Explains why the same person will act differently in different situations.
The power of social influence.
The theory that we explain someone's behavior by crediting either the situation or the person's disposition (a person's stable, enduring traits).
We tend to attribute admirable and good things to our traits and bad things on the situation.
We overestimate the influence of personality and underestimate the influence of situations.
David Napolitan and George Goethals: Demonstrated the fundamental attribution error in an experiment with William's College students. They attributed someones behavior to their personal disposition, even when told that her behavior was situational (that she was merely acting that way for the purposes of the experiment).
If we believe that someone is threatening us, then we may feel fear and anger toward that person and act defensively.
Our attitudes affect our actions and our actions affect our attitudes.
Persuasion attempts to change our attitudes in order to change behavior.
Ex. Perfume ad may lure us with images of beautiful people in love.
More thoughtful and less superficial than peripheral route persuasion, so it is more durable and likely to influence behavior.
People adjust their attitudes.
To get people to agree to something big, start small and build. A trivial act makes the next easier.
Example of how attitudes follow behavior.
Role playing affects attitude. At first you behaviors may feel phony because you are acting a role, but before long, the behavior becomes you.
Ex. When you leave middle school and start high school you strive to follow to social prescription.
ZIMBARDO and his Stanford Prison Experiment: He assigned volunteers roles of either a guard or prisoner and gave them according uniforms and roles. For a day or two, some volunteers consciously played their roles. Then the simulation become real- too real- and most guards developed disparaging attitudes, while prisoners broke down or rebelled. He called off the study after 6 days. (HOWEVER, in other experiments people did not internalize their role because people are different and people and situation interact)
Actions affect attitudes.
When we become aware that our attitudes and our actions don't coincide, we experience tension. To relieve this tension (which produces dissonance/discomfort), we often bring our attitudes in line with our actions (Ex. Stanford Prison Experiment).
The less coerced and more responsible we feel for a troubling act, the more dissonance we feel. The more dissonance we feel, the more motivated we are to find consistency, such as changing our attitudes to help justify the act.
Explains why people take on roles.
We naturally mimic (unconsciously imitate) others' expressions, postures, and voice tones.
Chameleon Effect: Experiment had students work in a room alongside another person who was actually a confederate forking for the experimenters. Sometimes the confederate rubbed his own face or shook his foot. The students tended to rub their face with the face rubbing person and shake their foot with the foot shaking person.
Helps us to empathize- to feel what others are feeling. Explains why we feel happier around happy people than around depressed people.
Mood linkage: Sharing up and down moods.
Suggestibility and mimicry are subtle types of this.
Ex. The line comparison test with other people by SOLOMON ASCH. More than one third of the time, these intelligent and well meaning college students went along with the group, even when they were clearly wrong.
Later investigations have not always found as much conformity as Asch found but they have revealed that we are more likely to conform when:
1) We are made to feel incompetent or insecure.
2) We are in a group with at least 3 people.
3) We are in a group in which everyone else agrees (in one other person disagrees, the odds of us disagreeing greatly increases).
4) We admire the groups status and attractiveness.
5) We have not made a prior commitment to any response.
6) We know that others in the group will observe our behavior.
7) We are in a culture that strongly encourages respect for social standards.
Conformity rates are lower in individualist cultures.
You assume others are right and follow their lead.
Obedience has been found to be highest when:
1) The person giving the orders was close at hand and perceived to be a legitimate authority figure.
2) The authority figure was supported by a prestigious institution (complying with an experiment bc its from Yale University).
3) The victim was depersonalized or at a distance, even in another room.
4) There were no role models for defiance.
The experiment assigned volunteers either the role of a teacher or a student. The teacher would teach the student something and then test them. For every wrong answer the student gave, the teacher would have to administer and stronger and stronger shock. Milgram and 40 psychiatrists assumed that the teachers would stop shocking when the student indicated pain, however, they were completely wrong. More than 60% of men age 20-50 complied fully right up to the last switch- 450 volts. When he repeated this study, he received similar results. Women obeyed at rates similar to mens. After being told that the students were not actually being shocked, the participants didn't not regret taking part and did not feel an emotional tole.
These experiments demonstrated that strong social influences can make ordinary people conform to falsehoods or give in to cruelty.
He used the foot in the door effect.
Triplett found strengthened performance in others' presence. On tougher tasks, people perform worse when observers or others working on the same task are present though. The presence of others sometimes helps and sometimes hinders performance. When others observe us we become aroused.
What you do well, you are likely to do even better in front of an audience. What you find difficult may seem all but impossible when you are being watched.
The tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts toward attaining a common goal than when individually accountable. (Diminished feeling of responsibility)
3 causes of social loafing:
1) People acting as part of a group feel less accountable, and therefore worry less about what others thing.
2) Group members may view their individual contributions a dispensable.
3) When group members share equally in benefits, regardless of how much they contribute, some may slack off. People can free ride on other peoples efforts. `
Ex. KKK, online bulling...
The beliefs and attitudes we bring to a group grow stronger as we discuss them with like minded others.
The internet can connect like minded individuals and cause group polarization- potentially dangerous.
It is fed by overconfidence, conformity, self justification, and group polarization.
Groupthink is prevented when a leader welcomes various opinions and is open to critiques.
People want to think like the group so they don't say their real opinion.
Personal control is the power of the individual.
These two interact.
Committed individuals can sway the majority and create history (ex. Rosa Parks). The power of one or two individuals to sway majorities is MINORITY INFLUENCE.
Human nature is designed for culture. We are more than just social animals.
Thanks to language, we humans enjoy the preservation of innovation. Culture enables an efficient division of labor (ex. it takes a team of people to publish a book, not just the author).
Culture drives our everyday life (ex. what we eat, what we buy, what sports we play).
Cultures evolve over time (and rapidly).
Each culture has its own norm.
Culture Shock- When we don't understand whats accepted or expected. Ex. When we are exposed to a new culture.
Ex. Ethnocentrism- Assuming the superiority of one's ethnic group.
As overt prejudice wanes, subtle prejudice lingers. Prejudice can not only be subtle but also automatic and unconscious.
Gender: People tend to perceive their fathers as more intelligent than their mothers.
AUTOMATIC PREJUDICE: Modern studies indicate that prejudice is often implicit, an automatic attitude that is an unthinking knee jerk response. Evolution prepared us, when encountering strangers, to make instant judgements.
Stereotyped beliefs are a by product of how we cognitively simplify the world.
Victims of discrimination may react with either self blame or anger.
Allows people to develop prejudice attitudes that justify things as they are.
Stereotypes rationalize inequalities.
When things go wrong, finding someone to blame can provide a target for anger.
To boost our own sense of status, it helps to have others to denigrate. That is why a rival's misfortune sometimes provides a twinge of pleasure.
Negative emotions nourish prejudice.
1) Categorization: Human beings categorize people by race. (Other-race effect plays a role in how we categorize)
2) Vivid Cases: People often judge the frequency of events by instances that readily come to mind. Vivid and violent cases are more readily available to our memory and feed our stereotypes.
3) Believing the World is Just: People often justify their prejudices by blaming victims. If the world is just, people must get what they deserve.
Our greater recognition for faces of our own race emerges during infancy between 3 and 9 months of age.
Social Cultural: Deindividuation from being in a crowd, challenging environmental factors (crowding, heat, direct provocations), parental models of aggression, minimal father involvement, being rejected from a group, exposure to violent media.
Psychological: Dominating behavior (boosts testosterone levels in the blood), believing the alcohol's been drunk, frustration, aggressive role models, rewards for aggressive behavior, low self control
1) Genetic: Genes influence aggression, and we know this through animals that have been bred for aggressiveness and twin studies. If one twin is aggressive, the other twin is likely to be the same. The Y chromosome influences aggression.
2) Neural: There is no one spot in the brain that controls aggression, it is a complex behavior and occurs in particular contexts. Through research, it was found that the amygdala affects aggression. Violent criminals have reveled diminished activity in the frontal lobes, which play an important role in controlling impulses. Frontal lobe complications can cause aggression to be more likely.
3) Biochemical: The hormone testosterone circulates in the bloodstream and influences that neural systems that control aggression. As men age, their testosterone levels and aggressiveness diminish. Men more than women tend to have wide faces, a testosterone linked trait. Mens facial width is a predictor of their aggressiveness. High testosterone correlates with irritability, assertiveness, impulsiveness, and low tolerance for frustration. High testosterone levels correlate with delinquency.
Also, alcohol unleashes aggressive responses to frustration. Aggression prone people are more likely to drink and become violent when intoxicated.
This was found through an analysis of 27,000 hit by pitch major league baseball incidents- pitchers were most likely to hit batters when frustrated.
2) Reinforcement and Modeling: Aggression may be a natural response to aversive events, but learning can alter these reactions. In situations where experience has taught us that aggression pays, we are likely to act aggressively again. Parents should reinforce good behavior and model how to act to their children from a young age.
3) Media Models for Violence: Parents are hardly the only aggression models. Shows, films, video games, and music lyrics offer creates SOCIAL SCRIPTS. Violent video games increase aggressive thoughts, emotions and behaviors.
Come from shows, films, video games, music lyrics, etc.
Linked to sexual aggression.
Familiarity breeds fondness.
For our ancestors the mere exposure effect had survival value. What was familiar was generally safe and approachable.
However, people's attractiveness is unrelated to their self esteem and happiness- few of us view ourselves as unattractive. Also, less attractive people are more likely to get praised for being sincere.
Beauty is dependent on culture.
An averaged face is attractive because they are symmetrical.
Those we like (with appealing traits) we also find attractive.
We like those who like us. When our self image is low, we feel good and respond warmly to people who like us, which makes them like us even more.
Emotions have two ingredients, physical arousal and cognitive arousal.
Arousal from any source can enhance one emotion or another, depending on how we interpret and label that arousal. Ex. If we are aroused through being scared, for example, we will find an attractive woman even more attractive than if we weren't aroused beforehand.
Adrenaline makes the heart grow fonder.
The flood of passion facilitating hormones (testosterone, adrenaline, dopamine) subsides and another hormone, oxytocin, supports feelings of trust, calmness, and binding with the mate.
Shift from passion to attachment. Passionate love often produces children, whose survival is aided by the parent's waning obsession with each other.
2) Self Disclosure
3) Positive Support
Ex. I like hugs. I like kisses. But what I really love is help with the dishes.
Disclosure breeds liking.
There must be equity in self disclosure too.
Writing about our feelings can also enhance our emotions.
Altruism became a major concern of social psychologists after an especially vile act of sexual violence in Queens, New York. A stalker stabbed and then raped a woman named KITTY GENOVESE as she was dying. 38 room lights turned on/windows opened in response to her screams, however none of them called the police until 20 minutes later (after the attacker had already fled)
After staging emergencies under various conditions, Darley and Latane found THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS FOR BYSTANDER INTERVENTION: We will only help if the situation enables us first to 1) notice the incident, then to 2) interpret it as an emergency, and finally to 3) assume responsibility for helping. At each step, the presence of others can turn us away from the path that leads us to helping. (Summary Below)
Notice, Interpret, Assume Responsibility (NIA). We must go through each of these steps in order to help someone in need.
Experiments have shown that when people are alone they will usually help a person in need because they assume responsibility. People who thought others were present, and could therefore hear the victims cries, were more likely to ignore the victim.
DIFFUSION OF RESPONSIBILITY: When more people shared responsibility for helping, any single listen was less likely to help.
Hundreds of experiments have confirmed this phenomenon. Ex) Elevator Test- Researchers and their assistants "accidentally" dropped coins or pencils. When alone with the person in need, 40 percent helped; in the presence of 5 other bystanders, only 20 percent helped.
- The person is in some way similar to us
- The person is a woman
- We have just observed someone else being helpful
- We are not in a hurry
- We are in a small town or rural area
- We are feeling guilty
- We are focused on others and not preoccupied
- We are in a good mood (The idea that happy people are helpful people is one of the most consistent findings in ALL of psychology. Happiness breeds helpfulness)
The theory behind we help.
We compare the costs and benefits, and if the benefits (rewards) exceed the costs then we will help. Ex) Donating Blood (Costs would be feeling uncomfortable, anxiety, etc. Benefits would be Social approval, reduced guilt, good feelings)
Another theory behind why we help. This is the idea that we have been socialized to do so (through norms that prescribe us how we ought to behave).
People who attend weekly religious services often are admonished to practice the social- responsibility norm (these people have twice as many hours doing so)
Social traps and distorted perceptions are potential results from conflict.
In some situations, we harm our collecting well being by pursuing our personal interests.
As long as you both pursue your own immediate best interest you will both end up with nothing, the typical result, when you could have had better alternative.
Through regulation, communication, and promoting awareness of our responsibilities we can cooperate for our mutual benefit.
Each demonizes the other, and this can often feed a vicious cycle of hostility.
Enemy perceptions often form mirror images.
Perceiving themselves as returning tit for tat, people often hit back with 40% more force than they had just experienced.
Ex. If Juan believes Maria is annoyed with him, he may snub her, causing her to act in ways that justify his perception.
1) Contact: Contact has been correlated with, or in experimental studies has led to, more positive attitudes. Friendly contacts between blacks, whites, gays, and straight people improves attitudes towards each other. Even indirect contact with an outgrip member has reduced prejudice.
2) Cooperation: Ex. Muzafer Sherif set a conflict in motion and separated 22 boys into two separate camp areas. He then had the two groups compete for prizes in a series of activities. Before long each group became hostile to the other group. (Superordinate Goals:) He then arranged different prizes that could only be achieved through both groups cooperating, and this turned the once enemies into friends. What reduced conflict was not mere contact but cooperate contact.
3) Communication: When real life conflicts become intense a third party mediator may facilitate much needed communication. Helps each party voice its viewpoint and understand the other's needs and goals.
4) Conciliation: When conflicts intensify, images become more stereotyped, judgements become more rigid, and communication more difficult. Richard Osgood created a strategy of Graduated and Reciprocated Initiatives in Tension Reduction (GRIT) which helps a lot.
Shared goals that can be achieved only through cooperation.
One side first announces its recognition of mutual interests and its intent to reduce tensions. It then initiates one or more small, conciliatory acts. Without weakening ones retaliatory capability, this modest beginning opens the door for reciprocity by the other party.