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Psychology:

From Inquiry to
Understanding 2/e
Scott O. Lilienfeld
Steven Jay Lynn
Laura Namy
Nancy J. Woolf
Prepared by Caleb W. Lack
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Chapter Thirteen

Social Psychology:
How Others Affect Us

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Lecture Preview
What is social psychology?
Social influence
Helping and harming others
Attitudes and persuasion
Prejudice and discrimination
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Social Psychology
Study of how people influence others
behavior, beliefs, and attitudes
We tend to think others are vulnerable
to social influencebut not ourselves
Can lead us to doubt social psychology
findings initially

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Humans as a Social Species


Predisposed to forming intimate
interpersonal networks that are only so
large
150 people or so

Need-to-belong theory and biologically


based need for interpersonal connections
It literally hurts us to be isolated or
rejected
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Humans as a Social Species


Most social influence processes are
adaptive under most circumstances
They can turn maladaptive when
they are blind or unquestioning
Social influences should be evaluated
critically
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Social Comparison Theory


We seek to evaluate our abilities and
beliefs by comparing them with
those of others
Upward (superiors) and downward
(inferiors) social comparison
Both can boost our self-concept
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Social Contagion
Mass hysteria is a contagious
outbreak of irrational behavior that
spreads
UFO outbreaks
Windshield pitting

Urban legends are another example


of social contagions
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Social Facilitation
When the mere presence of others
enhances our performance
Bicyclists racing
Cockroaches running mazes

Can also experience social disruption


(choking)

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Fundamental Attribution
Error
Attributions are assigning causes to
behavior
Internal vs external influence

When we look at others behavior, we


Overestimate impact of dispositional influences
Underestimate impact of situational influences

Do the opposite for our own behavior

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Fundamental Attribution
Error
Associated with cultural factors
Japanese and Chinese are less likely to
commit this error
May be more prone to seeing others
behavior as a combination of both
dispositional and situational influences
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Conformity
The tendency of people to alter their
behavior as a result of group
pressure
Classically demonstrated by Solomon
Aschs experiments in the 1950s

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Social Influences on
Conformity
Unanimity increased conformity
Lower conformity of only one other
person differed from the majority
Size of majority up to five or six
people

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Differences in Conformity
Low self-esteem makes you more
likely to conform
Asian cultures more likely to conform
No sex differences

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Deindividuation
The tendency of people to engage in
atypical behavior when stripped of their
usual identity
Become more vulnerable to social
influence
Wearing masks and concealing identity
leads to deindividuation
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Stanford Prison Study


Recruited normal young men for a two
week psychological study of prison life
Randomly assigned them to be either a
prisoner or a guard
Prisoners were dressed as such, referred
to by number and not name

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Stanford Prison Study


By second day, guards began to treat
prisoners cruelly and dole out
punishment
Prisoners started a rebellion, guards
became increasingly sadistic
Had to stop study after only 6 days due
to nervous breakdowns by prisoners
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Chaos in Real World


Events at Abu Ghraib echoed those of the
Stanford Prison Study
Still, individual differences are at play in
deindividuation
Makes us more likely to conform to
whatever norms (good or bad) are present
in the situation
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Groupthink
An emphasis on group unanimity at
the expense of critical thinking
Bay of Pigs
Challenger explosion

Certain symptoms make it more


likely to occur

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SYMPTOM

EXAMPLE

An illusion of invulnerability

We cant possibly fail!

An illusion of unanimity

Obviously, we all agree.

Unquestioned belief in moral


correctness

We know were on the right


side.

Conformity pressure

Dont rock the boat!

Stereotyping of out-group

Theyre all morons.

Self-censorship

I suspect this is bad idea, but Id


better not say anything.

Mindguards

Oh, you think you know better


than the rest of us?

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Groupthink
Can be treated by encouraging dissent
Appointing a devils advocate
Having an independent expert evaluate
decisions
Holding follow-up meetings

Group polarization can cause views


to become more extreme

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Cults
Groups that exhibit intense and
unquestioning devotion to a single cause
Promote groupthink in four major ways
Have a persuasive leader who fosters loyalty
Disconnect members from the outside world
Discourage questioning of assumptions
Gradually indoctrinate members

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Cult Myths
Cult members are emotionally
disturbed
Most are normal, but leaders are often
seriously mentally ill

Cult members are brainwashed and


turned into unthinking zombies
Techniques do not permanently change
beliefs
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Cults
Can be resisted via inoculation
effect
Convincing people to change their
minds about something by first
introducing reasons why the
perspective might be correct and
then debunking them
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Obedience
Adherence to orders from those of
higher authority
Essential ingredient in our daily lives
Stop lights, parking signs

Can produce trouble when people stop


asking questions about why theyre
behaving as others want them to
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Stanley Milgram
Student of Aschs who wanted to know
how the Holocaust could have occurred
Designed experiment to test the
influence of obedience and authority
on normal people
Became a landmark study

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The Milgram Paradigm


Voluntary subjects were taken to a lab
and introduced to a fellow volunteer
and the researcher
Teachers (subjects) were supposed to
shock the learners (confederates) when
they did not successfully repeat words
With each failure, the shock level
increased
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The Milgram Paradigm


Learner tells teacher he has a slight
heart condition before any shocks
Learner soon misses some answers,
researcher tells teacher to continue
By 330 volts, he is yelling Let me
out of here!; by 345 he is silent
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The Milgram Paradigm


Two key themes emerged from follow-ups
The greater psychological distance
between teacher and experimenter, the
less obedience
Greater the psychological distance
between teacher and learner, the more
the obedience
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The Milgram Paradigm


Predictors of disobedience
More morally advanced
Level of authoritarianism

No sex or cultural differences found

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Helping and Harming Others


Prosocial behavior is behavior
intended to help others
Antisocial behavior includes aggressive
acts
Humans display both, and situational
factors can influence which one is
displayed
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Bystander Nonintervention
When people see someone in need
but fail to help them
Kitty Genoveses murder

Two factors help explain this


Pluralistic ignorance
Diffusion of responsibility

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Across three
classic
experiments, the
percentage helping
when in groups
was lower than the
percentage helping
when alone

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Social Loafing
Refers to when people slack off in groups
The whole is less than the sum of its parts

Due partly to diffusion of responsibility


and influenced by cultural factors
One antidote is to ensure that each
person in the group is identifiable

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Prosocial Behavior and


Altruism
In some cases we help others primarily
because we feel empathic toward them
Situational influences can impact helping
When you cant escape the situation
Characteristics of the victim

Enlightenment effect from exposure to


research
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Aggression
A number of influences make us
more likely to engage in intentionally
harmful behavior
Interpersonal provocation
Frustration
Media influences
Aggressive cues

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Aggression
Arousal level
Alcohol and other drugs
Temperature

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Differences in Aggression
Certain personality traits influence
aggression
Negative emotions, impulsivity

Males engage in more physical


aggression, females in more relational
aggression
Cultural influences and the culture of
honor
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Attitudes and Behavior


An attitude is a belief that includes
an emotional component
Attitudes only moderately correlate
with actual behaviors unless
They are highly accessible
Person is a low self-monitor

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Origins of Attitudes
Recognition heuristic
Personality traits
Political views
Religiosity

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Attitude Change
Cognitive dissonance is an unpleasant
state of tension between two opposing
thoughts
We are motivated to reduce or eliminate
it
Festinger and Carlsmiths Measures of
Performance study
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Attitude Change
Self-perception theory proposes
that we acquire our attitudes by
observing our behaviors
Impression management theory
proposes that that we dont change
our attitudes, but report that we
have for consistency
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Routes to Persuasion
Dual processes model says that there
are two pathways to persuading others
The central route focuses on
informational content
The peripheral route focuses on more
surface aspects of the argument
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Persuasion Techniques
Foot-in-the-door starts with small
request and moves to a larger one
Door-in-the-face starts big then backs
off (works equally well as foot-in-the-door)
Low-ball technique starts with a low
price, then adds-on all the desirable
options

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Persuasion Techniques
Who is attempting to persuade you
can also have an impact
Attractive or famous persons
Highly credible people
If messenger is similar to receiver

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PSEUDOSCIENCE
TACTIC

EXAMPLE

PROBLEM

Creation of a
phantom goal

Master the complete works of


Shakespeare while sleeping!

Extreme claims
are usually
impossible to
achieve

Vivid testimonials

Sandra was severely depressed


for 5 years until she underwent
rebirthing therapy!

Anecdotes are not


evidence

Manufacturing source
credibility

Dr. Nobel from Princeton


endorses this subliminal tape.

Advertisers may
present source in
deceptive fashion

Scarcity heuristic

Call before midnight to get Dr.


Genius Improvement program
its selling fast!

Scarcity may be
false or a result of
low production

Consensus heuristic

Thousands of psychologists use


the Rorschach, so it must be
valid.

Common
knowledge is
often wrong

Natural commonplace

Mrs. Candy Cures new anxiety


medication is made from allnatural ingredients!

Natural does not


mean healthy

Goddess-within
commonplace

The Magical Mind ESP


Tests fail to
Enhancement program allows you support
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to get in touch Copyright
with yourpsychic
supernatural

Prejudice and Discrimination


Drawing negative conclusions prior to
evaluating the evidence is prejudice
Stereotypes can help us to process
information easily and quickly, but can lead
to prejudice
Some may be accurate, but others are due
to illusory correlations and the confirmation
bias
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Prejudice and Discrimination


Stereotypes can result in ultimate
attribution error, or attributing
negative behavior of some group
entirely to their disposition
Also attribute positive behaviors to
luck or as rare exceptions

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Nature of Prejudice
We all hold some types of prejudices
(adaptive conservatism)
In-group bias means that we favor those
within our group compared to those
without
Out-group homogeneity is the tendency
to view people outside of our group as
similar
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Discrimination
The act of treating members of outgroups differently from members of
in-groups
We can be prejudiced against people
without discriminating against them
Can have wide impact on groups such
as females and minorities
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Roots of Prejudice
Scapegoat hypothesis arises from a
need to blame other groups for our
misfortunes
Just-world hypothesis implies that we
have a need to see the world as fair, even if
not
Conformity going along with others
opinions
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Underground Prejudice
While explicit prejudice are
feelings were aware of, were
unaware of implicit prejudice
The Implicit Association Test and
unconscious racism, sexism, and
other prejudices
True finding or unfalsifiable?
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Combating Prejudice
Robbers Cave study and
encouraging people to work towards
common goals
Jigsaw classrooms and cooperation

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