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What is de-individuation?
- The process of losing one's self awareness when part of a group
- Feel less individual responsibility and a sense of shared responsibility
- Diener et al (1976) gave trick or treaters the opportunity to steal sweets. When in a group or sure of their anonymity stealing went up threefold
What was the Stanford prison experiment?
- Zimbardo (1971)
- Participants randomly assigned as either guards or inmates
- Attempts to assert guard dominance got progressively more violent and abusive
- Aggression was a natural consequence of being in the uniform and abuse of power was more likely as people lost their capacity for judgment and agency, becoming helpless to antisocial influences
What are the criticisms of the Stanford prison experiment?
- Carnahan & McFarland (2007)
- Strong demand characteristics to please Zimbardo
- Zimbardo was the prison warden, people assumed he was okay with everything
- Child of its time, cannot generalise across culture (all upper middle class male participants)
- Perhaps displaying SLT, not de-individuation
- Not everyone reacted in the same way and this wasn't addressed properly
- No objective empirical measurement of phenomenon
What was the BBC prison study?
- Reicher & Haslam (2006)
- P's randomly assigned as guards or inmates
- No direction from researchers, no superintendents
- Guards had better tools of power, authority and conditions than inmates
- Initially there was no real social identification between guards meaning they worked against each other and diminished their power further decreasing identification
- Prisoners came to share a group identity, with this leading to agreement and mutual support
- They were more effectively organised, establishing leaders and becoming more cohesive and powerful
- Collective self realisation made them more cohesive and helped them cope with stressors better
What was phase 2 of the BBC prison study?
- Single self governing commune established
- Many but not all identified highly with the goals and values in the beginning, and those willing to be self organising were not willing to use power to discipline dissenters
- The commune system started to break down as people could not turn these beliefs into a form of social being meaning no group identity
- Day 8: guards imposed a new strict military regime, displaying much higher levels of authoritarianism than inmates
How does tyranny arise?
- People don't automatically assume given roles and their behaviour depends on the norms and values of their social identity
- Shared social identity lets people become effective social agents who shape their world
- If they cannot shape their world they become despondent and turn to more extreme belief systems
- This powerlessness makes them identify with authoritarian figures and regimes
- They believe in this regime, they are not blindly conforming
What is majority influence
- Conformity: social influence due to exposure of the opinions of many
- Asch (1951) line experiment
- Replicated without confederates by Mori & Arai (2010) using polarising glasses
What is minority influence?
- Innovations occur to change groups and challenge the majority view and are often ridiculed at first
- Through a behavioural style of consistency and confidence the majority view can change
- Suffrage movement Pankhurst (1903)
- Moscovici, Lage & Naffrechoux (1969): P's asked to identify blue and green colours and a minority response of green was consistently given by confederates (8% of the time) or randomly (1%)
- P's then asked to decide where blue ends and green begins on a spectrum, with the minority influence group identifying more of the stimuli as green
What is the conversion theory?
- Moscovici (1980)
- Majority influence:
- Generates comparisons between source and target
- Conflict is resolved by overt compliance to the majority position in public or on direct measures without further consideration of the issue
- Minority influence:
- Validation process is triggered, making the person pay closer attention to the issue to evaluate their belief
- People are unlikely to agree with the minority in public for fear of being labelled a deviant, however a private and/or indirect attitude change can occur
- Different situations are affected differently- Peréz & Mugny (1978), abortion views are affected more by majority and contraception by minority
What is source context elaboration?
- Martin & Hewstone (2008)
- Issues requiring fewer elaborations are affected more by heuristic biases and processing
- Issues requiring a medium amount of elaborations are subject to majority or minority influence
- Issues requiring a lot of elaborations are systematically processed and more immune to minority or majority influence
- Affected by defensive processing motivated by self interest- Martin, Hewstone & Martin (2003)
- Negative personal outcome material for euthanasia resulted in systematic processing for the majority source and vice versa
How does majority and minority influence extend outside of the lab?
- De Drue & West (2001)
- Minority influences:
- More likely to be indirect
- More often found in private contexts
- Delayed rather than immediate
- Minorities stimulate more debate and group creativity