.

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What is internal validity?

Whether observed effects (measures of dependant variables) are due to the manipulation of the IV.

70

What is individualistic culture?

Where people prioritise standing out as an individual over fitting in as a group member. Countries where this can be observed are the USA and UK.

71

What is a collectivist culture?

Where people prioritise group loyalty, belonging and fitting into a group over standing out as an individual. Countries where this can be observed are India and Brazil.

72

What is presumptive consent?

Obtaining the views of other people about the acceptability of experimental procedures. If others feel that they are acceptable, then we can presume that the actual participants would have also consented.