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CHAPTER 6: Conformity and Obedience Ang, Cua, Agramon Psychology 180

Not just acting as other people act; it is also being affected by how they act Act, think (alone) =/= Act, think (in group) Change in behavior or belief to accord with others Key: whether your behavior and beliefs would be the same apart from the group

What is CONFORMITY? Is it good or bad? BAD Good When in inhibits people to cut into a theater line EX. unspoken rule for fans like U2 fans When you lead someone to drive drunk or even to kill someone

2 Compliance Conform to an expectation or request without really believing in what we are doing. EX. Wearing necktie even if you do not want to Insincere outward conformity

3 Obedience Acting in accord with a direct order or command Comply primarily to reap a reward or to avoid punishment EX. Obeying Laws

Inconsequential When it disposes a tennis player to wear white or a volleyball player to wear short shorts

WESTERN INDIVIDUALISTIC CULTURES Peer pressure is not admired conformity (-) Social influence

4 Acceptance Sincere inward conformity Conformity that involves both acting and believing in accord with social pressure. EX. Praying

(-) conformity, submission, compliance Instead of (+) communal sensitivity, responsiveness, cooperative team play Japan Going along with others is not a sign of weakness but of TOLERANCE, SELF-CONTROL, MATURITY

* Acceptance sometimes follows compliance

SHERIFS STUDIES OF NORM FORMATION Muzafer Sherif Wondered if it was possible to observe the emergence of a social norm in the laboratory Seated in a dark room 15 ft front, pinpoint of light appears nothing happens moves erratically disappears guess how far it moved

4 LABELS We choose labels to suit our values and judgement

1 CONFORMITY

Room no way to judge distance Uncertain 6 inches, 10 inches (til average of 8 inches) Next day, you are with other participants where they gave a different estimate from you (1 inch, 2 inches) for the next few days, a group norm emerged AUTOKINETIC PHENOMENON -SELF MOTION. The apparent movement of a stationary point of light in the dark Suggestibility After a year, same group norm support Other experiments (ex. On coughs, laughs, yawns) were conducted to test this, same results were observed Our views of reality are not ours alone examples Mood linkage: After observing that just being with happy people can make you happy Laughing at movies

(answer: line number 2) -1st trials, all are correct -3rd trial, the people with you answered the wrong answer consistenly -you are sure of the answer but you now begin to question your judgement -when alone, 99 percent were right

ASCHS STUDIES OF GROUP PRESSURE When with a group, 37% conformed to the others 63% answered what they believed was right

MILGRAMSS OBEDIENCE EXPERIMENTS Tested what happens when the demands of authority clash with the demands of conscience Learner, Teacher The experiment requires one of them to teach a list of word pairs to the other and to punish the errors by delivering the shocks of increasing intensity 65% progressed to 450 volts Those who stopped often stopped at 150 volts People tend to do what they are asked to do. (men and women are of the same case)

examples the Chameleon effect

-behavior synchronizing like speaking (grammar of what they hear or read is copied) -behavior affects attitude and emotion, mimicry inclines us to feel what the others feel examples Large scale suggestibility

*had ethical issues stressed the teachers to go against their will teachers experienced agony participants self-concepts may have been altered

-suicide if publicized, others do the same

ASCHS STUDIES OF GROUP PRESSURE Which matches the standard line?

WHAT BREEDS OBEDIENCE?

The Victims Distance: Greatest obedience and least compassion: when the learners could no tbe seen (and could not see them); when the victim was remote and the teachers heard no complaints nearly all obeyed calmly to the end. (minimization of the learners influence to the teacher). People act most compassionately toward those who are personalized. Closeness and Legitimacy of the Authority: physical presence of the experimenter also affected obedience. The authority however must be legitimate. Institutional Authority: authorities backed by institutions weild social power. Liberating Effects of Group Influence: Conformity could be constructive. Defiance or compliance to orders can be affected by how other people would react.

WHAT PREDICTS CONFORMITY? Group Size: bigger group size can elicit greater effect; increasing the number of people beyond 5 yeilds diminishing returns. The way the group is packaged also makes a difference: the agreement of small independent groups makes a position more credible. Unanimity: someone who punctures a groups unanimity deflates its social power. It is easier to stand up for something if you can find someone else to stand up with you. Cohesion: a minority opinion from someone outside the groups we identify with sways us less than the same minority opinion from someone within our group. The more cohesive a group is, the more power it gains over its members. Status: higher status people tend to have more impact; prestige begets influence Public Response: In experiments; people conform more when they must respond in front of others rather than writing their answers privately. Prior Commitment: after having made a public commitment, they stick to it. At most, they will change their judgements in later situations. Prior commitment restrains persuasion. Making a public commitment makes people hesitant to back down.

REFLECTIONS ON THE CLASSIC STUDIES Behavior and Attitude: Compliance to elementary orders (zapping 15 volts) an breed acceptance and compliance to greater orders (zapping 75 volts). Evolving attitudes both follow and justify actions: criticism produces contempt, which licenses cruelty, which when justified, leads to brutality, then killing, then systematic killing. But the lighter side can also happen; initial helping heightened commitment, leading to more helping (The Holocaust) The Power of the Situation: saying what we would do in a hypothetical situation is often easier than doing it in the real situation. Evil situations can produce evil behaviour. The drift toward evil usually comes in small increments without any conscious intent to do evil. Procrastination involves a similar unintended drift toward self harm. Even nice people are sometimes corrupted as they construct moral rationalizations for immoral behaviour. Does a situational analysis of harm doing exonerate harm doears? Does it absolve them of responsibility? : to explain is not to excuse and to understand is not to forgive you can forgive someone whose behaviour you dont understand and you can understand someone whom you do not forgive.

WHY CONFORM? Normative Influence: conformity based on a persons desire to fulfil others expectations, often to gain acceptance; leads to compliance; concern for social image Informational Influence: conformity occurring when people accept evidence about reality provided by other people; leads people to privately accept others influence; desire to correct

WHO CONFORMS Personality

Culture

Internal factors (attitudes, traits) predict a person's average behavior across many situations. Personality predict behavior better when social influences are weak but individual differences may still shine given strong situations. Traits and situations together shape behavior.

Asserting Uniqueness People feel better when they see themselves as moderately unique, acting in ways that will assert their individuality. "One is conscious of oneself insofar as, and in the ways that, one is different." Rivalry is often most intense when the other group mostly resembles you.

Cultural background helps predict conformity. Compared with individualistic countries, those in collective countries (where harmony is prized and connections help define the self) are more responsive to others' influences. Cultural differences also exist within a country. Working-class people tend to prefer similarity to others, wheras middle-class people more strongly preferred to see themselves as unique individuals.

Social Roles Social roles allow some freedom of interpretation to those who act them out, but some aspects of any role must be performed. When a person takes on a role for the first time, he/she mat the role self-consciously. As he/she internalizes the role, self-consciousness subsides. The process of conformity will have shifted one's behavior, values and identity to accommodate. Roles often come in pairs. Role reversal helps each understand the other.

DO WE EVER WANT TO BE DIFFERENT? Reactance Reactance is a motive to protect or restore one's sense of freedom. Restricting a person's freedom often produce anticonformity "boomerang effect".