ch 12 psychology

• What did Asch’s experiment teach us about conformity? What specific factors make it more or less likely that people will conform? Know the basic findings.
asch’s experiment taught us that the number of confederates mattered: conformity increased with each new confederate until there were 4 confederates; more than that did not increase participants’ tendency to conform. Asch also found that conformity greatly decreased if there was just one confederate who gave the correct answer.
• Be able to define groupthink. What are the hazards of groupthink?
groupthink is when people within a group feel it is more important to maintain the group’s cohesiveness than to consider the facts realistically. The hazards of groupthink are that no one person is willing to stand up to the rest of the group and challenge its decision and assumptions. An example is the attack to kill osama bin laden; no one spoke up and many lives were lost. The attack was conducted without building any broad based support from allies.
• What did Milgram’s experiment teach us about obedience? What factors make it more or less likely that people will obey? Know the basic findings.
milgram’s found from his experiment that 65% of teachers went all the way through shock levels despite protests from learners.
foot- in – the door- technique of compliance= participants were more likely to go on with each next demanding step of the experiment because they had already agreed to the smaller increments of the shock. gradually increasing the size of follow- up requests is helpful in changing behavior or attitudes, and participants may have actually come to see themselves as the type of person that follows the experimenter’s instructions.
Also, the more prompts came across as an actual order, the less likely teachers obeyed. furthermore, the outcomes of milgram’s experiment may be due to social identity. the participants identified themselves more in line with the experimenter than the learner, and acted in a way that demonstrated their commitment to the larger scientific process, rather than to the ordinary community. instead of blindly following orders, the participants were working to reach a goal established by the experimenter.
• Know some of the phenomenon that occur in the context of group behavior:
o Group polarization
o Social facilitation/impairment
o Social loafing
o Deindividuation
group polarization- tendency for members involved in a group discussion to take somewhat more extreme positions and suggest riskier actions when compared to individuals who have not participated in a group discussion. (when jury tries to decide on punitive damages during a civil trial)
Social facilitation/impairment: the positive influence of others on performance is called social facilitation, while the negative influence is called social impairment.

social loafing- people who are lazy dont do well when other people are also working on the same task, but they perform better when working on their own.

Deindividuation – the lessening of an individual’s sense of personal identity and personal responsibility in a group ( people in a riot).

• Be able to define compliance. Be familiar with methods of increasing compliance (e.g., foot-in-the-door, door-in-the-face, lowball technique, etc.). How does compliance similar to and different from obedience and conformity?
compliance occurs when people change their behavior as a result of another person or group asking or directing them to change.

foot in the door- when compliance with a smaller request is followed by a larger request, people are more likely to comply because they already agreed to the smaller one and they want to behave consistently with their previous response.

Door in the face- the larger request comes first, which is usually refused. this is followed by a second smaller and more reasonable request that often gets compliance.

Lowball technique- once a commitment is made, the cost of that commitment is increased. ( buying a care at a low price is followed by the addition of hidden fees like taxes, warranties, etc, causing the person to spend more money than originally intended).

Compliance is when a person agrees to change their behavior because someone else asks them to, while obedience is changing ones behavior because someone with higher authority ordered them to. Conformity is changing ones behavior to closely match those of others. Compliance, obedience, and conformity are all the same because they involve the change of an individuals behavior.

• Be able to define what an attitude is. What is the difference between affective, behavioral, and cognitive components of attitudes? How do we learn attitudes?
an attitude can be defined as a tendency to respond positively or negatively toward a certain idea, person, object, or situation
Affective attitudes- the way a person feels toward the object, person, or situation (emotional component).

Behavior component- the action that a person takes in regard to the person, object, or situation. (person who likes country music will go to a country music concert, etc)

cognitive component- the way a person thinks about him or herself, an object, or a situation. ( the country music lover might believe that country music is superior to other forms of music)

We learn attitudes through experiences and contact with others and even through direct instruction from parents, teachers, and other important people in a person’s life.

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• Know about attitude change. What is the elaboration likelihood model? What is the difference between central-route processing and peripheral-route processing?
attitudes are subject to change with new learning. Its all about persuasion, or the process by which one person tries to change the belief, opinion, position, or course of action of another person through argument, pleading, or explanation.

The elaboration likelihood model assumes that people either elaborate based on what they hear or they do not elaborate at all, preferring to pay attention to the surface characteristics of the message. Central-route processing is when people attend to the content of the message, while peripheral-route processing is a style of information processing that relies on peripheral cues ( cues outside of the message content itself), such as the expertise of the message source, the length of the message, and other factors that have nothing to do with message content.

• What is cognitive dissonance and what can you do to reduce it? Know the classic Festinger and Carlsmith study described in your textbook.
cognitive dissonance is when people find themselves doing things or saying things that don’t match their idea of themselves as smart, nice, or moral. you can reduce cognitive dissonance by : changing your conflicting behavior to make it match your attitude. Changing your current conflicting cognition to justify your behavior, and forming new cognitions to justify your behavior.

festinger and carlsmith sutdy: each male student volunteer was given an hour-long, very boring task of sorting wooden spools and turning wooden pegs. After the hour, the experiments asked the participant to tell the female volunteer in the waiting room that the task was enjoyable. Half of the participants were paid $1 to try to convince the waiting woman, the others were paid $20. Those who were paid $1 for lying actually convinced themselves that the task was interesting and fun. the reason was cognitive dissonance. They experienced discomfort at thinking that they would lie to someone for only a dollar. They had to change their attitude toward the task so that they would not really be lying and could maintain their self-image of honesty. On the other hand, those paid $20 experienced no dissonance, because they knew exactly why they were lying— for lots of money— and the money was a sufficient amount to explain their behavior to their satisfaction.

• What is meant by the primacy effect in impression formation? How are stereotypes related to impression formation?
the primacy effect in impression formation is when people meet someone for the first time, they form an impression of that person, often based on physical appearance alone. This persists even though they may later have other contradictory information about that person. When the first impression used to categorize the person are superficial ones that are attached to certain ideas, such as ” red heads have bad tempers,” social categorization results in a stereotype, a belif that a set of characteristics is shared by all members of a particular social category. Stereotypes cause people to misjudge what others are like and often to treat them differently. As a result, first impressions may also include the formation of a stereotype that is resistant to change as well.
• What is the difference between prejudice and discrimination? What is the realistic conflict theory? Social cognitive theory?
o What do the “brown-eyed/blue-eyed” and Robber’s Cave studies tell us about prejudice develops and/or can be reduced? What theories are supported by the results of these studies?
the difference between prejudice and discrimination is that prejudice is the attitude and discrimination is the behavior that can result from that attitude.

The realistic conflict theory states that increasing prejudice and discrimination are closely tied to an increasing degree of conflict between the in-group and the out-group when those groups are seeking a common resource, such as land or available jobs.

In the social cognitive theory, prejudice is seen as an attitude that is formed as other attitudes are formed, through direct instruction, modeling, and other social influences on learning,

in the brown eyed/blue eyed study, students were divided based on eye color. On the first day of the lesson, blue-eyed children were given special privileges, such as extra recess time. Also, the blue-eyed students were told they were superior to the brown-eyed children. Because of this, the blue-eyed children started acting dominant towards the brown-eyed students, belittling them and making fun of them. The test scores of the brown-eyed students lowered immensely. Two days later, the brown-eyed group became the superior group, while the blue-eyed group became the lesser group. The information learned from this experiment can be identified in social identity theory, which states that 3 processes are responsible for the formation of a person’s identity within a particular social group and the attitudes, concepts, and behavior that go along with identification with that group. The first process is social categorization, where people assign social categories to themselves to determine how they behave. The second element is social identity, or the view of oneself as a member of a particular social group within the social category. Finally, the third element is social comparison, in which people compare themselves favorably to others to improve their own self-esteem. Also, stereotype vulnerability could be learned from this experiment; this is when a person’s knowledge of another’s stereotyped opinions can have on that person’s behavior. This experiment supports the realistic conflict theory and social cognitive theory.

The robber’s cave study was when 2 groups of white kids were separated, and then pitted against each other in competitions. They acted hostile towards each other. Even when they were brought together for peaceful, noncompetitive activities, they still were hostile towards one another. Only after a certain amount of time of working together, did the 2 groups form bonds and friendships. This is called equal status contact, in which they were all in the same situation with neither group holding power over the other. Equal status contact has been shown to reduce prjudice and discrimination, along with ongoing, positive cooperation. This experiment pertains to the realistic conflict theory.

• What is the relationship between proximity and attraction? What other factors influence interpersonal attraction?
proximity refers to being physically near someone. People choose friends and lovers from the pool of people available to them, and availability depends heavily on proximity. Basically, the closer together people are physically, such as working in the same office building, the more likely they will become attracted to each other. people also tend to like being around others who are similar to them in some way. People also have a strong tendency to like people who like them (reciprocity of liking)
• Know Sternberg’s love triangle (i.e., the triangular theory of love). Be able to distinguish between different types of love (e.g., companionate vs. romantic).
love consists of 3 components: intimacy (feelings of closeness), passion ( emotional and sexual arousal a person feels toward another person)

Commitment- decisions one makes about a relationship..

different types of love;
Romantic love- (intimacy+ passion), romantic love is the basis for a more lasting relationship.

Companionate love (intimacy+commitment), people who like each other feel emotionally close to each other, and understand one another’s motives. They have made a commitment to live together, usually in a marriage relationship.

consummate (intimacy, passion, and commitment)

• How do other people influence the likelihood of someone helping another person? What is this effect called?
the bystander effect- the likelihood of a bystander to help someone in trouble decreases as the number of bystanders increases.

Diffusion of responsibility- phenomenon in which a person fails to take responsibility for either action or inaction because of the presence of other people who are seen to share the responsibility.

• What are some social influences on aggression? Know the basic findings of the aggression study discussed in class.
aggressive behavior is learned by watching aggressive models get reinforced for their aggressive behavior. Also, even taking on a social role, such as a soldier, can lead to an increase in aggressive behavior.

From bandura’s study in which small children viewed a video of an aggressive model, several things were learned- children exposed to high levels of violent media are more aggressive than children who are not; the younger the child, the greater the impact. Parenting issues also have an influence, as the aggressive impact of television is lessened in homes where hostile behavior is not tolerated and punishment is not physical.

• What is the fundamental attribution error? How is it related to situational vs. dispositional attributions?
the fundamental attribution error is the tendency for people observing someone else’s actions to overestimate the influence of that person’s internal characteristics on behavior and underestimate the influence of the situation.

situational cause- observed behavior is assumed to be caused by external sources, such as weather, traffic, etc.

Dispositional cause- the person’s internal personality characteristics influence their behavior instead.