The dangers of social influence

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  1. What is deindividuation?
    • The phenomenon in which people are more likely to adhere to group norms if they see themselves purely in terms of group identity 
    • From a meta analysis of 60 studies it was concluded that people appeared to adhere more to situational norms than general ones (Postmes & Spears, 1998)
    • Reicher (1987) argues that people don't lose self awareness when deindividuated, they just increase their awareness as themselves as part of a group explaining why they breach wider norms
    • People were found to display a significantly greater number of prosocial behaviours in the presence of positive stimuli and the opposite (non significant) effect for negative ones when deindividualised (Johnson & Downing, 1979)
    • See also Zimbardo (1969)
  2. How has obedience been investigated?
    • Miligram (1963)
    • Described to 40 psychologists and nobody thought they would go above 150 vaults
    • 65% went all the way to severe (450 vaults)
    • There were no gender differences 
    • Teacher is concerned with the researcher thinking they are competent and not appearing rude so choose obedience as a preferable alternative
    • To refuse would be an implicit criticism of the researcher 
    • The situation was ambiguous with participants unsure which was of greater importance, the study or the comfort of the participants 
    • People wanted to stop, they just didn't know how to as they lack cultural scripts ('he was hollerin' in there'
  3. What is escalation?
    • The concept that if someone backs out and abandons the task they are complicit in, then they are acknowledging that what they were doing was wrong 
    • Continuing reassures people of their actions, early discomforts are placated 
    • Nobody would have given them 450 if it was from the start according to one person in Burger (2009)
  4. Are Milgram's (1963) findings replicated?
    • Yes- Burger (2006)
    • Same design as Milgram (1963)
    • 70% were stopped after 150 (as 100% of those exceeding this in Millgram's study went all the way)
    • Despite seeing a confederate refuse to shock the learner in another condition, 63% had to be stopped at 150
    • No significant difference between conditions despite predictions that seeing someone refuse would decrease obedience
  5. Did Milgram really see obedience?
    • Could be conformity instead 
    • Milgram used standardised requests:
    • Please continue 
    • The experiment requires that you continue
    • It is absolutely essential that you continue 
    • You have no other choice, you must go on 
    • In Burger 2009 he framed them as orders, not a single person obeyed
  6. Which conditions deter obedience?
    • If the learner and the teacher are in the same room 
    • If the learner's hand was physically placed on the shock plate by the teacher 
    • This could suggest that visual cues of another's pain trigger an empathic response that counters one's desire to appear polite and follow social conventions
    • If the researcher gives instructions then leaves obedience falls to 21% (Milgram, 1974)
    • If more than one confederate dissents it falls to 10% 
    • If more than one researcher give contradictory studies (undermining scientific consensus) it falls to 0%
    • When the experiment moved from Yale to a commercial building in Bridgeport it fell to 48%
  7. What is the bystander effect?
    • Latane & Darley (1969)
    • The more people that are present, the less likely people are to help someone in danger or accept responsibility and take charge
    • Put p's in a room that was filling with smoke 
    • 75% reported it when alone, and 10% when in the presence of passive others 
    • This effect was more pronounced when there were more confederates, a more ambiguous situation and the situation was not construed as an emergency (lack of response from others)
    • This does not occur with friends or when the victim is known
  8. Does the bystander effect only occur when others are physically present?
    • No, as proved by the case of Larry Froistad (1998)
    • Confessed to purposefully getting drunk and setting his house on fire, killing his daughter on an internet forum for alcohol abuse 
    • 3 of the 200+ people who saw the post reported him to the police and he was later arrested
  9. What is social facilitation?
    • Zajonc (1965) 
    • Our performance on learned and simple tasks is increased as our arousal increases, and the presence of others increases our arousal 
    • Arousal leads to dominant response, which if correct boosts performance and vice versa 
    • This was demonstrated in humans (Markus, 1978), cockroaches (Zajonc, Heingartner & Herman, 1969) and; dogs (run faster), chickens (ate more food), ants (built bigger nests) and rats (had more sex) (Zajonc, 1965)
  10. What is the away game advantage?
    • The phenomenon in which sports teams perform significantly worse when playing at home due to fear of evaluation from fans 
    • (Baumeister & Steinhilber, 1984)
Card Set:
The dangers of social influence
2015-04-13 15:44:01
Social Psychology
Psychology,Social Psychology
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