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Social Influence and Social Interaction

Stage 1 Psychology Unit

Rebecca Dimmick

on 15 May 2013

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Transcript of Social Influence and Social Interaction

Stage 1 Psychology Social Influence and Social Interaction In particular social contexts, people engage in behaviours that they would otherwise not participate in.
In particular social contexts, people do not engage in behaviours that they would otherwise participate in. Key Ideas Conformity to group norms
Obedience to authority
Aggression and altruism
Psychological principles concerning social influence and social interaction
Behaviours of self and other individuals within the group
Psychological principles concerning social influence and social interaction in everyday experiences and events and in psychological interventions
Application of these psychological principles to social issues and/or personal growth
The investigation designs and methods of assessing psychological responses that are used to study social influences and interactions
Ethical issues Areas of Learning Group Assessment Assessment Using data generated by a research program you will work in small groups to construct a question that can be addressed by the data and prepare a proposal. Once the proposal is approved the group will undertake an analysis of the data and then as individuals, prepare a report that discusses the investigation. Appropriate psychological terminology and conventions should be used. You will also be required to analyse and evaluate the evidence and discuss the research ethics relevant to the investigation. Definition: a form of persuasion that involves changing your attitudes or behaviour so that existing social norms are adhered to. It is usually your own decision. It involves you doing what the other person does - not necessarily what they want. Conformity Can be useful and harmless.
Unfortunately they can be dangerous.
It is important to stop and assess decisions. Conformity Even though we value individuals we are dependent on the majority. We rely on the majority to support our understanding of the group and the world. There are benefits and rewards of being a part of the group. Conformity Do we make individual choices or go along with the crowd?
Conformity, compliance and obedience are forms of social influence. They can be viewed on a continuum of coerciveness. Definition: They are expectations that people have about how other people should act.
Group members often behave in uniform ways.
Uniformity is often reinforced because of the risk of negative consequences when a group member violates the created norm. Social Norms Can be broad guidelines
Can be specific standards of Conduct
Can guide conversation
Can guide a rigid dress code Social Norms Allow people to expect the events that will occur in a particular context or situation
Prepare them for different situations
Can reduce psychological stress from uncertainty Social Norms Conformity, Obedience,
Aggression, and Altruism Social Norms Norms They generally reflect underlying value systems and prescribe behaviour.
They provide a frame of reference: good or bad, important or not
They define and enhance the common identity of the group Compliance Activity Conformity "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Dr Seuss

"You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something sometime in your life." Winston Churchill

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain Do you agree with the statements?
Why or Why not? Compliance follows direct requests.
It has many forms and can be very helpful. (An example of helpful compliance is completing a full course of antibiotics) Friendship/liking
Social Validation
Authority Weapons of Influence Compliance in advertising Obedience Obedience is the most coercive level of the social influence continuum. A person responds to the direct commands of authority The Value of obedience is taught to us from birth.
- We come to understand the important of respecting certain forms of leadership.
- Obedience does not need the presence of another
- We learn to recognise and obey certain symbols It is important to remember that aggression is a behaviour. It may or not be accompanied by emotion. There may be underlying motives for the behaviour. Sometimes the aggression is a result of negative attitudes (eg. prejudice) Aggression "Any form of behaviour directed towards the goal of harming or injuring another living being who is motivated to avoid such treatment, Robert Baron's definition it does not state whether aggression is learned or innate.
it limits aggression to behaviours where the individual intends to cause harm.
it allows for the inclusion of verbal as well as physical attacks.
it is limited to circumstances where the other person would prefer to avoid harm. Behaviour intended to help others with little benefit to ourselves, often with the possibility of personal risk. Altruism caring for the sick and disabled
sharing knowledge
sharing implements
helping in times of danger Trivers defined the types of altruism as: 4 Main Categories Social Interaction 1. Among those who helped, empathy was an important part of the self-concept. Helpers also described themselves as responsible and socialised, and as having self-control, wanting to amke a good impression, and being conforming and tolerant.
2. A strong belief in a just world. They perceive the world as a fair and predictable place in which good behaviour is rewarded and bad behaviour punished. People get what they deserve.
3. Social responsibility also differentiated the helpers from the non-helpers.
4. Altruistic individuals were characterised as assuming an internal locus of control. This is the belief that one can behave in such a way as to maximise good outcomes and minimise bad ones.
5. The helpers were lower than the non-helpers on the measure of egocentrism. Those how failed tohelp tended to be self-absorbed and competitive. Altruistic Personality (Baron and Byrne) 1. What is the continuum of coerciveness? Outline the three forms of social influence.
2. What is a social norm? Why do they exist? Give some examples of social norms.
3. List and explain the factors that affect group conformity.
4. What is the difference between conformity and compliance?
5. What factors influence obedience? Questions one on one interactions
many on one
one on many
many on many Main Idea: our social interactions are motivated by the desire to maximise 'social' profits and minimise 'social' losses Social Exchange Theory Balance Refers to a specific type of social exchange. It involves interacting with or 'repaying on the basis of whatever has been given. Reciprocity Principle Can be applied to both positive and negative situations.
eg. gift giving and retaliation Reciprocity Principle 1. In your own words, explain what is meant by social interaction
2. Provide an example for each of the 4 main kinds of social interaction.
3. How does social exchange theory explain social interaction?
4. Use an example to explain the relationship between social exhange theory and the reciprocity principle. Questions Prosocial Behaviour BUT humans help strangers and non-kin much more than other animals

What are some other reasons people help? There are three people asleep in different rooms of a burning house:
A cousin
A grandfather
An acquaintance
You have time to rescue only one. Which do you save? There are three people who need you to run a small errand to the shops:
A cousin
A sister
An acquaintance
You have time to help only one.
Whose errand do you run? k. Reciprocity Norms that promote fairness
Equity - each person receives benefits in proportion to what he or she did
Equality - everyone gets the same amount, regardless of performance
People desire a system based on fairness and social exchange
Sensitivity about being the target of a threatening upward comparison Fairness Helping behaviours focused only on the well-being of others (and often at personal cost).

Prosocial behaviour  Altruism
(because PS may involve self-interest) What is altruism? Positive models in the media.
Reduce ambiguity, increase responsibility - reduce anonymity
Guilt & concern for self-image - use of compliance tactics
Attributing helpful behaviour to altruistic motives - overjustification effect
Learning about altruism Increasing helping behaviour  uncertainties of obstacles
Educate about bystander indifference
Model helpfulness
Teach moral inclusion How can we increase helping?  distractions
 pluralistic ignorance
 diffusion of responsibility
 concerns about competence to help
 audience inhibitions How can we increase helping? 2. Labelling the arousal - is arousal labelled as personal distress or empathic concern? - usually labelled as personal distress.
3. Evaluating the consequences - weigh up costs of helping, choose action that reduces personal distress to lowest cost. Bystander-calculus model Piliavin, Dovidio, Gaertner & Clark (1981)
Bystanders calculate the (perceived) costs & benefits of providing help.
3 stages:
1. Physiological arousal - witnessing an emergency  physiological arousal greater chance of helping. Bystander-calculus model Latane & Darley (1970) - participants alone more likely to report smoke than those with others.
Latane & Rodin (1969) - lone male participants more likely to help ‘lady in distress’ than those in pairs.
Darley & Latane (1968) - more bystanders meant less people offered help to someone they thought was having a fit. Empirical evidence in support of Latane & Darley’s model Parable of the Good Samaritan Real donations were much smaller than hypothetical
People claim to be more generous and helpful than they really are
Attractiveness influenced actual helping but not hypothetical helping
Severe victims get more help
Pretty women get more help when need is big Attractiveness Study Conclusions Males
More helpful in broader public sphere, toward strangers and in emergencies.
Help women more than men.
More likely to help in the family sphere, in close relationships, and in situations that require repeated contact.
More likely to receive help. Gender Bad moods   likely to help. Why?
Blame others for bad mood
Think of personal values that don’t promote helping (put self first)
When does bad mood lead to helping?
If feeling guilty Mood Mood - people in good moods more likely to help.
Desire to maintain good mood
Focus on positive things
Positive expectation about helping (e.g., will be rewarded) Mood Belief that the world is fair and that people get what they deserve
Just world believers tend to
Blame the victim
Help others only if they think those people deserve help Belief in a just world Personality - most personality variables are weak predictors of helping.
Competence - those high in appropriate skills more likely to help. Personal determinants of helping Empathy motivates people to reduce other’s distress
If low empathy, people can reduce their own distress by escaping the situation
If high empathy, emotional response corresponds to feelings of other person
 our distress by  their distress Empathy-altruism hypothesis  proposition that empathy motivates people to reduce other people’s distress, as by helping or comforting. Empathy-altruism hypothesis If empathic concern is low, reduce distress either by helping or escaping
If empathic concern is high, only one option - must help. Can we distinguish between egoistic & altruistic motives? Is helping ever based on altruistic motives? e.g., Binti
2 emotional components of empathy - personal distress & empathic concern.
Emotion experienced depends on perspective taken.
Empathic concern -> altruistic motive.
Personal distress -> egoistic motive. Empathy-altruism hypothesis (Batson, 1991) When is forgiveness more likely?
Minor offense
Offender apologises
Who is more likely to forgive?
Religious people
People committed to a relationship
Not self-centered or narcissistic Forgiveness (Clary et al., 1998)
Values - express important values
Understanding - learn about world
Enhancement - psychological growth & development
Career - gain career related experience
Social - strengthen social relationships
Protective - reduce negative feelings Volunteer Functions Inventory Six motivations (Clary & Snyder):
1. Values
2. Understanding
3. Enhancement
4. Career
5. Social
6. Protective Volunteerism (Clary & Snyder, 1999)
Volunteering serves functions for volunteers.
People more likely to continue volunteering (& be satisfied) if their motivations are met. Volunteer Process Model Batson (1994)
Principalism Motivations for helping Innate tendency to help others for evolutionary reasons.
e.g., animals exhibit helping behaviour.
Kin selection
The closer we are genetically the more likely we are to help
Life-and-death helping is affected more strongly by genetic relatedness
Reciprocal helping - expect to have favour returned Evolutionary perspectives Conformity has been given a bad name
People will often do foolish, irrational, or bad things in order to conform
But conformity is also prosocial
People show a strong desire to get along with others Conformity May be good or bad
People conform more when others are watching them
Public conformity
Going along with the crowd regardless of what one privately believes
Private attitude change
Altering one’s internal attitude Conformity Going along with the crowd
Normative social influence
Conformity to be accepted by the group

Informational social influence
Conformity based on actions of others as evidence about reality Conformity Asch's line study 75% conformed at least once
(37% of critical trials)
Conformity d with group size up to 3
Conformity  if responses given privately
Conformity much  if one confederate disagrees Asch's line study Critical trials: all confederates give the wrong answer
What does the participant do?
Conformity = number of errors that agree with the confederates Asch's line study Participate in groups of 7
1 participant all others are confederates
Judge which of three lines matches a standard line Milgram’s research represented obedience as a -ve (-ve outcome)
Without obedience, society would not function
Obedience fosters
Social acceptance
Group life Obedience Can be prosocial, is often highly desirable, and can produce good outcomes
Sports teams, corporations, groups, traffic
Supports group life and helps cultures to succeed Obedience Highest rates of obedience
Experimenter sat next to the participant
Victim was in an other room
Lowest rates of obedience
Experimenter absent and out of sight
Victim was next to the participant Milgram’s study of obedience Reducing Obedience Psychiatrists predicted only 1 in 1,000 would deliver most severe shock
65% delivered the most severe shock (to a screaming victim in obedience to an authority figure.) Milgram’s study of obedience “Please go on.”
“The experiment requires that you continue.”
“It is absolutely essential that you continue.”
“You have no other choice, you must go on.” Programmed responses of the experimenter 75 V: moan and grunt
150 V: demand to be released
180 V: cried out that he could no longer stand the pain
330 V: protested that he had a heart condition and insisted that he would not longer take part in the experiment
Ominous silence Programmed responses of
Mr. Wallace Some obedience necessary
Blind obedience to authority can be destructive (e.g., Nazi Germany)
Led to Milgram’s classic and controversial work on obedience Obedience Prisoner’s dilemma: Balance tradeoffs b/w cooperation & competition.
Cooperation is fragile and easily destroyed.
If either person is not cooperative, then cooperation typically breaks down
(“bad is stronger than good”) Cooperation Game Theory Depletion of resources owned collectively
Each person acts in his or her self-interest, overlooking the
fact that overuse of a resource will in the end may destroy it. Tragedy of the commons Classical & operant conditioning.
Observational learning - modelling behaviour of parents & media.
If models are reinforced for helping -> increased helping in observers e.g., Rushton & Teachman (1978) Learning theory Everyone in the society is subject to the rule of law that governs the society
Boosts the quality of life e.g., positive correlation between happiness and rule of law (Veenhoven, 2004) Rule of law Reciprocity - we should help those who help us.
Social responsibility - help others who are dependent & in need.
Social justice - help only when others deserve our assistance.
Cultural difference (e.g., Miller et al., 1990) Social norms Underbenefitted people become angry & resentful.
Overbenefitted people experience guilt (e.g., survivor guilt).
We also pay people back after we have harmed them.
This sense of fairness, where we worry both about being overbenefitted & underbenefitted, is unique to humans. Fairness Following fairness norms helps us build and maintain good relationships with others
People become depressed and even suicidal when they feel they are taking and not giving
People also become distressed when they outperform others
Sensitivity of being the target of a threatening upward comparison
Those people we outperform might reject us or retaliate Fairness If altruistic helpers are only helping to make themselves feel good, aren’t they really just being selfish?
Does the innate pleasure we get from helping points to the basic goodness of human nature?
Is altruism, then, just as natural as selfishness? Is altruism possible? Includes:
Hurting others
Disobeying rules
Socially unacceptable behaviour
Conflicting with others What is antisocial behaviour? Doing something bad to someone or society.
Damaging relationships
Interfering with society’s functioning.
Reducing “social capital” What is antisocial behaviour? Culture is more than the sum of its parts (but only if people cooperate and follow the rules)
Prosocial behaviour builds relationships
Antisocial behaviour destroys relationships Why is prosocial behaviour important? A way of building social capital. What is prosocial behaviour?
Example: Barn raising Includes:
Helping others
Obeying rules
Conforming to socially acceptable behaviour
Cooperating with others What is prosocial behaviour? Doing something good for someone or society.
Building relationships
Helping society to function.
Adding to “social capital” What is prosocial behaviour? "voluntary actions that are intended to help or benefit
another individual or group of individuals"
(Eisenberg & Mussen 1989, p. 3) What is prosocial behaviour? Who helps who?
Why do humans behave in helpful and cooperative ways -
even when it is not in their own self interest to do so?
Is there such a thing as genuine altruism?
How can we increase helping? Questions What is prosocial behaviour?
Why do people help?
Do people mainly help for selfish or altruistic reasons?
Thus, are people basically good and helpful, or are they basically selfish?
Can we be taught to act in non-natural ways? Questions Baumeister, R. F., & Bushman, B. J. (2008).Social psychology and human nature (1st ed.) Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. References Prosocial behaviour includes conformity, obedience, and cooperating with others, but may also include disobedience.
Human culture depends on people following rules.
Following the rules of society and culture generally brings immense personal and social benefits.
Is altruism unique to humans? Summary & conclusions Costs of helping
Time & effort: Less likely to help if it involves greater time & effort.
Costs of not helping:
Empathy costs
- bystander experiences distress
Personal costs
- bystander experiences blame or guilt
Greater similarity to victim, the more likely bystander is to help. Bystander-calculus model Diffusion of responsibility - assume others will take responsibility
e.g., Darley & Latane (1968)
Audience inhibition - fear negative evaluation from others if intervene & situation is not an emergency
e.g., Latane & Darley (1970), Latane & Rodin (1969)
Social influence - look to others as a model for action - normative & informational influence. What processes underlie
bystander apathy? People in a hurry, help less
Even when thinking about helping
The more time people had, the more likely they were to help Time pressure Time pressure:
Good Samaritan Study If plenty of time: > 60% offered help
If running late: ~10% help
 situational forces have a strong influence on whether people help others
Samaritan parable: 53% helped;
Career message: 29% helped;
(but not a significant difference). Time pressure:
Good Samaritan Study Darley & Batson (1973)
Seminary students walking across campus to give talk on the Good Samaritan (or career)
Late for talk or plenty of time
Passed man in doorway groaning & coughing 5-step decision making process:
1. Do you notice something unusual happening?  YES 
2. Is the event interpreted as an emergency?  YES 
3. Do you think you have the responsibility to help?  YES 
4. Do you know the appropriate kind of help to give?  YES 
5. Do you decide to help?  YES Latane & Darley’s cognitive model Notice that something is happening
Interpret meaning of event
Pluralistic ignorance
Taking responsibility for providing help
Diffusion of responsibility
Know how to help
Provide help Steps to helping Five steps to NOT helping:
Bystanders must overcome each step.
Crowd can interfere at each step Steps to helping Experiment: Subject, Victim, and 0, 1, or 4 others complete group discussion
Feigned emergency (Seizure)
Does subject take action?
Alone: 85%
Subject and Victim: 62%
S, V, and 4 others: 31%
Yet no signs of indifference, apathy Diffusion of responsibility Assumption was that the more bystanders, the more help; maybe backwards?
Diffusion of responsibility: Pressure to intervene is divided among everyone who is present Diffusion of responsibility S alone, or 3 Subjects, or S plus two confederates
Smoke into room
Did subject report?
Alone: 75% reported
3 Real Subjects: 38% of groups
S + confederates: almost never
Explanations indicated different interpretations Interpretation study On March 13, 1964 Kitty Genovese was attacked by a rapist with a knife outside her apartment in Queens, New York. Her screams for help aroused 38 of her neighbors. Many watched from their windows while, for 35 minutes, she tried to escape. None called the police. Kitty Genovese People are less likely to help when they are in a group (or presence of others) than when they are alone. Bystander effect People are more likely to help attractive individuals than unattractive individuals
Study done at FSU. Attractive vs. unattractive female victim, asked for money, needed for student health. Attraction People are more likely to help attractive individuals than unattractive individuals
Airport phone booth study
Application of attractive vs. unattractive individual
People more likely to send package of attractive individual Attraction Closeness - more likely to help those we know.
Deservingness - help those we judge as deserving our help.
Gender Interpersonal determinants of helping Females are more likely to receive help.
Beautiful victims.
Attractiveness - more likely to help attractive others.
e.g., Benson et al. (1976)
Similarity - increases attractiveness & empathy. Interpersonal determinants of helping When does good mood not lead to helping?
Costs of helping are high
(e.g., if helping will  good mood)
Positive thoughts about other activities that conflict with helping (e.g., on way to a party) Mood +ve feelings  helping
-ve emotions  or  helping
Focus on self vs. the victim Emotion and helping Life is essentially fair and people generally get what they deserve
 Blaming the victim
 Fallacy of affirming the consequent
People who hold belief in a just world will help if they think those people deserve help Belief in a just world Attributions - influence whether help is given e.g., Just World Hypothesis
The self & personal norms - personal norms for helping based on personal values (e.g., religious beliefs)
If values central to self-concept, act in consistent ways. Personal determinants of helping  proposition that people help others in order to relieve their own distress. Negative state relief theory Ceasing to feel anger toward or seek retribution against someone who has wronged you
Forgiveness helps repair relationships
Provides health benefits to both parties Forgiveness Egoism
Helper wants a return for offering help
Negative state relief theory
(help to reduce your own distress)

Expects nothing in return for helping
Motivated by empathy Motivations for helping Ps recruited for a study on learning
One person is the Teacher, the other is the Learner
Rigged so that Mr. Wallace is learner
Procedure: Teacher shocks Learner for mistakes
Shocks  in 15 V increments to 450 (XXX)
How far will participant go? Milgram's study of obedience Can be influenced by group and individual differences
Decreases when:
Individuals receive feedback on resource levels
Communication & a salient group identity can also decrease hording
We’re less likely to hoard when we trust others in the group Hoarding Underbenefitted
Getting less than you deserve
Getting more than you deserve
Fairness requires balancing Fairness Reciprocity What factors
would influence your decision whether to help this person or not? Imagine you encounter a stranger who appears to have collapsed on the street…. Questions Prosocial behaviour vs. altruism
Why do we help?
Who helps whom?
When do we help?
Bystander help
Impact of receiving help
Increasing helping Overview Prosocial Behaviour
Lecturer: James Neill Social Psychology “Her Iraqi guards had long fled, she was being well cared for - and doctors had already tried to free her.” Jessica Lynch
(2003 rescue) Burnstein, Crandall, & Kitayama (1994)

Participants were asked to imagine scenarios like the following: Types of victims, helpers, and need Solomon Asch studies
(1955, 1956). Conformity Leader Acting in accord with orders from an authority figure Obedience Donating blood Self-interest
Social status
(e.g., to fairness)
Rule of law
Altruism Reasons why people engage in prosocial behaviour Largest philanthropic foundation in the world.
Aims to spend all of its ~$40 billion in the next 100 years. What is prosocial behaviour?
Example: Philanthropy A collaboratively edited encyclopedia.
 social
& knowledge capital. What is prosocial behaviour?
Example: Wikipedia Milgram’s Study Batson's approach Other’s
Distress Help to reduce
Other’s distress Act to reduce
Own distress
(help or escape) Altruistic
Motivation Egoistic
Motivation Empathy Distress Game Trophy Hog in the trough Wealth Cock on Dunghill Fame Moloch Game Glory or Victory Householder Game Raise family Art Game Beauty Science Game Knowledge Religion Game Salvation Master Game Awakening De Ropp’s Games For everyday help, people tended to help close relatives more than non-relatives None (acquaintances) Low (first cousins) Mod. (grand-parents) Degree of Relatedness 2.0 Tendency to Help High
(parents, siblings, children) 1.0 1.5 2.5 3.0 The decision process in Latane & Darley’s cognitive model Give help Decide what can be done Assume responsibility Define event as emergency Attend to what is happening + + + None (acquaintances) The difference became even more pronounced in life-or-death situations Low (first cousins) Mod. (grand-parents) Degree of Relatedness 2.0 Tendency to Help High
(parents, siblings, children) 1.0 1.5 2.5 3.0 Obligation to return in kind what another has done for us
Direct reciprocity: Helping someone who may help you later
Indirect reciprocity: Help someone; someone else helps you later
Willingness to request or accept help is often predicated on ability to return in kind. Found in all cultures
Found in animals
People are only willing to request or accept help if they think they can pay it back
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