Social Influences On The Individual (Ambra)

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Chapter 9 Psychology
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Social Influences On The Individual (Ambra)

Annotations:

  • In psychology, the term social influence is used to refer to the ways in which others influence our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. 
1 Social Influences

Annotations:

  • Social influence is defined as the effects of the presence or actions of others, either real or imagined, on the way people think, feel and behave. 
1.1 Real / Imagined Pressure

Annotations:

  • Real Pressure: for example, your parents say that you must achieve an A on your next maths test in order to go to a friend's upcoming party Imagined Pressure: (it does not actually occur, but it is still experienced as real pressure). For example, if your principal is said to be standing outside your classroom, your would behave in a different manor to if she were not.
1.2 Group

Annotations:

  • Any collection of two or more people who interact and influence one another and who share a common purpose. (E.g. students participating in a group activity).
1.3 Collective (Aggregate)

Annotations:

  • A gather of people in the same location, engaed in a common activity who have minimal direct interaction. (E.g. a crowd at a concert)
1.4 Power

Annotations:

  • An individual's (or group's) ability to control or influence the thoughts, feelings or behaviour of another person (or group). 
1.4.1 Ziambardo 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment

Attachments:

1.4.1.1 Role Expectation

Annotations:

  • A role is the behaviour adopted by an individual or assigned to them that influences the way in which they function or act in different situations and life in general. Role expectations have a strong influence on an individual's behaviour within a group, expecially when their role provides considerable amounts of status and power. (see next notes)
  • The SPE demonstrated Role Expectation: when ordinary men were assigned their designated roles, due to their perceived expectations of that character, their behaviour was affected.
1.4.1.2 Real-Life Prisoner Abuse at Abu Ghraib 2004
1.4.2 Reward Power

Annotations:

  • Ability to give positive consequences or remove negative consequences in response to specific behaviour. 
1.4.3 Coercive Power

Annotations:

  • Ability to give negative consequences or remove positive consequences in response to specific behaviour. 
1.4.4 Legitimate Power
1.4.5 Referent Power

Annotations:

  • Individuals identify with, or want to be like, or liked, by this person. 
1.4.6 Expert Power

Annotations:

  • Having special knowledge and skills that are desirable or needed.   
1.4.7 Informational Power

Annotations:

  • Having resources that are useful and are not available elsewhere.   
1.5 Status

Annotations:

  • The importance of an individual's position in the group, as perceived by members of the group
2 Conformity

Annotations:

  • 'Conformity' is the tendency to adjust one's thoughts, feelings and behaviour in ways that are in agreement with those of a particular group or individual, or with accepted standards about how a person should behave in certain situations (social norms). 
2.1 Factors Affecting Conformity
2.1.1 Group Size
2.1.2 Unanimity
2.1.3 Informational Influence
2.1.4 Normative Influence
2.1.5 Culture
2.1.6 Social Loading
2.1.7 Deindividuation
2.1.8 Asch 1951 Conformity Experiment

Attachments:

3 Obedience

Annotations:

  • Obedience occurs when we follow the commands of someone with authority, or the rules or laws of our society. (see next notes for /compliance/)
  • 'Compliance' involves changing one's behaviour in response to a request to do so, it does not necessarily involve an authority figure.
3.1 Factors Affecting Obedience
3.1.1 Milgram 1963 Obedience To Authority Experiment

Annotations:

  • Social Proximity: Milgram found that, the closer the learner (‘victim’) was to the teacher (person administering the shock), the more likely the teacher was to refuse to administer the shock. (see next note other factors)
  • Legitimacy of Authority Figures:   In one variation of his original experiment, Milgram (1974) set up a situation in which the experimenter received a fake telephone call that required him to leave the laboratory. 80% of 'teachers' did not obey because the authority figure was gone. 
  • Group Pressure: Milgram observed this effect of group pressure by placing the teacher with two confederate teachers. Initially, the two confederates pretended to collaborate by agreeing to follow the shock administration procedure. Then, they pretended to defy the experimenter and refused to administer shocks after the 150 volt to 210 volt range. After the participant observed this disobedience, the confederates turned to the participant and ordered them to administer the shock. Almost 90 per cent refused to do so.     

Attachments:

3.1.2 Social Proximity

Annotations:

  • 'Social proximity' refers to the closeness between two or more people.   This may include the physical distance between the people as well as the closeness of their relationship.   (See map notes of Milgram's experiment)
3.1.3 Legitimacy of Authority Figure

Annotations:

  • An individual is also more likely to be obedient when the authority figure is perceived as being legitimate and having power. Also, visable signs of authority (such as a lab coat or military uniform) enables us to identify and denote who is higher and who is lower, as it is a clear visable sign of authority. (see map notes of Milgram's experiment)      
3.1.4 Group Pressure

Annotations:

  • An individual is also more likely to be obedient where there is little or no group support for resisting the authority figure.   (see map notes on Milgram's experiment)
3.1.5 Obedience in Cults and Sects

Annotations:

  • Cult: a group which claims to have a great devotion to some person, idea or object. It usually has a religious basis and there is a living, charismatic and influential leader who is often seen as the ‘guiding spirit’ behind the religious beliefs and practices of the group.  Sect: a group that follows a particular set of principles, beliefs and practices and which has a separate identity within a larger group or organisation. A sect is generally a faction (breakaway group) within the larger group and is often not formally recognised by the larger group.
4 Group Influences On Behaviour
4.1 Peer Group

Annotations:

  • A 'peer group' is usually made up of people who have similar interests, do the same sorts of things and often associate or interact with one another. 
4.1.1 Peers

Annotations:

  • 'Peer' refers to anyone who has one or more characteristics or roles in common with one or more other individuals, such as age, sex, occupation, or social group membership.
4.1.2 Friends

Annotations:

  • 'Friendship' involves a positive relationship between two or more people who usually rwgard or treat each other in similar ways
4.1.3 Clique

Annotations:

  • A 'clique' refers to a relitively small group of friends of a similar age and generally of the same gender. For example: when an adolescent speaks of "my friends" or "my mates" or "the girls" or "the guys" or uses some other collective noun of this kind, they are usually referring to a 'friendship clique'. (see next note page for 'friendship clique')
  • A friendship clique refers to an interaction - based on grouping of peers who 'hang around' together and may be close friends or just friends. 
4.2 Peer Pressure

Annotations:

  • 'Peer pressure' is a social influence by peers; that is, real or imagined pressure to think, feel or behave according to standards, or 'guidelines' that are determined by peers.  (Next pga enotes: categories peer pressure occurs in)
  • Peer social activities: (e.g. concerns and school events; spending time with friends) Misconduct: (e.g drug and alcohol use; sexual activity) Conforming to peer norms: (e.g. academic matters, such as school work; music preferences) Family issues: (relationships with parents; relationships with siblings)
  • Adolescents experiences a subtler, but not less intense, form of peer pressure from others, and this originates from the desire to 'fit in' or feel accepted by following peer norms. The more an individual wants to be a member of a group, the harder is it to resist peer pressure. 
4.2.1 Girls vs Boys

Annotations:

  • Girls: more pressure to be socially active, dress and grooming, and in their relationship with boys Boys: more pressure to be socially active, to drink, engage sexual activity, and do drugs
4.2.2 Age

Annotations:

  • Research findings indicate that people betwen the age of 11 - 16 are more likely to be influenced by peer pressure. This peeks at age 14 and declines thereafter. However, anti-scoail behaviour resulting from peer-pressure tends to peek a bit later, during middle adolescence, and then declining. This research suggests that peer pressure affects adolescents more than any other age group. 
4.3 Risk Taking Behaviour

Annotations:

  • Risk-taking behaviour is behaviour that has potential negative consequences and can harm the individual's psychological wellbeing and/or physical health in some way. The harm may range from embarrassment or minor injury through to long term trauma or death. Risk-taking may have positive consequences. 
4.3.1 Types of Risks
4.3.1.1 Thrill-Seeking

Annotations:

  • Thrill-Seeking: behaviours that are challenging but are relatively socially acceptable. (E.g. dangerous sports and experimenting with sexuality)
4.3.1.2 Reckless

Annotations:

  • Reckless: behaviours that are often thrill-seeking but have a shigher chance of not being accepted by adult population, and have negative social or health-related outcome. (E.g. drining and driving, unprotected sex, and sharing needles)
4.3.1.3 Rebellious

Annotations:

  • Rebellious: behaviours involve experimenting with activities that are usually acceptable for adults but are generally disapproved of for adolescents. (E.g. drinking, smoking, and staying out late)
4.3.1.4 Anti-Social

Annotations:

  • Anti-Social: behaviours are those considered unacceptable for both adults and adolescents. (E.g. cheating, over-eating, and bullying)
4.3.1.5 Other Factors That Contribute to Inappropriate Risk-Taking

Annotations:

  • Age, sex, gender, persoonality type, mental health (e.g. whether you are depressed or not), family background, culture background, perceived positive outcome of risky behaviour, the level of maturity or development of the brain, and ability to judge the level risk or potential harm associated with a risk-taking activity.
4.3.2 Positive and Negative Risk-Taking

Annotations:

  • Negative Risk-Taking: behaviour that has potentially harmful outcome and that are reckless, rebellious or anti-social, such as having unprotected sex, drug use and binge drinking.   Positive Risk-Taking: behaviours that involve positive risks, such as taking a stand on something believed to be right despite popular opinion, and behaviours that tend to have a healthy outcome rather than unhealthy, such as increasing self-esteem and self-confidence.  However, they are considered 'risk-taking' because they're may be potential consequences (social costs, physical costs or physical costs).
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