Lecture 3: Social Influence The effect that people

Lecture 3: Social Influence
The effect that people can have anothers' beliefs, perceptions, attitudes, or behaviors.
Can come from an individual, a group, or some kind of institution
Can be positive, negative, or neutral
Conscious- someone convincing you to do something
Automatic/Unconscious- don’t realize your behavior is being influenced
Mimicry- copying the language, behavior, physical appearance of others (ex. Yawning)
Chameleon effect- tendency to adapt the postures, gestures and mannerisms of interaction
Evolutionary role:
*Communication and survival
-Infants mimic with 72 hours of birth
-9 month olds mimic abstract emotions
-Animals mimic vocal, behavioral
Social role:
*fosters affiliation, rapport, liking
-When confederates mimic participants, they have a greater liking of confederates and feel like
it was a smoother interaction
Conformity- tendency to change our perceptions, opinion and behaviors in ways that are
consistent with group norms
Sherif (1936)
*cover story: studying autokinetic effect
-time 1- participants gave solo estimates
-time 2- gave estimates in presence of others
Asch (1951)
*line judgment task
-lines, which one is the same
-result: people conform to the wrong answer, even though it is obvious the answer is wrong
75% of participants conformed at to the asch study
Sherif vs Asch
-sherif study- answer was ambiguous
-asch study- answer was clear
Why do we conform?
Informational- we want to be correct (sherif study)
Normative- we want to be liked (asch study)
*Public vs Private conformity
-asch was public (short term superficial change)
-sherif was private
Factors that influence conformity
*Group size
-conformity increases with group size
-but only up to a point
-3 or 4
*Other non-conformers
-conformity dropped by 80% in asch study
-reduces the normative pressure to conform
*Gender difference
-women are more likely to conform with masculine tasks than feminine tasks and vice versa
*Cultural differences
-individualist cultures
-collectivist cultures (higher rate of conformity)
Conformity and Littering
*fliers placed on people's cars
*iv- confederate picks up bag of trash; control condition (no one comes)
*dv- do people litter their car fliers
37% people litter control condition
7% people litter with confederate
Compliance- changes in behavior that are elicited by direct
more likely to comply if:
-social validation
-foot in the door (start small; effective because self-perception theory- makes you feel like a
caring giving person)
-Low balling (make them agree first and then reveal hidden costs; effective because psychology
of commitment)
- door in the face (start with large request, get rejected, then ask reasonable request; effective
because perceptual contrast- seems much more reasonable then the first request and
reciprocal concessions- feel like you should say yes because you already said no before
-That’s not all (some-what large request, then decrease it and add in bonus)