Conformity: Person changes attitude or behavior on his/her own to fulfill social norms
Compliance: Person changes attitude or behavior in response to another's direct request
Obedience: Person obeys a direct order from another to perform an action
Three-fourths of participants (76%) went along with the group at least once
Subjects followed incorrect majority on 37% of trials
What is going on here? True private attitude change or mere compliance?
Experiment redone under public and private conditions
What did they find?
Mere compliance or what is aka public conformity
What factors impact mere compliance/public conformity?
Expertise: Greater perceived expertise, greater conformity (Aronson's Portuguese biochemist example)
Attraction/ Similarity: The more attraction/similarity a person feels toward the group, the greater the conformity (Aronson's Portuguese biochemist example)
Group size: Conformity increases with unanimous agreement of three people, but then levels off
Group size beyond Asch: Minorities have since been shown to exert influence on conformity.
Minorities effective when they are
- do not come across as dogmatic or rigid in views
- espouse views consistent with what is currently "popular" or "correct"
Minorities appear to exert influence under these conditions, because their view stimulates more attention to, and thought about, the issue at hand
- Attention is a key factor here. Majorities exert most influence when they do something that appears "disagreeable;" out of synch. Minorities exert their influence when they endorse a more agreeable point of view.
How most people behave in a situation (descriptive norms)
How one ought to behave in a situation (injunctive or prescriptive norm)
How were these norms operating in Asch-type experiment?
Descriptive ones: Well, everyone does it so it mustn't be so bad (diverts attention from fact that others really are behaving in an undesirable manner)
Injunctive ones: Well, if everyone is behaving this way, this it must be the right/proper way to behave
Injunctive norms seem to be really powerful in contexts in which antisocial behavior is likely. Modeling appropriate behavior in these cases in really effective. Littering example (people follow role model who picks up litter). How would this apply to following speed limits on freeway? In school zones?
Descriptive norms appear effective in a more immediate sense and seem not to generalize in their impact. You go with the flow in the immediate modeling environment but not beyond.
Normative social influence: Need to be liked, accepted by others
Informational social influence: Need to be correct; to behave in accordance with reality
Some people are very reactive to infringements upon their individuality or need to be in control. Think about this in terms of reactance notion.
Principle 1: Friendship/Liking
Many tactics used hereIngratiation: if someone likes one, they are more apt to agree with your request.
Self-enhancement: if you look good, use appealing nonverbal or paralinguistic behavior, people will come to like your request as well! (think of classical conditioning)
Enhancing the other: flattery will get you places; gifts and favors work too
Principle 2: Commitment and Consistency: Classics!Foot-in-the-door: Small request => granted => followed by larger (target) request (donation example)
Lowballing: You agree to attractive offer => followed by a less attractive offer => you feel inclined to agree (Not used effectively on Tamara by the Chevrolet dealership)
Bait-and-switch: Items are on sale that are out of stock/unavailable or of obviously poor quality => you go find the ones that are in stock or of better quality (everyone must've had this happen to them at nationwide chains; no names please)
Principle 3: ScarcityHard to Get: Item prized as rare => you desire it even more
Deadline: A limited time offer => you want it now!
Principle 4: ReciprocityDoor-in-the-face: Large request => denied => followed by the smaller (target) request. (Used effectively on Tamara by a Girl Scout)
That's not all: Offer coupled with supposed added benefits (get two; get the additional carpet cleaner) before you've decided to commit to offer
Foot-in-mouth: Target gets you to feel like you're in a relationship => you feel more obliged to comply with subsequent request
Principle 5: Social ValidationBy complying with request, this validates you as a worthy social being. Used by charitable organizations
Principle 6: Appeals to AuthorityWell, so and so also likes this product, agrees with this attitude. Implication: You're nuts if you don't
Usually refers to people's willingness to obey direct requests or commands. People will often obey those who are in authority over them. Even though less prevalent than conformity or compliance, still a type of behavior that is cause for concern. It is only less prevalent because authority figures often choose means of influence other than direct requests.
Examples considered today:Mountain Meadows Massacre
Background to Milgram's interest in this area
What did he find in his classic study?65% were completely obedient, delivering most intense shocksWhy?Situation stressful; fast-paced commands issued
Demands only gradually escalated
Was a "visible" authority figure (back then)
Authority "admitted" that he had responsibility
Factors reducing obedienceProximity of victim (placing victim's hand on shock delivery mechanism reduced obedience rate to 30%, which is still a high #!)
Authority value of command issuer
Presence of disobedient models
Impressing upon people that consequences are their responsibility
Teach that unquestioning obedience is dangerous
Earlier research: Yes. F > M. Why? Consider the nature of the tasks used. Consider relative status aspects of the situation.
Later research: No. Major exception: Women will conform more to avoid hurting other people's feelings or outcomes; they also tend to conform more in public situations (shades of Asch)
Why the difference? Changing gender roles?
© Copyright 2004 Tamara J Ferguson (with many thanks and kudos to Heidi Eyre)
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