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Social Psychology

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Title: Social Psychology


1
Social Psychology
6th edition
  • Elliot Aronson
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Timothy D. Wilson
  • University of Virginia
  • Robin M. Akert
  • Wellesley College
  • slides by Travis Langley
  • Henderson State University

2
Chapter 9
  • Group Processes
  • Influence in Social Groups

The only sin which we never forgive in each
other is difference of opinion. Ralph Waldo
Emerson Society and Solitude, 1870
3
  • Image ID 38625, Published in The New Yorker
    April 23, 1979

4
What Is a Group?
  • Group
  • Two or more people who interact and are
    interdependent in the sense that their needs and
    goals cause them to influence each other.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
5
Why Do People Join Groups?
  • Groups have a number of other benefits
  • Other people can be an important source of
    information, helping us resolve ambiguity about
    the nature of the social world.
  • Groups become an important part of our identity,
    helping us define who we are.
  • Groups also help establish social norms.

6
The Composition and Functions of Groups
  • Most groups have 2 to 6 members.
  • This is due in part to our definition of groups
    as involving interaction between members.
  • If groups become too large, you cannot interact
    with all the members.
  • Group members tend to be alike in age, sex,
    beliefs, and opinions.

7
The Composition and Functions of Groups
  • There are two reasons for the homogeneity of
    groups
  • Many groups tend to attract people who are
    already similar before they join.
  • Groups tend to operate in ways that encourage
    similarity in the members.

8
Social Norms
  • Social Roles
  • Shared expectations in a group about how
    particular people are supposed to behave.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
9
Social Norms
  • Social Roles
  • Shared expectations in a group about how
    particular people are supposed to behave.

There are potential costs to social roles. For
one thing, people can get so far into a role that
their personal identities and personalities get
lost.
Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
10
Zimbardos Prison Simulation
  • Zimbardo and colleagues randomly assigned male
    volunteers to play the roles or either guards or
    prisoners in a 2-week prison simulation
    experiment.

The students quickly assumed these rolesto such
an extent that the researchers ended the
experiment after only 6 days.
Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
11
Zimbardos Prison Simulation
  • Zimbardo and colleagues randomly assigned male
    volunteers to play the roles or either guards or
    prisoners in a 2-week prison simulation
    experiment.

The students quickly assumed these rolesto such
an extent that the researchers ended the
experiment after only 6 days.
Many of the guards became quite abusive, thinking
of creative ways of verbally harassing and
humiliating the prisoners. The prisoners became
passive, helpless, and withdrawn.
Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
12
Prison Abuse at Abu Ghraib
  • In 2004, it came to light that American military
    guards had been abusing prisoners in Abu Ghraib,
    a prison in Iraq.
  • A report written by U. S. Major General Taguba,
    who investigated the claims of abuse, documented
    numerous cases of physical beatings, sexual
    abuse, and psychological humiliation.
  • The American public was shocked by pictures of U.
    S. soldiers smiling as they stood in front of
    naked Iraqi prisoners, as if they were posing in
    front of local landmarks for the folks back home.

13
Prison Abuse at Abu Ghraib
  • Did a few bad apples happen to end up in the unit
    guarding the prisoners?
  • What's bad is the barrel, Zimbardo argued.

The military guards at Abu Ghraib were under
tremendous stress, had received little
supervision, and were asked to set their own
rules for interrogation.
Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
14
Prison Abuse at Abu Ghraib
  • Did a few bad apples happen to end up in the unit
    guarding the prisoners?
  • What's bad is the barrel, Zimbardo argued.

This is not to say that the soldiers should be
completely excused for their actions. The abuse
came to light when one of the guards reported
what was happening, and as in Zimbardos study,
there were some guards who treated the prisoners
well.
The military guards at Abu Ghraib were under
tremendous stress, had received little
supervision, and were asked to set their own
rules for interrogation.
15
Gender Roles
  • All societies have expectations about how people
    who occupy the roles of women and men should
    behave.

Source of images Microsoft Office Online.
16
Gender Roles
  • Changing roles cause conflict.
  • They can even affect our personalities.

Source of images Microsoft Office Online.
17
  • Womens ratings of assertiveness have mirrored
    societal trends
  • As womens role in the United States changed from
    independent to dependent, their ratings of
    assertiveness dropped.
  • Then, as they became more independent, their
    ratings of assertiveness increased.

18
Group Cohesiveness
  • Group Cohesiveness
  • Qualities of a group that bind members together
    and promote liking between members.

19
Group Cohesiveness
  • Group Cohesiveness
  • Qualities of a group that bind members together
    and promote liking between members.
  • The more cohesive a group is, the more its
    members are likely to
  • Stay in the group,
  • Take part in group activities, and
  • Try to recruit new like-minded members.

20
Group Cohesiveness
  • If a task requires close cooperation between the
    group members, such as a football team executing
    a difficult play, cohesiveness helps performance.
  • If maintaining good relations among group members
    seems more important than finding good solutions
    to a problem, however, cohesiveness can get in
    the way of optimal performance.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
21
Groups and Individuals Behavior
  • Do you act differently when other people are
    around?
  • Simply being in the presence of other people can
    have a variety of interesting effects on our
    behavior.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
22
Social Facilitation When the Presence of Others
Energizes Us
  • Social Facilitation
  • The tendency for people to do better on simple
    tasks and worse on complex tasks when they are in
    the presence of others and their individual
    performance can be evaluated.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
23
Social Facilitation When the Presence of Others
Energizes Us
  • The presence of others can mean one of two
    things
  • (1) Performing a task with co-workers who are
    doing the same thing you are, or
  • (2) Performing a task in front of an audience
    that is not doing anything but observing you.

24
Social Facilitation When the Presence of Others
Energizes Us
  • Dozens of studies have been done on the effects
    of the mere presence of other people, involving
    human beings as well as other species, such as
    ants and birds.
  • The findings of these studies are remarkably
    consistent
  • As long as the task is a relatively simple,
    well-learned oneas escaping a light is for
    cockroachesthe mere presence of others improves
    performance.

25
Social Facilitation When the Presence of Others
Energizes Us
  • In one of the first social psychology experiments
    ever done, Norman Triplett (1898) asked children
    to wind up fishing line on a reel, either by
    themselves or in the presence of other children.
  • They did so faster when in the presence of other
    children than when by themselves.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
26
Simple versus Difficult Tasks
  • When working on a more difficult task, however,
    the opposite pattern of results often occurs
  • A task can take longer to solve or perform when
    others are present than when performing alone.
  • Many studies have found that people and animals
    do worse in the presence of others when the task
    is difficult.

27
Arousal and the Dominant Response
  • In an influential article, Robert Zajonc (1965)
    offered an elegant theoretical explanation for
    why the presence of others facilitates a
    well-learned response but inhibits a less
    practiced or new response.
  • The presence of others increases physiological
    arousal (i.e., our bodies become more energized).
  • When such arousal exists, it is easier to do
    something that is simple but harder to do
    something complex or learn something new.

28
Arousal and the Dominant Response
  • In an influential article, Robert Zajonc (1965)
    offered an elegant theoretical explanation for
    why the presence of others facilitates a
    well-learned response but inhibits a less
    practiced or new response.
  • The presence of others increases physiological
    arousal (i.e., our bodies become more energized).
  • When such arousal exists, it is easier to do
    something that is simple but harder to do
    something complex or learn something new.

This phenomenon became known as social
facilitation The tendency to do better on
simple tasks and worse on complex tasks when are
in the presence of others and when individual
performance can be evaluated.
29
Why the Presence of OthersCauses Arousal
  • Researchers have developed three theories to
    explain the role of arousal in social
    facilitation
  • Other people cause us to become particularly
    alert and vigilant.
  • They make us apprehensive about how were being
    evaluated.
  • They distract us from the task at hand.

30
Why the Presence of OthersCauses Arousal
  • Other people cause us to become particularly
    alert and vigilant.
  • Because other people can be unpredictable, we are
    in a state of greater alertness in their
    presence.
  • This alertness, or vigilance, causes mild
    arousal.

31
Why the Presence of OthersCauses Arousal
  • They make us apprehensive about how were being
    evaluated.
  • When other people can see how you are doing, you
    feel like they are evaluating you.
  • Evaluation apprehension can cause mild arousal.

32
Why the Presence of OthersCauses Arousal
  • They distract us from the task at hand.
  • Divided attention produces arousal, as any parent
    knows who has ever tried to read the newspaper
    while his or her 2-year-old clamors for
    attention.
  • Consistent with this interpretation, nonsocial
    sources of distraction, such as a flashing light,
    cause the same kinds of social facilitation
    effects as the presence of other people.

33
Social Loafing When the Presence of Others
Relaxes Us
  • When people are in the presence of others,
    however, their individual efforts often cannot be
    distinguished from those of the people around
    them.
  • These situations are just the opposite of the
    kinds of social facilitation settings we have
    just considered.
  • In social facilitation, the presence of others
    puts the spotlight on you, making you aroused.
    But if being with other people means we can merge
    into a group, becoming less noticeable than when
    we are alone, then we should become relaxed.

34
Social Loafing When the Presence of Others
Relaxes Us
  • The question of how working with others would
    influence performance on such a task was first
    studied in the 1880s by a French agricultural
    engineer, Max Ringelmann (1913).
  • He found that when a group pulled on a rope, each
    individual exerted less effort than when doing it
    alone.

Social Loafing The tendency for people to do
worse on simple tasks but better on complex tasks
when they are in the presence of others and their
individual performance cannot be evaluated.
Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
35
  • Arousal enhances performance on simple tasks but
    impairs performance on complex tasks.
  • By the same reasoning, becoming relaxed impairs
    performance on simple tasksas we have just
    seenbut improves performance on complex tasks.

36
  • In a review of more than 150 studies of social
    loafing, the tendency to loaf was found to be
    stronger in men than in women.
  • Women tend to be higher than men in relational
    interdependence, which is the tendency to focus
    on and care about personal relationships with
    other individuals.
  • Perhaps it is this focus that makes women less
    likely to engage in social loafing when in groups.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
37
  • The tendency to loaf is stronger in Western
    cultures than Asian cultures, which may be due to
    the different self-definitions prevalent in these
    cultures.
  • Asians are more likely to have an interdependent
    view of the self, which is a way of defining
    oneself in terms of relationships to other
    people.
  • This self-definition may reduce the tendency
    toward social loafing when in groups.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
38
  • We should not, however, exaggerate these gender
    and cultural differences.
  • Women and members of Asian cultures do engage in
    social loafing when in groups.
  • They are just less likely to do so than men or
    members of Western cultures.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
39
Deindividuation Getting Lost in the Crowd
  • Deindividuation
  • The loosening of normal constraints on behavior
    when people cant be identified (such as when
    they are in a crowd), leading to an increase in
    impulsive and deviant acts.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
40
Deindividuation Getting Lost in the Crowd
  • Throughout history, there have been many examples
    of groups of people committing horrendous acts
    that no individual would do on his or her own
  • Massacre at My Lai during the Vietnam War.
  • Mobs of soccer fans sometimes attacking each
    other.
  • Hysterical fans at rock concerts who trampled
    each other to death.
  • Lynching of African Americans by people cloaked
    in the anonymity of white robes.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
41
Reason 1 Deindividuation Makes People Feel Less
Accountable
  • Deindividuation makes people feel less
    accountable for their actions because it reduces
    the likelihood that any individual will be
    singled out and blamed.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
42
Reason 2 Deindividuation Increases Obedience to
Group Norms
  • Meta-analysis of more than 60 studies found that
    becoming deindividuated increases the extent to
    which people obey the groups norms.

Meta-analysis of more than 60 studies found that
becoming deindividuated increases the extent to
which people obey the groups norms.
Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
43
Deindividuation
  • Deindividuation does not always lead to
    aggressive or antisocial behavior.

It depends on what the norm of the group is.
Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
44
Deindividuation in Cyberspace
  • Before blogs and internet chat rooms became
    popular, angry readers could have written letters
    to the editor or vented feelings to coworkers at
    the water cooler.
  • Their discourse would have likely been more civil
    than that of people who now post comments on
    blogs, in no small part because people are not
    anonymous in these settings.
  • (Most newspapers require people to sign letters
    to the editor.)

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
45
Deindividuation in Cyberspace
  • The internet has provided new ways in which
    people can communicate with each other
    anonymously.
  • Just as research on deindividuation predicts, in
    these settings people often feel free to say
    things they would never dream of saying if they
    could be identified.
  • There are advantages to free and open discussion
    of difficult topics, but the cost seems to be a
    reduction in common civility.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
46
Group DecisionsAre Two (or More) Heads Better
Than One?
  • Most important decisions in the world today are
    made by groups because it is assumed that groups
    make better decisions than individuals.

In general, groups will do better than
individuals if they rely on the person with the
most expertise and are stimulated by each others
comments.
Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
47
Group DecisionsAre Two (or More) Heads Better
Than One?
  • Most important decisions in the world today are
    made by groups because it is assumed that groups
    make better decisions than individuals.

In general, groups will do better than
individuals if they rely on the person with the
most expertise and are stimulated by each others
comments.
Several factors can cause groups to make worse
decisions than individuals.
48
Process Loss When Group Interactions Inhibit
Good Problem Solving
  • One problem is that a group will do well only if
    the most talented member can convince the others
    that he or she is right.
  • You undoubtedly know what its like to try to
    convince a group to follow your idea, be faced
    with opposition and disbelief, and then have to
    sit there and watch the group make the wrong
    decision.

49
Process Loss When Group Interactions Inhibit
Good Problem Solving
Process Loss Any aspect of group interaction that
inhibits good problem solving.
  • Process loss can occur for a number of reasons
  • Groups might not try hard enough to find out who
    the most competent member is.
  • The most competent member might find it difficult
    to disagree with everyone else.
  • Communication problems can arise.

50
Failure to Share Unique Information
  • Groups tend to focus on the information they
    share and ignore facts known to only some members
    of the group.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
51
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52
Failure to Share Unique Information
  • Subsequent research has focused on ways to get
    groups to focus more on unshared information
  • Group discussions should last long enough to get
    beyond what everyone already knows.
  • Another approach is to assign different group
    members to specific areas of expertise so that
    they know that they alone are responsible for
    certain types of information.

53
Transactive Memory
  • Transactive Memory
  • The combined memory of two people that is more
    efficient than the memory of either individual.

In sum, the tendency for groups to fail to share
important information known to only some of the
members can be overcome if people learn who is
responsible for what kinds of information and
take the time to discuss these unshared data.
Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
54
Groupthink Many Heads, One Mind
  • Groupthink
  • A kind of thinking in which maintaining group
    cohesiveness and solidarity is more important
    than considering the facts in a realistic manner.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
55
Groupthink Many Heads, One Mind
  • According to Irving Janis's (1972, 1982) theory,
    groupthink is most likely to occur when certain
    preconditions are met, such as when the group is
  • Highly cohesive,
  • Isolated from contrary opinions, and
  • Ruled by a directive leader who makes his or her
    wishes known.

56
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57
Avoiding the Groupthink Trap
  • A wise leader can take several steps to avoid
    groupthink
  • Remain impartial,
  • Seek outside opinions,
  • Create subgroups,
  • Seek anonymous opinions.

58
Group Polarization Going to Extremes
  • Group Polarization
  • The tendency for groups to make decisions that
    are more extreme than the initial inclinations of
    its members.
  1. According to the persuasive arguments
    interpretation, all individuals bring to the
    group a set of arguments, some of which other
    individuals have not considered, supporting their
    initial recommendation.
  2. According to the social comparison
    interpretation, when people discuss an issue in a
    group, they first check out how everyone else
    feels.

59
Leadership in Groups
  • Great Person Theory
  • The idea that certain key personality traits make
    a person a good leader, regardless of the
    situation.

Source of image Microsoft Office Online.
60
Leadership and Personality
  • Numerous studies have found weak relationships
    between personality and leadership abilities.
  • Compared to nonleaders, leaders tend to be
    slightly more
  • intelligent
  • extraverted
  • confident
  • charismatic
  • socially skilled
  • driven by desire for power
  • open to new experiences
  • less neurotic

61
Leadership and Personality
  • What is most telling, however, is the absence of
    strong relationships.
  • Surprisingly few personality characteristics
    correlate strongly with leadership effectiveness.
  • The relationships that have been found tend to be
    modest.

62
Leadership Styles
  • Transactional Leaders
  • Leaders who set clear, short-term goals and
    reward people who meet them.

Transformational Leaders Leaders who inspire
followers to focus on common, long-term goals.
63
The Right Person in the Right Situation
  • A leader can be highly successful in some
    situations but not in others.
  • A comprehensive theory of leadership thus needs
    to focus on characteristics of the leader, the
    followers, and the situation.

Contingency Theory of Leadership The idea that
leadership effectiveness depends both on how
task-oriented or relationship-oriented the leader
is and on the amount of control and influence the
leader has over the group.
64
The Right Person in the Right Situation
  • The contingency theory of leadership argues there
    are two basic leader types

Task-Oriented Leader A leader who is concerned
more with getting the job done than with workers
feelings and relationships.
Relationship-Oriented A leader who is concerned
primarily with workers feelings and
relationships.
65
The Right Person in the Right Situation
  • Task-oriented leaders do well in
  • High-control work situations Leader-subordinate
    relationship are excellent the work is
    structured and well defined.
  • Low-control work situations Leader-subordinate
    relationships are poor the work needing to be
    done is not clearly defined.
  • Relationship-oriented leaders are most effective
    in
  • Moderate-control work situations The wheels are
    turning fairly smoothly, but some attention to
    the squeakiness caused by poor relationships and
    hurt feelings is needed.

66
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67
Gender and Leadership
  • There is a double bind for women leaders
  • If they conform to societal expectations about
    how they ought to behave, by being warm and
    communal, they are often perceived as having low
    leadership potential.
  • If they succeed in attaining a leadership
    position and act in ways that leaders are
    expected to actnamely, in agentic, forceful
    waysthey are often perceived negatively for not
    acting like a woman should.

68
CONFLICT COOPERATION
  • Often, however, people have incompatible goals,
    placing them in conflict with each other.
  • This can be true of individuals, groups,
    companies, nations.

69
Social Dilemmas
  • Social Dilemma
  • A conflict in which the most beneficial action
    for an individual will, if chosen by most people,
    have harmful effects on everyone.

70
Social Dilemmas
  • Prisoners dilemma In this game, two people have
    to choose one of two options without knowing what
    the other person will choose.
  • Your payoffthe amount of money you win or
    losedepends on the choices of both you and your
    friend.
  • For instance, if both you and your friend choose
    option X, you both win 3. If, however, you
    choose option Y and your friend chooses option X,
    you win 6 and your friend loses 6.

71
Increasing Cooperation inthe Prisoners Dilemma
  • People are more likely to adopt a cooperative
    strategy that maximizes both their profits and
    their partners if
  • Playing the game with a friend, or
  • They expect to interact with their partner in the
    future.

72
Increasing Cooperation inthe Prisoners Dilemma
  • Growing up in some societies, such as Asian
    cultures, seems to foster a more cooperative
    orientation.
  • Changing the name of the game from the Wall
    Street Game to the Community Game increased
    the percentage of people who cooperated from 33
    to 71 in one study.

73
Increasing Cooperation inthe Prisoners Dilemma
  • Tit-for-Tat Strategy
  • A means of encouraging cooperation by at first
    acting cooperatively but then always responding
    the way your opponent did (cooperatively or
    competitively) on the previous trial.

74
Other Kinds of Social Dilemmas
  • Public Goods Dilemma
  • A social dilemma in which individuals must
    contribute to a common pool in order to maintain
    the public good.

Commons Dilemma A social dilemma in which
everyone takes from a common pool of goods that
will replenish itself if used in moderation but
will disappear if overused.
75
Using Threats to Resolve Conflict
  • A classic series of studies by Morton Deutsch and
    Robert Krauss (1960, 1962) indicates that threats
    are not an effective means of reducing conflict.
  • They had two participants at a time imagine they
    each controlled a truck company, with each
    company slowed down by the others use of the
    same one-lane road.
  • (See illustration on next page.)

76
After a while, most of them worked out a solution
that allowed both trucks to make a modest amount
of money. They took turns crossing the one-lane
road.
77
  • In another version of the study, the researchers
    gave Acme a gate that could be lowered over the
    one-lane road, thereby blocking Bolt from using
    that route. You might think that using forcethe
    gatewould increase Acmes profits, because all
    Acme had to do was to threaten Bolt to stay off
    the one-lane road or else. In fact, quite the
    opposite happened. When one side had the gate,
    both participants lost more than when neither
    side had the gate.

78
Negotiation and Bargaining
  • Negotiation
  • A form of communication between opposing sides in
    a conflict in which offers and counteroffers are
    made and a solution occurs only when both parties
    agree.

Integrative Solution A solution to conflict
whereby parties make trade-offs on issues
according to their different interests each side
concedes the most on issues that are unimportant
to it but important to the other side.
79
  • The bottom line?
  • When negotiating with someone, keep in mind that
    integrative solutions are often available.
  • Try to gain the other sides trust, and
    communicate your own interests in an open manner.
  • Remember that the way you construe the situation
    is not necessarily the same as the way the other
    party construes the situation.
  • You may well discover the other side communicates
    its interests more freely as a result, increasing
    the likelihood that you will find a solution
    beneficial to both parties.

80
Social Psychology
6th edition
  • Elliot Aronson
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Timothy D. Wilson
  • University of Virginia
  • Robin M. Akert
  • Wellesley College
  • slides by Travis Langley
  • Henderson State University
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