Social Psychology CONFORMITY

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  1. What is conformity?
    —Change in behavior or belief as the result of real or imagined group pressure
  2. What are three types of conformity?
    Compliance (outward conformity): acting publicly in accord with an implied or explicit request while privately disagreeing

    Obedience: acting in according with a direct order or command

    Acceptance  (inward conformity): acting and believing in accord with social pressure
  3. Sherif’s norm formation (experiment)
    —Used autokinetic phenomenon then asked groups of men to determine how much the point of light had moved – the responses of the men changed markedly

    —The point of light never moved
  4. Sherif's studies of norm formation:
    • Suggestibility (Social contagion): Contagious
    • yawning, comedy laugh tracks

    Mood linkage: Being around happy people can make you happy as well

    Chameleon effect: Person is more likely to move their foot back and forth if someone else does, too; mirroring grammar that they read.  

    “Werther effect”: Copy-cat suicides.
  5. Asch’s group pressure study
    Six confederates gave incorrect answers to see if participant would agree even if he knew it was the incorrect answer
  6. What did Asch's study find?
    People feel pressured to conform, even when there was no obvious pressure to conform or any reward for doing so.
  7. Milgram’s obedience study
    Teacher “shocks” learner at the insistence of experimenter

    65 percent of participants continued beyond expectations-- go all the way to "xxx"
  8. What Milgram's study showed
    Demands of authority (the experimenter) clashed with conscience (is this right?)
  9. What was the main criticism regarding Milgram’s experiment?
    experiment stressed the participants against their will

    participants’ self-esteem may have been altered
  10. What are four factors which breed obedience?
    Victim’s distance or depersonalization: showed the most obedience when they cannot see victim

    • Closeness and legitimacy of the authority:
    • authority should be physical present and perceived as legitimate

    Institutional authority:people obey the order/commands from certain institution with higher social power/reputation

    Liberating effects of group influence: heroic firefighter rushed into WTC towers because “they were partly obeying their supervisors, partly conforming to extraordinary group loyalty”
  11. Be able to argue how conformity, especially obedience, resulted in extreme violence and slaughter throughout history (i.e., Nazi, and My Lai)
    —“I was only following orders” 

    A small act of evil to foster the attitude that leads to a larger evil act

    Blame the victim

    • Power of the situation
    • - small acts of evil gradually build
    • - heat, desease
    • - normative pressure
    • - "just doing my job"
  12. How foot-in-the-door technique can be applied to the development of evil act?
    Doing one small evil act can lead to larger, more evil acts
  13. How a situation would have powerful normative
    pressure and influence people’s behavior
    we have a desire to be liked and to maintain a social image

    We do not want social rejection
  14. What are factors that predict conformity?
    • -Group Size
    • -Unanimity 
    • —-Cohesion
    • -—Status
    •  ~High status people have more impact
    • —-—Public Response
    • -—No Prior Commitment
    •  ~Once a person makes a public commitment, they stick to it.
  15. What are two possible explanations of conformity?
    • Normative Influence: desire to fulfill other's expectations
    • Informational Influence: accept evidence about reality provided by other people; desire to be correct
  16. Who would conform more than the others?
    • People conforming to a new role
    • People in collectivist cultures
  17. What is a group?
    Two or more people who, for longer than a few moments, interact with and influence one another and perceive one another as “us”
Card Set:
Social Psychology CONFORMITY
2015-04-02 00:05:08
Obedience Asch Milgram

Obedience and Conformity
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