self esteem | help with psychology homework (2023)

Social Introduction


There once was a man whose second wife was a vain and selfish woman. This woman's two daughters were equally vain and selfish. The man's own daughter, however, was meek and unselfish. This

sweet and kind daughter we all know as Cinderella, learned early

do as they're told, put up with mistreatment and insults, and

avoid putting your stepsisters and mother in the shade.

But, thanks to her fairy godmother, Cinderella was able to do just that.

Escape her situation for one night and go to a big ball where she

attracted the attention of a handsome prince. when love knocks

Prince later met Cinderella in her humiliating home, he

I couldn't see her.

Incredible? The fairy tale demands that we embrace power

the situation. In the presence of her oppressive stepmother, Cinder

she was modest and unattractive. At the ball, Cinderella felt more

beautiful - and walked, talked and smiled as if she were. On a

situation, she crouched down. In the other she loved it.

JEAN-PAUL SARTRE French philosopher and novelist (1946)

He had no problem accepting the Cinderella premise. we the people

they are "mostly beings in a situation", he wrote. "We can't be different

shaped by our situations, because they shape us and determine our options

Bonds” (pp. 59-60, paraphrased).

What is social psychology?

What are the big ideas of social psychology?

How do human values ​​affect social psychology?

I knew all along: Is social psychology just common sense?

Research methods: how do we do social psychology?

Addendum: Why I Wrote This Book

4 Chapter 1

social psychologyThe scientific study of how people think, influence, and relate to one another.

In this book, sources of information are cited in parentheses. For the complete source, see the reference section starting on page R-1.

FIGURE :: 1.1 Social psychology is .. .

WHAT IS SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Define social psychology and explain what it does.

Social psychology is a science that studies the influences of our situations, with a particular focus on how we see and affect each other. More specifically, it is the scientific study of how people think, influence, and relate to one another (Figure 1.1).

Social psychology is on the border between psychology and sociology. Compared to sociology (the study of people in groups and societies), social psychology focuses more on individuals and is more experimental. Compared to personality psychology, social psychology focuses less on differences between individuals and more on how individuals generally view and affect each other.

Social psychology is still a young science. The first experiments in social psychology were reported just over a century ago, and the first social psychology texts did not appear until around 1900 (Smith, 2005). It wasn't until the 1930s that social psychology took its current form. It wasn't until World War II that it began to develop into the vibrant field that it is today. And it was only from the 1970s onwards that social psychology experienced rapid growth in Asia, first in India, then in Hong Kong and Japan, and more recently in China and Taiwan (Haslam & Kashima, 2010).

Social psychology examines our thinking, influences, and relationships, asking questions that intrigue us all. here are some examples:

• Does our social behavior depend more on the objective situations we face or on how we interpret them? Social beliefs can be self-fulfilling. For example, happily married people will attribute their spouse's scathing comment ("Can't you put that in the right place?") to something external ("She must have had a frustrating day"). Unhappily married people will attribute the same comment to a petty temper ("Is he always hostile?") and may respond with a counterattack. Furthermore, they may act resentfully anticipating their spouse's hostility, thus eliciting the expected hostility.

• Would people be cruel when given orders? How did Nazi Germany engineer and implement the ruthless killing of 6 million Jews? These errors occurred in part because thousands of people followed orders. They put the prisoners on trains, put them in crowded "showers" and poisoned them.

Introduction to social psychology

Social psychology is the scientific study of...

social thinking

• How we perceive ourselves and others

• What we believe • Our judgments • Our attitudes

social influence

• Culture • Pressure to conform • Power of persuasion • Groups of people I

Social RelationsPrejudice

AggressionAttraction and Intimacy Helps

Introduction to Social Psychology Chapter 1 5

them with gas How can people get involved in such terrible events? Were these people normal people?, asked Stanley Milgram (1974). So he created a situation where people were ordered to administer increasing amounts of electric shocks to someone who was struggling to learn a set of words. As discussed in Chapter 6, nearly two-thirds of the participants fully met the requirements.

• Help? Or to help yourself? When bags of money fell from an armored truck one fall day, they spilled $2 million down a street in Columbus, Ohio. Some drivers stopped to help and returned $100,000. Judging by the $1,900,000 that went missing, many more stopped to help themselves. (What would you have done?) When similar incidents occurred in San Francisco and Toronto a few months later, the results were the same: most of the money was taken by passers-by (Bowen, 1988). What situations lead people to be helpful or greedy? Do some cultural contexts, perhaps villages and small towns, attract more help?

All of these issues have to do with how people view and affect each other. And that's what social psychology is about. Social psychologists examine attitudes and beliefs, conformity and independence, love and hate.



Tired of looking at the stars. Professor Mueller deals with social psychology. Reprinted with permission from Jason Love at

Identify and describe the central concepts of social psychology.

In many academic fields, the results of tens of thousands of studies, the conclusions of thousands of researchers, and the ideas of hundreds of theorists can be boiled down to a few central ideas. Biology offers us natural selection and adaptation. Sociology is based on concepts such as structure and social organization. Music explores our ideas of rhythm, melody and harmony.

Likewise, social psychology has a short list of basic principles that are worth remembering long after most of the details have been forgotten. My short list of "big ideas we should never forget" includes these (Figure 1.2), which we'll explore in more detail in subsequent chapters.

We Construct Our Social Reality Humans have an overwhelming need to explain behavior, attribute it to a cause, and therefore make it seem orderly, predictable, and controllable. You and I may react differently to a situation because we think differently. How we react to a friend's insult depends on whether we attribute it to hostility or a bad day.

A 1951 football game between Princeton and Dartmouth provided a classic demonstration of how we construct reality (Hastorf & Cantril, 1954; see also Toy & Andrews, 1981). The game fulfilled its role as a spiteful game; it was rough and dirty. A Princeton All-American was tackled by a gang, piled on, and finally kicked out of the game with a broken nose. Fist fights ensued and there were more injuries on both sides. The whole performance barely fits the Ivy League's image of niceness.

Shortly thereafter, two psychologists, one from each school, showed films of the game to students on each campus. Students played the role of scientific observers, noting each violation as they observed it and who was responsible.

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6 Chapter 1 Introduction to Social Psychology

Sott'®Big Ideas in Social Psychology^

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1. We build our social reality

2. Our Social Intuitions Are Powerful, Sometimes Dangerous

3. Attitudes shape and are shaped by behavior

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But they couldn't give up their loyalty. For example, Princeton students saw twice as many rapes in Dartmouth as Dartmouth students. In short: there is an objective reality, but we always look at it through the lens of our beliefs and values.

We are all intuitive scientists. We explain human behavior, often with enough speed and accuracy to meet our everyday needs. When a person's behavior is consistent and distinctive, we attribute that behavior to their personality. For example, if you see someone repeatedly making derogatory comments, you might conclude that that person has a nasty temper and later try to avoid it.

Our beliefs about ourselves also play a role. Do we have an optimistic view? Do we see ourselves as owners of things? Do we see ourselves as relatively superior or inferior? Our responses influence our emotions and actions. How we interpret the world and ourselves is important.

Our social intuitions are often strong, but sometimes dangerous. Our immediate intuitions shape our fears (is flying dangerous?), impressions (can I trust him?) and relationships (does he like me?). Intuitions influence presidents in times of crisis, players at the table, juries assess guilt, and hiring managers select candidates. Such intuitions are common.

In fact, psychological science is revealing a fascinating unconscious, intuitive mind behind the scenes that Freud never told us about. More than psychologists realized until recently, thinking takes place behind the scenes, out of sight. Our intuitive abilities are revealed through studies of what will be explained in later chapters: 'automatic processing', 'implicit memory', 'heuristics', 'inference from spontaneous features', immediate emotions and non-verbal communication. Thinking, memory and attitudes operate on two levels: one

Introduction to Social Psychology Chapter 1 7

conscious and intentional, the other unconscious and automatic. Researchers today call this "dual processing". We know more than we know that we know. We think on two levels: "intuitive" and "intentional" (Kruglanski & Gigerenzer, 2011). The title of a book by Nobel laureate in psychology Daniel Kahneman (2011) captures the idea: We think, fast and slow.

Intuition is huge, but intuition is also dangerous. For example, as we glide through life, mostly on autopilot, we intuitively judge the likelihood of things by how easily different instances come to mind. We carry readily available mental images of plane crashes. As a result, most people are more afraid of flying than they are of driving, and many drive long distances to avoid risking the sky. In fact, we are several times safer (per mile flown) in a commercial airliner than in a motor vehicle (in the United States, air travel was 170 times safer between 2005 and 2007, reports the National Safety Council [2010]). .

Even our intuitions about ourselves are often wrong. We intuitively trust our memories more than we should. We misinterpret our own thoughts; in experiments we deny being affected by things that affect us. We misjudge our own feelings: how bad we'll feel a year from now if we lose our job or our relationship ends, and how good we'll feel a year or even a week after we win our state job lottery. And we often misjudge our own future. When it comes to clothing choices, people approaching middle age still buy tight-fitting clothing (“I hope to lose a few pounds”); Rarely does anyone say more realistically, "It's better to buy a relatively loose fit; people my age tend to put on weight."

Thus, our social intuitions are remarkable both for their powers and their dangers. By reminding us of the gifts of intuition and warning us of its dangers, social psychologists aim to strengthen our thinking. In most situations, snappy “quick and frugal” judgments serve us well. But in other cases where accuracy matters, like when we need to fear the right things and spend our resources accordingly, the best way to control our impulsive intuitions is through critical thinking. Our intuitions and unconscious processing of information are powerful and sometimes dangerous.

Social Influences Shape Our Behavior As Aristotle said long ago, we are social animals. We speak and think with words we learn from others. We yearn to connect, belong, and be accepted. Matthias Mehl and James Pennebaker (2003) quantified the social behavior of their University of Texas students by asking them to bring microrecorders and microphones. Once every 12 minutes during his waking hours, the computerized recorder imperceptibly recorded for 30 seconds. Although the observation period only extended to weekdays (including class time), students spent nearly 30% of their time talking. Relationships are a big part of being human.

As social beings, we respond to our immediate contexts. Sometimes the power of a social situation leads us to act against our expressed attitudes. Indeed, powerfully evil situations sometimes outweigh good intentions, leading people to tolerate lies or submit to atrocities. Under the influence of the Nazis, many decent people became instruments of the Holocaust. Other situations can inspire great generosity and compassion. After a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, Japan was flooded with offers of help.

"He didn't really threaten me, but I perceived him as a threat. *

Social cognition is important. Our behavior is influenced not only by the objective situation, but also by how we interpret it. © Lee Lorenz/The New Yorker Collection/

8 Chapter 1 Introduction to Social Psychology

The power of situation is also dramatically displayed in different attitudes towards same-sex relationships. Tell me if you live in Africa or the Middle East (where most don't like these relationships), or Western Europe, Canada or Australia/New Zealand and I'll give you a reasonable estimate of how you feel about these relationships. I will be even more confident in my guess knowing your educational level, the age of your age group and the media you watch. Our situations matter.

Our cultures help define our situations. For example, our standards for speed, frankness, and attire vary across cultures.

• Whether you prefer a slim or voluptuous figure depends on when and where you live in the world.

• Whether you define social justice as equality (everyone gets the same) or fairness (who earns more gets more) depends on whether your ideology is more socialist or capitalist.

• Whether you are expressive or reserved, informal or formal depends in part on your culture and ethnicity.

• Whether you focus primarily on yourself (your personal needs, desires, and morals) or your family, clan, and community groups depends on how much of a product of modern Western individualism you are.

Social psychologist Hazel Markus (2005) put it succinctly: "People are malleable above all else." In other words, we adapt to our social context. Our attitudes and behavior are shaped by external social forces.

Personal attitudes and dispositions also shape behavior. Internal forces also play a role. We are not passive weeds, simply blown to and fro by the social winds. Our internal attitudes influence our behavior. Our political attitudes influence our voting behavior. Our attitude towards smoking influences our susceptibility to peer pressure to smoke. Our attitude towards the poor influences our willingness to help them. (As we'll see, our attitude also follows our behavior, leading us to believe strongly in the things we've committed ourselves to or suffered for.)

Personality dispositions also affect behavior. In the same situation, different people may react differently. A person emerging from years of political imprisonment exudes bitterness and seeks revenge. Another, like the South African Nelson Mandela, seeks reconciliation and unity with his former enemies. Attitudes and personality influence behavior.

Social behavior has biological roots Social psychology in the 21st century provides us with ever-increasing insights into the biological basis of our behavior. Many of our social behaviors reflect deep biological wisdom.

Anyone who has taken an introductory psychology course has learned that nature and nurture combine to make us who we are. Since the area of ​​a rectangle is determined by both its length and its width, biology and experience together create us. As evolutionary psychologists remind us (see Chapter 5), our inherited human nature predisposes us to behave in ways that helped our ancestors survive and reproduce. We carry the genes of those whose traits allow them and their children to survive and reproduce. Our behavior also aims to send our DNA into the future. So evolutionary psychologists ask how natural selection might influence our actions and responses when we go out and mate, hate and hurt, nurture and share. Nature also gives us an enormous ability to learn and adapt to different environments. We are sensitive and responsive to our social environment.

9Introduction to Social Psychology Chapter 1

If every psychological event – ​​every thought, every emotion, every behavior – is also a biological event, then we can also study the neurobiology that underlies social behavior. What areas of the brain enable our experiences of love and contempt, helpfulness and aggression, perception and belief? As some research suggests, do extroverts need more stimulation to keep their brains sharp? Socially confident people respond more than shy people to a friendly face in an area of ​​the brain dedicated to rewards? How do the brain, mind and behavior work as a coordinated system? What does the timing of brain events reveal about how we process information? These questions are being asked by advocates of social neuroscience (Cacioppo et al., 2010; Klein et al., 2010).

Social neuroscientists do not reduce complex social behaviors, such as helping and hurting, to simple neural or molecular mechanisms. His point is this: to understand social behavior, we must consider both subcutaneous (biological) and intercutaneous (social) influences. The mind and body are one big system. Stress hormones affect how we feel and act: a dose of testosterone lowers confidence, oxytocin increases it (Bos et al., 2010). Social ostracism raises blood pressure. Social support strengthens the immune system that fights disease. Toilets are bio-psycho-social organisms. We reflect the interplay of our biological, psychological, and social influences. And so psychologists today study behavior at these different levels of analysis.

Social psychology principles apply to everyday life Social psychology has the potential to illuminate your life and reveal the subtle influences that guide the way you think and act. And, as we'll see, it offers many insights into how to get to know each other better, how to win friends and influence people, how to turn clenched fists into open arms.

Holars also apply social psychological insights. The principles of social thinking, social influence, and social relationships have implications for human health and well-being, for courtroom trials and juries, and for influencing behaviors that enable an environmentally sustainable human future.

As only one perspective on human existence, psychological science does not answer life's fundamental questions: What is the meaning of human life? What should our goal be? What is our final destination? But social psychology gives us a way to ask and answer some extremely interesting and important questions. Social psychology is all about life: your life: your beliefs, your attitudes, your relationships.

The rest of this chapter takes us to social psychology. First, let's consider how social psychologists' own values ​​influence their work in obvious and subtle ways. And so let's turn to the main task of this chapter: taking a look at how we do social psychology. How do social psychologists seek explanations for social thinking, social influence, and social relationships? And how could you and I use these analytical tools to think smarter?

Social NeuroscienceAn interdisciplinary field that explores the neural basis of social and emotional processes and behaviors, and how these processes and behaviors affect our brain and our biology.

In this book, a brief summary concludes each major section. I hope these summaries help you to assess how well you've learned the material in each section.

ABSTRACT: What are the big ideas of social psychology? Social psychology is the scientific study of how people think, influence, and relate to one another. Its central themes include:

• How we construct our social worlds • How our social intuitions guide and sometimes

fool us

• How our social behavior is shaped by other people, our attitudes and personalities, and our biology.

• How the principles of social psychology apply to our daily lives and other areas of study.

10 Chapter 1 Introduction to Social Psychology


Identify the ways in which values ​​invade the work of social psychologists.

Social psychology is less a collection of ideas than a set of strategies for answering questions. Personal opinions are not allowed in the academy or on the court. When ideas go to trial, the evidence decides the verdict.

But are social psychologists really that objective? Because you are human, don't your values, your personal beliefs about what is desirable and how people should behave, not flow into your work? If so, can social psychology really be scientific?

There are two general ways that values ​​enter psychology: the obvious and the subtle.

Different sciences offer different perspectives.

Obvious ways for values ​​to infuse psychological values ​​come into play when social psychologists select research topics. These choices often reflect social history (Kagan, 2009). It was no accident that the study of prejudice flourished in the 1940s, when fascism was rampant in Europe; that the 1950s, a time of the same fashions and intolerance of divergent opinions, brought us studies on conformism; that interest in aggression increased in the 1960s with riots and rising crime rates; that the feminist movement of the 1970s helped spur a wave of research on gender and sexism; that the 1980s paid more attention to the psychological aspects of the arms race; and that the 1990s and early 21st century were marked by increased interest in how people respond to cultural, racial, and sexual orientation diversity. Susan Fiske (2011a) suggests that we can assume that future research will reflect the issues of today and tomorrow, including Immigration

tion, income inequality and aging

tures In Europe, people are proud of their nationality. The Scots are more confidently distinguished from the English, and the Austrians from the Germans, than the Michigan neighbors from the Ohioans. Consequently, Europe has given us an important theory of "social identity", while American social psychologists have focused more on individuals: how a person thinks about others, is influenced by them, and relates to others. with them (Fiske, 2004; Tajfel, 1981; Turner, 1984). Australian social psychologists drew on theories and methods from both Europe and North America (Feather, 2005).

Values ​​also influence the types of people attracted to different disciplines (Campbell, 1975a; Moynihan, 1979). Are there noticeable differences between humanities, arts, natural sciences, and social sciences students at your school? Do social psychology and sociology attract people who are relatively eager to challenge tradition – for example, people who tend to shape the future rather than preserve the past? And does the study of the social sciences encourage such trends (Dambrun & others, 2009)? Such factors explain why, when psychologist Jonathan Haidt (2011) surveyed approximately 1,000 social psychologists

At a national convention about his policies, 80 to 90% raised their hands to indicate they were "liberal". When he asked about "conservatives"

Introduction to social psychology

three hands raised (Be assured that most of the topics discussed in this text, from "How do our attitudes influence our behavior?" to "Does TV violence influence aggressive behavior?" are nonpartisan.)

Finally, values ​​obviously come into play as an object of analysis in social psychology. Social psychologists study how values ​​are formed, why they change, and how they affect attitudes and actions. However, none of this tells us which values ​​are "correct".

Less obvious values ​​creep into psychology We are less likely to recognize the subtle ways in which values ​​compromise masquerade as objective truth. What are three not-so-obvious ways that values ​​enter psychology?

THE SUBJECTIVE ASPECTS OF SCIENCE Scientists and philosophers agree: science is not purely objective. Scientists don't just read the book of nature. Instead, they interpret nature with their own mental categories. In our daily lives, we also look at the world through the lens of our preconceptions. Whether we see a light moving across the sky like a flying saucer or a face in pie crust depends on our perception. Reading these words, you didn't realize that you are also looking at your nose. Your mind blocks something that exists from perceiving if you were just predisposed to perceiving. This tendency to anticipate reality based on our expectations is a fundamental fact of the human mind.

As scholars working in a given field often share a common point of view or come from the same culture, their assumptions cannot be questioned. What we take for granted, the shared beliefs that some European social psychologists call our social representations (Augustinos & Innes, 1990; Moscovici, 1988, 2001), are often our most important but least studied beliefs. Sometimes, however, someone outside the camp calls attention to these assumptions. During the 1980s, feminists and Marxists exposed some of the unproven assumptions of social psychology. Feminist critics have drawn attention to subtle biases, for example, the political conservatism of some scholars who favored a biological interpretation of gender differences in social behavior (Unger, 1985). Marxist critics have drawn attention to competitive and individualistic biases, for example, the assumption that conformity is bad and individual rewards are good. Marxists and feminists, of course, make their own assumptions, as critics of academic political correctness like to point out. For example, social psychologist Lee Jussim (2005) argues that progressive social psychologists sometimes feel compelled to deny group differences and assume that stereotypes of group differences never have their roots in reality, but they always have their roots in the racism.

In Chapter 3, we'll discuss other ways in which our biases guide our interpretations. As Princeton and Dartmouth football fans remind us, our behavior has less to do with the situation as it is and more to do with the situation as we interpret it.

PSYCHOLOGICAL CONCEPTS CONTAIN HIDDEN VALUES Implicit in our understanding that psychology is not objective is the recognition that psychologists' own values ​​can play an important role in the theories and judgments they hold. Psychologists can label people as mature or immature, well-adjusted or maladjusted, mentally healthy or mentally ill. They may speak as if they are stating facts when, in fact, they are making value judgments. Here are some examples: DEFINITION OF GOOD LIFE Values ​​influence our idea of ​​how to live better. Personality psychologist Abraham Maslow, for example, was known for his delicate descriptions of "self-actualizing" people, people who, after their needs for survival, security, belonging, and self-esteem are met, realize their full human potential. . He depicted Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt, among others. Few readers noticed that Maslow, guided by his own values, self-selected his sample of self-actualizing people. The resulting description is self-fulfilling

Chapter 1 11










Culture Enduring behaviours, ideas, attitudes and traditions shared by a large group of people and passed down from generation to generation.

Social Representations Generalized ideas and values ​​of a society, including cultural assumptions and ideologies. Our social representations help us make sense of our world.

12 Chapter 1 Introduction to Social Psychology

Hidden (and not-so-hidden) values ​​creep into psychological counseling. Popular psychology books pervade, offering guidance on how to live and love.

Personalities such as spontaneous, autonomous, mystical, etc., reflected Maslow's personal values. If he had started with someone else's heroes, say Napoleon, Alexander the Great, and John D. Rockefeller, his resulting description of self-realization would have been different (Smith, 1978).

PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING Psychological counseling also reflects the counselor's personal values. When mental health professionals advise us on how to get along with our spouse or co-workers, when parenting experts tell us how to get along with our children, and when some psychologists advocate living without regard for the expectations of others , there is pressure for them to do so. personal values. (In Western cultures, these values ​​are typically individualistic: they promote what's best for "me". Non-Western cultures often promote what's best for "us".) Many people are unaware of these hidden values ​​and become aware. to "professional". But professional psychologists cannot answer questions about ultimate moral obligation, purpose, direction, and meaning in life.

CONCEPT FORMATION Hidden values ​​creep into even research-based psychology concepts. Imagine that you took a personality test and, after evaluating your answers, the psychologist announces to you: “You have achieved high self-esteem. You have little fear. And you have exceptional ego strength.” "Ah," you think, "I thought so, but good to know." Now another psychologist gives you

a similar test that asks some of the same questions. After that, the Psychologist will tell you that you seem defensive because you had a high Suppression score. "How is it possible?" you wonder "The other psychologist said such nice things about me." It could be because these labels all describe the same reactions (a tendency to say nice things about yourself and not acknowledge the problems). Do we call this high self-esteem or defensiveness? The label reflects the verdict.

LABELING Thus, value judgments are often hidden in our psychosocial language, but also everyday language:

• If we describe a silent child as "shy" or "cautious", "reserved" or "observant", it conveys judgment.

• Whether you call someone involved in guerrilla warfare a "terrorist" or a "freedom fighter" depends on your perspective on the matter.

• Whether we view civilian deaths during war as "loss of innocent life" or "collateral damage" affects our acceptance of them.

• Calling public assistance “welfare” or “helping those in need” reflects our political views.

• When “they” praise their country and its people, that is nationalism; if "we" do it, it's patriotism.

• Whether someone involved in an extramarital affair practices “open marriage” or “adultery” depends on personal values.

• “Brainwashing” is a social influence we do not tolerate. • "Perversions" are sexual acts that we don't do.

As these examples show, values ​​are hidden in our cultural definitions of mental health, in our psychological life advice, in our psychological concepts and labels. In this book, I will draw your attention to other examples of hidden values. The point is never that implicit values ​​are necessarily bad. The point is that scientific interpretation, even at the level of labeling phenomena, is a human activity. It is therefore inevitable that prior beliefs and values ​​will influence the thinking and writing of social psychologists.

Introduction to Social Psychology Chapter 1 13

Should we reject science because it has its subjective side? On the contrary: the very realization that human thinking always includes interpretation is why we need researchers with different biases to carry out scientific analyses. By constantly comparing our beliefs to the facts, we repress our prejudices. Systematic observation and experimentation help us refine the lens through which we view reality.

ABSTRACT: How do human values ​​affect social psychology?

• Social psychologists' values ​​permeate their work in obvious ways, such as: B. the choice of research topics and the types of people attracted to different areas of study.

• They also do this in more subtle ways, such as: B. Their hidden assumptions when forming concepts, choosing labels, and giving advice.

• This infiltration of values ​​into science is no reason to criticize social psychology or any other science. The fact that human thinking is rarely dispassionate is exactly why we need systematic observation and experimentation when we want to compare our cherished ideas with reality.

I've always known: Is social psychology just common sense?

Explore how social psychology theories provide new insights into the human condition.

Many of the conclusions presented in this book may have already occurred to you, since social psychological phenomena are all around you. We constantly observe how people think, influence and relate to each other. It pays to recognize what a facial expression reveals, how to get someone to do something or whether you consider another person a friend or a foe. Philosophers, novelists, and poets have observed and commented on social behavior for centuries.

Does this mean that social psychology is just common sense in fancy words? Social psychology faces two conflicting criticisms: first, that it is trivial because it documents the obvious; second, that it is dangerous because its results can be used to manipulate people.

Chapter 7 examines the second criticism. Let us examine here the first objection. Does social psychology and the other social sciences just formulate something?

Do you already know intuitively? Writer Cullen Murphy (1990) took this view: “Social scientists go out into the world every day. Day after day they discover that people's behavior is more or less what is expected.” Nearly half a century earlier, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. (1949) responded with similar contempt to studies by social scientists of American soldiers in World War II. Sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld (1949) reviewed these studies and offered an example with interpretive comments, some of which I paraphrase:

1. Better-trained soldiers had more trouble adapting than less-trained soldiers. (The intellectuals were less equipped to deal with stress than the smart guys.)

2. The southern soldiers coped better with the hot climate of the South Seas island than the northern soldiers. (Southerns are more used to warm weather.)

14 Chapter 1 Introduction to Social Psychology

Hindsight bias The tendency, after experiencing an outcome, to exaggerate one's ability to anticipate how something turned out. Also known as the I knew phenomenon.

3. White soldiers wanted more promotion than black soldiers. (Years of repression put pressure on achievement motivation.)

4. Blacks in the south preferred white officers from the south to those from the north. (Southern officers were more experienced and skilled in dealing with blacks.)

As you read these results, do you agree that they were basically common sense? If so, you might be surprised to learn that Lazarsfeld said, "Each of these statements is directly opposite to what was actually found." In fact, studies have found that less educated soldiers were less adaptable. Southerners weren't adapting any more to a tropical climate than northerners. Blacks wanted better promotion than whites, and so on. "Had we mentioned the actual research results first [as Schlesinger learned], the reader would have labeled them 'obvious' as well.

One problem with common sense is that we invoke it after knowing the facts. Events are much more "obvious" and predictable in hindsight than before. Experiments show that when people are told the result of an experiment, that result suddenly does not seem surprising, much less surprising than to people who are simply informed about the experimental procedure and possible outcomes (Slovic and Fischhoff, 1977).

Likewise, in everyday life, we often expect something to happen when it does. Then all of a sudden we clearly see the forces that caused the event and we are not surprised. In addition, we can also remember our previous view (Blank et al., 2008; Nestler et al., 2010). Mistakes in assessing the predictability of the future and remembering our past lead to hindsight bias (also known as the I-know-it-all phenomenon).

After elections or changes in the stock market, most commentators don't find the change surprising: "The market needed to correct itself." After the 2010 Gulf oil spill, it seemed obvious that BP officials had taken some shortcuts, ignored warnings and that government oversight was lax. As the Danish philosopher and theologian Soren Kierkegaard said, "Life is lived from the front, but understood from the back."

If hindsight bias is pervasive, you might feel like you already knew about this phenomenon. In fact, almost any conceivable outcome of a psychological experiment can seem like common sense once you know the outcome.

You can demonstrate the phenomenon yourself. Take a group of people and tell half of them a psychological discovery and the other half the opposite. For example, say half like this:

Social psychologists have found that whether we're making friends or falling in love, we're most attracted to people whose characteristics are different from our own. The old adage "opposites attract" seems wise.

In hindsight, the events seem obvious and predictable.

Tell the Other Half: Social psychologists have found that whether we're making friends or falling in love, we're most attracted to people whose traits are similar to our own. There seems to be wisdom in the old saying, "Birds of a feather flock together."

First, ask people to explain the result. Then ask them to say if it's "amazing" or "not amazing". Virtually everyone will find a good explanation for the given result and say "not surprising".

In fact, we can use our stockpile of proverbs to make almost any outcome make sense. When a social psychologist reports that a breakup increases romantic attraction, John Q. Public responds, “Do you get paid for this? Everyone knows that 'absence makes the heart beat'”.

It turns out that separation weakens attraction, John will say, "My grandmother could have told you, 'Out of sight, out of mind'."

Introduction to Social Psychology Chapter 1 15

FocusON I knew all along

Cullen Murphy (1990), editor-in-chief of At/ant/c, criticized "sociology, psychology, and other social sciences for too often recognizing the obvious or asserting the mundane." His own casual examination of the findings of the social sciences "produced no insight or conclusion not found in Bartetts or any other encyclopedia of citations." However, to filter out competing spells, we need to do some research. Consider some mourning proverbs:

1$ It is more true that... we should keep an eye on them

Price. Many cooks spoil the broth. The pen is mightier than the sword. You cannot teach an old dog anything new.

tricks Blood is thicker than water. Anyone who doubts is lost. Forewarned is armed.

Karl Teigen (1986) must have laughed a little when he asked students at the University of Leicester (England) to rank true proverbs and their opposites. Most found the saying “fear is stronger than love” to be true. But so did the students who were given the reverse form: "Love is stronger than fear." Likewise, the true proverb "He who has fallen cannot help the one who is below" was highly valued; but it was also "He who has fallen can help him who is below." My favorites, however, were two highly prized proverbs: "Wise men make proverbs and fools repeat them" (authentic) and their made-up equivalent "Fools make... proverbs and wise men repeat them." For more mourning sayings, see Focus On: I Knew It All Along.

Hindsight bias poses a problem for many psychology students. Sometimes the results are really surprising (for example, Olympic bronze medalists find more joy in their performance than silver medalists). Most of the time, when you read the results of experiments in his books, the material seems simple, even obvious. If you take a multiple-choice test that requires you to choose between several plausible conclusions, the task can become surprisingly difficult. "I don't know what happened," the confused student moans later. "I thought I knew better."

The “I already knew it all” phenomenon can have unfortunate consequences. It encourages arrogance, an overestimation of our own intellectual powers. Because the results seem predictable, we blame decision makers for "obviously" bad decisions in hindsight, instead of praising them for good decisions that also seem "obvious".

Beginning on the morning of 9/11 and looking back, signs emerged that pointed to impending catastrophe. A US Senate investigative report listed clues that were overlooked or misinterpreted (Gladwell, 2003): The CIA knew that Al Qaeda operatives had entered the country. An FBI agent sent a memo to headquarters that began "advising the Bureau and New York of the possibility of a coordinated effort by Osama bin Laden to send students to the United States to attend civil aviation colleges and universities." The FBI ignored this precise warning and did not link it with other reports that terrorists planned to use airplanes as weapons. The President received a daily report entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack America" ​​and went on vacation. "Stupid fools!" it seemed to critics in hindsight. "Why couldn't they connect the dots?"

But what seems clear in hindsight is rarely clear in front of history. The intelligence community is being flooded with "noise": reams of useless information surrounding the few bits of useful information. Therefore, analysts need to be selective about what they track and only when a lead is tracked does it have a chance to link to another lead. in the 6 years

Or that... We should keep our noses out

Whetstone. Two heads are better than one, actions speak louder than words. You are never too old to learn.

Many relatives, few friends. Look before you leap. Do not cross the bridge until

come for it

16 Chapter 1 Introduction to Social Psychology











Before 9/11, the FBI's counterterrorism unit could never have tracked down the 68,000 uninvestigated leads. In hindsight, the useful few are now obvious.

After the 2008 global financial crisis, it seemed obvious that government regulators should have taken steps to protect against the banks' unfortunate lending practices. But what was evident in hindsight was not anticipated by US regulator Alan Greenspan, who was "in a state of shock and disbelief" at the economic collapse.

Sometimes we blame ourselves for making "stupid mistakes", perhaps for not handling a person or situation better. Looking back, we see how we should have handled it. "I should have known how busy I would be at the end of the semester and started working earlier." But sometimes we are too hard on ourselves. We forget that what is obvious to us now was not so obvious then. .

Doctors, given the patient's symptoms and cause of death (as determined by autopsy), sometimes wonder how an incorrect diagnosis could have been made. Other clinicians, looking only at the symptoms, find that the diagnosis is not so obvious (Dawson et al., 1988). Would grand juries be slower to find wrongdoing if they were forced to adopt a prospective rather than a retrospective perspective?

What do we conclude, that common sense is often wrong? Sometimes it is. Other times, conventional wisdom is right or it falls on both sides of an issue. Does happiness come from knowing the truth or from maintaining illusions? Being together with others or living in peaceful solitude? There are opinions like sand in the sea. No matter what we find, there will be someone who predicted it. (Mark Twain joked that Adam was the only person who, when he said something nice, knew that no one had said it before.) But which of the many competing ideas best fits reality? Research can specify the circumstances under which a general truism is valid.

The point is not that common sense is predictably wrong. Instead, common sense is usually right, in hindsight. Therefore, it is easy to deceive ourselves into believing that we know more than we know and knew. Which is exactly why we need science to help us separate reality from wishful thinking and true predictions from mere hindsight.

SUMMARY: I knew all along: Is social psychology just common sense?

• Social psychology is criticized as trivial. • This hindsight bias (the phenomenon of knowing everything because you document things that seem obvious) often makes people arrogant.

. However, experiments show that the results are the validity of their judgments and predictions that are "more evident" when the facts are known.


I Exploring the methods that make social psychology a science. We have seen some of the intriguing questions that social psychology seeks to answer. We have also seen how subjective processes, often unconscious, influence the work of social psychologists. Now let's see how social psychologists conduct their research.

Introduction to Social Psychology Chapter 1 17

In their quest for knowledge, social psychologists propose theories that structure their observations and involve testable hypotheses and practical predictions. To test a hypothesis, social psychologists can conduct research that predicts behavior using correlation studies, usually conducted in natural settings. Or they try to explain behavior by performing experiments that manipulate one or more factors under controlled conditions. They can then look for ways to apply their knowledge to improve people's daily lives.

We are all amateur social psychologists. People-watching is a universal pastime. When we observe people, we form ideas about how they think, influence and relate to each other. Professional social psychologists do the same thing, only more systematically (forming theories) and more carefully (often with experiments that create little social dramas that establish cause and effect).

Hypothesis Formulation and Testing Social psychologists find it difficult to think of anything more fascinating than human existence. As we struggle with human nature to uncover its mysteries, we organize our ideas and views into theories. A theory is an integrated set of principles that explain and predict observed events. Theories are scientific shortcuts.

In everyday conversation, "theory" often means "less than fact," an intermediate rung on a ladder of confidence that leads from conjecture to theory to fact. Therefore, people may dismiss Charles Darwin's theory of evolution as "just a theory". Indeed, Alan Leshner (2005), director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, observes: "Evolution is only a theory, but so is gravity." if you drop the keys, they will fall to the floor. Gravity is the theoretical explanation of such observed facts.

To a scientist, facts and theories are apples and oranges. Facts are agreed statements about what we observe. Theories are ideas that summarize and explain facts. "Science is built on facts like a house on stones," wrote the French scientist Jules Henri Poincaré, "but a collection of facts is no more science than a pile of stones is a house."

Theories not only summarize but also involve testable predictions, the so-called hypotheses. Hypotheses serve several purposes. First, they allow us to test a theory by suggesting how we might try to falsify it. Second, predictions give research direction, sometimes sending researchers looking for things they may never have thought of. Third, the predictive property of good theories can also make them practical. For example, a complete theory of aggression would predict when to expect aggression and how to control it. As pioneering social psychologist Kurt Lewin explained, "There's nothing more practical than a good theory."

Think about how this works. Suppose we observe that people who loot, provoke, or attack often do so in groups or crowds. Thus, we could theorize that belonging to a crowd or group makes individuals feel anonymous and lowers their inhibitions. How could we test this theory? Perhaps (I'm playing with this theory) we can design a lab experiment that simulates aspects of running an electric chair. What if we asked individuals in groups to administer punitive shocks to an unfortunate victim?

"Nothing has anything like








Theory An integrated set of principles that explain and predict observed events.

Hypothesis A testable proposition that describes a relationship that may exist between events.

For people, people are the most fascinating subject.® V/arren Mil[ef/The New Yorker Collection/www.cartoonbankxom

18 Chapter 1 Introduction to Social Psychology

Field research Investigation in natural and real environments outside the laboratory.

correlation research The study of natural relationships between variables.

Experimental Research Studies that seek evidence of cause and effect relationships by manipulating one or more factors (independent variables) while controlling others (keeping them constant).

not knowing which member of the group actually electrocuted the victim? Would these people generate stronger shocks than people acting alone, as our theory predicts?

We could also manipulate anonymity: would people shock more if they wore masks? If the results confirm our hypothesis, they may suggest some practical applications. Perhaps police brutality could be reduced if officers wore large badges and drove cars marked with large numbers of people, or filmed their arrests, practices that have become common in many cities.

But how do we conclude that one theory is better than another? a good theory

• summarizes many observations effectively, and • makes clear predictions that we can use

• confirm or modify theory, • stimulate new research, and • suggest practical applications.

When we reject theories, it's usually not because they've been proven wrong. Instead, like old cars, they are being replaced with newer and better models.

Correlation Investigation: Discovering Natural Associations Now let's go behind the scenes and see how social psychology is done. This behind-the-scenes look should be enough for you to appreciate the results discussed below. Understanding the research rationale can also help us to think critically about everyday social events.

Social psychology research varies by location. It can occur as laboratory research (controlled situation) or as field research (everyday situations). And it varies depending on the method, whether it's correlational (asking whether two or more factors are naturally related) or experiential (manipulating one factor to see its effect on another). If you want to be a critical reader of psychological research reported in the media, it pays to understand the difference between correlational research and experimental research.

First, let's consider the advantages of correlational research (which often involves important variables in natural settings) and its main disadvantage (ambiguous interpretation of cause and effect). As we will discuss in Chapter 14, contemporary psychologists associate personal and social factors with human health. In search of possible links between socioeconomic status and health, Douglas Carroll, George Davey Smith and Paul Bennett (1994) ventured into the ancient cemeteries of Glasgow, Scotland. As a measure of health, they looked at the life expectancy of 843 people using headstones. As an indication of status, they measured the height of the tomb pillars, arguing that height reflected cost and therefore wealth. As Figure 1.3 shows, larger headstones were associated with longer lives for men and women.

Carroll and colleagues report that other researchers, using contemporary data, have confirmed the correlation between status and longevity. The Scottish postcode regions with the lowest levels of overcrowding and unemployment also have the highest life expectancy. In the United States, income is correlated with longevity (poor and low-status people are at greater risk of premature death). In contemporary Britain, professional status is correlated with longevity. One study followed 17,350 British civil servants for 10 years. Compared to senior managers, they were 1.6 times more likely to die when they were professionals or top executives. Office workers were 2.2 times more likely to die than factory workers and 2.7 times more (Adler et al., 1993, 1994). At all times and places, the correlation between state and health appears to be reliable.

CONTEXT AND CAUSE The issue of status longevity illustrates the most irresistible fallacy committed by amateur and professional social psychologists: when two factors, such as

Introduction to Social Psychology Chapter 1 19

Low Medium High Height of tomb pillars

FIGURE :: 1.3 Correlation of Status and Longevity Tall funerary pillars commemorated people who also tended to live longer.

Fitness and health go hand in hand, it's tempting to conclude that one causes the other. Status, we can presume, somehow protects a person from health risks. But could it also be the other way around? Does health promote vitality and success? Perhaps people who live longer simply have more time to accumulate wealth (allowing them to have more expensive tombstones). Or might a third variable like diet (wealthy and working-class people tend to eat differently) play a role? Correlations indicate a relationship, but that relationship is not necessarily one of cause and effect. Correlation research allows us to make predictions, but it cannot tell us whether changing one variable (eg, social status) will lead to changes in another (eg, health).

The confusion between correlation and causation underlies much of the confused thinking in popular psychology. Consider another very real correlation: between self-esteem and academic performance. Children with high self-esteem tend to do well in school. (As with any correlation, we can also say the opposite: high performers tend to have high self-esteem.) Why do you think this is so (Figure 1.4)?

Some people believe that having a "healthy self-concept" contributes to performance. Therefore, strengthening a child's self-image can also improve academic performance. In this belief, 30 US states have enacted over 170 self-improvement laws.

But others, including psychologists William Damon (1995), Robyn Dawes (1994), Mark Leary (1999), Martin Seligman (1994, 2002) and Roy Baumeister with John Tierney (2011), question whether self-esteem really is " the armour". 'protect children' from failure (or from substance abuse and crime). Maybe it's the other way around: maybe problems and failures cause low self-esteem. Perhaps self-esteem often reflects the reality of how

Memorial stones in the cemetery of Glasgow Cathedral.

20 Chapter 1 Introduction to Social Psychology

FIGURE: 1.4 Correlation and Causality When two variables are correlated, any combination of three explanations is possible. Either can cause the other, or both can be affected by an underlying "third factor".



health status

it works for us. Perhaps self-esteem grows from hard-won accomplishments. Do it right and you'll feel good; screw up and fail and you'll feel like an idiot. A study of 635 Norwegian students showed that a row of (legitimately earned) gold stars next to the name on the spelling chart and praise from an admiring teacher can boost a child's self-esteem (Skaalvik & Hagtvet, 1990). Or perhaps, as in a study of almost 6,000 German seventh-grade students, the transition between self-esteem and academic performance goes both ways (Trautwein & Lüdtke, 2006).

It is also possible that self-esteem and achievement are correlated, as both are related to underlying intelligence and family social status. This possibility was raised in two studies: one with a national sample of 1,600 young Americans and another with 715 young people from Minnesota (Bachman and O'Malley, 1977; Maruyama et al., 1981). When the researchers mathematically removed the predictive power of intelligence and marital status, the relationship between self-esteem and achievement disintegrated.

Correlations use a coefficient known as r to quantify the degree of relationship between two factors, from -1.0 (as the value of one factor increases, the other decreases) to 0 to -t-1.0 (the values of the two factors increase and decrease ). ) . together). Self-esteem and depression test scores are negatively correlated (around -0.6). Identical twins' intelligence scores are positively correlated (above +0.8). The great power of correlational research is that it often takes place in real-world settings, where we can study factors such as race, gender, and social status—factors that we cannot manipulate in the laboratory. Its biggest disadvantage lies in the ambiguity of the results. This point is so important that it's worth repeating 26 times, even if it doesn't impress people the first 25 times they hear it: Knowing that two variables change together (correlated) allows us to predict one when we know the other, but the A correlation does not specify cause and effect.

However, advanced correlation techniques can suggest cause and effect relationships. Lagged correlations show the sequence of events (eg, indicate whether the change in performance most often precedes or follows the change in self-esteem). Researchers can also use statistical techniques that extract the influence of "confounding" variables, such as when the correlation between self-esteem and achievement evaporated after extracting intelligence and marital status. Recall our earlier mention of a third variable, such as B. diet. So the Scottish research team wondered whether the relationship between status and longevity would survive if the effect of smoking, which is now much less common in people of higher status, were removed. Yes, suggesting that some other factors such as

Increased stress and reduced feelings of control may also explain early mortality among the poorest people.

RESEARCH RESEARCH How do we measure variables like state and health? One possibility is to interview representative samples of people. If research researchers wish to describe an entire population (which is not the goal of much psychological research), then by drawing a random sample they obtain a representative group in which everyone in the population being tested has an equal chance of being tested. included. With this approach, each subgroup of people (blondes, athletes, liberals) will tend to be represented in the survey to the same extent as it is represented in the general population.

Whether we are interviewing people in one city or across the country, 1,200 randomly selected participants will give us 95% confidence in describing the entire population with an error rate of 3 percentage points or less. Imagine a giant jar full of beans, 50% red and 50% white. Try 1200 of them at random and you'll have a 95% chance of getting 47-53% red beans, it doesn't matter if the pot contains 10,000 beans or 100 million beans. If we think of the Red Beans as supporting one presidential candidate and the White Beans as supporting the other candidate, we can understand why the Gallup polls, taken just before the US national election, skewed per cent of the election results. Just as a few drops of blood can speak for the whole body, a sample can speak for a population.

Remember that polls don't literally predict votes; they merely describe public opinion at the time of their inclusion. Public opinion can change. When evaluating surveys, we must also consider four potentially biased influences: unrepresentative samples, question order, answer choices, and question wording.

NON-REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLES The precision with which the sample represents the studied population is of great importance. In 1984, columnist Ann Landers took on a letter writer's challenge to ask her readers if women value affection over sex. Her question: "Would you be content to be hugged tightly and lovingly and forget about 'the act'?" Of the more than 100,000 women who responded, 72% said yes. A deluge of worldwide publicity followed. In response to criticism, Landers (1985, p. 45) admitted that “the sample may not be representative of all American women. But it does provide honest and valuable information from a cross section of the public.

Chapter 1 21

Exit polls also require a random (and therefore representative) sample of voters.

Sampling method Research method in which all people in the population under investigation have an equal chance of being accepted.

22 Chapter 1 Introduction to Social Psychology

The SRC Survey Services Laboratory at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan interviewed Carrels using monitoring stations. Employees and visitors must sign an agreement to maintain the strict confidentiality of all interviews.

read by people from all walks of life, around 70 million of them.” Still, one wonders: are the 70 million readers representative of the entire population? And is the 1 out of 700 readers who bothered to answer the survey representative of the 699 out of 700 who are not?

The importance of representativeness was effectively demonstrated in 1936, when a weekly news magazine appeared. Literary Digest, sent a postal survey to 10 million Americans about the presidential election. Among over 2 million returns, Alf Landon won a landslide victory over Franklin D. Roosevelt. When the actual votes were counted a few days later, Landon won only two states. The magazine only sent the poll to people whose names were obtained from telephone directories and car registrations, ignoring millions of voters who could not afford a telephone or a car (Cleghom, 1980). We also need to address other sources of bias, such as the order of questions in a survey. American support for gay and lesbian cohabitation increases when first asked about their views on same-sex marriage, versus which cohabitation appears to be a more acceptable alternative (Moore, 2004a, 2004b). the answer options. When Joop van der Plight and others (1987) asked British voters what percentage of British energy they wanted to come from nuclear energy, the average preference was 41%. They asked other voters what percentage came from (1) nuclear power, (2) coal, and (3) other sources. The average preference for nuclear energy among these respondents was 21%. FORMULATION OF QUESTIONS The exact wording of the questions can also influence the answers. One poll found that only 23% of Americans thought their government was spending too much "to help the poor". Even so, 53 percent thought the government was spending too much "on welfare" (Time, 1994). Likewise, most people support cutting “foreign aid” and increasing spending “to help hungry people in other countries” (Simon, 1996).

Ballot boxes are a very sensitive subject. Even subtle changes in the tone of a question can have significant effects (Krosnick & Schuman, 1988; Schuman & Kalton, 1985). "Forbid" something can be the same as "don't allow". But in 1940, 54% of Americans said the United States should "ban" anti-democratic speech, and 75% said the United States "should not allow it." Even when people say they care a lot about a topic, the form and wording of a question can influence their response.

Introduction to Social Psychology Chapter 1 23






by Garry Trudeau

Research researchers need to be aware of subtle and not-so-subtle biases. DOONESBURY © GB Trudeau. Reprinted with permission of Universal Press Syndicate. All rights reserved.

Order, response, and redaction effects allow political manipulators to use polls to demonstrate public support for their views. Consultants, advertisers and doctors can all have similarly disturbing influences on our decisions when making our choices. Not surprisingly, the meat lobby opposed a new US food labeling law in 1994 that required, for example, that ground beef be declared as "30 percent fat" rather than "70 percent fat." lean meat, 30 percent fat". For 9 out of 10 college students, a condom appears to be effective if its protection against the AIDS virus has a "95 percent success rate." Having a "5 percent failure rate," only 4 out of 10 students say they find it effective (Linville et al., 1992).

Structure lookup is also used when defining everyday specification options:

• Decide whether or not to donate an organ. In many countries, when renewing a driver's license, people decide whether they want to donate their bodies for organ donation. In countries where the default is yes, but you can "opt out", almost 100% of people choose to be donors. In the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, where the default is no but can give up, about 1 in 4 choose to be a donor (Johnson & Goldstein, 2003).

• Entry or exit of the old-age benefit. For many years, US employees who wanted to transfer a portion of their compensation to a 401(k) plan had to choose to reduce their net compensation. Most chose not to. A 2006 pension law, influenced by structure research, reformulated the choice. Companies are now incentivized to automatically enroll their employees in the plan and give them the option to opt-out (and increase take-home pay). The choice remained. But one study found that opting out increased enrollment from 49% to 86% (Madrian & Shea, 2001).

“The lesson on how to frame the inquiry is told in the story of a sultan who dreamed that he had lost all his teeth. When asked to interpret the dream, the first interpreter said, "Unfortunately! Missing teeth means you will see your family members die." The interpreter declared the sultan's fate: "You will outlive your entire clan!" Reassured, the sultan ordered his treasurer to bring 50 gold coins to this bearer of good news. On the way, the baffled treasurer remarked to the second interpreter: "Your interpretation was no different from that of the first interpreter: "Oh yes," replied the wise interpreter, "but remember: it's not just what you say that matters. , but as you say."

Framing The way an issue or issue is framed; Framing can influence the decisions people make and the opinions they express.

A young monk was once rebuffed when he asked if he could smoke while praying. Ask another question, a friend advised me: ask if you can pray while you smoke (Crossen, 1993).

24 Chapter 1

Independent variable The experimental factor that is manipulated by a researcher.

Note: Obesity is correlated with marital status and income.

Who the men were shown, a normal woman or an overweight woman, was the independent variable.

Introduction to social psychology

Experimental Research: Searching for Cause and Effect The difficulty in distinguishing cause and effect among naturally correlated events leads most social psychologists to create laboratory simulations of everyday processes whenever possible and ethical. These simulations are similar to aeronautical wind tunnels. Aeronautical engineers don't start by looking at how flying objects behave in different natural environments. Variations in atmospheric conditions and flying objects are very complex. Instead, they build a simulated reality in which they can manipulate wind conditions and wing structures.

CONTROL: MANIPULATING VARIABLES Like aerospace engineers, social psychologists experiment by constructing social situations that simulate important aspects of our daily lives. By varying just one or two factors, the so-called independent variables, the experimenter determines their influence. Just as the wind tunnel helps the aeronautical engineer discover the principles of aerodynamics, the experiment allows the social psychologist to discover the principles of social thinking, social influence, and social relationships.

To illustrate the laboratory experiment, consider two typical experiments from the investigation of prejudice and aggression in the following chapters. Each experiment proposes possible cause-and-effect explanations for the correlation results.

CORRELATIONAL AND EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES ON OBESITY PREJUDICE People often perceive obese people as slow, lazy, and slovenly (Roehling et al., 2007; Ryckman et al., 1989). Do these attitudes lead to discrimination? Hoping to find out, Steven Gortmaker and colleagues (1993) studied 370 obese women between the ages of 16 and 24. When reexamined 7 years later, two-thirds of the women were still obese and less likely to marry and earn high wages than a comparison group of about 5,000 other women. Even after adjusting for differences in parental competency test scores, race, and income, the overweight women's income was $7,000 a year below average.

Correcting for some other factors makes it appear that discrimination could explain the correlation between obesity and lower status. But we cannot be sure. (Can you think of other possibilities?) Enter social psychologists Mark Snyder and Julie Haugen (1994, 1995). They asked 76 male students at the University of Minnesota to make an introductory phone call with one of the 76 female students. Unbeknownst to the women, each man saw a picture that he was supposed to show his interlocutor. Half saw an obese woman (not the royal couple); the other half was shown to a woman of normal weight. A closer look at the female side of the conversation revealed that when they were perceived as obese, they spoke with less warmth and joy. Apparently, something in the tone and content of the men's conversations caused the supposedly obese women to speak in a way that confirmed the idea that obese women were undesirable. Prejudice and discrimination against men had an impact. If we remember the stepmother's behavior effect, perhaps we should call it the "Cinderella Effect".

EXPERIMENTAL AND CORRELATIONAL STUDIES ON TELEVISION VIOLENCE As a second example of how experiments clarify causality, consider the correlation between television viewing and children's behavior. The more violent children watch television, the more aggressive they become. Do children learn and act out what they see on screen? As you might expect to recognize, this is a correlational finding. Figure 1.4 reminds us that there are two other interpretations of cause and effect. (What will you?)

So social psychologists brought television into the lab, where they monitor how much violence children watch. By exposing children to both violent and non-violent programs, researchers can observe how the

Introduction to Social Psychology Chapter 1 25

The level of violence affects behavior. Chris Boyatzis and colleagues (1995) showed some elementary school children, but not others, an episode of the most popular and violent children's television show of the 1990s, Power Rangers. Immediately after watching the episode, viewers committed seven times more aggressive acts per 2-minute interval than non-viewers. We call the observed aggressive actions the dependent variable. Such experiments indicate that television can be a cause of aggressive behavior in children.

So far we've seen that the logic of experimentation is simple: by creating and controlling a miniature reality, we can vary one factor at a time and discover how those factors, individually or in combination, affect how people see how things play out. conduct an experiment.

Every social psychological experiment has two essential components. We just saw one: the controller. We manipulate one or more independent variables while trying to keep everything else constant. The other ingredient is random assignment.

RANDOM ASSIGNMENT: THE BIG FELLOW Remember that we are reluctant to assume, based on correlation, that obesity causes low status (through discrimination) or that watching violence causes aggression (see Table 1.1 for more examples). A research researcher can measure and statistically extract other potentially relevant factors and verify that correlations hold. But you can never control all the factors that can differentiate obese from non-obese and bystanders of violence from non-bystanders. Perhaps bystanders of violence differ in education, culture, intelligence – or in dozens of ways that the researcher has not considered.

Does watching violence on TV or in other media lead to imitation, especially among children? Experiences indicate that this is the case.

dependent variable The variable to be measured, so called because it can depend on manipulations of the independent variable.

TABLE i* 1.1 Recognition of Correlative and Experimental Research

Can participants be randomly assigned to a condition? Independent variable Dependent variable

Are precocious children more self-confident? No -* CorrelativeAre students learning more online or in the classroom? Yes Have trial classes online or in learning courses? ClassroomDo school grades speak of professional success? No —» Correlation Increases when playing violent video games Yes —» Experimental Violent games or aggression Aggression? Do people find comedy funnier when it's alone or (you answer) with other people?

(your answer)

non violent game

Do people with higher incomes have higher self-esteem?

26 Chapter 1 Introduction to Social Psychology

FIGURE: 1.5 Random Assignment Experiments randomly assign people to a condition that receives the experimental treatment or to a control condition that does not. This gives the investigator confidence that any subsequent differences are somehow caused by the treatment.





non violet tv remote




Random assignment The process of matching participants to the conditions of an experiment in such a way that all individuals have an equal chance of being in a given condition. (Note the difference between random assignment in experiments and random sampling in surveys. Random assignment helps us infer cause and effect. Random sampling helps us generalize to a population.)

mundane realism in which an experiment is superficially similar to everyday situations

experimental realism Degree to which an experiment absorbs and involves its participants.

deception In research, an effect that misinforms or misleads participants about the methods and purposes of the study.

Random assignment removes all these extraneous factors at once. With a random assignment, each person has an equal chance of seeing violence or non-violence. Thus, in every conceivable respect (marital status, intelligence, education, initial aggressiveness, hair color), people in both groups would, on average, be more or less the same. For example, highly intelligent people are equally likely to be in both groups. Since random assignment creates equivalent groups, any subsequent differences in aggression between the two groups will certainly have something to do with the unique way they differ in whether or not they see violence (Figure 1.5).

THE ETHICS OF EXPERIMENTATION Our television example shows why some conceivable experiments raise ethical questions. Social psychologists would not subject a group of children to brutal violence for very long. Instead, they briefly change people's social experience and notice the effects. Sometimes experimental treatment is a benign, perhaps even pleasurable, experience to which people consciously consent. From time to time, however, researchers move into a gray area between harmless and risky.

Social psychologists often venture into this ethical gray area by designing experiments that stimulate intense thought and emotion. Experiments need not have what Elliot Aronson, Marilynn Brewer, and Merrill Carlsmith (1985) called mundane realism. That is, laboratory behaviors need not be like everyday behaviors that are often mundane or unimportant. But the experiment must have experimental realism, it must involve the participants. Experimenters don't want their people to consciously touch or hum; they want to set real psychological processes in motion. An example of such participation would be the delivery of electric shocks as part of an aggression experiment. Forcing people to choose between giving another person a strong or a mild electric shock can be a realistic measure of aggression. Functionally simulates real aggression.

Achieving experimental realism sometimes requires deceiving people with a plausible disguise. If the person in the next room is not receiving the shocks, the experimenter does not want the participants to know. That would destroy experimental realism. For example, about one-third of social psychology studies (albeit a decreasing number) have used deception (Korn & Nicks, 1993; Vitelli, 1988).

Experimenters also try to hide their predictions so that participants, in their eagerness to be "nice guys", simply do what is expected or do the opposite in a bad mood. It is not surprising, says Ukrainian professor Anatoly Koladny, that only 15% of Ukrainian respondents declared themselves "religious" under Soviet Communism in 1990, when religion was suppressed by the Soviets.

27Introduction to Social Psychology

government—and that 70% declared themselves “religious” in the post-communist year of 1997 (Nielsen, 1998). Even in subtle ways, the experimenter's words, intonation, and gestures can evoke desired responses. Even search dogs trained to detect explosives and drugs are more likely to bark false alarms in locations where their handlers have been misled into believing that such illegal items are being found (Lit et al., 2011). To minimize such demand characteristics (signals that appear to "demand" a specific behavior), experimenters often standardize their instructions or even use a computer to present them.

Researchers often walk a tightrope by designing experiments that are complicated but ethical. Believing that you are hurting someone or that you are under intense social pressure can be temporarily uncomfortable. Such experiments raise the age-old question of whether the end justifies the means. The fallacies of social psychologists are generally short and light compared to many of the misrepresentations in real life and some reality television. (A network reality show tricked women into competing for the hand of a supposedly handsome millionaire who turns out to be an ordinary working man.)

University ethics committees review research in social psychology to ensure that it treats people humanely and that its scientific merit justifies any misunderstanding or temporary suffering. Codes of ethics developed by the American Psychological Association (2010), the Canadian Psychological Association (2000), and the British Psychological Society (2009) require that researchers:

• Provide potential participants with sufficient information about the experiment to allow informed consent.

• Be honest. Use deception only when strictly necessary and justified by an important purpose, and not "about things that would affect your willingness to participate".

• Protect participants (and spectators, if any) from significant harm and inconvenience.

• Maintain the confidentiality of each participant's information. • Inform participants. After that, fully explain the experiment, including everyone.

Mirage. The only exception to this rule is where feedback would be costly, eg. B. make participants realize that they were stupid or cruel.

The experimenter must be informative enough and ensure that the participants feel at least as good as they arrived. Even better, participants should be compensated for having learned something (Sharpe & Faye, 2009). When treated with respect, few participants object to being lied to (Epley & Huff, 1998; Kimmel, 1998). In fact, advocates of social psychology say that by turning in and returning course tests, professors elicit far more anxiety and worry than researchers do in their experiments.

Generalizing from the lab to life As research on children, television, and violence shows, social psychology combines real-world experience with laboratory analysis. In this book we do the same, drawing our data mainly from the laboratory and our illustrations mainly from real life. Social psychology shows a healthy interaction between laboratory research and everyday life. Insights gained from everyday experience often inspire laboratory investigations that deepen our understanding of our experience.

This interaction can be seen in the children's experiment with television. What people saw in everyday life suggested correlational research leading to experimental research. Government and network policymakers with the power to make changes are now aware of the results. The consistency of the evidence about the effects of television, both in the laboratory and in the field, applies to research in many other areas, including studies of helping, leadership, depression, and self-efficacy. The effects

Chapter 1

Requirement Characteristics Notes in an experiment that tell the participant what behavior is expected.

Informed consent Ethical principle that requires research participants to receive sufficient information to enable them to decide whether or not to participate.

Debriefing In social psychology, the subsequent explanation of a study to its participants. The briefing usually reveals any mistakes and generally asks participants for their understanding and feelings.

28 Chapter 1 Introduction to Social Psychology

found in the laboratory were reflected in the effects in the field. "The psychology lab has generally produced psychological truths rather than platitudes," observe Craig Anderson and colleagues (1999).

However, we must be careful in generalizing from the laboratory to real life. Although the laboratory reveals fundamental dynamics of human existence, it remains a simplified and controlled reality. It tells us what effect to expect from the variable X, other things being equal, which never happens in real life. Also, as you will see, the participants in many of the experiments are college students. While it may help you to identify with them, college students are hardly a random sample of all of humanity (Henry, 2008a, 2008b). And most of the participants come from ALIEN cultures (Western, educated, industrialized, wealthy and democratic), which represent only 12% of humanity (Henrich et al., 2010). Would we get similar results with people of different ages, educational levels, and cultures? This is always an open question.

Still, we can distinguish between the content of people's thoughts and actions (eg, their attitudes) and the process by which they think and act (eg, how attitudes influence actions and vice versa). The content varies more from one culture to another than the process. People from different cultures may have different opinions, but they come out in similar ways. Consider the following;

• College students in Puerto Rico report greater loneliness than college students in the continental United States. However, in both cultures, the components of loneliness were very similar: shyness, uncertain purpose in life, and low self-esteem (Jones et al., 1985).

* Ethnic groups differ in academic achievement and crime rates, but the differences "are only superficial," report David Rowe and colleagues (1994). To the extent that family structure, peer influences, and parental education predict success or delinquency for one ethnic group, they do for other groups as well.

Although our behavior may differ, we are influenced by the same social forces. Beneath our superficial diversity, we are more alike than different.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Research Methods: How do we do social psychology?

Social psychologists organize their ideas and views into theories. A good theory will distill a set of facts into a much shorter list of predictive principles. We can use these predictions to confirm or modify theory, generate new research, and propose practical applications. Most research in social psychology is correlative or experimental. Correlation studies, sometimes conducted with systematic survey methods, identify the relationship between variables such as B. between education level and income level. Knowing that two things are naturally related is valuable information, but it is not a reliable indicator of what is causing what, or whether there is a third variable involved. When possible, social psychologists conduct experiments that examine cause and effect. Building a miniature reality subservient to them.

Control, experimenters can vary one thing and then another and find out how those things individually or in combination affect behavior. We randomly assign participants to an experimental condition that receives the experimental treatment or to a control condition that does not. We can then attribute any resulting difference between the two conditions to the independent variable (Figure 1.6). When designing experiments, social psychologists sometimes act out situations that appeal to people's emotions. They are required to follow professional ethical guidelines, e.g. B. Get people's informed consent, protect them from harm, and then fully disclose any temporary fraud. Laboratory experiments allow social psychologists to test ideas from life experience and then apply the principles and findings to the real world.

Introduction to Social Psychology Chapter 1 29

search methods

correlation experiment

Advantage Often uses real-world settings

Cause often ambiguous

Advantage Can investigate cause and effect by controlling variables and by random assignment

Disadvantage Some important variables cannot be examined with experiments.

FIGURE: 1.6Two research methods: correlation and experimentation

POSTSCRIPT: Why I Wrote This Book I write this book to offer the powerful and hard-won principles of social psychology. I believe they have the power to expand your mind and enrich your life. If you leave this book with sharpened critical thinking skills and a deeper understanding of how we view and affect each other, and why we sometimes like, love, and help each other, and sometimes dislike, hate, and hurt each other, then I will make you a satisfied author and I believe you will be an award-winning reader.

I write knowing that many readers are in the process of defining their life goals, identities, values ​​and attitudes. Novelist Chaim Potok remembers being urged by his mother to stop writing: “Become a neurosurgeon. You will save many people from death; you'll earn a lot more money." Potok's response: "Mother, I don't want to stop people from dying; I want to show them how to live” (cited by Peterson, 1992, p. 47).

Many of us who teach and write about psychology are motivated not only by a love of teaching psychology, but also by a desire to help students live a better life—a wiser, more fulfilling, and more compassionate life. In this we are like teachers and writers in other fields. "Why are we writing?" asks theologian Robert McAfee Brown. “I claim that beyond any reward, we write… because we want to change things. We write because we have this [belief that] we can make a difference. The 'difference' can be a new perception of beauty, a new perception of self, a new experience of joy, or a decision to join the revolution" (quoted by Marty, 1988). my part of the job is to temper intuition with critical thinking, refine judgment with compassion, and replace illusion with understanding.

I close each chapter with a brief reflection on the importance of social psychology for man.

This book is built around his definition of social psychology: the scientific study of how we think (part one), influence one another (part two), and relate to each other (part three). Part Four provides additional, focused examples of how social psychology research and theories are applied to real life.

The first part examines the scientific study of how we think about each other (also called social cognition). Each chapter addresses some general issues; How reasonable are our social attitudes, statements and beliefs? Are our impressions of ourselves and others generally correct? How is our social thinking formed? How prone to bias and error is it, and how can we bring it closer to reality?

Chapter 2 examines the interaction between our sense of self and our social world. How does our social environment shape our own identity? How does self-interest influence our social judgments and motivate our social behavior?

Chapter 3 examines the surprising and sometimes quite amusing ways in which we form beliefs about our social world. It also alerts us to some pitfalls of social thinking and suggests how to avoid them and think smarter.

Chapter 4 examines the links between our thoughts and our actions, between our attitudes and our behavior: do our attitudes determine our behavior or vice versa? Or does it work both ways?


2 The Self “There are three extremely hard things: steel, diamond and self-knowledge. .................................... ... —,

At the center of our worlds, more important to us than anything else, is ourselves. As we navigate our daily lives, our sense of self constantly intervenes in the world.

Consider this example: One morning you wake up and find your

Hair sticking out at odd angles on the head. it's too late to board

the shower and you can't find a hat, so smooth the odds

comb your hair and run to class. it's you all morning

aware of her bad hair day. to your surprise

Your friends in class say nothing. secretly laugh

even about how ridiculous you look, or if they're too busy

pissed at yourself when you notice your spiky hair?

* This 11th edition chapter was co-written by Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University. Professor Twenge's research on social rejection and generational personality and personal changes has been published in many articles and books, including Cenalion Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled - and More Miserable Than Ever Before (2006) and The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Rights (with W. Keith Campbell, 2009).

34 Part One Social Thought

The Spotlight Effect: Overestimating how others perceive our behavior and appearance. FOR BENEFIT OR FOR YOU © 2005 Lynn Johnston Prodjctions. Distributed by Universal Press Syndicate. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Spotlight Effect The belief that others pay more attention to our appearance and behavior than they actually do.

Illusion of Transparency: The illusion that our hidden emotions are leaking out and can be easily read by others.


Describe the hover effect and its relationship to the illusion of transparency.

Why do we often feel that others pay more attention to us than they really do? The spotlight effect means putting yourself in the center and therefore intuitively overestimating how much attention others pay to you.

Timothy Lawson (2010) studied the effect of spotlights by having college students wear a sweatshirt with "American Eagle" printed on the front before meeting with a group of peers. Nearly 40 percent were sure other students would remember what was on the shirt, but only 10 percent did. Most observers didn't even notice the students changing their sweats after leaving the room for a few minutes. In another experiment, even shockingly embarrassing clothing, such as a Barry Manilow T-shirt, caught the attention of only 23% of observers, far less than the 50% estimated by the hapless students who sang the rock warbler. (Gilovich et al., 2000).

What is true of our silly clothes and bad hair is also true of our emotions: our fear, irritability, disgust, illusion, or attraction (Gilovich et al., 1998). Fewer people realize what we think. Because we are so aware of our own emotions, we often suffer from an illusion of transparency. If we are happy and we know it, surely our face will be

researchCLOSE UP About the nervousness of looking nervous

Have you ever felt embarrassed approaching someone you were attracted to and worried that your nervousness was obvious? Or did you cringe when speaking in front of an audience and assume everyone would notice?

Kenneth Savitsky and Thomas Gilovich (2003) knew from their own studies and others that people overestimate the extent to which their internal states "leak out". People who are asked to tell lies assume that others will discover their deception that seems so obvious. people |

The Self in a Social World Chapter 2 35

When asked to try bad-tasting drinks, they assume others will notice their disgust, which they can barely contain.

Many people who give a presentation report not only feeling anxious, but fearing that others will notice their anxiety. And when your hands and knees are shaking, the worry that others will find out can increase and perpetuate your anxiety. This is similar to worrying about not falling asleep, which makes it even harder to fall asleep, or a fear of stuttering, which makes stuttering worse. (As a former stutterer and speech therapist, I know this to be true.)

Savitsky and Gilovich wondered whether an "illusion of transparency" might arise among inexperienced public speakers and whether this might interfere with their performance. To find out, they invited 40 Cornell University students into their lab in pairs. One person stood on the podium and spoke for 3 minutes (on a topic such as “The best and worst of life today”) while the other sat and listened. The two then switched positions and the other person gave another 3 minute impromptu speech. Then everyone rated how nervous they seemed to speak (from 0, not at all to 10, very much) and how nervous the other person seemed.

The results? People rated themselves relatively nervous (mean 6.65). But they didn't seem as nervous to their partner (5.25), a big enough difference to be statistically significant (meaning it's highly unlikely that such a big difference for this sample of people is due to random variation). Of the 40 participants, 27 (68 percent) thought they looked more nervous than their partners.

To test the reliability of their results, Savitsky and Gilovich replicated (repeated) and extended the experiment by having people speak in front of an audience of people who would give nothing.

Speak for yourself to eliminate the possibility that this could explain the above results. Once again, the speakers overestimated the transparency of their nervousness.

Next, Savitsky and Gilovich wondered if letting panelists know that their nervousness isn't as obvious might help them relax and perform better. They invited 77 other Cornell students into the lab and, after 5 minutes of preparation, recorded a 3-minute video about race relations at their university. Those in one group, the control condition, received no further instructions. Those in a calm state were told that it was natural to feel anxious, but "you shouldn't worry too much about what other people think... With that in mind, you should relax and try to do the best you can." . "If you're getting nervous, you probably shouldn't worry." To those informed, he explained the illusion of transparency. After telling them that it's natural to feel anxious, the researcher added: "Research shows that the public may not perceive your fear as well as you'd expect... your feelings are not as obvious... With that in mind , just relax and try to do the best you can, knowing that you're probably the only one who notices when you get nervous.

After the speeches, the speakers rated their speech quality and perception of nervousness (this time using a 7-point scale) and were also evaluated by observers. As Table 2.1 shows, those informed about the illusion of transparency phenomenon felt better about their speech and appearance than those in the control and sedation states. The observers also confirmed the speakers' self-assessment.

So the next time you're nervous about looking nervous, take a moment to remember the lesson of these experiments; Other people notice less than you think.

TABLE •• 2.1 Average scores of the speeches of speakers and observers on a scale of 1 to 7

j. Self-assessment of the speaker's speech quality

■ ;.,;;,Relaxed



2,83 3,50*


Observer Comments

serene attitude

*Each of these results is statistically significantly different from those of the control group and sedation condition.

36 Part One Social Thought









Psychology, 1999

teach you. And others, we assume, will notice. In fact, we can be more opaque than we think. (See “Though Investigation: On the Nerves of Looking Nervous” on pages 34-35.)

We also overestimate the visibility of our social and public shortcomings. If we sound the library alarm or inadvertently offend someone, we may feel self-conscious ("Everybody thinks I'm an idiot"). But research shows that what distresses us can go unnoticed by others and is soon forgotten (Savitsky et al., 2001).

The spotlight effect and the associated illusion of transparency are just two of many examples of how our sense of self and our social worlds interact. Here are more examples:

• The social environment influences our self-confidence. When we are the only member of our race, gender, or nationality in a group, we notice how different we are and how others react to our differences. A white American friend once told me how confident he felt living in a rural village in Nepal; An hour later, an African American friend told me how safe she felt as an American in Africa.

• Self-interest influences our social judgment. When problems arise in an intimate relationship like marriage, we tend to blame our partner more than ourselves. When things are going well at home, work, or play, we see ourselves as more responsible.

• Self-concern motivates our social behavior. We torture ourselves with our appearance in hopes of making a positive impression. Like wise politicians, we observe the behavior and expectations of others and adjust our behavior accordingly.

• Social Relationships Help Define Our Sense of Self In our various relationships, we have different images of ourselves, observe Susan Andersen and Serena Chen (2002). It could be me with mom, another with friends, another with teachers. How we feel about ourselves is related to the person we are with at the moment. And as relationships change, our self-concepts can change too. College students who recently broke up with a romantic partner shifted their sense of self and felt less secure about who they were, one of the reasons breakups can be so emotionally draining (Slotter et al., 2010).

As these examples suggest, the traffic between us and others is two-way. Our ideas and feelings about ourselves affect how we react to others. And others help shape our self-esteem.

No topic in psychology is more explored today than the self. In 2011, the word "self" appeared in 21,693 book and article summaries on PsycINFO (the online archive of psychological research), more than 20 times the number in 1970. Our sense of self organizes our thoughts, feelings and actions. Our sense of self allows us to remember our past, assess our present, and project our future, and thus behave adaptively.

In later chapters we will see that much of our behavior is not consciously controlled, but is automatically and unconsciously controlled. However, the self allows for long term planning, goal setting and moderation. Imagine alternatives, compare yourself to others, and manage your reputation and relationships. Furthermore, as Mark Leary (2004a) has pointed out, the self can sometimes be an obstacle to a happy life. Its self-centered activities are what religious meditation practices seek to reduce by calming the self, reducing its attachment to material pleasures and reorienting it. “Mysticism,” adds psychologist Jonathan Haidt (2006), “is ever and ever about losing the self, transcending the self, and merging with something greater than the self.”

In the remainder of this chapter, we examine our self-concept (how we come to know ourselves) and the self in action (how our sense of self guides our attitudes and actions).


The Self in a Social World Chapter 2 37

ABSTRACT: Spotlights and illusions: what do they teach us about ourselves?

« Concerned about the impression we are making on others- ® We also tend to believe that our emotions are stronger, we tend to believe that others pay more obviously than they pay (the illusion of transparency). Attention to us as they are (the spotlight effect).

SELF CONCEPT: WHO AM I? Understand how and how well we know ourselves and what determines our self-concept.

There are many ways to complete the sentence "I am ____". (What five answers could you give?) Your answers give you an idea of ​​how you see yourself.

At the Center of Our Worlds: Our Service to Self The most important aspect of yourself is your Self. To figure out where this sense of self comes from, neuroscientists study the brain activity that underlies our constant sense of being ourselves. Some studies suggest an important role for the right hemisphere. Put yours on (with an anesthetic for the right carotid artery) and you'll likely have trouble recognizing your own face. A patient with a lesion in the right hemisphere did not recognize that he owned and controlled his left hand (Decety & Sommerville, 2003). The "medial prefrontal cortex", a neural pathway located in the cleft between the cerebral hemispheres just behind the eyes, seems to help rebuild your sense of self. It becomes more active when the person thinks about himself (Farb et al., 2007; Zimmer, 2005).

The elements of your self-concept, the specific beliefs by which you define yourself, are your self-schemas (Markus & Wurf, 1987). Schemas are mental models we use to organize our worlds. Our personal schemas, our self-perceptions of being athletic, obese, smart or whatever, greatly influence how we perceive, remember and evaluate other people and ourselves. If athletics is central to your self-concept (if being an athlete is one of your projects), then you will tend to consider the bodies and abilities of others. You will quickly remember sports experiences. And they will accept information consistent with their own schema (Kihlstrom & Cantor, 1984). If your friend's birthday is close to yours, you are more likely to remember them (Kesebir & Oishi, 2010). The self-schemas that make up our self-concepts help us organize and remember our experiences.

POSSIBLE SELF Our self-concepts encompass not only our schemata of who we currently are, but also who we could become: our possible selves. Hazel Markus and her colleagues (Inglehart Sz et al., 1989; Markus and Nurius, 1986) argue that our possible selves include our visions of the selves we dream of becoming: the rich selves, the thin selves, the passionate selves.

Self-concept What we know and believe about ourselves.

Self Schema Beliefs about the self that organize and direct the processing of information relevant to the self.

Possible selves Images of what we dream or fear to be in the future.

Oprah Winfrey's imagined possible selves, including the feared obese self, rich self, and useful self, motivated her to work for the life she wanted.

38 Part One Social Thought

social comparison assessment of one's abilities and opinions through comparison with others.

FIGURE: 2.1 The I

loved and loving me. They also include the self we fear: the underemployed self, the unloved self, the academically unsuccessful self. These possible selves motivate us with a vision of the life we ​​yearn for, or to avoid the one we fear.

Development of the social self The self has become an important social psychological focus because it helps organize our thinking and guides our social behavior (Figure 2.1). But what determines our self-image? Twin studies indicate genetic influences on personality and self-image, but social experiences also play a role. These influences include the following:

• The roles we play • The social identities we form • The comparisons we make to others • How other people judge us • The culture around us

THE ROLES WE PLAY When we take on a new role—student, parent, salesperson—we initially feel insecure. Gradually though, what starts out as a play of life is absorbed into our sense of self. For example, while acting out our roles, we might pay lip service to something we don't think about very much. After defending our group, we justify our words by believing them more. Dramatization becomes reality (see Chapter 4).

SOCIAL COMPARISONS How do we decide if we are rich, smart or short? One way is through social comparisons (Festinger, 1954). The people around us help define the standard by which we define ourselves as rich or poor, smart or stupid, big or small: we compare ourselves to them and consider how we are different. Social comparison explains why students tend to have a higher academic self-concept when they attend a secondary school with mostly average students (Marsh et al., 2000) and how this self-concept can be compromised after graduation when a student who is in stood out in one. The average transition from high school to an academically selective college. The "big fish" is no longer in a small pond.

Much of life revolves around social comparisons. We feel good when others seem modest, intelligent when others seem boring, worried when others seem insensitive. When witnessing a colleague's performance, we cannot resist implicitly comparing ourselves (Gilbert et al., 1995). Therefore, we can privately enjoy a couple

you are social

My roles as a student, 'J family member'

Friend; my group | identity j

' 'V' '■*

39The self in a social world

Failure, especially when it happens to someone we envy and when we ourselves don't feel vulnerable to such misfortune (Lockwood, 2002; Smith et al., 1996).

Social comparisons can also reduce our satisfaction. When we experience an increase in wealth, status, or achievement, we “hold up”—we raise the bar by which we measure our achievement. When climbing the ladder of success, we tend to look up, not down; we compare ourselves with others who do even better (Gmder, 1977; Suls & Tesch, 1978; Wheeler & others, 1982). In competition, we often protect our shaky self-image by perceiving our competitor as a favorite. For example, collegiate swimmers believed that their competitors had better training and more training time (Shepperd & Taylor, 1999).

THE JUDGMENT OF OTHERS When people think well of us, they help us to think well of ourselves. Children identified by others as gifted, hardworking, or helpful tend to incorporate these ideas into their own image and behavior (see Chapter 3). When minority students feel threatened by negative stereotypes about their academic abilities, or when women feel threatened by low expectations about their performance in math and science, they may “disidentify” from these areas. Rather than fighting these biases, they may identify their interests elsewhere (Steele, 2010; see Chapter 9).

The mirror self is how the sociologist Charles H. Cooley (1902) described our use of how we think others perceive us as mirrors for our perception of ourselves. Sociologist George Herbert Mead (1934) refined this concept by noting that what matters for our self-concepts is not how others actually see us, but how we imagine they see us. People generally feel freer to praise than to criticize; they offer their compliments and repress their quibbles. Therefore, we may overestimate the judgments of others and inflate our own image (Shrauger & Schoeneman, 1979).

Self-inflation, as we shall see, is most evident in Western countries. Shinobu Kitayama (1996) reports that Japanese visitors to North America are regularly impressed by the many compliments that friends exchange. When he and his colleagues asked people how many days ago they last congratulated someone, the most common American response was 1 day. In Japan, where people socialize less to be proud of their personal achievements and more ashamed to let others down, the most common response was 4 days.

The fate of our prehistoric ancestors depended on what others thought of them. Their survival improved when they were protected by their group, in an era before the grocery store.

episode 2

Private Diversion in the Case of an Idiot Colleague In 2011, when powerful media moguls Rupert Murdoch and his son James Murdoch were embarrassed by illegal practices at one of their newspapers, some people felt Schadenfreude (a German word for delight in another's misfortune). people).



- KING CARLOS 1,1600-1649

40 part one

Individualism The concept of prioritizing one's goals over group goals and defining one's identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications.

independent self-construction of its own identity as an autonomous self.

Collectivism Prioritizing the goals of a group (often the extended family or work group) and defining one's identity accordingly.

Interdependent self-construction of one's own identity in relation to others.

social thinking

it was difficult for a single person to hunt and gather enough food or protect themselves from predators. As they felt their group's disapproval, there was biological wisdom in their sense of shame and low self-esteem. Like their heirs, who share an equally ingrained need to belong, we feel the pain of low self-esteem when faced with social exclusion, observes Mark Leary (1998, 2004b). Self-esteem, he argues, is a psychological measure we use to monitor and respond to how others perceive us.

Personality and Culture How did you complete the “I am____” statement on page 37? You have provided information about your personal characteristics, e.g. B. "I'm honest", "I'm tall" or "I'm outgoing"? Or have you also described your social identity, such as "I'm a fish", "I'm a MacDonald" or "I'm a Muslim"?

For some people, especially in industrialized Western cultures, individualism prevails. Identity is autonomous. Adolescence is a time of separation from parents, autonomy and definition of the independent self. A person's identity, as a unique individual with special skills, traits, values, and dreams, remains fairly constant.

The psychology of Western cultures assumes that believing in your personal power of control will enrich your life. Western literature, from the Iliad to the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, celebrates the self-reliant individual. The film's plotlines portray resilient heroes challenging the system. The songs proclaim "I Gotta Be Me", proclaim that "The Greatest Love Ever" is loving yourself (Schoeneman, 1994) and say without irony that "I think the world should revolve around me". Individualism thrives when people experience wealth, mobility, urbanism, and the media (Freeman, 1997; Marshall, 1997; Triandis, 1994).

Most cultures originating in Asia, Africa, Central and South America value collectivism more, respecting their own groups and identifying accordingly. They feed what Shinobu Kitayama and Hazel Markus (1995) call the interdependent self. In these cultures, people are more self-critical and need less positive self-esteem (Heine et al., 1999). Traditional Malays, Indians, Koreans, Japanese, and Kenyans such as the Maasai are much more likely than Australians, Americans, and British to complete the “I am” statement with their group identity (Kanagawa et al., 2001; Ma and Schoeneman , 1997). ). When speaking, people who use the languages ​​of collectivist countries say “I” less often (Kashima & Kashima, 1998, 2003). A person might say "I went to the movies" instead of "I went to the movies". Compared to American church websites, Korean church websites place more emphasis on social connection and engagement and less on personal spiritual growth and self-improvement (Sasaki & Kim, 2011).

Classifying cultures as strictly individualistic or collectivist is too simplistic, as individualism within each culture varies from person to person (Oyserman et al., 2002a, 2002b). There are individualistic Chinese and collectivist Americans, and most of us are sometimes communal, sometimes individualistic (Bandura, 2004). Individualism-collectivism also varies between regions and political views of a country. In the United States, native Hawaiians and people living in the deep south show greater collectivism than those in western mountain states such as Oregon and Montana (Plaut et al., 2002; Vandello & Cohen, 1999). Conservatives tend to be economic individualists ("don't tax me or regulate me") and moral collectivists ("laws of immorality"). Liberals tend to be economic collectivists (supporting the national health care system) and moral individualists ("Keep your laws off my body"). Despite individual and subcultural differences, researchers continue to regard individualism and collectivism as genuine cultural variables (Schimmack et al., 2005).

GROWING INDIVIDUALISM WITHIN CULTURES Cultures can also change over time, and many seem to become more individualistic. New economic opportunities challenged traditional collectivist ways

The Self in a Social World Chapter 2 41

In India. Chinese citizens under the age of 25 are more likely than those over the age of 25 to agree with individualistic statements such as “make a name for yourself” and “live a life that suits you” (Arora, 2005). Chinese citizens who are younger, more urban, wealthier and only children (modern attributes) are more likely to support self-centered statements (Cai et al., 2011). In the United States, younger generations report significantly more positive feelings about themselves than young people in the 1960s and 1970s (Gentile et al., 2010; Twenge & Campbell, 2008; Twenge et al., 2011; but for a more contrasting view, see Trzesniewski et al., 2011). Donnellan, 2010). One study found that popular song lyrics between 1980 and 2007 used "I" and "I" more frequently and "we" and "us" less frequently (DeWall et al., 2011), with the norm moving away from cheesy '80s love song ("Endless Love, 1981) to the self-celebration of the 2000s (Justin Timberlake's solo release Sexy Back, 2006).

Even your name can show the shift to individualism: American parents are now less likely to give their children common names and more likely to help them stand out with an unusual name. While nearly 20% of boys born in 1990 were given one of the top 10 most common names, only 8% were given such a common name in 2010, with similar numbers among girls (Twenge et al., 2010). These days, you don't have to be a famous kid to have a unique name like Shiloh, Suri, Knox or Apple.

Americans and Australians, most of whom are descendants of those who emigrated on their own, are more likely than Europeans to give their children unusual names. Parents from the western United States and Canada who are descendants of independent pioneers are more likely to give their children unusual names than parents from the more established eastern (Vamum & Kitayama, 2011). The more individual the time or place, the more unique names children are given.

These changes reveal something deeper than a name: the interaction between individuals and society. Did the culture first focus on uniqueness, driving parents' naming choices, or did individual parents decide that their children should be unique, thus creating the culture? A similar chicken-and-egg question applies to song lyrics: did a more self-centered population listen to more self-centered music, or did listening to more self-centered music make people more confident? The answer, while not fully understood, is probably both (Markus & Kitayama, 2010).

® Jack Ziegler/The New Yorker Collection/www.cattoonbankxom

CULTURE AND KNOWLEDGE In his book The Geography of Thought (2003), social psychologist Richard Nisbett argues that collectivism also leads to diverse ways of thinking. Think about it: which two, a panda, a monkey and a banana, go together? Maybe a monkey and a panda, because they both fall under the animal category? Asians see relationships more often than Americans: the monkey eats the banana. When Japanese people saw an animated underwater scene (Figure 2.2), they spontaneously remembered 60% more background features than Americans and reported more relationships (the frog next to the plant). Americans look more at the object of attention, such as a single large fish, and less at their surroundings (Chua et al., 2005; Nisbett, 2003), a finding duplicated in studies examining activation in different areas of the brain (Goh et al.). , 2007; Louis and others.

Social Thought 42 Part One

FIGURE :: 2.2 Asian and Western Thinking When Americans show an underwater scene, they focus on the biggest fish. Asians are more related to the background, such as plants, bubbles and stones (Nisbett, 2003).

FIGURE :: 2.3 Which pen would you choose? When Heejung Kim and Hazel Markus (1999) invited people to choose one of these pens, 77% of Americans but only 31% of Asians chose the unusual color (orange, as here, or green). This result illustrates different cultural preferences for uniqueness and conformity, Kim and Markus note.

2008). When shown drawings of groups of children, Japanese students considered all children's facial expressions when assessing an individual child's happiness or anger, whereas Americans focused only on the child they were supposed to assess (Masuda et al., 2008). Nisbett and Takahiko Masuda (2003) conclude from such studies that East Asians think more holistically: they perceive objects and think about them.

people in relation to each other and their environment. If you grew up in a Western culture, you were probably told to "express yourself" -

through writing, the choices you make, the products you buy, and perhaps your tattoos or piercings. When asked about the language's purpose, American students tended to say that it allows for self-expression, while Korean students focused on how the language enables communication with others. American students were also more likely to see their choices as self-expression and to evaluate their personal choices more positively (Kim & Sherman, 2007). The “decaf, single-serve, low-fat, extra-spicy” custom latte, which might sound perfect in an American cafe, would look odd in the note by Seoul, Kim, and Hazel Markus (1999). In Korea, people value the expression of their uniqueness less than tradition and common practices (Choi & Choi, 2002; Figure 2.3). Korean ads tend to show people together, while American ads emphasize personal choice or freedom (Markus, 2001; Morling «Sc Lamoreaux, 2008).

With an interdependent self, there is a greater sense of belonging. If uprooted and separated from family, coworkers, and loyal friends, interdependent people would lose the social connections that define them. When Chinese participants were asked to think about their mothers, a self-connected brain region was activated, an area that Western participants only lit up when thinking about themselves (Zhu et al., 2007). Interdependent selves do not have one self, but many selves: me with parents, me at work, me with friends (Cross et al., 1992). As Figure 2.4 and Table 2.2 suggest, the interdependent self is embedded in social belongings. Conversation is less direct and more polite (Holtgraves, 1997), and people focus more on gaining social approval (Lalwani et al., 2006). In one study, 60 percent of American students said they were serious about dating someone even if their friends didn't like them, compared to just 27 percent of Chinese students. Half of Chinese students said they would stop dating if their parents refused, compared to less than a third of American students (Zhang & Kline, 2009). In an interdependent culture, the goal of social life is harmony.

to work and support one's own communities and not, as is the case in more individualistic societies, to enhance the individual self and make independent decisions.

Even within a culture, personal history can affect self-image. People who have moved from place to place are happiest when others understand their established personal selves; People who have always lived in the same city are happier when someone recognizes them

43The self in a social world

interdependent view of self

their collective identity (Oishi et al., 2007a, 2007b). Our self-image seems to adapt to our situation: if you spend your whole life with the same people, they are more important to your identity than if you are uprooted every few years and have to make new friends. Your Self becomes your constant companion ("Wherever you go, there you are").

CULTURE AND SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS Self-esteem in collectivist cultures is closely related to 'what others think of me and my group'. The self-concept in these cultures is malleable (context-specific) rather than stable (situation-persistent). In one study, four out of five Canadian students, but only one out of three Chinese and Japanese students, agreed that "the beliefs you have about who you are (your inner self) remain the same across different domains of activity" (Tafarodi &: others, 2004).

For those in individualistic cultures, self-esteem is more personal and less relational. They threaten our personal identity, and we feel angrier and more melancholy than when someone threatens our collective identity (Gaertner et al., 1999). Unlike the Japanese, who insist more on tasks when they fail (so as not to fall short of others' expectations), people from individualistic countries are more likely to insist on success because success increases self-esteem (Heine et al., 2001 ). ). Western individualists like to make comparisons with others, which increases their self-esteem. Asian collectivists compare themselves (often upwards with those who do better) in ways that facilitate self-improvement (White & Lehman, 2005).

So when do you think college students in collectivist Japan and individualist America are most likely to report positive emotions like happiness?

TABLE :: 2.2 Self-concept: Independent or interdependentev.

Independent Interdependent... I ^'r..

identity is

What matters

Personal, defined by individual characteristics and goalsMe – fulfillment and personal achievement; my rights and freedoms

Social, defined by connections with other nodes: group goals and solidarity; our responsibilities and social relationships

Egoiatn "No man is an island"

disapproving corxformity

Illustrative motto "Know yourself the true op'^-^cultures that Ind^udi^ C6&[Email protected]^;^ih

FIGURE: 2.4 Self-perception as independent or interdependent The independent self recognizes relationships with others. But the interdependent self is more deeply rooted in others (Markus & Kitayama, 1991).

episode 2




O B/G I".

-Chinese proverb

44 Part One Social Thought

and good mood? For Japanese students, happiness comes with positive social engagement: feeling close, kind, and respected. In American students, it is most often associated with distant emotions: feeling effective, superior, and proud (Kitayama & Markus, 2000). Conflicts in collectivist cultures are often between groups; individualistic cultures generate more conflicts (and crimes and divorces) between individuals (Triandis, 2000).

When Kitayama (1999) visited his Japanese alma mater, Kyoto University, after 10 years of teaching and research in the United States, doctoral students were "stunned" when he explained the Western idea of ​​the independent self. “I insisted on explaining this Western concept of self that my American students intuitively understood, and eventually I began to convince them that many Americans indeed have such an incoherent sense of self. Still, one of them sighed heavily and finally said, 'Is this really true?'

When East meets West - as happens, for example, through Western influences in urban Japan and through Japanese exchange students visiting Western countries - does one's self-image become more individualized? Are the Japanese influenced by exposure to Western promotions based on individual merit, exhortations to "believe in your own abilities" and films in which the heroic lone cop catches the thief despite interference from others? They appear to be, report Steven Heine and co-investigators (1999). The Japanese exchange students' self-esteem increased after a 7-month stay at the University of British Columbia. In Canada, too, individual self-esteem is higher among long-term Asian immigrants than among more recent immigrants (and among those living in Asia).

Self-Knowledge "Know thyself," warned an ancient Greek oracle. We are definitely trying. We easily form beliefs about ourselves, and in Western cultures we don't hesitate to explain why we feel and act the way we do. But how well do we really know each other?

"There is one thing, and only one thing, in all the universe about which we know more than we can learn from external observation," commented C. S. Lewis (1952, pp. 18-19). “That one thing is [ourselves]. We have inside information, so to speak;

Collectivism in Action: After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, people acted together to help each other.

The Self in a Social World Chapter 2 45

THE insideSTORY Hazel Markus and Shinobu Kitayama on cultural psychology

I We started our collaboration by thinking aloud, i Japanese researcher Shinobu wondered why American life was so strange. The American researcher Hazel responded

with anecdotes about the strangeness of Japan. Cultural psychology is about turning the unfamiliar into the familiar and the familiar into the unknown. Our shared cultural encounters surprised us and convinced us that culture matters when it comes to psychological functioning.

After weeks of giving lectures to students with a good command of English in Japan, Hazel wondered why students said nothing, no questions, no comments. She assured the students that she was interested in ideas different from theirs, so why wasn't there an answer? Where are the arguments, debates and signs of critical thinking? Even if she asked a simple question

i "Where is the best noodle shop?" the response was always an audible sigh, followed by "it depends".

Did Japanese students not have preferences, ideas, opinions and attitudes? What's in the head but that?

my stuff? How can you meet someone who won't tell you what they think? I Shinobu was curious why American students shouldn't just listen to a lecture and why they felt they had to keep interrupting and talking, talking to each other and about the professor. why the with

comments and questions reveal strong emotions and have competitive advantages? What was the point of this argument?

Why did intelligence seem to be associated with bringing out the best in another person, even in a class where people knew each other well?

Shinobu expressed her surprise at the American hosts bombarding their guests with options. Would you like wine or beer, soda or juice, coffee or tea? Why burden the guest with trivial decisions? Surely the host knew what would make a good snack on this occasion and could provide something suitable.

Election as a burden? Hazel wondered if this could be the key to a particularly humiliating experience in Japan. A group of eight people, all native Japanese except I Hazel, were in a French restaurant and they were all following the general route of the restaurant and studying the menu I. The waiter approached and stopped nearby. hazel

He announced his choice of starter and main course. What followed was a tense conversation between the Japanese host and the Japanese guests. When the food was served it was not what she ordered. Everyone at the table got the same food. This was deeply disturbing. If you can't choose your dinner yourself, how good could it be? What was the point of the menu if everyone served the same food?

Could a sense of equality in Japan be a good or desirable feeling? As Hazel was walking through a temple in Kyoto, there was a fork in the road and a sign that said "Common Path". Who would like to go the common way? Where was the special, less traveled road? The unusual choice of path might seem obvious to Americans, but in this case it led to the temple dump outside the temple grounds. The common way did not mean the boring and smooth way, but the proper and good way.

These exchanges inspired our experimental studies and reminded us that there are ways of life that go beyond what each of us knows best. To date, most psychology has been produced by psychologists in middle-class white American settings, studying middle-class white American respondents. In other sociocultural contexts, there may be different ideas and practices about how to be a person and how to live a meaningful life, and these differences have an impact on psychological functioning. It is this understanding that drives our continued interest in collaboration and cultural psychology.

Hazel Rose Markus Stanford University


Shinobu-Kitayama University of Michigan


46 part one




Programming fallacy The tendency to underestimate the time required to complete a task.

social thinking

we know." Indeed. However, sometimes we think we know, but our insider information is wrong. That is the inevitable conclusion of some fascinating research.

EXPLAINING OUR BEHAVIOR Why did you choose where to go to college? Why did you attack your roommate? Why did you fall in love with that special person? Sometimes we know. Sometimes no. When asked why we feel or act the way we do, we give plausible answers. But when the causes are subtle, our self-declarations are usually wrong. We can dismiss factors that are important and exaggerate others that are not. People may mistakenly attribute their sad rainy days to the emptiness of life (Schwarz & Clore, 1983). And people routinely deny being influenced by the media, readily admitting that it affects others.

Studies in which people recorded their mood every day for 2 to 3 months (Stone et al., 1985; Weiss and Brown, 1976; Wilson et al., 1982) are also concerning. They also recorded factors that could affect their mood: the day of the week, the weather, the number of hours they slept, etc. At the end of each study, people rated how much each factor affected their mood. Even with their attention to daily moods, there was little correlation between their perception of how well a factor predicted their mood and how good they actually were. For example, people thought they would be more negative on Monday, but in reality, their mood on Monday was no more negative than it was on other days of the week. This raises a troubling question: How much understanding do we really have of what makes us happy or unhappy? As Daniel Gilbert (2007, 2011) points out, not much: we are very bad at predicting what will make us happy. "We seem to know less about the worlds in our heads than we do about the world our heads are in."

PREVENTING OUR BEHAVIOR People also make mistakes in predicting their behavior. Dating couples tend to predict the longevity of their relationships through rose-colored glasses. Your friends and family usually know best, report Tara MacDonald and Michael Ross (1997). Among students at the University of Waterloo, their roommates were better predictors of whether their novels would survive than they were. Physicians were not very good at predicting whether they would do well on a test of surgical skill, but their colleagues in the program predicted each other's performance with amazing accuracy (Lutsky et al., 1993). So if you're in love and want to know if it's going to last, don't listen to your heart, ask your roommate. And if you want to predict your daily routine behavior (how much time you spend laughing, talking on the phone, or watching TV, for example), your close friends' estimates are likely to be at least as accurate as yours (Vazire & Mehl, 2008) .

One of the most common mistakes in predicting behavior is underestimating how long it will take to complete a task (called a scheduling error). The construction project for the Big Dig Expressway in Boston was supposed to take 10 years, and in fact it took 20 years. The Sydney Opera House is expected to be completed within 6 years; it took 16. In one study, college students who were writing a thesis were asked to predict when they would finish the project. On average, students finished 3 weeks after their 'most realistic' estimate and 1 week after their 'worst case' estimate (Buehler Sz Other, 2002). However, friends and teachers could predict what time these newspapers would be. Just as you should ask your friends how long your relationship is likely to last, ask your roommate or your mom if you want to know when your chores will be done. They could also do what Microsoft does: Managers automatically add 30% to the software developer's estimate of completion, and 50% if the project involves a new operating system (Dunning, 2006).

The Self in a Social World Chapter 2 47

So how can you improve your self-esteem? The best way is to be more realistic about how long tasks have taken in the past. Apparently, people underestimate how long something will take because they don't remember that previous tasks took less time than they actually did (Roy et al., 2005).

Are people that bad at predicting how much money they're going to spend? Johanna Peetz and Roger Buehler (2009) found that the answer was yes. Canadian students predicted they would spend $94 in the next week, but actually spent $122. Given that they spent $126 in the week prior to the study, their estimate should have been more accurate. When they returned a week later, they were still predicting they would only spend $85 the following week. Students who said they wanted to save money were more likely to predict they would spend less, but ended up spending the same amount as everyone else. Just as we think that we are going to finish tasks quickly, we think that we are going to save our money. The difficulty is in actually doing this. If Lao Tzu was right – “He who knows others is a scholar. He who knows himself is enlightened” – so most people seem to be more educated than enlightened.

Predicting behavior, even your own, is no easy task, which is why some people turn to a tarot card reader in hopes of getting help.

PREVENTING OUR FEELINGS Many of life's big decisions involve predicting how we will feel in the future. Would marrying this person lead to lifetime happiness? Would it be a satisfying job to join this profession? Would this vacation be a happy experience? Or would the more likely consequences be divorce, job exhaustion, and a botched vacation?

Sometimes we know how we're going to feel: if we fail the test, we win the big game, or we relieve our tension with a half-hour run. We know what excites us and what makes us anxious or bored. In other cases, we may mispredict our responses. When asked how they would feel if asked about sexual harassment in a job interview, most women interviewed by Julie Woodzicka and Marianne LaFrance (2001) responded that they would be upset. However, when these questions were actually asked, women were more likely to experience anxiety.

Studies on "affective prediction" show that people have more difficulty predicting the intensity and duration of their future emotions (Wilson & Gilbert, 2003). People incorrectly predicted how they would feel some time after breaking up, receiving a gift, losing an election, winning a game, and being insulted (Gilbert & Ebert, 2002; Loewenstein & Schkade, 1999). Some examples:

When guys get sexually aroused by erotic pictures and then experience a passionate dating scenario where their girlfriend tells them to "stop," they admit they can't stop. Unless sexually arousing images are shown first, they are more likely to deny the possibility of being sexually aggressive. When you're not aroused, it's easy to mispredict how you'll feel and act when you're aroused, a phenomenon that leads to unexpected displays of love during lust, unwanted pregnancies, and repeated abuse by sex offenders who swear "never again." Hungry shoppers make more impulse purchases (“They would be delicious!”) than customers who have just eaten a one-pound blueberry muffin (Gilbert & Wilson, 2000). When we're hungry, we mistakenly predict how disgusting those deep-fried donuts will be when we're full. When we're full, we may underestimate how delicious a donut with a late night glass of milk can be, a purchase whose appeal quickly fades after we've had one or two.









Mine is Mine, 1886

48 Part One Social Thought

Impact bias Overestimation of the lasting effects of emotional events.

"Crying may last through the night, but



• How much will you like the guy you're dating? Ask the woman who preceded you. College students were better at predicting their date happiness when another woman they dated gave them a clue than when they relied on facts like a photo and profile. However, at the end of the experiment, most women still said trusting the profile was a better indicator of their feelings than the subjective opinion of other speed daters (Gilbert et al., 2009).

• When natural disasters such as hurricanes occur, people anticipate that their grief will increase as more people die. But after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, students' sadness was similar, as they believed that 50 or 1,000 people had died (Dunn & Ashton-James, 2008). What influenced people's sadness? See the photos of the victims. It is not surprising that the heartbreaking images on television after disasters have such an impact on us.

• People overestimate the impact on their well-being of bad events (separation, loss of a sporting goal [Eastwick et al., 2007a; van Dijk et al., 2008]) and good events (warmer winters, weight loss, more TV channels, more free time). Even extreme events like winning the state lottery or a debilitating accident affect long-term happiness less than most people realize.

Our intuitive theory seems to be: we want. We get. We are happy. If that were true, this chapter would have fewer words. Indeed, observe Daniel Gilbert and Timothy Wilson (2000), "often we want nothing." People envisioning an idyllic desert island vacation of sun, waves and sand may be disappointed when they realize "how much they need daily structure, intellectual stimulation or regular doses of pop tarts". We think that if our candidate or team wins, we'll be happy for a long time. But study after study shows our susceptibility to influence bias: overestimating the lasting effects of emotional events. The emotional traces of this good news disappear faster than expected.

Furthermore, we are particularly vulnerable to impact bias following negative events. When Gilbert and colleagues (1998) asked teaching assistants whether or not they should predict their happiness a few years after getting a job, most believed that a favorable outcome was important to their future happiness: "Losing my job would undermine my life goals" . it would be terrible. However, when surveyed several years after the event, those who were denied employment were just as happy as those who were given it. Impact bias is important, say Wilson and Gilbert (2005), because people's "affective predictions", their predictions of future emotions influence their decisions. or undergo cosmetic surgery, they may make reckless investments in those new Mercedes or a radical makeover.

Let's do this in person. Gilbert and Wilson invite us to imagine how we would feel a year after losing our non-dominant hands. How happy would you be compared to today?

If you think about it, you might have focused on what misfortune would mean: no applause, no shoe tying, no competitive basketball, no fast keyboard. Although you would likely mourn the loss forever, at some point after the event your overall happiness would be affected by "two things: (a) the event and (b) everything else" (Gilbert & Wilson, 2000). By focusing on the negative event, we neglect the importance of everything else that contributes to happiness and therefore overestimate our continued unhappiness. "Nothing you focus on will do as much as you think it will," write researchers David Schkade and Daniel Kahneman (1998).

Furthermore, say Wilson and Gilbert (2003), people overlook the speed and power of their psychological immune system, which encompasses their strategies for rationalizing, dismissing, forgiving, and limiting emotional trauma. Be mostly ignorant - PSALM 30:5

The Self in a Social World Chapter 2 49

Because of the speed and strength of our psychological immune systems (a phenomenon Gilbert and Wilson call immune neglect), we adapt to shortcomings, romantic breakups, failing exams, job rejections, and personal and team defeats more easily than we normally would. expected. Ironically, as Gilbert and colleagues (2004) report, large negative events (which activate our psychological defenses) may be less distressing than minor irritations (which do not activate our defenses). We are incredibly resilient under most circumstances.

THE WISDOM AND ILLUSIONS OF SELF-ANALYSIS Therefore, our intuitions are often, to a surprising degree, completely wrong about what has influenced us and what we will feel and do. But let's not overstate the case. When the causes of our behavior are obvious and the correct explanation is intuitive, our self-perceptions will be accurate (Gavanski & Hoffman, 1987). When the causes of behavior are obvious to an observer, they are usually obvious to us as well.

As Chapter 3 will explore further, we are unaware of many things going through our minds. Perception and memory studies show that we are more aware of the results of our thinking than of its process. For example, we experience the results of our mind's unconscious workings when we set a mental clock to register the passage of time or to wake up at a certain time, or when we somehow achieve spontaneous creative insight after a problem "pops up" unconsciously. would make. Likewise, scientists and creative artists are often unable to relate the thought processes that led to their discoveries, even though they have excellent knowledge of the results.

Timothy Wilson (1985, 2002) offers a bold idea: the thought processes that govern our social behavior are different from the thought processes we use to explain our behavior. Our rational explanations may therefore miss the unconscious attitudes that really guide our behavior. In nine experiments, Wilson and colleagues (1989, 2008) found that the attitudes that people consciously express toward things or people generally predict their later behavior very well. However, their attitude reports became useless when participants were asked to analyze their feelings. For example, couples' level of satisfaction with their relationship accurately predicted whether they would still be together several months later. But participants who first listed all the reasons why their relationship was good or bad before rating their happiness were fooled: their happiness scores were useless for predicting their relationship's future! Apparently, the relationship analysis process drew attention to easily verbalizable factors that actually weren't as important as the more difficult to verbalize happiness. We are often "strangers to ourselves", concluded Wilson (2002).

Such findings indicate that we have a dual attitude system, say Wilson and colleagues (2000). Our automatic and implicit attitudes towards someone or something usually differ from our explicit and consciously controlled attitudes (Gawronski & Bodenhausen, 2006; Nosek, 2007). For example, from childhood we may retain a habitual and automatic fear or dislike of people for whom we now consciously express respect and appreciation. While explicit attitudes can change relatively easily, notes Wilson, "implicit attitudes, like old habits, change more slowly." However, with repeated practice, new habitual attitudes can replace old ones.

This inquiry into the limits of our self-knowledge has two practical implications. The first is for psychological research. Self-disclosures are generally unreliable. Self-understanding errors limit the scientific use of subjective evidence.

The second implication concerns our daily lives. The honesty with which people report and interpret their experiences does not guarantee the validity of these reports. Personal testimony is very persuasive (as we will see in Chapter 15, Social Psychology in Court). But they can also be wrong. Being aware of this potential for error can help us feel less intimidated and less naive by others.

Immune neglectThe human tendency to underestimate the speed and strength of the "psychological immune system", which enables emotional recovery and resilience after adverse events.






dual attitude system Different implicit (automatic) and explicit (consciously controlled) attitudes towards the same object. Explicit verbal attitudes can change with education and persuasion; Implicit attitudes change slowly, with practice forming new habits.

50 Part A Social Thought

ABSTRACT: Self-concept: Who am I? • Our sense of self helps organize and organize our thoughts.

Behavior. When we process information related to ourselves, we remember it well (self-reference effect). Self-awareness consists of two elements: the self-schemas that guide our processing of information relevant to us, and the possible selves we dream or fear.

• Cultures also shape the self. Many people in individualistic Western cultures assume an independent self. Others, often in collectivist cultures, assume a more interdependent self. As will be explained further in Chapter 5, these conflicting ideas contribute to cultural differences in social behavior.

• Our self-awareness is oddly flawed. We often don't know why we behave the way we do. If influences on our behavior are not obvious enough to all observers, they too can go unnoticed. The unconscious and implicit processes that drive our behavior may differ from our conscious and explicit explanations. We also tend to misjudge our emotions. We underestimate the power of our psychological immune system and therefore tend to overestimate the durability of our emotional responses to significant events.

Self-esteem Self-esteem or a person's general self-esteem.


Understand self-esteem and its impact on behavior and cognition.

Everyone wants a sense of identity, which we are motivated to promote. But how can self-esteem sometimes be problematic?

Is self-esteem, our overall self-evaluation, the sum of all our schemas and possible selves? If we consider ourselves attractive, athletic, smart and destined to be rich and loved, do we have high self-esteem? Yes, say Jennifer Crocker and Connie Wolfe (2001), if we feel good about the areas (appearance, intelligence, or whatever) that are important to our self-esteem. "One person might have a sense of self that depends largely on doing well in school and being physically attractive, while another might have a sense of self that depends on being loved by God and adhering to moral standards." One person will feel high self-esteem if they feel smart and beautiful, the second person if they feel moral.

But Jonathon Brown and Keith Dutton (1994) argue that this bottom-up view of self-esteem is not the whole truth. In his opinion, the causal arrow also goes in the other direction. People who generally value themselves (people with high self-esteem) are more likely to value their appearance, abilities, etc. They are like new parents who love their child and delight in their baby's fingers, toes, and hair: Parents don't first evaluate their child's fingers or toes and then decide how much the baby is worth.

However, certain self-perceptions do have some influence. If you think you're good at math, you're more likely to be good at math. While general self-esteem does not predict school performance very well, school self-concept, if you think you are doing well in school, does predict performance (Marsh & O'Mara, 2008). Of course, one thing leads to another: being good at math makes you think you're good at math, which motivates you to do even better. So when you want to encourage someone (or yourself!), it's best if your praise is specific ("You're good at math") rather than general ("You're great"), and if your kind words reflect the true ability . and achievement ("You really improved on the last test") over unrealistic optimism ("You can do anything"). Feedback is best when it is truthful and specific (Swann et al., 2007).

The Self in a Social World Chapter 2 51

Imagine getting your grade back on the first exam in a psychology class. When she sees her grade, she mumbles: It's between a D and F. But then she gets an encouraging email with some review questions for the class and this message: "Students with high self-esteem don't just get better grades, they stay." but confident and confident… In short: encouragement and self-esteem.” Instead, another group of students receive a message telling them to take personal control of their performance or simply receive review questions. To the researchers' surprise, students whose self-esteem rose did the worst on final exams - in fact, they failed (Forsyth et al., 2007). she thought: "I'm already great, why study?"

Self-Esteem Motivation Most people are extremely motivated to maintain their self-esteem. In fact, one study found that college students would rather boost their self-esteem than eat their favorite food, engage in their favorite sexual activity, date a best friend, drink alcohol, or collect a paycheck (Bushman et al., 2011). Well, unbelievably, self-esteem was more important than sex, pizza and beer!

What happens when your self-esteem is threatened, for example, by a failure or an unflattering comparison with someone else? When siblings have markedly different levels of achievement, for example, one is a great athlete and the other is not, they report that they do not get along (Tesser, 1988).

Threats to self-esteem also occur among friends, whose success may be more threatening than that of strangers (Zuckerman & Jost, 2001). Your self-esteem makes a difference, too: People with high self-esteem often respond to a threat to their self-esteem by compensating for it (by blaming someone else or trying harder next time). These reactions help them maintain their positive feelings about themselves. However, people with low self-esteem are more likely to “break down” by blaming themselves or giving up (VanDellen et al., 2011).

What is the underlying motive for maintaining or increasing self-esteem? Mark Leary (1998, 2004b, 2007) believes that our self-esteem is like a fuel gauge. Relationships allow for survival and prosperity. The self-esteem gauge therefore alerts us to impending social rejection and motivates us to act with greater sensitivity to others' expectations. Studies confirm that social rejection decreases and increases our self-esteem

In sibling relationships, the threat to self-esteem is greater for an older child with a gifted younger brother or sister.

52 Part One Social Thought

Terror management theory posits that people exhibit self-protective emotional and cognitive responses (including greater adherence to their worldviews and cultural biases) when confronted with reminders of their mortality.

we most eager for approval. Scorned or abandoned, we feel unattractive or inadequate. Like a flashing light on the dashboard, this pain can motivate action, self-improvement, and the search for acceptance and inclusion elsewhere.

Jeff Greenberg (2008) offers a different perspective, called "terror management theory", which argues that people need to find ways to manage their overwhelming fear of death, rather than just being accepted. The reality of our own death, he argues, motivates us to gain recognition for our work and values. However, there is a worm in the apple: not everyone gets such recognition, and that is precisely why it is precious and why self-esteem can never be totally unconditional ("You are special just because you are" is an example that the self-esteem is given unconditionally). Feeling that our lives are not wasted, Greenberg asserts, we must constantly strive for self-esteem by meeting our society's standards.

The 'dark side' of self-esteem People with low self-esteem often have problems in life: they earn less money, abuse drugs and are more likely to be depressed (Salmela-Aro & Nurmi, 2007; Trzesniewski &: other, 2006 ) ). However, as you learned in Chapter 1, sometimes a correlation between two variables is caused by a third factor. Perhaps people with low self-esteem also faced poverty as children, suffered sexual abuse or drug-using parents, all possible causes of later problems. In fact, a study that controlled for these factors found that the association between self-esteem and negative outcomes disappeared (Boden et al., 2008). In other words, low self-esteem was not the cause of these young people's problems, but the apparent cause was that many were unable to escape their harsh childhoods.

High self-esteem has several benefits: it promotes initiative, resilience and feelings of comfort (Baumeister et al., 2003). However, adolescent boys who engage in sexual activity at an "unreasonably young age" tend to have above-average self-esteem. This also applies to youth gang leaders, extreme ethnocentrics, terrorists, and men incarcerated for violent crimes (Bushman & Baumeister, 2002; Dawes, 1994, 1998). "Hitler had very high self-esteem," note Baumeister and coauthors (2003).

Narcissism: Self-Esteem's Imaginary Sister High self-esteem becomes especially problematic when you descend into narcissism or when you have inflated self-esteem. Most people with high self-esteem value both individual achievement and relationships with others. Narcissists typically have high self-esteem but lack the caring part (Campbell et al., 2002). Although narcissists are usually outgoing and charming right from the start, their self-centeredness often leads to long-term relationship problems (Campbell, 2005). The connection between narcissism and problematic social relationships led Delroy Paulhus and Kevin Williams (2002) to include narcissism in the "Black Triad" of negative traits, along with Machiavellianism (manipulation) and antisocial psychopathy.

In a series of experiments conducted by Brad Bushman and Roy Baumeister (1998), student volunteers wrote essays and received manipulated comments stating, "This is one of the worst essays I have ever read!" Those who scored high on narcissism were much more likely to respond by making painful noises in the headphones of the student they believed had criticized them. Narcissists were not aggressive towards someone who praised them ("Great essay!"). It was the insult that unsettled her. But what about self-esteem? Perhaps only "insecure" narcissists, those with low self-esteem, would lash out. But that didn't happen; instead, students with high self-esteem and narcissism were the most aggressive. The same thing happened in a classroom setting: those who had high self-esteem and high narcissism were more likely to respond to a peer's criticism by criticizing them.

53 The self in a social world


or she got a bad grade (Bushman et al., 2009; Figure 2.5). Narcissists can be charming and fun. But, as one joker put it, "God help you if you transgress them."

It's also possible to have a lot of narcissistic pride in your group, not just yourself. Polish students who exhibited "collective narcissism" and believed that their country was superior to others were more prejudiced towards Jews. Mexican students with high collective narcissism tended to see the construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border as an insult and advocated a retaliatory boycott of US products (Golec deZavala et al., 2009). Regardless of whether someone is very proud of themselves or their group, others may suffer as a result.

Some studies have found low correlations between low self-esteem and antisocial behavior, even after accounting for IQ and family income (Donnellan et al., 2005; Trzesniewski et al., 2006). However, another study found that the link between low self-esteem and antisocial behavior disappeared when past sexual abuse and behavior problems were taken into account (Boden et al., 2007). Children seem to behave aggressively not because they have low self-esteem, but because they have been hurt in the past. "The self-esteem movement's enthusiastic claims range from the extravagant to the absurd," says Baumeister (1996), who suggests that "it has probably published more studies on self-esteem than anyone else... The Effects of Self-Esteem - esteem are small, limited and not all good". People with high self-esteem, she reports, tend to be obnoxious, interrupting and talking to people instead of them (in contrast to more shy, humble and self-confident people with low self-esteem). self esteem). "My conclusion is that self-control is worth ten times more than self-esteem."

What about the idea that an overblown ego is just a cover for deep insecurities? Do narcissistic people really hate themselves "deep down"? Recent studies show that the answer is no. People who do well on measures of narcissistic personality traits also score high on measures of self-esteem. In case the narcissists claimed high self-esteem just for show, the researchers also had the students play a computer game in which they had to press a button as quickly as possible to combine the word "I" with words like "good." . combine "wonderful", "great" and "correct" and words like "bad", "terrible", "horrible" and "wrong". Individuals high on the narcissism scale associate with good words more quickly than others and with bad words more slowly than others (Campbell et al., 2007). And narcissists identified with words like "open," "dominant" and "assertive" even faster. While it may be comforting to think of

FIGURE :: 2.5 Narcissism, Self-Esteem, and Aggression Narcissism and self-esteem interact to influence aggression. In an experiment by Brad Bushman and colleagues (2009), the recipe for retaliating against a critical peer required narcissism and high self-esteem.

episode 2


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54 Part One Social Thought

If an arrogant classmate is just covering up his insecurities, he probably thinks he's awesome deep down.

NARCISM ON THE RISE After tracing self-importance over the last few decades, psychologist Jean Twenge {2006; Twenge &: other, 2008) report that today's young generation – they call it the Me Generation – expresses more narcissism (making statements such as “If I ruled the world, it would be a better place” or “I think I am a special person”. ). Narcissism scores increased over time on college campuses from Alabama to Maryland to California {Stewart & Bernhardt, 2010; Twenge & Foster, 2008, 2010). Narcissism is correlated with materialism, the desire to become famous, inflated expectations, less committed relationships and more "followers", more gambling and more cheating, all of which also increased as narcissism increased. Narcissism is also associated with a lack of empathy, the ability to understand someone's perspective, to engage with others, and to care about their problems. and empathy plummeted among college students (Konrath et al., 2011). Researchers speculate that today's generation may have engaged in online interaction, their face-to-face interaction skills atrophied. Or, they say, empathy may have waned because young people today “feel too busy on their journey to success” and focus exclusively on their own accomplishments because the world is so competitive right now. Ironically, however, those who have high levels of narcissism and low levels of empathy have less, not more, long-term success, lower college grades, and poor job performance {Judge & other, 2006; Robins & Beer, 2001).

LOW SELF-ESTEEM VERSUS SECURE Findings linking high self-esteem to negative behavior conflict with findings that people with low self-esteem are more prone to a variety of clinical problems, including anxiety, loneliness, and eating disorders. People with low self-esteem tend to see everything negatively when they feel bad or threatened. They notice and remember the worst behaviors of others and think their partners don't love them {Murray et al., 1998, 2002; Ybarra, 1999). Although there is no evidence that people with low self-esteem choose less desirable partners, they are quick to believe that their partners criticize or reject them. Perhaps this is why people with low self-esteem are less satisfied with their relationships (Fincham & Bradbury, 1993). They are also more likely to leave these relationships. Students with low self-esteem chose not to stay with roommates who viewed them positively (Swann & Pelham, 2002).

A secure sense of self-esteem (one rooted more in feeling good than in grades, looks, money, or the approval of others) leads to long-term well-being {Kemis, 2003; Schimel et al., 2001). Jennifer Crocker and colleagues {Crocker, 2002; Crocker and Luhtanen, 2003; Crocker and Park, 2004; Crocker and Knight, 2005) confirmed this in studies of students at the University of Michigan. Those whose self-esteem was more vulnerable, more dependent on external sources, experienced more stress, anger, relationship problems, drug and alcohol use, and eating disorders than those whose self-esteem was based more on internal sources, such as personal strengths.

Ironically, Crocker and Lora Park (2004) point out that those who strive for self-esteem, perhaps trying to be beautiful, rich or popular, lose sight of what really defines quality of life. When our goal is to feel good about ourselves, we may become less open to criticism, blame others rather than empathize with them, and feel pressured to succeed at activities rather than enjoy them. Over time, Crocker and Park point out, this struggle for self-esteem fails to satisfy our deep needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy. Focusing less on self-image and more on developing talents and relationships ultimately leads to greater well-being. Kristin Neff (2011) suggests naming this approach

The Self in a Social World Chapter 2 55

Self-compassion: letting go of comparisons with others and treating ourselves with kindness. As an Indian proverb says, “There is nothing noble about being superior to someone else. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self."

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: What is the nature and motivating power of self-esteem?

• Self-esteem is the general sense of self that we use to evaluate our qualities and abilities. Our self-concepts are shaped by multiple influences, including the roles we play, the comparisons we make, our social identity, how others perceive us, and our experiences of success and failure.

• Self-esteem motivation affects our cognitive processes: people with high self-esteem facing failure

they support their self-esteem by perceiving others as failures and exaggerating their superiority over others.

• Although high self-esteem is generally more beneficial than low self-esteem, researchers have found that people with high self-esteem and narcissism are the most aggressive. Someone with a big ego who feels threatened or exhausted by social rejection is potentially aggressive.


Understand the s/f concept by examining the self in action.

We think about what the self-concept is, how it develops, and how well (or poorly) we know ourselves. Now let's see why our self-concepts are important in observing the self in action.

The Energy of the Self The agency of the self has limits, point out Roy Baumeister and colleagues {1998, 2000; Muraven et al., 1998). Consider:

• People who practice self-control—forcing themselves to eat radishes instead of chocolate, or repressing forbidden thoughts—are more likely to give up when faced with unsolvable puzzles.

• People who tried to control their emotional reactions to a disturbing movie program had decreased physical resistance.

• People who exert their willpower on tasks such as controlling their emotions during a moving movie later become more aggressive and are more likely to fight with their partners {DeWall et al., 2007; Finkel & Campbell, 2001). They also become less reserved in their sexual thoughts and behavior. When asked to express intimacy with their partners, those with depleted willpower were more likely to kiss their partners passionately and even remove some of their clothing in the lab (Gailliot & Baumeister, 2007).

Efforts to control ourselves deplete our limited reserves of will. Our brain's "central executive" uses available blood sugar to control itself (Gailliot, 2008). Baumeister and Julie Exline (2000) conclude that self-control works similarly to muscle strength: both weaken after exertion, replenish with rest, and strengthen with movement.

56 part one

Self-Efficacy A feeling of being competent and effective, as opposed to self-esteem, which is a sense of self-worth.

social thinking

Although energy itself may be temporarily depleted, our self-concepts influence our behavior (Graziano et al., 1997). People who rate themselves as hardworking and successful outperform those who rate themselves as failures on challenging tasks (Ruvolo & Markus, 1992). Imagine your positive possibilities and you are more likely to plan and execute a winning strategy.

Self-Efficacy Stanford psychologist Albert Bandura (1997, 2000, 2008) has captured the power of positive thinking in his research and theories on self-efficacy (how competent we feel at a task). Believing in our own competence and effectiveness pays off (Bandura et al., 1999; Maddux & Gosselin, 2003). Children and adults with strong feelings of self-efficacy are more persistent, less anxious and less depressed. They also live healthier lives and are more academically successful.

In everyday life, self-efficacy leads us to set challenging goals and persevere. More than 100 studies show that self-efficacy predicts productivity at work (Stajkovic & Luthans, 1998). When problems arise, a strong sense of self-efficacy leads employees to stay calm and look for solutions rather than dwelling on their shortcomings. Competition plus perseverance equals performance. And with performance comes self-confidence. Self-efficacy, like self-esteem, grows with hard-earned achievements.

Even subtle manipulations of self-efficacy can affect behavior. Becca Levy (1996) discovered this when she subliminally exposed 90 older adults to words that evoked a negative or positive stereotype of aging (prepared). Some subjects saw 0.066 second presentations of negative words such as "decline", "forget" and "senile" or positive words such as "wise", "wise" and "learned". On a conscious level, participants perceived only a flash of light. However, positive words led to greater "memory self-efficacy" (confidence in one's own memory) and better memory performance. Looking at the negative words had the opposite effect. We can observe a similar phenomenon outside the laboratory: older adults in China, where positive images of aging are prevalent and memory self-efficacy may be higher, seem to experience less memory loss than is commonly seen in Western countries (Schacter et al. , 1991 ). . .

If you believe you can do something, will that belief necessarily make a difference? This depends on a second factor: are you in control of your results? For example, they may feel that they are an effective driver (high self-efficacy) but feel vulnerable to drunk drivers (in control). You may feel like a competent student or worker, but fearing discrimination based on your age, gender or appearance, you may feel your chances of success are slim.

Many people confuse self-efficacy with self-esteem. When you believe you can make a difference, that's self-efficacy. If you like yourself in general, that's self-esteem. As a child, your parents may have encouraged you by saying things like "You're special!" (meant to boost self-esteem) or "I know you can do it!" (to strengthen self-efficacy). One study showed that self-efficacy feedback ("You really worked") led to better performance than self-esteem feedback ("You're very smart"). Children who were told they were smart were afraid to try again; maybe they wouldn't look so smart next time. However, those who were praised for their hard work knew they could go back and try harder (Mueller & Dweck, 1998). If you want to cheer someone up, focus on their self-efficacy, not their self-worth.

Locus of Control "I don't have a social life," a 40-year-old single man complained to aspiring therapist Jerry Phares. At Phares' insistence, the patient went to a ball where several women danced with him. "I got lucky," he later reported. "That would never happen again." When Phares related this to his mentor, Julian Rotter, it crystallized an idea he had developed. In Rotter's experiences and in his clinic

The self in a social world

In practice, some people persistently "feel that what happens to them is determined by external forces of one kind or another, while others feel that what happens to them is largely determined by their own efforts and abilities" (cited by Hunt, 1993). , pg. 334).

What do you think of your own life? Are you often responsible for your fate or a victim of circumstances? Rotter called this dimension the Locus of Control. With Phares, he developed 29 paired statements to measure an individual's locus of control. Imagine that you are taking this test. Which statement do you believe most?

one. In the long run, people get the respect they deserve in this world.

one. What happens to me is my doing.

one. The average person can influence government decisions.

or b. Unfortunately, people's worth is not recognized no matter how hard they try.

or b. Sometimes I feel like I don't have enough control over where my life is going.

or b. This world is ruled by a powerful few, and there's not much the little one can do about that.

If your answers to these questions (von Rotter, 1973) were mostly "a", you probably believe that you control your own destiny (internal locus of control). If your answers were mostly "b", you probably feel that chance or external forces determine your destiny (external locus of control, as in Figure 2.6). Those who consider themselves internally in control are more likely to do well in school, be more productive at work, earn more money, successfully quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight, face marital problems head-on, be happier in life, and achieve goals. long term. (Findley & Cooper, 1983; Gale et al., 2008; Miller et al., 1986; Wang et al., 2010).

The degree of control we feel depends on how we explain the setbacks. You may know students who see themselves as victims, who blame low grades on things beyond their control, like teachers, texts, or "bad" tests. When these students are taught to embrace a more hopeful sense of personal control - believing

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Chapter 2 57

Locus of control The extent to which people perceive outcomes as internally controllable through their own efforts or externally controllable through chance or external forces.

FIGURE :: 2.6 Control site

58 Part One Social Thought






Learned Helplessness The learned feeling of hopelessness and resignation when a human or animal realizes that they have no control over repeated terrible events.

FIGURE: 2.7 Learned Helplessness When animals and humans experience terrible and uncontrollable events, they learn to feel helpless and resigned.

Effort, good study habits, and self-discipline can make a difference: your academic performance tends to improve (Noel et al., 1987; Peterson & Barrett, 1987). They are also less likely to cheat: students who have been told that free will is an illusion, that what happens to them is out of their control, look for answers and pay more for mediocre work (Vohs & Schooler, 2008).

When evaluating employees' job performance, bosses gave significantly higher scores to those with stronger beliefs in free will, likely because these employees believed they could control their actions (Stillman et al., 2010). New life insurance salespeople who see failure as manageable (“It's hard, but I get better with perseverance”) sell more policies. They drop out in the first year only half as often as their more pessimistic peers (Seligman & Schulman, 1986). Among varsity swim team members, those with an optimistic "explanatory style" are more likely to exceed expectations than pessimists (Seligman et al., 1990). As the Roman poet Virgil said in the Aeneid, "They can because they believe they can."

However, some people have taken these ideas a little too far. For example, the popular book The Secret claims that thinking positive thoughts causes positive things to happen to you ("The only reason a person doesn't have enough money is because he prevents money from coming with his thoughts"). So are we to conclude that we don't need to help these poor Somalis in Africa, they just need to think happy thoughts? And when you're sick, they say, you just don't think positive enough, even though thousands of cancer patients die to get better. Obviously, there are limits to the power of positive thinking. Being optimistic and feeling in control can bring great benefits, but poverty and disease can affect anyone.

Learned helplessness versus self-determination The benefits of feelings of control are also evident in animal research. In research prior to today's growing concern for animal welfare, dogs that were caged and taught that they could not escape shock learned a sense of helplessness. Later, these dogs would passively crouch in other situations where they could escape punishment. Dogs that have learned personal control (successfully escaping their initial shocks) easily adapt to a new situation. Researcher Martin Seligman (1975, 1991) found similarities to this learned helplessness in human situations. For example, depressed or oppressed people become passive because they believe their efforts are ineffective. Helpless dogs and depressed humans suffer from will paralysis, passive resignation, and even immobile apathy (Figure 2.7).

On the other hand, people benefit from exercising their "muscles" of self-control. College students who exercised self-control by following an exercise program or reducing impulse buying also ate less junk food, reduced alcohol intake, and learned more (Oaten & Cheng, 2006a, 2006b). So, as you learn to exert willpower in one area of ​​your life, it becomes easier to resist temptation in other areas as well.

Ellen Langer and Judith Rodin (1976) tested the importance of personal control in the care of elderly patients in a prestigious Connecticut nursing home in two ways. With one group, the benevolent caretakers highlighted "our responsibility to make this a home they can be proud of and rejoice in." They gave patients their normal compassionate and well-meaning care and allowed them to assume a passive role as recipients of care. Three weeks later, most of these patients were classified as more debilitated by themselves, interviewers and caregivers.

Uncontrollable and bad events

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The Self in a Social World Chapter 2 59

Langer's and Rodin's different treatment encouraged personal control. He emphasized choice, the ability to influence domestic politics, and a man's responsibility to "make your life what you want". These patients were given small decisions to make and responsibilities to fulfill. Over the next 3 weeks, 93% of that group showed improvement in alertness, activity, and happiness.

Studies confirm that leadership or management systems that promote personal control actually promote health and happiness (Deci & Ryan, 1987). Here are some additional examples:

• Prisoners who are given some control over their environment, being able to move chairs, control televisions and operate lights, experience less stress, exhibit fewer health problems and commit less vandalism (Ruback et al., 1986; Werner et al., 1987) . ).

• Employees who are free to perform tasks and make decisions experience better morale (Miller & Monge, 1986). This is also true for telecommuters, who have more flexibility in their work-life balance (Valcour, 2007).

• In all countries surveyed, people who feel free to choose are more satisfied with their lives. And countries where people experience more freedom have happier citizens (Inglehart et al., 2008).

THE COST OF EXCESS Can there be too much of a good thing like freedom and self-determination? Barry Schwartz (2000, 2004) argues that modern individualistic cultures do, in fact, have "too much freedom", resulting in decreased life satisfaction and higher rates of clinical depression. Too many choices can lead to paralysis or what Schwartz calls "the tyranny of freedom." After choosing between 30 types of jam or chocolate, people are less satisfied with their choice than those who choose between 6 options (Iyengar & Lepper, 2000). Making decisions is also tiring. Students who read the catalog and chose courses to take next semester, as opposed to those who just read it but didn't choose, were less likely to study later for a big test and more likely to procrastinate by playing video games and reading. magazines In another study, students who chose from a variety of consumer products were less able to consume an unappetizing but healthy beverage (Vohs «Sc other, 2008). So after choosing from the 19,000 possible drink combinations at Starbucks or After deciding on the 40,000 items in the average grocery store, you may be less satisfied with your choices and more likely to go home and eat the ice cream. I can.

Christopher Hsee and Reid Hastie (2006) illustrate how choices can increase regret. Give your employees a free trip to Paris or Hawaii and they'll be happy. But give them a choice between the two and they might be less fortunate. People who choose Paris may lament the lack of heat and sea. Those who choose Hawaii may lament the lack of great museums.

In other experiments, people expressed more satisfaction with irrevocable decisions (e.g., making a "buy it all" sale) than with reversible decisions (e.g., approving refunds or exchanges). Ironically, people like the freedom to reverse their choices and will pay for it. Vet, Daniel Gilbert and Jane Ebert (2002) point out that the same freedom can “inhibit the psychological processes that produce satisfaction”.

Personal control: Inmates in Spain's modern prison, Valencia, gained access to education, sports facilities, cultural activities, and money in an account that can be topped up for snacks through work and proper behavior.

60 Part A Social Thought

Confidence and feelings of self-efficacy grow with success.© Edward Koren/The New Yorker Collection/www.cartoonbank.corr

This principle may help explain a strange social phenomenon (Myers, 2000a): national surveys show that, a few decades ago, people expressed more satisfaction with their marriage when the marriage was more irrevocable ("all purchases are final"). Despite greater freedom to escape bad marriages and try new ones, people today tend to express slightly less satisfaction with their marriages.

Research on self-control gives us greater confidence in traditional virtues like perseverance and hope. Bandura (2004) recognizes that self-efficacy is fueled by social belief (“You have what it takes to succeed”) and self-persuasion (“I think I can, I think I can”). Modeling, seeing how others succeed with effort, also helps. But the greatest source of self-efficacy, he says, comes from mastery experiences. "Success builds a strong belief in one's effectiveness." When Your Initial Weight Loss Efforts Stop

If you quit smoking or successfully improve your grades, your self-efficacy increases. A research team led by Roy Baumeister (Baumeister et al., 2003) agrees.

with Bandura's conclusion about championship experiences. "Praising all children for being themselves," they say, "just devalues ​​the praise." It is better to praise and raise self-esteem "in recognition of good performance... If the person performs better or behaves better, self-esteem will increase and the net effect will be good behavior and improvements. These results lead to both individual happiness as well as the betterment of society".

*'Give it! my confidence a real boost.”

THE insideSTORY Daniel Gilbert on the benefits of irrevocable commitments

In 2002, I changed my mind about the benefit of being able to change my mind.

Jane Ebert and I have found that, in general, people are happiest with decisions that cannot be undone. When participants in our experiments managed to reverse their decisions, they tended to consider both the positive and negative aspects of the decisions they made. When they couldn't undo their decisions, they tended to focus on the good qualities and ignore the bad. As such, they were happier making irrevocable decisions than revocable ones. Ironically, the participants didn't know this was going to happen and preferred the opportunity to change their minds.

Well, up until this point I've always believed that love causes marriage. But these experiences suggested to me that marriage would also generate love. If you are serious about data, act accordingly. When those results came in, I went home and asked the woman I lived with to marry me. She said yes, and the dates were correct: I love my wife more than my girlfriend (extracted with permission from

Daniel GilbertHarvard University

The Self in a Social World Chapter 2 61

SUMMARY: What does it mean to have "perceived self-control"?

• Several lines of research show the benefits of a sense of self-efficacy and a sense of control. People who believe in their own competence and effectiveness and have an internal locus of control do better and achieve more than others.

• Learned helplessness usually occurs when attempts to improve a situation are unsuccessful;

Self-determination, on the other hand, is strengthened by experiences of successfully exercising control and improving one's situation.

• When people are given too many options, they may be less satisfied with what they have than when they are given fewer options.

WHAT IS SELF-SERVING BIAS? Explain selfish bias and its adaptive and maladaptive aspects.

Most of us have a good reputation for ourselves. In studies of self-esteem, even those with low scores respond in the middle range of possible scores. (A person with low self-esteem responds to statements such as “I have good ideas” with a qualifying adjective such as “a little” or “sometimes”.) Appreciation was above average in all countries (Schmitt & Allik, 2005) . In recent samples of college students from the United States, the most common score on a measure of self-esteem was maximum—indeed, “perfect” self-esteem (Gentile et al., 2010). One of the most provocative but well-established conclusions from social psychology concerns the power of selfish bias, a tendency to perceive oneself in a positive light.

Explanation of Positive and Negative Events Many dozens of experiments have shown that people take credit when they say they've been successful. They attribute success to their skill and effort, but attribute failure to external factors such as bad luck or the 'impossibility' inherent in the problem (Campbell & Sedikides, 1999). Likewise, athletes often take credit for explaining their wins but attribute the losses to something else: poor play, bad refereeing decisions, or hard work or foul play by the other team (Grove et al., 1991; Lalonde, 1992). ). ; Mullen and Riordan). , 1988). And how much responsibility do you think drivers take for their accidents? On insurance forms, drivers described their accidents with words like: “An invisible car appeared out of nowhere, collided with my car and disappeared”; "As I came to an intersection a hedge came up obstructing my view and I didn't see the other car"; and "A pedestrian hit me and went under my car" (Toronto Neivs, 1977).

Situations that combine skill and luck (games, exams and job applications) are particularly prone to the phenomenon. If I win at Scrabble, it's because of my verbal skills; If I lose, it's because "Who gets somewhere with a Q but not a U?" Likewise, politicians tend to attribute their gains to themselves (hard work, electoral service, reputation and strategy) and their losses to factors beyond their control (the composition of their electoral party, the name of their opponent, etc. ). trends) (Kingdon, 1967). ). As corporate profits soar, CEOs reap huge rewards for their managerial skills. When wins turn to losses, what can you expect in a weak economy? This selfish attribution phenomenon (attributing positive outcomes to oneself and negative outcomes to someone else) is one of the strongest human biases (Mezulis et al., 2004). This could be for a

Selfish Prejudice The tendency to perceive oneself in a positive light.

selfish attributions A form of selfish bias; the tendency to attribute positive outcomes to oneself and negative outcomes to other factors.

62 Part One Social Thought

DILBERT © Scott Adams. Distribuído pela United Feature Syndicate. Inc.








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For good reason: Selfish attributions activate areas of the brain associated with reward and pleasure (Seidel et al., 2010).

Self-interest attributions contribute to marital discord, worker dissatisfaction, and negotiation difficulties (Kruger & Gilovich, 1999). It is not surprising that divorced people blame their partner for the separation (Gray & Silver, 1990) or that managers attribute poor performance to lack of skill or effort on the part of employees (Imai, 1994; Rice, 1985). ). (Workers are more likely to blame something external: supplies, excessive workloads, difficult coworkers, or ambiguous assignments.) Not surprisingly, people rate raises fairer when they get a bigger raise than most of their peers. (Diekmann et al., 1997).

We help maintain our positive self-image by associating ourselves with success and distancing ourselves from failure. Example: "I got an A on the economics test" vs. "The teacher gave me a C on the history test." et al., 2003). However, we will recognize our longstanding faults, those of our “old” selves, note Anne Wilson and Michael Ross (2001). Her University of Waterloo students described their former pre-college selves and made almost as many negative statements as positive. When describing their current selves, they made three times as many positive statements. "I learned and grew, and now I'm a better person," most people assume. Yesterday idiots, today champions.

Ironically, we are even biased to not see our own prejudice. People claim that they avoid selfish biases, but readily recognize that others have such biases (Pronin et al., 2002). This "biased blind spot" can have serious consequences in conflicts. If you are negotiating with your roommate about who will do chores and you think he is biased, you are much more likely to get angry (Pronin & Ross, 2006). We seem to see ourselves as objective and everyone else as biased. No wonder we fight, because each of us is convinced that he is "right" and free from prejudice. As the T-shirt slogan says: "Everyone is entitled to my opinion".

Is selfish bias universal, or are people in collectivist cultures immune? People in collectivist cultures are associated with positive words and valuable traits (Gaertner et al., 2008; Yamaguchi et al., 2007). However, in some studies, collectivists are less likely to improve themselves by believing they are better than others (Falk et al., 2009; Heine & Hamamura, 2007), particularly in individualistic areas (Sedikides et al., 2003, 2005). .

Can we all be better than average? Selfish tendencies also show up when people compare themselves to others. If the sixth century B.C. Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu was right when he said that "at no time in the world will a sane person work too hard, try too hard, overestimate himself", so most of us are a little crazy. Because on subjective, socially desirable, and common dimensions, most people look better than average.

The Self in a Social World Chapter 2 63

People. Compared to people in general, most people see themselves as more ethical, more competent at work, friendlier, smarter, more attractive, less biased, healthier, and even more insightful and less biased in their self-evaluation. (See "Focus On: Selfish Bias—How Do I Love Myself? Make Me Count the Ways.")

Each community, it seems, is like Garrison Keillor's fictional Lake Wobegon, where "all the women are strong, all the men are handsome, and all the children are above average." Many people believe that it will be even better than average in the future; if I'm fine now, I'll be fine soon, they seem to think (Kanten & Teigen, 2008). One of Freud's favorite jokes was the husband saying to his wife, "If one of us died, I think he would live in Paris."

Selfish prejudice is also common in marriages. In a 2008 survey, 49% of married men said they care for half of most children. But only 31% of women said their husbands did the same. In the same survey, 70% of women reported that they mainly cook, but 56% of men reported that they mainly cook (Galinsky et al., 2009). The rule of thumb: Group members' estimates of how much they contribute to a common task often add up to more than 100% (Savitsky et al., 2005).

Approach Selfish Prejudice: How Do I Love Myself? Let me count the ways

"The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnicity," writes columnist Dave Barry (1998), "is that deep down we all believe we are above-average drivers." we are above average in most other subjective and desirable attributes.

• Ethic. Most entrepreneurs see themselves as more ethical than the average entrepreneur (Baumhart, 1968; Brenner & Molander, 1977). A national poll asked, "On a scale of 1 to 1 (X) (where 100 is perfect), how would you rate your own morals and values?" Fifty percent of people rated themselves 90 or higher; only 11 percent said 74 or less (Lovett, 1997).

• Professional competence. In one survey, 90% of business leaders rated their performance better than the average of their peers (French, 1968). In Australia, 86% of people rated their job performance above average and only 1% below average (Headey & Wearing, 1987). Most surgeons believe that the mortality rate of their patients is below average (Gawande, 2002).

• virtues. In the Netherlands, most high school students consider themselves to be more honest, persistent, original, friendly and trustworthy than average.

yo estudiante (Hoorens, 1993, 1995).

Intelligence. Most people perceive themselves as smarter, more attractive, and far less biased than their average peers (Public Opinion, 1984; Watt & Larkin, 2010; Wylie, 1979). When someone surpasses them, people tend to think of the other as a genius (Lasiter & Munhall, 2001). parental support. Most adults believe they are more supportive of older parents than siblings (Lerner et al., 1991). Health. Los Angeles residents consider themselves healthier than most of their neighbors, and most college students believe they will survive the actuarially predicted age of death by about 10 years (Larwood, 1978; Snyder, 1978). Attractive. Is it your experience, like mine, that most of your pictures don't seem to do you justice? One experiment showed people a series of faces, one their own, the others their faces, which were transformed into less attractive faces (Epiey & Whitchurch, 2008). When asked what their real face was, people were more likely to name an attractive, enhanced version of their face. To drive. Most drivers, including most drivers who have been hospitalized in accidents, consider themselves safer and more experienced than the average driver (Guerin, 1994; McKenna & Myers, 1997; Svenson, 1981). David Barry was right.


64 Part One Social Thought

®Jean Sorensen.

My wife and I lined up our clothes on the floor next to our laundry basket in the bedroom. One of us put it on in the morning. When he suggested that I take on more responsibility, I thought, "Huh? I'm 75% satisfied with this." So I asked him how many times he thought he took the clothes. "Oh," she replied, "about 75 percent of the time."

Within widely considered domains, subjective dimensions of behavior (such as "disciplined") trigger even greater selfish bias than observable dimensions of behavior (such as "punctual"). Subjective characteristics give us room to construct our own definition of success (Dunning et al., 1989, 1991). When I evaluate my "sportsmanship," I think of my basketball game, not the agonizing weeks I spent as a minor league baseball player backed into right field. Judge my "leader".

Naval Talent”, I evoke the image of a great leader whose style is similar to mine. By defining ambiguous criteria in our own terms, each of us can consider ourselves relatively successful. None of the older adults rated below average on "the ability to get along with others" (a subjectively desirable trait), with 60% ranking in the top 10%. and 25 percent saw themselves in the top 1 percent! In 2011, 77% of incoming college students described themselves as above average in their "achievement drive," another subjective and desirable characteristic (Pryor et al., 2012).

Researchers ask: Do people really believe in their above-average self-esteem? Does your selfish bias depend in part on how the questions are phrased (Krizan & Suls, 2008)? When Elanor Williams and Thomas Gilovich (2008) had people gamble real money when assessing their relative performance on tests, they found that yes, "people really believe in their self-assessment of self-improvement."

“The prospects for the future are so good that




Unreal optimism O optimism predisposes to a positive attitude throughout life. "The optimist," notes H. Jackson Brown (1990, p. 79), "goes to the window every morning and says, 'Good morning, God.' The pessimist goes to the window and says, 'Good Lord, good day'".

Studies of over 90,000 people across 22 cultures show that most people tend to be optimistic rather than pessimistic (Fischer & Chalmers, 2008). Indeed, many of us have what researcher Neil Weinstein (1980, 1982) calls "unrealistic optimism about future life events." In a global survey from 2006 to 2008, most people expected their lives to improve more in the next 5 years than in the last 5 years (Deaton, 2009), a particularly notable expectation given the ensuing global recession. In part because of their relative pessimism about the fate of others (Hoorens et al., 2008; Shepperd, 2003), students consider themselves much more likely than their peers to get a good job, earn a good salary, and own a home. They also consider themselves much less likely to experience negative events, such as B. developing a drinking problem, having a heart attack before age 40, or being fired. Adult women are much more likely to be inappropriate

65The self in a social world

more optimistic than pessimistic about their relative risk of breast cancer (Waters et al., 2011). Football fans believe that their favorite team has a 77% chance of winning the first game. Even after 4 months in which their team won only half the time (on average), they are still hopeful and predict a 70% chance that their team will win (Massey et al., 2011).

Parents transfer their unrealistic optimism onto their children, assuming they are less likely to drop out of college, become depressed, or get lung cancer than the average child. According to one study (Lench et al., 2006), parents assumed their children would be more likely to graduate from college and remain healthy and happy.

False optimism increases our vulnerability. Believing ourselves immune to misfortune, we take no sensible precautions. It has been found that sexually active female students who do not use contraceptives consistently are much less prone to unwanted pregnancies compared to other women at their university (Burger & Burns, 1988). People who are trying to quit and believe they have above average willpower are more likely to hold cigarettes and be around other smokers, behaviors that are likely to lead to relapse (Nordgren et al., 2009). ). Older drivers who rated themselves as "above average" were four times more likely to fail a driving test than younger drivers and were rated as "unsafe" (Freund et al., 2005). Students who enter college with overestimated academic abilities often suffer from reduced self-esteem and well-being and are more likely to drop out (Robins & Beer, 2001). In perhaps the most far-reaching example, in the mid-2000s, many homebuyers, mortgage lenders and investors exhibited unrealistic optimism in their belief that "homes never die" and accumulated huge debts. The end result was a wave of foreclosures that triggered the 2007-2009 recession, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. We often pay a price for desired optimism.

Those who blithely deny the effects of smoking or stumble into unhappy relationships remind us that blind optimism, like pride, can precede a downfall. When gambling, optimists persist longer than pessimists, even when they accumulate losses (Gibson & Sanbonmatsu, 2004). If those who trade in the stock market or real estate find that their business intuition is superior to that of their competitors, they too may be disappointed. Even the 17th-century economist Adam Smith, a champion of human economic rationality, predicted that people would overestimate their chances of winning. This "absurd assumption of one's own happiness" stems from "most people's arrogant assumption of their own abilities" (Spiegel, 1971, p. 243).

Unrealistic optimism seems to be on the rise. In the 1970s, half of high school graduates in the United States predicted that they would grow up to be "very good" workers: the highest rating available and the equivalent of five stars out of five. In 2006, two-thirds of teenagers believed they would achieve this excellent result (Twenge & Campbell, 2008). Even more surprising, in 2000, half of high school seniors believed they would earn a college degree, yet only 9%

episode 2

NO SEQUITUR © 1999 Wiley Miller. Distributed by Universal Press Syndicate. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

"Oh God, give us mercy









66 Part One Social Thought

False Optimism: Most couples get married expecting lasting love. In fact, in individualistic cultures, half of all marriages fail.

probably would (Reynolds et al., 2006). While aiming high has benefits for success, those who aim too high may suffer from depression as they learn to align their goals with more realistic heights (Wrosch & Miller, 2009).

Optimism definitely trumps pessimism in promoting self-efficacy, health, and well-being (Armor & Taylor, 1996; Segerstrom, 2001). As natural optimists, most people believe that they will be happier with their lives in the future, a belief that certainly helps create happiness in the present (Robinson & Ryff, 1999). If our optimist prehistoric ancestors were more likely than their pessimistic neighbors to overcome challenges and survive, then it is not surprising that we are inclined to be optimists (Haselton &

defensive pessimism The adaptive value of anticipating problems and using fear to motivate effective action.

Nettle, 2006), but a dash of realism – or what Julie Norem (2000) calls defensive pessimism –

it can sometimes save us from the dangers of unrealistic optimism. Defensive pessimism anticipates problems and motivates them to deal with them effectively. As a Chinese proverb says, "Prepare for danger while remaining peaceful." Students who exhibit excessive optimism (as do many students with low grades) benefit from doubt, which motivates learning (Prohaska, 1994; Sparrell & Shrauger, 1984). ). Overconfident students tend to be unprepared, while their equally talented but less confident peers study harder and get better grades (Goodhart, 1986; Norem & Cantor, 1986; Showers & Ruben, 1987). It often helps to see things more directly and realistically. In one experiment, students were highly optimistic about predicting their test performance when the test was hypothetical, but surprisingly accurate when the test was imminent (Armor & Sackett, 2006). Believing you're great when nothing can prove you wrong is one thing, but with a rating fast approaching, it's best not to come across as an arrogant fool.

It is also important to listen to the critics. “A rule of thumb I often tell my students,” writes David Dunning (2006), “is that if two people independently give you the same negative feedback, you should at least consider the possibility that this might be true.” a power for both negative thinking and positive thinking. Bottom line: Success in school and beyond requires enough optimism to sustain hope and enough pessimism to inspire concern.

false consensus effect The tendency to overestimate the similarities between someone's opinions and their undesirable or unsuccessful behaviors.

False Consensus and Uniqueness We have a curious tendency to improve our self-image by overestimating or underestimating the extent to which others think and act like us. In matters of opinion, we find support for our positions by overestimating the degree to which others agree, a phenomenon called the false consensus effect (Krueger & Clement, 1994b; Marks & Miller, 1987; Mullen & Goethals, 1990). Sharad Goel, Winter Mason, and Duncan Watts (2010) found that Facebook users guess 90% correctly when they agree with their friends on political and other issues, but only 41% when assessing disagreements. In other words, most of the time they thought their friends agreed with them when they didn't. Business students asked to make decisions about ethical dilemmas overestimated how many other students made the same decision (Flynn & Wiltermuth, 2010).

The self in a social world

Example of selfish bias

Attributing success to skill and effort, failure to luck and appearances

Compare yourself positively with others.

I got an A in history because I studied so hard. I got a D in sociology because the tests were unfair.

I do more for my parents than my sister.

Unrealistic Optimism Even if 50% of marriages fail, I know my happiness will remain.


Other consensus and oddities know that most people agree with me that global warming threatens our future^K^White Australians who were prejudiced against Aboriginal people were more likely to believe that other whites were also prejudiced (Watt & Larkin, 2010). Our sense of the world seems to be common sense.

When we misbehave or fail at a task, we soothe ourselves by thinking that such mistakes are also common. After one person has lied to another, the liar begins to perceive the other person as dishonest (Sagarin et al., 1998). When we feel sexual desire for another person, we may overestimate the other's desire. We suspect that others think and act like us: "I'm lying, but isn't everyone else?" If we dodge taxes, smoke, or improve our appearance, we probably overestimate the number of other people who do the same. As former Baywatch actor David Hasselhoff put it: “I had Botox. "We don't see things as they are," says a proverb. "We see things as we are."

Dawes (1990) suggests that this false consensus may occur because we are generalizing from a limited sample that prominently includes us. In the absence of other information, why not "design" yourself; Why not attribute our own knowledge to others and use our answers as a guide to your possible answers? The majority of the people are in the majority; So when people assume they're in the majority, they're usually right. We are also more likely to spend time with people who share our attitudes and behaviors and consequently judge the world by the people we meet. Not surprisingly, Germans are more likely to think that the typical European looks more German, while Portuguese people see Europeans more like Portuguese (Imhoff et al., 2011).

However, a false uniqueness effect occurs more frequently in matters of ability or when we behave well or successfully (Goethals et al., 1991). We serve our own image by seeing our talents and moral behavior as relatively uncommon. Dutch students preferred to be part of a larger group on matters of opinion, such as politics (false consensus), but wanted to be part of a smaller group on matters of taste, such as musical preferences (false uniqueness; Spears et al., 2009). After all, a band stops being cool if a lot of people like it. Female students who protect themselves when drinking, for example by designating a driver or drinking alone during a meal, underestimate how many other females do the same (Benton Sz Others, 2008). Therefore, we can see our faults as relatively normal and our virtues as relatively exceptional.

In summary, selfish biases appear as selfish attributions, presumptuous comparisons, fanciful optimism, and false consensus about one's own mistakes (Figure 2.8).

FIGURE: 2.8 How self-service bias works

Chapter 2 67








Talbert, 1997)

false uniqueness effect The tendency to underestimate the similarities between one's abilities and desirable or successful behaviors.

68 Part One Social Thought

Explanation of Selfish Bias One explanation sees selfish bias as a by-product of how we process and remember information about ourselves. When we compare ourselves with others, we need to notice, evaluate, and remember their behavior and ours. Therefore, there are several possibilities for errors in our information processing (Chambers & Windschitl, 2004). In one study, married people credited themselves with doing more housework than their spouses. Could this not be due, as Michael Ross and Fiore Sicoly (1979) have suggested, to our greater memory of what we were actively doing and our lesser memory of what we were not doing or simply watching our partner do? I could easily imagine picking up dirty clothes from the bedroom floor, but I was less aware of it.

the times I absentmindedly forgot about it. Are distorted perceptions simply unemotional misperceptions?

Error processing information? Or are selfish motives also at play? From the investigation, it is now clear that we have multiple motives. In the search for self-knowledge, we are motivated to evaluate our competence (Dunning, 1995). In the quest for self-affirmation, we are motivated to examine our self-concepts (Sanitioso & others, 1990; Swann, 1996, 1997). In the quest for self-affirmation, we are especially motivated to improve our self-image (Sedikides, 1993). Thus, the self-esteem motivation helps to strengthen our selfish inclination. As social psychologist Daniel Batson (2006) suggests, "The head is an extension of the heart."

Can we all be better than average?© William Haeleli/The New Yorker Collection/www

Reflections on Self-Esteem and Selfish Bias If you are like some readers, you now find selfishness depressing or at odds with your own occasional feelings of inadequacy. Even people who exhibit a selfish streak can feel inferior to those who are a rung or two higher on the ladder of success, attractiveness, or ability. Also, not everyone operates with a selfish bias. Some people suffer from low self-esteem. Having a positive self-esteem has a number of benefits.

Selfish bias like Adaptive Self Worth has its dark side, but also its bright side. When good things happen, people with high self-esteem are more likely to enjoy themselves and keep the good feeling going.

(Wood et al., 2003). “Believing that you have more talents and positive qualities than your peers allows you to feel good about yourself and cope with the stressful circumstances of everyday life with the resources that positive self-esteem brings,” observed Shelley Taylor and Coresearchers (2003b).

Selfish biases and the accompanying excuses also help protect people from depression (Snyder & Higgins, 1988; Taylor et al., 2003a). Non-depressed people often exhibit a selfish bias. you apologize

© Mike Twohy/The New Yorker Collection/

69The self in a social world

your mistakes in lab assignments or self-control as more than they are. Depressed people don't overestimate themselves or how others really see them (more on that in Chapter 14).

Selfish bias also helps buffer stress. George Bonanno and colleagues (2005) assessed the emotional resilience of workers who fled the World Trade Center around the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. They found that those who exhibited self-reinforcing tendencies were the most resilient.

In their "Terror Management Theory," Jeff Greenberg, Sheldon Solomon, and Tom Pyszczynski (1997; Greenberg, 2008) propose another reason why positive self-esteem is adaptive: it dampens anxiety, including anxiety related to certain death. In childhood we learn that if we follow the rules that our parents taught us, we will be loved and protected; if we don't, we may be deprived of love and protection. Therefore, we associate good looks with a sense of security. Greenberg and his colleagues argue that positive self-esteem, seeing oneself as good and safe, protects us even from the fear of our eventual death. Their research shows that remembering their mortality (for example, writing a short essay about death) motivates them to assert their self-esteem. In the face of such threats, self-esteem dampens fear. In 2004, one year after the US invasion, Iraqi teenagers who felt their country was threatened reported the highest self-esteem (Carlton-Ford et al., 2008).

As research on depression and anxiety suggests, there is practical wisdom in selfish perceptions. It can be strategic to believe that we are smarter, stronger, and more socially successful than we are. Fraudsters can demonstrate honesty more convincingly if they believe they are honorable. Believing in our superiority can also motivate us to achieve something, create a self-fulfilling prophecy and keep our hope alive in difficult times (Willard & Gramzow, 2009).

Selfish Prejudice as Maladaptive While selfish pride can help protect us from depression, it can also be a maladjustment. People who blame others for their social difficulties tend to be more unhappy than people who can admit their mistakes (Anderson et al., 1983; Newman & Langer, 1981; Peterson et al., 1981).

Barry Schlenker's (1976; Schlenker & Miller, 1977a, 1977b) research has also shown how selfish perceptions can poison a group. As a guitarist in a rock band during his college days, Schlenker noted that "Rock band members typically overestimated their contribution to a group's success and underestimated their contribution to failure. In his later life as a social psychologist at the University of Florida, Schlenker explored selfish perceptions of group members. In nine experiments, he had people work together on a task. Then he falsely informed them that their group had done well or poorly. In each of these studies, members of successful groups claimed more responsibility for their group's performance than members of groups who allegedly failed at the task.

When most group members feel that they are underpaid and underappreciated compared to their above-average contributions, disharmony and envy are likely to ensue. University deans and academic deans will readily recognize the phenomenon. Ninety percent or more of college professors rated themselves above the average of their peers (Blackburn et al., 1980; Cross, 1977). So it's inevitable that when pay raises are announced and half receive an average pay raise or less, many feel unfair.

Self-interest biases also heighten people's judgments of their groups, a phenomenon called serving-the-group bias. When groups are comparable, most people consider their own group superior (Codol, 1976; Jourden & Heath, 1996; Taylor & Doria, 1981).

episode 2

"Victory finds a Hun





“Other sins are before


- SENECA, IN FURY. Announcement. 43

In-group bias Explain the positive behavior of out-group members; they also attribute negative behaviors to their nature (as long as such behavior is tolerated by their own group).

70 Part A Social Thought

Self-pride in group situations can be especially dangerous.© Dana Fradon/The New Yorker Collection/wvw








• Most members of college sororities consider their sorority to be much less smug and snobbish than other sororities (Biemat et al., 1996).

• Stanford University's indoor volleyball players who won the game gave the team credit for the success; those who lost blamed other factors (Sherman & Kim, 2005).

• 53% of Dutch adults rate their marriage or partnership better than most; only 1 percent consider it worse than most (Buunk & van der Eijnden, 1997).

• 66 percent of Americans give an A or B grade to their oldest child's public school. But almost the same number, 64 percent, give a C or D rating to the nation's public schools (Whitman, Nineteen Ninety-Six).

The fact that people view themselves and their groups in a positive light is nothing new. The tragic flaw portrayed in ancient Greek drama was arrogance or pride. Like the subjects of our experiments, Greek tragedies were not consciously bad; they just got too loud. The pitfalls of pride are described again and again in the literature. In theology, pride has long held first place among the "seven deadly sins".

If pride is similar to selfish prejudice, what is humility? Is it self-hatred? Humility doesn't mean attractive people think they're ugly and smart people try to think they're clumsy. False modesty can actually cover up pride in superior humility. (James Friedrich [1996] reports that most students congratulate themselves on being above average because they don't believe they are above average.) True humility is more self-forgetfulness than false modesty. It leaves us free to recognize and rejoice in our unique talents and to recognize the talents of others with equal honesty.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: What is self-serving bias? • Contrary to what many think

suffering from low self-esteem or feelings of inferiority, researchers have consistently found that most people exhibit a selfish tendency. In experiments and in everyday life, we often attribute our successes while attributing failures to the situation.

• Most people consider themselves to be better than average in terms of subjective and desirable qualities and abilities.

• We show unrealistic optimism about our future.

• We overestimate the similarity of our opinions and weaknesses (false consensus), while underestimating them.

the community of our abilities and virtues (false uniqueness).

• Such perceptions arise in part from a motive to maintain and increase self-esteem, a motive that protects people from depression but contributes to misperceptions and group conflict.

• Selfish bias can be adaptive in the sense that it allows us to enjoy the good things that happen in our lives. However, when bad things happen, a selfish bias can have the maladaptive effect of blaming others or feeling cheated out of something we "deserve".

71 The self in a social world


Identify self-expression and understand how impression management can explain behavior.

So far, we've seen that the self is at the center of our social world, that self-esteem and self-efficacy pay off, and that selfish bias affects self-esteem. You may have wondered: Are self-reinforcing expressions always sincere? Do people have the same feelings in private that they express in public? Or are they just putting on a positive face despite living with self-doubt?

Self Difficulties People sometimes sabotage their chances of success by creating obstacles that make success less likely. Far from being intentionally self-destructive, these behaviors often have a self-protective goal (Arkin et al., 1986; Baumeister & Scher, 1988; Odewalt, 1987): good if it weren't for that problem.

Why would people with self-destructive behavior become disabled? Remember, we anxiously protect our own image by attributing failure to external factors. Can you imagine why fear of failure puts people at a disadvantage when partying late into the night before a job interview or playing video games instead of studying before a big test? When self-image is tied to achievement, it can be more counterproductive to try and fail than to procrastinate and have an excuse. If we fail in some way while incapacitated, we can cling to a sense of competence; When we are successful under these conditions, we can only strengthen our own image. Weaknesses protect both self-esteem and public image, allowing us to attribute failure to something temporary or external (“I felt nauseous”; “I went out late the night before”) rather than a lack of talent or skills.

Steven Berglas and Edward Jones (1978) confirmed this analysis of self-deficiency. An experiment on the topic of "drugs and mental performance" was announced. Put yourself in the shoes of Duke University participants. Guess the answers to some tough eligibility questions and get the answer: "Your score was one of the best ever!" With incredible happiness, he can choose between two drugs before answering any other of these questions. One drug promotes mental performance, the other inhibits it. what drug do you want? Most students wanted the drug, which supposedly interrupted their thinking and therefore provided a practical excuse for expected low performance.

Researchers have documented other ways that people self-disable. Out of fear of failure, people will.

• Reduce your preparation for major individual sporting events (Rhodewalt et al., 1984).

• Give your opponent an advantage (Shepperd & Arkin, 1991). • Failing to start a task to prevent it from becoming unattainable.

Expectativas (Baumgardner & Brownlee, 1987).

1986; Pyszczynski and Greenberg, 1987; Riggs, 1992; Turner and Pratkanis, 1993).

Impression Management Selfish bias, false humility, and self-defense reveal the depth of our preoccupation with our self-image. To varying degrees, we manage impressions on an ongoing basis.

episode 2

Self-disadvantage Protecting self-image through behaviors that create a practical excuse for later failure.




After losing to some younger opponents, tennis great Martina Navratilova admitted that she was "afraid to do my best ... I was afraid to play my best if they could beat me, because if they could, I would be finished." (Frankel and Snyder 1987).

72 part one

Self-Expression The act of expressing oneself and behaving in a way that creates a positive impression or is consistent with one's ideals.

©2008 by P.S. mueller.

social thinking

We created. Whether we want to impress, intimidate or appear helpless, we are social animals playing in front of an audience. Such is the human desire for social acceptance that it can put people at risk of harm by smoking, binge eating, having premature sex, or abusing drugs and alcohol (Rawn & Vohs, 2011).

Self-expression refers to our desire to present a desired image to both an external audience (other people) and an internal audience (ourselves). We work to manage the impressions we create. We apologize, justify, or apologize as needed to boost our self-esteem and examine our self-image (Schlenker & Weigold, 1992). Just as we maintain our sense of self-worth, we must also be careful not to brag too much and risk the disapproval of others (Anderson et al., 2006). Social interaction is a careful balance between looking good and not looking very good.

In familiar situations, self-expression occurs without conscious effort. In unfamiliar situations, perhaps at a party with people we want to impress, or talking to someone we have a romantic interest in, we are acutely aware of the impressions we make and therefore less humble than among friends, who are well known (Leary & others, 1994; Tice et al, 1995). We can even try on different faces in the mirror as we prepare to be photographed. We do this despite the fact that active self-expression consumes energy, often leading to reduced effectiveness – for example, less persistence on a boring experimental task or greater difficulty suppressing emotional expression (Vohs et al., 2005). The upside is that self-expression can unexpectedly improve your mood. People felt a lot better than they thought after doing everything they could to "look their best" and focus on making a positive impression on their boyfriend or girlfriend. Elizabeth Dunn and colleagues (2008) conclude that "date nights" work for long-term partners because they encourage active self-expression, which improves mood.

Social networks like Facebook offer a new and sometimes intense venue for self-expression. They are, says communication professor Joseph Walther, “like impression management on steroids” (Rosenbloom, 2008). Users make careful decisions about what images, activities and interests they want to display on their profiles. Some even think about how their friends affect the impression they make on others; One study found that those with more attractive friends perceived themselves as more attractive (Walther et al., 2008). Given the preoccupation with status and attractiveness on social networking sites, it is not surprising that people with strong narcissistic traits thrive on Facebook, counting more friends and choosing more attractive images of themselves (Buffardi & Campbell, 2008).

Given our preoccupation with self-expression, it's not surprising that people weaken when failure makes them look bad. No wonder people run health risks: tanning the skin with radiation that causes wrinkles and cancer; Piercing or tattooing without proper hygiene; become anorexic; or giving in to peer pressure to smoke, get drunk, and use drugs (Leary et al., 1994). No wonder people express more humility when their complacency tends to be discredited, perhaps by experts who will scrutinize it.

73 The self in a social world

their self-evaluations (Arkin et al., 1980; Riess et al., 1981; Weary et al., 1982). Professor Smith is likely to speak more humbly of the importance of her work when presenting it to her colleagues than when presenting it to her students.

For some people, conscious self-expression is a way of life. They constantly monitor their own behavior and how others react, then adjust their social performance to achieve the desired effect. Those who score well on a self-control scale (for example, agreeing that “I tend to be what people expect me to be”) behave like social chameleons: they adapt their behavior to external situations (Gangestad & Snyder, 2000; Snyder, 1987). After adapting their behavior to the situation, they are more likely to adopt attitudes that they actually do not have (Zanna & Olson, 1982). Because they are aware of others, they are less likely to act on their own attitudes. As Mark Leary (2004b) has pointed out, the self they know is often different from the self they display. Like social chameleons, those who score well on self-control are also less committed in their relationships and more likely to be dissatisfied in their marriage (Leone & Hawkins, 2006).

Those who do poorly in self-control care less about what others think. They are more self-directed, speaking and acting more as they feel and believe (McCann & Hancock, 1983). For example, when asked to list their thoughts about gay couples, they simply state what they think, regardless of expected audience attitudes (Klein et al., 2004). As you can imagine, someone with extremely low self-control can come across as a callous bully, while extremely high self-control can lead to dishonest behavior befitting a scammer. Most of us fall somewhere between these two extremes.

Presenting yourself in a way that creates the desired impression is a delicate balancing act. But people also want to be seen as capable.

episode 2

group identity. In Asian countries, self-portrait is reserved. Children learn to identify with their group.

Self-Control Being in tune with how you present yourself in social situations and adjusting your performance to make the impression you want.









KIND, 1930

(Mike Merland.

74 Part One Lemonade! Think

as humble and honest (Carlston & Shovar, 1983). In most social situations, modesty makes a good impression and unsolicited ostentation makes a bad impression. Hence the phenomenon of false modesty: we often exhibit lower self-esteem than we feel in particular (Miller & Schlenker, 1985). But when we've obviously done very well, the insincerity of a warning ("I did well, but it's not a big deal") can be apparent. Making a good impression, appearing humble but competent, requires soft skills.

CONCLUSION: How do people manage their self-portrait?

• As social animals, we adapt our words and actions to our audience. To varying degrees, we take note of our performance and adjust it to create the desired impressions.

• These tactics explain examples of false modesty where people put themselves down, praise future competitors, or publicly praise others while bragging privately.

• Sometimes people even harm themselves with self-defeating behaviors that protect self-esteem by providing excuses for failure.

Self-expression refers to our desire to present a positive image to both an external audience (other people) and an internal audience (ourselves). Relative to an external audience, those scoring high on a self-control scale adapt their behavior to any situation, while those scoring low on self-control may make so few social adjustments that they appear insensitive.

POSTSCRIPT: Double Truths: The Dangers of Pride, The Powers of Positive Thinking This chapter offers two memorable truths: the truth of self-efficacy and the truth of selfish bias. The truth about self-efficacy encourages us not to put up with bad situations. Despite initial failures, we must persevere and fight without letting ourselves be distracted by doubts. A sense of self-confidence is also adaptive. When we believe in our positive possibilities, we are less prone to depression and feel less insecure.

That's why it's important to think positive and strive, but not be so sure that our goals are illusory or that we offend others with our narcissism. Taking self-efficacy too far leads to victim-blaming: if positive thinking can make a difference, then if we're unhappy in our marriage, poor, or depressed, it's our fault. Embarrass! I wish we had tried harder, been more disciplined and less stupid. This view fails to recognize that bad things can happen to good people. Life's greatest achievements, but also the greatest disappointments, are the fruit of the highest expectations.

These two truths, self-efficacy and selfish bias, remind me of what Pascal taught 300 years ago: no truth is enough because the world is complex. Any truth separated from its complementary truth is a half truth.

Social Beliefs and

Judgments How do we perceive our worlds Sodj^?

How do we judge our social worlds?

How do we explain our social worlds?

What role do our expectations of our social worlds play?

What can we conclude about social beliefs and judgments?

Partisanship has a strange power. Consider US policy:

• In the late 1980s, most Democrats believed that inflation had risen

under Republican President Ronald Reagan (fell).

• In 2010, most Republicans believed that taxes had increased

under Barack Obama (taxes have dropped for most Americans)

(Cooper, 2010; Douthat, 2010).

• Obama is Muslim, agreed by 31 percent of Republicans and

10% of Democrats polled by Pew (2010a). He is not.

• And were born outside the United States, 43 percent said

Republicans and 9% of Democrats polled by Gallup

shortly before the release of his long-form Hawaiian Birth

Certificate (Morales, 2011a).

This “motivated reasoning” goes beyond political parties. feelings-

like B. a positive liking or dislike for certain politicians - strong

they affect the way we interpret evidence and view reality. partisanship

have perceptions. As an ancient Chinese proverb says, “Two-thirds of the

What we see is behind our eyes.

Attachment: Reflection on wishful thinking

78 Part One Social Thought

primingActivation of certain associations in memory.

Responses so varied to public evidence that they have been replicated in policy

Perceptions around the world illustrate how much we build

social perceptions and beliefs as we

• perceiving and remembering events through the filters of our own assumptions;

• Judging events, informed by our intuition, by implicit rules that guide our snapshot.

judgments and by our moods;

• Explain events, sometimes relating them to the situation, sometimes relating them to the situation

the person; y

• Waiting for certain events and sometimes helping them happen.

This chapter examines how we perceive, judge, and explain our social worlds.

how and to what extent our expectations matter.

How do we perceive our social worlds?

Understand how our assumptions and biases guide our perceptions, interpretations and memories.

Chapter 1 mentioned an important fact about the human mind: our preconceived notions determine how we perceive and interpret information. We build the world through glass stained by faith. "Of course, bias is important," people will agree; but they do not realize how great the effect is on themselves.

Let's consider some provocative experiments. The first set of experiments examines how biases and prejudices affect how we perceive and interpret information. The second group plants judgment in people's minds after receiving information to see how later thoughts affect memory. Conclusion: we do not react to reality as it is, but to reality as we interpret it.

Preparation Autonomic stimuli can subtly affect how we interpret and remember events. Imagine wearing headphones during an experiment and focusing on ambiguous sentences like "We stayed on the bench". If a relevant word (river or money) is being sent to your other ear at the same time, you are not consciously hearing it. But the word "prepares" your interpretation of the sentence (Baars & McGovern, 1994).

Our memory system is a network of associations, and priming is the awakening or activation of certain associations. Experiments show that preparing a thought, even without being aware of it, can influence another thought or even an action. John Bargh and colleagues (1996) asked people to complete a written sentence containing words such as "old", "wise" and "retired". Soon after, they observed that these people walked to the elevator more slowly than those who were not prepared with age-related words. Furthermore, slow walkers were unaware of their walking speed or that they had just seen words that primed them for aging.

Social beliefs and judgments

Our thoughts and actions are often subtly shaped by events that go unnoticed. Rob Holland and colleagues (2005) found that Dutch students who were exposed to the odor of an all-purpose cleaner identified cleaning-related words more quickly. In follow-up experiments, other students exposed to a cleaning smell recalled more cleaning-related activities when describing their daily activities and even kept the table clean while eating a cookie crumb. Furthermore, all of these effects occurred without the participants being aware of the odor and its effects.

Priming experiments (Bargh, 2006) have their equivalents in everyday life:

• The simple fact of watching a horror movie at home can trigger emotions that lead us to unconsciously interpret the sound of an oven as a possible intruder.

• Depressive moods, as explained later in this chapter, mostly negative associations. Get people in a good mood and suddenly your past looks more beautiful, your future brighter.

• Observing violence will prime people to interpret ambiguous actions (a push) and words (a 'punch') as aggressive.

• For many psychology students, reading about mental disorders shapes how they interpret their own fears and dark moods. Reading about the symptoms of the disease makes medical students worry about congestion, fever, or headache.

In a large number of studies, priming effects also occur when stimuli are presented subliminally, too briefly to be consciously perceived. What's out of sight may not be completely out of mind. An electrical shock too weak to feel can increase the perceived intensity of a subsequent shock. An inconspicuous flash of the word "bread" can cause people to recognize a related word like "butter" faster than they recognize an unrelated word like "bottle" or "bubble". A subliminal color name facilitates faster identification when the color appears on the computer screen, while an invisible fake name delays color identification (Epley et al., 1999; Merikle et al., 2001). In each case, an invisible image or word prepares an answer for a later task.

Studies of how implanted ideas and images can shape our interpretations and memories illustrate one of the lessons this book can take home: much of our social information processing is automatic. It's unintentional, it's out of sight, and it happens without our awareness.

Even bodily sensations shape our social judgments and vice versa, thanks to our embodied cognition. After holding a hot beverage in hand, people are more likely to appreciate someone more and behave more generously (Ijzerman & Semin, 2009; Williams & Bargh, 2008). After a cold treatment, people perceive the test room as colder than those treated with a hot treatment (Zhong & Leonardelli, 2008). Physical warmth accentuates social warmth, and social exclusion literally feels cold.

Perceiving and Interpreting Events Despite some surprising and often confirmed biases and logical flaws in the way we perceive and understand each other, we are almost always correct (Jussim, 2005). our first

Chapter 3 79

Posting the second banner can leave customers unhappy with how their complaints are handled in the first window.

Bodily cognition The mutual influence of bodily sensations on cognitive preferences and social judgments.

80 Part A Social Thought

FIGURE: 3.1 Pro-Israel and pro-Arab students who saw news reports about the “Beirut massacre” believed that the coverage was biased against their point of view.

Source: data from Vallone et al. (1985).

Perception of media bias

Pro-Israel 9 i---------- --Members on each side perceived prejudice against their point of view



Anti-Israel, Pro-Israel and Pro-Arab Students

“Once you have a belief, it influences








Mutual impressions are more often correct than incorrect. The better we know people, the better we can read their thoughts and feelings.

But sometimes our preconceptions are wrong. Prejudice and expectations effects are standard for introductory psychology coursework. Consider this sentence:



Did you notice anything about it? Perception is more than meets the eye.

POLITICAL PERCEPTION The same applies to social perception. As social perceptions are highly dependent on the eye of the beholder, even a simple stimulus can affect two people very differently. To say Britain's David Cameron is "a good prime minister" might seem like disrespect to one of his ardent admirers and a compliment to someone who despises him. When social information is subject to multiple interpretations, biases play a role (Hilton & von Hippel, 1990).

An experiment by Robert Vallone, Lee Ross, and Mark Lepper (1985) shows how powerful prejudice can be. Pro-Israel and pro-Arab students watched six news segments from the channel detailing the 1982 massacre of civilian refugees at two camps in Beirut, Lebanon. As Figure 3.1 shows, each group perceived the networks as hostile beside them.

The phenomenon is commonplace: sports fans perceive referees as supporters. Political candidates and their supporters almost always feel that the news media is unsympathetic to their cause (Richardson et al., 2008).

It's not just the fanatics and the politicians. People everywhere perceive mediators and the media to be biased against their position. “There is no subject on which people are less objective than objectivity,” noted one media commentator (Poniewozik, 2003). Indeed, people's perceptions of bias can be used to assess their attitudes (Saucier & Miller, 2003). Tell me where you see prejudices and you will point out your attitudes.

Our assumptions about the world can even support conflicting evidence. For example, Ross and Lepper helped Charles Lord (1979) ask two groups of students to rate the results of two supposedly new surveys. Half of the students supported the death penalty, the other half opposed it. From the studies they

Social Beliefs and Judgments Chapter 3 81

evaluated, one confirming and the other refuting students' beliefs about the deterrent effect of the death penalty. The results: Both supporters and opponents of the death penalty readily accepted the evidence supporting their beliefs, but sharply criticized the conflicting evidence. Showing both sides an identical set of mixed evidence did not reduce their disagreements, but increased them. When Anthony Bastardi and his co-investigators (2011) showed people conflicting evidence about the effects of daycare on children, those planning to use daycare found evidence more supportive of their plans.

Is this why ambiguous information in politics, religion and science often fuels conflict? The presidential debates in the United States have remarkably reinforced pre-debate views. By a margin of almost 10 to 1, those who already favored one candidate or another perceived their candidate as the winner (Kinder & Sears, 1985). Thus, Geoffrey Munro and colleagues (1997) report that people on both sides can be even more supportive of their respective candidates after watching a presidential debate.

I like your honest, unbiased, possibly career-ending opinion on something. ”

Some circumstances make it difficult to keep an open mind.© Alex Gfegory/The New Yorker Collection/www.cartoonbankxom

OUR PERCEPTION OF OTHERS In addition to these studies of people's pre-existing social and political attitudes, researchers have manipulated people's prejudices, with surprising effects on their interpretations and memories.

Myron Rothbart and Pamela Birrell (1977) had University of Oregon students rate a man's facial expression (Figure 3.2). Those who were told that he was a Gestapo leader responsible for barbaric medical experiments on concentration camp prisoners intuitively judged his cruel facial expression. (Can you see that barely suppressed smile?) Those who heard he was an underground anti-Nazi leader whose bravery saved thousands of Jewish lives judged his expression to be warm and friendly. (Just look at those loving eyes and almost smiling mouth.)

Filmmakers control the perception of emotions by manipulating the environment in which they see a face. They call it the "Kulekhov Effect", after a Russian film director who deftly guided viewers' conclusions by manipulating their assumptions. Kulechov demonstrated the phenomenon by creating three short films showing identical shots of an actor's face with a neutral expression, after viewers have first seen one of three different scenes: a dead woman, a bowl of soup, or a girl playing. With that, the actor appeared sad in the first film, thoughtful in the second and happy in the third.

OTHERS' PERCEPTION OF US Construction processes also affect others' perception of us. When we say something good or bad about another person, people spontaneously associate that quality





CRESSIDA, 1601-1602

FIGURE :: 3.2 Judge for yourself: is this person's facial expression cruel or kind? If you said he was a Nazi, would you interpret his face differently?

82 Part One Social Thought

Lynda Mae, Donal Carlston, and John Skowronski (1999; Carlston & Skowronski, 2005) report a phenomenon they call spontaneous trait transfer. When we talk about the gossip of others, people may subconsciously associate "gossip" with us. Call someone an idiot and later on people might mistake you for one. Describe someone as sensitive, caring and compassionate and you seem even more so. It seems that there is intuitive wisdom in the childhood teasing: “I am rubber, you are glue;

Conclusion: We view our social world through the lens of our beliefs, attitudes and values. This is one of the reasons why our beliefs are so important; they shape our interpretation of everything else.

Belief Perseverance Party Perceptions. Support the media as advocates for the other side.

Persistence of belief Persistence of one's initial ideas, for example, when the basis for one's belief is discredited, but an explanation of why the belief might be true survives.

Imagine a grandparent who decides during a certain competition or occasion to take care of night watch with a crying baby.

Bottle feeding causes colic in babies: "Now that I think about it, cow's milk is obviously better for calves than babies." If the baby has a high fever, will the nanny continue to insist that the bottle causes colic (Ross & Anderson, 1982)? To find out, Lee Ross, Craig Anderson and their colleagues planted a lie in people's minds and then tried to discredit them.

His research shows that it is surprisingly difficult to refute a falsehood when one is evoking a reason for it. Each experiment first implanted a belief, either by declaring it true or by showing participants some anecdotal evidence. Participants were then asked to explain why this is true. Finally, the researchers completely discredited the original information by telling the participants the truth: the information was fabricated for the experiment, and half of the experiment participants received the opposite information. Despite this, the new belief survived approximately 75% intact, presumably because the participants still maintained their invented explanations for the belief. This phenomenon, called belief persistence, shows that beliefs can grow on their own and survive the discrediting of the evidence that inspired them.

For example, Anderson, Lepper, and Ross (1980) asked participants to decide whether risk takers are good or bad firefighters. One group looked at a risk-taker who was a successful firefighter and a cautious person who was unsuccessful. The other group looked at cases that suggested the opposite conclusion. After developing their theory that risk-takers make better or worse firefighters, participants wrote explanations for this, for example, risk-takers are brave or cautious people have fewer accidents. Once each explanation is formed, it can exist independently of the information that originally created the belief. When this information was discredited, participants were still clinging to their own explanations and therefore continued to believe that those at risk are actually better or worse firefighters.

These experiments suggest that the more we examine our theories and explain how they might be true, the more closed we become to information that challenges our beliefs. If we consider why an accused person might be guilty, why would a

83 Beliefs and social judgments

offending someone else's actions in this way, or why a favored action might increase in value, our explanations can survive the challenges (Davies, 1997; Jelalian & Miller, 1984).

The evidence is compelling: our beliefs and expectations have a powerful impact on how we mentally construct events. We usually benefit from our preconceived notions, just as scientists benefit from creating theories to guide their perception and interpretation of events. But the benefit sometimes comes at a cost: we become prisoners of our own thought patterns. So the supposed "channels" on Mars that 20th-century astronomers gleefully discovered (actually just dust or craters) turned out to be the product of intelligent life, an intelligence on the Earth side of the telescope.

Is there a cure for persistence in faith? Hay: Explain otherwise. Charles Lord, Mark Lepper, and Elizabeth Preston (1984) repeated the study of the death penalty described above, adding two variations. First, they asked some of their participants to be "as objective and unbiased as possible" in evaluating the evidence. Lessons brought nothing; Whether for or against the death penalty, those who received the allegations were just as biased in their assessments as those who did not.

The researchers asked a third group to consider the opposite: to ask themselves "If the same study had produced results on the other side of the problem, would it have gotten the same high or low scores?" After imagining a contrary outcome, these people were much less biased in their assessment of the evidence for and against their views. In his experiments, Craig Anderson (1982; Anderson & Sechler, 1986) has consistently found that explaining why an opposing theory might be true—why a cautious individual rather than a risk-taker might be a better firefighter—reduces or eliminates risk. persistence in belief. In fact, explaining an alternative outcome, rather than just the opposite, leads people to think of different possibilities (Hirt & Markman, 1995).

Building memories of ourselves and our worlds Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Memory can be compared to a storehouse in the brain where we store material and from which we can later retrieve it when needed. From time to time something is lost from the “trunk” and then we say we forgot.

About 85 percent of university students said they agreed (Lamal, 1979). As a magazine ad put it: "Science has shown that the experiences accumulated over a lifetime are perfectly preserved in the mind."

In fact, psychological research has shown otherwise. Our memories are not exact copies of experiences stored in a memory bank. Instead, we build memories at the time of withdrawal. Like a paleontologist inferring the appearance of a dinosaur from bone fragments, we piece together our distant past using our current feelings and expectations to combine bits of information. This allows us to easily (albeit unconsciously) adapt our memories to our current level of knowledge. When one of my children complained, "The June issue of Cricket never arrived" and was shown where it was, he happily replied, "Well, I knew I had it."

When an experimenter or therapist manipulates people's assumptions about their past, a significant percentage of people will construct false memories. When asked to imagine a fictional childhood experience in which they ran, tripped, fell and reached a window or hit a punch bowl at a wedding, about a quarter later they will remember the fictional event as actually happening (Loftus & Bernstein, 2005 ). In its search for truth, the mind sometimes constructs a falsehood.

In experiments involving more than 20,000 people, Elizabeth Loftus (2003, 2007, 2011a) and her colleagues explored our mind's tendency to construct memories.

Chapter 3





"Memory is not how it is read





84 Part One Social Thought

Misinformation Effect Incorporating "misinformation" into event memory after witnessing an event and receiving misleading information about it.










In a typical experiment, people witness an event, are given misleading information about it (or not), and then take a memory test. The repeated assertion is the effect of misinformation. People build misinformation into their memories: they remember a yield sign as a stop sign, hammers as screwdrivers. Vogue as Mademoiselle, Dr. Henderson as "Dr. Davidson", cereal as eggs and a clean-shaven man as a guy with a mustache. Implicit misinformation can even conjure up false memories of alleged child sexual abuse, Loftus argues.

This process affects our memory of social and physical events. Jack Croxton and colleagues (1984) had students talk to someone for 15 minutes. Those who were later told that this person liked them recalled the person's behavior as relaxed, pleasant, and happy. Those who were told they didn't like the person remembered them as nervous, uncomfortable, and not so happy.

REBUILDING OUR ATTITUDE FROM THE PAST Five years ago, how did you feel about nuclear power? About the president or prime minister of your country? About your parents? If your attitude has changed, what do you think the magnitude of the change is?

Experimenters investigated these questions and the results were disturbing. People whose attitudes have changed often insist that they always felt the way they do now. Daryl Bern and Keith McConnell (1970) conducted research with students at Carnegie Mellon University. Buried within was a question of student control over the university curriculum. A week later, the students agreed to write an essay against student control. Thereafter, his attitude changed towards greater opposition to student control. When asked how they had answered the question before writing the essay, the students "remembered" that they had the opinion they had now and denied that the experiment influenced them.

After noting that Clark University students also denied their past attitudes, researchers DR Wixon and James Laird (1976) commented, "The speed, scope, and certainty" with which students revised their own history "was remarkable." As George Vaillant (1977) observed after tracking adults over time: 'It is very common for caterpillars to change into butterflies and then claim that they were small butterflies when young.

Building positive memories brightens our memory. Terence Mitchell, Leigh Thompson, and their colleagues (1994, 1997) report that people often have optimistic hindsight: they remember pleasant events rather than experiencing them. Students on a 3-week bike tour, seniors on a guided tour of Austria, and university students on vacation all reported enjoying the experience the way they did. But then they preferred to recall such experiences by downplaying the uncomfortable or boring aspects and recalling the highlights. So now (back in my office, facing deadlines and interruptions), I romanticize the good times I had in Scotland as pure bliss. The drizzle and annoying mosquitoes are just bleak memories. The spectacular scenery, fresh sea air and favorite tearooms are still with me. With every positive experience, part of our joy is in anticipation, part in actual experience, and part in optimistic review.

Cathy McFarland and Michael Ross (1985) found that as our relationships change, we also revise our memories of other people. They asked college students to rate their regular dating partners. Two months later, she was reassessed. Students, more in love than ever, tended to overestimate their first impressions: it was "love at first sight." Those who split up were more likely to downplay their past affection and remember their partner as somewhat selfish and moody.

Diane Holmberg and John Holmes (1994) also found the phenomenon in 373 newlywed couples, most of whom reported being very happy. When polled again 2 years later, those whose marriages had gone sour remembered this.

Social Beliefs and Judgments Chapter 85

it was always bad. The results are "terrifying", say Holmberg and Holmes: "These prejudices can lead to a dangerous downward spiral. The worse your current view of your partner, the worse your memories will be, which only further confirms your negative attitude."

It's not that we're not aware of how we used to feel, it's just that when memories are hazy, current feelings guide our memory. When widows and widowers try to remember the pain they felt at the death of their spouse 5 years ago, their current emotional state colors their memories (Safer et al., 2001). As patients remember the previous day's headache, their current feelings influence their memories (Eich et al., 1985). The parents of each generation lament the values ​​of the next generation, in part because they mistakenly remember that their youthful values ​​are closer to their current values. And teenagers of all generations remember their parents as wonderful or sad, depending on their current mood (Bomstein et al., 1991).

REBUILDING OUR PAST BEHAVIORS Building memories allows us to review our own history. Michael Ross, Cathy McFarland, and Garth Fletcher (1981) confronted some University of Waterloo students with a message that convinced them to brush their teeth. Later, in a supposedly different experiment, these students remembered to brush their teeth more often than students who had not heard the message in the previous two weeks. Furthermore, according to surveys, people say they smoke far fewer cigarettes than they actually sell (Hall, 1985). And they remember casting more votes than were actually recorded (Bureau of the Census, 1993).

Social psychologist Anthony Greenwald (1980) noted the similarity of such findings to the events of George Orwell's novel 1984, in which it was "necessary to remember that events happened in the desired way". In fact, argued Greenwald, we all have "totalitarian egos" that revise the past to fit our current views. That's why we underestimate bad behavior and overestimate good behavior.

Sometimes our current view is that we have improved, in which case we may mistakenly remember that our past is more different from the present than it really was. This trend resolves a confusing pair of consistent findings: Those who participate in psychotherapy and self-improvement programs for weight control, smoking cessation, and exercise show only modest improvements on average. However, they often claim significant benefits. Michael Conway and Michael Ross (1986) explain why: After investing so much time, effort, and money in self-improvement, people may think, 'It may not be perfect now, but it was worse then; It did me a lot of good."

In Chapter 14 we will see that psychiatrists and clinical psychologists are not immune to these human tendencies. We all selectively notice, interpret, and remember events in ways that support our ideas. Our social judgments are a mixture of observation and expectation, reason and passion.





ABSTRACT: How do we perceive our social worlds? • Our preconceived notions greatly influence how we interact

Imagine and remember events. In a phenomenon called priming, people's biases have a noticeable impact on how they perceive and interpret information.

• Other experiments planted misconceptions or judgments in people's minds after receiving information. These experiments show that just as prefactual judgments affect our perceptions and interpretations, postfactual judgments affect our memories.

• Belief persistence is the phenomenon whereby people hold on to their initial beliefs and the reasons why a belief might be true, even when the basis for the belief has been discredited.

• Far from being a repository of facts about the past, our memories are actually formed as we remember them and are heavily influenced by the attitudes and feelings we have at the time of recovery.

86 Part One Social Thought


rUnderstand how we form social judgments.

As we've already established, our cognitive mechanisms are efficient and adaptable, but occasionally error-prone. They usually serve us well. But sometimes doctors misjudge patients, employers misjudge employees, people of one race misjudge people of another, and spouses misjudge their partners. The consequences can be misdiagnosis, labor disputes, racial prejudice and divorce. So how and how well do we make intuitive social judgments?

When historians describe the first century of social psychology, they certainly record the 1980s to the present as the era of social cognition. Leveraging advances in cognitive psychology (how people perceive, represent, and remember events), social psychologists have shed light on how we make judgments. Let's see what this research reveals about the wonders and flaws of our social intuition.

Intuitive Judgments What are our powers of intuition: knowing something immediately without thinking or analyzing? Advocates of "intuitive management" believe that we should listen to our hunches. When we judge others, they say, we must rely on the non-logical intelligences of our "right brain". When hiring, firing, and investing, we must listen to our premonitions. In making judgments, we must rely on the power within.

Are intuitionists right that important information is immediately available, regardless of our conscious analysis? Or are skeptics right when they say that intuition is "knowing we are right, whether we are right or not"?

Priming research suggests that the unconscious actually controls much of our behavior. As John Bargh and Tanya Chartrand (1999) explain, "Most of a person's daily life is governed not by his conscious intentions and conscious choices, but by mental processes triggered by environmental features that are outside conscious awareness." When the light turns red, we react and hit the brakes before making a conscious decision to do so. Indeed, according to Neil Macrae and Lucy Johnston (1998), "the initiation of action by the inefficient (i.e., slow, serial, resource-oriented) to be able to do anything (e.g., drive, date, dance) , consume ) activities of consciousness, otherwise inaction would inevitably prevail.

Controlled Processing "Explicit" thinking that is intentional, reflective, and conscious.

automatic, effortless processing "implicit" thinking is habitual and unconscious; roughly equivalent to "intuition".

THE POWERS OF INTUITION "The heart has reasons the mind does not know," commented the seventeenth-century philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal. Three centuries later, scientists proved Pascal right. We know more than we know that we know. Studies of our unconscious information processing confirm our limited access to what goes on in our heads (Bargh & Ferguson, 2000; Greenwald & Banaji, 1995; Strack & Deutsch, 2004). Our thinking is partly controlled (reflective, intentional, and conscious) and, more so than psychologists assume, partly automatic (impulsive, effortless, and unconscious). Automatic, intuitive thinking doesn't happen "on the screen", but off the screen, out of sight where reason won't go. Consider these examples of automatic thinking:

• Schemas are concepts or mental models that intuitively guide our perceptions and interpretations. Whether we hear someone talking about religious services or sex depends not only on the spoken word, but also on how we automatically interpret the sound.

Social Beliefs and Judgments Chapter 3 87

• Emotional responses are often almost instantaneous and occur before there is time for conscious thought. A neural shortcut carries information from the eye or ear to the brain's sensory circuit board (the thalamus) and its emotional control center (the amygdala) before the thinking cortex has a chance to intervene (LeDoux, 2002). Our ancestors, intuitively fearing a noise in the bushes, generally feared nothing. But when the sound was made by a dangerous predator, they were more likely to survive to pass their genes on to us than their more discerning cousins.

• With enough experience, people can intuitively know the answer to a problem. Many skills, from playing the piano to swinging a golf club, begin as a conscious, controlled process of following rules and gradually become automatic and intuitive (Kruglanski & Gigerenzer, 2011). Experienced chess players intuitively recognize significant patterns that novices miss, and often make their next move with just a glance at the board, as the situation reflects information stored in their memory. In the same way, without knowing exactly, we recognize a friend's voice after the first word spoken in a telephone conversation.

• When we are faced with a decision but lack the experience to make an informed judgment, our unconscious thinking can lead us to a satisfactory decision. This is what Dutch psychologist Ap Dijksterhuis and his collaborators (Dijksterhuis & Nordgren, 2006; Dijksterhuis et al., 2006; Strick et al., 2010) found after showing people, say, a dozen pieces of information about each of the four potential homes. . Compared to people who made snap decisions or took the time to analyze information, the most satisfying decisions were made by those who were distracted and unable to consciously focus on the problem. Although these results are controversial (Gonzalez-Vallejo et al., 2008; Lassiter et al., 2009; Newell et al., 2008), it rings true: faced with a difficult decision, it is often worth taking the time to make even to keep it asleep, and wait for the intuitive result of our information processing out of sight (Sio & Ormerod, 2009).

Some things, facts, names and past experiences, we remember explicitly (consciously). But other things, conditioned abilities and dispositions, we remember implicitly without knowing or consciously claiming that we know. It applies to all of us, but it is most noticeable in people with brain damage who cannot form new explicit memories. Such a person would never learn to recognize his doctor, who would have to introduce himself every day with a handshake. One day, the doctor placed a thumbtack in his hand, causing the patient to wince in pain. When the doctor came back, they still didn't recognize him (specifically). But the patient, who harbors an implicit memory, did not want to shake hands.

Cases of blindness are equally dramatic. People who have lost part of their visual cortex due to surgery or stroke may have functional blindness in part of their field of vision. They show a row of sticks in the blind field and report that they didn't see anything. After correctly guessing whether the sticks are vertical or horizontal, patients are surprised to say, "You got it right." Like the patient who "remembered" the painful handshake, these people know more than they know.

Consider your own ability to recognize a face. As you look at it, your brain breaks the visual information down into sub-dimensions like color, depth, movement and shape, processing each aspect simultaneously before putting the components back together. Finally, your brain uses automatic processing to compare the perceived image with previously stored images. voila! You will instantly and effortlessly recognize your grandmother. If intuition recognizes something immediately without rational analysis, then perception is ultimate intuition.

So many routine cognitive functions happen automatically, involuntarily and without our being aware. We can remember how automatic processing helps us to progress

88 Part One Social Thought

Live imagining that our minds work like big corporations. Our CEO, our mind controlled, handles many of the most important, complex and cutting-edge issues, while subordinates deal with routine matters and matters that require immediate action. Like a CEO, Consciousness sets goals and priorities, often with little understanding of operational activities in underlying departments. This delegation of resources allows us to react quickly and efficiently to many situations. The end result; Our brain knows much more than it tells us.

THE LIMITS OF INTUITION We've seen how automatic, intuitive thinking can "make you smart" (Gigerenzer, 2007, 2010). However, Elizabeth Loftus and Mark Klinger (1992) spoke for other cognitive scientists in doubting the brilliance of intuition. They reported "a general consensus that the unconscious may not be as intelligent as previously thought". For example, although subliminal stimuli may elicit a fleeting response weak enough to evoke emotion, if not awareness, this is not evidence that commercial subliminal tapes can "reprogram your subconscious" for success. Indeed, a considerable body of evidence indicates that they cannot (Greenwald, 1992).

Social psychologists have examined not only our retrospective misjudgments, but also our capacity for delusion: perceptual misinterpretations, fantasies, and constructed beliefs. Michael Gazzaniga (1992, 1998, 2008) reports that patients whose cerebral hemispheres have been surgically severed immediately invent and create explanations for their own puzzling behavior. If the patient gets up and takes a few steps after the experimenter gives the "walk" instruction to the patient's nonverbal right hemisphere, the patient's verbal left hemisphere will immediately provide a plausible explanation ("I felt like drinking").

False intuition also crops up in the vast body of new literature on how we assimilate, store, and retrieve social information. Just as perceptual researchers study visual illusions for what they reveal about our normal perceptual mechanisms, social psychologists study positive thinking for what it reveals about normal information processing. These researchers intend to provide us with a map of everyday social thinking with the dangers clearly marked.

As we examine some of these effective thought patterns, consider the following: Demonstrations of how people create false beliefs do not prove that all beliefs are false (although knowing how to do so will help detect falsehoods).

Overconfidence Phenomenon The tendency to be confident rather than correct: overestimating the accuracy of your beliefs.

The air distance between New Delhi and Beijing is 2,500 miles.

So far, we've seen that our cognitive systems process large amounts of information efficiently and automatically. But our efficiency has a payoff; When we interpret our experiences and build memories, our automatic intuitions are sometimes wrong. We are usually not aware of our mistakes.

To examine this phenomenon of overconfidence, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky (1979) gave factual explanations and asked people to fill in the blanks as in the following sentence: "I am 98% sure that the air distance between New Delhi and Beijing is greater than ____ miles but less than _____ miles." Most people were overconfident: about 30% of the time, the correct answers were outside the range where they felt 98% confident.

To find out whether overconfidence extends to social judgments, David Dunning et al. (1990) developed a game show. They asked Stanford University students to guess a stranger's answers to a series of questions, such as "Would you prepare for a difficult test alone or with others?" and "Would you rate your class notes as orderly or chaotic?" Knowing the nature of the question but not the actual questions, the participants started by asking the target person about their background, hobbies, academic interests, ambitions, zodiac sign, anything they thought might be helpful. So while the targets privately answered 20 of the two-choice questions

Social Beliefs and Judgments Chapter 3 89

DOONESBURY de Garry Trudeau

DOONESBURY © 2000 GB Trudeau.

For the questions, interviewers predicted their targets' responses and noted their own responses in the predictions with Universaltrust's permission.

Interviewers got it right 63% of the time, beating chance by 13%. But, on average, they were 75% sure of their predictions. Guessing their own housemates' answers, they got 68% right and 78% right. Furthermore, the most confident individuals were the most likely to be overconfident. People are also clearly arrogant when assessing whether someone is telling the truth or when evaluating things like their partner's sexual history or their roommate's activity preferences (DePaulo et al., 1997; Swann & Gil, 1997).

Ironically, incompetence breeds overconfidence. Competition is necessary to recognize what competition is, as stated by Justin Kruger and David Dunning (1999). Students who perform worst on tests of grammar, humor, and logic are the most likely to overestimate their ability on these tests. Those who don't know what good logic or grammar is often don't realize what they lack. Making a list of all the words you can make out of the letters in "psychology" can make you feel brilliant, but then feel stupid when a friend starts quoting the ones you missed. Deanna Caputo and Dunning (2005) experimentally recreated this phenomenon and confirmed that our ignorance of our ignorance underpins our trust. Follow-up studies show that this "ignorance of one's own incompetence" occurs mostly with tasks that seem relatively easy. On very difficult tasks, low performers are more likely to value their inability (Burson et al., 2006).

Ignorance of one's own incompetence helps explain David Dunning's (2005) surprising conclusion from employee appraisal studies that "what others see in us... tends to be more strongly correlated with objective outcomes than what we see ." In one study, participants watched someone walk into a room, sit down, read a weather forecast, and leave (Borkenau & Liebler, 1993). Based on this, your assessment of the person's intelligence correlated with both the person's intelligence score and your own self-assessment (0.30 vs. 0.32). If ignorance can breed false confidence, then oops! – where, we might ask, are you and I not knowing?

In Chapter 2, we found that people overestimate their long-term emotional responses to both good and bad events. Are people better at predicting their own behavior? To find out, Robert Vallone and his colleagues (1990) had college students predict in September whether they would drop out, report a major, or choose to do so.

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live off campus next year, and so on. Although students felt, on average, 0.5% confident on these self-assessments, they were nearly twice as wrong as they expected. Even when they were 100% sure of their predictions, they were wrong 15% of the time. ^

When assessing their chances of success on a task, such as B. a big test, people's confidence is greatest when the moment of truth is in the future. On the day of the exam, the possibility of failing increases and self-confidence tends to drop (Gilovich et al, 1993; Shepperd et al, 2005). Roger Buehler and colleagues (1994, 2010) report that most students also confidently underestimate how long it will take to complete term papers and other important tasks. Not alone:

• The “planning fallacy”. How much free time do you have today? How much free time do you expect to have in a month from today? Most of us overestimate how much we will do and how much free time we will have (Zauberman & Lynch, 2005). Even professional planners regularly underestimate the time and costs involved in projects. In 1969, Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau proudly announced that a stadium with a $120 million retractable roof would be built for the 1976 Olympics. The roof was completed in 1989 at a cost of $120 million. In 1985, officials estimated that Boston's "Big Dig" highway project would cost $2.6 billion and last until 1998. Costs skyrocketed to $14.6 billion, and the project lasted until 2006. Investment professionals market their services with confidence that they can beat the stock market average. , forget that for every broker or buyer who says "Sell!" at a given price THERE IS another saying "Buy it!" The price of a stock is the balance point between these judgments of mutual trust. Incredibly, economist Burton Malkiel (2011) reports that mutual fund portfolios chosen by investment analysts failed to outperform randomly chosen stocks.

• Political arrogance. Witty decision makers can wreak havoc. It was a confident Adolf Hitler who waged war against the rest of Europe from 1939 to 1945. It was a confident Lyndon Johnson who invested US troops and weapons in an attempt to save democracy in South Vietnam in the 1960s.

The dangers of overconfidence. Before its oil rig explosion spilled oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP downplayed safety concerns and then became overconfident that the spill would be small (Mohr et al., 2010; Urbina, 2010).

What creates overconfidence? Why doesn't experience lead us to a more realistic self-assessment? On the one hand, people tend to remember their errors in judgment as moments when they were almost right. Philip Tetlock (1998a, 1998b, 1999, 2005) asserted this after inviting a number of academic and government experts to project their views on the future government of the Soviet Union, South Africa and Canada in the late 1980s. collapsing. South Africa had become a multi-ethnic democracy and Canada's French-speaking minority had not been split apart. Experts who were more than 80% sure were correct when they predicted these twists less than 40% of the time. But when they reflected on their judgments, those who were wrong believed they were still fundamentally right. He was nearly right," said many. "The die-hards

His coup attempt against Gorbachev nearly succeeded." "Quebecers

91 Social beliefs and judgments

The separatists almost won the secession referendum." "Without the meeting of De Klerk and Mandela, there would have been a much bloodier transition to black-majority rule in South Africa." The Iraq war was a good idea, poorly executed , many of the politicians apologized, the pundits, and also the stock market analysts, psychiatrists and sports analysts, it is difficult to get rid of overconfidence.

CONFIRMATION RELATIONSHIP People also tend not to seek out information that might disprove what they believe. P. C. Wason (1960) demonstrated this, as best he could, by giving participants a sequence of three numbers - 2, 4, 6 - that fit a rule he had in mind. (The rule was simply any three numbers in ascending order.) In order for participants to discover the rule, Wason asked each person to generate additional sets of three numbers. Each time, Wason would tell the person whether or not the outfit was according to his rule. Once participants are sure they have seen the rule, they should stop and announce it.

The result? Rarely right, but never in doubt: 23 out of 29 participants were convinced the rule was wrong. They typically formed an erroneous belief about the rule (eg, counting by two) and then looked for corroborating evidence (eg, trying 8, 10, 12) rather than trying to disprove their suspicions. We're eager to verify our beliefs, but we're less inclined to look for evidence that might disprove them, a phenomenon called confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias explains why our self-images are remarkably stable. In experiments at the University of Texas at Austin, William Swann and Stephen Read (1981; Swann et al., 1992a, 1992b, 2007) found that students seek, remember, and retrieve feedback that validates their beliefs about themselves. People look to their friends and spouses for those who enhance their self-image, even when they think poorly of themselves (Swann et al., 1991, 2003).

Swann and Read (1981) liken this self-examination to how someone with a dominant self-image might behave at a party. Upon arrival, the person looks for those guests that he knows will recognize his domain. In conversation, present your views in a way that commands the expected respect. After the party, he has difficulty remembering conversations in which his influence was minimal and more easily remembers his persuasion power in conversations he dominated. Your experience at the party confirms your own image.

REMEDY FOR OVERCONFIDENCE What lessons can we learn from the research on overconfidence? One lesson is to be wary of other people's dogmatic statements. Even when people are sure they are right, they can be wrong. Confidence and competence do not have to coincide.

Three techniques were successful in reducing the overconfidence bias. One is immediate feedback (Lichtenstein &: Fischhoff, 1980). In everyday life, forecasters and horse racing bookmakers receive clear, daily feedback. And experts in both groups can estimate their likely accuracy reasonably well (Fischhoff, 1982).

To reduce "scheduling error" overconfidence, employees can be asked to unpack a task, break it down into its subcomponents, and estimate the time required for each. Justin Kruger and Matt Evans (2004) report that this leads to more realistic estimates of completion time.

When people think about why an idea might be true, it appears to be true (Koehler, 1991). So a third way to reduce overconfidence is to get people to think of a good reason why their judgments might be wrong; that is, forcing them to consider contradictory information (Koriat et al., 1980). Managers can encourage more realistic judgments by insisting that all suggestions and recommendations include reasons why they might not work.

Chapter 3








Confirmation bias The tendency to seek information that confirms one's own biases.

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Heuristic A thinking strategy that allows for quick and efficient judgments.

Heuristic Representativeness The tendency to assume that someone or something belongs to a particular group resembles (represents!) a typical member.

social thinking

Still, we must be careful not to undermine people's reasonable self-confidence or destroy their resolve. Sometimes, when their wisdom is called for, those who lack self-confidence may shy away from speaking up or making difficult decisions. Overconfidence can cost us something, but realistic confidence is adaptable.

Heuristics: Mental Shortcuts With very little time to process so much information, our cognitive systems are fast and frugal. He specializes in mental shortcuts. We form impressions, make judgments, and invent explanations with remarkable ease. To do this, we use heuristics: simple and efficient thinking strategies. Heuristics allow us to live and make routine decisions with minimal effort (Shah & Oppenheimer, 2008). In most situations, our quick generalizations ("That's dangerous!") are adaptive. The speed of these intuitive guides fuels our survival. The biological purpose of thought is not so much to make us right as to keep us alive. In some situations, however, haste makes mistakes.

Students at Oregon Representation Heuristics University were told that a group of psychologists interviewed a sample of 30 engineers and 70 lawyers and summarized their impressions in thumbnail images. They were told that the following description was randomly drawn from a sample of 30 engineers and 70 lawyers:

Frank is twice divorced and spends most of his free time at the country club. Their conversations at the club bar often revolve around their regrets for trying to follow in their beloved father's footsteps. The long hours he spent in academic drudgery would have been better spent learning to be less argumentative with other people. Question: What is the probability that Frank is more of a lawyer than an engineer?

When asked about Frank's occupation, more than 80% of students assumed he was one of the lawyers (Fischhoff & Bar-Hillel, 1984). By me. But how do you think these estimates changed when the example description was given to a different group of students, modified to say that 70% were engineers? At least. Students did not pay attention to the basic fee for engineers and lawyers; In her opinion, Frank represented the lawyers more and that seemed to be all that mattered.

Judging something by intuitively comparing it to our mental representation of a category is applying the representativeness heuristic. Representativeness (typicality) is usually a reasonable guide to reality. But as we saw with "Frank" above, it doesn't always work. Consider Linda, who is 31 years old, single, outspoken and highly intelligent. He majored in philosophy in college. As a student, he dealt intensely with discrimination and other social issues and participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations. Based on that description, would you say it's more likely?

one. Linda is an employee of bank b. Linda is a bank clerk and active in the feminist movement.

Most people think h is more likely, in part because Linda better represents her feminist image (Mellers et al., 2001). But ask yourself: is Linda more likely to be both a bank teller and a feminist than a bank teller (feminist or otherwise)? As Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman (1983) have reminded us, the conjunction of two events cannot be more probable than either one of them alone.

THE AVAILABILITY HEURISTICS Consider this: Do more people live in Iraq or Tanzania? (See page 94 for the answer.)

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Table •• 3.1 Fast and cheap heuristics

'Definition' heuristic example, but may lead to this

V Representativeness Quick assessment of whether someone or something fits into a category

Deciding that Carlos is more of a librarian than a truck driver because he better represents his own image as a librarian

Disregard of other important information

Availability Quick evaluation of the probability of events (according to availability in memory)

Estimation of teen violence after school shootings

Overloading the descriptive instances and thus, for example, fearing the wrong thing

You've probably responded after how easily Iraqis and Tanzanians come to mind. When examples are readily available in our minds, as is the case with Iraqis, then we assume that other similar examples are commonplace. This is often the case, so we are usually well served by this cognitive rule called the availability heuristic (Table 3.1). Simply put, the easier we remember something, the more likely it seems to us.

But sometimes the rule deceives us. When people hear a list of famous people of one sex (Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga and Hillary Clinton) mixed with an equally large list of not-so-famous people of the opposite sex (Donald Scarr, William Wood and Mel Jasper), then the names of celebrities will come later and be more cognitively available. Most people will later recall hearing more (in this case) female names (McKelvie, 1995, 1997; Tversky & Kahneman, 1973). Likewise, media attention to gay and lesbian issues makes gays and lesbians cognitively available. For example, in a 2011 Gallup poll, the average American adult estimated that 25% of Americans are gay or lesbian (Morales, 2011b), about seven times more than those who call themselves gay, lesbian, or bisexual (Gates, 2011). ). .

Even fictional events in fiction, television, and film leave images that later inform our judgment (Gerrig & Prentice, 1991; Green & other, 2002; Mar & Oatley, 2008). The more engrossed and "stuck" the reader is ("I could easily imagine what was going on"), the more the story influences the reader's subsequent beliefs (Diekman et al., 2000). Readers who are captivated by romance novels, for example, may be offered readily available sexual scripts that influence their own sexual attitudes and behavior.

Or consider this: rank these four cities by crime rate: Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis. If, with the available images of TV crime dramas in your mind, you thought that New York and Los Angeles were the most crime-ridden, guess again. they are the least criminal of the four (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2011).

Our use of the availability heuristic highlights a fundamental principle of social reasoning: humans are slow to deduce specific instances of a general truth, but they are remarkably quick to infer a general truth from a living instance. Not surprisingly, 9 out of 10 Canadians, after hearing and reading stories of rape, robbery, and beatings, overestimate, often significantly, the percentage of crimes involving violence (Doob & Roberts, 1988). And it is not surprising that, after a series of robberies and gang murders, South Africans estimated that violent crime nearly doubled between 1998 and 2004, when in fact it had declined significantly (Wines, 2005).

The availability heuristic explains why vivid, easy-to-imagine events, such as shark attacks or illnesses with easy-to-imagine symptoms, seem more likely than hard-to-imagine events (MacLeod and Campbell, 1992; Sherman et al., 1985 ). ).


Availability heuristic A cognitive rule that evaluates the likelihood of things in terms of their availability in memory. When we immediately think of examples of something, we assume it's commonplace.

"Most people argue dramatically, not quantitatively."


HOLMES, JR „ 1841-1935

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Answer to question on page 92: Tanzania's 43 million people far outnumber Iraq's 31 million. Most people who have more vivid images of Iraqis are wrong.

Also, meaningful anecdotes can be more persuasive than statistical information. We worry about extremely rare child abductions, even if we don't put our children in the backseat. We fear terrorism, but we are indifferent to global climate change: "Slow Motion Armageddon". Especially after the 2011 tsunami and the nuclear disaster in Japan, we fear nuclear energy, regardless of the many deaths related to coal mining and burning (von Hippel, 2011). In short, we worry about distant possibilities while ignoring higher probabilities, a phenomenon that Cass Sunstein (2007b) calls our "probability neglect".

Since news footage of plane crashes is a readily available memory for most of us, especially since September 11, 2001, we often assume that we are at greater risk when traveling in commercial aircraft than in automobiles. Between 2003 and 2005, travelers in the United States were 230 times more likely to die in a car accident than on a commercial flight on the same route (National Safety Council, 2008). In 2006, reports the Flight Safety Foundation, there was an accident on 4.2 million flights of Western-built commercial aircraft (Wald, 2008). For most air travellers, getting to the airport is the most dangerous part of the trip.

Shortly after 9/11, when many people stopped flying and took to the streets, I estimated that if Americans flew 20% less and logged miles not flown, we could expect another 800 road deaths in the following year (Myers, 2001). It was necessary that a curious German investigator (¿why didn't I think so?) compared this prediction with the accident data, which confirmed an excess of about 350 deaths in the last 3 months of 2001 in comparison with the average of 3 months of last year. a 5 years (Gigerenzer, 2004). The terrorists of September 11, 2001 appear to have silently killed more people on the streets of the United States than the 266 people who died on those four planes.

It is now clear that our naive statistical intuitions and the resulting fears are not driven by calculation and reason, but by emotion attuned to heuristic availability. After the publication of this book, another dramatic natural or terrorist event is likely to occur that will once again turn our fears, vigilance, and resources in a new direction. With the help of the media, terrorists can once again achieve their goal

Animated, memorable, and therefore cognitively available events influence our perception of the social world. The resulting "probability neglect" often leads people to fear the wrong things like flying or terrorism more than smoking, driving or climate change rotavirus - something would have been done about it. Reprinted with permission from Dave 8ohn.

Social Beliefs and Judgments Chapter 3 95

drawing our attention, depleting our resources, and distracting us from mundane, undramatic, insidious risks that destroy lives over time, such as rotavirus, which kills the equivalent of four 747 full of children a day (Parashar et al., 2006 ). But, on the other hand, dramatic events can also serve to alert us to real risks. That's what some scientists say is happening when the extreme floods, droughts, blizzards and tornadoes of 2011 raised concerns that global climate change is destined to become nature's weapon of mass destruction through rising levels of sea ​​and the occurrence of extreme weather events. For Australians and Americans, a temporarily hot day can make people believe more in global warming (Li et al., 2011). Even feeling hot indoors increases people's belief in global warming (Risen & Critcher, 2011).

Counterfactual thinking Easily imagined (cognitively available) events also influence our experiences of guilt, regret, frustration, and relief. When our team loses (or wins) an important game by one point, we can easily imagine the other outcome, and therefore we feel grief (or relief). Imagining worse alternatives helps us feel better. Imagining better alternatives and thinking about what we could do differently next time helps prepare us to do better in the future (Epstude & Roese, 2008).

In Olympic competition, athletes' emotions after an event mainly reflect how they performed compared to expectations, but also their counterfactual thinking: their mental simulation of what could have been (McGraw et al., 2005; Medvec et al., one thousand nine hundred and ninety-five). Bronze medalists (for whom finishing without a medal was an easily conceivable alternative) expressed more happiness than silver medalists (who were more likely to imagine winning gold). The medal board said luck was as simple as 1-3-2. The higher a student scores within a rating category (eg, B-l-), the worse he or she feels (Medvec & Savitsky, 1997). The B+ student who loses an A- by one point feels worse than the B-K student who actually underperformed and only gained a B-1- by one point.

Such counterfactual thinking occurs when we can easily envision an alternative outcome (Kahneman & Miller, 1986; Markman & McMullen, 2003; Petrocelli et al., 2011):

• When we rarely miss a plane or a bus, we imagine this would happen if we had left at the usual time, taken our usual route and not stopped to talk. If we miss our connection for half an hour or after doing our usual commute, it's harder to simulate a different outcome, so we're less frustrated.

• If we change the answer on a test and get it wrong, we will inevitably think, "I wish... and next time we'll vow to trust our immediate intuition, even though, contrary to student tradition, the answer changes from wrong to right." are more common." (Krueger et al., 2005).

• The narrowly losing team or political candidate will continue to simulate how they could have won (Sanna et al., 2003).

Counterfactual thinking involves our feelings of happiness. When we narrowly escape a bad event, dodging a last-minute goal loss, or standing near a falling icicle, we tend to envision a negative counterfactual (losing, getting hit) and therefore feel "good, good luck" (Teigen et al.). , 1999). . "Bad luck" refers to bad events that happened but could easily not have happened.

The more significant and unlikely the event, the more intense the counterfactual thinking will be (Roese & Hur, 1997). Survivors who have lost a spouse or child to a car accident or a child to sudden death often report recurrences and










Counterfactual Thinking Imagine alternative scenarios and outcomes that could have occurred but did not.

Counterfactual thinking. When contestants on the game show Deal or No Deal traded too late (they left with less than they were previously offered) or too early (gave up on their next choice, which would have resulted in more money), they were likely experiencing counterfactual thinking. - imagining what could have been.

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People apologize more often for actions than for omissions (Zeelenberg et al., 1998).

perception of illusory correlation of a relationship where none exists, or perception of a stronger relationship than actually exists.

Illusion of control Perception of uncontrollable events as being under our control or more controllable than they are.

FAMILY CIRCUS © 1998 Bil Keane. Cía Sindicato de King Features.

social thinking

undo the event (Davis et al., 1995, 1996). A friend of mine survived a head-on collision with a drunk driver that killed his wife, daughter and mother. He recalled: “For months, the events of that day replayed in my mind. I reproduced the day, changing the order of events so that the accident did not occur” (Sittser, 1994).

However, in Asian and Western cultures, most people live with fewer regrets for things they've done than for things they haven't done, such as "I wish I'd been more serious in college" or "I should have done mine" . “I must tell my father that I love him before he dies” (Gilovich & Medvec, 1994; Rajagopal et al., 2006). In a survey of adults, the most common regret was not taking education more seriously (Kinnier & Metha, 1989). Would we live with fewer regrets? If we dared to go beyond our comfort zone more often, we would risk failure, but would we at least try?

Positive Thinking Another influence on everyday thinking is our search for order in random events, a tendency that can lead us down all kinds of wrong paths.

ILLUSORICAL CORRELATION It is easy to see a correlation where none exists. When we expect to find meaningful relationships, we easily associate random events and perceive an illusory correlation. William Ward and Herbert Jenkins (1965) showed people the results of a hypothetical 50-day cloud seeding experiment. They told participants which of the 50 days had been cloud seeded and which had been rain. The information was nothing more than a random mixture of results: sometimes it rained after planting; Sometimes no. However, participants were confident that they actually observed a link between cloud permeation and precipitation, consistent with their ideas about the effects of cloud permeation.

Other experiments confirm the principle: people easily perceive random events as confirmation of their beliefs (Crocker, 1981; Jennings et al., 1982; Trolier and Hamilton, 1986). When we believe there is a correlation, we are more likely to notice and remember confirming instances. When we believe that premonitions are correlated with events, we realize this.

and remember each joint occurrence of the premonition and the subsequent occurrence of the event. When we believe that obese women are more unhappy, we realize that we experience such a correlation when this is not the case (Viken & others, 2005). We ignore or forget all cases where the unusual facts do not match. If after thinking about a friend, the friend calls us, we notice this coincidence and remember it. We don't notice when we think of a friend who didn't call, or when we get a call from a friend we weren't thinking about.

ILLUSION OF CONTROL Our tendency to perceive random events as connected fuels an illusion of control, the idea that


sign so much! Every time they do that, it becomes erratic."

97 Social Beliefs and Judgments Chapter 3

Random events are subject to our influence. It keeps gamers active and the rest of us doing all sorts of unlikely things.

Gambling Ellen Langer (1977) demonstrated the illusion of control in gambling experiments. Compared to those given a lottery number, people who chose their own number were charged four times as much when asked to sell their ticket. If you are playing a game of chance against a clumsy and nervous person, you are betting a lot more than if you were playing against a sophisticated and confident opponent. Being the person who rolls the dice or spins the wheel increases people's self-confidence (Wohl & Enzle, 2002). In this and other ways, more than 50 experiments have consistently found that humans pretend they can predict or control random events (Presson and Benassi, 1996; Thompson et al., 1998).

Observations of real players confirm these experimental results. The die can be soft for low numbers and hard for high numbers (Henslin, 1967). The gaming industry thrives on gamers' illusions. Players attribute winnings to their skill and foresight. Defeats become "near misses" or "coincidences" or, for the athlete, a bad call from the referee or a crazy bounce of the ball (Gilovich & Douglas, 1986).

Equity traders also like the "feeling of power" that comes from being able to choose and control their own trades, as if their control allows them to outperform the market average. One ad explained that online investing "is all about control." Unfortunately, the illusion of control generates overconfidence and frequent losses after business costs (Barber & Odean, 2001a, 2001b).

People like to feel in control and will act out when they feel out of control to create a sense of predictability. In experiments, loss of control led people to form illusory correlations in stock market information, perceive nonexistent conspiracies, and develop superstitions (Whitson & Galinsky, 2008).

REGRESSION TO THE MEAN Tversky and Kahneman (1974) point out another way in which an illusion of control can arise: we do not recognize the statistical phenomenon of regression to the mean. Because test scores vary, sometimes randomly, most students who score extremely high on one test score lower on the next test. If your first score is on the threshold, your second score will regress ("regress") to your own average, rather than pushing the threshold further. For this reason, a student who consistently does a good job, while never being the best, will sometimes finish a course at the top of the class. On the other hand, students with the lowest scores on the first test are likely to improve. If those with the lowest scores go to tutoring after the first test, it is likely that tutors will feel effective when the student improves, even if tutoring has had no effect.

In fact, when things hit rock bottom, we try everything, and whatever we try - seeing a psychotherapist, starting a new diet and exercise plan, reading a self-help book - will lead to improvement instead. of further deterioration. Sometimes we realize that events are unlikely to continue at an exceptionally good or bad extreme. Experience has taught us that when things are going well, things can go wrong, and that when life deals us terrible blows, we can usually expect things to get better. However, we often ignore this regression effect.

Regression to Mean The statistical tendency of extreme values ​​or behavior to return to their own mean.

average relapse. When we are at an extremely low point, anything we try will seem effective. “Maybe a yoga class will improve my life.” Events rarely continue at an unusually low point.

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We wonder why baseball's rookie of the year usually has a more average second year: Did he get too confident? Self-conscious? We forget that exceptional performance tends to regress to normality.

By simulating the consequences of praise and punishment, Paul Schaffner (1985) showed how the illusion of control can infiltrate human relationships. He invited students at Bowdoin College to call an imaginary fourth grader, "Harold", to come to school at 8:30 am. m. every morning. For each school day over a 3-week period, a computer displayed Harold's arrival time, which was always between 8:20 and 8:40. Students then chose a response for Harold, ranging from strong praise to strong scolding. As expected, Harold was generally praised if he arrived before 8:30 am. m. and would be reprimanded if he arrived later than 8:30 am. m. Because Schaffner programmed the computer to display a random sequence of arrival times, Harold's arrival time tended to improve (regressing to 8:30 am) after he was reprimanded. For example, if Harold arrived at 8:39 am. m., he would almost certainly receive a reprimand and his randomly chosen arrival time for the next day would likely be before 8:39 am. m. Although their reprimands had no effect, most students left the experiment believing that their reprimands had an effect.

This experiment demonstrates Tversky and Kahneman's provocative conclusion: nature works in such a way that we often feel punished for rewarding others and are rewarded for punishing others. In fact, as any student of psychology knows, positive reinforcement for doing the right thing is often more effective and has fewer negative side effects.

Moods and Judgments Social judgment includes efficient processing of information. It also affects our feelings: our state of mind influences our judgments. Some studies compare happy and sad people (Myers, 1993, 2000b). Unhappy people, especially those who are grieving or depressed, tend to be more introspective and melancholy. A depressed mood motivates intense thinking, a search for information that makes the environment more understandable and controllable (Weary & Edwards, 1994).

Happy people, on the other hand, are more confident, loving, and accepting. If people are temporarily excited about a small gift while shopping in a mall, moments later they report to independent research that their cars and televisions are working wonderfully; better, if you trust them, than those who responded after not receiving any gifts.

Moods permeate our thinking. To West Germans reveling in their team's world football title (Schwarz & Co., 1987) and to Australians emerging from a moving film (Forgas & Moylan, 1987), people seem kind and life seems wonderful. After (but not before) a football game between rivals Alabama and Auburn in 1990, victorious Alabama fans believed that war was less likely and potentially disastrous than more ill-tempered Auburn fans (Schweitzer et al. , 1992). When we are in a good mood, the world seems friendlier, decisions are easier, and good news comes to mind more easily (DeSteno et al., 2000; Isen and Means, 1983; Stone and Glass, 1986).

However, let the mood turn gloomy, and thoughts change course. the rose-colored glasses; In dark glasses. However, bad moods shape our memories of negative events (Bower, 1987; Johnson & Magaro, 1987). Our relations seem sour. Our self-images are submerged. Our hopes for the future are clouded. And other people's behavior seems more sinister (Brown & Taylor, 1986; Mayer & Salovey, 1987).

Social psychologist Joseph Forgas (1999, 2008, 2010, 2011) at the University of New South Wales used to be impressed by how temperamental people's "memories and judgments change with the color of their mood". To understand this "infusion of humor", he began to experiment. Imagine that you are in such a study. use hypnosis.

99 Social Beliefs and Judgments Chapter 3

Percentage of Perceived Behaviors

recognized recognized

FIGURE :: 3.3 Intermittent good or bad mood strongly influenced people's assessments of their videotaped behavior. Those who were in a bad mood reported significantly less positive behavior.

Source: Forgas & Andere (1984).

Forgas et al (1984) put you in a good or bad mood and then watch a video (recorded the day before) talking to someone. When they make you feel happy, you feel satisfied with what you see and you can see many examples of their attitude, interest and social skills. When you're in a bad mood, watching the same tape seems to reveal a very different self: rigid, nervous, and inarticulate (Figure 3.3). Given the way his mood affects his judgments, he is relieved to see how clear things are when the experimenter puts him in a good mood before leaving the experiment. Interestingly, according to Michael Ross and Garth Fletcher (1985), we do not attribute our changes in perception to changes in mood. In fact, the world looks very different.

Our moods color the way we judge our worlds, in part by recalling past experiences associated with mood. When we are in a bad mood, we have more depressive thoughts. Mood-related thoughts can distract us from complex thoughts about something else. Therefore, when we are emotionally aroused, when we are angry or even in a good mood, we are more likely to make snap judgments and evaluate others based on stereotypes (Bodenhausen et al., 1994; Paulhus & Lim, 1994).

ABSTRACT: How do we evaluate our social worlds? • We have a tremendous ability to

scientific and intuitive thinking. Our cognitive abilities, while generally adaptable, come at the expense of occasional mistakes. Since we are often unaware of these errors that creep into our thinking, it is helpful to identify the ways in which we form and maintain false beliefs.

• First, we often overestimate our judgments. This overconfidence phenomenon stems in part from the greater ease with which we can figure out why we might be right than why we might be wrong. Furthermore, people are much more likely to seek information that might confirm their beliefs than information that might refute them.

• Second, when we are presented with compelling anecdotes or even useless information, we often overlook the useful ones.

Base rate information. This is due in part to the subsequent retrieval of illustrative information (availability heuristics).

• Third, we are often influenced by illusions of correlation and personal control. It is tempting to notice correlations where none exist (illusory correlation) and to believe that we can predict or control random events (the illusion of control).

• Finally, humor influences judgments. Good and bad moods trigger memories of experiences associated with those moods. Moods color our interpretations of current experiences. And by distracting us, humor can also affect how deeply or how shallowly we think about making judgments.

100 Part A Social Thought


Recognize how and with what accuracy we explain the behavior of others.

People are dedicated to explaining to other people, and social psychologists are dedicated to explaining people's explanations.

Our judgments about people depend on how we explain their behavior. Depending on our explanation, we may dismiss the murder as murder, manslaughter, self-defense, or heroism. Depending on our explanation, we may see a homeless person as lacking initiative or as a victim of job cuts and welfare. Depending on our explanation, we may interpret a person's friendly behavior as genuine warmth or complacency. Attribution theory helps us understand how this explanation works.

Misattribution False attribution of the behavior to the wrong source.

Attributing Causality: The Person or Situation We endlessly analyze and discuss why things happen the way they do, especially when we experience something negative or unexpected (Weiner, 1985, 2008, 2010). If labor productivity drops, do we expect workers to become lazier? Or has your workplace become less efficient? Does a child who hits peers have a hostile personality? Or does he respond to relentless provocations? The researchers found that married people tend to analyze their partner's behavior, especially their negative behavior. Cold hostility, more than a warm embrace, is more likely to make the couple ask zvhi/? (Holtzworth-Munroe and Jacobson, 1985; Holtzworth and Jacobson, 1988).

Spouse responses are correlated with marital satisfaction. Unhappy couples often offer irritating explanations for negative actions ("He was late because he didn't care about me"). Happy couples are more likely to outsource ("She was late because of heavy traffic"). Positive action explanations work similarly to perpetuate distress ("He brought me flowers because he wants sex") or to improve the relationship ("He brought me flowers to show he loves me") (Hewstone & Fincham, 1996; McNulty and others). . , 2008; Weiner, 1995).

Antonia Abbey (1987, 1991, 2011; Abbey et al., 1998) and her colleagues have repeatedly found that men are more likely than women to attribute a woman's kindness to mild sexual interest. (Men's romantic interest is easier to read [Place & other, 2009]). Misinterpreting women's warmth as male sexual advances, an example of misattribution, can contribute to behavior that women see as sexual harassment or even rape (Farris et al., 2008; Kolivas & Gross, 2007; Pryor et al. ., 1997). Many men believe that women are flattered by repeated dating requests, which women often perceive as harassment (Rotundo et al., 2001).

Misattributions are particularly likely when men are in positions of power. A supervisor may misinterpret a submissive woman's submissive or friendly behavior and confidently view it in sexual terms (Bargh & Raymond, 1995). masculine

An incorrect attribution? Rape sometimes begins when a man misinterprets a woman's warmth as sexual provocation.

101 Social Beliefs and Judgments

He thinks about sex more often than women (see Chapter 5). Men are also more likely than women to assume that others share their feelings (recall the “false consensus effect” from Chapter 2). Thus, a man may greatly overestimate the sexual significance of a woman's polite smile (Levesque et al., 2006; Nelson & LeBoeuf, 2002).

These misattributions help explain the greater sexual assertiveness displayed by men worldwide and the greater tendency of men in cultures from Boston to Bombay to justify rape on the grounds that the victim consented or tacitly consented (Kanekar & Nazareth, 1988; Muehlenhard, 1988). . 1988; Shotlands, 1989). Women are more likely to view forced sex as harsh judgment and punishment (Schutte & Hosch, 1997). False attributions also help explain why, in a national survey, 23% of American women who said they had been coerced into undesirable sexual behavior was eight times as high as the 3% of American men who said they had ever coerced a woman to do so. engage in sex. coercive sexual conduct (Laumann et al., 1994).

Attribution theory looks at how we explain people's behavior and what we infer from it. Variations of attribution theory share some common assumptions. As Daniel Gilbert and Patrick Malone (1995) explain, “Both construct the human skin as a special boundary separating a set of 'causal forces' from another person, and on the carnal side are the internal or personal forces that exert pressure on the body. . Outer skin. Sometimes these forces unite, sometimes they oppose each other, and their dynamic interaction manifests itself as observable behavior."

Pioneer of attribution theory Fritz Heider (1958) and others after him discussed the "common sense psychology" that people use to explain everyday events. They concluded that when we observe someone acting intentionally, we attribute that person's behavior sometimes to internal causes (e.g., the person's constitution or mental state) and sometimes to external causes (e.g., the person's constitution or mental state). . attributed to the person's situation). A teacher may wonder whether a child's low performance is due to lack of motivation and ability (a dispositional attribution) or physical and social circumstances (a situational attribution). Also, some of us are more inclined to attribute the behavior to a stable personality; others tend to attribute the behavior to situations (Bastian & Haslam, 2006; Robins et al., 2004).

Chapter 3

Attribution theory The theory of how people explain the behavior of others, for example by attributing it to internal dispositions (enduring characteristics, motives and attitudes) or external situations.

Attribution of disposition Attribution of behavior to a person's disposition and characteristics.

CHARACTERISTICS OF CONCLUSION Edward Jones and Keith Davis (1965) found that we often conclude that other people's actions are indicative of their intentions and inclinations. Seeing Rick make a sarcastic comment to Linda, I conclude that Rick is a hostile person. Jones and Davis' theory of corresponding inferences specified the conditions under which people

Attribution of the situation Attribution of the behavior to the environment.

To what should we attribute a student's drowsiness? Much lack of sleep? Boredom? Whether we make internal or external attributions depends on whether we notice that she consistently sleeps in this and other classes, and whether other students respond to this particular class as she does.

102 Part One Social Thought

Spontaneous Inference of Traits An automatic and effortless inference about a trait after the behavior has been shown to someone.

One exception: Asians are less likely to attribute people's behavior to their personality traits (Na & Kitayama, 2011).

FIGURE: 3.4 Harold Kelley's Attribution Theory Three factors—consistency, distinctiveness, and consensus—influence whether we attribute a person's behavior to internal or external causes. Try creating your own examples, such as B. the following; If Mary and many others criticize Steve (consensus) and if Mary doesn't criticize others (high distinction), then we make an external attribution (it's Steve). If Maria alone (low consensus) criticizes Steve, and if she also criticizes many others (low distinctiveness), then we see internal attribution (it's about Maria).

derive properties. For example, normal or expected behavior tells us less about the person than unusual behavior. When Samantha is sarcastic in an interview where a person would normally be nice, it tells us more about Samantha than when she is sarcastic with her brothers.

The ease with which we infer features, a phenomenon called spontaneous feature inference, is remarkable. In experiments at New York University, James Uleman (1989; Uleman et al., 2008) gave students statements to remember, such as "The librarian takes the old woman's purchases across the street." Students would immediately, inadvertently, and unconsciously infer a characteristic. When I later helped recall the phrase, the most valuable keyword was not "books" (to call the librarian) or "bags" (for groceries), but "useful", the derived trait I gave them also spontaneously assigned to the librarian. Even if someone is exposed to a person's face for just 1/10 of a second, people will spontaneously infer some personality traits (Willis & Todorov, 2006).

GENERAL ATTRIBUTIONS As the theory of corresponding inference suggests, attributions are generally rational. Pioneering attribution theorist Harold Kelley (1973) described how we explain behavior using information about "consistency," "distinctiveness," and "consensus" (Figure 3.4).

Consistency: How consistent is the person's behavior in this situation? Differentiation: How specific is the person's behavior in this particular situation? Consensus: To what extent do others behave similarly in this situation?

To explain why Edgar has problems with his computer, most people would use information about consistency (Does Edgar normally not get his computer to work?), distinction (Does Edgar have problems with other computers, or just this one?) and consensus. (Do other people have similar problems with this brand of computer?). If we find that only Edgar has persistent problems with you and other computers, we're likely to blame Edgar for the problems, not the malfunctions on that computer.

So our common sense psychology usually explains behavior logically. But Kelley also found that people often overlook a contributing cause of behavior when other plausible causes are already known. When we can provide one or two valid reasons why a student might have done poorly on a test, we often ignore or rule out alternative possibilities (McClure, 1998). When given information about college grade point averages and asked to assess their eligibility for graduate school, people ignore the leniency of school grades (Moore et al., 2010).

Consistency: Does this person often act this way?

in this situation? (If so, we're looking for an explanation.)

external assignment

(about the situation of the person)

Distinctive character: this person behaves

different in this situation than in others?

Consensus: Others behave

how in this situation?


internal assignment

(to the person


Social Beliefs and Judgments Chapter 3 103

The Basic Attribution Error The most important lesson in social psychology concerns the influence of our social environment. Our inner state, and therefore also what we say and do, depends on the situation in each moment and what we contribute to the situation. In experiments, sometimes a small difference between two situations has a big impact on how people react. As a teacher, I saw this when I taught the same subject at both 8:30 am and 7:00 pm. Silent stares greeted me at 8:30 am; at 7:00 am. I had to break up a party. In each situation, some individuals spoke more than others, but the difference between the two situations outweighed the individual differences.

Attribution researchers have identified a common problem with our attributions. When we explain a person's behavior, we often underestimate the impact of the situation and overestimate the extent to which it reflects the person's characteristics and attitudes. So while I knew about the effect of time of day on classroom conversation, I found it terribly tempting to assume that people in the 7:00 p.m. m. they were more outgoing than the "quiet guys" who arrived at 8:30 am. m. Likewise, we can conclude that people fall because they are clumsy, not because they stumble; that people smile because they are happy instead of pretending to be nice, and that people pass us on the road because they are more aggressive than if they are late for an important meeting.

This situational discount, which Lee Ross (1977) refers to as a fundamental attribution error, appears in many experiments. In the first study of its kind, Edward Jones and Victor Harris (1967) had students at Duke University read speeches by debaters who supported or attacked Cuban leader Fidel Castro. When told that the debater chose the position they wanted to take, students logically assumed that this reflected the person's own attitude. But what happened when the students were told that the debate coach had assigned the position? People who simply pretend to take a position write stronger statements than might be expected (Allison et al., 1993; Miller et al., 1990). Even knowing that the debater had been instructed to take a pro or anti-Castro position did not prevent the students from concluding that the debater had the assigned tendencies (Figure 3.5). People seemed to be thinking, "Yeah, I know he got this job, but I think he really believes in it."

Even when people know they are provoking another person's behavior, they underestimate outside influences. When individuals dictate an opinion to someone.

attributed attitude

Pro Castro 80

(Video) How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

Fundamental attribution error The tendency of observers to underestimate situational influences on the behavior of others and to overestimate dispositional influences. (Also called matching bias because we often see behavior as conforming to a disposition.)

Figure :: 3.5 The Basic Attribution Error When people read a debate speech supporting or attacking Fidel Castro, they attribute the corresponding attitudes to the speechwriter, even though the author's position was assigned by the debate coach.

Source: data from Jones & Harris (1967).

He decided to give a speech to Castro

Assigned to make a speech for Castro

104 Part One Social Thought

When we see a movie actor playing the role of "good guy" or "bad guy", it is difficult to shake off the illusion that given behavior reflects an attitude. Perhaps that's why Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr. Spock on the original Star Trek series, titled one of his books I Am Not Spock.

so others have to express it, they still tend to see the person as actually having that opinion (Gilbert & Jones, 1986). When people are asked during an interview to improve or demote themselves, they are perfectly aware of why they are behaving the way they do. But they are not aware of its effect on someone else. If Juan behaves modestly, his naive partner Bob is likely to show modesty as well. Juan will easily understand his own behavior, but he will think that poor Bob suffers from low self-esteem (Baumeister et al., 1988). In short, we tend to assume that others are what they act. When people see Cinderella huddled in her oppressive house, they conclude (ignoring the situation) that she is meek; Dancing with her at the ball, the prince sees an educated and glamorous person.

Discounting social constraints became apparent in a thought-provoking experiment by Lee Ross and colleagues (Ross et al., 1977). The experiment reconstructed Ross's first-hand experience of going from graduate student to professor. His doctoral oral exam was humiliating as his seemingly brilliant professors quizzed him on topics they specialized in. Six months later. dr. As an examiner, Ross was able to ask powerful questions about his favorite topics. Ross' hapless student later admitted that he felt much the same as Ross had six months earlier: dissatisfied with his ignorance and impressed by the apparent brilliance of the examiners.

In the experiment, Ross hosted a simulated trivia game with Teresa Amabile and Julia Steinmetz. He randomly assigned some Stanford University students to the questioner role, some to the candidate role, and some to the observer role. The researchers challenged the interrogators to ask difficult questions that demonstrated their knowledge. Each of us can imagine these questions in our own area of ​​expertise: "Where is Bainbridge Island?" "How did Mary Queen of Scots die?" "Who has the longest coastline, Europe or Africa?" Even if these few questions make you feel a little uninformed, you'll appreciate the results of this experiment.*

They all had to know that the interrogators would have the upper hand. However, both participants and observers (but not questioners) erroneously concluded that questioners were actually better informed than participants (Figure 3.6).

* Bainbridge Island faces Puget Sound from Seattle. Mary was beheaded by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. Although the African continent is more than twice the size of Europe, Europe's coastline is longer. (It's more complicated, with many ports and bays, a geographic fact that contributed to its role in the history of maritime trade.)

Social Beliefs and Judgments Chapter 3 105

General knowledge assessment

100 r--------------------------------------------











participant ratings

Observer Ratings

FIGURE: 3.6 Both participants and observers in a simulated quiz game assumed that a person randomly assigned to the role of quizzer was much more experienced than the participant. In fact, the designated roles of questioner and candidate simply made the questioner seem more knowledgeable. The fact that this is not recognized highlights the basic attribution error. Source; Data from Ross et al. (1977).

Follow-up studies show that these misconceptions are hardly an expression of low social intelligence. In fact, college students and other intelligent and socially competent people are more likely to make the attribution error (Bauman & Skitka, 2010; Block & Funder, 1986).

In real life, those with social power often initiate and control conversations, often causing subordinates to overestimate their knowledge and intelligence. For example, doctors are often thought of as experts on all sorts of topics outside of medicine. Likewise, students often overestimate the brilliance of their teachers. (As in the experiment, the professors are inquisitive about topics related to their particular experience.) When some of these students later become professors, they are often surprised to discover that the professors aren't so smart after all.

To illustrate the basic fallacy of attribution, most of us need look no further than our own experiences. Determined to make new friends, Bev puts a smile on her face and eagerly throws herself into a party. Everyone else looks completely relaxed and happy as they laugh and chat with each other. Bev wonders, "Why is everyone always so comfortable in groups like this, while I'm shy and uptight?" In fact, everyone else is nervous too and makes the same attribution error by assuming that Bev and the others are what they seem: confident. Sociable.

Why do we make the attribution error? So far we've seen a bias in how we explain other people's behavior: we often ignore strong situational determinants. Why do we tend to underestimate the situational determinants of others' behavior but not our own?

People generally attribute great intelligence to people like teachers and quiz takers who test the knowledge of others.

106 Part One Social Thought

The fundamental attribution error: observers underestimate the situation. When we pull into a gas station, we might think that the person standing at the second pump (blocking access to the first) is being reckless. This person, who arrived when the first pump was working, attributes his behavior to the situation.

PERSPECTIVES AND SITUATIONAL AWARENESS Attribution theorists have pointed out that we view others from a different perspective than we view ourselves (Jones, 1976; Jones & Nisbett, 1971). When we act, the environment demands our attention. When we see another person perform, that person takes center stage of our attention and the environment becomes relatively invisible. When I'm angry, it's the situation that makes me angry. But someone I see angry might come across as a grumpy person.

Bertram Malle (2006) concluded from his analysis of 173 studies that the difference between actor and observer is minimal. When our action seems intentional and admirable, we attribute it to our good reasons, not the situation. Only when we behave badly are we more likely to attribute our behavior to the situation, whereas someone observing us might spontaneously infer a trait.

In some experiments, people watched a videotape of a suspect confessing during police questioning. When viewing the confession through a camera pointed at the suspect, they perceived the confession as genuine. When viewed through a camera pointed at the detective, it is perceived as more forced (Lassiter & Irvine, 1986; Lassiter & others, 2005, 2007). The camera's perspective influenced people's guilty verdicts, even when the judge told them not to (Lassiter et al., 2002).

In court, most confession videos focus on the confessor. Unsurprisingly, Daniel Lassiter and Kimberly Dudley (1991) found that these tapes, when played by prosecutors, lead to a nearly 100% conviction rate. Aware of this investigation, reports Lassiter, New Zealand has made it a national policy that police interrogations are filmed with the same focus on the officer and the suspect, for example, being filmed with side profiles of both.

As the previously visible person fades into memory, observers tend to give the situation more and more credence. As we saw earlier in Edward Jones and Victor Harris's (1967) groundbreaking attribution error experiment, upon hearing someone discuss an assigned position, people immediately assume that the person really felt that way. Jerry Burger and ML Palmer (1991) found that after a week they are much more willing to appreciate situational constraints. The day after a presidential election. Burger and Julie Pavelich (1994) asked voters why the election turned out the way it did. Most attributed the result to the personal qualities and positions of the candidates (the ruling party's winner was sympathetic). when they asked

Social Beliefs and Judgments Chapter 3 107

other voters asked the same question a year later, only a third attributed the verdict to the candidates. More people now praised circumstances such as the country's good mood and robust economy.

Let's get personal: are you generally quiet, talkative or dependent on the situation? "Depends on the situation" is a common answer. Similarly, when asked to predict their feelings 2 weeks after receiving their country's grades or national election results, people expect the situation to dominate their emotions; they underestimate the importance of their own cheerful or grumpy disposition (Quoidbach & Dunn, 2010). But when asked to describe a friend or what they were like 5 years ago, people tend to attribute descriptions of characteristics. When we remember our past, we become like observers of someone else, say researchers Emily Pronin and Lee Ross (2006). For most of us, the "old you" is someone other than the "real you" of today. We see ourselves from the distant past (and the distant future) almost as if they were other people occupying our bodies.

These experiments all point to one reason for the attribution error: we find causes where we look for them. To see this for yourself, consider: would you say your social psychology professor is a quiet person or a talkative one?

I think you've come to the conclusion that he or she is quite outgoing. But remember: your attention is focused on your instructor as you behave in a public context that requires speaking. The teacher also observes his own behavior in the most diverse situations: in the classroom, in meetings, at home. "Me talkative?" your teacher can tell. “Well, it always depends on the situation. In class or with good friends, I tend to be outgoing. Because we are very aware of how our behavior varies with the situation, we see ourselves as more variable than other people (Baxter & Goldberg, 1987; Kammer, 1982; Sande et al., 1988). "Nigel is tense, Fiona is relaxed. She IS different for me."

CULTURAL DIFFERENCES Cultures also influence attribution errors (Ickes, 1980; Watson, 1982). A Western worldview predisposes people to believe that it is people, not situations, that cause events. Internal explanations are more socially acceptable (Jellison & Green, 1981). "You can!" We believe in the popular psychology of Western culture of positive thinking. You get what you deserve and you deserve what you get.

As children grow up in Western culture, they learn to explain behavior in terms of the personal characteristics of others (Rholes et al., 1990; Ross, 1981). As a first grader, one of my sons deciphered the words "the door got Tom in the sleeve" into "the door got Tom in the sleeve". Her teacher, applying the Western cultural assumptions of the curriculum material, mislabeled this. The "correct" answer located the cause in Tom: "Tom got caught in the door with his sleeve."

The basic attribution error occurs in different cultures (Krull et al., 1999). However, people from East Asian cultures are somewhat more sensitive than Westerners to the meaning of situations. Therefore, when they are aware of the social context, they are less likely to assume that the behavior of others conforms to their characteristics (Choi et al., 1999; Farwell & Weiner, 2000; Masuda & Kitayama, 2004).

focus on the person Would you conclude that your professor, or the professor shown here, is naturally receptive to this course?


began to remember them








When under the influence of alcohol, people's attention span narrows and they are more likely to attribute a person's action, perhaps a bar crash, to intent (Begue et al., 2010). Thinking that an apparent push or insult was intentional can trigger an aggravated reaction.

108 first part

Whether conservatives or liberals offer more situational attribution depends on the issue. In explaining poverty, liberals offer stronger situational attributions. In explaining the killing of Iraqi civilians by US Marines, conservatives offer stronger situational attributions (Morgan et al., 2010).

FIGURE: 3.7 Attributions and Reactions How we explain a person's negative behavior determines how we feel about it.

social thinking

Some languages ​​encourage outer assignments. Instead of "I arrived late", the Spanish expression allows us to say: "The clock made me arrive late". They are less likely to spontaneously interpret the behavior as an expression of an inner character trait (Newman, 1993). When told about someone's actions, Indian Indians are less likely than Americans to offer dispositional explanations ("She's nice") and more likely to offer situational explanations ("her friends were with her") (Miller, 1984). .

The basic attribution error is critical because it colors our explanations in fundamental and important ways. Researchers from the UK, India, Australia and the US have found that people's attributions predict their attitudes towards the poor and unemployed (Furnham, 1982; Pandey et al., 1982; Skitka, 1999; Wagstaff, 1983; Weiner et al. , 1982; Skitka, 1999; Wagstaff, 1983; Weiner et al. al., 2011). ). Those who attribute poverty and unemployment to personal dispositions (“You are lazy and unworthy”) tend to take political positions that do not sympathize with these people (Figure 3.7). This dispositional attribution attributes the behavior to the disposition and characteristics of the person. Those who make situational attributions (“If you or I lived with the same overcrowding, rudeness, and discrimination, would we be better off?”) tend to take policy positions that offer more direct support to the poor. Tell me your attributions to poverty and I'll guess your politics.

Can we benefit from being aware of the attribution error? I once attended some interviews for a teaching position. One candidate was interviewed by six of us at the same time; Each of us had the opportunity to ask two or three questions. I walked away thinking, "What a stiff, clumsy person he is." I met the second candidate privately over coffee and immediately discovered that we had a close mutual friend. As we talked, I became more and more amazed at "what a warm, engaging, and inspiring person she is." Only later did I remember the basic attribution error and reconsider my analysis. He attributed its rigidity and heat to his nature; In fact, I later realized that this behavior was partly due to the different interview situations.

WHY WE STUDY ATTRIBUTION ERRORS This chapter, like the previous one, explains some weaknesses and fallacies in our social thinking. Reading about it, it might sound like one of my students said that.

Attribution of disposition (Man is a

unfriendly person.)

unfavorable reaction

(I don't like this man.)

Negative behavior^ (A man is rude to his


Attribution of status (The man was unfair


sympathetic reaction

(I can understand.)

109 Beliefs and social judgments

dtat "Social psychologists like to play tricks on people." In fact, the experiments aren't designed to prove "how dumb these mortals are" (although some of the experiments are quite amusing). Rather, its purpose is to reveal how we think about ourselves and others.

If our capacity for illusion and self-deception is shocking, remember that our thinking is often adaptive. Positive thinking is often a by-product of our mind's strategies for simplifying complex information. It corresponds to our perceptual mechanisms, which usually provide us with useful pictures of the world, but sometimes deceive us.

A second reason to focus on biases like fundamental attribution error is humanitarian. One of the "great humanizing messages" of social psychology, note Thomas Gilovich and Richard Eibach (2001), is that people should not always be responsible for their problems. "More often than people want to admit," they conclude, "failure, disability, and misfortune...are products of real environmental causes."

A third reason to focus on bias is that most of the time we are not aware of it and could benefit from greater awareness. As with other biases, such as selfishness (see Chapter 2), people consider themselves less likely to make attribution errors than others (Pronin, 2008). My guess is that you will find more surprises, more challenges, and more benefits in an analysis of errors and biases than in a series of testimonials about human logical ability and intellectual achievement. This is also the reason why world literature so often describes pride and other human weaknesses. Social psychology aims to expose us to errors in our thinking, in the hope that we will become more rational and closer to reality.

Chapter 3










ABSTRACT: How do we explain our social worlds? • Attribution theory is concerned with how we explain the world to people.

Behavior. Misattribution, that is, attributing behavior to the wrong source, is a major factor in sexual harassment, as a person with power (usually a man) interprets kindness as sexual advances.

• Although we normally make reasonable attributions, we often make the basic attribution error (also called correspondence bias) when explaining other people's behavior. We attribute your behavior

so much in their inner qualities and attitudes that we ignore situational limitations even when they are obvious. We make this attribution error in part because when we see someone act, that person is the focus of our attention and the situation is relatively invisible. Normally, when we act, our attention is focused on what we are reacting to: the situation is more visible.


have a little idea of ​​the importance of our social beliefs.

After considering how we explain and judge others—effectively, adaptively, but sometimes wrongly—we close this chapter by reflecting on the implications of our social judgments. Do our social beliefs matter? Can they change reality?

Our beliefs and social judgments play a role. They influence how we feel and act, and in doing so, they can help create their own reality. When our ideas cause us to act in ways that evoke their apparent confirmation, they become what sociologist Robert Merton (1948) called self-fulfilling prophecies, which he believes

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy A belief that leads to its own fulfillment.

110 Part One Social Thought

focusON The Self-Fulfilling Psychology of the Stock Market

On the night of January 6, 1981, Joseph Granville, a popular Florida investment adviser, cabled his clients; "Stock prices will fall, sell tomorrow." Word of the Granville board soon spread, and January 7 became the busiest trading day in the history of the New York Stock Exchange. In total, stock values ​​lost $40 billion.

Nearly half a century ago, John Maynard Keynes compared this stock market psychology to the popular beauty pageants then organized by London newspapers. To win, it was necessary to choose the six faces among a hundred, which in turn were the most chosen by the other candidate newspapers. As Keynes wrote, "Each contestant must select not those faces which he himself considers most beautiful, but those which he thinks are most likely to capture the imagination of the other contestants."

Investors also try not to choose stocks they like, but stocks that other investors will prefer. The name of the game is predicting the behavior of others. As one Wall Street fund manager explained, "You may or may not agree with Granville's view, but that's usually beside the point."

sell, so you want to sell quickly before prices drop further. If you expect others to buy, buy now to avoid the rush.

On Monday, October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 20%, the self-fulfilling psychology of the stock market was taken to an extreme. Part of what happens during accidents like this is that the media and rumors focus on whatever bad news is available to explain it away. Once released, explanatory news lowers people's expectations even further, causing the price to drop further. The process also works in reverse, amplifying good news when stock prices rise.

In April 2000, the volatile technology market again demonstrated a self-fulfilling psychology now known as "impulse investing." After 2 years of buying stocks with enthusiasm (because prices went up), people started selling them frantically (because prices went down). These wild swings in the market – “irrational exuberance” followed by a crash – are mostly self-inflicted, noted economist Robert Shiller (2005). In 2008 and 2009, market psychology took another dip as another bubble burst.

.... . ....... . " .............. .........- • ..................... ................................................ .. .. .......... •'' •' ..........

Rosenthal (2008) recalls submitting a paper describing his early experiments on experimenter bias to a major journal and to an American Association for the Advancement of Science competition. On the same day, a few weeks later, he received a letter from the journal rejecting his work and from the association naming it the best social science research of the year. In science, as in everyday life, some people appreciate what others don't, so it's worth trying and, if rejected, trying again.

lead to their own fulfilment. When customers, believing their bank is on the verge of collapse, try to withdraw their money, their misperceptions can come true, Merton said. If people are led to believe that stocks are about to skyrocket, they really will. (See "In Focus: The Self-Fulfilling Psychology of the Stock Market.")

Robert Rosenthal (1985, 2006), in his well-known studies of experimenter bias, found that research participants sometimes fulfill what they believe experimenters expect of them. In one study, experimenters asked people to rate how successful people were in different photos. The experimenters read the same instructions and showed the same pictures to all participants. Still, experimenters who expected their subjects to view their subjects as successful received higher scores than those who expected their subjects to view them as failures. Even more surprising - and controversial - are reports that teachers' beliefs about their students also serve as self-fulfilling prophecies. If a teacher thinks a student is good at math, will he do well in class? Let's go over this.

Teacher Expectations and Student Performance Teachers have higher expectations of some students than others. You may have discovered this after being preceded by a brother or sister in school, after being labeled "gifted" or "learning disabled" or after being compared to "gifted" or "average" students. Perhaps the conversation in the staff room preceded his reputation. Or maybe their new teacher got a good look at them.

Social Beliefs and Judgments Chapter 3 111


Find out about your school record or your family's social status. Of course, teacher grades are correlated with student performance: teachers think highly of students who perform well. This is primarily due to the fact that teachers accurately assess their students' abilities and achievements. "Approximately 75 percent of the correlation between teacher expectations and future student performance reflects accuracy," report Lee Jussim, Stacy Robustelli, and Thomas Cain (2009).

But are teacher evaluations both a cause and a consequence of student performance? A correlation study by William Crano and Phyllis Mellon (1978) of 4300 British schoolchildren found an affirmative answer. Not only is high performance followed by higher teacher ratings, but the opposite is also true.

Could we test this “teacher expectation effect” experimentally? Imagine if we give a teacher the impression that four randomly selected students, Dana, Sally, Todd, and Manuel, are extraordinarily capable. Will the teacher give these four special treatment and get superior performance out of them? In a now famous experiment, Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson (1968) reported just that. Randomly selected children at a San Francisco elementary school who were judged (based on a mock test) to be on the verge of a dramatic intellectual ascent and then skyrocketed in IQ scores.

This dramatic result seemed to indicate that the school problems of "disadvantaged" children may reflect their teachers' low expectations. The results were soon published in the national media, as well as in many university textbooks. However, a later analysis, which was not as publicly known, showed that the effect of teachers' expectations is not as strong and reliable as this first study led many to believe (Jussim et al., 2009; Spitz, 1999). ). By Rosenthal's own count, expectations significantly affected performance in only about 4 out of 10 of nearly 500 published experiments (Rosenthal, 1991, 2002). Low expectations don't judge a child capable, and high expectations don't magically turn a slow learner into a valedictorian. Human nature is not so flexible.

However, high expectations seem to encourage low-achieving students, for whom a teacher's positivity can be a breath of hopeful fresh air (Madon et al., 1997). How are these expectations communicated? Rosenthal and other researchers report that teachers look, smile, and nod at "high-potential students" more often. Teachers can also teach their "gifted" students more, set higher goals for them, involve them more, and give them more time to respond (Cooper, 1983; Harris & Rosenthal, 1985, 1986; Jussim, 1986).

In one study, Elisha Babad, Frank Bernieri, and Rosenthal (1991) filmed teachers talking to or about invisible students for whom they had high or low expectations. A random 10-second snippet of the teacher's voice or face was enough to tell viewers, children and adults alike, whether they were good or bad students and how much the teacher liked them. (You read that right: 10 seconds.) Although teachers think they can hide their feelings and not judge the class, students are highly sensitive to teachers' facial expressions and body movements (Figure 3.8).

Self-assumed expectations related to gender ("women are bad at math") or race ("black people don't do as well on aptitude tests") can create anxiety that suppresses test scores. Remove the "stereotype threat" (see Chapter 9) and performance may improve.

Teacher Expectations Teacher Behavior Student Behavior I "Rena's older brother was brilliant. I bet she is too."

Smile more for Rena, show her more, call her more, give her more time to respond.

Reindeer responds enthusiastically.

FIGURE :: 3.8 Self-Fulfilling Prophecies Teachers' expectations can become self-fulfilling prophecies. But most of the time, teachers' expectations reflect reality (Jussim & Harber, 2005).


112 Part One Social Thought

When I read about experiments on teacher expectations, I wonder about the effect of students' expectations on their teachers. No doubt you start many of your courses after hearing "Professor Smith is interesting" and "Professor Jones is boring." Robert Feldman and Thomas Prohaska (1979; Feldman & Theiss, 1982) noted that such expectations can affect both students and teachers. Students in a learning experiment who expected to be taught by an excellent teacher found their teacher (unaware of their expectations) to be more competent and interesting than students with low expectations. Also, the students actually learned more. In a subsequent experiment, women who expected their teacher to be sexist had less positive experiences with him, performed lower, and rated him as less competent than women who did not have the sexist expectation (Adams et al., 2006).

Were these results just the result of student perceptions or also a self-fulfilling prophecy involving the teacher? In a follow-up experiment, Feldman and Prohaska videotaped teachers and observers rated their performance. Teachers were considered more capable when paired with a student who conveyed positive expectations non-verbally.

To see whether such effects could occur in real classrooms, a research team led by David Jamieson (Jamieson et al., 1987) experimented with four Ontario high school classes taught by a newly transferred teacher. In individual interviews, students in two of the classes were told that both the other students and the research team rated the teacher very highly. Compared with control classes, students with positive expectations paid more attention during lessons. At the end of the class, they also got better grades and rated the teacher as clearer in his classes. The attitude that a class has towards the teacher seems to be as important as the attitude of the teacher towards the students.

Getting what we expect from others Thus, the expectations of experimenters and teachers, while often quite accurate, sometimes seem like self-fulfilling prophecies. How common are self-fulfilling prophecies? Do we receive from others what we expect from them? Studies show that our perception of others is more accurate than biased (Jussim, 2012). Self-fulfilling prophecies have "less than extraordinary power". But sometimes self-fulfilling prophecies work in workplaces (with managers with high or low expectations), in courtrooms (when judges preside over grand juries), and in simulated police contexts (when interrogators with expectations of guilt or innocence question and press the suspects). . (Kassin et al., 2003; Rosenthal, 2003, 2006).

Do self-fulfilling prophecies affect our personal relationships? There are times when someone's negative expectations lead us to be kinder to that person, which causes us to be kinder in return, thus validating our expectations. But a more common finding in studies of social interaction is that, to some extent, we get what we expect (Olson et al., 1996).

In laboratory games, hostility almost always breeds hostility: people who perceive their opponents to be uncooperative will easily make them uncooperative (Kelley & Stahelski, 1970). Perceiving the other side as aggressive, resentful, and vindictive leads the other side to engage in these self-defensive behaviors, creating a self-perpetuating vicious cycle. In another experiment, people expected to interact with another person of a different race. When they expected the person to not enjoy interacting with someone of their race, they felt more anger and hostility towards the person (Butz & Plant, 2006). Also, asking whether I expect my wife to be in a bad mood or in a good mood can affect my relationship with her and lead her to confirm my beliefs.

So, do intimate relationships thrive when couples idealize each other? Do positive illusions about the virtues of others come true? Or are they more self-defeating, setting high expectations that cannot be met? under the University of

To judge the general warmth and enthusiasm of a professor or professor, it takes even a small amount of behavior, just a few seconds (Ambady and Rosenthal, 1992, 1993).

Social Beliefs and Judgments Chapter 3 113

Waterloo Dating Couples Followed by Sandra Murray and Coworkers (1996a, 1996b, 2000), positive partner ideals bode well. Idealization helped to mitigate conflict, increase happiness, and turn perceived frogs into princes or princesses. When someone loves and admires us, it helps us to be more of the person he or she imagines us to be.

When couples face conflict, hopeful optimists and their partners tend to see each other as constructive. So they feel more supported and satisfied with the outcome compared to those with more pessimistic expectations (Srivastava et al., 2006). Even in couples, those who worry that their partner doesn't love and accept them, interpret small pains as rejection, which motivates them to devalue and distance themselves from their partner. Those who assume love and acceptance from their partners are less defensive, read less stressful events, and treat their partners better (Murray et al., 2003). Love helps create your supposed reality.

Several experiments conducted by Mark Snyder (1984) at the University of Minnesota show how mistaken beliefs about the social world can lead other people to confirm those beliefs, a phenomenon called behavioral confirmation. In a classic study, Snyder, Elizabeth Tanke, and Ellen Berscheid (1977) had male college students call women they found attractive or unattractive (by showing them a picture). Analysis of the statements of the women alone during the conversations showed that the supposedly attractive women spoke more cordially than the supposedly unattractive women. Men's false beliefs became a self-fulfilling prophecy, causing them to act in ways that led women to fulfill the male stereotype that beautiful people are desirable people.

Behavioral assertion also occurs when people interact with partners who hold incorrect beliefs. People who perceive themselves as lonely are less sociable (Rotenberg et al., 2002). People who believe they are accepted and appreciated (rather than disliked) behave warmly and are accepted and appreciated (Stinson et al., 2009). Men perceived as sexist behave with less sympathy towards women (Pinel, 2002). Speakers who are believed to have a warm heart behave with a warm heart.

Imagine that you are one of 60 males or 60 females in an experiment by Robert Ridge and Jeffrey Reber (2002). Each man must interview one of the women to assess his suitability for the teaching assistant position. Before doing so, he tells her that she is either attracted to him (based on her answers to a biographical quiz) or not attracted to him. (Imagine if someone you were about to meet expressed a strong interest in meeting you and going out with you, or not.) The result was a behavioral statement: Candidates who thought they were attracted showed more flirting (without realizing it). As soon as). Ridge and Reber believe that this process, like the misattribution phenomenon discussed above, may be one of the roots of sexual harassment. When a woman's behavior appears to validate a man's beliefs, he may escalate his advances until they are so obvious that the woman recognizes them and interprets them as appropriate or intrusive.

Expectations also influence children's behavior. After observing the amount of litter in three classrooms, Richard Miller and colleagues (1975) repeatedly asked the teacher and others to tell the class to be clean and orderly. This persuasion increased the amount of garbage thrown into the bins from 15 to 45 percent, but temporarily no more. Another class that had also placed only 15 percent

behavioral statement. If each of these people is attracted to the other but assumes that the feeling will not be reciprocated, both may act coldly to avoid rejection and decide that the other's coldness confirms their suspicion. Danu Stinson and colleagues (2009) argue that this "self-protective heat inhibition" dooms some potential relationships.

Behavioral Confirmation A type of self-fulfilling prophecy in which people's social expectations cause them to behave in ways that confirm their expectations of others.













114 Part One Social Thought

his rubbish in the bins, he was always praised for his cleanliness and order. 8 days after hearing this, and even 2 weeks later, these kids lived up to expectations, throwing over 80% of their rubbish in the bins. Tell kids to be hardworking and friendly (instead of lazy and mean) and they can live up to their labels.

These experiments help us understand how social beliefs, such as stereotypes about people with disabilities or about people of a certain race or gender, can be self-validating. The way others treat us reflects how we and others treat them.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: How important are our expectations of our social worlds?

• Sometimes our beliefs take on a life of their own. Normally, our beliefs about others are based in reality. But studies of experimenter bias and teachers' expectations show that the misconception that certain individuals are extraordinarily capable (or incapable) can lead teachers and researchers to give them special treatment. This can provoke superiors.

(or lower) and therefore seem to confirm an assumption that is actually incorrect.

• Likewise, in everyday life, we often receive behavioral confirmation of what we expect. When we discover that someone we are about to meet is smart and attractive, we might be surprised at how smart and attractive they are.


Looking at human nature through cognitive social psychology.

Studies of social cognition show that our information-processing powers are astounding in their efficiency and adaptability (“Like God, Afraid!” exclaimed Shakespeare's Hamlet). However, we are also prone to predictable errors and miscalculations ("straw hat", said T.S. Eliot). What practical lessons and insights into human nature can we draw from this research?

We have examined the reasons why people sometimes form mistaken beliefs. We cannot simply dismiss these experiments - most of their participants were intelligent people, often students of leading universities. Furthermore, people's intelligence scores do not correlate with their susceptibility to many different thinking biases (Stanovich & West, 2008). You can be very smart and have very poor judgment.

Trying hard doesn't eliminate bias in thinking either. These predictable biases and biases occurred even when paying for correct answers that motivated people to think optimally. As one researcher concluded, illusions "have an enduring quality not unlike perceptual illusions" (Slovic, 1972).

Research in cognitive social psychology, therefore, reflects mankind's mixed appraisal of literature, philosophy, and religion. Many research psychologists have spent their entire lives exploring the incredible abilities of the human mind. We're smart enough to crack our own genetic code, invent talking computers, and send humans to the moon. Salutations to human reason.

Well, two cheers, because the mind's generosity for efficient judgment makes our intuition more likely to misjudge than we realize. We form and maintain false beliefs with remarkable ease. Guided by our prejudices, conceited, convinced by vivid anecdotes, contextual awareness and even control.

115 Beliefs and social judgments

Where they don't exist, we construct our social beliefs and then influence others to confirm them. "The naked intellect," observed writer Madeleine L'Engle, "is an extremely imprecise instrument."

But were these experiments just intellectual tricks played on the unfortunate participants, making them look worse than they are? Richard Nisbett and Lee Ross (1980) argued that laboratory procedures tend to overestimate our intuitive abilities. Experiments often provide people with clear evidence and alert them that their ability to think is being tested. Rarely does real life tell us, “Here is some evidence.

Many times our everyday mistakes are inconsequential, but not always. Wrong impressions, interpretations and beliefs can have serious consequences. Even small biases can have profound social ramifications when we make big social judgments: Why are so many homeless? Dissatisfied? Assassin? Does my boyfriend love me or my money? Cognitive biases creep into even sophisticated scientific thinking. Human nature has changed little in the 3,000 years since the Old Testament psalmist observed that "no man can see his own faults."

Is he too cynical? Leonard Martin and Ralph Erber (2005) invite us to imagine an intelligent being descending and asking for information to help them understand the human species. If you give him this social psychology text, the alien will say "thank you" and go back to space. How would you feel if you offered the sociopsychological analysis of human life? Joachim Krüger and David Funder (2003a, 2003b) would not feel very well. Social psychology's preoccupation with human vulnerabilities must be reconciled with "a more positive view of human nature", they argue.

Social psychologist Lee Jussim (2005, 2012) agrees, adding: "Despite the often demonstrated existence of a multitude of logical errors and systematic biases in lay judgment and social perception, such as imperfect heuristics, selfish bias, etc. the other is surprisingly (though rarely perfectly) accurate." The elegant analyzes of the imperfections of our thinking are themselves a tribute to human wisdom. ."

Just as medicine assumes that every organ in the body has a function, behavioral scientists find it useful to assume that our ways of thinking and acting are adaptive. Rules of thought that engender false beliefs and faulty intuitions are often helpful to us. Errors are often a byproduct of our mental shortcuts that simplify the complex information we receive.

Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Herbert Simon (1957) was one of the modern researchers who were the first to describe the limits of human reason. Simon claims we've simplified them to face reality. Consider the complexity of a chess game: the number of possible games is greater than the number of particles in the universe. How can we deal with this? We adopt some simplifying rules: heuristics. These heuristics sometimes lead us to defeat. But they allow us to make quick and efficient judgments.

Positive thinking can also arise from useful heuristics that aid our survival. Heuristics make us smart in many ways (Gigerenzer & Gaissmaier, 2011). Believing in our power to control events helps maintain hope and effort. When things are sometimes under control and sometimes not, we maximize our results through positive thinking. Optimism pays off. We could even say that our beliefs are like scientific theories, sometimes wrong but useful as generalizations. As social psychologist Susan Fiske (1992) puts it, "Thinking is for action."

Can we reduce errors in our social thinking? At school, math teachers teach, teach, teach, until the mind is finally trained to process numerical information accurately and automatically. We assume that such an ability doesn't come naturally;

Chapter 3



















116 Part One Social Thought













Otherwise, why bother with years of training? Research psychologist Robyn Dawes (1980a, 1980b) - who was dismayed that "study after study has shown [that] humans have very limited abilities to process information on a conscious level, particularly social information" - suggested that also teach, teach, teach to process social information.

Richard Nisbett and Lee Ross (1980) agree that education can actually reduce our susceptibility to certain types of errors. They make the following recommendations:

• Train people to recognize possible sources of error in their own social intuition. • Establish statistics courses focused on everyday logical and social problems.

Evaluation. With such training, people can think better about everyday events (Lehman et al., 1988; Nisbett et al., 1987).

• Make this lesson more effective by richly illustrating it with specific descriptive anecdotes and real-life examples.

• Convey catchy and useful slogans such as "This is an empirical question", "Where did you get this sample?" or "Statistics can lie, but a well-chosen example does the job better."

ABSTRACT: What can we say about social beliefs and judgments?

Research on social beliefs and judgments shows how psychology will appreciate both the forces we shape and sustain and the dangers of social thinking, which often serves us but sometimes misleads us. a balanced society





ENTITY, 1884

POST THE SCRIPTURES: Reflection on Wishful Thinking Is Pride and Error Research Too Humbling? We can certainly recognize the harsh truth of our human limitations and still sympathize with the deeper message that humans are more than machines. Our subjective experiences are the essence of our humanity: our art and our music, our joy in friendship and love, our mystical and religious experiences.

The cognitive and social psychologists who study positive thinking are not trying to turn us into mindless logic machines. You know that emotions enrich the human experience and that intuitions are an important source of creative ideas. However, they add the humble reminder that our susceptibility to error also indicates the need for disciplined mental training. American writer Norman Cousins ​​(1978) called it "the greatest truth about learning: that its purpose is to unlock the human mind and make it an organ capable of thinking: conceptual thinking, analytical thinking, sequential thinking" .

Exploring fallacies and illusions in social judgment reminds us not to judge: to remember, with a touch of humility, our potential for misjudgments. It also encourages us not to be intimidated by the arrogance of those who do not see their own potential for bias and error. Humans are wonderfully intelligent but fallible creatures. We have dignity, but not divinity.

Social Beliefs and Judgments Chapter 3 117

This humility and distrust of human authority is at the heart of religion and science. Not surprisingly, many of the founders of modern science were religious people whose beliefs led them to be humble about nature and skeptical of human authority (Hooykaas, 1972; Merton, 1938). Science is always an interplay between intuition and rigorous testing, between creative intuition and skepticism. Separating reality from illusion requires open-minded curiosity and sober rigor. This perspective can be a good attitude for facing life: critical but not cynical, curious but not naive, open but not exploitative.

"The ancestor of all action is a thought." ................................................. —Ralph .Waldo Emerson, .Essays , f/rs.t series, .184.1.

How well do our attitudes predict our behavior?

When does our behavior affect our attitudes?

Why do our behaviors affect our attitudes?

Addendum: Changing ourselves through action

What is the relationship between what we are (inside) and what we do (outside)? Philosophers, theologians, and educators speculate on connections between attitudes

and action, character and conduct, and private word and public work.

Much of teaching, counseling, and parenting is based on assumptions.

tion: Our private beliefs and feelings determine our public behavior

I or; Therefore, if we want to change our behavior, we must first change our hearts.

and lies

At first, social psychologists agreed; meet people

attitudes is to predict your actions. As evidenced by the genocide

suicide bombers, extreme attitudes can lead to extreme

Behavior. Countries whose people abhor the leadership of another country.

They are more likely to carry out terrorist attacks against you (Krueger &

Maleckova, 2(X)9). Hateful attitudes lead to violent behavior.

But in 1964, Leon Festinger concluded that the evidence proved it.

that changing people's attitudes has little effect on their behavior.

Festinger believed that the relationship between attitude and behavior worked backwards.

around. As Robert Abelson (1972) put it, we are “very well educated and

very good at finding reasons for what we do, but not very good at it

do what we find reasons to do.” This chapter examines the interaction of

attitudes and behavior.

120 Part A Social Thought

Attitude A positive or negative critical response to something or someone (often rooted in one's beliefs and expressed in feelings and expected behavior).



—BUDA, 563 BC-483 BC,


"Thought is the child



GRAU, 1926

FIGURE: 4.1 The ABC of configuration

When social psychologists talk about a person's attitudes, they are referring to beliefs and

Feelings related to a person or event and the resulting behavioral tendencies. Sold off

together, favorable or unfavorable evaluative reactions to something, often

rooted in beliefs and manifested in feelings and propensities to act - defines a person's attitude

Stance {Eagly & Chaiken, 2(X)5). Therefore, a person can have a negative attitude towards

Coffee, a neutral attitude towards French and a positive attitude towards others

next door neighbor.

Attitudes evaluate the world efficiently. If we have to react quickly to some

Thing, how we feel about it can determine how we react. For example a person who

you think a certain ethnic group is lazy and aggressive, you might not like those people

and therefore intend to act in a discriminatory manner. can you remember these

the three dimensions as the ABC of attitudes; Affect (feelings), behavioral tendencies, and

Cognition (thoughts) (Figure 4.1).

The study of attitudes is fundamental to social psychology and was one of its early failures.

core. For much of the past century, researchers have wondered to what extent our attitudes

influence our actions.


Indicate to what extent and under what conditions our internal attitudes determine our external actions.

The supposed power of attitudes received a blow when social psychologist Allan Wicker (1969) reviewed several dozen research studies covering a wide variety of people, attitudes, and behaviors. Wicker came to a shocking conclusion: the attitudes people expressed were hardly predictive of their different behaviors.

• Students' attitudes toward cheating were weakly related to the likelihood of cheating.

• Attitude towards church was only conditionally linked to attending a service on a specific Sunday.

• Self-described racist attitudes provided little evidence of behavior in real situations. Many people say that it bothers them that someone is racist.


comments; However, when they hear racism (for example, when someone uses the N-word), they respond with indifference (Kawakami et al., 2009).

The mismatch between attitudes and actions is what Daniel Batson and colleagues (1997, 2001, 2002; Valdesolo & DeSteno, 2007, 2008) call "moral hypocrisy" (apparently moral without incurring the cost). His studies have introduced people to

Behavior and Attitudes Chapter 4 121

an attractive task with a possible prize of $30 and a boring task with no rewards. Participants should be assigned to one of the tasks and a supposed second participant to the other. Only 1 in 20 believed it was more moral to give themselves positive homework, yet 80% did. In follow-up experiments, participants were given coins to play privately if they wanted to. Even if they chose to bounce back, 90 percent of that was attributable to positive homework! (Was it because they could specify the sequence of heads and tails after the coin was tossed?) In another experiment, Batson placed a sticker on each side of the coin that indicated what the result of the coin toss would be. Still, 24 of the 28 people who did the launch were assigned the positive task. When morality and greed were on a collision course, greed usually won out.

When people do not follow the same lines on which they speak, it is not surprising that attempts to change behavior by changing attitudes often fail. Warnings about the dangers of smoking have little effect on those who already smoke. Growing public awareness of the numbing and brutal effects of television violence has led many people to express their desire for less violent programming, and yet they continue to see murders in the media more than ever before. Sex education programs often influenced attitudes toward abstinence and condom use without affecting long-term abstinence and condom use behaviors. We are, it seems, a population of hypocrites.

Overall, the evolving picture of what drives behavior emphasized external social influences, such as the behavior and expectations of others, and downplayed internal factors, such as attitudes and personality. In the 1960s, for example, the original thesis that attitudes determine actions was opposed by the antithesis that attitudes determine almost nothing.

Thesis. antithesis. Is there a synthesis? The startling discovery that what people say often differs from what they do has social psychologists scrambling to find out why. Certainly, we think, beliefs and feelings sometimes make a difference.

Indeed. In fact, what I'm going to explain seems so obvious that I wonder why most social psychologists (myself included) didn't think so before the early 1970's. .

Attitudes and behavior are misaligned. After former US Congressman Mark Souder and employee Tracey Jackson shot a pro-abstinence video together, it was revealed that the two were having an affair outside of their own marriages. “You go crazy if you don't have a sense of irony,” the family values ​​advocate told a local newspaper (Elliott 2010).







Whether Attitudes Predict Behavior The reason, now apparent, why our behavior and our expressed attitudes differ is that each is subject to different influences. Many other influences. One social psychologist listed 40 factors that make your relationship difficult (Triandis, 1982; see also Kraus, 1995). Our attitudes predict our behavior when these other influences on what we say and do are minimal, when the attitude is specific to the behavior, and when the attitude is strong.

WHEN THE SOCIAL IMPACT ON WHAT WE SAY IS MINIMAL Unlike a doctor who measures heart rate, social psychologists never read attitudes directly. Instead, we measure expressed attitudes. Like other forms of behavior, expressions are also subject to external influences. For example, sometimes we say what we think others want to hear. In late 2002, many American legislators, sensing their country's post-9/11 fear, anger, and patriotic fervor, publicly voted in favor of President Bush's proposed war against Iraq, while privately maintaining reservations (Nagourney, 2002). In the roll call, strong social influence—fear of criticism—distorted true sentiments.

122 Part One Social Thought

THE insideSTORY Mahzarin R. Banaji on discovering experimental social psychology

When I graduated from high school in India at age 15, I had only one goal: to leave my well-adjusted and secure family behind to pursue the obviously more daring and exciting life of a secretary. Being able to write dozens of words a minute, I longed for an independent life that included living just a block away from my parents. My mother convinced me, even though I didn't go to college, to give it a try, but only for one semester, we agreed, after that I would be free to choose my path.

The end of my first semester at Nizam College came and went. Mom didn't ask me about my plans. I didn't have to swallow and count. Just before a vacation trip home, I bought all five volumes of the 1968 Handbook of Social Psychology for the equivalent of a dollar each (seemed like a lot of books for the money). By the end of the 24-hour train journey home, I had devoured a volume and knew with absolute clarity that this science, which studies social processes experimentally, was something I had to do.

Doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships allowed me to work with three remarkable people early in my career: Tony Greenwald of Ohio State and Claude Steele and Elizabeth Loftus of the University of Washington. While I was still interested in the study of human memory at Yale, I discovered that memories are explicit (conscious)

and implicit (unconscious) forms. Can this also apply to attitudes, beliefs and values? I reluctantly typed the words "Implicit Attitudes" as the title of a fellowship application, not realizing that it would become such a central part of what my students and I would study over the next two decades.

With Tony Greenwald and Brian Nosek, I have enjoyed extensive collaboration on implicit social cognition that few scientists have been blessed with. From hundreds of studies using the implicit association test ( and the millions of tests performed, we now know that people have knowledge (stereotypes) and feelings (attitudes) of which they are not aware and that their conscious statements often sometimes contrast with them. . We know that subcortical brain activity can be an independent marker of implicit attitudes, that people differ in their implicit attitudes, and that such attitudes and stereotypes predict behavior in real life. Fortunately, we know that implicit attitudes, even old ones, can be changed through experience.

Mahzarin Banaji

Harvard University

Implicit Association Test (IAT) A computer-controlled assessment of implicit attitudes. The test uses reaction times to measure people's automatic associations between attitude objects and evaluative words. Easier pairings (and faster reactions) are taken as evidence of stronger unconscious associations.

Today's social psychologists have some clever tools at their disposal for minimizing social influences on people's attitude reports. Some of them complement the traditional self-report measures of explicit (conscious) attitudes with measures of implicit (unconscious) attitudes. One such test measures facial muscle responses to various statements (Cacioppo & Petty, 1981). The researchers hope that these measures might show enough of a micro smile or a micro frown to indicate a participant's attitude toward a particular statement.

A more recent and widely used measure of attitudes, Implicit Fear Association (TA), uses reaction times to measure how quickly people associate concepts (Greenwald et al., 2002, 2003). For example, implicit racist attitudes can be measured by assessing whether whites take longer to associate positive words with black faces than with white faces. Implicit attitude researchers have offered several IAT assessments online ( The approximately 5 million tests carried out since 1998 have demonstrated this.

• Implicit biases are ubiquitous. For example, 80% of people show more implicit negativity towards older people compared to younger people.

• People vary in implicit bias. Depending on their membership in the group, conscious attitudes, and prejudices of their immediate environment, some people show more implicit prejudice than others.

123 Behavior and Attitudes

• People are often unaware of their implicit biases. Despite claiming to be unbiased, even the researchers show some implicit biases (negative associations with different social groups).

Do implicit biases predict behavior? A review of available research (now over 200 studies) shows that both explicit (self-reported) and implicit attitudes help predict people's behavior and judgments (Greenwald et al., 2008; Nosek et al., 2011) . Therefore, explicit and implicit attitudes together are better predictors of behavior than either of them alone (Spence & Townsend, 2007). Behavioral predictions range from flossing to the fate of romantic relationships and suicide attempts (Lee et al., 2010; Millar, 2011; Nock et al., 2010). In one study, hiring managers received job applications that matched the strength of credentials, but in one study, applicants' photos were digitally altered to make them appear obese. A few months later, when 153 of the managers completed an IAAT, their automatic obesity bias score predicted which candidates they would interview (Agerstrom & Rooth, 2011).

For attitudes formed early in life, such as race and gender attitudes, implicit and explicit attitudes often diverge, with implicit attitudes being the best predictor of behavior. For example, implicit racial attitudes successfully predicted interracial relationships between roommates (Towles-Schwen & Fazio, 2006). For other attitudes, such as consumer behavior and support for political candidates, explicit self-reports are the best predictor. (See "The Inside Story: Mahzarin R. Banaji on Discovering Experimental Social Psychology.")

Recent neuroscientific studies have identified brain centers that produce our automatic and implicit responses (Stanley et al., 2008). An area deep in the brain (the amygdala, a threat-perception center) is active when we automatically evaluate social stimuli. For example. White people who show high unconscious racial bias on the LAT also show high amygdala activation when they see unfamiliar black faces rather than white faces. Other areas of the frontal lobe are involved in recognizing and regulating implicit attitudes.

A word of caution: despite the great excitement over these recent studies of implicit attitudes lurking in the basement of the mind, the implicit association test has its detractors (Arkes & Tetlock, 2004; Blanton et al., 2006, 2007). , 2009 ). They point out that, unlike an aptitude test, the lAT is not reliable enough to assess and compare people. Furthermore, a score indicating relative bias does not distinguish between a positive bias toward one group (or greater familiarity with one group) and a negative bias toward another. Critics also wonder whether empathy and guilt, rather than latent hostility, may be lowering black people's association rate with positive words. Regardless, the existence of distinct explicit and implicit attitudes validates one of the most important lessons of 21st century psychology: our "dual processing" capacity for controlled (deliberate, conscious, explicit) and automatic (effortless, habitual, explicit) thinking. . implicit).

WHEN OTHER BEHAVIORAL INFLUENCES ARE MINIMAL In any case, it is not just our internal attitudes that guide us, but also the situation in which we find ourselves. As Chapters 5 through 8 will repeatedly show, social influences can be enormous—enough to drive people to violate their deepest beliefs. So would this allow us to average many opportunities to more clearly see the impact of our configuration? Predicting people's behavior is like predicting how a baseball or cricket player will bat. “The outcome of any racket round is almost impossible to predict. But if we add up many at-bats, we can compare their approximate batting averages.

To use an example from research, people's general attitude towards religion is a poor indicator of whether they will attend services in the next week (because attendance is also affected by weather, the leader of the service, how the person feels, etc. .). But religious attitudes predict the total pretty well.

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124 Part One Social Thought

religious behaviors over time (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1974; Kahle & Berman, 1979). The results define an aggregation principle: the effects of an attitude become more evident when we look at the aggregate or average behavior of an individual than when we look at isolated actions.

WHEN BEHAVIOR-SPECIFIC ATTITUDE IS STUDIED, other conditions further improve the predictive accuracy of attitudes. As Icek Ajzen and Martin Fishbein (1977, 2005) point out, when the measured attitude is general, for example, an attitude towards Asians, and the behavior is very specific, for example, the decision to help a particular Asian in a situation private . we must not expect a close correspondence between words and actions. In fact, Fishbein and Ajzen report that attitudes do not predict behavior in 26 out of 27 of these surveys. But attitudes predicted behavior in the 26 studies they could find where the measured attitude was directly relevant to the situation. Thus, attitudes toward the general concept of "healthy fitness" are weak predictors of specific exercise and dietary practices, but a person's attitudes toward the costs and benefits of running are a fairly strong predictor of whether they run regularly.

Even better, says Ajzen in his Fishbein and Planned Behavior Theory, predicting behavior is knowing people's intended behavior and their perceived self-efficacy and control (Figure 4.2). Furthermore, four dozen experimental tests confirm that the induction of new intentions leads to new behavior (Webb & Sheeran, 2006). Even asking people about their intentions to engage in a behavior increases its likelihood (Levav & Fitzsimons, 2006). Ask people if they plan on flossing in the next two weeks or voting in the next election. they are more likely to do so.

Other studies, more than 700 studies with 276,000 participants, confirmed that specific and relevant attitudes predict expected and actual behaviors (Armitage & Conner, 2001; Six & Eckes, 1996; Wallace et al., 2005). For example, attitudes towards condoms strongly predict condom use (Albarracín et al., 2001). And attitudes toward recycling (but not general attitudes toward environmental issues) predict recycling intention, which predicts actual recycling (Nigbur et al., 2010; Oskamp, ​​​1991). To change habits through persuasion, we need to change people's attitudes towards certain practices.

attitude towards behavior

"I could easily do that."

behavioral intention

"I'll start next week."

FIGURE: 4.2 Icek Ajzen's theory of planned behavior, in collaboration with Martin Fishbein, showed that (a) attitudes, (b) perceived social norms, and |c) sense of control combine to determine one's intentions that drive behavior . people's behavior. Attitudes toward jogging predict your running behavior much better than your general attitudes toward a healthy lifestyle.

125 Behavior and Attitudes

So far, we've seen two conditions under which attitudes predict behavior: (1) when we minimize other influences on our statements of attitude and behavior, and (2) when the attitude is specifically relevant to the observed behavior. There is a third condition: an attitude is better at predicting behavior when the attitude is strong.

WHEN ATTITUDE IS POWER Much of our behavior is automatic. We represent known routes without thinking about what we are doing. We automatically respond to people who meet us in the hall with a "hello". We answered the restaurant cashier's question: "How was your meal?" saying "good" even if we find it unpleasant.

This lack of consideration is adaptable. Free our mind to work on other things. Conscious intentions are hardly activated for habitual behaviors: tightening belts, drinking coffee, attending classes (Ouellette & Wood, 1998). As the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead (1911, p. 61) argued: "Civilization advances by expanding the number of operations we can perform without thinking."

BRINGING ATTITUDE TO MIND If we were asked to reflect on our attitudes before acting, would we be more true to ourselves? Mark Snyder and William Swann (1976) wanted to find out. Two weeks after 120 University of Minnesota students voiced their views on positive employment policies, Snyder and Swann invited them to serve on a jury in a gender discrimination court case. Participants' attitudes predicted judgments only for those who were first asked to recall their attitudes, giving them "a few minutes to organize their thoughts and views on the topic of affirmative action." Our attitudes are strengthened when we think about them.

Self-confident people are generally in touch with their attitude (Miller & Crush, 1986). This suggests another way of getting people to focus on their inner beliefs: making them self-aware, perhaps having them act out in front of a mirror (Carver & Scheier, 1981). You may also remember walking into a room with a large mirror and suddenly becoming self-conscious. Making people self-aware in this way promotes consistency between words and actions (Froming et al., 1982; Gibbons, 1978).

Edward Diener and Mark Wallbom (1976) found that nearly all college students say that cheating is morally wrong. But will they follow Shakespeare's Polonius' advice: "Be true to yourself"? Diener and Wallbom asked University of Washington students to work on an anagram-solving problem (which they said predicted IQ) and asked them to stop when a bell rang in the room. Alone, 71 percent were cheated out of working after the bell. Of students who became self-conscious by working in front of a mirror while listening to their own recordings, only 7% cheated. One wonders: would eye-level mirrors in stores make people more aware of their attitude towards shoplifting?

Do you remember Batson's studies on moral hypocrisy described on pages 120-121? In a subsequent experiment, Batson and colleagues (2002) found that mirrors reconciled behavior with held moral attitudes. When people flipped a coin in front of a mirror, the coin toss was scrupulously fair. Exactly half of the confident participants assigned the positive task to someone else.

FORGING STRONG ATTITUDES THROUGH EXPERIENCE The attitudes that best predict behavior are accessible (easy to remember) and stable (Glasman & Albarracin, 2006). And when attitudes are forged through experience and not just hearsay, they are more accessible, more enduring, and more action-oriented. In one study, all college students expressed negative feelings about their school's response to homelessness. But when opportunities to act presented themselves—sign a petition, solicit signatures, join a committee, or write a letter—only those whose attitudes emerged from direct experience acted (Regan and Fazio, 1977).

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virtue of what



Maxims, 1665

126 Part One Social Thought

ABSTRACT: To what extent do our attitudes predict our behavior?

• How do our internal attitudes (evaluative responses to an object or person, often rooted in beliefs) relate to our external behavior? In fact, although conventional wisdom emphasizes the influence of attitudes on behavior, attitudes are often poor predictors of behavior. Also, changing people's attitudes usually doesn't result in a big change in their behavior. These findings have inspired social psychologists to figure out why we don't play the game we're talking about so often.

• The answer: Our attitudes and behavior are subject to many influences. Our attitudes will predict our behavior (1) when these "other influences" are minimized, (2) when the attitude is very close to the expected behavior (as in election studies), and (3) when the attitude is strong (because something about it remember or because we acquired it by direct experience). Under these conditions, what we think and feel determines what we do.


Summing up the evidence that we can put ourselves in a mindset.

If social psychology has taught us anything over the past 25 years, it's that we can sympathize with a way of acting. Now we turn to an even more surprising idea* that behavior determines attitudes. It is true that sometimes we defend our lives. But it is also true that we begin to believe in what we stand for. Social

psychological theories inspired much of the research underlying this conclusion. However, instead of starting with these theories, let's first see what there is to explain. When we consider the evidence that behavior affects attitudes, speculate why and then compare your ideas with the explanations of social psychologists.

Consider the following incidents:

• Sarah is mesmerized and asks to take off her shoes when a book falls to the floor. Fifteen minutes later, a book falls and Sarah silently takes off her slippers. Sarah asks the hypnotist, "Why did you take your shoes off?"

Well…my feet are hot and tired,” Sarah responds. “It's been a long day”1 The action begets the idea.

• George will have electrodes temporarily implanted in the region of his brain that controls his head movements. When neurosurgeon José Delgado (1973) stimulates the electrodes from a distance, George always turns his head. Unaware of remote stimulation, he offers a reasonable explanation for his head turn: "I'm looking for my slipper." "I heard a noise." "I'm restless. I checked under the bed."

• Orol's severe seizures were alleviated by the surgical separation of his two FioTci or T® brains.” Psychologist Michael Gazzaniga (1985) shows an image of a nude woman in the left half of Carol's field of vision projected onto her right hemisphere nonverbal brain. A shy smile spreads across her face and she starts to laugh. When asked why, she makes up a plausible explanation and apparently believes it too: "Oh, a strange machine. Frank, another split-brain patient, projects the word 'smile' into his non-verbal right hemisphere. He complies and forces a smile. When asked why, he explains: "This experience is so much fun." ^'

Behavior and Attitudes Chapter 4 127

The psychological aftermath of our behavior also appears in many socio-psychological examples of self-persuasion. As we will see again and again, attitude follows behavior.

Role play The word role is borrowed from the theater and, as in the theater, refers to the expected actions of people occupying a certain social position. When we adopt new social roles, we may feel bad at first. But our discomfort rarely lasts.

Think back to a time when you took on a new role, perhaps your early days at work or college. For example, during your first week on campus, you may have become hypersensitive to your new social situation and valiantly tried to act like an adult and clamp down on your high school behavior. It is possible that at these times you felt insecure. You noticed his new language and his actions because they didn't come naturally to you. Then, one day, something amazing happened: their pseudo-intellectual conversation no longer felt forced. The roller started to feel as comfortable as her old jeans and T-shirt.

In one famous study, college students volunteered to spend time in a mock prison built by Philip Zimbardo (1971; Haney & Zimbardo, 1998, 2009) in Stanford's psychology department. Zimbardo wanted to find out: Is prison brutality the product of evil inmates and guards? Or do the institutional roles of guards and prisoners embitter and harden even compassionate people? Are people making the place violent? Or does the location make people violent?

With a coin toss, Zimbardo appointed some students as guards. He gave them uniforms, bats and whistles and instructed them to enforce the rules. The other half, the prisoners, were locked in cells and forced to wear humiliating clothes similar to hospital gowns. After a happy first day of "acting" their roles, the guards and prisoners and even the experimenters were caught up in the situation. The guards began to belittle the prisoners and some developed cruel and degrading routines. Prisoners broke down, rebelled, or became apathetic. What developed, reports Zimbardo (1972), was a "growing confusion between reality and illusion, between dramatization and self-identity... This prison we created... sucked us in as creatures of our own." . Faced with emerging social pathology, Zimbardo was forced to abandon the planned two-week simulation after just six days.

The point is not that we are powerless to resist imposed roles. In the simulation of Zimbardo prison, Abu Ghraib prison (where guards humiliated Iraqi prisoners of war) and other atrocious situations, some people become sadistic and others do not (Haslam & Reicher, 2007; Mastroianni & Reed, 2006; Zimbardo, 2007 ). . Salt dissolves in water and sand does not. Furthermore, as John Johnson (2007) points out, when placed in a rotten barrel, some people become bad apples and others do not. Behavior is a product of both the individual and the situation, and the prison study appears to have attracted aggression-prone volunteers (McFarland & Carnahan, 2009).

The deepest lesson from dramatization studies is not that we are powerless machines. Rather, it is about how the unreal (an artificial person) can be subtly transformed into the real. In a new career, for example as a teacher, soldier or businessman, we take on a role that shapes our attitude.

Imagine playing the role of a slave, not just for six days, but for decades. If a few days changed the behavior of those in Zimbardo's “prison”, imagine the corrosive effects of decades of subservient behavior. The Master can be even more

Role A set of rules that defines how people in a given social position should behave.









The guards and prisoners in the Stanford prison simulator quickly absorbed the roles they played.

128 Part One Social Thought

After the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Philip Zimbardo (2004a, 2004b) observed "direct and sad parallels between the similar behavior of 'guards' in the Stanford prison experiment". Such behavior, he claims, is due to a toxic situation that can turn good guys into bad guys. "It's not like we're putting bad apples in a good barrel. We put good apples in a bad barrel, the barrel ruins everything it touches."

deeply concerned that the role of the Master is being cast. Frederick Douglass, a former slave, recalls his new owner's transformation when she took on her role:

My new Mistress turned out to be everything she appeared to be when I met her at the door: a woman with the kindest heart and the best feelings... I was completely overwhelmed by her kindness. He barely knew how to act with her. She was completely unlike any other white woman he had ever seen... The worst of slaves were completely at ease in her presence and no one left without feeling better at the sight of her. Her face was one of heavenly smiles and her voice of calm music. But unfortunately! this good heart had little time to remain so. The deadly poison of irresponsible power was already in her hands and soon her hellish work began. That merry eye soon turned red with rage under the influence of bondage; that voice, all sweet unison, turned into a harsh, terrible dissonance; and that angelic face gave way to that of a demon. (Douglas, 1845, pp. 57-58)

Say It Will Believe People often adjust what they say to please their listeners. They convey good news to people faster than bad news and adapt their message to the position of their listener (Manis et al., 1974; Tesser et al., 1972; Tetlock, 1983). When people are deceived into verbally or written support for something they doubt, they often feel bad about the deception. Even so, they start to believe what they say, assuming they weren't bribed or coerced into doing so. When there is no convincing external explanation for the words themselves, saying becomes believing (Klaas, 1978).

Tory Higgins and colleagues (Higgins & McCann, 1984; Higgins & Rholes, 1978) have illustrated how saying becomes belief. They asked college students to read a description of someone's personality and then summarize it for someone else who should like or dislike that person. Students wrote a more positive description when the recipient liked the person. After saying positive things, they liked the person more. When asked to recall what they had read, they remembered the description as being more positive than it was. In short, people tend to tailor their messages to their listeners and, in doing so, believe the modified message.

The "Foot in the Door" Phenomenon Most of us can remember times when, after agreeing to help with a project or organization, we became more involved than we ever wanted to and vowed to decline such requests in the future. How did this happen?

Behavior and attitudes Chapter 4 129

FocusSagen will believe

University of Oregon psychologist Ray Hyman (1981) described how the role of a palmist convinced him that palmistry works.

As a teenager, I began studying palmistry to supplement my income with magic and mind shows. When I started, I didn't believe in palmistry. But he knew he had to pretend to "sell" it. After a few years, I became a firm believer in palmistry. One day, the late Stanley Jaks, the

a professional mentalist and a man I respected tactfully suggested that if I intentionally gave opposite readings to those indicated by the lines, it would be an interesting experiment. I've tested this on a few clients. To my surprise and horror, my readings were as successful as ever. Since then, I have been interested in the powerful forces that convince us, readers and clients alike, that something is so when in fact it is not (p. 86).

In keeping with the principle that "attitude follows behavior," experiments suggest that an effective strategy is to get people to do you a small favor first when you want them to do you a big favor. In the most famous demonstration of this "foot in the door" phenomenon, researchers posing as volunteers for safe driving asked Californians to allow giant, erroneously labeled "Drive Safe" signs to be affixed to their cars. Only 17% agreed. Others were approached first with a small request: Would you put three-inch signs in your windows saying "Be a Safe Driver"? Almost everyone immediately agreed. When asked two weeks later if they allowed large, unsightly signs in their gardens, 76 percent agreed (Freedman & Fraser, 1966). A door-to-door project worker later recalled that, not knowing who had been previously visited, he was “surprised at how easy it was to convince some people and how impossible it was to convince others” (Omstein, 1991).

Other researchers have confirmed the "foot in the door" phenomenon with altruistic behavior.

"OooJ QoJ! Give the voters speech of office in front of Hue collars."

• Patricia Pliner and colleagues (1974) found that 46 percent of Toronto suburban residents were willing to donate to the Canadian Cancer Society if contacted directly. Others, who were asked a day in advance to wear a pin to help spread the word (which everyone agreed with), were nearly twice as likely to donate.

• Angela Lipsitz et al (1989) report that they ended blood donation reminders with “We're counting on you then, okay?

• In Internet chat rooms, Paul Markey and colleagues (2002) asked for help ("I can't get my e-mail working. Is there a way to get my e-mail sent to me?"). I increased help from 2% to 16% by adding a smaller pre-request ("I'm new to this whole computer thing. Is there a way you can tell me how to view someone's profile?").

• Nicolas Gueguen and Celine Jacob (2001) tripled the rate of French internet users donating to landmine child organizations (from 1.6 to 4.9 percent), first asking them to sign an anti-landmine petition.

Saying becomes believing: expressing our thoughts

others, sometimes we adjust our words to what we think

others will want to listen and then believe us

own words. © Joseph Farris/The New Yorker

collection/www canonbank com

Foot-in-the-door phenomenon The tendency of people who initially agree to a small request to later comply with a larger request.

130 Part One Social Thought

The foot in the door phenomenon. Blondie © 1994 King Features Syndicate.





-Publilius von Syrien, 42 v.


A tactic to get people to agree to something. People who accept a first order will generally continue to accommodate if the applicant raises the ante. People who only get the expensive order are less likely to comply.

Note that in these experiments, as in many of the more than 100 foot-in-the-door experiments, initial consent (wearing a pin, stating intent, signing a petition) was voluntary (Burger & Guadagno, 2003). We will find again and again that people believe more strongly in what they have done when they engage in public behavior and perceive those actions as their own.

Social psychologist Robert Cialdini is a self-proclaimed "scapegoat". "For as long as I can remember, I've been an easy target for hucksters, fundraisers and operators of one stripe or another." To better understand why one person says yes to another, he spent three years as an apprentice in various sales, fundraising, and advertising organizations and discovered how the "weapons of influence" explode. He also tested these weapons in simple experiments. In one, Cialdini and colleagues (1978) studied a variation of the foot-in-the-door phenomenon by experimenting with the low ball technique. Once the customer agrees to buy a new car because of its bargain price and starts filling out sales forms, the salesperson removes the price advantage by charging options or consulting a boss who turns down the deal because "we'd lose money." . The vernacular says that more Lowballed customers are now left with the more expensive purchase than they initially agreed to. Airlines and hotels are using the tactic, luring inquiries with great deals that are only available on certain seats or rooms; if these are not available, they expect the customer to accept a more expensive option.

Cialdini and his collaborators found that this technique really works. When psychology students were invited to participate in an experiment at 7 am, only 24% attended. However, if students initially logged in without knowing the time and only then were invited to join at 7:00 am. m., 53 percent attended.

Market researchers and marketers have found that the principle works even when we are aware of the profit motive (Cialdini, 1988). An innocuous initial commitment (sending a postcard for more information and a "gift", agreeing to listen to an investment opportunity) often leads to further commitment. Because sellers sometimes abused the power of these small obligations by trying to bind people to sales contracts, many states now have laws that give customers a few days to think about their purchases and cancel them. To counteract the effects of these laws, many companies use what the company's sales training program describes as very important psychological aids to prevent customers from terminating their contracts” (Cialdini, 1988, p. 78). Just not the seller, but the customer fills in the contract.

The foot-in-the-door phenomenon is a lesson to be remembered. Someone trying to seduce us, financially, politically or sexually, will often use this technique to create a docile dynamic. practical classes; Before agreeing to a small order, think about what might come next.

Behavior and Attitudes Chapter 4 131

The low ball technique. The Born Loser © Newspaper Enterprise Association.



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Moral and Evil Actions The principle of conduct follows conduct also works with immoral actions. Evil sometimes arises from gradually increasing commitments. A minor offense can lower moral sensitivity and make it easier to commit a worse act. To paraphrase La Rochefoucauld's 1665 book of maxims, finding a person who has never succumbed to a specific temptation is not as difficult as finding a person who has succumbed only once. Once the person tells a "white lie" and thinks, "Well, that wasn't so bad," the person can move on to a bigger lie.

Another way in which bad acts affect attitudes is the paradoxical fact that we tend not only to hurt those we don't like, but also to dislike those we hurt. Several studies (Berscheid et al., 1968; Davis and Jones, 1960; Glass, 1964) have found that hurting an innocent victim (through hurtful comments or the administration of electric shocks) often causes bullies to belittle their victims, which helps them justify their cruelty. behavior. This is especially true when we are persuaded and not forced. When we voluntarily consent to an act, we assume more responsibility for it.

The phenomenon occurs in times of war. POW camp guards sometimes showed prisoners good manners on their first days on the job, but not for long. Soldiers ordered to kill may initially react with disgust to the point of nausea. But not for long (Waller, 2002). They will soon belittle their enemies with nicknames. Humans tend to dehumanize their enemies and humanize their pets.

Attitudes also accompany behavior in peacetime. A group that holds others in slavery is likely to assume that slaves have qualities that justify their oppression. Prison staff who attend executions experience a 'moral disconnect' as they believe (more than other prison staff) that their victims deserve their fate (Osofsky et al., 2005). Actions and attitudes feed back, sometimes to the point of moral paralysis. The more someone hurts another and adjusts their attitude, the easier it becomes to hurt. Conscience is eroded.

To simulate the process of “killing begets killing,” Andy Martens and colleagues (2007) asked students at the University of Arizona to kill some insects. They wondered: would the initial errors be eliminated in one








Cruel acts like the 1994 Rwandan genocide generate even more cruel and hateful attitudes.

132 Part One Social Thought

FIGURE :: 4.3 Killing begets killing Students who initially wanted to kill lots of bugs by throwing them into this apparent killing machine then killed more bugs during a killing spree at their own pace. (Actually, no bugs were harmed!







FRIEDEN, 1867-1869

Does the "practice test" increase students' willingness to kill more bugs later? To find out, they asked some students to look at a small insect in a container, then drop it into the coffee grinder shown in Figure 4.3 and then press the “on” button for 3 seconds. (No bugs were actually killed. An invisible plug at the base of the insertion tube prevented the bug from entering the opaque killing machine, which had pieces of paper to simulate the sound of a kill.) Others that initially killed five bugs ( at least they thought so), proceeded to "kill" significantly more bugs in the next 20 seconds.

Harmful actions shape the self, but fortunately so do moral actions. Our character is reflected in what we do when

I don't think anyone is looking. Researchers tested the character by tempting children when no one seemed to be looking. Think about what happens when children resist temptation. In a dramatic experiment, Jonathan Freedman (1965) presented elementary school children with an attractive battery-powered robot and instructed them not to play with it unless it was in the room. Freedman used serious threats on half the children and mild threats on the rest. Any one of them was enough to scare the kids.

A few weeks later, another researcher, with no apparent connection to the previous events, had each child play with the same toys in the same room. Of the children who had been seriously threatened, three-quarters were now playing freely with the robot; of those who received the slight impediment, two-thirds still resisted playing with it. Apparently, the impediment was strong enough to elicit the desired behavior, yet mild enough to make them feel like they had a choice. Having previously made a conscious decision not to play with the toy, easily dissuaded children internalized their choices. Moral action, especially when it is chosen and not coerced, affects moral thinking.

In addition, positive behavior promotes sympathy for the person. Doing a favor for an experimenter or other participant, or tutoring a student, often increases appreciation for the person being helped (Blanchard & Cook, 1976). People who pray for a romantic partner (even in controlled experiments) subsequently show greater commitment and loyalty to their partner (Fincham et al., 2010). It's a lesson worth remembering: if you want to love someone more, pretend you do.

In 1793, Benjamin Franklin experimented with the idea that doing a favor evokes affection. As an official in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, he was concerned about opposition from another major legislature. So Franklin set out to conquer him:

I didn't want to fawn over humble respect, but after a while I picked up on this other method. When I learned that he had a certain very rare and curious book in his library, I wrote him a note expressing my desire to read that book and asking him to do me the favor of reading it so that I could borrow it for a few days. He sent it to me promptly and I have it back in a week and emphatically express my feeling of favor. The next time we met at home he spoke to me (which he had never done before) and with great courtesy; and since then he has shown his willingness to serve me on all occasions, whereby we became good friends and our friendship lasted until his death (cited by Rosenzweig, 1972, p. 769).

DIFFERENT BEHAVIOR AND RACIAL ATTITUDE If moral action fuels moral attitudes, positive interracial behavior will reduce racial bias, just as mandatory seat-belt use produced more favorable outcomes.

133 Behavior and Attitudes Chapter 4

Seat belt adjustments? This was part of the testimony of social scientists prior to the US Supreme Court's 1954 decision to desegregate schools. His argument was this: if we wait for a change of heart through preaching and teaching, we will wait a long time for racial justice. But when we regulate moral action, under the right conditions, we can influence right attitudes indirectly.

This idea runs counter to the notion that "morality cannot be enacted by law". But a change in attitude followed, as some social psychologists predicted, desegregation.

nation. Consider the following: • According to the Supreme Court ruling, the percentage of white Americans

Advocacy for integrated schools has skyrocketed and is now quite comprehensive. (See Chapter 9 for more examples of past and current race setups.)

• In the 10 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the percentage of white Americans who identified their neighborhood, friends, coworkers, or other students as all white decreased by 20% for each of these actions. Interracial behavior increased. During the same period, the percentage of white Americans who said that blacks should be able to live in any neighborhood rose from 65% to 87% (ISR Newsletter, 1975). Settings have also changed.

• More uniform national anti-discrimination standards were sought by narrowing differences in racial attitudes between people of different religions, classes and geographic regions. The more alike Americans behave, the more alike they think (Greeley & Sheatsley, 1971; Taylor et al., 1978).

social movements










Our political rituals—the students' daily flag salute, the singing of the national anthem—use public compliance to engender private loyalty.

We have now seen that a society's laws, and therefore its behavior, can have a powerful impact on its racial attitudes. One danger lies in the possibility of applying the same idea to large-scale political socialization. For many Germans in the 1930s, attending Nazi rallies, displaying the Nazi flag and, in particular, the public "Heil Hitler" salute created a profound contradiction between behavior and belief. Historian Richard Grunberger (1971) reports that for those who had doubts about Hitler, “the 'German salute' was a powerful conditioning device, a contradiction between his words and his feelings. psychic balance, consciously making themselves believe in what they said” (p. 27).

This practice is not limited to totalitarian regimes. Political rituals—the daily flag salute by students, the singing of the national anthem—use public conformity to build a private belief in patriotism. I remember participating in air raid drills at my elementary school near the Boeing Company in Seattle. After repeatedly pretending that we were the target of a Russian attack, we feared the Russians.

Many people assume that the strongest form of social indoctrination is brainwashing, a term coined to describe what happened to American prisoners of war (POWs) during the Korean War in the 1950s. mind" was not as convincing as "brainwashing" suggests, the results were disturbing. Hundreds of prisoners cooperated with their captors. Twenty-one chose to stay after being allowed to return to the United States. And many of those who did return home believing that "although communism won't work in America, I think it's a good thing for Asia" (Segal, 1954).

134 Part One Social Thought










Edgar Schein (1956) interviewed many of the POWs and reported that the kidnappers' methods included a gradual escalation of demands. Hijackers always started with trivial requests and gradually progressed to more important ones. "Therefore, once an inmate was 'trained' to talk or write trivialities, statements about more important matters were needed." In addition, they always expected active participation, whether it was simply copying something or participating in group discussions, writing self-criticisms or making public confessions. Once a prisoner spoke or wrote a statement, he felt an inner urge to reconcile his beliefs with his actions, often leading the prisoner to tell himself what he had done wrong. The "start small and build" tactic was, and remains, an effective application of the foot-in-the-door technique in socializing terrorists and torturers (Chapter 6).

Now, before you read on, let me ask you to play theorist. Ask yourself: Why did attitudes follow behavior in these studies and real-life examples? Why might playing a role or giving a speech affect your attitude?

IN SUMMARY: When does our behavior affect our attitudes? • The attitude-action relationship also works the other way around.

Direction: Probably not only do we think of ourselves in terms of actions, but we also act in terms of mindset. When we act, we reinforce the idea behind what we've done, particularly when we feel responsible for it. Much evidence converges on this principle. Actions dictated by social roles shape actors' attitudes.

• Likewise, what we say or write can strongly influence our later attitudes.

• Research on the “foot in the door” phenomenon shows that committing a minor crime makes people more willing to commit a major crime later.

• Actions also affect our moral attitude: what we've done, even if it's bad, we tend to justify as right.

• Similarly, our ethnic and political behaviors help shape our social conscience: not only do we stand for what we believe in, but we also believe in what we stand for.

• Political and social movements can establish codes of conduct aimed at generating large-scale attitude change.


List the theories that attempt to explain the phenomenon that attitude follows behavior. Discuss how the competition between these competing theories illustrates the process of scientific explanation.

We have seen several streams of evidence coalesce into a single stream: the effect of actions on attitudes. Do these observations provide clues about why action influences attitudes? Social psychology researchers suspect three possible sources. Self-representation theory assumes that, for strategic reasons, we express attitudes that make us appear consistent. Cognitive dissonance theory assumes that we justify our actions to ourselves in order to reduce discomfort. Self-awareness theory postulates that our actions reveal themselves (when we are unsure about our feelings or beliefs, we observe our behavior as anyone else would).

135 Behavior and Attitudes Chapter 4

Self-Expression: Managing Impressions “The first explanation of why actions affect attitudes started as a simple idea. Who among us cares what people think? People spend billions on clothes, diet, cosmetics and now plastic surgery, all because they care what other people think. We see making a good impression as a way to receive social and material rewards, to feel better about ourselves, and even to become more secure in our social identity (Leary, 1994, 2001, 2004b, 2007, 2010).

Nobody wants to look stupid and inconsistent. To avoid this appearance, we express attitudes that coincide with our actions. To appear consistent, we can default these settings. Even if it means showing a little insincerity or hypocrisy, it can pay off when it comes to controlling the impression we make, or so the self-portrait theory suggests.

® Jack Ziegler/The New Yorker

Does our feigned consistency explain why expressed attitudes change to consistency with behavior? To some extent, yes: people show much less change in attitude when a false lie detector prevents them from making a good impression (Paulhus, 1982; Tedeschi et al., 1987).

But attitudes are more than self-expression, because people also express their attitude changes to someone who doesn't know their past behavior. Two other theories explain why people sometimes internalize their self-portraits as genuine attitude changes.

Self-Justification: Cognitive Dissonance One theory holds that our attitudes change because we are motivated to maintain consistency in our cognitions. This is the implication of Leon Festinger's (1957) famous theory of cognitive dissonance. The theory is simple, but its scope is so broad that "cognitive dissonance" is part of the vocabulary of educated people today. It posits that when two simultaneously accessible thoughts or beliefs (cognitions) are psychologically inconsistent, we experience tension or disharmony ("dissonance"). Festinger argued that we often adjust our thinking to reduce this uncomfortable arousal. This simple idea and some surprising predictions derived from it have led to over 2,000 studies (Cooper, 1999).

One way people minimize dissonance, according to Festinger, is through selective exposure to pleasurable information. The studies surveyed people about their views on various topics and then asked them to choose whether they would like to see information that supported or disagreed with their point of view. At a ratio of about two to one, people (particularly the less confident and open-minded) prefer supportive information to challenging information (Fischer & Greitemeyer, 2010; Hart et al., 2009; Sweeny et al., 2010) . For example, a bipartisan US Senate Intelligence Committee reported (2004) that the belief that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction led government leaders to receive information supporting their belief, minimize conflicting information, and therefore to start a war. People especially enjoy reading information that supports their political, religious, and ethical views, a phenomenon most of us can illustrate using our favorite news sources and blogs.

cognitive dissonance

Tension that arises from being aware of two contradictory perceptions at the same time. For example, dissonance can occur when we realize that we have acted against our attitudes with little justification, or we make a decision in favor of one alternative when our motives speak in favor of another.

selective exposure

The tendency to seek information and media consistent with one's views and to avoid dissonant information.

136 Part One Social Thought

Themes related to value, "accuracy ratios" push us even further. Therefore, we welcome a pre-purchase home inspection or a second opinion prior to surgery.

The theory is primarily concerned with discrepancies between behavior and attitudes. We are aware of both. So when we sense inconsistency, perhaps hypocrisy, we feel compelled to change. This explains why cigarette smokers in the UK and US are much less likely than non-smokers to believe that smoking is dangerous (Eiser et al., 1979; Saad, 2002). ^■ Director of the International Policy Attitudes Program, some Americans struggled to reduce their "cognitive skills experience".

dissonance (Kull, 2003). The main premise of the war was that, unlike most brutal dictators the world tolerated, Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. When the war started, only 38 percent of Americans said that war was justified, even if Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction (Gallup, 2003). Nearly four out of five Americans believed their invading forces would find them, and another 200^37"^"*^®^ supported the war that had just begun (Duffy, 2003; Newport &

When such weapons were not found, the pro-war majority experienced a dissonance compounded by their awareness of the financial and human costs of war, by scenes of chaos in Iraq, by anti-American sentiment growing in Europe and Muslim countries. , and provoking pro-terrorist attitudes. To reduce his dissonance, he discovered the International Policy Attitudes Program, some Americans revised their memories of their government's main reasons for the war. The motives now were to free an oppressed people from a tyrannical and genocidal government and to lay the foundations for a more peaceful and democratic life in the Middle East. Three months into the war, what was once a minority opinion has at times become a majority opinion: 58% of Americans now supported the war, although none of me proclaimed weapons of mass destruction (Gallup, 2003) . "Whether or not she

"^^ter", suggested the Republican pollster Brank Luntz (2003), because the reasons for the war changed.

In Mistete Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts, social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson (2007, p. 7) illustrate the reduction of dissonance by group leaders. confronted is evidence that a decision they made or course of action they took turned out to be wrong or even catastrophic. This human phenomenon is impregnable, Tavris and Aronson note: "A president who has justified his actions to himself because he believes he has the truth becomes immune to self-correction."

The president's biographer, Lyndon Johnson, described him as someone who clung to his beliefs even when he was trapped in Vietnam, regardless of the facts about it." And Republican President George W. Bush, in the 1990s

after the Iraq war started, he said that "knowing what I know now, I would do the resection again" (P005) that "I was never so sure that the choices I made

the right decisions are being made" (2006), and that "this war ... has come at a great cost in lives and treasure, but that cost is necessary" (2008).

Cognitive dissonance theory offers an explanation for self-confidence and makes several surprising predictions. See if you can anticipate them.

INSUFFICIENT JUSTIFICATION Imagine that you are a participant in a famous experiment organized by the creative Festmager and his student. Merrill Carlsmith (1959). For an hour you have to do boring tasks like B. keep turning wooden doorknobs. Once finished, the researcher (Carlsmith) explains that the study is about how expectations affect performance. The next participant waiting outside must be led

expect an interesting experience. The seemingly disgruntled experimenter Estmger trained for hours until he became extremely persuasive explains

Chapter 4 137 Behavior and attitudes

that the participant who normally creates this expectation would not be able to do this session. He wrings his hands and begs, "Could you fill this up and do this?"

It's for science and you're getting paid, so agree to tell the next participant (who is actually the researcher's accomplice) what a wonderful experience you just had. "Really?" the supposed participant responds. "A friend of mine did this experiment a week ago and said it was boring." "Oh no," you reply, "it's really quite interesting. You'll get good practice turning a few knobs. I'm sure you'll enjoy it." Finally, someone who studies how people respond to experiments asks you to fill out a questionnaire asking how much you really enjoyed the experience of turning the knob.

Now, on to the prediction: under what conditions are you likely to believe your little lie and say that the boring experiment was really interesting? What if you paid $1 to lie like some of the contestants did? Or what if, like others, you were paid $20 at the time? Contrary to the popular belief that big rewards have a big impact, Festinger and Carlsmith made an outrageous prediction: those paying as little as $1 (which is hardly justification enough for a lie) would be the most likely to adjust their attitude to stocks. his. . If they did not adequately justify their actions, they would feel more discomfort (dissonance) and therefore be more motivated to believe what they did. Those who paid $20 had adequate justification for what they did and therefore should have experienced less dissonance. As Figure 4.4 shows, the results fit this intriguing prediction.*

In dozens of subsequent experiments, this attitude-follow-behavior effect was strongest when people had a choice and when their actions had predictable consequences. In one experiment, people read disparaging lawyer jokes into a recording device (eg, "How do you know when a lawyer is lying? His lips are moving"). Reading led to more negative attitudes toward lawyers when it was a chosen rather than mandatory occupation (Hobden & Olson, 1994). have other experiences

insufficient justification

Reduction of dissonances through internal justification of one's own behavior in case of "insufficient" external justification.

There is a rarely reported final aspect of this 1950s experiment. Imagine finally being back with the researcher openly explaining the entire study. Not only do you discover that you've been scammed, but the searcher demands your $20 back. Do you cling to it? Festinger and Carlsmith point out that every Stanford student who attended voluntarily reached into his pocket and returned the money. This is a preview of some rather startling observations about submission and conformity that will be discussed in Chapter 6. As we will see, when the social situation makes clear demands, people usually respond accordingly.

"How much I enjoyed the experiment" (-5 to +5)



+0,5 -

"I said the boring experiment was interesting, that I didn't have a good reason for it. Hmm, maybe it was something interesting."

“I said the boring experiment was interesting. But he had many reasons for it: $20.”


-1.0 Condition:

dissonance theory:

control (don't lie)

without dissonance

low dissonance

high dissonance

FIGURE :: 4.4 Inadequate Reasoning Dissonance theory predicts that we experience dissonance when our actions are not fully explained by external rewards or coercion, which we can reduce by believing what we have done. Source: Data from Festinger & Carlsmith, 1959.

138 Part One Social Thought

Dissonance theory suggests that parents should try to evoke desired behaviors without coercion, thus motivating children to internalize appropriate attitudes.

people dedicated to writing essays for just $1.50 or more. When the essay makes a case for something they don't believe in, say higher tuition, low-paid writers start to feel a little more sympathetic to the policy. Appearance becomes reality.

We have already mentioned how the principle of insufficient justification works in penalties. Children were more likely to internalize a request not to play with an attractive toy when they made a mild threat that did not adequately justify their consent. When a parent says, "Clean up your room, Joshua, or expect a serious spanking," Joshua doesn't have to mentally justify cleaning his room. The severe threat is justification enough.

Note that cognitive dissonance theory does not focus on the relative effectiveness of rewards and punishments.

based on the action, but rather on what triggers a desired action. Your goal is for Joshua to say, "I clean my room because I want a clean room," instead of "I clean my room because my parents will kill me if I don't." students who have chosen are more likely to anticipate future volunteer work than students who feel compelled (Stukas et al., 1999). The principle is: attitudes follow behaviors for which we feel responsible.

Authoritative management will only be effective, the theory predicts, when authority is in place, because people are unlikely to internalize coerced behavior. Bree, a talking horse previously enslaved in C. S. Lewis's The Horse and His Boy (1974), comments: "One of the worst consequences of being a slave and being forced to do things is that there's no one left to force you to notice. " . that you have almost lost the power to force yourself” (p. 193). Dissonance theory insists that the stimulus and inducement must be sufficient to elicit the desired action (to allow attitudes to follow behavior). But it does suggest that managers, teachers and parents should provide just enough incentives to elicit the desired behavior.

DISSONANCE AFTER DECISIONS The emphasis on perceived choice and responsibility implies that decisions create dissonance. When faced with an important decision – which college to attend, who to go to, which job to choose – we sometimes find ourselves caught between two equally compelling alternatives. Perhaps you remember a time when, after committing, you were painfully aware of dissonant perceptions: the desirable features of what you rejected and the undesirable features of what you chose. When you have made up your mind

To live on campus, you may have given up the space and freedom of an apartment in favor of a small, noisy dorm.

^*wKT You've decided to live off campus, you may have

c ,, , , , • I knew what his decision meant: After an earthquake in India in 1934, rumors spread outside of the physical separation of Cam, the disaster area where even worse disasters would strike. It crossed my mind…kittens and friends, and knowing that these rumors could “justify fear”, the perceptions of boiling and cleaning alone would justify their continued fears. From that seed of an idea, I developed my theory of dissonance reduction: in making your choices, we generally narrow your view of the world to match what you feel or do. Dissonance when updating the

Leon Festinger (1920-1989) chose the alternative and downloaded wmnMMniyimi ubiiibhiwi.w «iiwuu, ........ and evaluated the unchosen option.

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Behavior and attitudes Chapter 4 139

Big decisions can create a lot of dissonance when reflecting on the negative aspects of what was chosen and the positive aspects of what was not chosen.

In the first published dissonance experiment (1956), Jack Brehm brought some of his wedding gifts into his laboratory at the University of Minnesota and had the women evaluate eight products, including a toaster, radio, and hair dryer. Brehm then showed the women two objects which they carefully evaluated and told them they could have whatever they wanted. Later, when all eight items were rated again, the women increased their scores on the item they selected and decreased their scores on the item they rejected. The grass doesn't seem to get greener on the other side of the fence once we've made our decisions. (Brehm later confessed that he could not allow them to keep what they chose.)

For simple decisions, this will-believe decision effect can lead to overconfidence (Blanton et al., 2001): "What I decided must be right." Robert Knox and James Inkster (1968) found that circuit gamblers who had just turned in their money were more optimistic about their bets than those who were about to play. In the few moments between queuing up and leaving the betting window, nothing has changed except the crucial action and the person's feelings about it. As I recall, sometimes there can be a slight difference between two options when it comes to making faculty law decisions. The competition between a teacher who barely succeeds and another who barely loses doesn't seem to be very different, until he makes the decision and announces it.

Our preferences influence our decisions, which then sharpen our preferences. This “preference-affecting decisions” effect occurs even when people press a button to choose what they think

Dissonance after decision © David Sipress. reprinted with

To allow.

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140 Part One Social Thought




-C. S. LEWIS, solo


Self-perception theory The theory that when we are uncertain about our attitudes, we infer them, as does someone observing us, considering our behavior and the circumstances in which it occurs.



— GOETHE, 1749-1832

a vacation alternative subliminally presented (in fact, nothing was shown to them). Later they tended to bring forward the holidays they thought he had chosen (Sharot &

Decisions, once made, develop their own self-justifying legs. Often these new legs are strong enough that the decision does not collapse when one leg, perhaps the original one, is removed, as in the case of the Iraq war. Rosalía decides to take a tnp home if she can, for an airfare of less than $500. You can, make your reservation and start thinking of other reasons why you will be happy to see your family. However, when you buy the tickets, you find that the fare has increased to $575. now she is determined to leave. as with being

u It never occurs to people, reports Robert Cialdini (1984, p. 103), that these additional reasons might never have existed had the choice not been made in the first place.”c Do this. A Yale University team led by Louisa

4-year-olds rate different stickers on a smiley face scale With each child, researchers chose three stickers that the child had rated the same way and randomly identified two (let's call them Sticker A and Sticker B) that the children could create com. Choose one and we'll take it home. Then ask the child to choose another one, either the unselected sticker or the third one. Sticker C. The result (which put a smiley face on my face): Children apparently reduced dissonance by minimizing the attraction of the first sticker not chosen, resulting in 63% of the time (instead of half the time). preferred, as we might expect). They repeated the experiment with capuchin monkeys, using alternative candies instead of stickers. As with children, so with monkeys: after an initial decision, they also revise their attitude.

Self-Perception Although dissonance theory has inspired much research, an even simpler theory explains its phenomena. Consider how we make inferences about the attitudes of others. We see how a person behaves in a given situation and then attribute the behavior to the person's characteristics and attitudes or to environmental influences. When we see the parents forcing 10-year-old Brett to say, "I'm sorry," we attribute Brett's apology to the situation, not his personal regrets. When we see Brett apologize for no apparent reason, we attribute the apology to Brett himself (Figure 4-5).

Self-awareness theory (proposed by Daryl Bern, 1972) postulates that we draw similar conclusions when we observe our own behavior. When our attitudes are weak or ambiguous, we are in the position of having an outsider watching us. Hearing myself talk informs me about my attitudes; Seeing my actions gives clues to how strong my beliefs are. This is especially true when I cannot easily attribute my behavior to external compulsions. The acts we voluntarily commit are self-revealing

Pioneering psychologist William James proposed a similar explanation for emotions a century ago. We distort our emotions, he suggested, looking at our bodies and our behavior. A snarling bear-like spell finds a woman in the woods. She tenses, her heartbeat quickens, her adrenaline surges, and she runs. Observing all this, you feel fear. At a university where I have to give a lecture, I wake up before dawn and can't go back to sleep. Noticing my vigilance, I conclude that I must be worried. A friend of mine was shaking as he waited backstage to give a talk and concluded that I was very nervous. When she discovered that the floor was vibrating above the air conditioner, her self-perceived nervousness dissipated. ^

Do people who see themselves agreeing to a small request really see themselves as the kind of helpful people who respond positively?

Ask for help? So will larger orders get approved later in inbound experiments? Indeed it seems (Burger & Caldwell, 2003)

Behavior can change self-concept.

Behavior and Attitudes Chapter 4 141

Why do actions affect attitudes?

'iAuto-|Justification' -I

(cognitive dissonance) |

Oh... I've been waiting for this all day.

I know that smoking makes me sick.

Well... the stats aren't as dire as they say. Anyway, I'm very hesitant.

I don't get sick

FIGURE :: 4.5 Three theories explain why attitudes follow behavior

EXPRESSIONS AND ATTITUDE You may be skeptical about the effect of self-perception, as I was at the beginning. Experiments on the effects of facial expressions suggest a way to experiment with them. When James Laird (1974, 1984) had college students frown while electrodes were placed on their faces (“flex those muscles,” “crease those eyebrows”), they reported being angry. It's more fun to test Laird's other finding: those who were asked to put on a smiley face were happier and found the cartoons funnier. Those who are asked to repeatedly practice happy expressions (as opposed to sad or angry expressions) may recall happier memories and find that the happy mood lasts (Schnall & Laird, 2003). A Japanese research team created similar expressions and emotions by gluing rubber bands to the sides of the face and sliding them over the part (raising the cheeks in a smile) or under the chin (Mori & Mori, 2009).

Smart follow-up studies found more examples of this facial (and body) feedback effect:

• Botox softens emotional wrinkles. If it is difficult for us to know what frozen botox looks like, it is also difficult for them to know each other. Paralyzing the forehead muscles with Botox slows activity in people's emotional brain circuits and slows reading sentences related to sadness or anger (Havas et al., 2010; Hennenlotter et al., 2008). Furthermore, as they cannot imitate other people's expressions, they find it more difficult to understand the emotions of others (Neal & Chartrand, 2011). Botox messes with built-in cognition.

• When instructed to sit up straight and stick out their chest, people are more confident in their written ideas than when they sit hunched over and look down (Brihol et al., 2009).

• People who adopt strong postures instead of weak postures (think hands on hips instead of a hunched posture) experience elevated testosterone levels, a sense of empowerment, and risk tolerance (Carney et al., 2010).




A GIRL, 1947

face feedback effect

The tendency of facial expressions to evoke corresponding feelings, such as fear, anger, or joy.

142 part one

According to the German psychologist Fritz Strack and colleagues (1988), people find cartoons more amusing when they hold a pen with their teeth (with smiling muscles) than with their lips (with muscles incompatible with smiling).

"Freedom of expression










social thinking

We all know this phenomenon. We feel grumpy, but then the phone rings or someone knocks on the door and elicits warm, courteous behavior from us. "How is everything?" "Okay. Thanks. How are you?" "Oh, not bad..." If our bad mood wasn't intense, this warm behavior can change our whole attitude. It's hard to smile and be grumpy. Moving on

can trigger emotions. On the other hand, extending the middle finger makes others' ambiguous expressions seem more hostile (Chandler & Schwarz, 2009).

Even the way you walk can affect how you feel. When you get up from reading this chapter, walk for a minute, with small, shuffling steps and downcast eyes. It's a great way to feel down. He sits all day in a melancholy mood, sighing and answering everything in a gloomy voice, and his melancholy persists,” observed William James (1890, p. 463). I want to feel better Walk with big strides swinging your arms and eyes straight for a minute.

If what we say affects how we feel, would imitating what others say and understanding how they feel help us? An experiment by Katherine Bums Vaughan and John Lanzetta (1981) suggests this. Students at Dartmouth College were asked to watch someone get electrocuted. They asked some of the observers to make a pained expression every time the shock came on. If, as Freud et al. supposed, the expression of an emotion allows us to release it, then the painful expression must be an internal relief (Cacioppo et al., 1991). However, compared to other students who did not act out facial expressions, these frowning students sweated more and had a faster heart rate each time they saw the shock delivered. By representing the person's emotions, the observers were able to feel more empathy. The implication: To feel how other people are feeling, let your own face mirror their expressions.

In fact, you hardly have to try. When we observe the faces, postures, writing styles, and voices of others, we naturally and unconsciously imitate them (Hatfield et al., 1992; Ireland & Pennebaker, 2010). We synchronize our movements, postures and voices with theirs. It helps us tune in to how they feel. It also provides "emotional contagion," which explains why both happy and depressed people are fun to be around (chapter 14).

All Nippon Airways employees, biting wooden sticks, smile during smile training.

Behavior and Attitudes Chapter 4 143

Our facial expressions also influence our attitude. In an ingenious experiment, Gary Wells and Richard Petty (1980) had University of Alberta students "test headphones" by moving their heads vertically or horizontally while listening to a radio editorial. Who was most likely to agree with the editorial? Those who nodded their heads up and down. Why? Wells and Petty hypothesized that positive thoughts are compatible with vertical head movement and incompatible with horizontal movement. Try it yourself when listening to someone; Are you more comfortable nodding your head than shaking your head? Even sitting in a chair that tilted to the left instead of one that tilted to the right resulted in people leaning more to the left in their expressed political attitudes (Oppenheimer & Trail, 2010)!

At the University of Cologne, Thomas Mussweiler (2006) also found that stereotyped action fuels stereotyped thinking. In an ingenious experiment, he had some people move like an obese person, wearing a life jacket and putting weights on their wrists and ankles, and then describing their impressions of someone describing themselves on paper. Compared to controls, those whose movements mimicked obesity noticed that the target had characteristics (kindness, slowness, unhealthy) that people often notice in obese people. In follow-up experiments, subjects asked to move slowly, as an older subject would, assigned older stereotyped traits to a target subject. Affected Thinking.

Posture also affects performance. After Ron Friedman and Andrew Elliot (2008) discovered that people associate a crossed arms posture with determination and perseverance, they asked students to try to solve impossible anagrams. Those instructed to work with their arms crossed lasted an average of 55 seconds, almost twice as long as those with their hands on their thighs.

OVERJUSTIFICATION AND INTERNAL MOTIVATIONS Remember the underjustification effect: the slightest incentive that drives people to do something more effectively makes them like it and keep doing it. Cognitive dissonance theory explains this: when external incentives are insufficient to justify our behavior, we reduce the dissonance internally by justifying the behavior.

Self-perception theory offers a different explanation: people explain their behavior by looking at the conditions under which it occurs. Imagine hearing someone proclaim the wisdom of a whopping $20 raise. Surely the statement would ring more sincerely to you if you thought the person would express that opinion for free. Perhaps we can draw similar conclusions by observing ourselves. We observe our casual actions and deduce our attitude from them.

Self-perception theory goes one step further. Contrary to the notion that rewards always increase motivation, this suggests that unnecessary rewards may have hidden costs. Rewarding people for what they already enjoy can lead them to attribute their actions to the reward.

It would undermine their self-perception that they are doing it because they like it. Experiments by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan (1991, 1997, 2008), Mark Ropper and David Greene (1979), and Ann Boggiano and colleagues (1985,

Self-awareness at work. © Ed Frascino/The New Yorker


144 Part One Social Thought

FIGURE: 4.6 Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation When people do something they enjoy without reward or coercion, they attribute their behavior to a love of work. External rewards undermine intrinsic motivation, leading people to attribute their behavior to the incentive.

good activities

overjustification effect The result of bribing people to do what they already like to do; Thus, they may see your actions as externally controlled rather than intrinsically attractive.

1987, 1992) confirmed this overfitting effect. Pay people to play puzzles and they will play fewer puzzles than people who play for free. Promise children a reward for doing what they naturally enjoy (for example, playing with spell markers) and you'll turn play into work (Figure 4.6).

A folktale illustrates the effect of overjustification: An old man lived alone in a street where children played noisily every afternoon. The noise bothered him, so one day he knocked on the children's door. He told them he loved the happy sound of the children's voices and promised them 50 cents each if they came back the next day. The following afternoon, the youngsters returned and played more excitedly than ever. The old man paid him and promised him another reward the next day. They came back again, applauded, and the man paid them again; this time 25 cents. The next day, they got only 15 cents and the man declared that his meager resources were exhausted. "But please, could you play tomorrow for 10 cents?" The disappointed boys told the man that they would not return. It's not worth playing with him all afternoon for just 10 cents.

As self-awareness theory implies, an unexpected reward does not diminish intrinsic interest, since people can still attribute their actions to their own motivation (Bradley & Mannell, 1984; Tang & Hall, 1995). (It's like the heroine who, after falling in love with the woodcutter, now discovers that he really is a prince.) And when praise for good work makes us feel more competent and successful, it can even increase our intrinsic motivation. When managed correctly, rewards can also stimulate creativity (Eisenberger et al., 1999, 2001, 2003).

The overjustification effect occurs when someone offers an unnecessary reward in advance to control behavior. What matters is what a reward entails: rewards and praise that let people know about their accomplishments, that make them feel like “I'm really good at this,” increase intrinsic motivation. Rewards designed to control people into believing that it was the reward that triggered their effort (“I did it for the money”) diminishes the intrinsic appeal of a pleasurable task (Rosenfeld et al., 1980; Sansone, 1986).

So how can we cultivate joy in initially unpleasant tasks? Maria may find her first piano lessons frustrating. Toshi may not have an intrinsic love of 9th grade science. DeShawn can start a career without wanting to make those opening sales pitches. In these cases, the parent, teacher or supervisor should probably use some incentive to achieve the desired behavior (Boggiano & Ruble, 1985; Cooke et al., 2011; Workman & Williams, 1980). after the human

Behavior and Attitudes Chapter 4 145

provide an internal reason why: "I'm not surprised the sales pitch went well because you're so good at making a first impression."

When we provide students with sufficient justification for completing a learning task and use rewards and labels to help them feel competent, we can increase their satisfaction and enthusiasm for pursuing the topic on their own. When there are too many justifications, as is the case in classrooms where teachers dictate behavior and use rewards to control children, student-directed learning may decline (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 1991, 2008). My youngest son avidly read 6-8 library books a week, until our library started a book club that promised a party for anyone who read 10 books in three months. Three weeks later he started borrowing only 1 or 2 books during our weekly visits. Why? "Because you only have to read 10 books, you know."

We have seen an explanation of why our actions seem to affect only our attitudes (self-representation theory). And we saw two explanations for why our actions actually affect our attitudes: (1) the dissonance theory assumption that we justify our behavior to reduce our internal discomfort, and (2) the self-awareness theory assumption that we observe our behavior. and we draw reasonable conclusions about our attitudes, just as we observe other people and infer their attitudes.

These two explanations seem to contradict each other. What is correct? It's hard to find definitive proof. In most cases, they make the same predictions, and we can adapt each theory to explain most of the evidence we are considering (Greenwald, 1975). Self-perception theorist Daryl Bern (1972) has even suggested that it all boils down to a matter of personal loyalties and preferences. This illustrates the human element in scientific theorizing. Neither dissonance theory nor self-perception theory have come down to us from nature. Both are products of the human imagination: creative attempts to simplify and explain what we observe.

It is not uncommon in science for a principle such as "attitude follows behavior" to be predictable from more than one theory. Physicist Richard Feynman (1967) marveled that "one of the wonderful qualities of nature" is the "wide range of beautiful forms" in which we can describe her: "I don't understand why the right laws are those of nature". physics seems to be expressible in such tremendous variety" (pp. 53-55). Just as different roads lead to the same place, different assumptions can lead to the same beginning. This strengthens our confidence in the beginning. It becomes believable by the data that support it, but also because it is based on more than one theoretical pillar.

Dissonance as emotion Can we say that one of our theories is better? At a key point, strong support for dissonance theory emerged. Remember that dissonance, by definition, is an agitated state of uncomfortable tension. To alleviate this tension, we are supposed to change our attitudes. Self-perception theory is silent on the tensions that arise when our actions and attitudes are not aligned. It simply assumes that if our attitudes are initially weak, we will use our behavior and circumstances as a cue to those attitudes (like the person who said, "How can I say what I think until I see what I say?" [Förster, 1976]) .

Are the conditions that seem to produce dissonance (eg, making decisions or taking actions that contradict one's attitudes) really unpleasantly arousing? Of course, as long as the behavior has undesirable consequences for which the person feels responsible (Cooper, 1999; Elliot & Devine, 1994).

146 Part One Social Thought

"A^o, HoskinSy, you're not going to do this just because Pm told you to. You're going to

do it because you believe it

People rarely internalize forced behavior.

© Charles Barsotti/The New Yorker Collection/

self-affirmation theory

One theory states that (a) people often experience a threat to their own image after engaging in undesirable behavior; and (b) they may compensate by asserting another aspect of the self. Threaten people's self-image in one area and they will compensate by realigning or doing good in another area.

In the privacy of your bedroom, if you say something you don't believe, the dissonance will be minimal. It will be much greater when there are uncomfortable results, when someone hears you and believes you, when the statement causes damage and the harmful effects are irreversible, and when the person harmed is someone you care about. Furthermore, if you feel responsible for those consequences, if you cannot excuse what you did because you consented willingly, and if you could foresee the consequences, then an uncomfortable dissonance will arise. This dissonance-related arousal is detectable as increased sweating and heart rate (Cacioppo & Petty, 1986; Croyle & Cooper, 1983; Losch & Cacioppo, 1990).

Why is "volunteering", saying or doing unwanted things, so exciting? Because, according to Claude Steele's theory of self-assertion (1988), such actions are shameful. They make us feel stupid. They threaten our sense of competence and personal goodness. Justification of our actions and

therefore, decisions are self-confirming; protects and supports our sense of integrity and self-worth. When people engage in actions that produce dissonance, their left frontal lobe vibrates with additional emotion (Harmon-Jones &: other, 2008). This is the walk of faith routine at work.

What do you think happens when we offer people who have done contradictory actions the opportunity to assert their self-esteem, for example by doing good deeds? In several experiments, Steele found that people with a restored self-concept felt much less of a need to justify their actions (Steele et al., 1993). People with high and secure self-esteem are also less self-justified (Holland et al., 2002).

Thus, states of dissonance create tension, especially when they threaten positive self-esteem. But is this arousal necessary for the effect of behavior followed by attitudes? Steele and colleagues (1981) believe the answer is yes. When alcohol consumption reduces the arousal produced by dissonance, the attitude-consequence-behavior effect disappears. In one of their experiments, they got University of Washington students to write essays advocating a huge increase in tuition. Students reduced the resulting dissonance by lowering their attitudes against teaching unless they drank alcohol after writing the clumsy essays.







SELF-PERCEPTION IF NOT CONTRADICTED Dissonance techniques are uncomfortably exciting. This builds self-conviction after acting against one's beliefs. But dissonance theory cannot explain the changes in attitude that occur without dissonance. When people hold a position that is consistent with their opinion, even if it goes a step or two further, procedures that remove arousal do not remove attitude change (Fazio et al., 1977, 1979). Dissonance theory also doesn't explain the overjustification effect, because getting paid to do what you love shouldn't create too much tension. And what about situations where the action does not contradict any attitude, for example, when people are drawn to smile or smile? There should also be no dissonance here. Self-perception theory has an explanation for these cases.

In summary, it appears that dissonance theory successfully explains what happens when we act against well-defined attitudes: we feel tension, so we adjust our attitudes to reduce it. Thus, dissonance theory explains the change in attitude. In situations where our attitudes are not well formed, self-perception theory explains the formation of attitudes. As we act and reflect, we develop more accessible attitudes that guide our future behavior (Fazio, 1987; Roese & Olson, 1994).

Behavior and Attitudes Chapter 4 147

UMIVIING UP: Why do our behaviors affect our attitudes? Three competing theories explain why our actions affect our attitude reports.

• Self-presentation theory posits that people, particularly those who self-monitor their behavior, adjust their attitude reports to match their actions in hopes of making a good impression. Available evidence confirms that people adjust their attitude statements out of concern for other people's opinions. But it also shows that a real shift in attitude is taking place.

Two of these theories assume that our actions trigger true attitude change.

Dissonance theory explains this change in attitude by assuming that we feel tension after acting against our attitudes or making difficult decisions. To reduce this excitement, we internally justify our

Behavior. Dissonance theory further postulates that the less external justification we have for our undesirable actions, the more responsible we will feel, the more dissonance will arise and the more attitude changes. Observe our behavior and circumstances and deduce our attitudes from them. An interesting implication of self-perception theory is the "overjustification effect": rewarding people for doing what they love to do can turn their pleasure into drudgery (if the reward causes them to attribute their behavior to the reward). Evidence supports the predictions of both theories, suggesting that each describes what happens under certain conditions.

POSTSCRIPT: Changing Ourselves Through Action To make anything a habit, do it. In order not to make a habit of it, don't do it. To break a habit, do something else. – Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus

The Attitude Follows Behavior Principle in this chapter offers a powerful life lesson: if we want to change in some important way, it's best not to wait to be followed or inspired. Sometimes we need to take action, start writing this essay, make those phone calls to see that person, even when we don't feel like taking action. Jacques Barzun (1975) recognized the energizing power of action when he recommended that aspiring writers engage in the act of writing even when contemplation makes them doubt their ideas:

If you are too modest with yourself or too indifferent to the potential reader, and you still need to write, then you need to fake it. Imagine that you are trying to convince someone of your opinion; in other words, accept a thesis and start explaining it... With a slight effort like the one at the beginning, an invitation to expression, you will find that your pretense melts away and true apprehension creeps in. The theme will have been established by you, as is the case in the work of all common writers, (pp. 173-174)

This phenomenon of attitude following behavior is not irrational or magical. What moves us to act can also move us to think. Writing an essay or representing an opposing point of view forces us to consider arguments we might otherwise have ignored. Also, we remember information better after we explain it in our own terms. As one student wrote to me, "It wasn't until I tried to put my beliefs into words that I really understood them."










148 Part One Social Thought

always present the final results. It is better to encourage students to think about the implications of a theory to make them active listeners and readers. Notes also deepen the impression. William James (1899) summed it up a century ago: "There is no reception without reaction, no impression without adequate expression: this is the great maxim which the teacher must never forget."

So far in this book we have been mainly concerned with "under the skin" phenomena: how we think about each other. Now let's look at the "in-between" events: how we affect and relate to each other. Therefore, in Chapters 5 through 8, we examine the central concern of social psychology: the power of social influence.

What are these invisible social forces that push and pull us? How powerful are they? Exploring social influence helps shed light on the invisible threads along which our social worlds move us. The next four chapters reveal these subtle forces, specifically cultural influences (Chapter 5), the forces of social conformity (Chapter 6), the principles of persuasion (Chapter 7),

the consequences of group participation (Chapter 8) and how all these influences interact in everyday situations.

When we see these influences, we can

better understand why people feel and act the way they do. And we can become less susceptible to unwanted manipulations and more adept at controlling our own strings.

IS-Gen, Culture

and gender

"Alike by birth, different by habit." - Confucius. This. anathetes

Alien scientists assigned to study the species Homo sapiens are approaching Earth from light years away, and you can feel their excitement rising. His plan: observe two randomly selected people, his first submarine

ject, Jan, is a verbally combative trial attorney who grew up in Nashville

but moved west in search of the "California way of life". after an adventure

After the divorce, Jan enjoys a second marriage. Friends describe Jan as

an independent thinker who is confident, competitive and more

how dominant

Your second subject, Tomoko, lives with his wife and two

Children in a rural Japanese town, steps away from their homes.

your parents. Tomoko prides herself on being a good son, a loyal husband,

and a protective father. Friends describe Tomoko as kind, gentle,

respectful, empathetic and supportive of the extended family.

From your small sample of two individuals of different sex and culture

What conclusions can our extraterrestrial scientists draw about human nature?

You would wonder if the two are from different subspecies?

Or would they notice deeper similarities beneath the surface?


The questions our alien scientists face are the same ones we face.

Earth Scientists Today: How Are We Humans Different? How are

See the same? Can we learn in a world grappling with cultural differences?

accepting our diversity, valuing and even recognizing our cultural identities

How does human nature and cultural diversity affect us?

How are men and women alike and how are they different?

Evolution and Gender: Doing What Comes Natural?

Culture and gender: do what the culture says?

What can we conclude about genes, culture and gender?

Addendum: Should we see ourselves as products or architects of our social worlds?

social influence

our Hunnan relatives? I think we can. To see why, consider evolution,

cultural and social roots of our humanity. So let's see how everyone can help us

Understand gender similarities and differences.


Describe two perspectives on human similarities and differences: the evolutionary perspective, which emphasizes human relationships, and the cultural perspective, which emphasizes human diversity.

Jan and Tomoko are more alike than they are different in many ways. As members of a large family with common ancestors, they not only share a common biotype, but also common behavioral tendencies. Each of them sleeps and wakes up, feels hungry and thirsty, and develops language through identical mechanisms. Jan and Tomoko prefer sweet to sour flavors and fear snakes more than sparrows. Both divide the visual spectrum into similar colors and divide time into past, present and future. She and her relatives around the world know how to read the frowns and smiles of others.

Jan and Tomoko, and all of us everywhere, are very social people. We join obedient groups and recognize differences in social status. We return favors, punish transgressions, and mourn the death of a child. As children, starting at 8 months, we show fear of strangers, and as adults, we prefer members of our own group. When we come across people with different attitudes or characteristics, we react suspiciously or negatively. Anthropologist Donald Brown (1991, 2000) has identified several hundred of these universal patterns of behavior and language. To name just those that start with "v", all human societies have verbs, violence, visits and vowels.

Even much of our morality is common to all cultures and times. Before they can walk, babies will show moral sense disapproving of what is wrong or bad (^loom, 2010). Old and young, women and men, whether they live in Tokyo, Tehran or Toledo, all respond negatively when asked: "If a deadly gas leaks from a vent and enters a room with seven people, it's okay to push someone." at the well, who saves the seven but kills one? And they are more likely to respond in the affirmative when asked whether it is okay to let someone down the chimney, such as sacrificing one life but saving seven (Hauser, 2006, 2009).

Our alien scientists could stop anywhere and find people talking and arguing, laughing and crying, cheering and dancing, singing and worshipping. People everywhere prefer to live with others, in families and community groups, than to live alone. Everywhere, the family dramas that entertain us -from Greek tragedies-

Mexican telenovelas present similar plots (Dutton, 2006). Adventure stories are similar, in which strong and courageous men, supported by wise old men, defeat evil to the delight of beautiful women or endangered children.

Such similarities define our common human nature. Although differences call our attention, we are more alike than different. We are all kin under the skin.

Genes, Evolution, and Behavior The universal behaviors that define human nature arise from our biological similarity. We can say "My ancestors were from Ireland" or "My roots are in China" or "I'm Italian", but anthropologists tell us that we can trace our ancestors.

Genes, culture and gender

100,000 years ago or more, we would see that we are all Africans (Shipman, 2003). In response to climate change and food availability, these early hominins migrated from Africa into Asia, Europe, the Australian subcontinent, and eventually the Americas. As they adapted to their new environment, early humans developed differences that are new and superficial by anthropological standards. Those who stayed in Africa had darker skin pigments, what Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker (2002) calls "sunscreen for the tropics," and those who traveled north of the equator developed lighter skin, capable of synthesize vitamin D with less direct sunlight. . Historically we are all Africans.

As we were newly Africans, “there wasn't much time to accumulate many new versions of genes”, observes Pinker (2002, p. 143). In fact, biologists who study our genes have discovered that humans, even people who look as different as Jan and Tomoko, are remarkably similar, like members of a tribe. We may outnumber chimps, but chimps are more genetically diverse.

To explain the characteristics of our species and all species, the British naturalist Charles Darwin (1859) proposed an evolutionary process. Follow your genes, he advised. Darwin's idea, which the philosopher Daniel Dennett (2005) would award "the gold medal for the best idea ever," was that natural selection makes evolution possible.

The idea, simplified, is this:

• Organisms have many and varied descendants. • These chicks compete to survive in their environment. • Certain biological and behavioral variations increase your chances of reproduction

production and survival in this environment. • The offspring that survive are more likely to pass their genes on to their offspring

Generations • Therefore, population characteristics can change over time.

Natural selection implies that certain genes – those that predispose traits that increase survival chances to reproduce and nurture offspring – were more common. For example, in the snowy environment of the Arctic, the genes that engineer a thick coat of white camouflage fur won the genetic competition in polar bears.

Natural selection, long an organizing principle of biology, has recently become an important principle of psychology as well. Evolutionary psychology studies how natural selection predisposes not only physical traits appropriate to particular contexts (polar bear fur, bat sonar, human color vision), but also psychological traits and social behaviors that support conservation and promote the spread of own genes (Buss, 2005, 2007, 2009). Humans are as we are, say evolutionary psychologists, because nature chose those who had our characteristics, those who preferred the sweet taste of nutritious and energy foods, for example, and those who did not like the bitter or sour taste of these foods. . that are toxic. Those who lacked such preferences were less likely to survive to contribute their genes to posterity.

As mobile gene machines, we carry not only the physical but also the psychological inheritance of our ancestors' adaptive preferences. We yearn for everything that helped them survive, reproduce, and nurture their offspring to survive and reproduce. Even negative emotions (fear, loneliness, depression, anger) are the natural way to motivate us to face the challenges of survival. "The purpose of the heart is to pump blood," observes evolutionary psychologist David Barash (2003). The purpose of the brain," he adds, is to direct our organs and our behavior "in a way

that maximizes our evolutionary success. That's all." The evolutionary perspective emphasizes our universal human nature.

We just share certain food preferences, but we also share answers to social questions like who should I trust? Who should I help? When and with whom should I mate? Who can rule me and who can I control? evolutionary

Chapter 5 153

natural selection

The evolutionary process by which the inherited traits that best enable organisms to survive and reproduce in specific environments are passed on to subsequent generations.

evolution psychology

The study of the evolution of cognition and behavior using the principles of natural selection.






154 Part two Social influence

"Stand up, bipedal ape. The shark can








Culture Enduring behaviours, ideas, attitudes and traditions shared by a large group of people and passed down from generation to generation.











Psychologists claim that our emotional and behavioral responses to these questions are the same as those that worked for our ancestors.

And what should we fear? Most of the time, we fear the dangers our ancestors faced. We are afraid of unknown enemies, faces and heights, and therefore of possible terrorists, ethnically different people and planes. We fear more immediate and sudden damage than greater and more gradual damage from historically more recent threats like smoking or climate change.

As our social responsibilities are common to people all over the world, people all over the world tend to agree with the answers. For example, all people rank others by authority and status. And they all have ideas of economic justice (Fiske, 1992). Evolutionary psychologists emphasize these universal traits that evolved through natural selection. However, cultures provide the specific rules for the elaboration of these elements of social life.

Culture and Behavior Perhaps our most important commonality, the hallmark of our species, is our ability to learn and adapt. Our genes allow for an adaptable human brain: a cerebral hard drive that receives software from the culture. Evolution has prepared us to live creatively in a changing world and thrive in environments ranging from equatorial jungles to arctic ice fields. Compared to bees, birds and bulldogs, nature has humans on a looser genetic leash. Ironically, our shared human biology allows for our cultural diversity. It allows people of one culture to value speed, embrace openness, or accept premarital sex, while people of another culture do not. As social psychologist Roy Baumeister (2005, p. 29) puts it: "Evolution made us culture" (see "Focus on: The Cultural Animal").

Evolutionary psychology includes environmental influences. It recognizes that nature and nurture interact in our formation. Genes are not fixed blueprints; Its expression depends on the environment, just as the tea I'm drinking now doesn't "express" until it encounters a hot water environment. A study of young adults in New Zealand found a genetic variation that puts people at risk for depression, but only if they have also been exposed to major life stresses such as marital separation (Caspi et al., 2003). Neither stress nor the gene alone produced depression, but the interaction of the two did.

Humans were not chosen just for having big brains and biceps, but also for culture. We are prepared to learn languages, build bonds and work together with others to secure food, care for young people and protect ourselves. Therefore, nature predisposes us to learn the culture in which we were born. The cultural perspective emphasizes human adaptability. The "natures of men are the same," said Confucius; "It's their habits that separate them." And we are still a long way off, as world culture researchers Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel (2005) point out. Despite increased education, "we are not moving towards a unified global culture: cultural convergence is not happening. A society's cultural heritage is remarkably enduring" (p. 46).

CULTURAL DIVERSITY The diversity of our languages, customs and expressions confirms that much of our behavior is socially programmed and not programmed. The genetic leash is long. As sociologist Ian Robertson (1987) noted:

Americans eat oysters, but not snails. The French eat snails, but not grasshoppers. The Zuluse eat lobsters, but not fish. Jews eat fish, but not pork. Hindus eat pork but not beef. Russians eat meat, but not snakes. The Chinese eat snakes, but not people. The Jale people of New Guinea find it delicious, (p. 67)

If we all lived as homogeneous ethnic groups in separate regions of the world, as some people still do, cultural diversity would be less relevant to our daily lives. In Japan, where 98.5% of the population is Japanese (CIA, 2011), the internal culture

Genes, Culture and Gender Chapter 5 155

focusON O animal cultural

We are, said Aristotle, the social animal. Humans have at least one thing in common with wolves and bees: we thrive on organizing and working together in groups.

But beyond that, Roy Baumeister points out, we are, as he calls us in the title of his 2005 book, The Cultural Animal. Humans use the power of culture to improve life more than other animals. "Culture is the best way to socialize," he writes. We owe our communication through language, our safe driving on the side of the road, our winter fruit consumption, and our use of money to pay for our cars and fruit. Culture facilitates our survival and reproduction, and nature has endowed us with a brain that makes culture possible like no other.

Other animals show the beginnings of culture and language. Monkeys have been observed learning new food washing techniques, which are passed on to future generations. And chimpanzees show a modest ability to speak. But no species can accumulate progress over generations as intelligently as humans. Your ancestors in the 19th century had no cars, no plumbing, no electricity, no air conditioning, no internet, no smartphones.

no Facebook pages or sticky notes, just a thank you to the culture. Intelligence enables innovation, and culture enables diffusion: the transmission of information and innovation across time and place.

Division of labor is "another great and mighty advantage of culture," notes Baumeister. Few of us grow food or build shelter, but almost everyone reading this book enjoys food and shelter. Indeed, the books themselves are a tribute to the division of labor that culture has made possible. Although only one lucky person's name appears on the cover of this book, the product is actually the work of a coordinated team of researchers, reviewers, assistants, and editors. Books and other media spread knowledge and are the engine of progress.

"Culture is what's special about people," concludes Baumeister. “Culture helps us to be much more than the sum of our individual talents, efforts and other blessings. In that sense, culture is the greatest blessing of all... our environment. Together, we can sustain a system that allows us to continually improve the lives of ourselves, our children, and those who come after us.

The differences are minimal. In contrast, most residents of New York City, where more than a third of its 8 million residents are foreign nationals, encounter these differences several times a day.

We are increasingly surrounded by cultural diversity. We increasingly live in a global village, connected to our villagers through electronic social networks, jumbo jets and international trade. Mixing cultures is nothing new. “American” jeans were invented in 1872 by German immigrant Levi Strauss when he combined Genes, a style of pants worn by Genoese sailors, with denim from a French village (Legrain, 2003). An unknown expert said that nothing symbolizes globalization like the death of Princess Diana: “An English princess falls in love with her Egyptian boyfriend

“Women kiss women goodnight. Men kiss women goodnight. But men don't kiss men good night, especially not Armonk."

While some norms are universal, each culture has its own set of norms: accepted and expected rules of social behavior. © J. 6. Handelsman/The New Yorker Collection/

156 Part two Social influence

mix cultures. As these London schoolmates (one of Muslim heritage, the other Anglo-Saxon) illustrate, immigration and globalization are bringing once-distant cultures together.

through a French tunnel, in a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian high on Scotch whiskey, closely followed by Italian paparazzi on Japanese motorcycles and treated by an American doctor with drugs from Brazil."

Facing another culture is sometimes an amazing experience. American men may feel uncomfortable when Middle Eastern leaders greet the President of the United States with a kiss on the cheek. A German student who rarely speaks "Herr Professor" finds it strange that at my institution most doors to the professors' offices are open and students are happy to enter. On her first visit to an American McDonald's restaurant, an Iranian student rummages through her paper bag for cutlery until she sees that the other customers are eating her fries, of all people.

Your hands. In many parts of the world, your best manners and mine are gross violations of etiquette. Foreigners visiting Japan often struggle to master the rules of the social game: when to take off your shoes, how to serve tea, when to give and open gifts, how to behave with someone higher or lower in the social hierarchy.

Migration and refugee evacuations are mixing cultures more than ever. "East is east and west is west, and the two will never meet," wrote 19th-century British author Rudyard Kipling. But today. East and West, North and South meet constantly. There are many Albanians in Italy, Turks in Germany, Pakistanis in England (where Muhammad, in its various spellings, is now the most common name for newborn boys [Cohen, 2011]). The result is friendship and conflict. One in five Canadians and one in eight Americans is an immigrant. As we work, play, and live with people from different cultural backgrounds, it's helpful to understand how our cultures affect us and how our cultures differ. In a world rife with conflict, achieving peace requires a genuine appreciation of our genuine differences and our deep commonalities.

Norms Accepted and expected standards of behavior. Rules prescribe "correct" behavior. (In another sense of the word, norms also describe what most others do, which is normal.)

STANDARDS: EXPECTED BEHAVIOR As etiquette illustrates, all cultures have their accepted ideas of appropriate behavior. We often see these expectations or social norms as a negative force that traps people in a blind attempt to continue traditions. Rules constrain and control us so effectively and subtly that we barely notice their existence. Like fish in the ocean, we are all so immersed in our cultures that we need to step out of them to understand their impact. "When we see other Dutch people behaving in what foreigners would call an ehatch," noted Dutch psychologists Willem Koomen and Anton Dijker (1997), "we often don't realize that the behavior is typically Dutch."

There's no better way to learn about our culture's norms than to visit another culture and see how its members do things as we do them. When I lived in Scotland, I confessed to my children that Europeans eat meat with the fork in their left hand. “But we Americans think it's polite to cut the meat and then stick the fork in your right hand. I confess that it is ineffective. But that's how we do it."

To those who don't accept them, such standards can seem arbitrary and restrictive. To most in the Western world, the Muslim woman's veil seems arbitrary and arbitrary.

Genes, Culture and Gender Chapter 5 157

limiting, but not for most Muslim cultures. Just as a play runs smoothly when the actors know their lines, social behavior runs smoothly when people know what to expect. Norms grease the social machinery. In unfamiliar situations, when the rules are unclear, we observe the behavior of others and adjust our own accordingly.

Cultures differ in their norms of expressiveness, punctuality, rule-breaking, and personal space. Consider the following:

EXPRESSION CAPACITY To someone from a relatively formal Northern European culture, a person whose roots are in an expressive Mediterranean culture might seem “warm, charming, inefficient and time-consuming”. To the Mediterranean, the Northern European can seem “efficient, cold and too busy with time” (Beaulieu, 2004; Triandis, 1981).

PUNCTUALITY Latin American businesspeople who are late for dinner may be surprised by their US counterparts' obsession with punctuality. North American tourists to Japan might wonder about the lack of eye contact from passersby. (See "Detailed Investigation: Passage Encounters, East and West").

BREAKING RULES When people see a social norm being violated, such as prohibited graffiti on a wall, they are more likely to follow the rule-breaking norm by breaking other rules, such as breaking rules. In six experiments, a Dutch research team led by Kees Keizer (2008) found that people were twice as likely to ignore social rules when it appeared that others did. For example, when useless flyers were pasted on bicycle handlebars, one-third of cyclists threw the flyer on the ground like trash if there was no graffiti on the adjacent wall. But more than two-thirds did so when the wall was covered in graffiti (Figure 5.1).

PERSONAL SPACE Personal space is a sort of portable bubble or buffer zone that we like to keep between ourselves and others. As the situation changes, the size of the bubble changes. With strangers, most Americans maintain a fairly wide personal distance, keeping four feet or more between each other. On buses with few people or in bathrooms or libraries, we protect our space and respect the space of others. We let friends get closer (Novelli et al., 2010).

Individuals differ; Some people prefer more personal space than others (Smith, 1981; Sommer, 1969; Stockdale, 1978). The groups also differ: adults keep more distance than children. Men keep more distance from each other than women. For unknown reasons, cultures closer to the equator prefer less space and more hugs and cuddles. For example, the British and Scandinavians prefer more distance than the French and Arabs; North Americans prefer more space than Latin Americans.

FIGURE 5.1 ​​Degraded environment can affect behavior In a study from the University of Groningen, most people did not litter the floor with an unwanted flyer when an adjacent wall was clean, but littered when the wall was covered in graffiti.

Personal spaceThe buffer zone we like to keep around our bodies. Its size depends on our familiarity with everyone around us.

"About 30 inches from my nose, the limit


-C. H. AUDEN, 1907-1973

158 Second part Social impact

searchCLOSE UP Encounters in passing, West and West

On my Midwestern campus and in my hometown, passers-by often see each other and smile at each other. In the UK, where I spent two years, these microinteractions are noticeably less common. To a European, our greeting to passing strangers might seem a bit silly and disrespectful of privacy; To a Midwesterner, avoiding eye contact, what sociologists call "civil inattention," might seem far-fetched.

To quantify cultural difference in pedestrian interactions, an international team led by Miles Patterson and Yuichi Lizuka (2007) conducted a simple field experiment involving the unintentional participation of over 1,000 pedestrians in the United States and Japan. Their approach exemplifies how social psychologists sometimes conduct research unobtrusively in natural settings (Patterson, 2008). As Figure 5.2 shows, a confederate (an experimenter's confederate) would initiate one of the three behaviors when within 12 feet of one of them.

Participants: lonely

with no one in front or behind.

I Confederate: Activate the condition approximately 12 feet from the participant.♦

Spotter: Approximately 30 feet behind Confederate. The spotter monitors the participant as soon as the confederate gives a hand signal to initiate the condition.

Approaching a pedestrian on a busy sidewalk: (1) avoid (look straight ahead), (2) look at the person for less than a second, and (3) look at the person and smile. A subsequent observer would record the pedestrian's reaction. Did the pedestrian look at the confederate? smile? consent? verbally salute the confederate? (The order of the three conditions was random and unknown to the subsequent observer, ensuring that the person recording the data was "blinded" to the experimental condition.)

Unsurprisingly, passers-by were more likely to look at someone looking back at them and smile, wave, or wave at someone who was also smiling at them. This was especially the case when that person was female rather than male. But, as Figure 5.3 shows, cultural differences were still marked. As the research team expected, Americans were much more likely to smile, wave, or wave at Confederates, due to Japan's greater respect for privacy and cultural reluctance to interact with outside groups.

In Japan, they conclude, "there is little pressure to smile back at the confederate because there is no relationship with the confederate and there is no obligation to respond." Instead, the American norm is to return a friendly gesture.

%: so45









0Evite Blickblick &

state of the smile

FIGURE: 5.2 Illustration of fleeting encounter Source: Patterson et al. (2006).


FIGURE: 5.3 US and Japanese Pedestrian Responses, by ConditionSource; Adapted from Patterson et al. (2006).

159 Genes, Culture and Gender Chapter 5

To see the effects of invading someone else's personal space, play Space Invader. Stand or sit a few feet away from a friend and strike up a conversation. Does the person fidget, look away, flinch, show other signs of discomfort? These are the signs of arousal observed by space explorers (Altman & Vinsel, 1978).

Cultures differ not only in their norms for such behavior, but also in the strength of their norms. A study of 33 nations asked people to rate the appropriateness of different behaviors (eg, eating or crying) in different situations (eg, on a bench or at a party). Societies that face threats such as territorial conflicts or resource scarcity tend to be “tighter” cultures with rigid and enforced rules (Gelfand et al., 2011).

Former President Bush honored Saudi norms of friendship when he walked with Crown Prince Abdullah in 2005. However, many straight American men were shocked by the violation of their own norm of distancing from other men.

CULTURAL SIMILARITY Thanks to human adaptability, cultures differ. But behind the facade of cultural differences, cross-cultural psychologists see "an essential universality" (Lormer, 1980). As members of a species, we find that the processes underlying our different behaviors are pretty much the same everywhere. For example, between the ages of 4 and 5, children around the world begin to exhibit a theory of mind that allows them to infer what others are thinking (Norenzayan & Heine, 2005). Regardless of their culture, if they see a toy move while another child is not looking, they may conclude that the other child thinks it is still where it was.

UNIVERSAL FRIENDSHIP PATTERNS People everywhere have some common friendship patterns. Based on studies conducted in the United Kingdom, Italy, Hong Kong, and Japan, Michael Argyle and Monika Henderson (1985) identified several cultural variations in the norms that define the friend role. In Japan, for example, it is special

Despite vast cultural differences, humans have some things in common. © Peter Steiner/The New Yorker Collection/

160 Second part Social impact

FIGURE :: 5.4 The dimensions of Leung and Bond's universal social belief

The Big Five of Social Beliefs


social complexity

reward for applying


fate control

Questionnaire item example

"Powerful people tend to exploit others."

"You have to regulate the matter according to the specific circumstances."

"You will succeed if you really try."

"Religious belief contributes to good mental health."

"Fate decides between success and failure."

In The Female Eunuch, Germaine Greer observes how the language of affection reduces women to food and baby animals: honey, lamb, sugar, cake, kittens, chicks.

It's important not to embarrass a friend with public criticism. But there are also some seemingly universal rules: respect your friend's privacy; make eye contact when speaking; Do not reveal confidential things.

UNIVERSAL CHARACTERISTICS DIMENSIONS All over the world, people tend to describe others in terms of five personality dimensions: stable, outgoing, open, sociable, and conscientious (John & Srivastava, 1999; McCrae & Costa, 2008). If a test tells you where you are on these 'Big Five' dimensions, it pretty much describes your personality no matter where you live, as conscientiousness and extraversion are lower than most assume (Terracciano et al., 2005) Australians describe themselves as unusually German-speaking Swiss Franks describe themselves as conspicuously aware Canadians. The clichés exaggerate the real differences, which are quite modest.

UNIVERSAL DIMENSIONS OF SOCIAL BELIEFS Similarly, Hong Kong social psychologists Kwok Leung and Michael Harris Bond (2004) argue that there are five universal dimensions of social beliefs. In each of the 38 countries studied, people differ in the extent to which they support and apply these social concepts in their daily lives: cynicism, social complexity, reward application, spirituality, and destiny control (Figure 5.4). People's adherence to these social beliefs seems to guide their lives. People who espouse cynicism express less life satisfaction and prefer assertive influence and right-wing politics. Those who advocate a reward for signing up tend to invest in study, planning, and competition.

UNIVERSAL STATE NORMS Roger Brown (1965, 1987; Kroger & Wood, 1992) examined another universal norm. Wherever people form hierarchies of status, they speak respectfully to those of higher status, as they often do to strangers. And they speak to people of lower status in the most familiar way, on a first-name basis, as they speak to friends. Patients call their doctor “Dr. so-and-so"; the physician may respond with the patients' first names. Likewise, students and faculty do not generally address each other.

Most languages ​​have two forms of the English pronoun "you": a respectful form and a familiar form (for example, Sie and du in German, vous and tu in French, usted and tu in Spanish). People often use the familiar form with close friends and subordinates: close friends and family, but also when talking to children and pets. A young German is excited when strangers address him with "Sie" instead of "du".

This first aspect of Brown's universal norm, that forms of address communicate not only social distance but also social status, correlates with a second aspect: advances in intimacy are usually suggested by the person of higher status. In Europe, where most couples can start a relationship with the polite, formal "you" and eventually move to a more intimate "you", obviously someone has to initiate greater intimacy. Who do you think does this? something good

161Genes, culture and gender

From time to time, the older, richer, or more respected of the two will say, "Let's say 'du' to each other."

This norm extends beyond language to any form of advancement in intimacy. Borrowing a pen from intimates and subordinates or placing a hand on their shoulders is more acceptable than being casual with strangers or superiors. Likewise, the dean of my university invites professors to his house before they invite you to theirs. On the road to intimacy, the person with the highest status is often the pacemaker.

THE INCEST TABOO The best-known universal norm is the incest taboo: parents cannot have sexual relations with their children, nor siblings with each other. Although the taboo seems to be violated more often than psychologists believed, the norm remains universal. Every society rejects incest. Given the biological penalties for inbreeding (through the emergence of disorders related to recessive genes), evolutionary psychologists can easily understand why people everywhere are predisposed to incest.

NORMS OF WARFARE Human beings even have cross-cultural norms for warfare. In the midst of killing the enemy, there are agreed upon rules that have been followed for centuries. They must wear identifiable uniforms, surrender with a gesture of submission and treat prisoners humanely. (If you can't kill them before they give up, you must feed them afterwards.) However, these norms are not universal, although they cross cultures. During the Iraq War, which began under the administration of George W. Bush, Iraqi forces violated these regulations by displaying surrender flags and then attacking and disguising soldiers as freed civilians to set up ambushes. A US military spokesman complained that "these two actions are among the most serious violations of the laws of war" (Clarke, 2003).

Thus, some norms are culture-specific, others are universal. The power of culture manifests itself in different norms, although it is largely our genetic predispositions—our human nature—that explain the universality of some norms. Thus, we can see nature as universal and diet as culture-specific.

So far in this chapter we have affirmed our biological relationship as members of a human family. We also recognize our cultural diversity. And we've seen how norms vary within and across cultures. Remember that our quest in social psychology is not just to catalog differences, but also to identify universal principles of behavior. Our aim is what cross-cultural psychologist Walter Lonner (1989) has called "universalist psychology," a psychology that is as valid and meaningful in Omaha and Osaka as it is in Rome and Botswana.

Attitudes and behaviors always vary across cultures, but the processes by which attitudes influence behavior vary much less. people from nigeria and japan

Chapter 5

Norms, accepted and expected rules of behavior, vary by culture.

"I'm convinced of that










E. WILLIAMS (1993)

162 Second part Social impact

define adolescent roles differently than people in Europe and North America, but in all cultures role expectations guide social relationships. The English writer G.K. Chesterton had the idea nearly a century ago: if anyone "discovered why men in Bond Street wear black hats, he would have discovered at the same moment why men with limbuctus wear red feathers".

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: How do human nature and cultural diversity affect us?

• How are humans alike, how are we different, and why? Evolutionary psychologists study how natural selection favors behavioral traits that promote gene maintenance. While part of the legacy of evolution is our human ability to learn and adapt (and therefore differ from one another), the evolutionary perspective emphasizes the relatedness that arises from our shared human nature.

• The HighWights Cultural Perspective of Human Diversity: The behaviors and ideas that define a group and

that are passed down from generation to generation. Differences in attitudes and behavior from one culture to another show the extent to which we are the product of cultural norms and roles. But cross-cultural psychologists also examine the "essential universality" of all human beings. For example, despite their differences, cultures share a number of common norms, such as respect for privacy in friendships and disapproval of incest.

sexual gender

In psychology, the biologically or socially influenced characteristics that people use to define male and female.


Describe how men and women are alike and how they are different.

There are many obvious dimensions to human diversity: height, weight, hair color, to name a few. But for people's self-concepts and social relationships, the two dimensions that are most important, and to which people first adjust, are race and, in particular, gender (Stangor et al., 1992). When you were born, the first thing people wanted to know about you was, "Is it a boy or a girl?" It's supposed to be one or the other and there's no question of choice. A firestorm of criticism erupted in 2011 when a Canadian couple swore to keep the sex of their baby “Storm” a secret so that the child could develop her own gender identity without having to meet gender expectations (AP, 2011). ^

Many cultures, such as North America, send a strong message: everyone should be assigned a gender. Traditionally, when an intersex child is born with a combination of male and female sex organs, doctors and families have felt compelled to assign the child's gender by surgically reducing the ambiguity. Between day and night there is a twilight. Between cold and heat there is heat. But between man and woman, socially speaking, there was essentially nothing. The exceptions are likely to be transgender people, who have different feelings about being male and female.

by their sex at birth (APA, 2010). A person can feel like a woman in a man's body or a man in a woman's body, and dress according to the identity they feel.

Gender and Genes In Chapter 9, we'll look at how race and gender affect the way others see and treat us. First, let's look at gender: the characteristics people associate with men and women. What behaviors are characteristic and expected of men? of females?


"Of the 46 chromosomes in the human genome, 45 are imisex", noted Judith Rich Harris (1998). Therefore, females and males are similar in many physical characteristics and developmental milestones, such as age at perching, dentition, and walking. They are also similar in many psychological traits such as general vocabulary, creativity, intelligence, self-esteem and happiness. Women and men feel the same emotions and desires, both adore their children, and have similar brains (although, on average, men have more neurons and women more neural connections). Indeed, in her review of 46 meta-analyses (each with a statistical summary of dozens of studies), Janet Shibley Hyde (2005) found that the common outcome for most variables examined is sexual similarity. Your "opposite sex" is actually your nearly identical gender.

So are we to conclude that men and women are essentially the same, except for a few anatomical oddities that matter little except on special occasions? There are actually quite a few differences, and it's those differences, not the many similarities, that grab attention and make headlines. The differences spark interest both in science and in everyday life, enough to spur some 18,000 studies comparing women and men (Ellis et al., 2008). Compared to men, the average woman

• has 70 percent more fat, 40 percent less muscle, is 5 inches shorter and weighs 40 pounds less.

• is more sensitive to smells and sounds. • is doubly prone to anxiety disorders and depression.

I compared to women am the average man

• Slower onset of puberty (about two years) but faster death (about four years worldwide).

• Three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), four times more likely to commit suicide, and five times more likely to be killed by lightning.

• Improved ability to move the ears.

In the 1970s, many scientists feared that studies of such gender differences would reinforce stereotypes. Would gender differences be interpreted as deficits for women? Although the results confirm some stereotypes of women – as less physically aggressive, more supportive and more socially sensitive – these characteristics are not only celebrated by many feminists, but also favored by most people, men or women (Prentice & Carranza, 2002; Nadar , 1994). Not surprisingly, then, most people rate their beliefs and feelings about women as more positive than their feelings about men (Eagly, 1994; Haddock & Zanna, 1994).

Let's compare the social relationships, dominance, aggressiveness and sexuality of men and women. Having described these few differences, we can consider how evolutionary and cultural perspectives might explain them. Do gender differences reflect natural selection? Are they culturally constructed, a reflection of the roles that men and women typically play and the situations in which they operate? Or do genes and culture together change genders?

Independence vs. Connected Individual Males exhibit views and behaviors ranging from fierce competition to loving care. The same goes for individual women. Without denying this, several feminist psychologists in the late 20th century asserted that women prefer close and intimate relationships to n\n (Chodorow, 1978, 1989; Gilligan, 1982; Gilligan et al., 1990; Miller, 1986). Consider the evidence:

PLAYING Compared to boys, girls talk more intimately and play less aggressively, Eleanor Maccoby (2002) observed from her decades of research on gender development. They also play in smaller groups and often chat with a friend. more guys

Genes, Culture and Gender Chapter 5

Even in physical characteristics, the individual differences between men and women far exceed the average differences between the sexes. Don Schollander's world record of 4 minutes and 12 seconds in the 400-meter freestyle swim at the 1964 Olympics trailed the times of all eight women who competed in the 2008 Olympic finals for that event.


concerns about the
















164 Second part Social impact

Girls' play usually takes place in small groups and mimics relationships. Children's games are often more competitive or aggressive.




^wWch express more enthusiasm (CrabtreSooTl^oXn & MurachvfrTooi)' and spend more time on social networking sites (Pryor & 0^720107'

Nofes sluey tavt^nnFr u "I" ^'« that, notes Bnelley Taylor (2002), women who are under stress are more likely to


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Genes, Culture and Gender Chapter 5 165

Parents (especially women) are becoming more mainstream in their gender-related attitudes and behaviors (Ferriman et al., 2009; Katz-Wise, 2010). Women spend more time caring for preschool-aged children and elderly parents (Eagly & Crowley, 1986). Compared to men, they buy three times as many gifts and greeting cards, write two to four times as many personal letters, and make 10 to 20% more long distance calls to friends and family (Putnam, 2000). When asked to provide photos that show who they are, women attach more photos of their parents and of themselves with others (Clancy & Dollinger, 1993).

SMILES Of course, smiles vary depending on the situation. However, in over 400 studies, women's greater connectedness was expressed in terms of generally higher smile rates (LaFrance et al., 2003). For example, when Marianne LaFrance (1985) analyzed 9,000 photos from university yearbooks, she found that women smiled more often. The same was done by Amy Halberstadt and Martha Saitta (1987) in 1,100 photos from magazines and newspapers and 1,300 people in malls, parks and streets.

EMPATHY In surveys, women are much more likely to describe themselves as empathetic or capable of feeling what others feel: rejoicing with those who are happy and crying with those who cry. To a lesser extent, the empathy difference extends to laboratory studies:

• When stories are shown or told, girls respond with more empathy (Hunt, 1990). • Women are more sensitive to upsetting experiences in the lab or in real life.

that men express empathy for others who have similar experiences (Batson and I, others, 1996).

after the other misbehaves (Singer et al., 2006). • Women are more likely to cry or report feeling depressed because of each other

Need (Eisenberg & Lennon, 1983). In a 2003 Gallup poll, 12% of American men and 43% of women said they had cried because of the war in Iraq.

All of these differences help explain why both men and women describe friendships with women as more intimate, enjoyable, and enriching than friendships with men (Rubin, 1985; Sapadin, 1988). If you want empathy and understanding, someone to share your joys and pains with, who do you turn to? Most men and women tend to turn to women.

One explanation for this difference in empathy between men and women is that women tend to outperform men at reading others' emotions. In her review of 125 studies of men's and women's sensitivity to nonverbal cues, Judith Hall (1984, 2006) found that women are generally better at deciphering the emotions of others.

"Contrary to what










E YOUNG, 1995

Empathy The vicarious experience of another person's feelings; put yourself in someone else's shoes.

What do you think? Should Western women be more self-sufficient and in tune with the individualism of their culture? Or could the relational approach to women's lives help transform power-oriented Western societies (characterized by high levels of child abandonment, loneliness, and depression) into more supportive communities?

®Michael Jantze. Courtesy of Publishing.

Social impact166 Second part

Because they are generally empathetic and able to read the emotions of others, girls are less prone to autism, which Simon Baron-Cohen (2004, 2(X)5) describes as "extreme male brain".

Adverts. For example, if a 2-second silent movie clip is shown with an upset woman's face, women can more accurately guess whether she is criticizing someone or talking about her divorce. Marianne Schmid Mast and Judith Hall (2006) report that women are also remarkably better than men at remembering the appearance of others. In experiments, high status people are less accurate in reading the emotions of others (Kraus et al., 2010).

Finally, women are more adept at expressing emotions nonverbally, says Hall. This is especially true for positive emotions, report Erick Coats and Robert Feldman (1996). They got people to talk about times when they were happy, sad and angry. When 5-second silent videos of these reports were shown, the observers were able to discern the women's feelings much more accurately than the men's when recalling happiness. Men, however, were slightly more successful at conveying anger.

Social Domain Imagine two people; One is "adventurous, autocratic, robust, domineering, energetically independent and strong". The other is "tender, dependent, dreamy, emotional, submissive and weak". If the first person seems more like a man and the second like a woman, you are not alone, report John Williams and Deborah Best (1990, p. 15). From Asia to Africa and Europe to Australia, people rate men as more dominant, impulsive and aggressive. Furthermore, studies involving almost 80,000 people in 70 countries show that men rank power and achievement more important than women (Schwartz & Rubel, 2005).

These perceptions and expectations are correlated with reality. In virtually all societies, men are socially dominant (Pratto, 1996). As Peter Hegarty and colleagues (2010) noted, over time male names came first: 'King and Queen', 'he and she', 'Mr. Romeo or Cleopatra and Antony

But you too, well, it portends an "e^hrL"n

amon, lHemost, unity, like prisoners and the homeless (Baumeister, 2010). * Women represented only 19% of global legislators in 2011 (IPU, 2011).

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• Men are more concerned than women with social dominance and are more likely to favor conservative political programs and candidates that preserve group inequality (Eagly et al., 2004; Sidanius and Pratto, 1999).

• They are half of all jurors, but were 90 percent of elected jurors; Men are also the leaders of most ad hoc laboratory groups (Colarelli et al., 2006; Davis & Gilbert, 1989; Kerr et al., 1982).

• In the United Kingdom, men occupy 87% of director positions in the 100 largest companies (BIS, 2011).

• Women's wages are “between 70 and 90 per cent of men's wages in most countries”, reports the United Nations (2010). Only about one-fifth of this wage gap is attributable to gender differences in education, work experience or job characteristics (World Bank, 2003).

Genes, Culture and Gender Chapter 5 167

In many studies, people perceive leaders as more culturally masculine traits: more confident, powerful, independent, and outspoken (Koenig et al., 2011). When writing letters of recommendation, "agent" adjectives are most often used to describe male applicants and more "helpful" adjectives (helpful, kind, affable, supportive, discreet) when describing female applicants (Wood and others , 2009). The net effect can be discrimination against women who apply for management positions.

Men's communication style underpins their social power. In situations where roles are not rigidly defined, men tend to be more autocratic and women more democratic (Eagly & Carli, 2007). In leadership roles, men often excel as directive, task-oriented leaders; Women are increasingly at the forefront of the “transformational” leadership favored by more and more organizations, with inspiring skills and team-building people. Men place more value on winning, advancing, and dominating others than women do (Sidanius et al., 1994). This may explain why people prefer a male leader in intergroup competitions, such as when countries are at war, than in intragroup conflicts (Van Vugt & Spisak, 2008).

Men also act more impulsively and take more risks (Byrnes et al., 1999; Cross et al., 2011). One study using data from 35,000 stockbrokers found that "men are more arrogant than women" and therefore traded 45% more stocks (Barber & Odean, 2001a). Since trading costs money and since men's trades were no more successful, their results were 2.65% below the stock market, compared to 1.72% below women's performance. Men's jobs were riskier and men were all poorer.

When writing, women tend to use more communal prepositions ("with"), fewer quantitative words, and more present tense. A computer program that taught itself to recognize gender differences in word usage and sentence structure successfully identified the author's gender in 80% of 920 British fiction and non-fiction books (Koppel et al., 2002).

In conversation, men's style reflects their concern for independence and women's their connection. Men behave more like powerful people: they speak assertively, interrupt intrusively, touch with hands, look more, smile less (Leaper & Robnett, 2011). . Looking at the results from a female perspective, women's influence styles tend to be more indirect: less disruptive, more sensitive, more polite, less overbearing, and more skillful and reserved.

That's the right way to put it (in the words of the title of a 1990s bestseller). Are men from Mars, women from Venus? In fact, according to Kay Deaux and Marianne LaFrance (1998), the conversational styles of men and women vary according to the social context. Much of the style attributed to men is typical of people (both men and women) in positions of status and power (Hall et al., 2006). For example, students nod more when talking to teachers than to their peers, and women nod more than men (Helweg-Larsen et al., 2004). Men and people in high-level positions tend to raise their voices and interrupt the conversation (Hall et al., 2005). In addition, ''^ry; Some men doubt, some women are confident.

To suggest that women and men come from different planets is an oversimplification.

Some gender differences do not correlate with status and power. For example, women of all status levels tend to smile more (Hall et al., 20051.

"It's a man thing."

© Donald Reillv/The New Yorker Collection/

168 Second part Social impact

Aggression Physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt someone. In laboratory experiments, this might mean giving someone an electric shock or saying something that might hurt someone's feelings.












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Psychologists define aggression as behavior with the intent to harm. Around the world, hunting, fighting and warfare are primarily male activities (Wood & Eagly, 2007). In surveys, men admit to being more aggressive than women. Indeed, in laboratory experiments, men show more physical aggression, for example by administering supposedly harmful electric shocks (Knight et al., 1996). In Canada, the homicide ratio between men and women is 8 to 1 (Statistics Canada, 2010). In the United States, where 92% of prisoners are men, it is 9 to 1 (FBI, 2009). Almost all suicide bombers were young men (Kruglanski & Golec de Zavala, 2005). As well as almost all battlefield deaths and those condemned to death.

But again, the gender difference varies depending on the context. When provoked, the gender gap narrows (Bettencourt & Kernahan, 1997; Richardson, 2005). And when it comes to less aggressive forms of aggression, for example hitting a family member, throwing something or verbally abusing someone, women are no less aggressive than men (Bjorkqvist, 1994; White & Kowalski, 1994). In fact, from his statistical summaries of dozens of Stui-Les, John Archer (2000, 2004, 2007, 2009) says that women are slightly more likely to commit indirect aggressive acts, such as spreading malicious gossip. But across the world and at any age, men are much more likely to hurt others through physical aggression.

Sexuality There is also a gender gap in relation to sexual attitudes and assertiveness (Petersen & Hyde, 2010). It is true that women and men are "more alike than different" in their physiological and subjective responses to sexual stimuli (Griffith 1987). However, keep the following in mind:

• "I can imagine myself comfortable and enjoying 'casual' sex with multiple partners," agreed 48% of men and 12% of women in an Australian survey (Bailey et al., 2000). A study of 48 nations showed country-to-country differences in acceptance of unrestricted sex, ranging from relatively promiscuous Finland to relatively monogamous Taiwan (Schmitt, 2005). But in every country surveyed, it was men who expressed the most desire for unrestricted sex. When the BBC polled more than 200,000 people in 53 countries, men everywhere agreed that “I have a strong sexual desire” (Lippa, 2008b).

• The most recent American Council on Education survey of a quarter of a million first-year college students provides a similar conclusion. "If two people really like each other, it's okay to have sex, even if you've only known each other for a short time," agreed 58% of men but only 34% of women (Pryor et al., 2005). .

• In a survey of 3,400 randomly selected Americans ages 18 to 59, half of the men (25%) than the women (48%) cited affection for their partner as a reason for having sex for the first time. How often do you think about sex? 19 percent of women and 54 percent of men said "every day" or "several times a day" (Laumann et al., 1994). Canadians agree: 11% of women and 46% of men say "several times a day" (Fischstein et al., 2007).

The gender difference in sexual attitudes translates into behavior. "Somewhere in the world, with few exceptions," reported cross-cultural psychologist Marshall Segall and colleagues (1990, p. 244), "men are more likely than women to initiate sexual activity."

Compared with lesbians, gay men also report greater interest in casual sex, more frequent sex, greater interest in pornography, greater responsiveness to visual stimuli, and greater concern for a partner's attractiveness (Peplau & Fingerhut, 2007;

Genes, Culture and Gender Chapter 5 169

Rupp and Wallen, 2008; Schmidt, 2007). The 47% of American lesbians who are in a relationship is double the 24% of gay men who are in a relationship (Doyle, 2005). Two-thirds of those who chose civil unions in Vermont and same-sex marriages in Massachusetts were female couples (Belluck, 2008; Rothblum, 2007). "It's not that gay people are very sexual," commented Steven Pinker (1997). "They are simply men whose masculine desires are more likely to reflect other masculine desires than feminine ones."

In fact, not only do men fantasize more about sex, have more revealing attitudes, and seek more partners, but they also become aroused faster, want sex more often, masturbate more often, use pornography more, are less successful at celibacy, and reject sex. . they take more risks less often, expend more resources to have sex, and prefer more sexual variety (Baumeister et al., 2001; Baumeister & Vohs, 2004; Petersen & Hyde, 2011). In a sample of 18- to 25-year-old college students, the average man thought about sex once an hour and the average woman every two hours, albeit with large individual differences (Fisher et al., 2011). In one survey, 16,288 people from 52 countries were asked how many sexual partners they would like to have in the next month. Among singles, 29% of men and 6% of women wanted more than one partner (Schmitt, 2003, 2005). These results were the same for heterosexuals and gay men (29% of gay men and 6% of lesbians wanted more than one partner).

"Sex everywhere is understood to be something women have, something men want," explained anthropologist Donald Symons (1979, p. 253). It is not surprising, say Baumeister and Vohs, that cultures everywhere value female sexuality more than male, as evidenced by gender asymmetries in prostitution and advertising, where men often accept money, gifts, compliments or obligations. as implicit exchanges for sex. commitment. offer a woman In the human sex economy, they point out, women rarely, if ever, pay for sex. Like unions, which oppose "Eskimo work" because it undermines the value of their own work, most women are opposed to other women being offered "cheap sex", which diminishes the value of their own sexuality. The scarcer men are available in 185 countries, the higher the teenage pregnancy rate will be, because when men are scarce, "women compete with each other by offering sex with lower attachment cost" (Barber, 2000; Baumeister & Vohs, 2004). ). When women are scarce, as is increasingly the case in China and India, the market value of their sexuality increases and they can become more compromised.

Sexual fantasies also express gender difference (Ellis & Symons, 1990). In male-oriented eroticism, women are not tied down and are driven by lust. In novels.


® Alex Gregory/The New Yorker Collection/

170 Second part Social influence

H Market IS Women, a delicate man emotionally consumed by his passion for heroin. Social scientists aren't the only ones who can't be intrigued by a four-hour subtitled film that tells the whole story.

The story is about a man and woman who yearn for a relationship but never have it." Obseijes comedian Dave Barry (1995). "Men hate that. Men can take maybe 45 seconds of desire and want everyone to be naked, Pol

Just as detectives are more fascinated by crime than virtue, psychological detectives are more fascinated by differences than similarities. let's remember

Individual differences far outweigh gender differences. Females and two opposite sexes (totally different). In fact, they like to be different.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: How are men and women different?

• Boys and girls, men and women, are alike in many ways. However, their differences draw more attention than their similarities. Social psychologists have studied gender differences in independence and connectedness. Women tend to be more affectionate, express more empathy and emotions, and define themselves more through relationships.

• Men and women also tend to show different levels of social dominance and aggression. In all known cultures

On Earth, men tend to have more social power and are more prone to physical aggression than women. Sexuality is another area with marked gender differences. Men are more likely to think about and initiate sexuality, whereas women's sexuality is more likely to be inspired by emotional passion.


Compare and contrast how developmental psychologists and psychologists working from a sociocultural perspective try to explain gender differences.

Reviewing the evidence, gender researcher Diane Halpern (2010) describes “consistent findings of sex differences that hold across studies and across species.

Do women have different personalities, interests, and abilities?” asked the Gallup Organization (1990) in a national poll. "Is it mainly because of the way men and women have differences in their biological makeup?" Among the 99% who answered the question (apparently without asking)""'""™*'' "education'" as sdd

Of course, there are some surprising biological differences between the sexes. Male genes predispose muscle mass to hunting; women's ability to breastfeed babies

Are biological differences between the sexes limited to reproductive differences so obvious that females and pigtails differ in ways that also contribute to behavioral differences?

Genes, Culture and Gender Chapter 5 171

Gender and Mating Preferences Observing persistent gender differences in aggression, dominance, and sexuality around the world, evolutionary psychologist Douglas Kenrick (1987), like many others since, has suggested that "we cannot change the evolutionary history of our species." the differences. among us are undoubtedly a function of "this history". Developmental psychology does not predict sex differences in all domains where the sexes faced similar adjustment challenges (Buss, 1995b, 2009). Both sexes regulate heat through perspiration. The two have similar tastes in nourishing their bodies. And both develop calluses where skin meets friction. But evolutionary psychology predicts sex differences in behaviors relevant to mating and reproduction.

For example, think of men's greater sexual drive. The average man produces many trillions of sperm over his lifetime, making sperm cheap compared to eggs. (If you're an average man, reading this sentence will make you produce more than 1,000 sperm.) Whereas a woman gives birth to a fetus and then breastfeeds it, a man can spread his genes by fertilizing many women. A woman's investment in having children is, just to start with, 9 months; Time for men can be 9 seconds.

Thus, evolutionary psychologists say that women invest their reproductive opportunities carefully, looking for signs of resourcefulness and commitment. Males compete with other males for the chance to win the genetic lottery by sending their genes into the future, looking for healthy, fertile soil to plant their seeds. Women want to find men to help them tend the garden: imaginative, monogamous fathers rather than wandering scoundrels. Females strive for intelligent breeding, males for extensive breeding. At least this is the theory.

Furthermore, evolutionary psychology suggests that physically dominant males excelled at gaining access to females, increasing male aggressiveness and dominance over generations because less aggressive males were less likely to reproduce. Presenting men with images of attractive women leads to increased support for international aggression, consistent with the theory that marital desires can be a motivation for war (Chang et al., 2011). All of the genes that helped Montezuma II become Aztec king were also passed on to his descendants, along with those of many of the 4,000 wives in his harem (Wright 1998). If our ancestral mothers benefited from the ability to read the emotions of their children and suitors, then natural selection may have similarly favored women's ability to feel emotions. Behind all these assumptions is a principle: nature selects traits that help send its own genes into the future.

Little is aware of this process. Few people in the early stages of falling in love stop thinking, "I want to leave my genes to posterity." Instead, say evolutionary psychologists, our

© Ed Frascino/The New Yorker Collection/

Evolutionary psychologist David Schmitt (2006) points out that in species where males make more parental investment than females, males have a long-term mating strategy, are more selective about potential mates, and die more often.



-SAMUEL BUTLER, 1835-1901

172 Second part Social impact

Natural desires are how our genes make more genes. Emotions fulfill the provisions of evolution, just as hunger satisfies the body's need for nutrients.

Medical researcher and author Lewis Thomas (1971) summarized the idea of ​​latent evolutionary predispositions in his imaginative description of a male moth responding to a female's release of bombykol, a single molecule that coated each male's hair for miles to make it shiver and tremble. make him go against the wind in the routine. But it is doubtful that the moth is aware of being trapped in an attractive chemical spray. On the contrary, you're probably suddenly realizing that it's been a great day, the weather is very cool, just the right time for a little practice with the old sails, a quick turn into the wind.

Human beings are living fossils: sets of mechanisms produced by previous selection pressures”, says David Buss (1995a). Evolutionary psychologists believe this helps explain not only male aggression, but also the different sexual attitudes and behaviors of men and women. While a man's interpretation of a woman's smile as sexual interest often turns out to be wrong, sometimes it can pay off to be right.

Evolutionary psychology also predicts that men will strive to provide what women want: external resources and physical protection. Male peacocks fan out their feathers; men, their abs, auditions, and assets (Sundie et al., 2011). In one experiment, teenagers rated "having lots of money" more important after being alone in a room with a teenager (Roney, 2003). In a study from Cardiff, Wales, men rated a woman as equally attractive whether she was behind the wheel of a modest Ford Fiesta or an elegant Bentley; Women find men more attractive when they see them in luxury cars (Dunn & Searle, 2010). "Male performance is ultimately courtship," says Glenn Wilson (1994).

To attract men, women can enlarge their breasts, apply Botox to wrinkles, and remove fat to give men the youthful, healthy appearance (i.e., fertility) that men desire, while, in some experiments, they give them the success and appearance that others desire. look down. attractive women (Agthe et al., 2008; Vukovic et al., 2008). Female and male partner preferences confirm these observations. Consider the following:

• Studies in 37 cultures, from Australia to Zambia, show that men everywhere are attracted to women whose physical characteristics, such as youthful faces and shapes, suggest fertility. Women around the world are attracted to men whose wealth, power, and ambition promise resources to protect and raise children (Figure 5.5). But there are also gender similarities: whether on an island in Indonesia or in the urban area of ​​São Paulo, both women and men desire kindness, love and mutual attraction.

FIGURE: 5.5 Human Mating Preferences David Buss and 50 colleagues interviewed more than 10,000 people of all races, religions, and political systems on six continents and five islands. Men everywhere preferred attractive physical features that suggested youth, health and reproductive fitness. Women everywhere preferred men with resources and status. Source: de Buss (1994b).

Genes, Culture and Gender Chapter 5 173

• Men everywhere tend to be more attracted to women whose age and features suggest peak fertility. For teenagers, this is a woman several years older than them. For 25-year-old men, these are women of the same age. For older B men, it is younger women, and the older the man, the greater the age difference he prefers when choosing a mate (Kenrick et al., 2009). This pattern is found across the world in European singles ads, Indian marriage ads, and marriage certificates from the Americas, Africa, and the Philippines (Singh, 1993; Singh & Randall, 2007). Women of all ages prefer men.

a little older than they are. Again, I say to evolutionary psychologists, we see that natural selection predisposes males to be attracted to female traits associated with fertility.1 • Monthly fertility is also important. Women's behavior, smells, and voices provide subtle clues about their ovulation that men can detect (Haselton & I' Gildersleeve, 2011). At the height of their fertility, women express a greater preference 1 for masculine faces, greater concern for potentially threatening men,

and an increased ability to discern male sexual orientation (Eastwick, 2009; Little et al., 2008; Navarrete et al., 2009; Rule et al., 2011).

Reflect on those ideas. Buss (1999) reports, with some astonishment, "that males and females around the world differ in their mate preferences just as evolutionists predicted: our evolutionary ancestors, our mating desires provide us with a window into available resources." for us". reproduction We all carry the wishes of our ancestors that have passed within us now."

Considerations in Evolutionary Psychology Without discussing natural selection, nature's process of choosing physical and behavioral traits that enhance the survival of genes, critics see a problem with evolutionary explanations. Evolutionary psychologists sometimes start with an effect (like the difference in sex drive between men and women) and then work backwards to construct an explanation. This approach is reminiscent of functionalism, the dominant theory in psychology of the 1920s, whose logic was: “Why does this behavior occur? Because it fulfills this and that function”. As biologists Paul Ehrlich and Marcus Feldman (2003) have pointed out, the evolutionary theorist has little to lose in hindsight. Today's evolutionary psychology is like yesterday's Freudian psychology, say these critics: both theories can adapt to whatever happens.

The way to overcome hindsight bias is to imagine that things would happen differently. We will try. Imagine if women were stronger and more physically aggressive than men. "Clear!" someone might say, "Better protect your pups." And if human men have never been known to have extramarital affairs, don't we see the evolutionary wisdom behind their fidelity? Mature children involve more than just depositing seeds, so men and women benefit from investing in their children together. Males who are loyal to their mate's third child are more apt to ensure that their young survive to reproduce.

Larry King, 25 years older than his seventh wife, Shawn Southwick-King.

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focusON Evolutionary Science and Religion

Indeed, a year and a half after Charles Darwin wrote On the Anointing of Kinds, controversy rages over his great idea that every earthly creature is descended from every other earthly creature. The controversy is most intense in the United States, where a Gallup poll shows that half of adults do not believe that evolution is responsible for "how humans came to Earth" and 40% believe that humans were created "within the last 10,000 years". . years" or more (Newport, 2007b, 2010) This skepticism about evolution persists despite the evidence, including research

genetic relatedness of species that long ago convinced 95% of scientists that "humans evolved over millions of years" (Gallup, 1996)

For most scientists, mutation and natural selection explain the origin of life, including its ingenious designs. For example, the human eye, a technical marvel that encodes and transmits a rich stream of inferences, has its building blocks "scattered throughout the animal kingdom", allowing nature to select mutations that have improved design over time (Dennett , 2005). Many scientists like to quote geneticist (and Russian Orthodox Church member) Theodosius Dobzhansky's famous quote: "In biology nothing makes sense except in the light of evolution."

Alan Leshner (2005), executive director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, complains

The polarization caused by fanatics in both anti-science and

and anti-religious extremes. To resolve the growing tensions between science and religion, he believes, "we must take every opportunity to make clear to the public

because science and religion are not adversaries. They can live comfortably, and both have a place and offer important benefits to society.”

There are many scientists who agree with Leshner and believe that science can provide answers to questions like _when? and how?" and this religion offers answers who? and why?" In the fifth century, Saint Augustine

Believers who claim that today's science anticipated the universe

Forming from formless matter into a truly marvelous array of structures and shapes" (Wilford, 1999).

And the universe is really wonderful”, say cosmologists. If gravity were a little stronger or a little weaker, or if the proton of carbon weighed a little more or less, our universe, which is so remarkably suited to sustaining life, would never have produced us. While there are questions beyond science (why is there something and not nothing?), much rings true, concludes cosmologist Paul Davies (2004, 2007): created over eons, the end result is our wonderfully complex, meaningful, and meaningful existence. . of hope.

Outside mainstream science, other critics question the theory of evolution. (See Focus on: Evolutionary

science and religion".

rr sn"? "certain other species whose inversions tend to

r'K*? His role in cultural explanations - Whv Ho, ^ playing HMDsight, doesn't make his behavior any less antisocial. When are people different? Because their culture describes these roles better than exnfa “7guess, tell evolve”, merely seeing tests of evolutionary predictions with empirical scientific knowledge and horml, rhemic theory of cross-cultural observers generating new fields IpqI h) observations


Genes, Culture and Gender Chapter 5 175

general theory of evolution

Intermediate Level Theories of Evolution

Theory of reciprocal altruism

(see chapter 14)

Hypothesis 1: In species where the sexes differ in parental investment, the more invested sex will be more selective in mate choice.

Hypothesis 2: When males are thin and sometimes donate resources to {offspring, females choose {partners based, in part, on their {ability and willingness to do so

Hypothesis 3: The sex that invests less parentally in the offspring will compete with each other for mating access to the sex that invests more.

Specific forecasts derived from hypotheses

Prediction 1: Women developed preferences for men with high stats

Prediction 2: Women have strong preferences for men, indicating that they are willing to invest in them

,n,d their descendants.

{Prediction 3: Women will beat up men who do not provide expected sources or divert resources to other women and their children.

Figure :: 5.6 Examples of developmental psychology predictions by David Buss (1995a).

• we prefer others who share our genes, such as members of the B. family, or they can return our favors.

• our memory tends to retain information relevant to survival, such as the location of food (Confer et al., 2010).

However, critics claim that the empirical evidence does not strongly support the predictions of evolutionary psychology (Buller, 2005, 2009). They also fear that evolutionary speculations about sex and gender "reinforce male-female stereotypes" (Small, 1999). Could evolutionary explanations of gang violence, murderous jealousy, and rape reinforce and justify male aggression given the natural "boys will always be boys" behavior? But remember, evolutionary psychologists respond, evolutionary wisdom is the wisdom of the past. It tells us what behaviors worked in our early history as a species. Whether such tendencies are still adaptive today is another question.

Critics of evolutionary psychology recognize that evolution helps explain both our similarities and our differences (a degree of diversity helps survival). But they argue that our shared evolutionary heritage does not anticipate the vast cultural differences in human marriage patterns (single spouse to multiple spouses to multiple wives to multiple husbands to swap spouses). Nor does it explain cultural shifts in behavior patterns over decades. The most important quality that nature has endowed us with.

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Apparently, it is the ability to adapt - to learn and change. Evolution is not absolute determinism, say its advocates, because evolution has prepared us to adapt to variety.






androgynous From andro {masculine) + gyn (feminine) - mix of masculine and feminine traits.

Sex and Hormones If genes predispose to gender traits, they must do so through their effects on our bodies. In male embryos, genes direct the formation of testes, which begin to secrete testosterone, the male sex hormone that affects male appearance. This suggests that girls exposed to excess testosterone during the fetal period 20041 have "different" gaming behaviors from other girls (Hnes

). Other case studies have followed men who, after being born without Pemse, are raised as girls (Reiner & Gearhart, 2004). Despite being dressed and treated as girls, most exhibit masculine play and eventually, in most cases, not without emotional distress, evolve into a masculine identity. Sexuality also appears to be influenced by testosterone. In several mammals, administration of testosterone increases aggression. In humans, criminals have higher than normal testosterone levels; as did the National Foot-for hoS h"'" rowdy members of the fraternity (Dabbs, 2000). Also, the difference in aggressiveness comes early.

life (culture has a lot of effect) and declines as testosterone levels drop in adulthood. None of these lines of evidence is conclusive. taken together

As people reach middle age and beyond, a strange thing happens: women become more assertive and confident, and men more daring. Tnd1990? H^mT®h et al., 1975; Idiot? & Other,

90). Hormonal changes are a possible explanation for the narrowing of the gender gap. Role requirements are different. Some speculate that during lessons both sexes emphasized their roles to emphasize their characteristics. While courting, providing, and protecting, males act on their own.

Patience and Affection (Ltmann, 19771) When young women are courting and raising young children, they control their brashness to assert themselves and be independent, presumably expressing more of their reserved tendencies.

becomes more androgynous, able to be assertive and affectionate

ABSTRACT Abstract: Evolution and gender: Doing what is natural?

• Evolutionary psychologists theorize how evolution may have predisposed to sex differences in behaviors such as aggression and sexual initiative. Nature's mating game favors males who take the sexual initiative over females - particularly those with physical characteristics that suggest fertility - and who seek aggressive dominance in competition with other males. Females, who have fewer reproductive opportunities, place a higher priority on choosing mates who provide the resources to protect and nurture their young. Critics say that evolutionary explanations are sometimes afterthoughts, not

take into account the reality of cultural diversity; They also question whether there is enough empirical evidence to support developmental psychology theories and fear that these theories reinforce disturbing stereotypes. While biology (eg, in the form of male and female hormones) plays an important role in gender differences, social roles also play an important role. There is a consensus that nature gives us a remarkable ability to adapt to different contexts. ®

Genes, Culture and Gender Chapter 5 177

CULTURE AND GENDER: Do what the culture says?

Understand how the influence of culture through different gender roles is vividly illustrated on site.

As mentioned above, culture is what is shared by a large group and passed down from generation to generation: ideas, attitudes, behaviors and traditions. As biological creatures, cultures vary and compete for resources and therefore evolve over time (Mesoudi, 2009). Cultures evolve through a “cultural cycle”, Hazel Markus and Alana Conner (2011) observed: “1) people create the cultures to which they adapt and 2) cultures shape people to act in their own way. survive." People are culturally influenced cultural designers.

We can see the shaping power of culture in ideas about how men and women should behave. And we can recognize the culture in the disapproval they suffer when they violate these expectations (Kite, 2001). In all countries, girls spend more time helping with housework and caring for children, and boys spend more time playing unsupervised (Edwards, 1991; Kalenkoski et al., 2009; United Nations, 2010). Also in the contemporary double career. In North American marriages, men do most of the housework and women take care of the children (Bianchi et al., 2000; Fisher et al., 2007).

Gender socialization is said to give girls “roots” and boys “wings”. Peter Crabb and Dawn Bielawski (1994) examined 20th-century children's books that won the prestigious Caldecott Prize and found that the books showed girls four times as often as boys using household items (such as brooms, sewing needles, or pots and pans). wore . and boys are five times more likely than girls to use production items (such as a pitchfork, plow, or gun). In adults, the situation is not very different. In all regions of the world, the United Nations reported (2010), “women spend at least twice as much time on unpaid domestic work as men” and total hours worked (paid + unpaid) exceed that of men. men. Furthermore, women “rarely occupy positions of status, power and authority” and are CEOs of only 13 of the world's 500 largest companies. Such behavioral expectations of men and women, who should cook, wash dishes, hunt and manage businesses and countries, define gender roles.

Does culture construct these gender roles? Or do gender roles simply reflect the natural behavioral tendencies of men and women? The diversity of gender roles across cultures and over time shows that culture helps shape our gender roles.

“At the United Nations we are always under







OTHERS, 2002

Gender Role A set of behavioral expectations (norms) for men and women.

Three months after the tsunami of 26 December 2004 in Southeast Asia, Oxfam (2005) counted deaths in eight villages and found that female deaths were at least three times higher than male deaths. (Women were more likely to be at or near their homes, close to the coast, and less often at sea or out and about running errands or working.)

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In Western countries, gender roles are becoming more flexible. Preschool teaching is no longer necessarily a women's job and piloting is no longer necessarily a men's job.

Gender Roles Vary by Culture Despite gender role inequalities, the majority of the world's population would like to see more parallel male and female roles. A 2003 Pew Global Attitudes survey asked 38,000 people whether life was more fulfilling when both spouses worked and shared childcare, or when women stayed at home and raised children while their husbands cared for them. In 41 out of 44 countries, a majority chose the first answer.

However, there are big differences from one country to another. The Egyptians disagreed with the global majority 2-1, while the Vietnamese agreed 11-1. If jobs are scarce, should men have more rights to a job? Yes, he agreed with 1 out of 8 people in the UK, Spain and the US, and 4 out of 5 people in Indonesia, Pakistan and Nigeria (Pew, July 10, 2010).

In modern cultures, things (including gender roles) are not what they used to be, any more than they used to be. © Robert Leighton/The New Yorker Collection/www cartoonbank-com

In the last half century, a small part of our long history, gender roles have changed dramatically. In 1938, only one in five Americans approved "that a married woman can earn money in business or industry if she has a husband who can provide for her." In 1996, 4 out of 5 were approved (Niemi et al., 1989; NORC, 1996). In 1967, 57 percent of first-year college students in the United States agreed that "the activities of married women should be confined to the home and family." In 2005, when the last question was asked, only 20% agreed (Astin et al., 1987; Pryor et al., 2005).

Changes in behavior accompanied this change in attitude. In 1965, Harvard Business School had never awarded a degree to a woman. In 2010, it was 38%.

The graduates were women. From 1960 to 2011, the proportion of women increased from 6% to 47% of medical students in the United States and from 3% to 50% of law students (AMA, 2010; ABA, 2011; Hunt, 2000). . In the mid-1960s, married American women spent seven times as many hours on housework as their husbands (Bianchi et al., 2000). In 2010, the gender gap narrowed but remained: 20% of men and 49% of women did housework on a typical day; with women spending an average of 2.6 hours a day on household chores and men spending 2.1 hours a day (BLS, 2011).

Changes in the roles of men and women pervade many cultures, as evidenced by the gradual increase in female representation in the parliaments of most nations.

“When I was your age, things were exactly as they are now” (Inglehart & Welzel, 2005; UIP, 2011).


Chapter Genes, culture and gender 179

to point out across cultures and over a remarkably short period of time that evolution and biology do not fix gender roles; Time also bends genders.

Peer-Approved Crops Crops, like ice cream, come in many flavors. On Wall Street, men tend to wear suits and women tend to wear skirts and dresses. In Scotland, many men wear pleated skirts (kilts) as formal wear. In some equatorial cultures, men and women wear virtually nothing. How are these traditions preserved through generations?

“The prevailing assumption is what Judith Rich Harris (1998, 2007) calls the parenting assumption: parental care, the way parents raise their children, determines who they will become. On this the Freudians and the behaviorists - and their neighbors - agree. Comparing the extremes of loved children and abused children suggests that parenting matters. In addition, children learn many of their values, including their political affiliation and religious beliefs, at home. But if children's personalities are also shaped by parental example and care, then children raised in the same families must be surprisingly similar, right?

This assumption is refuted by the most surprising, recognized and dramatic discovery in developmental psychology. In the enduring words of behavioral geneticists Robert Plomin and Denise Daniels (1987): "Two children in the same family [are, on average] as different as pairs of children chosen at random from the population."

Evidence from studies of biological and adoptive twins and siblings shows that genetic influences explain about 50% of individual variations in personality traits. Shared environmental influences, including the influence of shared home, account for only 0 to 10 percent of their personality differences. So what makes up the other 40 or 50 percent? It's mostly about peer influence, argues Harris. What matters most to children and young people is not what their parents think, but what their peers think. Children and young people learn their culture, their games, their taste in music, their accent, even their bad words, mainly from their peers. As a result, most teens talk, act, and dress more like their peers than their parents. In hindsight, this makes sense. They are your mates that they will play with and eventually work and mate with. Consider the following:

• Preschoolers often refuse to try a particular food, despite parental insistence, until they are seated at a table with a group of children they like.

• Although children of smokers have a higher rate of smoking, the effect appears to be largely peer-mediated. These children are more likely to have friends who model the smoking habit, suggesting their pleasures and offering cigarettes.

• Immigrant children whose families are transplanted to foreign cultures often grow up preferring the language and norms of their peers' new culture. They may change codes when they return home, but their hearts and minds are with their mates. Likewise, deaf children of hearing parents who attend schools for the deaf often leave their parents' culture and assimilate into Deaf culture.

Therefore, if we left a group of children with the same schools, neighborhoods and peers, but changed their parents, says Harris (1996), pushing his argument to the limit, "they would become the same kind of adults." Parents have an important but essentially indirect influence; Parents help define the schools, neighborhoods and peers that have a direct impact on crime, drug use and pregnancy. Also, kids often target slightly older kids, who target older teens, who target the young adults of their parents' generation.

The ties of influence from the parent group to the child group are so weak that cultural transmission is never perfect. And in both humans and primates

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Cultures, change comes from youth. When a monkey discovers a better way to wash its food, or when humans have a new idea about fashion or gender roles, the innovation often comes from young people, and younger adults are more likely to adopt it. Thus, cultural traditions continue; But cultures change.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Culture and Gender: Doing What the Culture Says? • Most Searched Role: Gender

Roles: reflect the biological influence, but also illustrate the strong influence of culture. The general trend is for men to assume more socially dominant roles than women.

• Gender roles vary significantly from culture to culture and from time to time.

• Much cultural influence is transmitted from peers to children.


Explain how biology and culture interact, as well as how our individual personalities interact with our situations.

Biology and Culture We need not view evolution and culture as competitors. Cultural norms subtly but powerfully influence our attitudes and behavior. But they don't do this independently of biology. Everything social and psychological is ultimately biological. When we are influenced by the expectations of others, it is part of our biological programming. Furthermore, culture can accentuate what our biological heritage initiates. Genes and hormones predispose men to be more physically aggressive than women. but the culture

181 chapters on genes, culture and sex

reinforces this difference with norms that expect men to be tough and women to be the gentle, gentle sex.

Biology and culture can also interact. Advances in genetic science show how experience uses genes to alter the brain (Quartz &: Sejnowski, 2002). Environmental stimuli can activate genes that produce new receptors for branching brain cells. The visual experience activates genes that develop the visual area of ​​the brain. Parental contact activates genes that help children cope with future stressful events. Genes are not immutable; respond adaptively to our experiences.

A new field of epigenetics (meaning "additional to" genetics) studies the molecular mechanisms by which environments trigger gene expression. The experiment can attach complex molecules to stretches of DNA molecules, thereby preventing the genes on that stretch of DNA from making the proteins encoded by that gene. Diet, drugs, and stress, including childhood abuse, can produce the epigenetic molecules that regulate gene expression (Champagne et al., 2003; Champagne and Mashoodh, 2009; McGowan et al., 2010).

Biology and experience interact when biological traits affect the response of the environment. Men, who are 8% taller and have, on average, nearly twice the muscle mass, inevitably experience life differently than women. Or consider this: a very strong cultural norm dictates that men should be taller than their partners. In an American study, only 1 in 720 married couples violated this norm (Gillis & Avis, 1980). Looking back, we can speculate on a psychological explanation: perhaps being taller helps men maintain their social power over women. But we can also speculate about the evolutionary wisdom that may underlie the cultural norm: if humans preferred mates their own size, tall men and short women would generally go without partners. So evolution dictates that men tend to be taller than women, and culture dictates the same for couples. So the size norm may very well be the result of biology and culture.

Alice Eagly (2009) and Wendy Wood (Wood & Eiagly, 2007) theorize about how biology and culture interact (Figure 5.7). They believe that a variety of factors, including biological influences and childhood socialization, predispose to a gender-based division of labor. In adult life, proximate causes of gender differences in social behavior are roles that reflect this sexual division of labor. Men are more likely to find themselves in roles that require physical strength due to their biologically innate strength and speed. Women's ability to bear and breastfeed children pushes them into more nurturing roles. Thus, each gender tends to exhibit the expected behaviors of those who fill these roles and mold their abilities and beliefs accordingly. Nature and nurture are a "tangled web". As role assignments become more equal, Eagle predicts that differences between the sexes will "gradually diminish."

In fact, Eagle and Wood point out that in cultures with more equal gender roles, the gender difference in partner preferences (men seeking youth and domestic skills, women seeking status and earning potential) is smaller. As female employment in previously male occupations has increased, the gender gap has also widened.


Other factors (e.g. biological influences)

division of labor between the sexes

gender role expectations

Gender skills and beliefs

Gender differences in behavior.

InteractionRelationship in which the effect of one factor (eg biology) depends on another factor (eg environment).

FIGURE :: 5.7 A theory of the social role of gender differences in social behavior Various influences, including childhood experiences and factors, force men and women to assume different roles. It is the expectations, skills and beliefs associated with these different roles that influence the behavior of men and women.

Source. Adapted from Eagle (1987, 2009) and Eagle & Wood (1991).

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DYING InsideAlice Eagly in HISTORY

I began my work on gender with a social impact project in the early 1970s. Like many feminist activists at the time, I initially assumed that, despite negative cultural stereotypes about women, the behavior of women and men is essentially egalitarian. Over the years, my views have evolved significantly. I have found that some social behaviors of women and men are slightly different, especially in situations that induce gender roles.

It should not be assumed that these differences necessarily cast a negative light on women. Women's tendency to become more involved in the concerns of others and to deal with others more democratically is seen as positive and can be an advantage in many situations. actually mine

Research on gender stereotypes shows that when we consider negative and positive traits, the female stereotype is actually more favorable than the male stereotype. However, qualities of kindness and care that are important to what is expected of women can reduce their power and effectiveness in situations that call for assertive and competitive behavior.

Alice Eagle Northwestern University

self-reported masculinity/femininity declined (Twenge, 1997). The more similar the roles of men and women are, the smaller some psychological differences become.

But not all, report David Schmitt and his international colleagues (2008). Personality tests conducted on men and women in 55 countries show that women around the world report higher levels of extroversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness. These gender gaps are greatest in countries that are (surprisingly) wealthy, educated, and egalitarian. In less fortunate economic and social contexts, according to Schmitt, "personality traits are more moderate".

Although biology predisposes males to strength tasks and females to caring for babies. Wood and Eagly (2002) conclude that "the behavior of women and men is malleable enough for individuals of both sexes to be fully capable of performing organizational roles at all levels". For today's sophisticated and often high-tech jobs, men's size and aggressiveness matter little. Furthermore, lower birth rates mean that women are less constrained by pregnancy and lactation. The end result, combined with competitive pressures on employers to hire top talent regardless of gender, is greater gender equality.

The Power of the Situation and the Person Reflects: In Bohr "There are trivial truths and great truths," explained physicist Niels Bohr. "The statement is a great truth, the opposite of a trivial truth is simply false. The opposite of a great truth is also true. What is its opposite? Each chapter in this unit on social influence teaches a great truth: power of

Situation. This great truth about the power of external pressure would explain our behavior if we were passive, like weeds. But, unlike Tumbleweeds, we are not surprised here and there by the situations we find ourselves in. We act; we react. We respond and we get answers. We can resist the social situation and sometimes even change it. And so. I decided to conclude each of these chapters on "social influence" by pointing out the opposite of the great truth: the power of the person.

You may feel uncomfortable emphasizing the power of culture. Do external forces determine your behavior? Most of us see ourselves as free beings, authors of our actions (well, at least our good deeds). that we fear

Genes, Culture and Gender Chapter 5 183

Cultural explanations for our actions can lead to what the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre called "malicious": evading responsibility by blaming something or someone for your fate.

In fact, social control (the power of the situation) and personal control (the power of the person) compete no more than biological and cultural explanations. Both the social and the personal explanations are valid, because at each moment we are both the creatures and creators of our social worlds. We may very well be the product of the interplay of our genes and our environment. But it's also true that the future is coming and it's up to us to decide where it goes. Our decisions today determine our environment tomorrow.

Social situations profoundly affect individuals. But individuals also influence social situations. The two interact. The question of whether external situations or internal arrangements determine behavior is like asking whether length or width determines the area of ​​a room.

The interaction occurs in at least three ways (Snyder & Ickes, 1985).






• A specific social situation usually affects different people differently. Because our minds do not see reality identically or objectively, we react to a situation as we interpret it. And some people (both groups and individuals) are more sensitive and receptive to social situations than others (Snyder, 1983). The Japanese, for example, respond better to social expectations than the British (Argyle et al., 1978).

• People generally choose their situations (Ickes et al., 1997). When given a choice, extroverts choose situations that evoke social interaction. In choosing your college, you also chose to expose yourself to certain social influences. Eager political liberals probably won't choose to live in suburban Dallas, join the Chamber of Commerce and watch Fox News. They often live in San Francisco or Toronto, join Greenpeace and read the Hujfington Post; in other words, they choose a social world that broadens their inclinations.

• People often create their situations. Remember again that our preconceived notions can be self-fulfilling: if we expect someone to be extroverted, hostile, intelligent, or sexy, our actions toward that person may evoke exactly the behavior we expect. After all, what makes a social situation different from the people in it? A conservative environment is created by conservatives. What happens in the sorority or fraternity is created by its members. The social environment is not like the weather, something that just happens to us. It's more like our home, something we make for ourselves.

Power resides as much in people as in situations. We create and are created by our cultural worlds.

ABSTRACT: What can we conclude about genes, culture and gender?

• Biological and cultural explanations need not be contradictory. In fact, they interact. Biological factors operate in a cultural context, and culture is built on a biological foundation.

• The great truth about the power of social influence is only half the truth when separated from it.

fc_____________________ ________________________

complementary truth: the power of the person. People and situations interact in at least three ways. First, individuals differ in how they interpret and respond to a given situation. Second, people choose many of the situations that affect them. Third, people help shape your social situations.

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POSTSCRIPT: Should we think of ourselves as products or architects of our social worlds? The mutual causality of situations and people allows us to see people responding or acting in their environment. Each perspective is correct because we are the products and architects of our social worlds. But is it the wisest perspective? In a way, it's wise to see ourselves as creatures of our environment (so we don't become too proud of our accomplishments and blame ourselves too much for our problems) and to see others as free agents (so we don't become patronizing and manipulative). . ^

But perhaps we would do well to assume the opposite more often: seeing ourselves as free agents and others as influenced by the situation. we would do it

in assuming self-efficacy by looking at ourselves, and we would seek understanding and social reform in relationships with others. In fact, most religions encourage us to take responsibility for ourselves but avoid judging others. Is this due to our interests? Opposite: apologizing for our own mistakes while blaming others.

“What crushes individuality is despotism

whatever it is called.” — John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

“The social pressure exerted by the community is a

Pillar of our moral values.” ......... ............—, Etzioai, The. Spirit of.CQOimmunity, .1993

What is compliance?

What are classic studies of conformity and obedience?

What does compliance provide?

Why adapt?

Who fits?

Do we always want to be different?

You've probably experienced the phenomenon: when a controversial speaker or musical performance ends, the fans in the front stand up and applaud. People who approve right behind

they follow suit and join in the standing ovation. now he

Wave of Standing reaches people who would like it without being asked

just give a polite round of applause from your comfortable seats. Session

A part of you wants to sit underneath them ("that speaker was nothing

exciting")) But when the wave of standing people passes,

sit alone? It's not easy being a minority. Unless

You don't like what you just heard with all your heart, you'll probably get up

Your feet, at least briefly.

Such scenes of conformity raise the questions of this chapter:

* Given our diversity, why do we so often act like social clones?

* Under what circumstances are we most likely to adapt?

* Are some people more adaptable than others?

• Who resists the pressure to conform?

. * Is compliance as bad as my image of a docile "herd" suggests?

jt Instead, you should describe your "group solidarity" and

"social sensitivity"?

Attachment: About the individual in the community

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Conformity A change in behavior or beliefs as a result of real or imagined peer pressure.

Compliance Compliance that involves publicly acting on an implied or explicit request while privately disagreeing.

ObedientAction according to a command or direct command.

Acceptance Conformity involving action and belief consistent with social pressures.

WHAT IS COMPLIANCE? Define compliance and compare compliance, conformance, and acceptance.

Let's ask the last question first. Is compliance good or bad? This question has no scientific answer. Assuming the values ​​that most of us share, we can say that compliance is sometimes bad (when it leads someone to drunk driving or racist behavior), sometimes good (when it prevents people from engaging in invasive theater line ). ) and sometimes inconsequential (when he makes tennis players wear white).

In Western individualistic cultures, where submission to peer pressure is not admired, the word "conformity" has negative connotations. How would you feel if you heard someone call you a "true conformist"? I suspect you would feel hurt. American and European social psychologists, reflecting their individualistic cultures, tend to label social influence negatively (conformity, submissiveness, docility) rather than positively (community sensitivity, responsiveness, cooperative team play).

In Japan, going together is not a sign of weakness, but of tolerance, self-control and maturity (Markus & Kitayama, 1994). "Across Japan," observed Lance Morrow (1983), "there is a complicated serenity that comes from people who know exactly what to expect from each other." LoMonaco (2008) observed them lining up overnight for unreserved concert seats at or near the front rail. The U2 Fan Code of Honor is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Amateurs despise line cutters.

Moral: We choose labels that reflect our values ​​and judgments. Labels describe and value, and they are inescapable. So let's clarify the meaning of these labels: Conformity, Docility, Obedience, Acceptance.

Compliance is not just acting like other people act; it is also influenced by how they behave. It means acting or thinking differently than you would act and think if you were alone. Conformity, then, is a change in behavior or belief to conform with others. When you're part of the crowd to celebrate the winning goal, do you settle down? When you drink milk or coffee with millions of people, do you settle down? If you and everyone else agrees that women look better with long hair than a crew cut, do you agree? Maybe maybe not. The key is whether their behavior and beliefs would be the same regardless of group. Would you get up to cheer for the goal if you were the only fan in the stands?

There are several types of conformity (Nail et al., 2000). Consider three: docility, obedience, and acceptance. Sometimes we settle for an expectation or a request without really believing in what we are doing. We wear a tie or a dress even if we don't like it. This insincere external conformity is conformity. Our main concern is to receive a reward or avoid punishment. When we submit to an explicit command, we call it obedience.

Sometimes we really believe in what the group has convinced us to do. We can join millions of people in exercising because we accept that exercise is healthy. This sincere inner agreement is called acceptance. There is even a neuroscience of conformity and acceptance: short-term memories underlying public compliance have a different neural basis than memories underlying long-term private acceptance (Edelson et al., 2011; Zaki et al., 2011). .

Sometimes acceptance follows compliance; we can internally believe what we originally questioned. As highlighted in Chapter 4, attitudes follow behavior. When we don't feel responsible for our behavior, we often sympathize with what we stand for.

Compliance and Obedience Chapter 6 189

“Of course, Ifollouj, the flock, not out of mindless obedience, yes, but out of a deep and abiding respect for the concept of community. © Alex Gregory/The New Yorker


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: What is compliance? Compliance, changing behavior or beliefs in response to peer pressure, comes in two forms. Conformity means leaving with the group as it enters

I disagree; a subset of obedience is obedience, obedience to a direct command. Acceptance means believing and acting in accordance with social pressures.


Describe how social psychologists have studied conformity in the laboratory. Explain what your insights reveal about the power of social forces and the nature of evil.

Researchers who study conformity and obedience construct miniature social worlds, laboratory microcultures that simplify and simulate important features of everyday social influence. Some of these studies produced such surprising results that they were replicated many times, making them "classic" experiments. We'll look at three, each offering a method for examining compliance and plenty to think about.

Sherif's Studies on Norm-Setting The first classic study links Chapter 5's focus on the power of culture to maintain norms with this chapter's focus on compliance. Muzafer Sherif (1935, 1937) questioned whether it was possible to observe the formation of a social norm in the laboratory. Like biologists trying to isolate a virus so they can experiment with it, Sherif wanted to isolate and then experiment with normalization.

Imagine that you participate in one of Sherif's experiments. You are sitting in a dark room. A point of light appears five meters in front of you. At first nothing happens. Then it moves erratically for a few seconds and finally disappears. Now you have to guess how much he moved. The darkroom does not allow you to judge the distance, so offer uncertain "six inches". The experimenter repeated

Process. This time you say, "Ten inches." With more repetitions, your guesses are around 20 centimeters on average.

The next day, you return to the darkened room, accompanied by two other participants who experienced the same thing the day before. When the lights go out for the first time, the other two people give their best guesses from the previous day. "A mch", says one. "Two inches," says the other. Still, you're a little surprised.

FIGURE: 6.1 A sample group from Sherif's rule formation study Three people converge when repeatedly giving estimates of the apparent motion of a point of light. Source: Data from Sherif & Sherif (19691, p. 209).

190 Part Two Lemonade! Influence

First day Second day Third day Fourth day

self-kinetic phenomenon Proper movement (at/fo) (kinetic). The apparent motion of a stationary point of light in the dark.






Say: "Six inches". Will replays of that group experience change your reactions, both that day and the next two days? The Columbia University men who tested Sherif significantly changed their estimates. As Figure 6.1 shows, a group norm usually emerged. (The rule was wrong. Why? The light never moved! Sherif had taken advantage of an optical illusion called the autokinetic phenomenon.)

Sherif and others have used this technique to answer questions about people's suggestibility. If the subjects were retested alone a year later, would their estimates again diverge or would they continue to follow the group norm? Surprisingly, they continued to support the group norm (Rohrer et al., 1954). (Does this indicate agreement or acceptance?)

Impressed by the apparent power of culture to perpetuate false beliefs, Robert Jacobs and Donald Campbell (1961) studied the transmission of false beliefs in their laboratory at Northwestern University. Using the autokinetic phenomenon, they had a confederate make an inflated estimate of the distance traveled by light. The confederate then left the experiment and was replaced by another real participant, who was in turn replaced by an even younger member. The inflated illusion lasted (albeit diminished) for five generations of participants. These people became "ignorant conspirators to perpetuate a cultural fraud". The lesson of these experiences; Our views of reality are not unique.

In everyday life, the results of suggestibility are sometimes funny. One coughs, laughs or yawns, others soon do the same. (See “A closer look: Contagious yawning.”) One person looks at the phone, others look at the phone.

Laugh tracks on comedy shows exploit our suggestibility. The laughter tracks work particularly well when we assume that the audience that laughs is made up of people like us, “recorded here at Universidad La Trobe” in a studio by Michael Platow and colleagues (2004), rather than a group that is different for us. The mere presence of happy people can help us feel happier, a phenomenon that Peter Totterdell and colleagues (1998) call the "mood link." In his studies of British nurses and accountants, people in the same workgroups tended to share both positive and negative feelings. People within a social network also tend to share similar things about obesity, lack of sleep, loneliness, happiness, and drug use (Christakis & Fowler, 2009). Friends function as a social system.

Compliance and Obedience Chapter 6 191

searchCLOSE UP Contagious yawning

Yawning is a behavior that you and I share with most vertebrates. primates do. As well as cats, crocodiles, birds, turtles and even fish. But why and when?

Sometimes, as Robert Provine (2005), a psychologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, points out, scientific research neglects everyday behavior, including behaviors she likes to study, such as laughing and yawning. According to Provine, all you need to study yawning using the naturalistic observation method is a stopwatch, notebook, and pencil. Yawning, he reports, is a "set action pattern" lasting about six seconds, with a long inhale and a shorter (and more comfortable) climactic exhale. It often comes in fits, with little more than a minute between yawns. And it is equally common in men and women. Even patients who are completely paralyzed and unable to move their bodies at will can yawn normally, suggesting that this is an automatic behavior.

when we yawn We yawn when we are bored or tense. yes came

When participants were asked to watch a test pattern of television for 30 minutes, they yawned 70% more than others in a control group who watched less boring music videos. But tension can also lead to yawning, commonly seen in skydivers before their first jump, Olympic athletes before their competition, and violinists waiting to go on stage. A friend says that she often felt embarrassed after learning something new at work because her fear of doing it right inevitably made her "yawn".

We yawn when we are sleepy. It's not surprising here, except that maybe people still gape at the diaries.

FIGURE: 6.2 What facial features cause contagious yawning?

Provine recorded even more yawns in the hour after waking up than in the hour before bed. We often wake up and stretch the yawn. And the same happens with our dogs and cats when they wake up from sleep.

We yawn when others yawn. To test whether yawning, like laughing, is contagious, Provine exposed people to a five-minute video of a man yawning repeatedly. In fact, 55% of viewers yawned, as did just 21% of those watching a video with a smile. A yawning face acts as a stimulus that activates the fixed action pattern of a yawn, even when the yawn is presented in black and white, in reverse or as a still image during yawning. The discovery of "mirror neurons" in the brain - neurons that rehearse or mimic observed actions - suggests a biological mechanism that explains why our yawns often mirror the yawns of others and why even dogs often yawn after hearing a yawn. human. Joly-Mascheroni and others, 2008).

To see which parts of the yawning face are the strongest. Provine had viewers see a full face, a face with a masked mouth, a mouth with a masked face, or (as a control condition) a smiling face without yawning. As Figure 6.2 shows, faces that yawned provoked yawning even with their mouths covered. Therefore, covering the mouth when yawning is unlikely to suppress yawning contagion.

The mere thought of yawning often triggers a yawn, reports Provine, a phenomenon you may have noticed as you read this box. When reading Provine's research on contagious yawning, I yawned four times (and felt kind of silly).

Robert Provine (2005) invited 4 groups of 30 people each to watch 5-minute videos of an adult smiling or yawning, whose face was covered by a mask in two of the groups. A yawning mouth caused a few yawns, but yawning eyes and head movements caused even more.

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7 I don't know why. I suddenly wanted to make a call.

© Mick Stevens/The New Yorker





GEIST, 1955

The chameleon effect. Our natural imitation of others' posture and language generally evokes sympathy, except when we mirror others' negative expressions, such as anger. By Alex (Sardyl Pentland, "To Signal

Human” in American Scientist, May-June 2010, page 207. Copyright © 2010 American Scientist. Reprinted with permission.

Another form of social contagion is what Tanya Chartrand and John Bargh (1999) call the "chameleon effect". In one of your experiments, imagine working with a confederate who occasionally rubs his face or wiggles his foot. Like your participants, would you be more likely to rub your face with a facial eraser and a foot shaker when using a foot shaker? If so, it is more likely to be automatic behavior, occurring without conscious intention, tending to conform to the grammar we read and hear (Ireland & Pennebaker, 2010) and, as our behavior affects our attitudes and emotions, tend to conform to our nature. Facial expressions. feel what the other feels (Neumann & Strack, 2000).

An experiment in the Netherlands by Rick van Baaren and colleagues (2004) shows that imitating you would also make the other person like you and help you and others. People are more likely to help pick up dropped pencils from someone whose behavior mimics theirs. Being imitated seems to strengthen social ties and even leads to more money being donated to charity. In a follow-up experiment, Chartrand, van Baaren, and their colleagues asked an interviewer to invite students to try a new sports drink, while sometimes mirroring the students' postures and movements with enough delay to make them unnoticeable (Tanner et al. , 2008). . ). At the end of the experiment, the copied students were more likely to consume the new drink and said they would buy it. There is one exception to the rule of imitation that promotes affection: imitating someone else's anger promotes disgust (Van der Velde et al., 2010).

Suggestibility can also occur on a large scale. In late March 1954, Seattle newspapers reported damage to automobile windshields in a city 80 miles to the north. On the morning of April 14, similar windshield damage was reported 65 miles away and just 45 miles later that day. By nightfall, the cause of the hole in the windshield reached Seattle. By late April 15, the Seattle Police Department had received reports of damage to over 3,000 windshields (Medalia & Larsen,

1958). That night, the mayor of Seattle turned to President Eisenhower for help.

I was an eleven year old kid from Seattle at the time. I remember looking up at our windshield, taken aback by the explanation that an H-bomb test from the Pacific was raining down on Seattle. However, on April 16th, newspapers suggested that the real culprit could be mass suggestion. After April 17 there were no more complaints. A subsequent analysis of the scratched windshields revealed common road damage to be the cause. Why did locals only realize this after April 14th? Given the proposal, we were looking intently into our windshields rather than through them.

Suggestibility isn't always so much fun. Abductions, UFO sightings and even suicides tend to come in waves. (See “Focus: Mass Madness.”) Shortly after the publication of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's first novel, Die Sorrozvs des Junge Werthers, in 1774, young Europeans began to dress in yellow trousers and blue jackets, just like the protagonist of Goethe, a teenager

Compliance and Obedience Chapter 6 193

mass madness focus

Large-scale suggestibility appears as a collective delusion - the spontaneous spread of false beliefs. Occasionally this appears as "mass hysteria" - the spread of physical illness within a school or workplace - which I attribute to symptoms with no organic basis. On

4 The 2,000-student secondary school was closed for two weeks as 170 students and staff sought emergency treatment for stomach aches, dizziness, headaches and drowsiness. After researchers searched far and wide for viruses,

.,1 Germs, pesticides, herbicides—anything that could make people sick—they found .,. nothing (Jones et al.,

2000). In the weeks following September 11, 2001; Groups of children in schools across the United States

J States started getting red, itchy rashes for no apparent reason (Talbot, 2002).

Unlike a viral illness, the rash spreads along the "line of sight I". People got the rash when they saw that other people had it (even if they weren't in close contact). Skin problems (eczema, acne, dry skin in overheated classrooms) were observed every day and perhaps made worse by anxiety. As with so much mass hysteria, rumors of a problem led people to write down their common everyday symptoms and attribute them to the school. This ; helps explain why in the 16 per cent of English and Welsh chemical spills accompanied by physical symptoms, "

psychogenic illness" and not the fugue itself was the cause (Page et al., 2010).

Sociologists Robert Bartholomew and Erich Goode (2000) report earlier mass delusions from the last millennium. Outbreaks of imitative behavior supposedly occurred in European monasteries during the Middle Ages. In a large French convent, at a time when humans were thought to be obsessed with animals, a nun started meowing like a cat. Finally, "all the nuns meowed together at a certain time every day". In a German convent, a nun reportedly started biting her companions and soon "all the nuns in that convent started biting each other". Over time, the tendency to bite also spread to other monasteries.

On June 24, 1947, Kenneth Arnold was flying his private plane near Mount Rainier when he saw nine glowing objects in the sky. Concerned that he had seen foreign guided missiles, he tried to inform the FBI of what he had seen. When he found the office locked, he went to the local newspaper and reported seeing crescent-shaped objects moving "like a saucer would move if you bounced it on water". So when the Associated Press reported the "flying saucer" sighting in over 150 newspapers, the editors coined the term "flying saucer", triggering a worldwide wave of flying saucer sightings.


man called Werther. While the fashion epidemic caused by the book was amusing, another apparent effect was less amusing and led to the book being banned in several areas. In the novel, Werther commits suicide with a pistol after being rejected by the woman whose heart he has failed to win; After the book was published, reports began to accumulate of young people imitating Werther's desperate act.

Two centuries later, sociologist David Phillips confirmed this copycat suicidal behavior, describing it as "the Werther effect". Phillips and colleagues (1985, 1989) found that suicides, as well as fatal car and private plane crashes (which sometimes mask suicides), increase after a highly publicized suicide. For example, after Marilyn Monroe's suicide on August 6, 1962, there were 200 more suicides than usual in the United States in August. Furthermore, the increase only occurs in places where the suicide story is published. The more publicity, the greater the increase in subsequent deaths.

Although not all studies have found the phenomenon of copycat suicide, it emerged in Germany; in a London psychiatric ward where 14 patients committed suicide in one year; and in a high school that experienced two suicides, seven suicide attempts, and 23 students reported suicidal thoughts within 18 days of a student's suicide (Joiner, 1999; Jonas, 1992). In both Germany and the United States, suicide rates rise slightly after fictional suicides in soap operas and, ironically, even after serious dramas that focus on the problem of suicide (Gould & Shaffer, 1986; Hafner & Schmidtke, 1989; Phillips, 1982) . . . Phillips reports that teenagers are the most vulnerable, a finding that would help explain the occasional clusters.

194 Second part Social impact





FIGURE :: 6.3 Solomon Asch Compliance Procedure Sample Comparison Participants rated which of the three reference lines complied with the standard.

of suicides by youth impersonators. In the days following Saddam Hussein's widespread hanging, children in at least five countries tied their heads with nooses and hanged themselves, apparently by accident (AP, 2007).

Asch's Peer Pressure Studies Participants in Sherif's autokinetic darkroom experiments faced an ambiguous reality. Consider a less ambiguous perception problem faced by a boy named Solomon Asch (1907-1996). While attending the traditional Jewish Passover Seder, Asch recalled:

I asked my uncle, who was sitting next to me, why the door was open. He replied. The prophet Elijah will visit every Jewish home tonight and drink wine from the cup set aside for him.”

I was delighted with the news and repeated, "Is he really coming? Is he really taking a drink?"

My uncle said, "If you look closely, you'll see when the door opens, look into the glass, you'll see the wine go down a little."

And that's what happened. My eyes were on the wine glass. I was determined to see if there would be a change. And it seemed to me that something was happening on the edge of the glass and the wine went down a little. (Aron and Aron, 1989, p. 27)

Years later, social psychologist Asch reconstructed his youthful experiences in his laboratory. Imagine that you are one of Asch's volunteers. You sit sixth in a row of seven people. The experimenter explains that he will be participating in a study of perceptual ratings and then asks you to indicate which of the three lines in Figure 6-3 corresponds to the standard line. You can easily see that it's Line 2. So it's no surprise that the five people who answered before everyone else say "Line 2".

The following comparison turns out to be easy and you settle for what appears to be a simple proof. But the third attempt scares you. While the correct answer seems equally clear, the first person gives an incorrect answer. If the second person gives the same wrong answer, sit back in your chair and look at the cards. The third person agrees with the first two. Your jaw drops; you start to sweat "what is that?" You wonder "Are you blind? Or am I?" The fourth and fifth people agree with the others. Then the experimenter looks at you. You are now facing an epistemological quandary: "What is truth? Is it what my peers tell me or what my eyes tell me?"

Dozens of college students experienced this conflict in Asch's experiments. Those in the control group who answered alone were correct more than 99% of the time. Asch wondered: If several other confederates (trained by the researcher) gave identical wrong answers, would people explain what they would otherwise have denied? While some people never settled down, three-quarters did at least once. Overall, 37 percent of responses were compatible (or should we say trust each other).

Of course, that means people didn't make deals 63% of the time. Experience shows that most people “tell the truth even when others don't,” note Bert Hodges and Anne Geyer (2006). Despite the autonomy of many of its participants, Asch's (1955) feelings of conformity were as clear as the correct answers to his questions; “It is troubling that reasonably intelligent and well-meaning young people are willing to call white people black. This raises questions about our upbringing and the values ​​that guide our behavior.”

195 Compliance and Obedience

Asch's procedure became the standard for hundreds of subsequent experiments. These experiments lacked what Chapter 1 called the "mundane realism" of everyday conformity, but they had "experimental realism." People became emotionally involved in the experience. The Sherif and Asch results are intriguing because they included no apparent pressure to conform: there were no rewards for "team play" and no punishment for individuality. Other experiments have examined complacency in everyday situations, such as these:

• Flossing Sarah Schmiege and colleagues (2010) told students that "our studies show that [colleagues] at the University of Colorado, students your age floss approximately [X] times per week," where X is the participant, or reported in previous surveys, or five more than that number. Those who received the inflated estimate not only expressed a higher intention to floss, but also flossed more in the next three months.

• Cancer screening Monika Sieverding and colleagues (2010) approached middle-aged German men on the street and invited them to sign up for information about cancer screening. If you were led to believe that only a few ("only 18%!") of other men in Germany had taken the test, a similar 18% applied. But 39 percent signed up after being told that most other men ("65 percent, actually!") had been tested. Health education campaigns are best if they don't advertise low participation rates, the researchers suggested.

• Soccer Referee Decisions In many sports, from figure skating to soccer, referees make rash decisions amidst the noise of the crowd. When judging a skating performance or deciding whether a football match deserves a yellow card, does the noise from the crowd, which gets louder when an opposing player commits an apparent infraction, make any difference? To find out, Christian Unkelbach and Daniel Memmert (2010) analyzed 1,530 football matches over five German Bundesliga seasons. On average, locals received 1.89 yellow cards and visitors 2.35. Furthermore, the difference was greatest in the noisiest football stadiums, where fans were not separated from the field by a running track. And in laboratory experiments, professional referees evaluating filmed foul scenes gave more yellow cards when a scene was accompanied by loud noise.

If people are so obedient in response to such minimal pressure, how obedient will they be when directly coerced? Could someone force the average American or European to commit cruel acts? I didn't think: their human, democratic and individualistic values ​​would allow them to withstand such pressure. Furthermore, the mere verbal utterances of these experiments are one step away from hurting someone; You and I would never give in to the compulsion to hurt each other. Or us? Social psychologist Stanley Milgram' considered.

Chapter 6

In one of Asch's conformity experiments, subject number 6 experienced discomfort and conflict after giving incorrect answers to five people in front of him.

(Video) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Exercises (FEEL Better!)

Note on ethics: Professional ethics usually dictate that the experiment be explained later (see Chapter 1). Imagine that you are an experimenter who has just finished a session with a complacent participant. Could you explain the mistake without making the person feel gullible and stupid?

196 Second part Social impact


FIGURE: 6.4 Milgram obedience experiment 5ou/-ce; Milgram, 1974.

Milgram's Obedience Experiments Milgram's experiments (1965, 1974), "the most famous or notorious studies in the annals of scientific psychology" (Benjamin & Simpson, 2009), are put to the test when claims of authority clash with claims of authority. demands of conscience.

Perhaps more than any other empirical contribution to the history of the social sciences, Lee Ross (1988) observed: “They have become part of the common intellectual heritage of our society: that little collection of historical events, biblical parables and classics.

Literature that serious thinkers love when debating human nature or reflecting on human history."

While you may remember a mention of this research in an earlier course, let's go behind the scenes and look at the studies in depth. Here's the scene directed by Milgram, a creative artist who has written stories and plays, and who used trial-and-error pilot contests to refine this drama for maximum effect (Russell, 2011): Two men walk into this psychology lab at Yale University to Participate in Learning and Memory Study A rigorous researcher in a lab coat explains that this is a groundbreaking study on the effects of punishment on learning. The experiment requires one of them to teach the other a list of word pairs and punish mistakes with volleys of increasing intensity. They take pieces of paper out of a hat to assign roles. One of the men (a mild-mannered 47-year-old accountant who is actually an ally of the researcher) says that his note says "intern" and is ushered into an adjacent room. Another man (a volunteer who came in response to an advertisement in the newspaper) is assigned the role of conductor". the doll.

The teacher and experimenter then return to the main room (Figure 6.4), where the teacher stands in front of a "shock generator" with switches from 15 to 450 volts in 15-volt increments. The switches are labeled “Light Shock”, “Very Strong Shock”, “Danger: Severe Shock”, etc. XXX appears below the 435 and 450 volt switches. The experimenter asks the teacher to "turn up the shock generator" each time the student gives an incorrect answer. With each button press, lights flash, relay switches click, and an electric buzzer sounds.

If the student complies with the experimenter's requests, he will hear the student's grunt at 75, 90, and 105 volts. At 120 volts, the student screams that the shocks are painful, and at 150 volts, he screams, "Experimenter, get me out of here!" I will no longer participate in the experiment! At 270 volts, their protests have turned to screams of pain and their pleas to be released continue. At 300 and 315 volts.

197 Compliance and Obedience

he yells his refusal to answer. After 330 volts it is silent. In response to the teacher's questions and requests to stop the experiment, the experimenter explains that unanswered answers should be treated as wrong answers. To keep the participant active, use four verbal nudges:

Prod 1: Go for it (or Go for it). Prod 2: The experiment requires you to continue. Prod 3: It is absolutely imperative that you continue. Prod 4: You have no choice; You have to go on How far would you go? Milgram described the experiment to 110 psychiatrists,

College students and middle-class adults. People in all three groups estimated that they would disobey about 135 volts; no one expects it to go over 300 volts. Milgram acknowledged that self-ratings could reflect selfish bias and asked her how far she thought other people would go. Virtually no one expected anyone on the crash panel to transition to XXX. (Psychiatrists estimate about one in a thousand.)

But when Milgram ran the experiment on 40 men, a mix of occupations ranging from 20 to 50 years old, 26 of them (65 percent) progressed to 450 volts. Those who gave up often did so at the 150-volt point, when student protests became more persuasive (Packer, 2008).

Wondering whether people would obey in a similar way today, Jerry Burger (2009) replicated Milgram's experiment, albeit only up to the 150-volt point. At that point, 70% of participants were still compliant, a small drop from Milgram's result. (In Milgram's experiment, most of those who were compliant up to this point continued until the end. In fact, those who reached 450 volts complied with the order to continue the procedure until the experimenter stopped after two more attempts.).

Expecting a low adherence rate, Milgram planned to repeat the experiment in Germany and test the cultural difference and was concerned (A. Milgram, 2000). So instead of going to Germany, Milgram made the student protests even more convincing. With the student strapped to the chair, the teacher was overheard mentioning his "mild heart condition" and heard the experimenter's assertion that "although the shocks can be painful, they do not cause permanent tissue damage." The student's anxious protests were of little avail; Of the 40 new men in this experiment, 25 (63 percent) fully met the experimenter's requirements (Figure 6.5). Ten subsequent studies of women found that adherence rates for women were similar to those for men (Blass, 1999).

The Ethics of Milgram's Experiments The obedience of his subjects worried Milgram. The techniques he used troubled many social psychologists (Miller, 1986). The "trainee" in these experiments did not receive any shocks (he let go of the electric chair and turned on a tape recorder that provided the protests). Still, some critics said that Milgram did to his subjects what they attribute to his victims: he stressed them against their will. Indeed, like the Nazi executioners in the early days of the Holocaust (Brooks, 2011), many of the “teachers” experienced torment. They would sweat, shake, stutter, bite their lips, groan, or even give a nervous, uncontrollable laugh. A New York Times critic complained that the cruelty the experiments "inflict on their ignorant subjects is matched only by the cruelty they extract from them" (Marcus, 1974).

Critics have also argued that participants' self-concepts may have been altered. One participant's wife told him, "You can call yourself Eichmann" (referring to Nazi death camp administrator Adolf Eichmann). CBS television detailed the results and controversy in a two-hour dramatization. "A world of evil so terrifying that none dare pry into its mystery. Until now!" declared a TV Guide advertisement for the show (Elms, 1995).

In his own defense, Milgram pointed to the important lessons he learned from nearly a dozen experiments with a diverse sample of more than 1,000 participants. He also reminded critics of the support he received from attendees after the conference.

Chapter 6

Burger and colleagues (2011) analyzed their participants' spontaneous comments. It was not to be expected that people would stop or obey Loos out of concern for the student's well-being, which most did, but out of a sense of responsibility for their actions.

In a virtual reality recreation of Milgram's experiments, upon downloading a virtual woman onto the screen, participants reacted with sweating and heart palpitations similar to Milgram's participants (Slater et al., 2006).

198 Second part Social impact

FIGURE: 6.5 Milgram's obedience experiment, percentage of participants who obeyed despite shouts of protest and lack of student response. Source.-From Milgram, 1965.

60 --------------------------- ------------- --------- --------------------- ------- ----------

50 ______ _____ ________________________________

40 ________________ ________________________________ __________ >

30 ------ ------------------------------------------- ---- -________________________

20 ----------------------------------- ------------------- ----------------------------------

10 ______________ __________ ____________ _

0 years------------------------------------------------ - ---------------------------------------------- --- - ° 75 150 225 300 375 450

"Moderate" "Severe" "Very "Intense" "Hazard "XXX" Severe" Severe"

The deception was revealed and the experiment explained. In a later survey, 84 percent said they were glad they took part; only 1 percent regretted volunteering. A year later, a psychiatrist interviewed 40 of those who suffered the most and concluded that, despite the temporary stress, no one was hurt.

The ethical controversy was "terribly exaggerated", Milgram believed;

From the point of view of the effects of self-esteem, the subjects in this experiment suffer less consequences than university students who take regular tests and don't get the grades they want... It seems that [by taking tests] we are very disposed to Stress , stress and consequences for self-esteem. But the little tolerance we show towards the process of generating new knowledge (quoted from Blass, 1996)

What leads to obedience? Milgram showed more than the extent to which people obey authority; He also examined the conditions that produce obedience. When social conditions varied, compliance ranged from 0 to 93 percent total compliance. Four factors that determined adherence were the victim's emotional detachment, the authority's proximity and legitimacy, whether or not the authority was part of a respected institution, and the liberating effect of a disobedient partner.

THE DISTANCE OF SACRIFICE The Milgram participants acted with the greatest obedience and least compassion when the "interns" could not (and could not) be seen. When the sacrifice was

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Fern and the "masters" did not hear any complaints, almost everyone calmly obeyed to the end. This situation reduced the learner's influence relative to that of the experimenter. But what if we made the student's requests and the experimenter's instructions equally more visible? When the student was in the same room, "only" 40% obeyed 450 volts. Total adherence dropped to an astonishing 30% when teachers had to force a student's hand into contact with a shock pad. In a simulated Milgram experiment, using filmed actors hidden or visible on the computer screen and known to be injured, participants again became much less compliant when the victim was visible (Dambrun & Vatine, 2010).

Even in everyday life, it is easier to verbally abuse someone who is distant or impersonal. People who would never be mean to someone in person can be mean when they post comments to anonymous people on Internet discussion forums. Throughout history, executioners often depersonalized the executed by placing hoods over their heads. The ethics of war allow you to bomb a defenseless village at 40,000 feet, but not shoot an equally defenseless villager. When fighting an enemy they can see, many soldiers don't shoot or aim. Such disobedience is rare among those ordered to kill with artillery weapons or more distant aircraft (Padgett, 1989).

When the Flolocaust began, some Germans used machine guns or rifles on command to kill men, women and children who were in front of them. But others did not dare to do so, and some of those who did were shocked by the experience of direct killing. This led Heinrich Himmler, the Nazi "architect of genocide", to design a more "humane" kHling, which would visually separate the killers from their victims. The solution was to build concrete gas chambers in which the murderers would not see or hear the human consequences of their horror (Russell & Gregory, 2005).

On the positive side, people are more compassionate towards those who are personalized. For this reason, requests for the slaughter of unborn, starving, or unborn animals are almost always personalized with a compelling photo or description. When asked by researchers John Lydon and Christine Dunkel-Schetter (1994), pregnant women expressed more commitment to their pregnancy when they saw ultrasound images of their fetuses that clearly showed body parts.

PROXIMITY AND LEGALITY OF AUTHORITY The physical presence of the experimenter also affected obedience. When the Milgram researcher gave the orders over the phone, overall compliance dropped to 21% (although many lied and said they would obey). Other studies confirm, yes.

someone giving the order is physically close, obedience increases. With a light touch of the arm, people are more likely to borrow a penny, sign a petition, or try a Riew pizza (Kleinke, 1977; Smith et al., 1982; Willis and Hamm, 1980).

However, authority must be perceived as legitimate. In another variation of Asic's experiment, the researcher received a manipulated phone call that demanded

to leave the lab. He said that since the devices were automatically recording the data, the "master" should proceed. After the experimenter exits,

who had been given a ministerial role (actually a second confederate).

A complacent participant in Milgram's "touch" state forces the victim's hand onto the shock pad. Usually though, the "masters" were more merciful to the victims who were so close to them.




Imagine having the power to stop a tsunami that would kill 25,000 people on the other side of the planet, an accident that would kill 250 people at your local airport, or a car accident that would kill a close friend. Which would you avoid?

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focusON victim customization

Innocent victims inspire more compassion as soon-to-be-forgotten personal quake hits Iran

killed 3,000 people, a child died trapped in a well in Italy and the whole world mourned. Concerned that the statistics of projected deaths in a nuclear war are so impersonal as to be incomprehensible, international law professor Roger Fisher proposed a way to personalize casualties;

A young man, usually a naval officer, accompanies the president at all times. This young man has a black briefcase that contains the codes needed to launch nuclear weapons.

I can imagine the president in a staff meeting considering nuclear war as an abstract topic. It can be concluded: “The decision of Plan SLOP 1 IS positive. That jargon keeps the stakes at bay.

So my suggestion is pretty simple. Place the required code number in a small capsule and implant this capsule close to a volunteer's heart. The volunteer will carry a large, heavy cleaver when accompanying the chair. If the president wants to launch nuclear weapons, the only way to do that is to first kill a human being with his bare hands.

"George," the president would say, "I'm sorry, but tens of millions must die." The president would then have to look at someone and see what death is, what an innocent death is. blood on the White House carpet; it is reality brought home.

When I suggested this to my friends at the Pentagon, they said, "Oh my God, this is horrible. Having to kill someone would skew the president's judgment.

Source: Adapted from "Preventing Nuclear War" by Roger Fisher, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March 1981, pp. 11-17,

He called the hospital nurses, who were doctors in one study, and they ordered an apparently excessive drug to be administered.

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The docile nurse was able to sympathize with the 70 fast-food restaurant managers in 30 states who helped her between 1995 and 2006.

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On command, most soldiers burn down people's homes or kill them, behavior they would consider immoral in other contexts.

a self-proclaimed authority, often posing as a police officer (ABC News, 2004; Snopes, 2008; Wikipedia, 2008). The alleged employee described a general employee or customer. After the manager identified someone who fit the description, the caller gave orders that the person be searched to determine if he had stolen any property. A Taco Bell manager in Arizona picked up a 17-year-old customer matching the description and, after the caller provided instructions, conducted a search that included body cavities. After forcing a 19-year-old employee to disrobe against her will, the manager of a South Dakota restaurant explained that I never meant to do that... I just did what he told me to do." The manager feared that the disobedience could mean losing his job or going to jail, explained his defense attorney.

In another incident, a McDonald's manager received a call from an "Officer Scott" who described an employee he believed was suspected of stealing a bag. The manager brought an 18-year-old female matching the description into the office and followed a series of instructions to empty her bags and clothes. During her humiliating 31 and a half hours in confinement, the requests became increasingly bizarre, including sexual contact with a man. The traumatized teen sued McDonald's, claiming employees were not properly warned about the fraud, and was awarded $6.1 million (CNN, 2007).

INSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY If the prestige of authority is so important, perhaps the institutional prestige of Yale University legitimized the orders of Milgram's experiment. In interviews after the experiment, many participants said that if it weren't for the Yale call, they wouldn't have complied. To see if this was true, Milgram moved the experiment to less prestigious Bridgeport, Connecticut. He set up shop in a modest office building as Research Associates of Bridgeport. If the student has a heart condition, the experiment was done with the same people, what percentage of men do you think fully complied? While the compliance rate (48 percent) was still remarkably high, it was significantly lower than the 65 percent rate at Yale.

Authorities, supported by institutions, also exercise social power in everyday life. Robert Ornstein (1991) tells of a psychiatrist friend who was called to the edge of a cliff above San Mateo, California, where one of his patients, Alfred, threatened to jump. When the psychiatrist's substantiated assurances did not dissuade Alfred, the psychiatrist could only hope that a police crisis specialist would arrive shortly.


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THE InsideSTORY Stanley Milgram on Obedience

Working for Solomon E. Asch, I wondered if his experiments in complacency might have a more human meaning. At first, I envisioned an experiment similar to Asch's, except that the group had the subject electrocute a protesting victim. However, a check was needed to see how much of a shock a person without peer pressure would give. Someone, presumably the experimenter, would have to direct the subject to deliver the shocks. But now a new question arose: How far would a person go when told to deliver such shocks? In my opinion, the problem has shifted to people's willingness to obey destructive commands. It was an emotional moment for me. I realized that this simple question was humanly important and could be answered accurately.

The laboratory procedure scientifically expressed a broader concern with authority, a concern that was particularly felt by members of my generation.

about Jews like me, through the atrocities of World War I. The impact of the Holocaust on my own psyche sparked my interest in obedience and shaped the particular way it was studied.

Source: Extracted from the original of this book and from Milgram, 1977, courtesy of Alexandra Milgram.

Stanley Milgram (1933-1984)

Although no experts showed up, another police officer, unaware of the drama, showed up at the scene, pulled out his electric megaphone and shouted to the group gathered on the cliff, "Who's the idiot pushing that double-parked Pontiac pickup truck?" out there? in the middle of the street? I almost hit him. Move now, whoever you are. When Alfred heard the news, he dutifully got out immediately, moved the car and, without saying a word, got into the police car to go to the nearby hospital.

THE LIVING EFFECTS OF GROUP INFLUENCE These classic experiments give us a negative view of conformity. But compliance can also be constructive. The heroic firefighters who attacked the burning World Trade Center towers were "incredibly courageous," observe social psychologists Susan Fiske, Lasana Harris, and Amy Cuddy (2004), but they were also "partly obedient to their superiors, partly deferential to the extraordinary Group rules". Loyalty." Consider also the occasional liberating effect of conformity. Perhaps you remember a time when you were legitimately angry with an unfair teacher but were reluctant to object. Then another student or two approached you and you followed. .was liberating. Milgram captured this liberating effect of conformity by pairing the professor with two allies to help perform the procedure. During the experiment, both accomplices resisted the experimenter, who then ordered the real participant to know just what to do? Ninety percent freed themselves by conforming to the Confederate rebels.

Reflections on Classical Studies The usual response to Milgram's findings is to quote his colleagues defending Adolf Eichmann in Nazi Germany: "I was just following orders"; US Lieutenant William Galley, who led the unprovoked murder of hundreds of Vietnamese in the town of My Lai in 1968; and "ethnic cleansing" in Iraq, Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo.

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Soldiers are trained to obey their superiors. As one participant in the My Lai massacre recalled:

[Lieutenant Galley] told me to start shooting. So I started filming, poured about four clips into the group... They begged and said, "No, no." And the mothers hugged their children and... Well, we continued filming. They waved their arms and begged. (Wallace, 1969)

The "safe" scientific contexts of obedience experiments differ from war contexts. Furthermore, much of the mockery and brutality of war and genocide goes beyond obedience (Miller, 2004). Some of those who perpetrated the Holocaust were "voluntary executioners" who hardly needed an order to kill (Goldhagen, 1996).

Obedience experiments also differ from other conformity experiments in the strength of social pressure: obedience is explicitly commanded. However, Asch and Milgram's experiments have certain similarities. They showed how obedience can prevail over the moral sense. They managed to pressure people to act against their own conscience. You taught more than just an academic lesson; they have made us sensitive to the moral conflicts in our own lives. And they illustrated and validated two well-known social psychological principles: the connection between behavior and attitudes and the power of the situation.

The US military is now training soldiers to disobey illegal and inappropriate orders.

BEHAVIOR AND ATTITUDES Chapter 4 points to a situation where attitudes do not determine behavior: when external influences override internal beliefs. These experiences clearly illustrate this principle. When answering on their own, Asch's participants almost always gave the correct answer. It was different when they competed alone against a group.

In obedience experiments, a strong social pressure (the experimenter's commands) overcame a weaker one (the victim's distant requests). Between the victim's pleas and the experimenter's instructions, between the desire to avoid harm and the desire to be a good participant, a surprising number of people chose to comply.

Why were the participants unable to break free? Imagine that you are the teacher in another version of Milgram's experiment (which he never did). Suppose that when the student gives the first wrong answer, the experimenter asks him to hit him with 330 volts. After pressing the button, he hears the student scream, complain of heart failure and beg for mercy. you will follow

I do not believe. Recall the step-by-step capture of the foot-in-the-door phenomenon (Chapter 4) as we compare this hypothetical experiment to what Milgram's participants experienced. His first engagement was light - 15 volts - and did not provoke any protests. When they delivered 75 volts and 3. heard the student's first moan, they had already done it 5 times and the next order was to deliver just a little more. When they provided 330 volts, participants reached 22 times, reducing some of their dissonance. Therefore, they were in a different psychological state than someone who had started the experiment at the time. The same happened with cafeteria managers who were searched after obeying orders from an alleged authority that at first seemed reasonable. As we saw in Chapter 4, external behavior and internal disposition can feed off each other, sometimes in an upward spiral. We report from Milgram (1974, p. 10):

"Perhaps I was too patriotic." So says former torturer Jeffrey Benzien, who is shown here demonstrating the "wet bag" technique for the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He placed a cloth over the victims' heads, repeatedly bringing them to the terrible brink of asphyxiation. The former security police used these terror tactics to trick a suspect into revealing, for example, where weapons were hidden. "I've done horrible things," Benzien admitted, apologizing to his victims despite claiming he was just following orders.

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Goethe, 1850

Even in an individualistic culture, few of us want to challenge the clearest norms of our culture as Stephen Gough did when he walked across Britain naked (except for a hat, socks, boots and a backpack). Since June 2003, he has flown from Lands End, the southernmost point of England, to John O'Groats, the northernmost point of Scotland. During his 7-month, 847-mile journey, he was arrested 15 times and spent about five months behind bars. "My naked activism is, first and foremost, being a self-confessor, a self-declaration as a beautiful human being," explained Gough (2003) on his website.

Many subjects harshly devalue the victim as a consequence of their actions against her. Comments such as "He was so stupid and stubborn that he deserved to be surprised" were common. Since they acted against the victim, these subjects found it necessary to consider him as an unworthy individual, whose punishment was inevitable due to his own mental and character defects.

In the early 1970s, the Greek military junta used this victim-blaming method to train torturers {Haritos-Fatouros, 1988, 2002; Dust, 1989, 2003). There, as in the earlier training of SS officers in Nazi Germany, the military selected candidates on the basis of their respect for and submission to authority. But these tendencies alone do not make a torturer. Thus, the trainee was tasked with first observing the prisoners, then participating in the prison squads, then beating the prisoners, watching the torture, and only then practicing. Step by step, an obedient but decent human being became an agent of cruelty. Acceptance based on compliance. Focusing on the final point - 450 volts of torture applied - we were shocked by the bad behavior. If we think about how to get there, in small steps, we understand.

As a Holocaust survivor. University of Massachusetts social psychologist Ervin Staub is well aware of the powers that can turn citizens into agents of death. Staub (2003) uses his study of the genocide of people around the world to show where the gradual increase in aggression can lead. Criticism often breeds contempt that allows cruelty that, when justified, leads to brutality, then murder, then systematic murder. Evolutionary attitudes follow and justify actions. Staub's haunting conclusion: "People have the capacity to experience the murder of other people as nothing out of the ordinary" (1989, p. 13).

But humans also have the capacity for heroism. During the Nazi Holocaust, the French town of Le Chambon was home to 5,000 Jews and other refugees destined for deportation to Germany. The villagers were mostly Protestants whose own authorities, their pastors, had taught them to "resist every time our opponents demand obedience from us against the commandments of the Gospel" (Rochat, 1993; Rochat & Modigliani, 1995). The senior pastor, who was ordered to reveal the Jewish addresses, modeled disobedience: I don't know any Jews, I just know people." Not knowing how terrible the war would be, resistance fighters made an initial commitment to leave in 1940 and then they remained - supported by their faith, their own authorities and each other - defiant until the people's liberation in 1944. Here and elsewhere, the

The definitive answer to the Nazi occupation soon came. Initial help increased engagement, which led to more help.

THE POWER OF THE SITUATION The key lesson of Chapter 5 (that culture is a powerful shaper of life) and the key lesson of this chapter (that immediate situational forces are equally powerful) reveal the power of social context. To experience this for yourself, imagine breaking a few minor rules: standing up in the middle of a class; sing out loud in a restaurant; Play golf in a suit. When we try to break through social restrictions, we suddenly realize how strong they are.

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Students in an experiment at Pennsylvania State University found it surprisingly difficult to break the norm of being "nice" rather than confrontational. Participants imagined that they were arguing with three others about who they would choose to survive on a deserted island. They were asked to imagine one of the others, a man, making three sexist comments like, "I think we need more women on the island to please the men." How would you respond to such sexist comments? Only 5% predicted they would either ignore each comment or see how others would react. But when Janet Swim and Lauri Hyers (1999) engaged other students in discussions in which such comments were actually made by a male confederate, 55% (not 5%) said nothing. Although people predict that they would be upset if they witness a racial slur and would avoid choosing the racist person as a partner in an experiment, those who actually witness such an event often show indifference (Kawakami et al., 2009). These experiments demonstrate the power of normative pressure and how difficult it is to predict behavior, including our own behavior.

It is ironic that the human struggle against confrontation took place in 2011 at Swim and Hyers University (Penn State) in a public debate about how their revered football coach and other university officials should have reacted to learning that another coach was being treated sexually. . abused boys. (The coaches allegedly passed the reports on to supervisors, but allowed the alleged perpetrator to continue using the university's facilities.) Commentators were outraged; they assumed they would have done more for themselves. But the lessons of history, viewer feedback (see Chapter 12), and these experiments remind us that it is often easier to say what we would do in a hypothetical situation than in a real one.

Milgram's experiments also offer a lesson in evil. In horror movies and thrillers, evil comes from a few bad apples, a few devious killers. In real life, we think the same way about Hitler's extermination of the Jews or Osama bin Laden's terrorist attack. But evil also results from social forces: from the heat, humidity, and diseases that contribute to spoiling a barrel of apples. US military police, whose mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison shocked the world, were stressed, insulted by many who came to rescue, furious over the deaths of comrades, late returning home and under lax supervision: a bad situation. leading to bad behavior (Fiske, 2004; Lankford, 2009). Situations can make ordinary people surrender to cruelty.

This is especially true when, as is often the case in complex societies, the worst evils develop out of a series of lesser evils. German authorities surprised Nazi leaders by their willingness to handle Holocaust paperwork. They didn't kill Jews, of course; they simply fed it with paper (Silver & Geller, 1978). When broken, evil becomes easier. Milgram examined this compartmentalization of evil by indirectly involving 40 other men. Since someone else delivered the download, all they had to do was take the learning test. Now, 37 out of 40 have met all the requirements.

It's the same in our daily life: the tendency to do evil usually comes in small steps, without conscious intention to do evil. Procrastination involves a similar involuntary drift toward self-harm (Sabini & Silver, 1982). A student knows the deadline for a final paper weeks in advance. Any distraction from working at the newspaper — a video game here, a TV show there — seems harmless enough. But, little by little, the student chooses not to do the work, never making a conscious decision not to do it.

It is tempting to assume that Eichmann and the commandants of the Auschwitz death camp were uncivilized monsters. Indeed, their malice was fueled by a virulent anti-Semitism. And the social situation alone does not explain why some personalities in the same neighborhood or death camp exhibited vicious cruelty and others heroic kindness. However, the commanders would not have seemed like monsters to us. After a hard day's work, they relaxed with Beethoven and Schubert. Of the 14 men who formulated the Final Solution that led to the Nazi Holocaust, 8 held European university doctorates (Patterson, 1996). Like most other Nazis, Eichmann himself was indistinguishable from ordinary people in appearance.

"Social Psychology




















CBS 60 MINUTES, 1979

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The "invariable" terrorists of 9/11. Hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi (blue shirt) and Salem al-Hazmi (white shirt) were normal-looking, normal-behaving passengers when they passed through security at Dulles Airport on September 11, 2001.

with common jobs (Arendt, 1963; Zillmer et al., 1995). Mohamed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 attacks, was considered a "good boy" and an excellent student from a healthy family. Zacarias Moussaoui, the alleged perpetrator of the September 11th attack, was very courteous when he requested flying lessons and buying knives. He called women "ma'am". The pilot of the second plane that crashed into the World Trade Center is said to have been a friendly and "relaxed" guy, much like the "smart, friendly and 'very polite'" photo of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. If these men had lived with us, they would hardly fit our image of evil monsters. They were "normal" people (McDermott, 2005).

As Milgram (1974, p. 6) observed: "The most basic lesson of our study is that simply by doing their job, and without any particular hostility on their part, ordinary people can become actors in a horrible destructive process." he often reminded preschool television audiences, "Good people sometimes do bad things." Under the influence of evil forces, even good people sometimes become corrupted when they construct moral rationalizations for immoral behavior (Tsang, 2002). Thus, ordinary soldiers can end up following orders to shoot defenseless civilians; admired political leaders can lead their citizens into unhappy wars; ordinary employees can follow instructions to manufacture and distribute harmful and degrading products; and ordinary party members can follow orders to brutally drug infiltrators.

So does a situational analysis of who did the harm alleviate who caused the harm? Does that release them from responsibility? In simple terms, the answer is, to some extent, yes, says Arthur Miller (2006). But psychologists who study the roots of evil insist on this. Explaining does not mean apologizing. Understanding does not mean forgiving. You can forgive someone whose behavior you don't understand, and you can understand someone who doesn't. Furthermore, James Waller (2002) adds: "If we understand the everydayness of extraordinary evil, we will be less surprised by evil, less likely to unwittingly contribute to evil, and perhaps better equipped to prevent evil." Milgram's study excluded those familiar with him. If these people had been included, with the knowledge you have now, perhaps the participation rate would have been much lower (Elms, 2009)?

Finally, a comment on the experimental method of investigating compliance (see summary. Table 6.1): Compliance situations in the laboratory differ from those in everyday life. How often are we asked to sort line lengths or manage downloads?

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Table •• 6.1 Summary of classic obedience studies

ki'-theme^ norm formation



Sherif's assessment of suggestibility in relation to apparent movement of light

Asch's concordance with obviously erroneous perceptual judgments of others

Practical example |

interpret events differently after listening to others; enjoy delicious food that others love

I like others; ) fashions like tattoos?

Following orders to ban another

soldiers {» emploj after quesfic

But since combustion in a lighted match and in a forest fire are similar, we assume that psychological processes are similar in the laboratory and in everyday life (Milgram, 1974). We must be careful in generalizing from the simplicity of a lit match to the complexity of a forest fire. However, controlled experiments with burning matches can give us information about combustion that we cannot obtain by observing forest fires. The sociopsychological experiment also offers information about behaviors that are not easily revealed in everyday life. The experimental situation is unique, but so is every social situation. By trying a variety of unique tasks and repeating experiments at different times and places, researchers are investigating the common principles underlying surface diversity.

Classic conformity experiments answered some questions, but also raised others: sometimes people conform; Sometimes no. (1) When do they expire? (2) Why do people adapt? Why don't you just ignore the group and "be true to yourself"? (3) Is there a type of person who is likely to settle down? In the next section, we'll tackle these questions one by one.

ABSTRACT: What are the classic studies of conformity and obedience?

Three classic sets of experiments illustrate how researchers have studied complacency.

• Muzafer Sherif noted that the judgments of others influenced people's assessments of the movement of a point of light that was not actually moving. Norms for "correct" responses emerged and survived both over long periods of time and through subsequent generations of research participants.

* Solomon Asch had people listen to each other's judgments about which of the three comparison lines equaled a standard line, and then make the same judgment. When others unanimously gave an incorrect answer, participants adjusted 37% of the time. Stanley Milgram's obedience experiments unleashed an extreme form of obedience. suboptimal

Conditions: A legitimate commander nearby, a victim far away, and no one else personifying disobedience: 65 percent of their adult male participants fully followed instructions for administering electric shocks to an innocent victim screaming in an adjacent supposedly traumatizing room. . These classic experiments reveal the power of various phenomena. Behavior and attitudes reinforce each other, allowing a small evil act to foster the attitude that leads to a larger evil act. Force of situation can cause good people to commit evil acts in the face of extreme circumstances (although extreme situations can inspire heroism in others).

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WHAT DOES BEFORE COMPLIANCE INDICATE? Identify situations that trigger high and low adherence.

Social psychologists wondered: if even Asch's casual and unequivocal situation could produce a 37% compliance rate, would other attitudes produce even more? Researchers soon discovered that adherence increased when tests were difficult or participants felt incompetent. The more insecure we are in our judgments, the more influenced we are by others.

Group attributes are also important. Conformity is greatest when the group is made up of at least several people and is unanimous, coherent, and of high status. Adherence is also greater when the response is public and without prior commitment. Let's look at each of these conditions.

Group Size In laboratory experiments, a small group can have a big impact. Asch and other researchers have found that 3 to 5 people produce much more obedience than just 1 or 2. Increasing the number of people beyond 5 leads to diminishing results (Gerard et al., 1968; Rosenberg, 1961). In a field experiment, Milgram and colleagues (1969) had 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, or 15 people standing on a busy New York City sidewalk and looking up. As Figure 6.6 shows, the proportion of passers-by who also looked up increased from 1 to 5 people as the number of people looking up increased.

How the group is "packaged" also makes a difference. Rutgers University researcher David Wilder (1977) presented students with a jury case. Before students made their own judgments, students watched videotapes of four Confederates making their judgments. With two independent groups of two people, participants agreed more than when the four confederates presented their judgments as a single group. Likewise, two groups of three people were more compliant than a group of six people, and three groups of two people even more so. The unification of small independent groups makes a position more credible.

FIGURE: 6.6 Group Size and Obedience The percentage of bystanders imitating a group looking up increased to 5 people as group size increased. ^Source.'Data from Milgram, Bickman & Berkowitz, 1969.

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Unanimity Imagine that you are in a conformity experiment in which all but one of the people in front of you give the same wrong answer. Would the example of this confederate misfit be as liberating as it was for the subjects in Milgram's obedience experiment? Various experiments show that breaking a group's unanimity drains its social power (Allen Levine, 1969; Asch, 1955; Morris & Miller, 1975). As Figure 6.7 illustrates, people often express their own beliefs when even a single person differs from the majority. Participants in such experiments often say later that they felt warm and close to their dissident ally. However, they deny that the ally influenced them: "I would have answered the same thing if he hadn't been there".

It's hard to be a minority of one; Few jurors are hanged by a dissenting jury. And only 1 out of 10 US Supreme Court decisions over the last half-century has had a single dissent; most were unanimous or split 5-4 (Granberg & Bartels, 2005).

Conformity experiments teach the practical lesson that it's easier to stand up for something when you can find someone else to stand up for it. many religious

NUMBER :; 6.7 The effect of unanimity on compliance When someone giving correct answers breaks the unanimity of the group, individuals comply only a quarter as often Source: Aus Asch, 1955.

It's hard to be alone as a minority. But that sometimes makes him a hero, as he was the only dissenting judge played by Henry Fonda in the classic film 12 Angry Men.

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Groups recognize this. Following the example of Jesus, who sent his disciples out in pairs, Mormons send two missionaries together into a neighborhood. Support from a comrade greatly enhances social courage.

Seeing someone else's contradiction, even when it's wrong, can strengthen our own independence. Charlan Nemeth and Cynthia Chiles (1988) discovered this after humans observed a single individual in a group of four mistakenly judging blue stimuli as green. Although the dissenter was wrong, after observing him, the observers were more likely to exhibit their own brand of independence: 76% of the time they correctly labeled the red slides "red", even when everyone else mislabeled them. of "oranges". Participants who did not have the opportunity to observe the "green" dissident accounted for 70%.

cohesion A “we feeling”; the extent to which members of a group are linked to each other, p. B. by mutual attraction.

A minority opinion from someone outside the groups we identify with – someone from another university or religion – affects us less than the same minority opinion from someone within our group (Clark & ​​​​​​Maass, 1988). A heterosexual argument for gay rights would influence heterosexuals more effectively than a homosexual one. People are even more receptive to requests from people to share their characteristics of date of birth, name or fingerprints (Burger et al., 2004; Silvia, 2005).

The more closed a group is, the more power it gains over its members. In fraternities, for example, friends tend to share binge eating tendencies, especially when they get close (Crandall, 1988). People within an ethnic group may feel similar “peer pressures”: to talk, act and dress like “us”. Blacks who “act like whites” or whites who “act like blacks” can be teased by their peers (Contrada et al., 2000).

Also in experiments, group members who are attracted to the group respond more strongly to its influence (Berkowitz, 1954; Lott & Lott, 1961; Sakurai, 1975). Fearing rejection from group members they like, they allow them some power (Hogg, 2001). In his essay On Human Understanding, the seventeenth-century philosopher John Locke recognized the cohesive factor: "Still there is one in ten thousand rigid and callous enough to bear the constant loathing and condemnation of his own club."

Our tendency to go with our group, to think what they think and do what they do, came about in an experiment when people reported liking music that they said was made by people close to them that they liked (but didn't like). I don't like music anymore. if someone like them liked it [Hilmert et al., 2006]). Even when college students are compared to drinkers who are not like them, they are less likely to drink (Lane et al., 2011). And after observing someone wearing a T-shirt of their own college cheat, participants in another experiment were more likely to cheat. However, if the scammer wore a T-shirt from a competing university, it would have the opposite effect: participants would become more honest (Gino et al., 2009). Cohesion conformity also occurs in college dormitories, where students' attitudes become more similar to those of neighboring residents over time (Cullum & Harton, 2007).

And this tragically happened in massacres, as men were unwilling to part with their closest comrades, even though killing was not something they did outside their group. Historian Christopher Browning (1992) recalls that Battalion 101 of the German Reserve Police, comprising almost 500 soldiers, was awakened one morning in July 1942 in Poland. Their beloved commander nervously explained that they had been ordered to send the adult males of the 1,800 Jews from a nearby town to a labor camp and shoot the women, children and old men. Clearly uncomfortable with the task, he offered to let any of the older men who didn't feel up to the task leave. Only a dozen did. The rest attended, and many of them were physically sick with grief afterward.

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I g

In the postwar testimonies of about 125 men, most of whom were middle-aged fathers, antisemitism did not explain their actions. Instead, Browning reported, they are bound by the force of cohesion: stay in line. Men felt a "strong need not to separate from the group by going out" (p. 71).

Status As you might suspect, people with higher status tend to have more influence (Driskell & Mullen, 1990). Younger group members, including younger social psychologists, report greater conformity with their group than older members (Jetten et al., 2006). Or consider this: studies of reckless behavior, conducted with the involuntary help of nearly 24,000 pedestrians, show that the baseline reckless rate drops from 25% to 17% in the presence of a confederate who doesn't swear5^ and another reckless rises to 44 % (Mullen et al., 1990). It is best to discourage jaywalkers from walking outside the range when they are well dressed. Even chimpanzees are more likely to imitate the behavior of higher-ranking group members (Homer et al., 2010). In both humans and other primates, prestige breeds influence.

Milgram (1974) reported that in his obedience experiments, lower status subjects accepted the experimenter's commands more readily than higher status subjects. After supplying 450 volts, a 37-year-old welder turned to the lead researcher and respectfully asked, "Where do we go from here, Professor?" (pg. 46). Another participant, a divinity school professor who disobeyed 150 volts, said, "I don't understand why the experiment is being questioned about this person's life" and asked the experimenter about the "ethics of this thing" (p 48). . .

One of the first questions asked by compliance researchers was: are people more likely to conform to their public responses than to their private opinions? Or do they prefer to waver in their private opinions but refuse to publicly conform so as not to appear wishy-washy?

The answer is now clear: in experiments, people are more likely to conform when they have to respond in front of other people than when they write their responses in private. After listening to each other's responses, Asch's participants felt less influenced by peer pressure if they could write responses that only the researcher would see. When college professors ask controversial questions, students express different opinions when they respond anonymously with clickers such as when they raise their hands (Stowell et al., 2010). It's a lot easier than we think for Iri to invade the privacy of the voting booth than it is in front of a group.

Previous Commitment In 1980, Genuine Risk became the second filly to win the Kentucky Derby. In the next race, Preakness, he broke on the last lap and took the lead. Codex, a colt. When they came out of the curve, neck and neck. Codex moved sideways towards Real Risk, making them hesitate and giving him a narrow victory. Did the Codex eliminate the real risk? Had her Jockey ® whipped Genuine Risk in the face?

Did the Codex attack the real risk? After the race judges publicly announced their decision, they were unable to present any further evidence.

212 Part two Social influence

Pre-commitment: Once committed to a position, people rarely succumb to peer pressure. Real umpires and umpires rarely reverse their initial judgments © Robert Mankoff/The New Yorker Collection/





The race officials gathered. After a moment of deliberation, they determined that no foul had occurred and confirmed Codex as the winner. The decision caused a stir. Instant replays on TV showed that Codex actually outperformed sentimental favorite Genuine Risk. A protest was made. The officials reconsidered their decision, but did not change it.

Did your judgment declared immediately after the race affect the openness of the umpires to make a different decision later? We'll never know for sure. However, we can take people through a lab version of this event - with and

without immediate commitment - and see if commitment makes a difference. Imagine again that you are in an Asch experiment. The experimenter shows you the lines and asks you to answer first. After you've made your judgment and everyone else has disagreed, the experimenter gives you a chance to reconsider. Are you taking a step back now in the face of peer pressure?

Humans almost never do this (Deutsch & Gerard, 1955). After making a public commitment, they keep it. At most, they will change their judgments in later situations (Saltzstein & Sandberg, 1979). Thus, it is to be expected that, for example, judges in jumping or gymnastics competitions will rarely change their scores after seeing the scores of other judges, although they may adjust their performance scores later.

Past commitments also limit beliefs. When mock juries make decisions, cases where jurors are questioned by show of hands rather than by secret ballot are more likely to result in sentences by hanging (Kerr & MacCoun, 1985). Making a public commitment makes people refuse to back down.

Smart persuaders know this: Salespeople ask questions that lead us to make statements for, not against, what they are advertising. Environmentalists are asking people to get involved in recycling, saving energy or driving buses. This is because behavior changes more than when environmental appeals are heard without eliciting an obligation (Katzev & Wang, 1994). Adolescents aged 14 to 17 who make a public pledge to maintain their virginity until marriage are slightly more likely to remain sexually abstinent or delay sexual intercourse than peer adolescents who do not pledge (Bearman & Bruckner, 2001; Bruckner & Bearman, 2005). ; Ucker, 2008). (However, if they break their promise, they are slightly less likely to use a condom.)

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"Okay! Have it your way. It was a ball."

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: What Does Compliance Envision? • Using conformance testing techniques, experimenters

investigated the circumstances that led to compliance. Certain situations seem particularly strong. For example, conformity is influenced by group characteristics: people are more likely to conform when three or more individuals or groups exemplify the behavior or belief.

• Conformity is reduced when the modeled behavior or belief is not unanimous.

• Compliance is improved through group cohesion. • The higher the status of those who model the behavior

or belief, the greater the likelihood of adherence. • People are also more likely to conform when their responses are

public (in the presence of the group). • A prior commitment to a particular behavior or belief

it increases the likelihood that a person will keep that commitment rather than compromise.

Compliance and Obedience Chapter 6 213

WHY FULFILL? Identify and understand the two forms of social influence that explain why people adapt to others.

"See that cloud that's almost shaped like a camel?" Shakespeare's Hamlet asks Polonius. "It really is like a camel," replies Polonius. "I think it's a weasel," says Hamlet a moment later. "He's safe as a weasel," confirms Polonius. "Or like a whale?" Hamlet wonders. "Much like a whale," agrees Polonius. To ask; Why is Polonius so ready to agree every time Hamlet changes his mind?

Or imagine this situation: here I was, an American, attending my first lecture during a long stay at a German university. When the speaker ended, I raised my hands to join in the applause. But instead of clapping, the other people started tapping their knuckles on the tables. What does this means? Did you disapprove of the speech? Surely not everyone would be so outrageously rude to a visiting dignitary. His faces didn't express displeasure either. No, I realized, it must be a German ovation. So I added my fingers to the chorus.

What triggered this compliance? Why didn't I clap while everyone else was rapping? Why was Polonius so willing to repeat Hamlet's words? There are two ways: a person can bow to the group (a) to be accepted and avoid rejection, or (b) to receive important information. Morton Deutsch and Harold Gerard (1955) called these two possibilities normative influence and informational influence. The first arises from our desire to be loved and the second from our desire to be right.

Normative influence is "going with the crowd" to avoid rejection, get in the people's good graces, or gain their approval. Perhaps the subordinate Polonius agreed with Hamlet, the high-ranking prince of Denmark, to side with him.

In the laboratory and in real life, groups often reject those who consistently deviate (Miller & Anderson, 1979; Schachter, 1951). “This is a lesson learned by a media studies professor who became an outcast playing the online game City of Heroes (Vargas, 2009). I can sympathize with the professor because we (not making it up) have the same name, David Myers, he followed the rules but he didn't follow convention. Just as drivers who go 50 in a 70 mph zone are shunned for breaking the rules but not the rules, Myers was taunted with instant messages: "I hope your mother has cancer." "If you kill me one more time, I'll really kill you and I'm not kidding."

As most of us know, social rejection is painful; When we deviate from group norms, we often pay an emotional price. Brain scans show that group judgments that differ from one's own activate an area of ​​the brain that is also active when we experience the pain of bad betting decisions (Klucharev et al., 2009). Gerard (1999) remembers that in one of his compliance experiments, an initially friendly participant got angry, wanted to leave the room and looked back.

sick and visibly devastated. I became concerned and suggested interrupting the session. He steadfastly refused to stop and continued through all 36 attempts without giving up the others in a single attempt. After the experiment was over and I explained the evasion to him, his whole body relaxed and he sighed in relief. Color returned to her face. I asked why he left the room. "Impressive," he said. He didn't give up, but at what a price! He wanted so badly to be accepted and liked by others and he was afraid he wouldn't be because he had stood his ground against them. Regulatory pressure works with all his might.

Sometimes the high price of deviance forces people to support what they strongly believe in, or at least to suppress their dissent. "I was afraid that Leideritz and others would consider me a coward," reported a German officer.

their reluctance to carry out mass executions (Waller, 2002). Fearing a court-martial for disobedience, some of My Lai's soldiers participated in the massacre.

Normative influence Conformity based on a person's desire to meet the expectations of others, often to gain acceptance.

Information bias Conformity that occurs when people accept evidence of reality provided by others.





Social impact 214 Second part

Normative influence leads to compliance, especially in people who are ridiculed by others or who try to climb the social ladder (Hollander, 1958; Janes & Olson, 2000). As John F. Kennedy (1956) recalled, "The way to do well, I was told when I entered Congress, is to 'keep up'" (p. 4).

Normative influence often influences us without our realizing it. When a research team led by Jessica Nolan (2008) asked 810 Californians what influences their energy conservation, people ranked conserving the environment and saving money above others. However, it was their belief in how often their neighbors tried to conserve that best predicted their own self-reported conservation. And in a follow-up study, it was regulatory door hangers such as "99% of people in their community said they turn off unnecessary lights to save energy" that caused the greatest reduction in electricity use. ^

The influence of information, on the other hand, leads people to privately accept the influence of others. Indeed, by observing the change of shape of a cloud, Polonius can see what Hamlet helps him to see. When reality is ambiguous, as was the case for the participants in the autokinetic situation, other people can be a valuable source of information. The individual may argue, “I can't tell how far the light travels. But this guy seems to know.

Our friends have additional influence on us for both informational and normative reasons (Denrell, 2008; Denrell & Le Mens, 2007). If our friend buys a certain car and takes us to a certain restaurant, we receive information that might make us like what our friend likes, even if we don't care what he likes. Our friends influence the experiences that shape our attitudes.

To find out what the brain does when people experience an Asch-type comorbidity experiment, a team of neuroscientists at Emory University put participants in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain while they had to answer perceptual questions after read the responses of others. (Bems et al., 2005). (The task was to mentally rotate a character to find the correct one among several possibilities. When participants latched on to an incorrect answer, brain regions dedicated to perception were activated. And when they went against the group, those with Emotion - the related brain regions are active. These results suggest that their cognition may actually be affected when people adapt. Follow-up fMRI studies have identified neural activity associated with normative influence (one area of ​​Bram that is active is when people fear social rejection) and with information i^ u-ence (in areas related to the evaluation of a stimulus itself) (Zaki et al., 2011).

The concern with the social image thus generates a normative influence. The desire to be correct generates informational influence. In everyday life, normative and informational influences often occur together. I didn't want to be the only person in this German conference room clapping (normal influence). But the behavior of others has also shown me how I can properly express my appreciation (influence information).

Conformity experiments sometimes have normative or informational influence in isolation. Compliance is higher when people respond publicly in front of a group; this certainly reflects normative influence (because people receive the same information whether they respond in public or private). On the other hand, adherence is greater when participants feel incompetent, when the task is difficult and when individuals are concerned about being right, all indicators of informational influence.

ABSTRACT: Why adapt? • Experiences show two reasons why people adapt.

Normative influence results from the desire for acceptance: we want to be loved. The tendency to conform more in public responses reflects normative influence.

• Information bias is the result of other people providing evidence about reality. The tendency to adapt more to difficult decision-making tasks reflects the influence of information: we want to be right.

215 Compliance and Compliance Chapter 6

Like humans, chimpanzees have been observed to imitate their peers, especially those of high status. They can copy tool use or food washing habits observed in models. And after observing and adopting a cultural way of doing something, perhaps a technique for catching tasty ants with a stick, they persist.

WHO CONFORMS? __________________ Describe how compliance varies not only with situations but also with people. Discuss the social contexts where personality traits stand out.

In general, are some people more vulnerable (or should I say more open) to social influence? Can you identify among your friends some who are "conformists" and others who are "independent"? In their search for the conformer, the researchers focused on three predictors: personality, culture, and social roles.

In the late 1960s and 1970s, researchers observed only tenuous associations between personal traits and social behaviors such as conformity (Michel, 1968). In contrast to the demonstrable power of situational factors, personality scores were poor predictors of individuals' behavior. If you wanted to know how adaptable, aggressive, or helpful someone was, knowing the situation seemed better than knowing the person's psychological test results. As Milgram (1974) concluded: "I am sure there is a complex personality basis for obedience and disobedience. But I know we have not found it" (p. 205).

In the 1980s, the idea that personal dispositions make little difference led personality researchers to identify the circumstances in which traits predict behavior. Their research confirms a principle we found in Chapter 4: although internal factors (attitudes, character traits) rarely accurately predict a specific action, they better predict a person's average behavior in many situations (Epstein, 1980; Rushton and others, 1983). An analogy might help: just as your reaction to a single test item is difficult to predict, so is your behavior in a single situation. And just as your overall score is most predictable across the various elements of a test, so is your overall compliance (or frankness or aggressiveness) in many situations.

Personality is also better at predicting behavior when social influences are weak. Ilgram's obedience experiments created "strong" situations; Her clear demands made working with personality differences difficult. Yet Milgram

216 Social impact Second part

The personality effects become greater when we consider people's different reactions to the same situation, such as when one person reacts with horror and another with joy to a roller coaster ride.

FIGURE :: 6.8 Traits and situations together shape behavior. Research on the “Big Five” personality traits (neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness) shows that these are genetic traits that, along with external influences, determine our lives (McCrae, 2011).




Participants varied widely in their compliance, and there is good reason to believe that hostility, respect for authority, and concern for meeting expectations sometimes influenced their compliance (Blass, 1990, 1991). And in "weaker" situations, such as when two strangers sit in a waiting room with no clues about their behavior, unique personalities are free to shine through (Ickes et al., 1982; Monson et al., 1982; and see Cooper and Withey's (2009). ) call for further research).

But even in difficult situations, people differ. An army report on abuses at Abu Ghraib prison praised three men who stayed away from their comrades despite threats of ridicule and court-martial (O'Connor, 2004). Lieutenant David Sutton finished a

incident and alerted their commanders. "I don't want to judge, but yes, I saw something inappropriate and reported it," Sutton said. Navy dog ​​handler William Kimbro resisted "significant pressure" to engage in "inappropriate interrogations". And expert Joseph Darby denounced and provided the military police with the evidence that raised the alarm. Darby, nicknamed "The Rat" by some, received death threats for his dissent and was given military protection. But at home his mother cheered: "Honey, I'm so proud of you because you did good and good always triumphs over evil and the truth will always set you free" (ABC News, December 2004).

The pendulum of expert opinion is swinging. Without neglecting the undeniable power of social forces recognized in the 1960s and 1970s, the pendulum has swung towards an appreciation of individual personality and genetic predispositions (Figure 6.8). Like the attitude researchers considered above, personality researchers clarify

external influences

“Cultural norms • Immediate situation

♦ Configuration of 'Meliavio^S


Genetic reinforcement of the link between our dispositions and what we do. Thanks to your efforts, today

Social psychologists today agree with the dictum of pioneering theorist Kurt Lewin (1936): "Anyone

Compliance and Obedience Chapter 6 217

The event depends on the state of the person and at the same time on the environment, although its relative importance differs in different cases” (p. 12).

Culture When researchers from Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy, Jordan, South Africa, Spain and the United States repeated the obedience experiments, how do you rate the results compared to those of the American participants? Obedience rates were similar or even higher: 85% in Munich (Blass, 2000).

But does the cultural context help predict how obedient people will be? Indeed, James Whittaker and Robert Meade (1967) repeated Asch's compliance experiment in several countries and found similar compliance rates in most countries: Lebanon 31 percent, Hong Kong 32 percent, Hong Kong 34 percent percent in Brazil, but 51 percent in Bantu. Zimbabwe, a tribe with severe sanctions against non-conformity. When Milgram (1961) used a different compliance method to compare Norwegian and French students, he consistently found that French students were less compliant. An analysis by Rod Bond and Peter Smith (1996) of 133 studies in 17 countries showed how cultural values ​​influence compliance. Compared to people in individualistic countries, people in collectivist countries (where harmony is valued and connections help define the self) are more receptive to the influence of others. In collectivist Japan, Western observers were impressed by the absence of looting and lawlessness after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami; Respect for social norms prevailed (Caffety, 2011). In individualistic countries, university students see themselves as more non-conforming than others in their consumerism and political views, as individuals among sheep (Pronin et al., 2007).

Cultural differences accordingly may contain some biological wisdom. While nonconformity encourages creative problem solving, groups thrive when they coordinate their responses to threats. For example, Damian Murray and colleagues (2011) note that countries at high risk for nine different pathogens, such as malaria, typhoid, and tuberculosis, tend to have cultures that show relatively high degrees of adherence. Compliance supports social norms related to food preparation, hygiene, public health and contact with strangers, the researchers report.

There are also cultural differences within a country. For example, Nicole Stephens and her co-researchers (2007) found in five studies that working-class people tend to prefer similarities over others, while middle-class people prefer to see themselves as unique individuals. In one experiment, people chose one pen from five green and orange pens (with three or four pens of one color). Of working-class college students, 72 percent chose a majority color, while only 44 percent of middle-class students (with college-educated parents) chose a color. Working-class people also liked the pen they chose more after seeing someone else make the same decision. They responded more positively when a friend knowingly bought the same car they had just bought. And they also preferred more visual images that they knew others had chosen.

Also, cultures can change over time. Replicates of Asch's experiment with university students in Britain, Canada, and the United States sometimes elicit less compliance than Asch had observed two or three decades earlier (Lalancette & Standing, 1990; Larsen, 1974, 1990; Nicholson et al. , 1985; Perrin et al., 1985). Spencer, 1981). Conformity and obedience are therefore universal phenomena, but they differ between cultures and times.

Social Roles The whole world is a stage. And all men and women are just players: they have their outs and ins; And a man plays many roles in his time. - William Shakespeare

218 Part two Social influence

"Tanya" by heiress Patricia Hearsta, the revolutionary suburban celebrity.

Role theorists, like William Shakespeare's character Jacques in As You Like It, have assumed that social life is like acting on a theater stage, with all its scenes, masks, and scripts. And those roles have a lot to do with compliance. Social roles leave some freedom of interpretation for those who play them, but some aspects of each role must be performed. At a minimum, the student must attend tests, turn in assignments, and maintain a minimum grade point average.

If only certain norms are assigned to a social category (for example, escalator users must stay on the right and walk on the left), we do not consider position to be a social role. A complete set of rules is required to define a role. My role as a teacher or parent obliges me to respect a series of rules. While I may get my signature image by violating less important rules (appreciation of efficiency, rarely being late for anything), violating my role's more important rules (failing to complete class, abusing my children) can result in my dismissal or removal of my children from my care.

Roles have powerful effects. In Chapter 4 we discovered that we tend to absorb our roles. On a first date or at a new job, you can confidently play the part. As you internalize the role, your self-confidence disappears. What felt uncomfortable now feels real.

This is the experience of many immigrants. Peace Corps workers and international students and leaders. Arriving in a new country, it takes time to learn to speak and act appropriately in the new context, to adjust, as I did with the Germans who knocked their knuckles on their desks. And the almost universal experience of those who return to their country of origin is re-entry anxiety (Sussman, 2000). In ways you may not have noticed, the adjustment process has changed one's behavior, values, and identity to adjust to a different place. You have to "adjust" to your previous roles before you can get back in sync.

The case of kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst shows the power of roleplaying. In 1974, when she was 19, Hearst was kidnapped by young revolutionaries calling themselves the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). Hearst soon publicly announced that she had joined her captors and left her former life of wealthy parents and fiance. He urged people to "try to understand the changes I've been through". Twelve days later, a bank camera captured his involvement in an SLA armed robbery.

Nineteen months later, Hearst was arrested. After two years in prison and "deprogramming", she resumed her role as heiress, married "well" and became a mother and writer in suburban Connecticut, devoting much of her time to the charity Qohnson, 1988; Schiffman, 1999). If Patricia Hearst really had been a "hidden" revolutionary all along, or if she had just obeyed her captors to avoid punishment, people might have understood what she was doing. What they failed to understand (which is why this story became one of the biggest news stories in the world)

219 Compliance and Compliance Chapter 6

1970) was, as Philip Brickman (1978) wrote, "may really be an heiress, really a revolutionary, and then maybe really an heiress again." A role reversal of this magnitude couldn't happen to you and me, could it?

Yes and no. As we saw earlier in this chapter, our actions depend not only on the power of the situation but also on our personality. Not everyone responds in the same way to pressure to conform. In Patricia Hearst's situation, you or I might react differently. However, we have seen that social situations can cause most "normal" people to behave in "abnormal" ways. This is evident in experiments that put well-meaning people in bad situations to see whether good or evil would prevail. To a frightening degree, evil triumphs. Nice guys often don't end up being nice.

ROLE REVERSING Role-playing can also be a force for good. By intentionally playing a new role and conforming to its expectations, people sometimes transform or empathize with people whose roles are different from their own.

Roles usually occur in pairs defined by relationships: parent and child, teacher and student, doctor and patient, employer and employee. Changing roles can help you understand the other person. Therefore, a negotiator or group leader can create better communication by having the two parties switch roles, with each side taking the position of the other. Or each side can be asked to repeat the other side's point of view (to the others' satisfaction) before responding. The next time you have a difficult discussion with a friend or parent, try to echo the other person's perceptions and feelings before moving on to your own. This intentional and temporary compliance can repair your relationship.

So far in this chapter, we've discussed classic studies of compliance and obedience that identify factors that predict compliance and reflect on who conforms and why. Remember that our main task in social psychology is not to catalog differences but to identify universal principles of behavior.

Social roles always vary with culture, but the processes by which these roles influence behavior vary much less. People in Nigeria and Japan define adolescent roles differently than people in Europe and North America, but in all cultures, role expectations guide the conformity found in social relationships.







ABSTRACT: Who is adapting? Q* The question "Who is adapting?" produced few definitive answers. Personality scores are poor predictors of certain acts of conformity, but they are better predictors

Mean compliance dictators. Sometimes the effects of traits seem to be strongest in "weak" situations where social forces do not overcome individual differences.

While conformity and obedience are universal, different cultures socialize people to be more or less socially responsive. Social roles imply some degree of conformity, and conforming to expectations is an important task when entering a new social role.

DO WE WANT TO BE DIFFERENT? Explain what might motivate people to actively resist peer pressure by doing Z when forced to do A.

This chapter emphasizes the power of social forces. We may, therefore, conclude by remembering the power of the person. We are not just billiard balls that move where they are pushed. We can act in accordance with our own values, regardless of the forces that drive us. Knowing that someone is trying to force us can even make us react in the opposite direction.




MEN, 1764-1799

220 Second part Social influence

4Suddenly I I4^VE



Ballast.NON SEQUITUR © 1997 Wiley Miller. Reprinted with permission of Universal Press Syndicate. All rights reserved.

Reactance A motive to protect or restore one's sense of freedom. Reactance occurs when someone threatens our freedom of action.

Reactance in the workplace? Underage students were found to be less likely to be abstinent and more likely to drink heavily than students over the legal drinking age.

Reactive people appreciate their sense of freedom and their self-efficacy. When blatant peer pressure threatens their sense of freedom, they often riot. Think of Romeo and Juliet, whose love was intensified by their families' opposition. Or think of children who assert their freedom and independence by doing the opposite of what their parents ask. Therefore, smart parents give their children options rather than commands: "It's time to tidy up: do you want to take a shower or a bath?"

The theory of psychological reactance—that people act to protect their sense of freedom—is supported by experiments showing that attempts to restrict a person's freedom often produce a nonconformist "boomerang effect" (Brehm & Brehm, 1981; Nail et al. al., 2000). . In a field experiment, many non-geek students stopped wearing a "Livestrong" wristband when nearby geek scholars started wearing the wristband (Berger & Heath, 2008). Similarly, wealthy Britons stopped wearing Burberry caps after the caps became popular with football hooligans (Clevström & Passarello, 2006).

Reactance can contribute to underage drinking. A survey of 18- to 24-year-olds by the Canadian Center on Substance Abuse (1997) found that 69% of people over the legal drinking age (21) had been drunk in the last year, versus 77% of minors. 21 In the United States, a survey of students from 56 universities revealed a 25% alcohol abstinence rate among students who drink alcohol legally.

(21), but only a 19% abstinence rate among students under age 21 (Engs & Hanson, 1989).

Affirming Uniqueness Imagine a world of total conformity, where there are no differences between people. Would this world be a happy place? If nonconformity can bring discomfort, can equality bring comfort?

People feel uncomfortable when they are too different from others. But in individualistic Western cultures, they are also uncomfortable if they look like others. As CR Snyder and Howard Fromkin's (1980) experiments demonstrated, people feel better when

221 Compliance and Obedience

You see yourself as moderately unique. Furthermore, they act in a way that emphasizes their individuality. In one experiment, Snyder (1980) led Purdue University students to believe that their "top ten attitudes" were different from or nearly identical to the attitudes of 10,000 other students. The next time they participated in a conformity experiment, those lacking their sense of uniqueness were more likely to assert their individuality through nonconformity. Furthermore, people with a greater “need for uniqueness” tend to be less sensitive to majority influence (Imhoff & Erb, 2009).

Both social influence and the desire for uniqueness come out in popular baby names. People looking for less common names often find the same ones at the same time. Among the top 10 baby names for American girls in 2007 were Isabella (2), Madison (5) and Olivia (7). Those who split from the pack in the 1960s by naming their baby Rebecca because they thought they were defying convention soon found that their choice was to be part of a new pack, observed Peggy Orenstein (2003). A popular name in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hillary became less original and rarer (even among her fans) after Hillary Clinton rose to fame. While the popularity of such names is waning, Orenstein notes, they may reappear among a future generation. Max, Rose and Sophie look like the lists for a nursing home or elementary school.

Seeing oneself as unique also appears in people's "spontaneous self-concepts". William McGuire and his colleagues at Yale University (McGuire et al., 1979; McGuire & Padawer-Singer, 1978) invited children to "tell us about themselves." In response, children would often name their quirks. Children born abroad were more likely than others to report their place of birth. Redheads were more likely than black and brown-haired children to indicate hair color. Light and heavy children are likely related to their body weight. Minority children were more likely to mention their race.

Likewise, we become more aware of our gender when we are with people of the opposite sex (Cota & Dion, 1986). When I attended an American Psychological Association meeting with 10 other people, all women, I immediately realized my gender. When we took a break at the end of the second day, I joked that the bathroom line would be short, prompting the woman next to me to comment on what hadn't crossed her mind: the group's gender makeup. .

The principle, says McGuire, is that "you're aware of yourself in what ways you're different." Thus, “when I am a black woman in a group of white women, I tend to think of myself as black; when I go to a group of black men, my blackness becomes less relevant and I become more aware of being a woman." . (McGuire et al., 1978) This perspective helps us understand why whites who grow up -whites tend to have strong white identities, why homosexuals are more self-conscious of their sexual identity than heterosexuals, and why each minority group is aware of its uniqueness and how the surrounding culture relates to it (Knowles & Peng, 2005 ) Majority group, being less racially aware, may see minority group as overly sensitive Occasionally living in Scotland, where my American accent distinguishes me as a foreigner, makes me aware of my national identity and how others react to it.

If people from two cultures are nearly identical, they will still notice their differences.

Chapter 6

If body tattoos are perceived as herd behavior, as an expression of conformity rather than individuality, will their popularity wane?










THE ROOF, 1991









Assert our uniqueness. While we don't want to be too different, most of us express our uniqueness through our personal style and clothing.

222 Second part Social influence

no matter how small. Even trivial distinctions can breed contempt and conflict. Jonathan Swift satirized the phenomenon in Gulliver's Travels with the story of the war of the small against the great. Their difference: the little ones prefer to break their balls at the smaller end, the big ones at the larger end. On a global scale, the differences between Sunnis and Shias do not appear to be great. But those who read the news know that these small differences led to major conflicts (Rothbart & Taylor, 1992). Rivalry tends to be more intense when the other group is very similar to you.

Ironically, although we don't like to be too eccentric, we all want to feel equally different and realize how different we are. (By thinking you're different, you're like everyone else.) But, as the research on selfish bias makes clear (Chapter 2), it's not just any kind of discrimination we're fighting for, but discrimination in the right direction. Our goal is not just to be different from the average, but better than the average.

SUMMARY: Do we ever want to be different? • Social psychology's emphasis on the power of the social

The pressure must be complemented with a complementary emphasis on the power of the person. We are not puppets. When social coercion becomes apparent, people often experience a reaction, a motivation to resist coercion in order to maintain their sense of freedom.

• We don't feel comfortable being too different from a group, but we don't want to be like the others either. Therefore, we act in ways that preserve our sense of uniqueness and individuality. As a group, we are more aware of how different we are from the rest.

POST DATA: About being an individual within the Do Your Own Community. question authority. If it makes you feel good, do it. Follow your luck. Don't settle. Think for yourself, be true to yourself. You owe it to yourself.

We hear these words over and over again when we live in an individualistic western nation such as Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or especially the United States. The unquestioned assumption that individualism is good and conformism is bad is what Chapter 1 called "social representation," a collectively shared idea. Our mythical culture heroes, from Sherlock Holmes to Luke Skywalker to Neo of the Matrix trilogy, often defy institutional rules. Individualists embrace the supremacy of individual rights and celebrate those who oppose the group.

In 1831, the French writer Alexis de Tocqueville coined the term "individualism" after a trip to America. Individualists “owe nothing to anyone and hardly expect anything from anyone. A century and a half later, the psychotherapist Fritz Peris (1972) captured this radical individualism in his "Gestalt-Prayer";

I do mine and you do yours. I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations. And you are not in this world to match mine.

Psychologist Carl Rogers (1985) concurred: "The only question that matters is, 'Am I living in a way that deeply satisfies me and really expresses me?'"

As we noted in Chapter 2, this is not the only issue that preoccupies people in many other cultures, including those in Asia, South America, and most of Africa. Where community is valued, conformity is accepted. Students often show

compliance and obedience

their solidarity by wearing uniforms; Many workers do the same. To maintain harmony, confrontation and dissension are muted. "The protruding stake is driven in," say the Japanese. South Africans have a word that expresses human connection. Ubuntu, explained Desmond Tutu (1999), conveys the idea that "my humanity has caught up with yours and is inseparable from it". Umuntu ngu-muntu ngahantu, a Zulu maxim says, "A person is a person through other people."

Amitai Etzioni (1993), former president of the American Sociological Association, urges us toward a "community" individualism that reconciles our dissident individualism with a community spirit. His colleague Robert Bellah (1995/1996) agrees. “Communitarianism is based on the value of the sanctity of the individual,” he explains. But it also "reaffirms the core value of solidarity...that it is through our relationships that we are who we are."

As Westerners in different nations, most readers of this book enjoy the benefits of dissident individualism. Community members remind us that we too are social beings who have a fundamental need to belong. Compliance is neither all bad nor all good. Therefore, we would do well to reconcile our “I” and our “we”, our needs for independence and commitment, our individuality and our social identity.


7 Belief "To swallow and follow, whether old teachings or new

Propaganda is a weakness that still dominates.

mente humana.”—Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Human Work, 1904

“Remember to change your mind and follow him

it proves you right, he is a free agent.” — M.arcus Aure.lius Antoninus, Mec/ftar/ons, yiji,. 1.6,.121-180

What paths lead to conviction?

What are the Elements of Belief?

Extreme Belief: How Do Cults Indoctrinate?

How to resist persuasion?

Appendix: Be Open, But Not Naive

Many life forces can harm us or help us. Nuclear energy allows us to light up homes or annihilate cities. Sexual power helps us express committed love or seek selfish gratification.

Likewise, persuasion enables us to promote or sell health.

Seeks to promote peace or incite hatred, enlighten or mislead.

And such powers are great. Consider the following:

• The spread of strange beliefs: About 1 in 5 Americans think so

The sun revolves around the earth (Dean, 2005). About 1 in 5 have

expressed his belief that President Obama is Muslim and 1 in 4

who was born outside the United States (Blanton, 2011;

Pow, 2010). Others argue that the moon landing and the

holocaust happened.

• Trillion Dollar War: The US invasion of Iraq was

made possible by persuasive messaging that persuaded half of Americans to do so

believe Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was involved

9/11 and 4 of 5 attacks believe in weapons of mass destruction

can be found (Duffy, 2003; Gallup Organization, 2003;

Newport et al., 2003). Both beliefs, historical records, were wrong.

Shortly before the war, the Americans, under the influence of their

Leaders and media, 2 to 1 in favor of military action against Iraq,

while Europeans were against by the same margin

Social impact 226 Second part

belief The process by which a message evokes a change in beliefs, attitudes, or behavior.







(Burkholder, 2003; Moore, 2003; Pew Research Center, 2003). Depende de

Where they lived, people received, discussed and believed different information

tion counts of conviction.

Skepticism about climate change: The scientific community represented by various

national science academies and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Change is a practical consensus on three facts of life; (1) Atmospheric

Greenhouse gases are building up; (2) decrease in sea ice and increase in land surface,

Sea and atmospheric temperatures confirm global warming; y

(3) this climate change will almost certainly cause sea level rise and more

Extreme weather, including record floods, tornadoes, droughts and high temperatures

temperatures Climate change is occurring, it is largely caused by human activities,

and poses significant risks," explains the US National Research Council (2010).

However, as the last decade drew to a close, climate skepticism was widespread.

growing. The number of Americans who believed in global warming was

decreased from 84 to 74 percent between 2007 and 2010, so concern

decreased (Krosnick, 2010; Figure 7.1). In Great Britain, the proportion of believers

Climate change is not just happening, but "is now largely established

artificial” dropped from 41 percent in 2009 to 26 percent in 2010.

The number of Germans who fear global warming has dropped to 42 percent

alarmed worried

November 2008

'Zi Q

cautious, aloof, doubtful, disdainful

Higher Belief in Global Warming Lower Belief in Global Warming More Worried Less Worried More Motivated Less Motivated Percentage represented by circle area

FIGURE :: 7.1 Concerns of American adults about global climate change Indexed by the Yale Project on Climate Change and the Chanoe Center for Climate Communication at George Mason University (Leiserowitz et al., 2011).


|i 62% 4 years before

(Rosenthal, 2010). investigator

r, he asked himself: Why is this scientific?

I agree not to convince

;■ and motivate to action? y

What could be done

• Promotion of a healthier life:

Part of health promotion

kr. campaigns that focus

^ Disease Control and Prevention Reports Americans Smoke Cigarettes

The f rate has been reduced to 21%, half the rate 40 years ago. canada stats

reports a similar decline in smoking in Canada. And the rate of new colleagues from the USA.

The number of beer withdrawals increased: from 26% in 1982 to 62

percent in 2010 (Pryor et al., 2007, 2010).

As the above examples show, persuasive efforts are sometimes devilish, sometimes controversial, and sometimes helpful. Belief is neither good nor bad per se. It is the purpose and content of a message that gives rise to judgments of good or bad. We call evil "propaganda". The good we call “education”. Education is more factual and less convincing than advertising. But we usually call it "education" when we believe in it, "advertising" when we don't (Lumsden et al., 1980).

Persuasion, whether in education or advertising, is everywhere: at the heart of politics, marketing, publicity, parenting, negotiation, evangelism, and judicial decision-making. So social psychologists are trying to understand what leads to effective and lasting attitude change. What factors influence belief? How can we, as persuaders, more effectively "educate" others?

Imagine that you are a marketing or advertising professional. Or imagine you are a preacher trying to increase love and charity among your church members. Or imagine you want to stop climate change, encourage breastfeeding, or campaign for a political candidate. What could you do to make your message persuasive? And if you fear being influenced, what tactic should you consider?

To answer these questions, social psychologists often study persuasion the way some geologists study erosion: by observing the effects of various factors in brief, controlled experiments. Effects are small and stronger on weak settings that don't affect our values. However, they allow us to understand how, given enough time, such factors can have a huge impact.

WHAT PATHS LEAD TO CONVICTION? Identify two paths that lead to influence. Describe the type of cognitive processing in each case and its effects.

While serving as chief psychologist for the US War Department during World War II, Yale professor Carl Hovland and his colleagues (1949) supported the war effort by examining persuasion. Hovland's team hopes to boost soldiers' morale

Think globally. act secretly

recycle in ^

Chapter 7 227

conviction is everywhere. If we agree with that, we can call it "education".











228 Second part Social influence

Are you paying attention to the message?

You got it?

No action

Do you believe that?

No action

Remember if?

No action

behave accordingly?


No action No action

FIGURE: 7.2 Obstacles in the Persuasion Process Several obstacles must be overcome to achieve a persuasive message. However, it is less important to remember the message itself than it is to remember your own thoughts in response.

Central path to persuasion Appears when interested people focus on arguments and respond with positive thoughts.

Peripheral Path to Persuasion Occurs when people are swayed by random cues, such as B. a speaker's attractiveness.

examined the effects of training films and historical documentaries on new recruits. "What can it do?" They further explored what makes a persuasive message.

Ohio State University researchers then focused on people's thoughts in response to persuasive messages. If a message is clear but not persuasive, you won't disagree with it and won't be persuaded. If the message convinces^ offers

mg arguments, then your thoughts will be more favorable and, most likely, will persuade you. People's "cognitive responses" are important. ^tbatrf°™ ® involves overcoming various obstacles. any factors

when an attempt at "persuasion fails". As the audit source increases your attention to a message, the message should be more likely to persuade you. message

La ruta central Je'" Cacioppo (Cass-ee-OH-poh) (1986; Petty & andere 2009)

Note that persuasion is likely to occur in two ways. When people are motivated and able to think about an issue, they are likely to take the central path of persuasion, focusing on arguments. If these arguments are strong and persuasive, persuasion is likely. If the message only offers weak lguand wdl crnterarg"::';!"

The peripheral paths of the arguments do not matter. sometimes we are

not motivated or able to think carefully. When we are distracted, uninvolved or just busy, we may not have time to think about the content of the message.” I scolded Han, to check if the arguments are convincing, we can follow this.

Peripheral route to persuasion: focusing on the signs that HggerZtmaticaccIp! ce without thinking too much. In these situations, the family is easy to understand

Condemnation Chapter 7 229

Statements are more persuasive than new statements with the same meaning. Therefore, for uninvolved or distracted people, "don't put all your eggs in one basket" has more impact than "don't put all your eggs in one basket" (Howard, 1997).

Smart advertisers tailor ads to the mindset of their consumers. They do this for good reason. Much of consumer behavior, such as making a spontaneous decision to buy a particular brand of ice cream while shopping, is reckless (Dijksterhuis et al., 2005). Something as small as German music can cause customers to buy German wine while others, hearing French music, look for French wine (North & Others, 1997). of time, so use the peripheral route with visual images as peripheral cues. Rather than defending smoking, cigarette ads associate the product with images of beauty and pleasure. This also applies to soft drink ads, which promote “the real thing” with images of youth, vitality and happy polar bears. Computer advertisements in magazines, on the other hand (which interested and rational consumers may ponder for some time) rarely feature Hollywood stars or top athletes. Instead, they provide customers with information about features and competitive pricing.

These two paths to persuasion, one explicit and reflexive, the other more implicit and automatic, preceded current "dual processing" models of the human mind. Central route processing usually changes explicit configuration quickly. Peripheral pathway processing builds implicit attitudes more slowly through repeated associations between an attitude object and an emotion (Jones et al., 2009; Petty & Brinol, 2008; Walther et al., 2011).

Peripheral route processing. “Product positioning influences implicit attitudes.

on TV and in the movies point to this








camp, 1926

Different Paths, Different Purposes The ultimate goal of the advertiser, the preacher, and even the teacher is not just to get people to pay attention to the message and move on. Typically, the goal is behavior change (buying a product, loving others, or learning more effectively). Are the two persuasion paths equally likely to achieve this goal? Petty and colleagues (1995, 2009) point out that processing the central pathway can generate more permanent changes than the peripheral pathway. When people think and solve problems mentally, they rely not only on the power of persuasive appeals but also on their own thoughts to get an answer. It's not so much the arguments that convince, but the way they make people think. And when people think deeply rather than superficially, any attitude changes are more likely to persist, resist attack, and influence behavior (Petty et al., 1995, 2009; Verplanken, 1991).

None of us have time to carefully analyze all the problems. We often take the detour using simple rule of thumb heuristics such as “trust the experts” or “long messages are credible” (Chaiken & Maheswaran, 1994). Residents in my community once voted on a complicated issue related to the legal ownership of our local hospital. I had neither the time nor the interest to investigate this question myself (I had to write this book). But I noticed that they were all supporters of the referendum.

230 Second part Social influence


analytical and motivated

"Leslie's financial plan makes sense! I'm voting for Leslie!"


Great effort Exercise Agree or disagree


Strong arguments gain lasting approval


Not analytical or involved

Little effort Use peripheral hints Practical heuristic i

Cues trigger sympathy and acceptance, but often only temporarily.

"Leslie looks cool, I'll vote for Leslie!"

FIGURE: 7.3 The Core and Peripheral Routes to Persuasion Computer ads often take the core route, assuming your target audience will want to systematically compare features and prices. Soda ads often take the marginal route, simply associating your product with glamour, fun and good humor. Central path processing usually leads to a permanent configuration change.

People I liked or considered experts. So I applied a simple heuristic - friends and experts can be trusted - and voted accordingly. We all make snap judgments with heuristics like this: if a speaker is eloquent, engaging, has seemingly good motives, and multiple arguments (or rather, if the different arguments come from different sources), we usually take the easy detour and accept the message without thinking. a lot (Figure 7.3).

ABSTRACT: What paths lead to conviction? • Sometimes conviction comes when people focus on it.

arguments and respond with positive thoughts. This systematic or core persuasion occurs when people are inherently analytical or involved in the problem.

• If the problems don't require systematic thinking, persuasion can be done through a faster “periphery”.

way" while humans use heuristics or random cues to make snap judgments.

• Central pathway persuasion, being more reflective and less superficial, is more durable and more likely to influence behavior.

Belief 231 Chapter 7


Describe how the factors that make up the belief affect the likelihood that we will follow the central or peripheral path to the belief.

Among the components of belief studied by social psychologists are these four; (1) the communicator, (2) the message, (3) how the message is communicated, and (4) the audience. In other words, who says what to whom, with what method?

Who said? Imagine the following scene: I. M. Wright, a middle-aged American, is watching the evening news. In the first segment, a small group of radicals are shown burning an American flag. He shouts into a megaphone that every time a government becomes repressive: “It's the people's right to change or abolish it... It's their right, it's their duty to shake that government! Irritated, Mr. Wright mutters to his wife, "It's disgusting to hear them spread that Communist line." In the next paragraph, a presidential candidate declares at an anti-tax rally: "Frugality must be the guiding principle of our public spending. It must be the guiding principle of all public servants." Make it clear that corruption and waste are very serious crimes." Wright, clearly pleased, relaxes and smiles: "Well, that's the kind of common sense we need.

Now change the scene. Imagine if Mr. Wright listened and heard the same revolutionary line about "the right of the people" in a Declaration of Independence speech (from which the line was taken) on July 4, while a Communist speaker was quoting Chairman Mao's austerity bill. Zedong (where it comes from). Would I react differently now?

Social psychologists have found that who says something affects how it is received by the public. In one experiment, when socialist and liberal leaders of the Dutch parliament took identical positions using the same words, each was more effective with members of his own party (Wiegman, 1985). “Accepting that there are differences between people” sounds reasonable to most of us, unless we hear the words of former South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd (1958) explaining his government's segregationist apartheid policies. Not only the message counts, but also who says it. What makes one communicator more persuasive than another?

credibility credibility. A reliable communicator is perceived as knowledgeable and reliable.

CREDIBILITY Any of us would find a statement about the benefits of exercise more credible if it came from the Royal Society or the National Academy of Sciences rather than a tabloid. But the impact of source credibility (perceived expertise and reliability) decreases every month. When a credible person's testimony is persuasive, its impact can diminish as its source is forgotten or disconnected from the message. And the impact of an untrustworthy person can increase over time when people

Effective persuaders know how to convey a message effectively. © Charles Barsotti/The New Yorker Collection/

232 Second part

Sleeper effect A delayed effect of a message that occurs when an originally discounted message takes effect, for example, we remember the message but forget the reason for the discount.



social influence

remember the message better than the reason they discarded it (Cook & Flay, 1978; Kumkale & Albarracin, 2004; Pratkanis & others, 1988). This delayed persuasion, after people forget the source or how it relates to the message, is called the sleeper effect.

PERCEPTIVE EXPERIENCE How does one become the authoritative "expert"? One way is to start saying things the audience will agree with, which makes you sound smart. One of the reasons why the "scientific consensus" on climate change is not convincing is that people are seen as "experts" whose conclusions support their own pre-established values ​​and beliefs. Researchers have observed this phenomenon of "like opinions becoming more expert" on topics ranging from climate change to nuclear waste and gun laws (Kahan et al., 2010).

It also helps to be seen as knowledgeable about the subject. A message about brushing teeth from “Dr. James Rundle of the Canadian Dental Association” is more persuasive than the same message from “Jim Rundle, a local high school student who did a dental hygiene project with some of his classmates” (Olson & Cal, 1984). After spending more than a decade studying marijuana use in high schools, University of Michigan researchers concluded that reports of fear from unreliable sources did not affect marijuana use in the 1960s and 1970s. Reliably published scientific reports on the biological and psychological outcomes of long-term marijuana use "which may play an important role in reducing ... drug use" (Bachman et al., 1988).

Another way to sound confident is to speak confidently. Whether presenting a business plan or offering advice, a seemingly confident, energetic, and charismatic person is often persuasive (Moore & Swift, 2011; Pentland, 2010). Bonnie Erickson et al (1978) had students at the University of North Carolina evaluate court testimony with ease or more hesitation. For example:

Question: Approximately how long were you there before the ambulance arrived?

Answer: [Simple] Twenty minutes. Enough time to help the wife. David straightened.

[Hesitant] Oh, it feels like it's been about 20 minutes. Long enough to help my friend Mrs. David getting better.

Students found eyewitnesses much more competent and credible.

PERCEIVED CONFIDENCE Speech style influences the apparent reliability of the speaker. Gordon Hemsley and Anthony Doob (1978) found that when videotaped witnesses looked their interrogator directly in the eye, rather than looking down, they appeared more credible.

Reliability is also higher when the audience believes the communicator is not trying to persuade them. In an experimental version of what later became the "hidden camera" method of television advertising, Elaine Hatfield and Leon Festinger (Walster & Festinger, 1962) had some Stanford University students listen to the conversations of graduate students. . (What they actually heard was a recording.) When the subject of the conversation was relevant to spies (which had to do with campus politics), speakers had more influence when the audience assumed the speakers were unaware of the wiretap. If people think no one is listening, why shouldn't they be completely honest?

We also perceive as sincere those who argue against their own interests. Alice Eagly, Wendy Wood and Shelly Chaiken (1978) introduced the University of

Condemnation Chapter 7 233

Massachusetts students give a speech attacking a company's pollution of a river. When they said the speech was delivered by a political candidate with a business background or to an audience of company supporters, it sounded impartial and persuasive. When an environmental politician allegedly made the same anti-business speech to environmentalists, listeners may attribute the politician's arguments to personal or public bias. A willingness to suffer for your beliefs—as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and other great leaders did—also helps convince people of your sincerity (Knight & Weiss, 1980).

Norman Miller and colleagues (1976) at the University of Southern California found that perceptions of trustworthiness and credibility also increase when people speak quickly. People who listened to the recorded messages rated fast speakers (about 190 words per minute) as more objective, intelligent and knowledgeable than slow speakers (about 110 words per minute). They also found that faster speakers were more convincing. John F. Kennedy, an exceptionally effective public speaker, sometimes spoke in bursts approaching 300 words per minute.

Some television commercials are obviously constructed to make the communicator appear competent and reliable. A pharmaceutical company can sell its pain reliever with a loudspeaker in a white coat by confidently stating that most doctors recommend the product's main ingredient (which is simply aspirin). Faced with these peripheral clues, people who don't care enough to analyze the evidence may automatically conclude that the product is special. Other advertisements do not seem to apply the credibility principle. It's not primarily because of his sportswear expertise that Nike paid Tiger Woods $100 million to appear in its ads.

Thus, communicators gain credibility when they are competent and trustworthy (Pornpitakpan, 2004). When we know in advance that a source is credible, we have more positive thoughts in response to the news. When we know the source after a message generates positive thoughts, high credibility increases our confidence in our thinking, which also increases the persuasiveness of the message (Brinol et al., 2002, 2004; Tormala et al., 2006).

Attractiveness and Likeability Most of us deny that we care about endorsements from top athletes and entertainers. We know that celebrities rarely know which products they recommend. Furthermore, we know that the intention is to convince ourselves; We don't accidentally overhear Jennifer Lopez talking about clothes or fragrance. These ads are based on another characteristic of an effective communicator: attractiveness.

We might think that we are not influenced by attractiveness or taste, but researchers have found otherwise. We are more sensitive to our tastes, a well-known phenomenon by those who organize charity campaigns and candy sales. Even a superficial conversation with someone is enough to increase our liking for that person and our susceptibility to their influence (Burger et al., 2001). Our sympathy can open us up to the communicator's arguments (core persuasion) or trigger positive associations when we see the product later (peripheral persuasion). Like credibility, the principle of persuasion itself generates suggestive applications (Table 7.1).

Attractiveness comes in many forms. Physical attractiveness is one of them. Arguments, especially emotional ones, tend to be most powerful when they come from people they consider beautiful (Chaiken, 1979; Dion & Stein, 1978; Pallak et al., 1983). Most people understand that attractiveness is more important when people make shallow judgments. In experiments, people take opportunities to use engaging communicators with less analytical audiences (Vogel et al., 2010).

The resemblance is also attractive. As Chapter 11 will emphasize, we tend to love people who are like us. We are influenced by them too, a fact capitalized on by a successful anti-smoking campaign in which young people engaged other young people through advertisements challenging the tobacco industry.

Appeal Having characteristics that attract an audience. An attractive communicator (usually someone similar to the audience) is more persuasive when it comes to subjective preferences.

234 Part two Social influence

TABLE :: 7.1 Six Principles of Persuasion In his book Influence: Science and Practice, persuasion researcher Robert Cialdini (2008) illustrates six principles underlying human relationships and human influence (this chapter describes the first two).


Establish your experience; Identify the problems you solved and the people you served.

Make friends and influence people. Create bonds based on similar interests, praise freely.

Use Peer Power - Let respected officers lead the way.

Be generous with your time and resources. What goes around comes around.

Instead of telling restaurant reservation callers, "Call me if you change plans," ask, "Will you call me if you change plans?" and the people who don't show up will fall.

Highlight truly unique information or opportunities.

Authority: People trust trusted experts.

Likes: People respond more positively to people they like.

^Social process^: People allow the example of others to validate the way they think, feel and act.

Reciprocity: People feel obliged to reciprocate in kind what they have received.

Consistency: People tend to keep their public commitments.

Scarcity: People value what is scarce.

Destructiveness and its marketing practices (Krisberg, 2004). People who act like us by subtly mimicking our posture also have more influence. Therefore, sellers are sometimes taught to “mirror and mirror”: if the client's arms or legs are crossed, then cross yours; If she smiles, smile back. (See “Take a Closer Look: Experiencing Virtual Social Reality”)

Another example: Theodore Dembroski, Thomas Lasater, and Albert Ramirez (1978) gave African American high school students a recorded plea for proper dental care. When a dentist rated their teeth for cleanliness the next day, those who heard the call from an African-American dentist (whose face they were shown) had cleaner teeth. In general, people respond better to a message from someone in their group (Van Knippenberg & Wilke, 1992; Wilder, 1990).

How in this case, similarity is more important than credibility? Sometimes yes sometimes no. Timothy Brock (1965) found that paint shop customers were influenced by the testimony of an ordinary person who had recently purchased the same amount of paint they intended to buy; They were less influenced by an expert who recently bought 20 times as much. However, keep in mind that when discussing dental hygiene, a senior dentist (a different but expert source) was more persuasive than a student (a similar but non-expert source).

These seemingly contradictory findings bring out the scientific detective in us. They suggest that an undiscovered factor is at play: that similarity is more important in the presence of Factor X, and credibility is more important in the absence of Factor X. The X factor, as discovered by George Goethals and Erick Nelson (1973 ) , is whether the subject is more of a subjective preference or an objective reality.

Attractive communicators, like Rihanna endorsing her perfume, often trigger peripheral persuasion. We associate your message or product with our good feelings towards the communicator, and we approve and believe.

Condemnation Chapter 7 235

researchCLOSE-UP Experiencing virtual social reality

University of California, Santa Barbara social psychologist Jim Blascovich developed a new interest shortly after stepping into a colleague's virtual reality lab. Wearing a headset, Blascovich took a plank into a fairly deep hole. Although he knew the room didn't have a moat, he couldn't quell his fear and dared to walk the plank.

The experience sparked a reflection: could social psychologists be useful for virtual environments? Could they provide people with seemingly real experiences that the researcher could control and manipulate? Could this allow social psychologists to study conformity? To allow physically distant people to interact in a virtual meeting? To observe people's reactions to another person's physical deformity? belief to explore?

The experimental power of virtual human interaction is demonstrated in an experiment by longtime Blascovich collaborator Jeremy Bailenson in collaboration with graduate student Nick Yee. At Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Laboratory, 69 student volunteers, equipped with a 3D virtual reality headset, came face to face with a virtual human being: a computer-generated man or woman giving a presentation. 3 minutes to a University security policy required students to wear identification at all times.

The digital persona had realistic-looking lips that moved, eyes that blinked, and a bobbing head. For half of the participants, these movements mimicked the student's movements with a 4-second delay. If the student tilted her head and looked up, the digital chameleon would do the same. Previous experiments with real people have found that such imitation promotes affect by suggesting empathy and kinship (see Chapter 11). In Bailenson and Yee's (2005) experiment, students with an imitator digital partner, rather than a non-imitator digital partner, liked their partner more. They also found the impersonator to be more interesting, honest, and persuasive; paid more attention (looking away less); and they were slightly more likely to agree with the message.

For Blascovich and Bailenson (2011), such studies illustrate the potential of virtual social realities. Generating stimuli involving the presence of other people costs less, requires less effort, and offers more experimental control than generating stimuli with the actual presence of other people. Humans, even trained Confederates, are difficult to control. Digital people can be perfectly controlled. And exact replicas are possible.

Experiencing a virtual social reality. In an experiment by Jeremy Bailenson and Nick Yee, a person whose facial expressions and movements mirrored yours was both popular and persuasive.

When it comes to matters of personal value, taste, or lifestyle, peer communicators make the biggest impact. But based on factual assessments, does Sydney rain less than London? – Confirmation of belief by a different person does more to increase confidence. A different person provides more independent judgment.

236 Second part Social impact

what is said the content of the message It is not only important who says what, but also who says what. Would you help organize a call for people to vote on school taxes or quit smoking?

Donate money to world hunger relief, you may be wondering how best to promote the Central Route. Common sense can lead you to either side of these questions:

• Is a logical message more convincing or one that stirs emotions? Will you achieve a greater change in opinion by taking a position that differs only slightly from the public's existing opinions, or by taking an extreme view?

• Should the message express only your point of view or should it acknowledge and refute opposing points of view?

• When people are asked to present both sides, for example, in back-to-back conversations at a community meeting or in a political debate, is there any advantage to going first or second?

Let's look at these questions one by one.


- SOPHOKLES, PHEDRA, 496^06 v.




KtAbUN VERSUS EMOTIONS Suppose you are running a campaign in support of Welthungerhilfe. Would it be better if you listed your arguments and cited a series of impressive statistics? Or would it be less effective in presenting an emotional focus, perhaps the persuasive humor of a starving child? In my community, advocates of a proposed anti-discrimination regulation to protect gay men wondered how much reason and evidence could influence opinions about sexual orientation and how much emotion. What matters is more what people know or how they feel about who they know. Of course, a fight can be both rational and emotional. You can marry passion and logic. But what influences more, reason or emotion? Shakespeare was right ^^ysander: "Man's will is governed by his reason"? or was

classify Chesterfield's advice more wisely: "It appeals generally to the senses, the heart, and the failings of mankind, but seldom to their reason"^

The answer: It depends on the audience. Highly educated or analytical peopleZl ZqaqZZZ (Cacioppo et al., 1983, 1996; Hovland et al., 1949). Attentive and engaged listeners often take the middle path; They respond best to reasoned arguments. Disinterested audiences often take the detour; It affects them more how they like the communicator

(Chaiken, 1980; Petty et al., 1981). Judging by interviews before the main elections, many voters are uninvolved.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, Americans' voting preferences were more predictable from emotional responses to candidates than from their beliefs about likely candidate characteristics and behaviors (Abelson et al., 1982). It's not just the candidates' positions (which candidate embodies your views) that matter, but your taste (who you choose to spend time with).

It also plays a role in how people's attitudes are formed. If people's initial attitudes are formed mainly by emotions, they later become more persuasive.

Emotional appeals; If their initial attitudes are formed primarily by reason, they will be more persuaded by later intellectual arguments (Edwards 1990 – Fabrigar & Petty, 1999). New emotions can affect an emotion-based attitude. But to change a preference based on information, more information may be required.

THE EFFECT OF GOOD FEELINGS Messages also become more convincing when associated with good feelings. Irving Janis and colleagues (1965; Dabbs & Jams, 1965) found that Yale students make more persuasive messages 7 4? " 1''“‘=“■"8 '^e Messages (Figure 7.4). Similarly, Mark Galizio and Clyde Hendrick (1972) found that students at Kmt State University were more convinced by folk song lyrics accompanied by pleasant guitar music than by unaccompanied lyrics. there it seems

Condemnation Chapter 7 237

percentage affected

100 r.............Read without eating

eating while reading

Cancer Cure Armed Forces Moonwalk 3D Movies

FIGURE: 7.4 People who ate while reading were more confident than those who read without snacks.

Source: data from Janis, Kaye. and Kirschner (1965).

FIGURE :: 7.5 In experiments at Radboud University Nijmegen, humor increased people's preference for such products.

something you earn doing business over sumptuous lunches with soft music in the background.

Good feelings often increase persuasiveness, in part by increasing positive thinking, 3. in part by associating good feelings with the message (Petty et al., 1993). As mentioned in Chapter 3, people in a good mood see the world through rose-colored glasses. But they also make quicker, more spontaneous decisions; they rely more on peripheral cues (Bodenhausen, 1993; Brayerman, 2005; Moons & Mackie, 2007). Unhappy people think more before they react, making them less likely to be swayed by flimsy arguments. (They also produce more persuasive messages [Forgas, 2007]). So if you can't find any persuasive arguments, you might want to cheer up your listeners and hope your message makes them feel good without thinking too much about it. .

Knowing that humor can put people in a good mood, a Dutch research team led by Madelijn Strick (Strick et al., 2009) invited people to watch advertisements next to funny cartoons (Figure 7.5) or the cartoons themselves. , which were changed to be unfunny The result: Based on an implicit attitude test, products associated with humor were more popular and chosen more often.

238 Second part Social impact

"If the jury had been in a better hotel, it probably never would have happened."

Good feelings contribute to a positive attitude.® Frank Cotham/The New Yorker Collection/

A proposed new American cigarette warning, shown here, uses fear activation.

THE EFFECT OF GENERATING ANXIETY Messages can also be effective in evoking negative emotions. Persuading people to stop smoking, get a tetanus shot, or drive safely can send a powerful message of fear (de Hoog et al., 2007; Muller & Johnson, 1990). By requiring cigarette manufacturers to put graphic representations of the dangers of smoking on every pack of cigarettes, more than three dozen other governments have correctly assumed that showing smokers the horrible things that happen to them is a selling point. O'Hegarty et al., 2007; Peters et al., 2007; Stark et al., 2008). If its courts allow it, the United States will follow the lead of other nations and require graphic warnings with photographs (Reardon, 2011; Wilson, 2011).

But how much fear do you need to awaken? Should you instill a little fear so people aren't so scared that they ignore your heartbreaking message? Or should you try to scare them to death? Experiments show that many times more fear

The more exhausted and vulnerable people feel, the more they react (de Hoog et al., 2007; Leventhal, 1970; Robberson & Rogers, 1998).

The power of anxiety-provoking communication has been used in advertisements that discourage not only smoking but also risky sexual behavior, drinking and driving. When Claude Levy-Leboyer (1988) found that fear-provoking images were effective in changing attitudes towards alcohol and drinking among young French people, the French government incorporated these images into their television commercials.

An effective smokefree advertising campaign featured display ads for "the truth." In one of them, the vans stop in front of an unnamed tobacco shop. Youths stack and unload 1,200 body bags covering two city blocks. As a curious suit peers through the upstairs window, a teenager shouts into a loudspeaker, “Do you know how many people die from tobacco every day? … We'll leave that up to you, so you can see what 1,200 people really look like” (Nicholson, 2007). In contrast to teens who simultaneously watched a cerebral Philip Morris ad (lecture: "Think. Don't smoke") and were no less likely to smoke, those who saw the more dramatic and bizarre ad were significantly less likely to smoke (Farrelly & others, 2002, 2008).

Fear-inducing communication has also been used to enhance breast cancer screening behaviors, eg B. having mammograms or breast self-exams to look for signs of skin cancer. Sara Banks, Peter Salovey and colleagues (1995) had women ages 40 to 66 fail

Marca 20aassAa9)R&^


Mammograms Watch an instructional video about mammograms. Of those who received a positively worded message (emphasizing that mammography can save lives through early detection), only half had a mammogram within 12 months. Of those who received a fear-framed message (emphasizing that no mammogram can cost you your life), two-thirds had a mammogram within 12 months.

The fear game works best when a message makes people not only fear the severity and likelihood of an impending event, but also perceive a solution and feel empowered to implement it (DeVos-Comby & Salovey, 2002; Maddux & Rogers, 1983; Ruiter et al., 2001). Many advertisements designed to reduce sexual risk are intended to inspire fear – “AIDS kills” – and offer a protective strategy: abstain, use a condom or reserve sex for a serious relationship. Furthermore, win-framed messages are often as effective as loss-framed messages (O'Keefe &c Jensen, 2011). For-profit messages focus on the benefits of healthy behavior (eg, "If you wear sunscreen, your skin is attractive" rather than "Without sunscreen, your skin is unattractive"). Therefore, for many skeptics, an article on global climate change that ends by describing future catastrophic consequences is less convincing than one that ends by discussing possible solutions (Feinberg & Wilier, 2010).

Vibrant advertising often exploits fears. The Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer incited fear with hundreds of unfounded anecdotes about Jews allegedly grinding rats to make hashish, seducing non-Jewish women and cheating families out of their savings. Streicher's appeals, like most Nazi propaganda, were emotional, not logical. The appeals also included clear and specific instructions for combating "the danger": they listed Jewish businesses for readers to avoid, urged readers to submit the names of German patrons of Jewish businesses and merchants for publication, and asked readers to list Jews in your area. (Bytwerk & Brooks, 1980).

However, animated stories can also be put to good use, especially when the more memorable ones convey the core message rather than distract from it (Guadagno et al., 2011). Following the genocidal conflict between Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda, a year-long field experiment examined the effects of a radio soap opera that featured stories of prejudice, conflict, communication, reconciliation, and even love between groups in two communities. Compared to a control group exposed to a health-related soap opera, listeners were more accepting of empathy, cooperation, trauma healing, and even intermarriage (Paluck, 2009). Fiction encouraged indulgence.


Imagine the following scene: Nicole arrives home for spring break hoping to convert her burly middle-aged father to her new "health and wellness" lifestyle. She runs 5 km every day. Her dad says his idea of ​​exercise is "channel surfing". Nicole reflects, "Would you rather pester Dad by asking him to do a modest exercise regimen, say a daily walk, or try to get him to do something strenuous, say a calisthenics and running regimen? Maybe if I asked him to start a rigorous exercise regimen, he'd commit and at least do something worthwhile. But then again, he could dump me and <^0 nothing."

Like Nicole, social psychologists can argue either way. Disagreements create discomfort, and discomfort causes people to change their minds. (Recall the effects of dissonance from Chapter 4.) So perhaps more disagreement leads to more change. On the other hand, a communicator who delivers an uncomfortable message may be discredited. People who disagree with a news presenter's conclusions rate the presenter as more biased, inaccurate and unreliable. People are more open to inferences within their range of acceptance (Liberman & Chaiken, 1992; Zanna, 1993). So maybe bigger divergences lead to less changes.

Chapter 7 239









Social impact 240 Second part

FIGURE: 7.6 Discrepancy interacts with communicator credibility

0 >—________________________________________________ ________________________________________________Medium Large


Elliot Aronson, Judith Turner, and Merrill Carlsmith (1963) argued that a credible source, hard to deny, would produce the greatest change of opinion if it held an important/contradictory position. Indeed, when the reliable TS Eliot is said to have praised an unpopular poem, people have changed their minds more than when he did. But when “Agnes Stearns, a student at Mississippi State Teachers College, released an unpopular poem, it deserved no further praise.

Interaction of trust and credibility: The effect of a large versus small discrepancy depends on the credibility of the communicator.

The answer to Nicole's question: "Should I take an extreme position?

physical conditioning program. If not, Nicole would do well to make a more modest plea.

The answer also depends on your father's commitment to the issue. Highly evolved people tend to accept only a narrow range of points of view. For them a moderate

A contradictory message can seem foolishly radical, especially when the message takes an opposing point of view rather than being a more extreme version of your own point of view (Pallak et al., 1972; Petty and Cacioppo, 1979; Rhine and Severance, 1970). ). Therefore, social psychologists Arie Kruglanski, Michele Gelfand, and Rohan Gunaratna (2010) advise building messages that can help deradicalize committed terrorists. Build these messages on elements of your pre-existing beliefs.

On the other hand, if Nicole's dad doesn't think much about working out, he can probably take a more extreme stance. So if you're a credible authority and your audience doesn't care much about your problem, you're taking a contradictory view. °


The ShnHH community's gay rights initiative was faced with a strategic question: Or do we want to try to refute all opposition arguments? Or would that likely backfire by planting ideas that people would remember for a long time?

Forgot the discount? Again, common sense does not provide a clear answer. Acknowledging opposing arguments can confuse the public and weaken the case. On the other hand, a message can seem fairer and more disarming if it acknowledges the opposition's arguments. ^

Carol Werner and colleagues (2002) demonstrated the captivating power of a simple two-sided message in an aluminum can recycling experiment. added signs

Belief 241 Chapter 7

For example, trash cans in a University of Utah classroom read, "No aluminum cans please!!!!! When a final persuasive message confirmed and responded to the main counterargument: "It might be more uncomfortable than in other reporting states).

After Germany's defeat in World War II, the US Army didn't want soldiers to relax, thinking that the war with Japan, which was still going on, would be easy. So Carl Hovland and his colleagues (1949) in the Army's Information and Education Division created two radio broadcasts. Both argued that the Pacific War would last at least another two years. One transmission was one-sided; Contradictory arguments, such as the advantage of fighting a single enemy instead of two, were not recognized. The other transmission was bilateral; mentioned and responded to opposing arguments. As Figure 7.7 shows, the effectiveness of the message depended on the listener. Unilateral appeal was most effective among those who had already given their consent. A feature that acknowledges opposing arguments worked best for those who disagreed.

Experiments also show that a two-sided presentation is more persuasive and sustainable when people are (or will be) aware of opposing arguments (Jones & Brehm, 1970; Lumsdaine & Janis, 1953). In mock trials, the defense's case becomes more credible when the defense presents evidence detrimental to prosecutors (Williams et al., 1993). Therefore, a political candidate targeting a politically informed group or a community group that supports or opposes gay rights would be very smart to respond to the opposition. So when your audience is presented with opposing points of view, offer a two-way appeal.

This interaction effect is typical of belief research. For optimists, positive persuasion works best ("New plan cuts tuition in exchange for part-time university services"). For pessimists, the negative belief is more effective (“All students have to work part-time for college to avoid paying tuition”) (Geers et al., 2003). We may want belief variables to have simple effects. (It would make studying this chapter easier.) Unfortunately, as Richard Petty and Duane Wegener (1998) point out, most variables have "complex effects: they increase persuasiveness in some situations and decrease it in others."

As students and scientists, we appreciate "Occam's razor" in search of the simplest possible principles. But if human reality is complex, then our principles must also have some complexity to account for interaction effects.





— GOETHE, maxims Y


Unilateral Bilateral

FIGURE: 7.7 The Interplay of Initial Sentiment and One-Way Versus Two-Way After Germany's defeat in World War II, American soldiers who were skeptical of a message suggesting Japan's strength were more convinced of two-way communication. Soldiers who initially agreed with the message were most empowered by a one-sided message.

Source; Data from Hovland, Lumsdaine & Sheffield (1949).

The message

242 Second part Social impact

Primacy Effect Other things being equal, the information that is presented first usually has the greatest impact.

Chance Effect The most recently presented information is sometimes the most influential. Recency effects are rarer than primacy effects.

PRIMARY VERSUS RECENTAGE Imagine that you are an adviser to a prominent politician who will soon have to debate a bilingual education ballot with a prominent politician. Every politician must appear on the nightly news three weeks before the vote.

Expression. The coin toss gives your side the option to speak first or last. Knowing that you are a social psychology alumnus, everyone seeks your advice.

He mentally scans his old textbooks and class notes. Would it be better first? Humans • Interpretations. Furthermore, a belief, once formed, is difficult to disbelieve, so if voters go first, it may give them insights that would positively affect their perception and interpretation of the second speech. Also, people can pay

^S^in, people remember recent things better. Could it really be more effective to speak last?

His first line of reasoning predicts what occurs most often, with a primacy effect pattern presented at the beginning being the most convincing. The first impression is important! For example, can you feel a difference between these two descriptions?

• John is smart, hardworking, impulsive, critical, stubborn, and envious. John Is envious, stubborn, critical, impulsive, hardworking and intelligent.

of Solomon Asch (1946) gave these sentences to college students in New York City, those who read the adjectives in order from intelligent to envious rated me as a more positive person than those who received the order from envious to intelligent. Earlier information seemed to influence their interpretation of later information that created the primacy effect.

Some other examples of primacy effects:

In some experiments, people who succeed 50% of the time on a guessing task but whose successes come early appear to be more capable than those whose successes come after initial failures Qones et al., 1968; Langer and Roth, 1975; MacAndrew, 1981). ^

• In political polls and primary ballots, candidates benefit from being first on the ballot (Moore, 2004b).

• Norman Miller and Donald Campbell (1959) gave Northwestern University students an abbreviated transcript of an actual civil trial. They placed the author's statements and arguments in one block and those of the defense in another. Students read both blocks. When they returned a week later to give their opinions, most accepted the information they read first.

And me faced with the possibility? Would our better memory of current information produce a monetary effect? We have all experienced what the Book of Proverbs observes: he who presents a case first seems right until the other comes and is questioned.” We know from our experience (as well as memory experiments) that today's events can temporarily dominate past major events. it is even more threatening.

To test a possible recency effect. Miller and Campbell gave another group of students a notebook to read. A week later, the researchers had them read the second block and immediately provided feedback. The results were the opposite of the other condition: a novelty effect. Apparently the first block of arguments, which was a week old, had faded from memory.

Forgetting produces the novelty effect (1) if there is enough time to separate the two messages, and (2) if the audience engages soon after the second message, then ^o messages are consecutive, followed by a time lapse, the Primate. effect normally ours (Figure 7.8). This is especially true when the first message is thought provoking (Haugtvedt & Wegener, 1994). What advice would you give me now as a political polemicist? ®

Sentencing Chapter 7

Expected Priority Effect:

Message #1 Message #2 (Time) Reply

Message #1 accepted

Desired recent effect message #1:

(Time) Message #2


Message #2 accepted

Figure:: 7.8 Effect of primacy vs. recency effect If there are two compelling messages in direct succession and the audience responds at a later time, the first message has the upper hand (primacy effect). If the two messages are separated in time and the audience responds shortly after the second message, the second message has the upper hand (novelty effect).

In 2008, the US Democratic Party Congress was immediately followed by the Republican Party Congress, after which there was a two-month gap before the election. If the ninth novelty primacy experiments are applicable, which party would benefit most from this moment?


Dana Carney and Mahzarin Banaji (2008) found that order can also influence simple preferences. When faced with two people, horses, food or anything else, people tend to prefer the option that is offered first. For example, when offered two similar-looking pieces of gum placed side by side on a white clipboard, when asked for a snap judgment, 62% chose the piece of gum presented first. In four experiments, the results were consistent: "First is better."

244 Second part Social influence

How to say? The communication channel In order to convince, it is necessary to communicate. And for communication there must be a channel: a personal appeal, a sign or written document, an announcement in the media.

Common sense psychology is based on the power of written words. How do we try to get people to attend an event on campus? We post notices. How do you get drivers to slow down and keep their eyes on the road? We put "Drive Safe" messages on billboards. How can we prevent students from leaving litter on campus? We post anti-trash messages on campus bulletin boards.

ACTIVE EXPERIENCE OR PASSIVE RECEPTION? Are oral appeals more persuasive? Not necessarily. Those of us who speak in public, as teachers or persuaders, are often so enamored with our spoken words that we overestimate their power. Ask college students what aspect of their college experience was most valuable or what they remember about their freshman year, and I'm sorry to say that few remember the brilliant lectures that we professors remember.

Thomas Crawford (1974) and his collaborators tested the impact of the spoken word by going into the homes of people from 12 churches shortly before and after hearing sermons against racial bigotry and injustice. When asked in the second interview if they had heard or read anything about racial prejudice or discrimination since the last interview, only 10% spontaneously recalled the sermons. When the remaining 90% were asked directly if their pastor had "spoken about prejudice or discrimination in recent weeks," over 30% denied having heard such a sermon. Conclusion: the sermons left racist attitudes intact.

When you think about it, there are many hurdles to overcome in order to be a successful preacher. As shown in Figure 7.2, a persuasive speaker must deliver a message that overcomes five hurdles; Not only does it need to be attention-grabbing, but it needs to be understandable, compelling, memorable, and captivating. A carefully considered objection must consider each of these steps in the persuasion process.

Consider another well-meaning effort. At Scripps College in California, a week-long anti-trash campaign urged students to "keep the Scripps campus nice," "let's clean up our trash," etc. These slogans were placed in students' mailboxes each morning and displayed on attractive banners. The day before the start of the campaign, social psychologist Raymond Paloutzian (1979) placed garbage next to a dumpster on a busy sidewalk. He then stepped back to record the behavior of 180 passers-by. Nobody recorded anything. On the last day of the campaign, he repeated the test with another 180 passers-by. Are passers-by running now in their eagerness to obey the calls? Only 2 out of 180 collected garbage.

However, passively received objections are not always useless. my pharmacy sold

advertising power. Cigarette advertising campaigns are correlated with increases in adolescent smoking among target genders (Pierce & Gilpin, 1995; Pierce et al., 1994). This photo shows models practicing the "correct" tuck and flap for a 1950s TV commercial.

Communication channel The manner in which the message is conveyed, whether in person, in writing, on film, or otherwise.

Condemnation Chapter 7 245

two brands of aspirin, one heavily advertised and one unadvertised. Aside from minor differences in how quickly each pill disintegrates in the mouth, any pharmacist will tell you that the two brands are identical. Aspirin is aspirin. Our body cannot tell the difference. But our paperbacks can. The advertised brand is sold to millions of people for three times the price of the unadvertised brand.

With so much power, can the media help a wealthy political candidate buy an election? In presidential primaries, those who spend the most often get the most votes (Crush, 1980; Open Secrets, 2005). Advertising exposure helps turn an unfamiliar candidate into a familiar one. As we'll see in Chapter 11, mere exposure to unfamiliar stimuli inspires sympathy. Furthermore, mere repetition can make things believable (Dechene &: other, 2010; Moons & other, 2009).

Researcher Hal Arkes (1990) calls these findings "terrifying." As political manipulators know, credible lies can replace hard truths. Repeated clichés can cover up complex realities. Even repeatedly stating that a consumer claim is false can result in older adults incorrectly remembering it as true (Skurnik et al., 2005) if the discount is presented amidst other true and false claims. If they forget about discounts, your continued familiarity with the claim can make it credible. In the political arena, even correct information cannot rule out implanted disinformation (Bullock, 2006; Nyhan tSc Reifler, 2008). For example, in the 2008 US presidential election, false rumors (that Obama was Muslim, that McCain wanted American forces in Iraq for 100 years) defied efforts to refute them, sometimes helping the falsehood to seem familiar and, therefore true.

Simply repeating a statement also serves to increase its fluency, the ease with which it rolls off our tongues, which increases credibility (McGlone & Tofighbakhsh, 2000). Other factors such as rhymes further increase fluency and believability. "Silence causes waste" might mean essentially the same thing as "Silence makes mistakes", but it rings truer. Anything that provides familiarity (familiarity, rhymes) also provides credibility.

Since passively accepted appeals are sometimes effective and sometimes not, can we specify in advance on which issues a persuasive appeal will succeed? There is a simple rule; The power of persuasion decreases as the importance and knowledge of the topic increases. On smaller issues like which brand of aspirin to buy, it's easy to demonstrate the power of the media. On more familiar and important issues, such as attitudes toward a protracted and contentious war, convincing people is like trying to push a piano up a hill. It's not impossible, but a push won't cut it.

As we saw in Chapter 4, Behavior and Attitudes, active experience also strengthens attitudes. When we act, we reinforce the idea behind what we did, especially when we feel responsible. Furthermore, attitudes are more likely to persist and influence our behavior when they are rooted in our own experience. Compared to passively formed attitudes, experience-based attitudes are safer, more stable, and less vulnerable to attack. These principles are evident in the many studies that show that the most effective HIV prevention interventions not only provide people with information, but also behavioral training, for example,

PERSONAL IMPACT VERSUS MEDIA Persuasion studies show that the greatest influence on us is not the media, but our contact with people. Modern sales strategies aim to harness the power of personal influence through word of mouth through "viral marketing" to "cause a stir" and "sow seeds" (Walker, 2004). The Harry Potter series was not expected to be a bestseller (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone had a first print run of 500 copies). They were children talking to other children who did this.

Two classic field experiments illustrate the power of personal influence. A few years ago, Samuel Eldersveld and Richard Dodge (1954) studied political law in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They divided citizens who didn't want to vote for the revision of the city's bylaws into three groups. Of those who were only exposed to what they saw and heard in the mainstream media, 19% changed their minds and voted.

















246 Second part Social influence

in favor of review on election day. A second group, which received four emails in support of the revision, voted in favor with 45%. A third group of people who were personally visited and confronted with the appeal voted 75% in favor of the revision.

In another field experiment, a research team led by John Farquhar and Nathan Maccoby (Farquhar et al., 1977; Maccoby, 1980; Maccoby and Alexander, 1980) attempted to reduce the incidence of heart disease among middle-aged adults by three small cities. ... from California. . To check the relative effectiveness of personal and media influence, they surveyed and interviewed 1,200 participants before the start of the project and at the end of each of the following 3 years. Residents of Tracy, Calif., received no compelling appeals beyond those that appeared in their regular vehicles. In Gilroy, California, a two-year multimedia campaign used television, radio, newspapers and direct mail to educate people about their coronary risk and what they can do to reduce it. In Watsonville, California, this media campaign was complemented by face-to-face contact with two-thirds of participants who were at risk due to blood pressure, weight and age. Using behavior change principles, researchers helped Watsonville participants set specific goals and reinforce their achievements.

As Figure 7.9 shows, high-risk participants in Tracy (the control city) were as vulnerable as before after 1, 2, and 3 years. High-risk participants in Gilroy, which was flooded with media outcry, improved their health habits and lowered their risk somewhat. Those in Watsonville who received personal contacts and the media campaign changed the most.

MEDIA INFLUENCE: THE TWO-STEP PROCESS Although face-to-face influence is many times greater than media influence, we must not underestimate the power of the media. Those who personally influence our opinions need to get their ideas.

two-stage flow of a source, and often its sources are the media. Elihu Katz (1957) noted that communication Many media effects occur in a two-step communication flow: from the process by which the media become media influencers to the grassroots. In any large group, it is often these influencers, the opinion leaders and influencers, "influencers", who seek out marketers and politicians through the influencers they are courting (Keller & Berry, 2003). Opinion leaders are people who are perceived as experts and, in turn, influence others. This can include talk show hosts and editorial columnists; doctors, teachers, etc.

FIGURE: 7.9% change in coronary risk from baseline (0) after t, 2, or 3 years of health education. Source; Data from Maccoby 0 980).

0 1 2 3 school year

Belief 247 Chapter 7

Scientific; and people from all walks of life who have made it their mission to absorb information and inform their friends and family. When I want to evaluate computer equipment, I rely on my children, who get many of their ideas from the printed page. Sell ​​them and you sell me.

The two-level flow of information affects the drugs your doctor describes, reports a research team at the Stanford School of Business (Nair et al., 2008). Physicians turn to opinion leaders in their social network, often a specialist at a teaching hospital, to decide which drugs they prefer. More than 9 out of 10 physicians are influenced by personal contact. The biggest pharmaceutical companies know that thought leaders drive sales, so they focus about a third of their marketing dollars on these influencers.

The two-layer flow model reminds us that media influences subtly permeate culture. Even if the media has little direct influence on people's attitudes, it can still have a large indirect influence. Those weird kids who grow up without television don't grow up without television's influence. When not living like hermits, they play imitation games on TV on school grounds. They will ask their parents about their friends' TV toys. They will ask or demand to watch their friends' favorite shows and will do so when they visit their friends' homes. Parents can simply say no, but they cannot turn off the influence of TV.

COMPARE MEDIA It's very easy to collate all media, from email spam to television and social media. Studies comparing different media have found that the more real the medium, the more compelling the message. So the order of persuasion seems to be: live (face-to-face), on video, on tape, and in writing.

To add complexity, messages are best understood and retrieved when they are written. Comprehension is one of the first steps in the persuasion process (recall Figure 7.2). Thus, Shelly Chaiken and Alice Eagly (1976) argued that when a message is difficult to understand, persuasion should be greater when the message is being written because readers will be able to work through the message at their own pace. The researchers gave University of Massachusetts students simple or difficult messages in writing, on tape, or on video. Figure 7.10 shows their results: difficult messages were certainly more persuasive when they were written; simple messages when captured on video. The television medium removes control of the pace of the message from recipients. By drawing attention to the communicator and away from the message itself, television also encourages people to focus on peripheral cues such as the attractiveness of the communicator (Chaiken & Eagly, 1983).

change my mind

In study after study, most people agree that the media influences attitudes: other people's attitudes, but not your own (Duck et al., 1995).

FIGURE :: 7.10 Easy-to-understand messages are more persuasive when captured on video. Difficult messages are more persuasive when written. Therefore, the difficulty of the message interacts with the medium to determine persuasion. Source. Data from Chaiken & Eagly (1976).

Social impact 248 Second part

Who is informed? Audience Persuasion varies according to who says... what... through what means... to whom. Let's look at two characteristics of the audience: age and consideration.

HOW OLD ARE YOU? As was clear during the 2008 US presidential campaign, with John McCain the staunch favorite of older voters and Barack Obama the youngest voter, people's social and political attitudes correlate with their age. Social psychologists offer two possible explanations for age differences:

• A life cycle explanation: as people age, their attitudes change (eg they become more conservative).

• A generational explanation: attitudes don't change; Older people largely retain the attitudes they adopted when they were young. As these attitudes are different from those of young people today, a conflict between generations is emerging. (Figure 7.11 provides an example of a large generation gap.)

The evidence mostly supports the generational explanation. In surveys and repeated surveys of groups of young and old people over several years, the attitudes of the elderly tend to show less change than those of the young. As David Sears (1979, 1986) put it, researchers "almost invariably found generational rather than life-cycle effects."

Adolescence and early 20s are important formative years (Koenig et al., 2008; Krosnick & Alwin, 1989). Attitudes are then changeable, and formed attitudes tend to stabilize in middle age. Gallup interviews with more than 120,000 people suggest that political attitudes formed at age 18 (relatively Republican during the popular Reagan era and more Democrat during the unpopular George W. Bush era) tend to endure (Silver, 2009).

So young people can be advised to choose their social influences carefully: the puppies they associate with, the media they consume, the roles they adopt. For example, when analyzing the archives of the National Opinion Research Center, James Davis (2004) found that Americans who turned 16 in the 1960s have been politically more liberal than average ever since. Just as tree rings can reveal the telltale signs of a drought years later, attitudes can reveal them decades later.

FIGURE :: 7.11 A 2011 US generation gap on same-sex marriage, as reported by Gallup. A "life cycle" explanation of generational differences in attitudes suggests that people become more conservative as they age. A "generational explanation" suggests that each generation tends to retain attitudes formed during adolescence and early adulthood.

Percentage Affected 80 ------------- -

55^ 18-34

Percent support for same-sex marriage by age

Condemnation Chapter 7 249

the events like the Vietnam War and the civil rights era of the 1960s that shaped the minds of teenagers and twenty-somethings. For many people, these years are a critical time for forming attitudes and values.

Bennington College in Vermont is a notable example. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Bennington's female students, women from conservative and privileged backgrounds, found themselves in a free-spirited environment led by a young, left-leaning faculty. One of those professors, the social psychologist Theodore Newcomb, later denied that the college was trying to turn its students into "good liberals." But the students became much more liberal than was typical of their social background. Furthermore, the attitudes formed at Bennington persisted. Half a century later, Bennington women, now in their 70s, voted Democrat in the 1984 presidential election by a margin of three to one, while other college-educated women in their 70s voted three to one. a ratio to the margin voted by Republicans (Alwin et al., 1991). Points of view held in an impressionable moment last a lifetime of broader experience.

The experiences of adolescents and young adults are formative in part because they leave deep and lasting impressions. When Howard Schuman and Jacqueline Scott (1989) asked people to name one or two major national or world events of the last half-century, most recalled events from their youth or early twenties. For those aged 16-24 who lived through the Great Depression or World War II, these events overshadowed the civil rights movement and the Kennedy assassination in the early 1960s, the Vietnam War and the moon landing in the late 1960s. 1960s. The 1960s and the women's movement of the 1960s. 1970s, all of which formed in the minds of younger people who experienced it when they were between the ages of 16 and 24. So we can be sure that today's young adults will see events like 9/11 and the Iraq war or the economic crisis that followed as memorable turning points.

This is not to say that seniors are inflexible. Studies conducted by Norval Glenn in 1980 and 1981 found that most people in their 50s and 60s had more liberal sexual and racial attitudes than those in their 30s and 40s. Given the "sexual revolution" that began in the 1960s and became widespread in the 1970s, these middle-aged people have obviously changed over time. Few of us are unaffected by changing cultural norms. Furthermore, older adults may become more vulnerable to attitude changes towards the end of their lives, perhaps due to the diminished strength of their attitudes (Visser & Krosnick, 1998). Or perhaps, as some research suggests, resistance to attitude change peaks in midlife, when people tend to adopt more powerful social roles that evoke determination (Eaton et al., 2009).

WHAT DO YOU THINK? The crucial aspect of Central Route Persuasion is not the message, but the reactions it elicits in a person's mind. Our mind is not a sponge that absorbs everything that is poured on it. If a message evokes positive thoughts, it convinces us. If it provokes us to make opposing arguments, we are not convinced.

WARNING IS PREPARATION: IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ENOUGH TO BE COUNTER-ARGUED What circumstances lead to counter-arguments? You know someone will try to convince you. If you told your family that you wanted to drop out of school, you would probably expect them to ask you to stay. They could then develop a list of arguments to counter whatever arguments come to mind.

Jonathan Freedman and David Sears (1965) demonstrated the difficulty of persuading people in such circumstances. They alerted a group of California high school students who were going to hear a lecture, "Why Teenagers Shouldn't Be Allowed to Drive." Those who were warned did not renounce their opinion. Others, without warning, stirred. Also in court, defense attorneys sometimes alert the jury to impending evidence for the prosecution. In the case of pseudojurors, this “stolen thunder” neutralizes its effect (Dolnik et al., 2003).







zion surrendered




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Need for knowledge Motivation to think and analyze. It is measured by agreeing with items such as "Abstract thinking appeals to me" and disagreeing with items such as "I only think as much as I need to".

"Are you better than four years ago?" Ronald Reagan emerged victorious with a memorable rhetorical question that got voters thinking.

Distraction Disarms Counterarguments Persuasion is also enhanced by a distraction that inhibits counterarguments (Festinger & Maccoby, 1964; Keating & Brock, 1974; Osterhouse & Brock, 1970). Political ads often use this technique. The words announce the candidate and the visual images occupy us so that we don't analyze the words. Distraction is particularly effective when the message is simple (Harkins & Petty, 1982; Regan & Cheng, 1973). However, sometimes distraction prevents us from processing an ad. This helps explain why ads displayed during 20-5°2007)^^ ^ programs are often unremembered and ineffective (Bushman,

HOWEVER AUDIENCES USE PERIPHERAL RESOURCES Remember the two paths of persuasion: the core path of systematic thinking and the peripheral path of heuristic cues. Like a road winding through a small town, the central route has starts and stops as the mind weighs arguments and formulates responses. Like the expressway that bypasses the city, the ring road gets people to their destination quickly. Analytical people, people with high cognitive needs, like to think carefully and prefer central routes (Cacioppo et al., 1996). People who want to conserve their mental resources, those with low cognitive needs, react more quickly to peripheral cues, such as the attractiveness of the communicator and the pleasant environment.

This simple theory—that what we think in response to a message matters, especially when we are motivated and able to think about it—generated many predicates, many of which have been corroborated by Petty, Cacioppo, and others (Axsom et al.). ). 1987; Haddock et al., 2008; Harkins and Petty, 1987). Many experiments have explored ways to stimulate people's thinking.

• using rhetorical questions. • featuring multiple speakers (for example, with three speakers each).

Provide one argument instead of a speaker presenting three). • making people feel responsible for evaluating or delivering the message. • repeat the message. • keep people's attention undisturbed to win.

The common view about each of these techniques is that thought provoking makes strong messages more persuasive and (because of the counterargument) weak messages less persuasive.

The theory also has practical implications. Effective communicators don't just care about their images and messages, they also care about how their audience is likely to react. The best teachers make students think actively. They ask rhetorical questions, provide fascinating examples, and challenge students with difficult problems. Such techniques provide the central path to persuasion. In classes where the monthly fee is lower

You can even provide your own central processing. If you reflect on the material and develop the arguments, you will likely do better in the course.

In the waning days of the hotly contested 1980 US presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan effectively kicked

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rhetorical questions to stimulate the desired thoughts in the minds of voters. His summary statement in the presidential debate began with two strong rhetorical questions that he repeated several times throughout the campaign week: “Are you better off than you were four years ago? Was it four years ago?" Most people said no, and Reagan won by a larger margin than expected, thanks in part to the way he pressured people to take the middle path.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: What are the elements of persuasion? L:• What makes persuasion effective? The researchers examined four factors: the communicator (who says it), the message (what is said), the channel (how it is said), and the audience (who is said). Confident communicators tend to be persuasive. People who speak without hesitation, who speak quickly, and who look the listener straight in the eye are more believable. The same goes for people who argue against their own interests. An attractive communicator is particularly effective when it comes to matters of personal taste and values. When a message is associated with good feelings, it is more convincing. People tend to make quicker and less thoughtful judgments when they are in a good mood. Fear-inducing messages can also be effective, especially when recipients feel vulnerable, but can guard against negative actions.

The existing opinions of the audience depend on the credibility of the communicator. And whether a one- or two-page message is more persuasive depends on

about whether the audience already agrees with the message, is unaware of opposing arguments, and is unlikely to consider opposition later. When both sides of an issue are included, the primacy effect often makes the first message more compelling. When a time lapse separates presentations, the most likely result is a recency effect, where the second message dominates. Another important consideration is how the message is communicated. Personal appeals usually work best. Print media can be effective for complex messages. And the mass media can be effective when the issue is minor or unknown and when the media reach out to influencers. In the end, it all comes down to who gets the message. The age of the audience makes a difference; Young people's attitudes are more subject to change. What does the audience think when they receive a message? Do you have favorable thoughts? Contradictory? Were they warned?


Name some principles of persuasion and group influence used by new religious movements ("cults").

On March 22, 1997, Marshall Herff Applewhite and 37 of his students in California decided that the time had come to abandon their bodies - mere "vessels" - and be ejected in a UFO headed for the sky-following comet Hale Bopp. , they would get high by mixing phenobarbital in pudding or applesauce, washing it down with vodka, and tying plastic bags over their heads to suffocate them in their sleep. On the same day, a hut in the town of St. Casimir, Quebec exploded into an inferno, consuming 5 people, the last 4 members of the Order of the Temple of the Sun to commit suicide in Canada, Switzerland and France. Everyone expected to be transported to the star Sirius in nine and a half years.

The question that worries many: what makes people leave behind their previous beliefs and adhere to these mental chains? We must attribute them strange

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One of the 37 suicide victims seeking Heaven's Gate.

Cult (also known as a new religious movement) A group typically characterized by (1) distinctive rituals and beliefs regarding their devotion to a god or person, (2) isolation from the "evil" culture that surrounds them, and (3)) a charismatic leader. (In contrast, a cult is an offshoot of a major religion.)

Behavior towards strangers? Or do their experiences illustrate the shared dynamics of social influence and persuasion? Use the principle of persuasion.

Cake to explain, retrospectively, a curious social phenomenon. The second explanation of why people believe something says nothing about the truth of their belief.

rt the? n r f T "'Heist doesn't believe, but he can't tell us who is right. Explaining his belief does not change its validity. Remember if anyone tries!

Dismiss your beliefs by saying, "You only believe that because m^gh!" Recall Archbishop William Temple's response to a questioner who challenged him: "Of course. Archbishop, the point is that because of your upbringing, you believe what you believe."

he was raised the way you were raised” ^

Sw, the mix of Christianity, anti-communism and the glorification of Moon himself as Myung Moon's new messiah attracted followers across the world. In response to Moon's statement, "What I wish should be your wish", many people pledged their income to the Unification Church. ^^ of Jim Jones' disciples who followed him from San Francisco shocked the world when they died following his orders to toof cya Jte.

tur'e"aTme!fJ''*'-"' >^memorizing the Scripture-

Sio^ Kom!hTl were released from their bank accounts and possessions. Koresh also persuaded men to be celibate while he slept with their wives and daughters, and convinced his 19 "wives" that they should have children hL, die soon, and go straight to heaven with him.

HfL® bombed the ground with tanks in hopes of injecting tear gas. At the end of the attack, 86 people were consumed by fire. By tear gas. Until

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"You go home without me, Irene. I will join this man's cult.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been recruited by members of some 2,500 religious sects in recent years, but rarely by abrupt decision. © Charles Addams. Courtesy of the Tee and Charles Addams Foundation.

Marshall Applewhite was not equally tempted to ask for sexual favors. After being fired from two music teaching jobs for affairs with students, he pursued asexual devotion through castration, as did 7 of the other 17 Heaven's Gate men who died with him (Chua-Eoan, 1997; Gardner, 1997) . While in a psychiatric hospital in 1971, Applewhite teamed up with nurse and astrologer Bonnie Lu Nettles, who provided the intense and charismatic Applewhite with a cosmological vision of a path to the "next level". He preached passionately, urging followers to give up family, sex, drugs and personal money with the promise of a spaceship ride to salvation.

How could these things happen? What prompted these people to submit so perfectly? Should we make dispositional statements, blaming the victims? Should we dismiss them as gullible or unhinged? Or can the familiar principles of conformity, docility, dissonance, persuasion and group influence explain their behavior and bring them into common ground with the rest of us, shaped in our ways by such forces?

Attitudes Follow Behavior As demonstrated repeatedly in Chapter 4, people often internalize commitments they have made voluntarily, publicly, and repeatedly. Cult leaders seem to know this.

CONFORMITY BREEDS ACCEPTANCE New converts quickly learn that membership is not a trivial matter. They quickly become active team members. Behavioral rituals, public recruitment, and fundraising reinforce the insiders' identity as members. Those who participate in social psychology experiments come to believe what they witness (Aronson & Mills, 1959; Gerard & Mathewson, 1966), and cult members also become committed advocates. The greater the personal commitment, the more it needs to be justified.

THE FOOT IN THE DOOR PHENOMENON How do you convince people to embark on such a drastic life change? Rarely by an abrupt and conscious decision. You don't just decide, "I'm done with the dominant religion. I'm going to start a cult." Also, cult recruiters don't approach people

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on the street with, "Hi. I'm a moonie. Would you like to join us?" Instead, the recruiting strategy uses the “foot in the door” principle. songs, activities and discussions Potential converts were then encouraged to sign up for longer training retreats. The pattern in cults is that activities gradually die down, they become more arduous, culminating in recruits soliciting donations and trying to convert others.

After converts join the sect, they discover that monetary donations are first voluntary and then compulsory. Jim Jones eventually introduced a mandatory 10% income contribution, which was soon increased to 25%. Finally, he ordered the members to hand over everything they owned to him. Workloads have also become increasingly demanding. Former cult member Grace Stoen recalls the gradual progression:

Nothing drastic was ever done. That's how Jim Jones got away with it. Gradually you let things go and little by little you had to put up with more, but always very slowly. It was amazing because sometimes you sat down and said, wow, I really gave up on a lot of things. I really endured a lot. But he did it so slowly that you thought. I came this far, what's the difference? (Conway and Siegelmann, 1979, p. 236)

Persuasive Elements We can also analyze the cult's persuasiveness using the factors discussed in this chapter (summarized in Figure 7.12): Who (the communicator) said the zohat (the message) to whom (the audience)?

THE COMMUNICATOR Successful cults often have a charismatic leader, someone who attracts and orients members. As in the persuasion experiments, a credible communicator is someone the audience perceives to be knowledgeable and trustworthy, for example, "father" Moon.

Jim Jones used psychic measurements to test his credibility. New arrivals were asked to provide identification when entering the church prior to the service. One of his helpers quickly called the person's home and said, "Hi. We're running a survey and would like to ask you some questions." During the service, a former member recalled that Jones called the person's name and said:

you've seen me before Well, you live in such and such a place, your phone number is such and such, and in your living room you have this, that, and that, and on your couch you have this pillow and that pillow. ... Do you remember that I was once at your house? (Conway and Siegelman, 1979, p. 234)

Who said? What?




message content

Discrepancy between reason and emotion Unilateral vs. bilateral primacy vs. recency

How? Your?


active vs. personal liabilities vs. media


Analytical or emotionally


FIGURE :: 7.12 Known variables that affect the impact of persuasive communication In real life, these variables can interact: the impact of one can depend on the level of the other.

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Trust is another aspect of credibility. Cult researcher Margaret Singer (1979) found that middle-class Caucasian youth are more likely to be recruited because they are more confident. They lack the smarts of lower-class youth (who know how to resist exaggeration) and the caution of upper-class youth (who have been warned about kidnappers since childhood). Many cult members were recruited from trusted friends or relatives (Stark & ​​Bainbridge, 1980).

The Message The vivid, emotional messages and warmth and acceptance the group gives to lonely or depressed people can be surprisingly appealing: Trust the Master, join the family; we have the answer, the "one way street". The message resonates through channels as diverse as lectures, small group discussions, and direct peer pressure.

THE AUDIENCE Recruits are usually young people under the age of 25, who are still at that comparatively open age before attitudes and values ​​stabilize. Some, like the followers of Jim Jones, are less educated people who like the simplicity of the message and find it difficult to find arguments against it. But most are educated middle-class people who, absorbed in ideals, ignore the contradictions of those who profess selflessness and greed, feign concern and behave recklessly.

Potential converts often find themselves at turning points in their lives, facing personal crises, going on vacation, or living far from home. you have needs; the cult offers them an answer (Lofland & Stark, 1965; Singer, 1979). Gail Maeder came to Heaven's Gate after her T-shirt shop failed. David Moore joined at age 19, fresh out of high school and looking for direction. Times of social and economic turmoil are especially enriching for those who can extract seemingly simple meaning from the confusion (O'Dea, 1968; Sales, 1972).

Most of those who carried out suicide bombings in the Middle East (and elsewhere such as Bali, Madrid and London) were also young people transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. Like cult recruits, they fall under the influence of authoritarian and religiously oriented communicators. These compelling voices indoctrinate them into seeing themselves as "living martyrs" whose fleeting moment of self-destruction will be their gateway to happiness and heroism. making a farewell video: creating a psychological point of no return (Kruglanski & Golec de Zavala, 2005) All of this typically occurs in the relative isolation of small cells, with group influences fueling hatred of the enemy.

Group EffectsCults also illustrate the theme of the next chapter: the power of a group to shape the opinions and behavior of its members. The cult typically segregates members from their former social support systems and isolates them with other cult members. What Rodney Stark and William Bainbridge (1980) call a "social implosion" can then occur: external ties weaken until the group socially collapses, with each person concerned only with the other members of the group. Separated from their families and former friends, they lose access to counterarguments. The group now provides identity and defines reality. While the cult disapproves of or punishes disagreements, apparent consensus helps dispel any lingering doubts. In addition, stress and emotional arousal limit attention and make people "more susceptible to unfounded arguments, social pressures, and the temptation to belittle non-group members" (Baron, 2000).

Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles initially formed their own couple, which reinforced each other's divergent thinking, a phenomenon psychiatrists call folie a deux (French for couple madness). As others joined them, the group became social.

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YOU”, 2007

Military training builds cohesion and commitment through some of the same tactics employed by leaders of new religious movements, fraternities, and healing communities.

Isolation facilitated strange thoughts. Internet conspiracy groups can also foster paranoia. Heaven's Gate had experience in Internet recruiting.

However, these techniques, which increase behavioral commitments, persuasion, and isolation, do not have unlimited power. The Unification Church has successfully recruited less than 1 in 10 people to attend its workshops (Ennis & Verrilh, 1989). Most of those who joined Heaven's Gate left before the fateful Ly. The feverish Koresh ruled with a mixture of persuasion, intimidation and violence. like jim jones

more and more he had to control people through intimidation. He threatened to harm those who fled the community, cheating for non-consent and using drugs to neutralize unsavory members. In the end, he was a tongue twister and a puzzler.

Some of these cult influence techniques share similarities with techniques used by more benign and widely accepted groups. Buddhist and Catholic monasteries, for example, have like-minded monastic followers. brotherhood and fellowship

It's no different than your own rush hour. Members donate potential commitments during a commitment period, new members convert or are recruited, separated from old friends who have not committed. you spend time

the names are expected to meet all your demands. The result is usually a new engaged member. ^

“Therapeutic communities for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Enthusiastic support groups formed a cohesive "social cocoon".

W8l!T990)“^“' ™ profound influence on member behavior (courageous,

Another constructive application of belief is found in counseling and psychotherapy, which social counseling psychologist Stanley Strong considers "a branch of applied social psychology" (1978, p. 101).

82) recognized years ago that persuasion is necessary to change self-defeating attitudes by putting psychotherapy, as Kult! and enthusiastic support groups that (1) provide a supportive and trusting social relationship; iff 'i "I" for "endowment and hope", (3) a particular reason or myth that explains one's difficulties and offers a new perspective, and (4) a series of rituals and learning experiences that provide a new sense of self. promise of peace and happiness.

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I choose the examples of fraternities, sororities, self-help groups, and psychotherapy not to belittle them but to illustrate two final points. First, whether we attribute new religious movements to the mystical power of the leader or the particular weaknesses of the followers, we can fool ourselves into becoming immune to the techniques of social control. In fact, our own groups and countless political leaders, educators and other believers are successfully using many of these tactics against us. There is a fine line between education and indoctrination, enlightenment and propaganda, conversion and coercion, therapy and mind control.

Second, the fact that Jim Jones and other cult leaders have abused the power of persuasion does not mean that persuasion itself is bad. The knowledge that persuasion, like nuclear energy, can be used for evil purposes should alert us as scientists and citizens alike to beware of its immoral use. But power itself is neither inherently bad nor inherently good; how we use it determines whether its effect is destructive or constructive. Condemning persuasion by mistake is like condemning food by gluttony.

LUMMING UP: Extreme Persuasion: How Do Cults Indoctrinate?

The successes of religious cults provide an opportunity to see powerful persuasion processes in action. It seems your successes come from three generals


Create behavioral obligations (as described in Chapter 4)

Apply principles of effective persuasion (this chapter) Isolate members into like-minded groups (discussed in Chapter 8)

HOW CAN YOU RESIST CONVICTION? Name some tactics for resisting influence. How can we prepare people to resist unwanted persuasion?

Martial arts trainers spend as much time teaching defensive blocks, parries, and defenses as they do teaching attacks. "On the social influence battleground," note Brad Sagarin and colleagues (2002), researchers have focused more on persuasive attacks than defenses. Being persuaded comes naturally, report Daniel Gilbert and colleagues (1990, 1993). It is easier to accept persuasive messages than to doubt them. Understanding a statement (for example, that pencils are dangerous to your health) means believing it, at least temporarily, until you actively reverse the initial automatic assumption. When an upsetting event prevents the undo, the acceptance remains.

However, blessed with logic, information and motivation, we resist falsehood. When the believable-looking repair uniform and medical degree intimidate us into a thoughtless wave, we might reevaluate our habitual responses to authority. We can get more information before investing time or money. We can question what we don't understand.

Strengthening Personal Commitment Chapter 6 presented another way to resist: Before facing the judgment of others, you must publicly confess your position. When you stand up for your beliefs, you become less receptive (or should we say less "open") to what others have to say. In civil trials, jury votes can encourage the hardening of expressed positions, leading to more stalemates (Davis et al., 1993).

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CHALLENGING BELIEFS How can we inspire people to get involved? Charles Kiesler offered one possible way: To attack his position lightly, Kiesler found that compromised people were attacked severely enough to overwhelm them "so severely that they even become K Texplained, you push them into even more extreme behavior to get them." ".

Attitude inoculation: exposing people to weak attacks on their attitudes so they have rebuttals available when stronger attacks come.


fKia ..1 ^ first get a little challenge to your faith and ifrxs.' wti'

Basically, I confess that doing this vaccination work made me feel like Mr. Clean because I was studying how to help people not to be manipulated. So after our research was published, an advertising executive called and said, "Very interesting. Professor: It was a pleasure to read about this." I answered honestly, "Very kind of you to say that, sir. I'm on the other side. You try to persuade people and I try to make them more resilient." "Oh, don't underestimate yourself, Professor," he said. "We can use something

They do this to lessen the impact of our competitors' ads.” And indeed, it has become almost standard for advertisers to mention other brands and belittle their claims.

William McGuire (1925-2007) Yale University

William McGuire on stopping vaccination; .

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The Ad When you look at the ad again, specific counterarguments come to mind. Anti-smoking ads have done this effectively, for example by recreating an outdoor "Marlboro Man" commercial, but now featuring a decrepit, coughing cowboy.

A "poisonous parasite" ad.

Real-Life Applications: Vaccination Programs Could recruiting vaccination work outside the lab, preparing people to resist unwanted coaxing? Applied research on tobacco prevention and consumer education offers encouraging answers.

VACCINATING CHILDREN AGAINST PRESSURE SMOKING Consider how findings from laboratory research can lead to practical applications. One research team had seventh graders "inoculated" against peer pressure to smoke (McAlister et al., 1980). Seventh-grade students were taught to respond to advertisements suggesting that liberated women smoke by saying, "She's not really liberated if she's addicted to tobacco." They also acted in role-plays where, after being called a "chicken" for not smoking a cigarette, they responded with statements such as "I would be a real chicken if I smoked just to impress you". After several such sessions in seventh and eighth grades, vaccinated students were half as likely to start smoking as unvaccinated students in another high school, one with an identical rate of parental smoking (Figure 7.13).

Other research teams have confirmed that immunization procedures, sometimes supplemented by other life skills training, reduce adolescent smoking (Botvin et al, 1995, 2008; Evans et al, 1984; Flay et al, 1985 ). More recent efforts emphasize strategies for resisting social pressure. In one study, students in grades six through eight were exposed to smoke-free films or information about smoking, along with role-plays of student-invented ways to refuse a cigarette (Hirschman & Leventhal, 1989). A year and a half later, 31% of viewers of anti-smoking films started smoking. Of those who refused, only 19% started to smoke.

Smokefree and drug education programs employ other principles of persuasion as well. They use attractive colleagues to communicate information. They activate students' own cognitive processing ("Here's something you might want to think about"). They get students to publicly commit (making a rational decision about smoking and then sharing it with their peers along with their rationale). Some of these smoking prevention programs only take 2-6 hours to complete

260 Second part Social influence

FIGURE: 7.13 The percentage of cigarette smokers in a 'vaccinated' high school was much lower than in a matched control school using a more typical tobacco education program.

Source: Data from McAlister et al. (1980), Telch et al. (1981).

months of study

of instruction using prepared print materials or video clips. Today, any school district or teacher wishing to use the social psychological approach to smoking prevention can do so easily and inexpensively, and with the hope that smoking rates and associated health care costs will be significantly reduced in or future.


DREN refuses to eat



CHILDREN AGAINST THE INFLUENCE OF VACCINE ADVERTISING Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Sweden restrict all advertising directed at children (McGuire, 2002). In the United States, according to Robert Levine in The Power of Persuasion: How We Are Buyed and Sold, the average child watches more than 10,000 commercials a year. "Two decades ago", he points out, "children drank twice as much milk as soft drinks. Today, thanks to advertising, the relationship is reversed" (2003, p. 16).

Smokers often make "first brand choices" in adolescence, according to a 1981 report by Philip Morris researchers (Federal Trade Commission, 2003). Smokers start smoking as early as adolescence" (Lichtblau, 2003). This explains why some cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies aggressively market to college students through advertising, party sponsorship, and offering free cigarettes (often in situations where that students also drink), all as part of their "entry level" nicotine marketing. Farrell, 2005).

To limit the impact of advertising, researchers looked at how to immunize young children against the effects of television advertising. His research was spurred, in part, by studies showing that children, especially children under the age of 8, (1) have difficulty distinguishing between commercials and programs and cannot understand their powers of persuasion, (2) trust advertising indiscriminately and (3) covet and harass their parents for advertised products (Adler et al., 1980; Feshbach, 1980; Palmer & Dörr, 1980). Children, it turns out, are a publicist's dream: naive, vulnerable, and an easy sell.

Armed with these perceptions, community groups cracked down on advertisers of such products (Moody, 1980): "If an educated advertiser spends millions selling an unhealthy product to uneducated, innocent children, he may


being labeled an exploiter.” In “Mothers' Statement for Advertisers” (Motherhood Project, 2001), a broad coalition of women echoed this outrage:

For us, our children are a priceless gift. For you, our children are customers, and children are a "market segment" to be exploited... The line between satisfying and creating consumer needs and desires is increasingly crossed as your battery of experts and highly creative qualified studies and analyzes, our To persuade and manipulate children… The driving messages are: “You deserve a break today”, “Do what you want”, “Follow your instinct, obey your thirst”, “Just do it”, “No limits ", "Knife ". Do you feel like it?" This [illustrates] the dominant message of advertising and marketing: that life is about selfishness, instant gratification, and materialism.

On the other hand, there are commercial interests. They claim the ads allow parents to teach their children consumer skills and, more importantly, fund children's television programming. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission has been in the middle, spurred on by investigation and political pressure, as it tried to decide whether to introduce new restrictions on TV advertising of unhealthy foods and R-rated movies aimed at minors.

Meanwhile, researchers found that inner-city seventh graders who can think critically about advertising, who possess "media resilience" skills, also resist peer pressure better when they are in eighth grade and drink alcohol less frequency than ninth graders (Epstein & Botwin, 2008). Researchers also wonder whether children can be taught to resist false advertising. In one such experiment, a team of researchers led by Norma Feshbach (1980; S. Cohen, 1980) taught three half-hour business analysis classes to small groups of elementary school children in the Los Angeles area. Children were vaccinated by watching and discussing advertisements. For example, after seeing an ad for a toy, they were immediately given the toy and asked to do what they had just seen in the ad. These experiences helped develop a more realistic understanding of commercials.

Consumer advocates worry that vaccination is insufficient. It's better to clean the air than to use gas masks. It's no surprise, then, that when advertisers pitch products to children, parents resent them, so they place them on the lowest shelves in stores where kids see them, pick them up, and complain and complain until consumers are weary. For this reason, the "Code of Advertising Mothers" requires that there be no advertising in schools, that it is not aimed at children under 8 years of age, that

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Children are an advertiser's dream. So researchers have been investigating ways to immunize children against the more than 10,000 advertisements they see each year, many of them recorded on television.








MILLS (mom quote)


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Product placement in films and programs aimed at children and teens, and refraining from advertising directed at children and teens “that promote an ethic of selfishness and a focus on instant gratification” (Motherhood Project, 2001).

Implications of the Attitude Vaccine Probably the best way to create resistance to brainwashing is not simply to increase denial of our current beliefs. If parents are concerned about their children becoming members of a sect, they should better educate them about the different sects and prepare them to respond to persuasive appeals.

For the same reason, religious educators must be careful to create a "germ-free ideological environment" in their churches and schools. People who live among different points of view become more demanding and more likely to change their points of view only in response to credible arguments (Levitan & Visser, 2008). Even a rebutted challenge to one's views reinforces one's position rather than undermining it, especially if the threatening material can be discussed with colleagues (Visser & Mirabile, 2004). Cults apply this principle by warning members of how family members and friends will attack the cult's beliefs. When the expected challenge arrives, the member is armed with arguments against it.

Another implication is that, for the persuader, an ineffective appeal may be worse than no appeal at all. Can you see why? Those who reject an appeal are vaccinated against future appeals. Consider an experiment in which Susan Darley and Joel Cooper (1972) asked students to write essays advocating a strict dress code. As this went against the students' own positions and that the essays should be published, everyone decided not to write the essay, even those who offered money for it. After turning down the money, they became even more radical and assertive in their views against the dress code. Those who reject initial appeals to leave may also become immune to further appeals. Ineffective persuasion can backfire by stimulating the listener's defenses. You can "harden your heart" against subsequent appeals. ®

ABSTRACT: How to resist condemnation? • How do people resist persuasion? a previous audience

Commitment to one's position, spurred perhaps by a mild attack on one's position, creates resistance to further persuasion.

• A mild seizure can also serve as a vaccine and encourage the development of counterarguments.

so it will be available in case a strong attack arrives.

• Paradoxically, this implies that one way to strengthen existing attitudes is to challenge them, although the challenge should not be so strong as to overwhelm them.

POSTSCRIPTS: Be Open, Not Naive As recipients of conviction, our human task is to live in the land between credulity and cynicism. Some people say that persuasion is a weakness. “Think for yourself, we are asked. But is it a virtue to insulate oneself from the influence of information, or is it the mark of a fanatic? How can we live with humility and openness to others and remain critical consumers of calls to persuasion?

To be blunt, we can assume that every person we meet is our boss in some way. Each person we meet has a level of experience that surpasses ours and therefore has something to teach us. When we connect, we can expect to learn from that person and reciprocate by sharing our knowledge.

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B To think critically, we could turn to vaccination research. Would you like to increase your resistance to false messages without isolating yourself from valid messages? Be an active listener. Force yourself to argue back. Don't just listen;

to react. Arguing with others after listening to a political speech. If the message doesn't stand up to scrutiny, so much the worse. If it can, it will have its effect on you.

be much more persistent.

"Never doubt that a small group of thinkers,

Engaged citizens can change the world.” – Anthropoto.gisl. Daisy.

Tawna is nearing the end of her daily run. Her mind urges her on; Her body asks you to walk the remaining six blocks. She commits and slowly runs home. next day condition

they are identical except that two friends are walking with her. Tawna enjoys

your route 2 minutes faster. She wonders, "Did I just run better?

Why did Gail and Sonja go with you? I would always walk better if in

A group?"

We are tied up in groups on almost every street corner. our world was stolen

includes not only 7 billion people, but also 196 nation-states, 4 million

local communities, 20 million business organizations and hundreds

of millions of other formal and informal groups - couples making noise

ner, roommates hanging out, soldiers strategizing. Therefore

Do groups influence individuals?

Group interactions often have dramatic effects. hanged intellectuals

with other intellectuals and strengthen each other

intellectual interests. Deviant teens hanging out with other deviant teens

reinforce the antisocial tendencies of others. But how do they work?

Do groups affect settings? And what influences lead to forming groups

Smart and stupid decisions?

What is a group?

Social facilitation: How does the presence of others affect us?

Sparkling water! Loafing: Is there less effort in the group?

I Deindividuation: When do people in groups lose their sense of identity?


• Group bias: Do groups reinforce our views? • Groupthink: Do groups get in the way or encourage good decisions?

Minority Influence: How Does the Individual Influence the Group?i!i Attachment: Are Groups Bad for Us?

Social impact 266 Second part

Individuals also influence their groups. Like the classic 1957 film 12 Angry Men

opens, 12 jurors suspected of murder join the jury. It's a hot day. the tired

The jury is nearly unanimous and eager for a speedy verdict on a teenager's conviction.

to stab the father. But a stranger, played by Henry Fonda, refuses to plead guilty.

As the heated deliberation progresses, the jurors change their minds one by one until

they reach a unanimous verdict: "Not guilty". Rarely a loner in real tests

moves the whole group. However, history is made by minorities influencing majorities. What

Does it help a minority, or a leader, to be persuasive?

We will examine these puzzling phenomena of group influence one by one. but

First things first: what is a group and why are there groups?



Two or more people who interact and influence each other for more than a few moments and perceive each other as "us".

The answer to this question seems obvious until several people compare their definitions. Are running buddies a group? Are the passengers a group? Is a group someone who identifies with it, who belongs to it? Is it a group that has common goals and supports each other? Is a group formed when individuals organize? If the relations between them continue over time? These are part of the sociopsychological definitions of a group (McGrath, 1984).

Group dynamics expert Marvin Shaw (1981) argued that all groups have one thing in common: their members interact. Therefore, he defines a group as two or more people who interact and influence each other. A running couple would then form a group. Different groups help us to satisfy different human needs: affiliation (belonging and connection with others), achievement and gaining social identity (Johnson et al., 2006).

By Shaw's definition, students working individually in a computer lab would not be a group. Although they are physically together, they are a collection of individuals rather than an interactive group (although each may be part of a group with others spread out in an online chat room). The distinction between gatherings of unrelated individuals in a computer lab and more influential group behavior among interacting individuals is sometimes blurred. People who are just in the presence of other people sometimes influence themselves. In a football match, they may perceive themselves as "us" fans rather than "them" fans: fans of the opposing team.

In this chapter, we consider three examples of such collective influence: social facilitation, social laziness, and deindividuation. All three of these phenomena can occur with minimal interaction (in so-called “minimal group situations”). Next, we consider three examples of social influence in interactive groups: group polarization, groupthink, and minority influence.

ABSTRACT: What is a group? • A group exists when two or more people interact with each other for more than a few moments, partially influencing each other.

wise and see themselves as "us".

Group Influence Chapter 8 267


Describe how we are influenced by the mere presence of another person, by people who do not compete, reward or punish, and in fact are present only as a passive audience or as co-actors.

The Mere Presence of Others More than a century ago, Norman Triplett (1898), a psychologist interested in bicycle racing, observed that cyclists' times were faster when they raced together than when each time was tested individually. Before selling his conjecture (that the presence of others improves performance), Triplett conducted one of the first laboratory experiments in social psychology. Children who were asked to wind line onto a fishing reel as quickly as possible, did so faster when working with competitive coercives than when working alone. "The physical presence of another participant . . . serves to release latent energy," concluded Triplett.

A modern reanalysis of the triplets data found that the difference did not reach statistical significance (Stroebe, 2012; Strube, 2005). But later experiments found that the presence of other people increased the speed at which people solved simple multiplication problems and crossed out certain letters. It also improves how accurately people perform simple motor tasks like walking. B. holding a metal bar in contact with a dime-sized disc on a moving turntable (F.H. Allport, 1920; Dashiell, 1930; Travis, 1925). This social facilitation effect also occurs in animals. In the presence of their conspecifics, ants dig more sand, chickens eat more grain, and sexually active rat pairs mate more frequently (Bayer, 1929; Chen, 1937; Larsson, 1956).

But wait, other studies have shown that on some tasks, the presence of others impedes performance. In the presence of others, cockroaches, parakeets and greenfinches learn the maze more slowly (Allee & Masure, 1936; Gates & Allee, 1933; Klopfer, 1958). This disturbing effect also occurs in humans. The presence of others reduces efficiency in learning nonsense syllables, completing a maze, and solving complex multiplication problems (Dashiell, 1930; Pessin, 1933; Pessin & Husband, 1933).

To say that the presence of others sometimes makes the performance easier and sometimes more difficult is as satisfying as the typical Scottish weather forecast, which predicts that it may be sunny but it may also be raining. In 1940, wellness research stopped and slept for 25 years, until it was awakened by the knock of a new idea.

Social psychologist Robert Zajonc (1923-2008, pronounced zy-ence, rhymes with science) wondered whether these seemingly contradictory findings could be reconciled. As is often the case in creative moments in science, Zajonc (1965) used one area of ​​investigation to illuminate another. The ilumination

Co-actors Co-actors working individually on an out-of-competition activity.

social relief

(1) Original meaning: The tendency of people to do simple or well-learned tasks better when other people are present. (2) current meaning; the reinforcement of dominant (probably predominant) responses in the presence of other people.

Social Facilitation: Do you walk faster when you walk with other people?

268 Second part Social influence

FIGURE :: 8.1 The effects of social arousal Robert Zajonc reconciled seemingly contradictory findings by proposing that arousal from the presence of other people reinforces dominant responses (correct responses only to simple or well-learned tasks).

(strengthen dominant responses

'corrective behavior

















arose from a well-established principle of experimental psychology: excitement amplifies any dominant reactionary tendency. Increased arousal improves performance on simple tasks in which the most likely "dominant" response is the correct one. People solve simple anagrams like ak and c faster when they are excited. In complex tasks where the correct response is not dominant, increased arousal promotes responsiveness. For more difficult anagrams like Theloacco, people feel worse when excited. ^^ uh

Could this principle solve the mystery of social facilitation? It seemed that a sensitive presence would excite or energize people (Mullen et al.,

997), most of us can remember feeling tense or excited in front of an audience. If social arousal facilitates dominant responses, it should enhance performance on easy tasks and impair performance on difficult tasks. ^

With that explanation, the mixed results made sense. Winding fishing reels, solving simple multiplication problems, and eating were easy tasks for those well educated or naturally dominant in resporises. Certainly, having other people around improved performance. Learning new material, making a maze, and solving complex math problems were more difficult tasks, where correct answers were less likely. In these cases, the presence of other people increased the number of incorrect answers on these tasks. The same general enthusiasm fuels the dominant responses, it worked in both cases (pictures!). What seemed like contradictory results suddenly didn't seem contradictory anymore. So simple and elegant that other social psychologists thought what Thomas H. Huxley thought after reading Darwin's book, On the Order of Species: How stupid not to have thought of that! It seemed obvious, once Zajonc pointed it out. Perhaps, however, the pieces only fit together so precisely in hindsight. Would the solution survive direct experimentation?

After nearly 300 studies conducted with the help of over 25,000 volunteers, the solution survived (Bond & Titus, 1983; Guerin, 1993, 1999). Social arousal facilitates dominant responses, whether correct or incorrect. For example, Peter Hunt and Joseph Hillery (1973) found that, in the presence of other people, students took less time to learn a simple maze and longer to learn a complex one (just like cockroaches). And James Michaels et al (1982) found that good fraternity snooker players (who made 71 percent of their shots under secret observation) performed even better (80 percent) when four observers came to watch them play. Poor shooters (previously averaging 36 percent) performed even worse (^5 percent) when closely monitored. Likewise, novice drivers are more likely to pass driving tests when tested in the car with another candidate than alone (Rosenbloom et al., 2007).

Athletes, actors, and musicians demonstrate well-practiced skills, which explains why they often perform better when spurred on by the reactions of a supportive audience. Studies of over a quarter of a million collegiate and professional sporting events around the world show that local teams win about 6 out of 10 games (a little less for baseball and soccer, a little more for basketball and soccer, but

269 ​​group influence

FABLE •• 8.1 Home advantage in major team sports

O hometown.'Jeremy Jamieson (2010).

Studied percentage of family sports games

games won

Beisbol 120.576' J J 55.6

American Football 11,708 57.3

Ice Hockey... , 5a739 56.5

Basket 30,174 63.7

consistently more than half [Tab. 8.1]). However, home field advantage can also result from players' familiarity with their home environment, reduced travel fatigue, a sense of dominance through territorial control, or greater team identity when fans root for them (Zillmann & Paulus, 1993).

Overcrowding: Thus, the presence of many other people reacts to the presence of others. But does the presence of observers always excite people? In times of stress, a buddy can be comforting. However, in the presence of other people, people sweat more, breathe faster, tense their muscles more, and have higher blood pressure and heart rate (Geen & Gange, 1983; Moore & Baron, 1983). Even a supportive audience can produce underperformance on challenging tasks (Butler & Baumeister, 1998). Your whole family is unlikely to attend your first piano recital to improve your performance.

The effect of other people's presence increases with their number (Jackson & Latane, 1981; Knowles, 1983). Sometimes the excitement and trusting attention generated by a large audience gets in the way, even with well-learned automatic behaviors like talking. When we are under extreme pressure, we are prone to 'suffocation'. Stutterers tend to stutter more in front of large audiences than when speaking to just one or two people (Mullen, 1986).

Being in a crowd also reinforces positive or negative reactions. When they are sitting together, friendly people like them even more and hostile people like them even more (Schiffenbauer & Schiavo, 1976; Storms & Thomas, 1977). In experiments with Columbia University students and visitors to the Ontario Science Center, Jonathan Freedman et al (1979, 1980) had an accomplice listen to a humorous tape or watch a movie with other participants. If everyone sat together, the confederate could make people laugh and clap more easily. As theater managers and sports fans know, and as researchers have confirmed, a "good room" is a full room (Aiello et al., 1983; Worchel and Brown, 1984).

You may have noticed that a class of 35 students seems warmer and more lively in a room with only 35 seats than in a room with 100 seats. When other people are around, we are more likely to notice them and join in their laughter or applause. But crowding also increases arousal, as Gary Evans (1979) has pointed out. He tested 10-person groups of University of Massachusetts students in a 20-by-30-foot room or an 8-by-12-foot room. Compared to those in the large room, the crowded subjects had higher heart rates and blood pressure (indicating excitement). They made more mistakes on difficult tasks, a clustering effect echoed by Dinesh Nagar and Janak Pandey (1987) in Indian university students. Therefore, crowding together has an effect similar to being watched by a crowd: it increases arousal, which facilitates domineering reactions.

Chapter 8

Increased excitement in crowded houses also tends to increase stress. However, crowding creates less stress in multi-room homes and allows people to retreat to privacy (Evans et al., 1996, 2000).

270 Second part Social influence

Why do we get excited in the presence of others? What you are good at will give you the energy to do better in front of others (unless you feel very excited and insecure). What is difficult for you may seem impossible under the same circumstances. What about other people creates excitement? There is evidence of three possible factors (Aiello & Douthitt, 2001; Feinberg & Aiello, 2006): appraisal anxiety, distraction, and mere presence.

Concern about the judgment of Nicholas Cottrell suggests that observers care about how they judge us. To test for the presence of evaluation problems, Cottrell et al. (1968) blindfolded observers, apparently in preparation for a perception experiment. in coup

Unlike the spectator effect, the mere presence of these blindfolded people did not encourage the rehearsed reactions.

Other experiments confirmed Cottrell's conclusion: reinforcement of dominant responses is strongest when people believe they are being evaluated. In one experiment, runners on a running track at the University of California, Santa Barbara accelerated when they came across a woman sitting on the grass; she was looking at them rather than sitting with her back to them (Worringham & Messick, 1983). .

The confidence we feel when we are evaluated can also interfere with the behaviors that we automatically perform better (Mullen & Baumeister, 1987). When confident basketball players analyze their body movements when shooting critical free throws, they are more likely to miss.

A good room is a full room, as James Maas' introductory psychology students at Cornell University experienced in this 2,000-seat auditorium. If the class had 100 students gathered in this large room, she would feel much less energized.

Evaluation Anxiety Worry about how others evaluate us.

Driven by distraction, Glenn Sanders, Robert Baron, and Danny Moore (1978; Baron, 1986) took appraisal anxiety one step further. They theorized that we get distracted when we wonder how the co-actors are doing or how the audience is reacting. This conflict between paying attention to others and paying attention to the task overloads our cognitive system and leads to arousal. We are "driven by distraction." This arousal comes not just from the presence of another person, but even from a non-human distraction such as a flash of light (Sanders, 1981a, 1981b).

Mere presence, however, Zajonc believed that the mere presence of others elicits a certain arousal, even without fear of appraisal or distraction arousal. Keep in mind that relief effects also occur in non-human animals. This suggests an innate mechanism of social arousal common to much of the zoological world. (Animals probably don't consciously care how other animals rate them.) On a human level, most runners feel energized when they run with another person, even someone who isn't competing or ranking. And, perhaps aided by an endorphin boost from being together, varsity rowing team members tolerate twice as much pain after rowing together as alone (Cohen et al., 2009).

This is a good time to remind ourselves that a good theory is a scientific shortcut: it simplifies and summarizes a multitude of observations. Social facilitation theory does this well. It's a simple summary of a lot of research. A good theory is also recommended.

271 Chapter on Group Influence

clear predictions that (1) help confirm or modify the theory, (2) guide further exploration, and (3) suggest practical applications. Social facilitation theory definitely yielded the first two types of predictions: (1) the foundations of the theory were confirmed (that the presence of other people is an arousal and that this social arousal reinforces dominant responses), and (2) the theory exists. long time. long time. time has breathed new life into a dormant area of ​​research.

Are there (3) some practical applications? We can make some educated guesses. As Figure 8.2 shows, many new office buildings have replaced private offices with large open spaces divided by low partitions. The resulting awareness of the presence of others can help increase performance on well-learned tasks, but interfere with creative thinking on complex tasks? Can you think of other possible applications?

FIGURE 8.2 In the “open office” people work in the presence of others. Office environments increasingly offer “common areas” to their employees (Arieff, 2011).

ABSTRACT: Social Facilitation: How does the presence of the other affect us?

The most fundamental problem in social psychology concerns the mere presence of others. Some of the first experiments on this issue found that performance was improved by the presence of observers or coercitors. Others have found that the presence of others can affect performance. Robert Zajonc reconciled these results by applying a well-known principle from experimental psychology: arousal promotes dominant responses. As the presence of others awakens, the presence of observers or co-actors improves performance in simple tasks (where the correct answer predominates) and hinders performance.

Achievement on difficult tasks (where wrong answers dominate). Being in a crowd or crowded conditions is equally exciting and facilitates dominant responses. But why does the presence of others excite us? Experiments suggest that arousal is due in part to evaluation anxiety and in part to distraction, a conflict between paying attention to others and staying on task. Other experiments, including some with animals, suggest that the presence of others can be stimulating even when we are not being judged or distracted.


Please rate the level of individual commitment we can expect from working group members. Will eight people on one side in a team tug-of-war exert as much force as the sum of their best efforts in an individual tug-of-war? If not, why not?

Social facilitation typically occurs when people work toward individual goals and when their efforts, whether spinning fishing reels or solving math problems, can be individually evaluated. These situations correspond to some everyday work situations.

Social impact 272 Second part

But what about those where people combine their efforts towards a common goal and where individuals are not accountable for their efforts? A team tug of war is an example. Organizational fundraising (raising income from selling candy to pay for the school trip) is another option. This also applies to a class group project where all students get the same grade. Will team spirit increase productivity in these “side tasks”—tasks where the group's success depends on the sum of individual accomplishments? Will bricklayers build faster as a team than alone? One way to approach these questions is through laboratory simulations.

Social Responsibility The tendency of people to put in less effort when they focus their efforts on a common goal than when they are individually responsible.

Many hands make light work Nearly a century ago, the French engineer Max Ringelmann (reported by Kravitz & Martin, 1986) observed that the collective effort of tug-of-war teams was only half of the individual effort. Contrary to the assumption that "there is strength in unity", this suggests that group members may actually be less motivated when performing additional tasks. However, perhaps the poor performance was due to poor coordination: people pulling a rope in slightly different directions at slightly different times. A group of Massachusetts researchers led by Alan Ingham (1974) cleverly eliminated this problem by making people think that other people were moving with them when in fact they were moving alone. Blindfolded participants were assigned and told the first position on the device shown in Figure 8.3. Play as hard as you can.” They played 18% harder than they thought.

they shoot alone, as if they think that two to five people are shooting behind them.

Researchers Bibb Latane, Kipling Williams, and Stephen Harkins (1979; Harkins et al., 1980) kept their ears open for other ways to study this reduced effort, which they termed social loafing. They found that the noise generated by six people shouting or clapping "as loud as possible" was less than three times that of a single person. However, like the tug-of-war task, making noise is prone to group inefficiency. So Latane and her coworkers followed Ingham's lead, leading their Ohio State University students to believe that others were yelling or clapping along with them, when in fact they were doing it themselves.

His method consisted of blindfolding six people, seating them in a semicircle, and putting on headphones, through which screams or applause could be heard. People couldn't hear their own screams or applause, let alone everyone else's. In several tests, they were instructed to either scream or clap.

FIGURE: 8.3 The cable-pulling device People in first position pull less if they think the people behind them are also pulling. Source: Data from Ingham, Levinger, Graves & Peckham, 1974. Photo by Alan G. Ingham.

273 Influence of the group

alone or together with the group. People who were told about this experiment suggested that the participants screamed louder when they were around other people because they were less inhibited (Harkins, 1981). The actual result? Social loitering: When participants believed five others were also yelling or clapping, they made a third less noise than when they thought they were alone. Social truancy occurred even when participants were high school cheerleaders who believed they were cheering together rather than alone (Hardy & Latane, 1986).

Interestingly, those who clap alone and in a group are not considered lazy; they found themselves applauding equally in both situations. This is analogous to what happens when students work on group projects towards a common grade. Williams reports that everyone agrees that truancy happens, but no one admits that it does.

John Sweeney (1973), a political scientist interested in the political implications of social laziness, observed the phenomenon in an experimental cycle. University of Texas students pumped exercise bikes harder (as measured by electrical output) when they knew they were being monitored individually than when they thought their output was combined with that of other cyclists. As a group, people were tempted to participate in the group effort.

In this and 160 other studies (Karau & Williams, 1993; Figure 8.4), we see a shift in one of the psychological forces that drive social facilitation: appraisal anxiety. In social loafing experiments, subjects believed they were only valued when acting alone. The group situation (pulling the rope, shouting, etc.) reduced assessment anxiety. When people are neither accountable nor able to evaluate their own efforts, responsibility is shared among all group members (Harkins & Jackson, 1985; Kerr & Bruun, 1981). In contrast, social facilitation experiments increased exposure to assessment. When people place themselves at the center of attention, they consciously observe their behavior (Mullen & Baumeister, 1987). Thus, when observing the increase in the concern with the evaluation, there is social relief; When being lost in the crowd reduces evaluation concerns, social loafing occurs (Figure 8.5).

To motivate group members, one strategy is to make individual performance recognizable. Some football coaches do this by filming and marking each individual player. Whether in a group or not, people work harder when their performances are individually identifiable: Members of varsity swim teams swim faster in team relay races when someone monitors and announces their individual times (Williams et al. , 1989).

% percent of individual performance


RidersPeople who benefit from the group but give little in return.

FIGURE :: 8.4 Effort decreases with increasing group size A statistical combination of 49 studies with more than 4,000 participants showed that exertion decreases (rest increases) with increasing group size. Each point represents aggregated data from one of these studies.

Source: By K. D. Williams, J. M. Jackson and S.J. Karau, in Social Dilemmas: Perspectives on Individuals and Groups, edited by DA Schroeder. Copyright © 1992 Praeger Verlag. Reprinted with permission of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., Westport, CT.

274 Second part Social influence

Evaluated individual efforts

the presence of others

Individual efforts are pooled and NOT evaluated

FIGURE :: 8.5 Social facilitation or social truancy When people cannot be evaluated or held accountable, truancy becomes more likely. An individual swimmer is judged on his ability to win the race. In a tug of war, no single person on the team is responsible, allowing each individual member to relax or unwind.

Social loafing in everyday life How common is social loitering? In the laboratory, the phenomenon occurs not only in people pulling ropes, riding bicycles, shouting and clapping, but also in people pumping water or air, evaluating poetry or editorials, producing ideas, writing and recognizing signs. Can these consistent results transfer to day-to-day work productivity?

In one small experiment, assembly line workers produced 16% more product when their individual output was measured, even though they knew their wages would not be affected (Faulkner & Williams, 1996). And consider this: A key task in a pickle factory was picking the right-sized pickle halves from the conveyor belt and filling them into jars. Unfortunately, workers were tempted to fill pickles of any size because their output was unidentifiable (the jars went into a common hopper before reaching the quality control department). Williams, Harkins, and Latane (1981) note that research on social laziness suggests "making individual production identifiable and raises the question, 'How many cucumbers could a cucumber packer pack if cucumber packers packed only cucumbers properly? Packed and paid for' ?' "

The researchers also found evidence of social laziness across cultures, most notably when assessing agricultural production in former communist countries. On their collective farms under Communism, Russian peasants worked one field one day, another field the next, with no direct responsibility for any particular plot. They were given small private plots of land for their own use. An analysis showed that private plots occupied 1 percent of agricultural land but produced 27 percent.

Group Influence Chapter 8 275

of Soviet agricultural production (H. Smith, 1976). In communist Hungary, private plots represented only 13% of the arable land, but produced a third of the production (Spivak, 1979). When China began to allow farmers to sell food grown in excess of what was owed to the state, food production increased by 8% per year, 2.5 times the annual increase of the previous 26 years (Church, 1986). In an effort to link rewards to productive effort, contemporary Russia is "de-collectivizing" many of its farms (Kramer, 2008).

What about collectivist cultures under non-communist regimes? Latane and his co-investigators (Gabrenya et al., 1985) repeated their sound production experiments in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, India, and Malaysia. your ideas? Social laziness was also evident in all these countries. Seventeen subsequent studies in Asia show that people in collectivist cultures show less social laziness than people in individualistic cultures (Karau & Williams, 1993; Kugihara, 1999). As we saw in Chapter 2, family and work group loyalty are strong in collectivist cultures. Furthermore, women (as explained in Chapter 5) tend to be less individualistic than men and exhibit less social loafing. .

In North America, workers who do not contribute to or volunteer in their unions or professional organizations are generally willing to accept services offered by these organizations. This also applies to public viewers who do not respond to their broadcasters' fundraising campaigns. This suggests another possible explanation for social loafing. If the rewards are split evenly, regardless of how much you contribute to the group, each individual receives more rewards per unit of effort when traveling in the group. Therefore, people may be motivated to relax if their efforts are not individually monitored and rewarded. So situations where free users are welcome can be, in the words of one community member, "parasitic havens".

But surely collective effort does not always lead to laziness. Sometimes the goal is so pressing and everyone's peak performance is so important that team spirit underpins or intensifies the effort. In an Olympic team race, will individual rowers in a team of eight pull the oars with less effort than those in a team of one or two?

The evidence assures us that it does not. People in groups are less likely to be lazy when the task is challenging, engaging, or engaging (Karau & Williams, 1993; Tan & Tan, 2008). When faced with challenging tasks, people may find their effort indispensable (Harkins & Petty, 1982; Kerr, 1983; Kerr et al., 2007). When people view others in their group as unreliable or unable to contribute much, they work harder (Plaks & Higgins, 2000; Williams & Karau, 1991). But in many situations, so do less able people who struggle to keep up with the increased productivity of others (Weber & Hertel, 2007). Adding incentives or challenging a group to strive for certain standards also encourages collective effort (Harkins & Szymanski, 1989; Shepperd & Wright, 1989). Group members will work hard if they believe that hard work pays off (Shepperd & Taylor, 1999).

Groups are also less likely to loiter when their members are friends or when they identify with or feel indispensable to their group (Davis & Greenlees, 1992; Gockel et al., 2008; Karau & Williams, 1997; Worchel et al. , 1998). . The mere expectation of interacting with someone again increases the effort involved in team projects (Groenenboom & others, 2001). Collaborate on a class project with others you'll see often and you'll likely feel more motivated than if you never expected to see them again. The union steps up the effort.

These results are consistent with studies of everyday workgroups. When groups set challenging goals when they are rewarded for group success.

Teamwork at the Charles River Regatta in Boston. Social loitering occurs when people work in groups but without individual accountability, unless the task is challenging, engaging, or engaging and the group members are friends.

276 Second part Social impact

and when there is a spirit of dedication to the 'team', the members of the group work hard (Haclán, 1986). Maintaining small working groups can also help members believe that their contributions are essential (Comer, 1995). Although social loitering is common when group members work without individual responsibility, many hands are not always needed to do light work. ^°

SUMMARY Social loafing: do people exercise less?

Group effort? Social facilitation researchers study people's performance on tasks that can be evaluated individually. In many work situations, however, people join forces and work towards a common goal without individual accountability. Group members often work less when doing these "extra tasks". This discovery of parallels

Everyday situations where shared responsibility tempts individual group members to participate in group efforts. However, people can work even harder in a group when the purpose is important, the rewards are meaningful, and team spirit is present.


Define deindividuation" and identify the circumstances that trigger it.

'TK 1^''r US troops invading the dhes, marauders-the^bpT'^th'^T Saddam Hussein's police were furious. lost hospital beds. The National Library has lost tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts and they lie in old rum. Umyersities have lost computers, chairs and even light bulbs. The National Museum in Baghdad lost 15,000 stolen items, most of which had never happened before.

2003a, 2003b; Lawler, 2003c; Polk & Schuster, 2005). It is not that the Spanish conquerors devastated the Aztec and Inca cultures, so much was lost so quickly,” reported Science (Lawler, 2003a). “They came with the mafia. A group of 50 people came, then they left and another came”, explains a university dean (Lawler, 2003b).

The 2011 fires and looting that took place in London and other English cities left the rest of the world wondering; what happened to

the looters' sense of morality? Why did this behavior occur? And why was it not expected? o^>!^T even left many of the protesters later wondering what the possessed looked like puzzled by their behaviorh^^p'r H Tu^ explained the university graduate

that her daughter has been crying in her room since she was arrested for a stolen television. He doesn't even know why she took it. She doesn't need a TV." An engineering student who was arrested after looting a supermarket on his way home was told by his lawyer that he had "seized the moment" and was now incredibly embarrassed" (Somaiya, 2011).

Group Influence Chapter 277

Slot Do Alone Experiments in social facilitation show that groups can spur people on, and experiments in social loafing show that groups can diffuse responsibility. When excitement and pervasive responsibility combine and normal inhibitions are eased, the results can be surprising: acts ranging from a slight relaxation of restraint (throwing food at the cafeteria, snarling at the referee, screaming at a rock concert) to impulsive masturbation (gang vandalism). ). orgies, robberies) to destructive social explosions (police brutality, riots, lynch law).

These uninhibited behaviors have one thing in common: they are somehow triggered by the power of a group. Groups can create an emotional sense of being involved in something bigger than yourself. It's harder to imagine a lone screaming rock fan at a private rock concert, or a lone police officer beating up a helpless criminal or suspect. In group situations, people are more likely to abandon normal constraints, forget their individual identities, respond to group or mass norms; in a word, to become what Leon Festinger, Albert Pepitone, and Theodore Newcomb (1952) called "de-individualized." ” . What circumstances trigger this psychological state?


Acting seemingly without normal conscience, people looted Iraqi institutions after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

A group has the power not only to excite its members, but also to make them unidentifiable. The angry crowd hides the rabid basketball fan. A lynch mob leads its members to believe that they will not be prosecuted; they perceive the action as belonging to the group. Looters left faceless by the crowd are released to loot. In an analysis of 21 cases where crowds were present when someone threatened to jump from a building or bridge, Leon Mann (1981) found that people generally did not try to provoke the person when the crowd was small and exposed to daylight. shouts of "Jump". !" But when a large crowd or the darkness of the night allowed people to remain anonymous, the crowd usually jeered and jeered.

Brian Mullen (1986) reported a similar effect with regard to lynchings: the larger the mob, the more its members lose self-confidence and are willing to commit atrocities such as burning, maiming, or dismembering the victim.

In each of these examples, from athletes to lynchings, concern about qualification has plummeted. People's attention is on the situation, not themselves, and because "everyone else is doing it," everyone can attribute their behavior to the situation rather than their own choices.

de-individuation Loss of self-awareness and fear of evaluation; Occurs in group situations that promote responsiveness to group norms, good or bad.

ANONYMITY How can we be sure that crowd impact means greater anonymity? We can not. But we can try anonymity to see if it really lowers inhibitions. Philip Zimbardo (1970, 2002) got the idea for such an experiment from his college students who wondered how the nice guys in William Golding's Lord of the Flies could so suddenly turn into monsters after having their faces painted. To experience this anonymity, he dressed the New York University women in identical white lab coats and hoods, similar to those worn by members of the Ku Klux Klan (Figure 8.6). When asked to deliver electric shocks to a woman, they held the shock button twice as long as women who were uncovered and wearing large name tags. Also dim the lights or use

278 Second part Social impact

FIGURE: 8.6 In Philip Zimbardo's de-individualization research, anonymous women shocked more helpless victims than identifiable women.

Sunglasses increase people's perceived anonymity and therefore their willingness to cheat or behave selfishly (Zhong et al., 2010).

The Internet offers a similar anonymity. At that time, millions of people horrified by the mob looting in Baghdad anonymously hijacked Musk's tracks using file-sharing software. With so many doing it and with so little worry of getting caught, downloading someone's copyrighted property and then downloading it to an MP3 player just didn't seem terribly immoral. Compared to face-to-face conversations, the anonymity provided by chat rooms, newsgroups, and listservers also encourages higher levels of uninhibited and hostile "burning" behavior (Douglas & McCarty, 2001). ). Internet bullies who would never say to anyone's face, "Fix your life, thief," will hide behind their anonymity. Facebook rightly requires people to use their real names, which limits intimidating, hateful, and inflammatory comments.

On several occasions, anonymous online viewers have incited people who have threatened to kill themselves, sometimes with live video sharing the scene with dozens of others. Online communities “are like the crowd in front of the building with the guy on the parapet”, commented one analyst of the social impact of technology (cited by Stelter, 2008). Sometimes a caring person would try to calm the person down while others actually sang, jumped, jumped." "The anonymous nature of these communities only reinforces the meanness or insensitivity of the people on these sites."

Patricia Ellison, John Govern, and colleagues (1995) tested highway deindividuation by having a Confederate driver stop at a red light and wait 12 seconds when followed by a convertible or 4x4. As she endured the wait, she was aware of every horn honk (a bit of an aggressive act) from the car behind her. Compared to drivers of convertibles and 4x4 convertibles, those who were relatively anonymous (with the top down) honked a third earlier, twice as often, and nearly twice as long. Anonymity breeds rudeness.

A research team led by Ed Diener (1976) ably demonstrated the effect of both group membership and physical anonymity. On Halloween, they watched 1,352 Seattle kids go trick-or-treating. When the children, alone or in groups, approached one of the 27 houses scattered throughout the city, an experimenter greeted them warmly, told them to "eat one of the sweets" and then left them alone. Hidden observers found that children in groups were twice as likely to eat extra candy as children alone. Furthermore, children who were asked their name and where they lived were less than half as likely to commit crimes as those who remained anonymous. As Figure 8.7 shows, the exceedance rate varied dramatically with the situation. When de-individualized by group immersion and anonymity, most children stole additional candy.

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percentage exceeded

only in groups

FIGURE :: 8.7 Children are more likely to rape if they bring extra Halloween candy when they are in a group, when anonymous, and especially when depersonalized through a combination of group immersion and anonymity.

Source: data from Diener et al. (1976).

These studies make me wonder about the effect of wearing uniforms. When preparing for battle, warriors in some tribal cultures (such as some sports fanatics) depersonalize themselves with body and face paint or special masks. After the battle, some cultures kill, torture, or maim any remaining enemies; other cultures take prisoners alive. Robert Watson (1973) examined the anthropological record and found the following: Cultures with depersonalized warriors were also cultures that brutalized their enemies. In Northern Ireland, 206 of the 500 violent attacks studied by Andrew Silke (2003) were perpetrated by perpetrators wearing masks, hoods or other face masks. Compared to undisguised bullies, these anonymous bullies inflicted more serious injuries, attacked more people, and committed more vandalism.

Does physical anonymity always trigger our worst impulses? Fortunately no. In all of these situations, people responded to clear antisocial cues. Robert Johnson and Leslie Downing (1979) indicate that the Klan-like garb worn by Zimbardo participants may have been a stimulus to hostility. In an experiment at the University of Georgia, women dressed in nurses' uniforms before deciding how much shock a person should receive. When those wearing nurses' uniforms were made anonymous, they were less aggressive in delivering shocks than when their names and personal identities were emphasized. From their analysis of 60 deindividuation studies, Tom Postmes and Russell Spears (1998; Reicher et al., 1995) concluded that anonymity makes a person less self-conscious, more group-aware, and more receptive to present cues. are negative. (clan uniforms). or positive (nurses' uniforms).

Exciting and Distracting Activities Aggressive outbursts of large groups are often preceded by smaller actions that attract and distract people's attention. Shouting, singing, clapping, or dancing in a group serves as much to lift people up as it does to lower self-esteem.

Ed Diener's experiments (1976, 1979) demonstrated that activities such as throwing stones and singing together can set the stage for more uninhibited behavior. There is a self-reinforcing joy in acting impulsively while watching others do the same. When we see others act like us, we believe they feel like us, which reinforces our own feelings (Orive, 1984). Furthermore, impulsive group action just absorbs attention. When we yell at the referee, we don't think about our values; We react to the current situation. Later, when we stop to think about what we did or said, we sometimes feel upset. Sometimes. Other times we look

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A prickly feeling of its own



-YI-FU TUAN, 1982

Self-awareness A state of self-awareness in which attention is focused on oneself. It makes people more sensitive to their own attitudes and dispositions.

De-individualize group experiences (dance, worship experiences, team sports) where we can enjoy intense positive feelings and closeness with others.

Reduced Self-Awareness Group experiences that reduce self-awareness tend to separate behavior from attitudes. Research by Ed Diener (1980) and Steven Prentice-Dunn and Ronald Rogers (1980, 1989) has shown that impartial and disindividualized people are less reserved and self-regulated, more likely to act without regard for their own values, and much more. . to react to the situation. These ideas complement and reinforce the self-awareness experiments.

Self-awareness is the opposite of deindividuation. Those who become self-aware by acting in front of a mirror or television camera show greater self-control and their actions reflect their attitudes more clearly. In front of a mirror, people who taste cream cheeses eat less of the high-fat variety (Sentyrz & Bushman, 1998).

People who become self-conscious are also less likely to cheat (Beaman et al., 1979; Diener & Wallbom, 1976). This is also true for those who generally feel very self-reliant and independent (Nadler et al., 1982). In Japan, where (with or without a mirror) people are more likely to imagine how they would appear to others, people are less likely to cheat when not in front of a mirror (Heine et al., 2008). The Principle: People who are assertive, or temporarily made to be assertive, show a greater correspondence between their words outside of a situation and their actions in it.

We can transfer this knowledge to many situations in everyday life. Circumstances that lower self-esteem, such as alcohol consumption, increase de-individualization (Hull et al., 1983). De-individuation is diminished in circumstances that increase self-confidence: mirrors and cameras, small towns, bright lights, large signs, uninterrupted silence, individual clothing and homes (Ickes et al., 1978). When a teenager goes to a party, a parent's parting advice might be, "Have fun and remember who you are." preserve your personal identity; Beware of disindividuation.

CONCLUSION: Deindividuation: When do people in groups lose confidence in themselves?

• When high levels of social arousal are combined with • a consequent decrease in self-awareness and self-fusion of responsibilities, people can tend to become reticent, increasing people's responsiveness and abandoning their sense of individuality. the immediate situation, whether negative or positive.

• This de-individuation is particularly likely when people are in a large group, physically anonymous, stoned, agitated, and distracted.


Describe and explain how interaction with peers tends to reinforce pre-existing attitudes.

Many conflicts grow as people on both sides mostly talk to like-minded people. What effect, good or bad, does group interaction usually have? Police brutality and mob violence demonstrate its destructive potential. But the self-help group

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Leaders, business consultants, and education theorists proclaim the benefits of group interaction, and social and religious movements urge their members to strengthen their identities through fellowship with like-minded people.

Studies of people in small groups have yielded a principle that helps explain both good and bad results: group discussions often strengthen members' initial tendencies. The development of this research on group polarization illustrates the research process: how an interesting discovery often leads researchers to hasty and incorrect conclusions that are eventually replaced by more accurate conclusions. This is a scientific mystery that I can discuss firsthand since I was one of the detectives.

The Argument for "Change Risk" More than 300 studies began with a startling discovery by James Stoner (1961), then a graduate student at MIT. For his MBA thesis, Stoner challenged the popular belief that groups are more cautious than individuals. He set up decision dilemmas in which the participant's task was to advise imaginary characters on how much risk to take. Put yourself in the participant's shoes: What advice would you give the character in this situation?

Helen is a writer rumored to have considerable creative talent, but makes her living writing cheap westerns. You recently had an idea for a potentially meaningful novel. If it could be written down and accepted, it could have considerable literary impact and give your career a huge boost. On the other hand, if you fail to implement your idea or the novel is a failure, you have spent a lot of time and energy without compensation.

Imagine that you are counseling Helen. Circle the lowest probability that you think is acceptable that Helen will try to write the novel.

Helen must try to write the novel if there is a chance that the novel will be a success.

____linlO____ 2 out of 10____ 3 out of 10____ 4inl0____ Without 10____6 out of 10____ 7 out of 10____Without 10____9 out of 10____ 10 out of 10 (Check here if you think Helen should try romance

when the novel is certain to be a success.)

Once you've made your decision, guess what the average reader of this book would say. After you score your advice on a dozen points, about five people would score it

discuss each point and come to an agreement. How do you rate the group's decisions compared to the average decision before the discussions? Are groups likely to take greater risks, be more cautious, or stay the same?

To everyone's astonishment, group decisions tended to be riskier. This “risk shift phenomenon” triggered a wave of cluster studies on risk taking. These revealed that risky change occurs not only when a group decides by consensus, but also when individuals change their decisions after a brief discussion. Furthermore, the researchers successfully replicated Stoner's finding with people of different ages and occupations in a dozen countries.

In the discussion, opinions were unanimous. Interestingly, the point where they converged was usually one number lower (riskier) than the initial average. Here was a lovely puzzle. The small effect of risky hovering was reliable, unexpected and without an immediate obvious explanation. What group influences produce such an effect? And how common is it? Lead debates in juries.

Group polarization Amplification produced by the group of the members' pre-existing tendencies; a strengthening of the members' average mood, without division within the group.

This article, created for my own research, illustrates the kind of decision dilemma that Stoner poses.

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Do business committees and military organizations also encourage risk-taking? Does this explain why teenage reckless driving nearly doubles in fatalities when a 16- or 17-year-old driver has two teenage passengers instead of none (Chen et al., 2000)? Does this explain stock bubbles when people discuss why stocks are rising, creating a cascade of information that propels stocks higher (Sunstein, 2009)? ^^

After several years of study, we found that risky change was not universal. We could write decision dilemmas where people become more cautious after the discussion. One of them was "Roger", a young married man with two school-age children and a secure but low-paying job. Roger can afford the necessities of life but few luxuries. He hears that a relatively unknown company's stock will soon drop three times the value of m if its new product is well received, or will drop significantly if it doesn't sell. Roger has no savings. To invest in the company, he considers selling his life insurance policy. °

Can you see a general principle that predicts both a tendency to give more risky advice after talking about Helen's situation and more cautious advice after talking about Rogers? If you're like most people, I advise Helen to risk more than Roger before talking to anyone. It turns out that there is a strong tendency in the discussion to emphasize these early trends; Groups discussing the "Roger" dilemma became more risk averse than before the discussion.

Do groups intensify opinions? Recognizing that this group phenomenon was not a consistent shift towards increased risk, we viewed the phenomenon as a tendency of group discussions to reinforce the group members' initial tendencies. This insight led researchers to what French researchers Serge Moscovici and Marisa Zavalloni (1969) called group polarization: discussions often reinforce the average bias of group members.

FIGURE :: 8.8 Group Polarization The group polarization hypothesis predicts that discussions will reinforce an attitude shared by group members.

GROUP POLARIZATION EXPERIMENTS This new perspective on group-induced change led the experimenters to have people discuss statements of attitude that most of them approved or disapproved of. Would group talk reinforce your shared early tendencies? In groups, would risk takers take bigger risks, fanatics become more hostile, and givers more generous? This is what the group polarization hypothesis predicts (Figure 8.8). ^

Dozens of studies confirm the polarization of the group.

Moscovici and Zavalloni (1969) found that discussions reinforced French students' initially positive attitude toward their president and negative attitude toward Americans.

• Mititoshi Isozaki (1984) found that Japanese college students gave stronger "guilty" judgments after discussing a traffic incident. Likewise, when jurors tend to award damages, the group award tends to exceed that of the intermediate jury (Sunstein, 2007a).

• Markus Brauer et al (2001) found that French students' dislike of other people increased after discussing their shared negative impressions.

Before discussion after discussion

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Another research strategy was to select topics on which opinions are divided and then isolate people who share the same point of view. Does discussion with like-minded people reinforce shared points of view? Does it widen the chasm of attitudes that separates the two sides?

George Bishop and I wonder. Thus, we gathered groups of relatively unbiased and unbiased high school students and asked them to respond before and after the discussion to issues involving racial attitudes, such as property rights versus open housing (Myers & Bishop, 1970). We found that discussions between students with similar interests actually widened the initial gap between the two groups (Figure 8.9).

Studies in the UK and Australia confirm that group discussions can reinforce both negative and positive tendencies. When people share negative impressions of a group, such as B. an immigrant group, the discussion supports their negativity and increases their willingness to discriminate (Smith & Postmes, 2011). And when people share concerns about an injustice, the discussion heightens their moral concerns (Thomas & McGarty, 2009).

GROUP POLARIZATION IN EVERYDAY LIFE In everyday life, people tend to associate with others whose attitudes are similar to their own. (See Chapter 11, or just look at your own circle of friends.) Does the group's daily interaction with like-minded friends reinforce shared attitudes? Are nerds becoming nerds and jocks becoming jockeys?

It happens. The self-segregation of boys into male groups and girls into female groups accentuates their initially modest gender differences over time, observes Eleanor Maccoby (2002). Boys with boys gradually become more competitive and action-oriented on their playful, fictional diet. Girls with girls become more relationship oriented.

In US federal appeals court cases, “Republican-appointed judges tend to vote Republican, and Democrat-appointed judges tend to vote Democrat,” observe David Schkade and Cass Sunstein (2003). This is no surprise. But such tendencies are accentuated among like-minded judges. "A Republican-nominated representative who sits with two other Republicans votes much more conservatively than when the same judge sits with at least one Democratic representative. A Democratic representative, on the other hand, exhibits the same bias in the opposite ideological direction ".

Group polarization at school Another real-world parallel to the lab phenomenon is what educators call the "stressing effect": over time, initial differences between groups of college students are amplified. Likewise, independents tend to have more liberal political attitudes compared to members of fraternities and sororities, a difference that increases with college years (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991), which, according to researchers, is due in part to the fact that group members reinforce common inclinations.

Group polarization in communities Polarization also occurs in communities when people become isolated. "Crunchy places...attract crunchy guys and they get even crunchier," observes David Brooks (2005). “Conservative places…attract

FIGURE :: 8.9 Discussion improved the polarization between homogeneous groups of high- and low-bias high school students. Talking about race increased bias in a high-bias group and decreased it in a low-bias group. Source: Data from Myers & Bishop (1970).






IN THE 1990'S?... A






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animal gangs The pack is more than the sum of the wolves.

In two trials, South African courts reduced sentences after learning how social psychological phenomena, including depersonalization and group polarization, drove mob members to commit murderous acts (Colman, 1991). What do you think: should courts consider social psychological phenomena as possible extenuating circumstances?

Conservative and growing." Neighborhoods become echo chambers, reflecting the opinions of like-minded friends.

Show social psychologists a like-minded group that interacts mostly with each other, and they'll show you a group that can become more extreme. One experiment brought together small groups of Coloradoans in liberal Boulder and conservative Colorado Springs. The discussions strengthened consensus within the small groups on global warming, affirmative action, and same-sex couples. However, those from Boulder generally converged to the left and those from Colorado Springs to the right (Schkade et al., 2007).

With communities functioning as political echo chambers, America has become increasingly polarized. Political grouping even appears in business opportunities. One analysis found that 89% of Whole Foods stores were in districts that supported Obama in 2008, and 62% of Cracker Barrel restaurants were in districts that supported his Republican opponent John McCain (Stolberg, 2011). The end result has become a more divided country. Between 1976 and 2008, the percentage of counties that voted 60% or more for a presidential candidate nearly doubled (Bishop, 2008). The percentage of college freshmen who identify as "halfway" has dropped politically from 60% in 1983 to 46% in 2010, with a corresponding increase in those who identify as left or right (Pryor et al., 2005, 2010). .

In laboratory studies, the competitive relationships and distrust that individuals often display when playing with each other are often exacerbated when players are in groups (Winquist & Larson, 2004). In real community conflicts, like-minded individuals increasingly come together, reinforcing their common [blocking] tendencies", suggests David Lykken (1997), "the damage they do as a team is probably more than double that of the team would. first alone. .. A gang is more dangerous than the sum of its parts.” Indeed, “unsupervised peer groups” are “the strongest predictor” of a neighborhood's victimization rate, report Bonita Veysey and Steven Messner (1999). s and group them with other offenders, which comes as no surprise to any researcher, group polarization increases the rate of conduct problems (Dishion et al., 1999).

GROUP POLARIZATION ON THE INTERNET E-mail, blogs, and electronic chat rooms offer a potential new medium for like-minded people to meet and for group interactions that increase social fragmentation and polarization. Facebook

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features tens of thousands of groups of like-minded people discussing religion, politics, hobbies, cars, music and more. The myriad of virtual groups on the Internet allow peacemakers and neo-Nazis, geeks and goths, cabalists and cancer survivors to isolate themselves with like-minded people and find support for their common concerns, interests and suspicions (Gerstenfeld et al., 2003; McKenna & Bargh, 1998, 2000; Sunstein, 2001, 2009). In fact, most of us read blogs that affirm rather than challenge our views, and those blogs tend to link to like-minded blogs, connecting liberals with liberals, conservatives with conservatives, like Bathroom Mirror Conversations ( Leisure et al., 2009). . . Can these discussions cause group polarization? Will the socially connected birds of a feather find support for their shared beliefs, values ​​and suspicions? Are peacekeepers becoming more pacifist and militiamen more terrorist? E-mail, Google, and chat rooms “make it much easier for small groups to bring like-minded people together, crystallize diffuse hatred, and mobilize deadly violence,” observes Robert Wright (2003). How broadband spreads. The polarization caused by the internet will increase, he speculates. According to an analysis by the University of Haifa, the number of terrorist sites, which rose from a dozen in 1997 to around 4,700 at the end of 2005, was growing more than four times faster than the total number of sites (Ariza, 2006). . . Clark McCauley and Mary Segal (1987; McCauley, 2002), in their analysis of terrorist organizations around the world, point out that terrorism does not erupt suddenly. Rather, it arises between people whose common grievances unite them and stoke their fire. As they interact in isolation from moderating influences, they become increasingly extreme. The social reinforcer brings more signal. The result is acts of violence that individuals separated from the group would never have committed.

For example, the 9/11 terrorists were raised through a long process that produced the polarizing effect of peer interaction. The process, a

and I was left more or less alone.”

© Enk Hilgerdt/The New Yorker Collection/

focusON group polarization

In this dialogue between the followers of Julius Caesar, Shakespeare portrayed the polarizing force of the likeminded group;

ANTONIO Dear souls, why do you cry when you see Our Caesar's mantle wounded? look around here, here he himself, as you can see, is married to traitors.

FIRST CITIZEN: O miserable spectacle! Second Citizen: O noble Caesar!

Third Citizen: Oh, sad day! Fourth Citizen: Oh traitors, villains! First Citizen: O bloodiest spectacle! Second Citizen: We will be avenged! All: Vengeance! Above! To search for! Burn! Fire! To kill! To kill! Get out

no traitor lives!

Source: From Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, Act III, Scene II, lines 199-209.

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BERNARD SHAW (1856-1950)

social influence

Terrorist, a National Research Council panel found, isolates people from other belief systems, dehumanizes potential targets, and does not tolerate dissent (Smelser & Mitchell, 2002). Group members begin to categorize the world into “us” and “them” (Moghaddam, 2005; Qirko, 2004). Ariel Merari (2002), a researcher of suicide terrorism in the Middle East and Sri Lanka, believes that the key to creating terrorist suicide is the group process. "To my knowledge, there has not been a single case of suicide terrorism committed on a personal whim."

According to an analysis of terrorists who were members of Salafi Jihad, an Islamic fundamentalist movement that includes al-Qaeda, 70% joined while living as expatriates. After moving to foreign locations in search of work or education, they became acutely aware of their Muslim identity and often moved into mosques and lived with other expatriate Muslims, who sometimes recruited them into cell groups that "provided support each other". socially with one another” and “developing a shared identity” (Sageman, 2004).

Likewise, it turned out that massacres are a group phenomenon. Violence is made possible and intensified by the killers' mutual provocation, noted Robert Zajonc (2000), who was familiar with violence as a survivor of a World War II air raid in Warsaw that killed his parents (Burnstein, 2009). It is difficult to influence someone once "in the terrorist group's pressure cooker", observes Jerrold Post (2005), after interviewing many terrorist suspects. "In the long run, the most effective counterterrorism policy is one that keeps out potential recruits."

Explaining polarization Why do groups adopt attitudes that are more exaggerated than their average individual members? The researchers hoped that solving the group polarization puzzle might provide some insight into group influence. Solving small puzzles sometimes gives clues to solving larger puzzles.

Among several proposed theories of group polarization, two have come under scientific scrutiny. One deals with arguments made during a discussion and is an example of what Chapter 6 called informational influence (influence arising from accepting evidence about reality). The other refers to how members of a group see themselves in relation to other members, an example of normative influence (influence based on a person's desire to be accepted or admired by others).

INFLUENCE OF INFORMATION According to the best explanation, the group discussion leads to a collection of ideas, most of which favor the dominant point of view. Some ideas discussed are well known to group members (Gigone and Hastie, 1993; Larson et al., 1994; Stasser, 1991). Other ideas may contain persuasive arguments that some group members had not previously considered. When talking about Helen the writer, one might say, “Helen should give it a try because she has little to lose. Such statements often mix information about the person's arguments with indications of the person's position on the matter. But when people hear relevant arguments without knowing other people's specific views, they still change their minds (Burnstein & Vinokur, 1977; Hinsz et al., 1997). The arguments themselves are important.

But changing attitudes involves more than just listening to others' arguments. Active participation in discussions produces more attitude changes than passive listening. Participants and observers hear the same ideas, but when participants express them in their own words, verbal engagement reinforces the impact. The more group members repeat each other's ideas, the more they rehearse and validate them (Brauer et al., 1995).

287 Influence of the group

I This illustrates a point made in Chapter 7. People's minds are not just a blank slate for persuaders to write on. Main route persuasion is about what people think in response to a message. In fact, just thinking about a subject for a few minutes can strengthen the mind (Tesser et al., 1995). (You may recall that your feelings became polarized simply by thinking of someone you didn't like or dislike.) Even the expectation of discussing a subject with someone with the same experience but a different opinion can motivate people. people to put their arguments in order. and thus adopt a more extreme position (Fitzpatrick & Eagle, 1981).

Normative Influence A second explanation of bias involves comparison with others. As Leon Festinger (1954) argued in his influential social comparison theory, humans want to evaluate our opinions and abilities by comparing our opinions with those of others. We trust people more in our "reference groups," groups with which we identify (Abrams et al., 1990; Hogg et al., 1990). Also, if we want people to like us, we can express stronger opinions after realizing that other people share our opinions.

When we ask people (as I asked before) to predict how others would react to things like the "Helen" dilemma, they often display pluralistic ignorance: they don't recognize how strongly others support the socially preferred bias (in this case, writing the romance). A typical person will recommend writing the novel even if their odds of success are only 4 out of 10, but estimate that most other people would need a 5 or 6 out of 10 (they see themselves as an above-average embodiment of socially desirable traits). ). attitudes). .) If the discussion starts, most people will find that they don't overshadow others in the way they thought. Indeed, they are preceded by a few others who have taken an even stronger position in favor of novel writing. They are no longer constrained by a misinterpreted group norm, but are able to express their preferences more forcefully.

Maybe you can remember a time when you and someone else wanted to date, but each of you was afraid to make the first move, assuming the other probably didn't have a mutual interest. This pluralistic ignorance makes it difficult to establish relationships (Vorauer & Ratner, 1996).

Or maybe you remember when you and others in a group were on guard and reserved until someone broke the ice and said, "Well, to be completely honest, I guess..." Everyone was soon shocked, strong support for discover their common views. Sometimes when a teacher asks if anyone has any questions, no one answers, leading each student to conclude that they are the only ones confused. Everyone assumes that fear of embarrassment explains their own silence, but that others' silence means they understood the material.

Dale Miller and Cathy McFarland (1987) bottled this well-known phenomenon in a laboratory experiment. They urged people to read an incomprehensible article and seek help if they encountered "really serious problems understanding the document". Although none of the people sought help, they assumed that others would not be similarly restrained for fear of embarrassment. So they wrongly concluded that people who didn't seek help didn't need it. To overcome this pluralistic ignorance, someone must break the ice and allow others to reveal and amplify their collective responses.

Social comparison theory led to experiments that exposed people to others' positions but not to their arguments. This is more or less what we experience when reading the results of an opinion poll or exit poll on Election Day. When people know the positions of others, without prior commitment and without discussing or sharing arguments, will they adjust their responses to maintain a socially favorable position? As Figure 8.10 shows, they will. This comparison is based

Chapter 8

social comparison assessment of own opinions and abilities through comparison with others.

Pluralistic Ignorance A misperception of what most people think, feel, or react.

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FIGURE :: 8.10 For "risky" dilemma items (as in Helen's case), mere exposure to the judgments of others reinforced individuals' risk-prone tendencies. For items in the “cautious” dilemma (as in Roger's case), exposure to the judgments of others increased their caution. Oata von Myers (1978).


9 out of 10

8 out of 10

7 out of 10

6 out of 10

5 not 1O

4 out of 10

3 out of 10

2 of 10

1 em 10

cautious article

risky items

No exposure ExposureMere exposure to the judgments of others


A cover from The Economist about the 1987 stock market crash. Reprinted with permission from Kevin Kal Kallaugher, The Economist.

The polarization is usually less than in a lively discussion. He is definitely a teter though! **Based on the group average, he is often taken

Simply learning about the decisions of others also contributes to the overall effect created by successful songs, books, and movies. Sociologist Matthew Saleanik and colleagues (2006) experimented with the phenomenon by having 14,341 internet users listen and, if they wanted, download

unknown songs. The researchers randomly assigned some participants to a condition that revealed previous participants' download choices. Among those who received this information, popular songs became more popular and unpopular ones became less popular.

Research on group polarization illustrates the complexity of research in social psychology. As much as we like our explanations of a phenomenon to be simple, one explanation rarely explains all the data. Because people are complex, more than one factor often influences an outcome. In group discussions, persuasive arguments prevail over factual questions ("Is she guilty of the crime?"). Social comparisons influence responses to value-laden judgments ("How long should I serve a sentence?") (Kaplan, 1989). With many questions having both factual and valuable aspects, both factors work together. Discovering that others share the same feelings (social comparison) triggers arguments (information influence) that support what everyone secretly prefers.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Group Polarization: Do Groups Reinforce Our Views?

• Potentially positive and negative outcomes emerge from group discussions. While trying to make sense of the curious finding that discussion increased risk-taking, the researchers found that discussion actually tended to reinforce the initially dominant, risky, or cautious view.

• Group interaction also tends to reinforce opinions in everyday situations. This group polarization

The phenomenon provided a window through which researchers could observe the influence of the group.

• The experiments confirmed two group influences: informational and normative. The information gained in a discussion usually favors the initially preferred alternative and thus strengthens its approval.


Describe when and why group influences often get in the way of good decisions. Also describe when groups encourage good decisions and how we can get groups to make good decisions.

Do the sociopsychological phenomena we consider in these first eight chapters occur in high-level groups such as corporate boards or the president's office? Is self-justification likely? Selfish prejudice? A closed “we feeling” that promotes conformity and stifles contradiction? Does public participation generate resistance to change? group polarization? Social psychologist Irving Janis (1971, 1982) wondered whether such phenomena might help explain the good and bad group decisions of some twentieth-century American presidents and their advisers. To find out, he analyzed the decision-making processes that led to several major fiascoes:

Pearl Harbor In the weeks leading up to the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, which plunged the United States into World War II, military commanders in Hawaii received a steady stream of information about Japan's preparations for an attack on the United States at some point. time. Place, place. Military intelligence then lost radio contact with the Japanese aircraft carriers, which began heading directly for Hawaii. Air reconnaissance could have detected the carriers or at least given a few minutes' notice. But complacent commanders decided not to take such precautions. The result: the alarm did not go off until the attack on a virtually defenseless base occurred. The loss: 18 ships, 170 aircraft and 2,400 lives. The Bay of Pigs invasion. In 1961, President John Kennedy and his advisers tried to overthrow Fidel Castro by invading Cuba with 1,400 CIA-trained Cuban exiles. Almost all of the invaders were soon killed or captured, the United States was humiliated, and Cuba became more of an ally of the former USSR. After hearing the result, Kennedy wondered aloud, "How could we have been so stupid?" The Vietnam War. From 1964 to 1967, President Lyndon Johnson and his "Tuesday Lunch Group" of political advisers escalated the war in Vietnam on the assumption that US air strikes, defoliation, and search-and-destroy missions would take Vietnam from the dead. peace table with the grateful support of the people of South Vietnam. continuous

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Groupthink "The thinking that individuals employ in seeking agreement becomes so dominant in a coherent group that it tends to override realistic evaluations of alternative courses of action." -Irving Janis (1971)

It has escalated despite warnings from government intelligence experts and nearly all of America's allies. The resulting disaster claimed the lives of over 58,000 Americans and 1 million Vietnamese, polarized Americans, ousted the president from office, and created huge budget deficits that helped fuel inflation in the 1970s.

Janis believed that these failures were due to the tendency of decision makers to stifle dissent in the interests of group harmony, a phenomenon he called groupthink. (See "The Inside Story: Irving Janis on Groupthink.") In work groups, team spirit is good for morale and increases productivity (Mullen & Copper, 1994). But when it comes to decision making, cohesive groups can pay a price. Janis believed that the soil from which groupthink grows includes

• a friendly and cohesive group. • Relative isolation from the group of dissenting views. • A guiding leader who points out which decision he prefers.

In planning the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion, newly elected President Kennedy and his advisers enjoyed a strong team spirit. Arguments critical of the plan were suppressed or dismissed, and the president soon approved the invasion.

Groupthink Symptoms From historical records and memories of participants and observers, Janis identified eight groupthink symptoms. These symptoms are a collective form of dissonance reduction in which group members try to maintain their positive group feeling when faced with a threat (Turner & Pratkanis, 1994; Turner et al., 1992).

The first two symptoms of groupthink cause group members to overestimate their group's power and entitlement.

• An illusion of invulnerability. All of the groups Janis studied developed an overoptimism that blinded them to danger warnings. He said his forces lost radio contact with Japanese aircraft carriers. Admiral Kimmel, chief naval officer at Pearl Harbor, joked that the Japanese might be on the verge of circumnavigating Diamond Head in Honolulu. In fact, they were, but Kimmel's laugh at the idea ruled out the mere possibility that it was true.

• Unquestioned belief in group morals. Group members assume the inherent morality of their group and ignore ethical and moral issues. the kennedy

THE InsideSTORY Irving Janis on groupthink

The idea of ​​groupthink came to me when I read Arthur Schlesinger's account of how the Kennedy administration decided to invade the Bay of Pigs. At first I was confused; How can smart people like John F. Kennedy and his aides fall for the CIA's stupid patchwork scheme? I began to wonder if some kind of psychological contagion was involved, like the social conformism or struggle for agreement I had observed in small, closed groups. Further study (initially aided by my daughter Charlotte's work on a school assignment) convinced me that subtle group processes prevented them from carefully weighing risks.

and discussion of problems. So when I looked at other US foreign policy fiascos and the Watergate cover-up, I discovered the same pernicious group processes at work.

Irving Janis (1918-1990)

Group Influence Chapter 8 291

Self-censorship contributes to the illusion of unanimity.© Henry Martin/The New Yorker Collection/

Gruppe knew that counselor Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and Senator J. William Fulbright had moral reservations about invading a small neighboring country. But the group never considered or discussed these moral concerns.

Group members also become narrow-minded.

• Rationalization. Groups eliminate challenges by collectively justifying their choices. President Johnson's lunchtime group spent far more time on Tuesday rationalizing (explaining and justifying) than it did reflecting and reconsidering past escalation decisions. Each initiative became an action of defense and justification.

• Stereotypical view of the opponent. Participants in these group think tanks consider their enemies too bad to negotiate, or too weak and unintelligent to resist the proposed initiative. The Kennedy group became convinced that Castro's army was so weak and its popular support so shallow that a single brigade could easily overthrow his regime.

Eventually, the group comes under pressure from the unit.

• Pressure to conform. Group members dismissed those who expressed doubt about the group's assumptions and plans, sometimes not with argument but with personal sarcasm. Once, when Bill Moyers, President Johnson's adviser, arrived for a meeting, the President mocked him, saying, "Well, here comes Mr. Stop-the-Bombing."

• Self-censorship. To avoid embarrassing disagreements, members hid or ignored their concerns. In the months following the Bay of Pigs invasion, Arthur Schlesinger (1965, p. 255) berated himself "for remaining so silent during these crucial discussions in the Cabinet Room, although my guilt was lessened by knowing that pursuing the objection would have done little but make a name for myself as a nuisance.”

• Illusion of unanimity. Self-censorship and pressure not to break consensus create an illusion of unanimity. Furthermore, the apparent consensus confirms the group's decision. This seeming consensus was evident in the fiascoes of Pearl Harbor, the Bay of Pigs, and Vietnam, as well as other fiascoes before and since. Albert Speer (1971), an adviser to Adolf Hitler, described the atmosphere around Hitler as one in which the pressure to conform suppressed all deviation. The absence of dissent created an illusion of unanimity:

People who turn their backs on reality are often quickly humiliated by ridicule and criticism from those around them, making them realize that they have lost credibility. In the Third Reich there were no such corrections... No external factors disturbed the unity of hundreds of unchanging faces, all mine. (p. 379)







292 second part

Groupthink on the scale of the Titanic. Despite four reports of possible icebergs ahead, Captain Edward Smith, a respected leader and trendsetter, kept his ship cruising at high speed through the night. There was an illusion of invulnerability (many believed that the ship was unsinkable). There was pressure to conform (crewmates scolded the lookout for not being able to see with the naked eye and dismissed his concerns). And there was mental vigilance (a telegraph operator on the Titanic failed to relay the last and most complete iceberg warning to Captain Smith).

for rfr, n 'the group of information that would call into question the effectiveness or morality of its decisions. Before the Bay of Pigs invasion, Robert Kennedy pulled Schlesinger aside and told him not to go any further.

hc and the warnings from the experts in hacking intelligence. Thus, they can cause groupthink symptoms to not seek or discuss conflicting information.

and alternative options (Figure 8.11). When a manager^ promotes the ideal "dXTsrMSe"^

Social conditions1 High cohesion2 Isolation from the group3 Lack of methodology

search and evaluation procedures

4 Directive leadership 5 High stress with low

Degree of hope of finding a better solution than that favored by the leader or other influential people

groupthink symptoms

seek approval

1 illusion of invulnerability

2 Belief in the inherent morality of the group

3 Collective rationalization

4 Stereotypes of other groups

5 Direct pressure on those who think differently

6 Self-censorship7 Illusion of unanimity8 Self-proclaimed

mind protector

Bad decision making symbols

1 Incomplete summary of alternatives

2 Incomplete target coverage

3 Not considering the risk of the preferred choice

4 Poor information search 5 Selective bias in

process existing information

6 Lack of reassessment of alternatives

7 Lack of development of contingency plans i

FIGURE :: 8.11 Theoretical analysis of groupthink Source: Janis & Mann (1977, p. 132).

Group Influence Chapter 8 293

British psychologists Ben Newell and David Lagnado (2003) believe that groupthink symptoms may also have contributed to the Iraq war. She and others alleged that both Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush surrounded themselves with like-minded advisers and silenced intimidated dissenting voices. In addition, they each received leaked information that largely corroborated their assumptions: Iraq's explicit assumption that the invading force could be resisted; and the US assumption that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, that its people would welcome invading soldiers as liberators, and that a brief, peaceful occupation would soon lead to a thriving democracy.

Critique of Groupthink Although Janis' ideas and observations have received much attention, some researchers remain skeptical (Fuller & Aldag, 1998; t'Hart, 1998). The evidence was retrospective, so Janis was able to select supporting cases. However, later experiments supported aspects of Janis's theory:

• In fact, directive leadership is associated with worse decision making because subordinates sometimes feel too weak or insecure to speak up (Granstrom & I Stiwne, 1998; McCauley, 1998). • Groups that make good decisions engage in general conversation, with socially attuned members taking turns talking (Woolley et al., 2010). I • Groups prefer to support information rather than challenge it (Schulz-Hardt et al., 2000). When members seek acceptance, approval, and social identity in a group,

they can suppress unpleasant thoughts (Hogg & Hains, 1998; Turner & Pratkanis, 1997).

• Groups with different perspectives outperform groups of like-minded experts (Nemeth & Ormiston, 2007; Page, 2007). Including people who think differently than you can make you feel uncomfortable. But compared to comfortably homogeneous groups, heterogeneous groups tend to produce more ideas and more creativity.

• In discussions, information shared by group members tends to dominate and exclude information not shared, which means that groups often do not benefit from everything their members know (Sunstein & Hastie, 2008).

However, friendships need not generate groupthink (Esser, 1998; Mullen et al., 1994). In a secure, highly cohesive group (eg, a family), committed members often care enough to voice their disagreements (Packer, 2009). The norms of a cohesive group can promote consensus, which can lead to groupthink, or critical analysis, which prevents it (Postmes et al., 2001). When academic colleagues in a closely related department share their manuscript drafts, they want criticism: "Do what you can to save me from my own mistakes." In a free-spirited atmosphere, cohesion can also promote effective teamwork.

Furthermore, when Philip Tetlock and colleagues (1992) examined a larger sample of historical episodes, it became clear that even good group procedures sometimes lead to unhappy decisions. In 1980, when President Carter and his aides masterminded their humiliating attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran, they welcomed differing opinions and were realistic about the dangers. Had there not been a problem with the helicopter, the rescue might have been successful. (Carter later reflected that if he had sent another helicopter he would have been re-elected president.) To paraphrase Mr. Rogers, sometimes good bands do bad things.






Groupthink Prevention Faulty group dynamics help explain many failed decisions; sometimes many cooks spoil the broth. However, with open leadership, a closed team spirit can improve decisions. Sometimes two or more heads are better than one.

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(Video) How Do You Find Self Worth? | Dr. Lisa Strohman | TEDxGrandCanyonUniversity









sharpen the mind of



social influence

In search of conditions that produce good decisions, Janis also analyzed two successful efforts: the Truman administration's formulation of the Marshall Plan to put Europe back on its feet after World War II and the Kennedy administration's handling of the tests of the former USSR. to install missiles. bases in Cuba in 1962. Janis's (1982) recommendations for preventing groupthink include many of the effective group techniques used in both cases:

• Be impartial, do not support any position. Don't start group discussions with people stating their positions; this suppresses the exchange of information and reduces the quality of decisions (Mojzisch & Schulz-Hardt, 2010).

• Stimulate critical evaluation; Assign a "devil's advocate". Even better, welcoming the contribution of a genuine dissenter, which does even more to stimulate original thinking and open up a group to opposing points of view, report Charlan Nemeth and colleagues (2001a, 2001b).

• Occasionally break up the group and then come back together to resolve differences. • Receive reviews from experts and external contributors. • Prior to implementation, call a “second chance” meeting to resolve any disagreements


When such measures are taken, group decisions may take longer, but they end up being less flawed and more effective.

Group Problem Solving Not all group decisions are undermined by groupthink. Under some conditions, two or more heads really are better than one. In work environments such as operating rooms and meeting rooms, team decisions trump individual decisions when the discussion values ​​each person's skills and knowledge and brings out their diverse information (Mesmer-Magnus & DeChurch, 2009).

Patrick Laughlin and John Adamopoulos (1980; Laughlin, 1996; Laughlin et al., 2003) have shown the wisdom of groups with different intellectual tasks. Consider one of your analogy problems:

The statement must be refuted as well as the action. disabledb. resist illegal. precipitation. frustrated

Most college students get this question wrong when answering it on their own, but answer correctly (in frustration) after discussion. Furthermore, Laughlin finds that if only two members of a group of six are initially correct, they will convince everyone else two-thirds of the time. If only one is correct, in nearly three-quarters of cases this "minority of ones" fails to convince the group. And for tricky logic problems, three, four, or five heads are better than two (Laughlin et al., 2006).

Deli Wamick and Glenn Sanders (1980) and Verlin Hinsz (1990) confirmed that several heads can be better than one when examining the accuracy of eyewitness accounts of a videotaped crime or job interview. Interactive groups of eyewitnesses provided far more accurate accounts than those provided by the average person alone. Two heads are better than one, even for simple perceptual judgments by people with similar abilities (Bahrami et al., 2010; Ernst, 2010). If they are unsure of what they saw, sports referees should seek advice before making their decision.

Several minds criticizing each other can also allow the group to avoid some forms of cognitive bias and produce higher quality ideas (McGlynn et al., 1995; Wright et al., 1990). In science, the benefits of collaboration between different minds have led to more and more 'team science': an increasing proportion of scientific publications, particularly highly cited publications, by multi-author teams (Cacioppo, 2007).

295 Group Influence Chapter 8

But contrary to the popular notion that face-to-face brainstorming generates more creative ideas than the same people working alone, researchers agree that this is not the case (Paulus et al., 1995, 2000, 2011; Stroebe and Diehl , 1994). . And contrary to the popular notion that brainstorming is more productive when participants are warned against criticism, encouraging brainstorming appears to stimulate ideas and extend creative thinking beyond the brainstorming session (Nemeth et al., 2004).

People feel more productive generating ideas in groups (in part because people disproportionately attribute the ideas that come to themselves). But time and time again, researchers have found that people working alone tend to generate more good ideas than the same people in a group (Nijstad et al., 2006; Rietzschel et al., 2006). Large brainstorming groups are particularly inefficient. According to the theory of social loitering, large groups induce some individuals to participate in the efforts of others. According to normative influence theory, expressing strange ideas makes others worried. And they cause 'production blocks': you lose your ideas while waiting your turn to speak (Nijstad & Stroebe, 2006). As James Watson and Francis Crick demonstrated when they discovered DNA, challenging conversations between two people can most effectively stimulate creative thinking. Watson later recalled that he and Crick benefited from not being the brightest people trying to crack the genetic code. The most brilliant researcher “was so intelligent that she rarely sought advice” (cited from Cialdini, 2005). If you are the most talented person (and you consider yourself that), why should you seek the opinion of others? Like Watson and Crick, psychologists Daniel Kahneman and the late Amos Tversky also collaborated in their exploration of intuition and its impact on economic decision-making (see Chapter 3 and also “The Inside

[History: Behind a Nobel Prize" shown below.)






ER insideSTORY Behind a Nobel Prize: Two heads are better than one

In the spring of 1969, Amos Tversky, my youngest colleague at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and I met over lunch and shared our own recurring misperceptions. This is where our studies of human intuition come from.

I loved working together before but this was magical, Amos was so smart and so funny too. We could spend hours of solid work in non-stop hilarity. His work has always been characterized by self-confidence and a clear elegance, and it was a pleasure to combine these qualities with my ideas. When we wrote our first article, I realized it was so much better than the wobbly piece of work I would have written on my own.

All of our ideas were common property. We physically did most of the work on our joint projects, including creating questionnaires and documents. Our principle was to discuss any disagreements until they were resolved to our mutual satisfaction.

Some of the greatest joys of our collaboration, and likely much of its success, come from our ability to

................................................ .. .. ..................

explaining others' thoughts as they arise: if I expressed an incomplete idea, I knew Amos would be there to understand it, probably more clearly than I did, and that he would see it if it was of any value.

Amos and I share the wonder of having a goose that lays the golden eggs together: a common mind is better than our separate minds. We were a team and stayed that way for over a decade. The Nobel Prize was awarded for the work we produced during this period of intense collaboration.

daniel kahneman

princeton university,

Nobel Prize Winner, 2002

296 Second part Social impact

However, Vincent Brown and Paul Paulus (2002) identified three ways to improve group brainstorming: ^ ^

• Combine group and individual brainstorming. Group brainstorming is most productive when it precedes individual brainstorming. With new categories crafted through group brainstorming, individuals' ideas can continue to flow unimpeded by the group context, allowing only one person to speak at a time. Creative work teams are also often small and take turns working alone, in pairs, and in circles (Paulus & Coskun, 2012).

• Have group members interact in writing. Another way to use group preparation without being hampered by the one-at-a-time rule is to have group members write and read rather than talk and listen. Brown and Paulus refer to this process of co-writing and adding ideas, in which everyone is active at the same time, as “mental writing” (see also Heslin, 2009; Kohn et al., 2011). Furthermore, when leaders encourage people to come up with lots of ideas (rather than just good ideas), they come up with more and more good ideas (Paulus et al., 2011). So whatever comes to mind, write it down. '^

• Integrate electronic brainstorming. There is a potentially more efficient way to avoid the verbal quagmire of traditional brainstorming in larger groups: having people generate and read ideas on networked computers.

Therefore, when group members freely combine their creative ideas and diverse insights, the common result is not groupthink but group problem solving. The wisdom of groups is evident both in everyday life and in the laboratory:

weather forecast. "Two meteorologists make a forecast that is more accurate than either of them could have done alone," reports Joel Myers (1997), president of the largest private forecasting service. In 2010, scientists' predictions of Arctic summer sea ice minimum ranged from 2.5 million to 5.6 million square kilometers. The average, 4.8 million, corresponded almost exactly to the actual result (Wiltze, 2010).

• Google. Google has become a dominant search engine by tapping into what James Surowiecki (2004) calls the wisdom of the masses. Google interprets a link to page X as a vote for page X and weights links from higher ranking pages. Google takes advantage of the Internet's democratic nature and often takes less than a tenth of a second to show you what you want. ^

• Game programs. For a confused Slumdog Millionaire contestant, a valuable lifeline was "ask the audience," which often offered wisdom beyond the contestant's intuition. This is because the average judgment of a crowd generally makes fewer errors than the average judgment of individuals. or ) or jA "internal crowd". Likewise, the average of different guesses from the same people tends to exceed the individual guesses (Herzog & Hertwig, 2009). Edward Vul and Harold Pashler (2008) discovered this when they asked people to guess the correct answers to factual questions such as "What percentage of the world's airports are in the United States?" The researchers then asked the participants to choose immediately or 3 weeks later to make a second guess. The result? It's no more worth asking the same question twice than getting a second opinion from someone else, but if you wait 3 weeks, the benefit of asking the same question again increases to 1/3 of the value of a second opinion."

• Forecast markets. In US presidential elections since 1988, final opinion polls have provided a good indicator of the outcome of the election. An even better indicator, however, was the Iowa election market.

Group Influence Chapter 297

(including PoUs) people buy and sell candidate stocks. Other forecasting markets have used collective knowledge to estimate the probability of other events, such as an avian flu epidemic (Arrow et al., 2008; Stix, 2008).

From this we can conclude that when information from many different people is combined, we can all become smarter than almost any one of us alone. In a way, we are like a flock of geese, none of whom have perfect navigation sense. Still, by staying together, a group of geese can navigate accurately. The herd is smarter than the bird.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Groupthink: Do groups hinder or support good decisions?

Analysis of several international fiascos shows that group cohesion can replace a realistic assessment of a situation. This is especially true when group members have a strong desire to unite, when they are insulated from opposing ideas, and when the leader signals what he wants from the group. Symptomatic of this overriding concern for harmony, known as groupthink, are (1) an illusion of invulnerability, (2) rationalization, (3) undisputed belief in group morality, (4) stereotypical views of the opposition, (5) peer pressure. to conform, (6) self-censorship of concerns, (7) an illusion of unanimity, and (8) "mental guards" that protect the group from uncomfortable information. Critics have pointed out that some aspects of Janis' groupthink model (such as directive leadership)

they seem more involved in bad decisions than others (like cohesion). However, both in experiments and in real history, groups sometimes choose wisely. These cases suggest ways to prevent groupthink: maintaining impartiality, promoting "devil's advocate" positions, breaking down and then meeting to discuss a decision, seeking outside information, and holding a "second chance" meeting before it is implemented. . one decision suggests that groups can be more specific than individuals; Groups also generate more and better ideas when the group is small or when individual brainstorming follows the group session in a large group.


Explain when and how individuals influence their groups. Identify what makes some people effective.

Each chapter in this unit on social influence ends with a reminder of our power as individuals. we saw it

• Cultural situations shape us, but we also help create and choose those situations.

• Pressures to conform sometimes overwhelm our better judgment, but blatant pressures lead to reactance when we assert our individuality and freedom.

• Persuasion is powerful, but we can resist persuasion by making public promises and anticipating calls for persuasion.

This chapter has emphasized the influence of the group on the individual, so we conclude by examining how individuals can influence their groups.

298 Second part Social impact

Note: “Minority Influence” refers to minority opinions, not ethnic minorities.






Scholar, 1849

In the movie 12 Ang?y Men, a lone judge ends up beating the other 11. This rarely happens in a jury room. But in most social movements, a small minority will govern and eventually become the majority. “All history,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “is a record of minority power and minority power.” Think Copernicus and Galileo, Martin Luther King, Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Nelson Medela. The civil rights movement in the United States began with the refusal of an African-American woman, Rosa Parks, to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Technological history has also been written by innovative minorities. When Robert Fulton designed his steamboat, "Fulton's Folly", he was constantly ridiculed: "Never did an encouraging comment, a bright hope, a warm wish come my way" (Cantril & Bumstead, 1960). Indeed, if minority opinions never prevailed, history would be static and nothing would change.

What makes a minority persuasive? What could Arthur Schlesinger have done to get the Kennedy group to address their doubts about the Bay of Pigs invasion? Experiments initiated by Serge Moscovici in Paris identified several determinants of minority influence: persistence, self-reliance, and defection.

Stability More influential than a minority that falters is a minority that stands firm. Moscovici et al (1969; Moscovici, 1985) found that most members occasionally agree when a minority of participants consistently judge blue slides as green. But if the minority falters and says "blue" to a third of the blue slides and "green" to the rest, virtually no majority will ever agree with "green".

Experience shows, and experience confirms, that nonconformity, particularly persistent nonconformity, is often painful and that being a minority in a group can be uncomfortable (Levine, 1989; Lucken & Simon, 2005). This helps explain that minority slowness means that people with minority opinions are less quick to express them than majority people (Bassili, 2003). If you want to be Emerson's perfect killer, be prepared to be ridiculed, especially if you are discussing a topic that is personally relevant to the majority, and if the group wants to solve a problem using it, it has reached a consensus (Kameda & Sugimori , 1993; Kruglanski & Webster, 1991; Trost & others, 1992). Even if most people know that the person who disagrees is right in fact or morally, they still might not like him or her unless they change their minds (Chan et al., 2010).

People may attribute their disagreement to psychological quirks (Papastamou & Mugny, 1990). When Charlan Nemeth (1979, 2011) put a minority of two on a mock jury and pitted them against the majority's opinions, the pair inevitably didn't get along. Still, most conceded that the couple's persistence did more than anything to reconsider their positions. In contrast to majority influence, which often elicits hasty approval, minority influence encourages deeper processing of arguments, often with greater creativity (Kenworthy et al., 2008; Martin et al., 2007, 2008).

College students who have racially diverse friends or who are exposed to racial diversity in discussion groups show less simplistic thinking (Antonio et al., 2^). With disagreement within their own group, people absorb more information, think about it in new ways, and generally make better decisions (Page, 2007). Convinced that you don't have to win friends to influence people, Nemeth quotes Oscar Wilde: “We don't like arguments of any kind; they are always vulgar and often persuasive.

Some successful companies have recognized creativity and innovation that sometimes spark minority perspectives that can bring new ideas and inspire colleagues to think in new ways. 3M, which is known for valuing respect for individual initiative," welcomed employees who spend time in nature

ideas The adhesive on sticky notes was Spencer Silver's failed attempt to develop a super strong adhesive. Art Fry after struggling to compose his church choir hymnbook

Group Influence Chapter 8 299

With scraps of paper, I thought, "What I need is a marker with Spence glue on the edge." However, this was a minority opinion that ended up winning over a skeptical marketing department (Nemeth, 1997).

fSelf-confidence Constancy and perseverance transmit self-confidence. Furthermore, Nemeth and Joel Wachtler (1974) reported that any minority behavior that expresses confidence (eg, sitting at a table) tends to arouse doubts in the majority. By being firm and assertive, the apparent self-confidence of the minority may cause the majority to reconsider its position. This applies in particular to expressions of opinion rather than facts. Using their research at the Italian University of Padua, Anne Maass and colleagues (1996) report that minorities are less persuasive when answering a factual question ("What country does Italy import most of its crude oil from?") than the an attitude ("From which country should Italy import most of its crude oil?").

Majority Deviations A stubborn minority destroys any illusion of unanimity. When a minority constantly doubts the wisdom of the majority, majority members are freer to express their own doubts and may even switch to the minority position. But what about a lone defector, someone who initially agreed with the majority but later reconsidered and disagreed? In a study of students at the University of Pittsburgh, John Levine (1989) found that a minority person who had defected from the majority was even more persuasive than a consistent minority voice. The Nemeth simulation jury's experiments found that, much like the 12 Angry Men scenario, once deserters start, others often follow soon after, causing a snowball effect.

Are these factors that increase minority influence unique to minorities? Sharon Wolf and Bibb Latane (1985; Wolf, 1987) and Russell Clark (1995) have argued that the same social forces operate for both majorities and minorities. Information influence (through persuasive arguments) and normative influence (through social comparisons) promote both group polarization and minority influence. And if consistency, self-confidence, and deviation from the other side strengthen a minority, such variables also strengthen the majority. The social impact of any position, whether majority or minority, depends on the strength, immediacy and number of those who support it.

There is a wonderful irony in this new emphasis on how individuals can influence the group. Until recently, the idea that the minority could influence the majority was itself a minority view in social psychology. However, Moscovici, Nemeth, Maass, Clark, and others have won over most group influence researchers by consistently and forcefully arguing that minority influence is a phenomenon worth studying. And the way in which some of these minority researchers have pursued their interests should perhaps come as no surprise. Anne Maass (1998) became interested in how minorities can bring about social change after growing up in post-war Germany and listening to her grandmother's personal accounts of fascism. Charlan Nemeth (1999) developed her interest when she was a visiting professor in Europe, “working with Henri Tajfel and Serge Moscovici. The three of us were 'outsiders': I, an American Roman Catholic woman in Europe, they had survived the Eastern European Jews of WWII. Value sensitivity and minority perspective struggles dominated our work."

What is minority influence leadership? In 1910, the Norwegians and the British fought in an epic race to the South Pole. The Norwegians, effectively led by Roald Amundsen, succeeded. The British, mistreated by Robert Falcon Scott, did not; Scott and three team members were killed. Amundsen illustrated the power of leadership, the process by which individuals mobilize and lead groups.

Leadership The process by which specific group members motivate and guide the group.

300 part two

Participatory management, illustrated in this "quality circle," requires democratic rather than autocratic leaders.

Task Management Leadership that organizes work, sets standards, and focuses on goals.

Social Leadership Leadership that develops teamwork, resolves conflicts, and provides support.

social influence

Some leaders are formally appointed or elected; others emerge informally as the group interacts. What constitutes good leadership often depends on the situation. The best person to lead the engineering team may not be the best sales team leader. Some people excel at leadership: organizing work, setting standards, and focusing on achieving goals. Others excel at social leadership: building teamwork, mediating and supporting conflict.

Task leaders often have a directive style, which can work well if the leader is smart enough to give good instructions (Fiedler, 1987). By being goal-oriented, these leaders also keep the group's attention and efforts focused on their mission. Experiments show that the combination of specific, challenging goals and regular progress reports motivates high performance (Locke & Latham, 1990, 2002, 2009).

Social leaders typically have a democratic style, which delegates authority, accepts input from team members, and, as we've seen, helps to avoid groupthink. Many experiments show that social leadership is good for morale. Group members tend to feel happier when they participate in decision-making (Spector, 1986; Vanderslice &: other, 1987). By being in control of their tasks, workers are also more motivated to perform (Burger, 1987).

People tend to react more positively to a decision if they have the opportunity to express their opinion during the decision-making process (van den Bos & Spruijt, 2002). People who value a good sense of group and take pride in their accomplishments thrive under democratic leadership and participatory leadership. Women demonstrate a democratic leadership style more often than men (Carli & Eagly, 2011; Eagly & Johnson, 1990). Data from 118 studies show that women are far more equal than men; they are more opposed to social hierarchies (Lee et al., 2011).

The once popular “great people” theory of leadership – that all great leaders share certain traits – has fallen into disrepute. As we now know, effective leadership styles are less about the big "me" and more about the big "we". Effective leaders represent, empower, and defend a group's identity (Haslam et al., 2010). Effective leadership also varies by situation. Subordinates who know what they are doing may resent working under the direction of the task, while subordinates who don't know what they are doing may accept it. More recently, however, social psychologists have again questioned whether there are characteristics that make a good leader in many situations (Hogan et al., 1994). British social psychologists Peter Smith and Monir Tayeb (1989) report that studies in India, Taiwan, and Iran have found that the most effective supervisors in coal mines, banks, and government agencies score well on both task tests and tests of social leadership. They actively monitor the progress of work and are sensitive to the needs of their subordinates.

Group Influence Chapter 301

Transformational Community Leadership Approach




For a powerful example of transformational (consistent, confident, inspiring) leadership, consider Walt and Mildred Woodward. During World War II and for the two decades that followed, they owned and published the paper on Bainbridge Island, Washington. From Bainbridge, on March 30, 1942, the first of nearly 120,000 West Coast residents of Japanese descent were resettled in internment camps. With 6 days notice and under armed guard, they boarded a ferry and were kicked out, leaving friends and neighbors complaining at the pier (one of whom was their insurance agent, my dad). “Where, considering your good record since December 7 [Pearl Harbor Day], considering your civil rights, considering your own relatives being drafted and conscripted into our armed forces, due to American decorum, is there any excuse for that, too short? evacuation order? edited Woodwards (1942) in his Bainbridge Review. During the war, the Woodwards were the only West Coast newspaper publishers to oppose internment. They also hired their former part-time employee, Paul Ohtaki, to write a weekly news column about the displaced islanders. Ohtaki's stories and others like "Pneumonia strikes 'Grandpa Koura" and "The island's first baby born in Manzanar" reminded those at home of their absent neighbors and paved the way for their eventual reception at home, a contrast to the prejudice who prepared his return. others welcomed West Coast communities where newspapers supported internment and encouraged anti-Japanese hostility.

After enduring some bitter hardship, the Woodwards lived to be honored for their bravery, which was dramatized in the book and film Snow Falling on.

: cedars. On March 30, 2004, at a national monument dedication ceremony at the ferry's departure point, Frank Kitamoto, former boarding school and president of the Japanese American community of Bainbridge Island, declared that "this monument is also for Walt and Millie Woodward, to Keni Myers, to Genevive Williams... and to the many others who 'supported' us and who defied forced deportation despite the risk of being branded as unpatriotic,” said Walt Woodward.

If we can suspend the Bill of Rights for Japanese-Americans, we can also suspend the Bill of Rights for Overweight Americans or Blue-Eyed Americans.

In March 1942, 274 Bainbridge Islanders became the first

about 120,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants

interned during World War 11. 62 years later, the earth

was dismantled for a national monument (N/doto Nai Yon; - May it not happen again) in commemoration of the inmates and the

Transformational leaders who supported and prepared them

to your welcome home.

Reflecting on Woodwards' transformative leadership, the young reporter Ohtaki (1999) observed that "none of the animosity towards the return of the Japanese that was seen elsewhere was present on Bainbridge Island, and I think that this is largely due to the Woodwards . ." Later, when he asked the Woodwards, "Why did you do that when you could abandon it without incurring the ire of some of your readers?" they always replied, "It was the right thing to do.

Studies also show that many effective leaders of lab groups, work groups, and large corporations exhibit behaviors that help make a common vision compelling. These leaders build trust by constantly adhering to "Heir-S". And they often exude an aura of confidence that ignites loyalty (Bennis, 1984; House & Singh, 1987). Effective leaders tend to have a persuasive attitude.

302 Second part Social influence

Transformational Leadership Leadership that exerts significant influence, made possible by a leader's vision and inspiration.

ml stress 11 (alevy et al., 2011). They also have the ability to convey this vision to others using clear and simple language and possess enough optimism and confidence in their group to inspire others to follow. Socially dominant and influential people also appear to be competent (whether or not they are) because they pretend to be, by talking a lot (Anderson & Kilduff, 2009). ^e-oy much taiKmg

In an analysis of 50 Dutch companies, the highest corporate morality was in the interest of their colleagues to “transcend their own interests for the good of the collective” (de Hoogh et al., 2004). The leadership of this th!^ms motivates others to identify with him and get involved

is committed to the group's mission. Transformational leaders, many of whom are outgoing and confident, articulate high standards, inspire people to share their vision, and provide personalized attention (Bono & Judge 2004). Reliable and effective workforce (Turner et al., 2002). FH groups also influence their leaders. Sometimes the first in the pack just guessed where the journey was going. Political candidates know how to read cpmion polls. Someone who embodies the group's views is more likely to be chosen as a leader; a leader who deviates radically from group standards may be rejected (Hogg et al., 1998). Wise leaders usually stay

and spend your influence wisely. On rare occasions, combat characteristics combined with the appropriate situation result in storytelling greatness, notes

Dean Keith Simonton (1994). Having a Winston Churchill or a Margaret Thatcher, a Thomas Jefferson or a Karl Marx, a Napoleon or an Adolf Hitler, an Abraham

mcoln or martin luther kmg, jr. puts the right person in the right place at the right time. If an appropriate combination of intelligence, skill, determination, independence

xf u ^ Opportunity, the result is sometimes a championship, a Nobel Prize or a social revolution.

SUjVliyilNG UP: Minority influence: how

Individuals Influence the Group While majority opinion usually prevails, sometimes a minority can influence and even overthrow a majority position. Even when the majority does not embrace the minority's views, talking about the minority can reinforce the majority's doubts and lead them to consider other alternatives, often leading to better and more creative decisions. In experiments, a minority is more influential when it is consistent and persistent in its views when its

The actions inspire confidence and start to cause some defections from the majority. Through their social role and leadership, formal and informal group leaders wield disproportionate influence. Those who constantly work towards their goals and exude an aura of self-confidence often inspire confidence and inspire others to follow them.

POST SCRIPTS: Are bands bad for us? A selective reading of this chapter might, I must admit, leave the reader with the impression that groups are bad, all things considered. In groups we are more excited, more stressed, more tense, more prone to errors in complex tasks. hidden in a group

Triggered by dedividuation. Police brutality, lynching, gang destruction and

Group Influence Chapter 303

Terrorism are all group phenomena. Group discussions often polarize our views and reinforce mutual racism or hostility. It can also suppress dissenting opinions and create homogenized groupthink that leads to disastrous decisions. No wonder we celebrate these individuals, minorities of one, who stood up alone against a group for truth and justice. Groups, it turns out, are bad.

All of this is true, but it is only half true. The other half is that, as social animals, we are group creatures. Like our distant ancestors, we depend on each other for food, support and security. Furthermore, when our individual tendencies are positive, group interaction brings out the best in us. In groups, runners run faster, the audience laughs louder, and givers become more generous. In support groups, people strengthen their decision to stop drinking, lose weight and learn more. In like-minded groups, people expand their spiritual awareness. "A devout exchange of spiritual things is sometimes very helpful to the health of the soul," noted the fifteenth-century cleric Thomas a Kempis, especially when people of faith "meet, converse, and communicate with each other."

Groups can be really, really bad or really, really good, depending on what tends to make or break a group. So it's best to choose our groups with care and intention.

Social psychology is scientific.

study of how people think

influence and interact with each other.

After exploring how we think about it

(Part One) and Influence (Part Two)

each other, let's think about how

they relate to each other. our feelings and

Actions towards people are sometimes

negative, sometimes positive. cover

having 9, “Prejudice” and 10, “Aggression

sion", explores the most uncomfortable aspects of

Interpersonal Relationships: Why We Don't Like It

even despise each other? because is

When do we get hurt? after

in Chapter 11, “Attraction and Inti

macy”, and 12, “help”, we examined

the nicer aspects: why we like to respawn

Do you love certain people? When

We offer help to friends or strangers

a? Finally, not Chapter 13, “Conflict

and pacification", we consider as

social conflicts arise and how

can be resolved fairly and amicably.

^ "Prejudice. A vague opinion without visible means

i de apoio.": .......................................... —Ambrose , Bierce, J.hs.PeyiJ's.DictiQn^ry..191.1.,, .

What is the nature and power of prejudice?

What are the social sources of prejudice?

What are the motivational sources of prejudice?

What are the cognitive sources of prejudice?

What are the consequences of prejudice?

Prejudice comes in many forms, to our own group and against another group: against "Northeast Liberals" or "Southern Hillbillies", against Arab "terrorists" or American "infidels" and

: against fat or ugly or single people.

Consider some impressive examples:

Addendum: Can we break prejudices?

• Religion. Post 9/11 and Iraq and Afghanistan

Stan Wars, Americans with a strong national identity expressed

the greatest contempt for Arab immigrants (Lyons & others, 2010).

, And when a candidate is told they are Muslim, many managers are not.

L tends to hire or pay well (Park et al., 2009). "Muslims are one of the last minorities in America who can still do this.

I openly humiliated myself," observed columnist Nicholas Kristof (2010).

when antagonism against Islamic mosques broke out. Most in Europe

Non-Muslims express concern about "Islamic extremism" and

they perceive bad relations between Muslims and Westerners (Pew, 2011). center

i Eastern Muslims return negativity to the "greedy"

and "immoral" Westerners, and often report disbelief

that Arabs carried out the September 11 attacks (Wike & Grim, 2007;

Pow, 2011).

• Obesity. When looking for love and employment, being overweight

People, especially white women, have little chance.

308 Third part Social relations

In correlative studies, rrrry obese people have less access to

eat, work at the table and earn less money (Swami et al. 2008). in experience

times when some people's photos are enlarged to make them more attractive,

In general, they are perceived as less attractive, intelligent, cheerful and self-confident.

^saphned and successful (Gortmaker et al., 1993; HebI & Heatherton

1998; Pmgitore 8, others, 1994). In fact, weight discrimination goes beyond race.

or gender discrimination and occurs before any hiring in the employment phase

200017"*' d-charge (Roehling2000 Negative assumptions and discrimination over 8

People help explain why overweight women and obese men rarely (relatively)

to their numbers in the general population) become CEOs of large corporations

(Roehling et al., 2008, 2009, 2010) Overweight people are more likely to be bullied as children than as adults.

depression, by Wit & andere, 2010; Lumeng & andere, 2010; lupine and others

• Sexual Orientation. Lots of gay youth - two-thirds of high school gays

Students in UK national survey report being homophobic

Mobbing (Hunt & Jensen, 2007). The US National Longitudinal Study of

Scent Health found that gay and lesbian teens are much more likely to be punished by schools and courts than their straight peers.

although it is less likely to commit serious offenses (Himmelstein & Ruckner, 2011). Among adults, one in five Britons say they are gay or lesbian

h, 2008). In a US national survey, 20% were gay, lesbian or bisexual

People reported experiencing a personal or property crime as a result of sexual harassment, with half reporting experiencing verbal harassment

• Years. People's perception of the elderly - generally friendly, but fragile, uncomfortable

Aggressive and unproductive paternalistic behavior, such as baby talk.

Language that makes seniors feel less competent and less able to act

(Bugental & Hehm^ 2007).

• Emigrants. A growing body of xenophobia research papers

Prejudice of Germans against Turks, of French against North Africans

The British against the West Indies and the Pakistanis and the Americans against the Latins

American immigrants (Pettigrew. 2006). As we shall see. the same factors as

Racial and gender prejudices also fuel aversion to immigrants (Pettigrew &

Others, 2008; Zick et al., 2008),



Understand the nature of prejudice and the differences between prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination.

Prejudice is different from stereotypes and discrimination. Social psychologists study these distinctions and the different forms that prejudices take today.

Prejudice defines prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination, racism, sexism – the terms often overlap. Let's clarify them. Each of the situations described involved a negative evaluation by some group. And that is the essence of prejudice: a preconceived negative judgment about a group and its individual members. (Some definitions of prejudice involve positive judgments, but nearly all uses of "bias" refer to negative judgments, as Gordon Allport observes in his classic book The Nature of Prejudice, "an antipathy based on faulty and inflexible generalization" [1954 , page 9])

Prejudice is an attitude. As we saw in Chapter 4, an attitude is a unique combination of feelings, tendencies to act, and beliefs. It can easily be remembered as the ABC of attitudes: effect (feelings), behavioral bias (propensity to act) and cognition (beliefs). A prejudiced person may dislike and discriminate against people who are different from them, believing them to be ignorant and dangerous.

The negative judgments that characterize prejudice are often supported by negative beliefs called stereotypes. Stereotyping means generalizing. To simplify the world, let's generalize: the English are reserved. Americans are extroverts. Teachers are spread out. Here are some common stereotypes the survey uncovered:

• In the 1980s, women with the title "Mrs." they were seen as more assertive and ambitious than those who called themselves "ma'am" or "ma'am". (Dion, 1987; Dion & Cota, 1991; Dion &: Schuller, 1991). After "woman". became the default title for women, the cliché changed. It is married women who keep their surnames who are seen as assertive and ambitious (Crawford

; and others, 1998; Etaugh et al., 1999). • Opinion polls show that Europeans had certain ideas about it

other Europeans. They saw the Germans as relatively hard-working, the French as pleasure-seekers, the British as cold and inexcitable, the Italians as passionate, and the Dutch as reliable. (These results are expected to be reliable as they are from Willem Koomen and Michiel Bahler, 1996, University of Amsterdam.)

• Europeans also find southern Europeans more emotional and less efficient than northern Europeans (Linssen & Hagendoom, 1994). The stereotype of the southerner as being more expressive is true even within countries: James Pennebaker and colleagues (1996) report that in 20 countries in the northern hemisphere (but not in 6 countries in the southern hemisphere) southerners are perceived as more expressive within a country than northerners.

Such generalizations may be more or less true (and they are not always negative). Older people are generally more fragile. Southern countries in the northern hemisphere have higher rates of violence. People living in the south of these countries report being more expressive than people in the northern regions of their countries. Teachers' stereotypes about performance differences between students of different genders, ethnicities and classes tend to reflect reality (Madon et al., 1998). "Stereotypes," note Lee Jussim, Clark McCauley, and Yueh-Ting Lee (1995), "can be positive or negative, accurate or inaccurate." An exact stereotype can even be

Chapter 9 309

bias A preconceived negative judgment of a group and its individual members.

Stereotype Belief in the personal characteristics of a group of people. Stereotypes are sometimes too pervasive, inaccurate, and resistant to new information (and sometimes accurate).


"Heaven is a place with











310 Part Three Social Relations

Discrimination Unwarranted negative behavior towards a group or its members.

Racism (1) prejudice and discriminatory behavior by an individual towards people of a certain race, or (2) institutional practices (even if not motivated by prejudice) that subordinate people of a certain race.

Sexism (l) A person's prejudiced attitudes and discriminatory behavior toward persons of a given sex, or (2) institutional practices (even if not motivated by prejudice) that subordinate persons of a given sex.

being desirable We call this "diversity sensitivity" or "world culture". Understanding the cultural awareness of Mexicans means understanding what to expect from each culture.

Cephon glass (made by people who judge others) is 90% filled with "P®"

American is overwhelming” cate hiust bn tsTr”

they are less conscientious and more neurotic than their partnerspr'''*""l" A German study was wrong, because "asnt trP"P'^®

Homosexuals generalize the worst examples of hate

"Tyrell Jackson" tarpusort Loges 2^6) ther'i. ^ 56 percent of When 4,859 US State leeislafnrc^r^ ' ■ a ' followed suit, asking how to relate to the 2008 election

Bareket-Bojmel, 2009). ^ ^ Marom von Tel Aviv) (Tykocinski &

The linked behaviors.ftttctlttitdestedt'tr'^^dt^?''^ are often missed by prejute raabm ^tsev delete springwhenttt in wt “

Companies have the effect of exduHin khinng practices in an all-white occupation that could be called male-dominated occupations without discrimination. If job ads are dominant^^^^^^ ^^^otypei ("We

tivo") and job offers for fpmfl h ■ ® in a competitive

Prejudice: implicit and explicit

for the same target shown hv ^nn^T!i-configuration (automatic) (Carpenter, 2008) . Needless to say, if we measure people's joining speed, you'll know that we join faster.

The configuration can change dramatically if we form a new HahL with just pr^teT^k^r^th^lS^r

311 prejudice

A large number of experiments conducted by researchers at Ohio State University and the University of Wisconsin (Devine & Sharp, 2008), Yale and Harvard Universities (Banaji,

I 2004)/ Indiana University (Fazio, 2007), University of Colorado (Wittenbrink, 2007; Wittenbrink et al., 1997), University of Washington (Greenwald et al., 2000), University of Virginia (Nosek et al., 2007 ) and New York University (Bargh & Chartrand, 1999) recognized that biased and stereotyped judgments can occur outside people's awareness. Some of these studies briefly show words or faces that "prepare" (automatically activate) stereotypes for a particular race, gender, or age group. Without their awareness, participants' activated stereotypes can influence their behavior. For example, after receiving images of African Americans, they may respond more hostilely to an experimenter's (deliberately) angry request.

Critics argue that the implicit association test is not valid enough to qualify or label people (Blanton et al., 2006, 2009). The test is most appropriate for research that shows, for example, that implicit bias predicts behaviors ranging from acts of kindness to job evaluations (Greenwald et al., 2009). In the 2008 US presidential election, both implicit and explicit bias predicted voter support for Barack Obama, and his election, in turn, led to some reduction in implicit bias (Bernstein et al., 2010; Payne et al. al., 2010).

Bearing in mind the distinction between overt, conscious bias and implicit, unconscious bias, let's examine two common forms of bias: racial bias and gender bias.

Racial Prejudice In the context of the world, each race is a minority. Non-Hispanic whites, for example, make up only one-fifth of the world's population and will be one-eighth in another half century. Thanks to the mobility and migration of the past two centuries, the world's races now intermingle in sometimes hostile, sometimes gentle relationships.

To a molecular biologist, skin color is a trivial human trait controlled by a small genetic difference. Furthermore, nature does not group races into clearly defined categories. It is people, not nature, that call Barack Obama, the son of a white woman, "nigger."

Most people see prejudice in other people. In a Gallup poll. White Americans estimated that 44% of their peers have a high level of prejudice (5 or more on a 10-point scale). How many gave themselves a high score? Only 14% (Whitman, 1998).

IS RACIAL PREJUDICE DISAPPEARING? Which is correct: people's perception of high bias in others or their perception of low bias in themselves? Is racial prejudice a thing of the past?

Explicit biases can change very quickly.

i, • In 1942, most Americans agreed: "There should be separate sections for blacks on streetcars and buses" (Hyman & Sheatsley, 1956). Today the issue strikes me as odd because these apparent prejudices have all but disappeared.1 • In 1942, less than a third of all whites (only 1 in 50 in the South) supported school integration; In 1980, support was 90%, r • In 1958, 4% of Americans of all races approved of black and white

Marriages: about 86% in 2011 (Jones, 2011). Considering the small part of history traversed by the years 1942 or even

Since slavery, the changes have been dramatic. In the UK, overt racial prejudice against interracial marriage or having an ethnic minority head has also declined dramatically, particularly among younger adults (Ford, 2008).

Attitudes among African Americans have also changed since the 1940s, when Kenneth Clark and Mamie Clark (1947) demonstrated that many African Americans were prejudiced against blacks. In its historic 1954 decision to declare racial segregation









312 Part Three Social Relations

FIGURE: 9.1 Change in racial attitudes of Arrikan whites from 1958 to 2011

rr"'' """"S' Two days later, Obaroa arose, stepw re bs 'fat and less ^h'%n '' e°" " °™ ""Suration, and swore 'a most sacred oath ' - in a place where your father could not have been served at a local restaurant less than 60 years ago," Source: Gallup Polling data (












Psychologists often write in black and white capital letters to emphasize that they are socially applied racial designations, not literal color designations, for people of African and European descent.

unconstitutional schools, the Supreme Court found it notable that when the Clarks gave African-American children a choice between black and white dolls, the majority chose the white ones. In studies from the 1950s to the 1970s, black children increasingly preferred black dolls. And black adults viewed blacks and whites as similar in traits such as intelligence, laziness, and reliability (Jackman Senter, 1981; Smedley & Bayton, 1978).

Today, people of different races also share many of the same attitudes and aspirations, observes Amitai Etzioni (1999). More than 8 in 10 in both groups agree that "To graduate from high school, students must understand the history and common ideas that unite all Americans." Similar proportions in the two groups fight for “fair treatment for all, without prejudice or discrimination”. And about two-thirds of both groups agree that moral and ethical standards have dropped. Thanks to these shared ideals, Etzioni points out, most Western democracies have gotten rid of the ethnic tribalisms that have separated countries like Kosovo and Rwanda.

Are we to conclude that racial prejudice is dead in countries like the United States, Great Britain and Canada? Not if we consider the 6,604 hate crimes reported in 2009 (FBI, 2008, 2009). Not when we consider the small proportion of whites who, as shown in Figure 9-1, would not vote for a black presidential candidate. Not when we take into account the 6% more support Obama likely would have received in 2008 had there been no white racial bias, according to a statistical analysis of voters' racial and political attitudes (Fournier & Tompson, 2008).

So how big is the progress towards racial equality? In the United States, whites tend to compare the present with the oppressive past, as they perceive rapid and radical advances. Blacks tend to contrast the present with their unrealized ideal world and perceive slightly less progress (Eibach & Ehrlinger, 2006).

SUBTLE FORMS OF PREJUDICE Subtle forms of prejudice are even more common than overt and blatant prejudice. Modern biases often creep in subtly in our preferences for what is familiar, similar, and comfortable (Dovidio et al., 1992; Estes et al., 1993a; Gaertner & Dovidio, 2005).

Some experiments have examined people's behavior towards blacks and whites. As we'll see in Chapter 12, targets are just as useful for anyone in need, except when the person in need is far away (for example, a wrong number).

313 prejudice

an obvious black accent that needs to get a message across). Similarly, when asked to use electric shocks to “teach” a task. Whites did not electrocute a black man any more (if at all) than a white man, except when angry or when the recipient could not retaliate or did not know who did it (Crosby et al., 1980; Rogers & Prentice). -Durm, 1981).

In this way, prejudices and discriminatory behavior surface when they can be hidden under the veil of another motive. In Australia, Great Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands, blatant prejudices have been replaced by subtle prejudices (exaggerated ethnic differences, less admiration and affection for immigrant minorities, rejection for supposedly non-racial reasons) (Pedersen & Walker, 1997; Tropp and Pettigrew , 2005a). Some researchers call these subtle biases "modern racism" or "cultural racism."

Using pencil-and-paper questionnaires, Janet Swim and her fellow researchers (1995, 1997) found that subtle ("modern") sexism is equivalent to subtle ("modern") racism. Both forms appear in denial of discrimination and antagonism to efforts to promote equality (such as agreeing with a statement such as "women are becoming too demanding in their pursuit of equality").

We can also identify behavioral biases: • To prove possible discrimination in the labor market, M.I.T. researchers sent

5,000 resumes were posted in response to 1,300 different job advertisements (Bertrand & Mullainathan, 2003). Candidates were randomly assigned blank names

: (Emily, Greg) Received one callback for every 10 resumes submitted. Names specified from I Black (Lakisha, Jamal) received one withdrawal for every 15 resumes submitted. I • Other experiences sent fictional resumes of women to 613

Austrian vacancies and two male CVs in 1714 vacancies in Athens, Greece and 1769 vacancies in the US (Drydakis, 2009; Tilcsik, 2011; Weichselbaumer, 2003). At random, one candidate from each pair confirmed, among other things, that he was a volunteer at a gay and lesbian organization. In response, dropouts were much less likely for gay candidates. In the American experiment, for example, 7.2% of the candidates were his.

Chapter 9

While the bias in close social contacts is finally disappearing, interracial marriages have increased in most countries, and 77% of Americans now support "black-white marriage," a sharp increase from the 4% who supported it in 1958 (Carroll, 2007). . Among whites aged 18 to 29, 88% agree (Pew, 2010a). In 2008, one in seven American marriages, six times the number in 1960, were between people of different races or ethnicities (Pew, 2010b).

Social Relations 314 Third Part

In several US states, black drivers represent a minority of drivers and speeders on the highways, but they are the most frequently stopped and searched by state police (Lamberth, 1998; Staples, 1999a, 1999b). In a whimsical Jersey Turnpike study, blacks made up 13.5% of car occupants, 15% of speeding drivers, and 35% of stopped drivers.

FIGURE :: 9.2 Facing Prejudice Where Does Anger Go? Kurt Hugenberg and Galen Bodenhausen showed cinematic faces of college students who went from anger to joy. Those who scored the most biased (on a test of implicit racial attitude) were more likely to perceive anger in ambiguous black faces than in white ones.

Activities such as Treasurer, Gay and Lesbian Alliance received a response, as did 11.5% of those belonging to another apparently left-wing group (Treasurer, Progressive and Socialist Alliance).

• In an analysis of traffic stops, African Americans and Hispanics were four times more likely to be searched, twice as likely to be arrested, and three times as likely to be handcuffed and subjected to excessive force (Lichtblau, 2005). ).

Modern bias even appears as racial sensitivity, leading to exaggerated responses to isolated minorities: they overestimate their achievements, excessively criticize their mistakes, and do not warn black students as much as white students about possible academic difficulties (Crosby & Monin, 2007). ; Fisher, 1989). ; Hart and Morris, 1997; Hass et al., 1991).

It also seems condescending. For example, Kent Harber (1998) gave white students at Stanford University a poorly written essay for grading. If students thought the author was black, they rated it higher than if they were led to believe the author was white, and they rarely voiced harsh criticism. Critics, perhaps wanting to avoid the appearance of prejudice, patronized black essayists with lower standards. Such "too much praise and not enough criticism" can hurt minority students' performance, Harber noted. In a follow-up survey, Harber and colleagues (2010) found that whites concerned about bias not only rate and comment better on weak essays assigned to black students, but also recommend less time for skill development. To protect their own unbiased image, they do their best to provide positive, unsolicited feedback.

AUTOMATIC BIAS How widespread is automatic bias against African Americans? Experiments have shown such reactions in different contexts. For example, in clever experiments by Anthony Greenwald and colleagues (1998, 2000), 9 out of 10 white people were slower to identify pleasant words (such as peace and paradise) as "good" when associated with black faces than to black faces. white. faces Participants deliberately expressed little or no bias; his bias was unconscious and unintentional. Furthermore, Kurt Hugenberg and Galen Bodenhausen (2003) report that the more people exhibit these implicit biases, the more likely they are to see anger in black faces (Figure 9.2).

j. k.

Prejudice Chapter 9 315


Automatic bias. When Joshua Correll and his colleagues asked people to react quickly to people holding a gun or an innocuous object, race influenced perceptions and reactions.

Critics point out that unconscious associations may just indicate cultural assumptions, perhaps without bias (including negative feelings and action tendencies). However, some studies show that implicit biases may play a role in behavior:

• In a Swedish study, a measure of implicit bias against Arab Muslims predicted the likelihood that 193 corporate employers would not interview candidates with Muslim names (Rooth, 2007).

• In a medical study of 287 physicians, those with the most overt racial bias were least likely to recommend blood-thinning medications to a black patient complaining of chest pain (Green et al., 2007).

• In a study of 44 Australian drug and alcohol nurses, those who showed an implicit bias towards drug users were also more likely to want another job when faced with work-related stress (von Hippel et al, 2008).

In some situations, automatic implicit biases can have vital consequences. In separate experiments, Joshua Correll and colleagues (2002,2006,2007)

mi. g-h.

Some people learn positive associations faster (and learn negative associations slower) to neutral stimuli. These people tend to show little implicit racial bias (Livingston & Drweeki, 2007).











316 Part Three Social Relations

and Anthony Greenwald and colleagues (2003) invited people to quickly press buttons to “shoot” or “don't shoot” men who suddenly appeared on screen with a gun or an innocuous object such as a flashlight or a bottle. Participants (white and black) in one of the studies were more likely to mistakenly shoot harmless targets who were black (subsequent computer simulations revealed that suspicious black men, not women, whether white or black, are more likely to be associated with threats and being filmed [Plant & other, 2011].)

After a Muslim-looking man was shot dead by London police, researchers also found that Australians were more likely to shoot someone wearing a Muslim head covering (Unkelbach et al., 2008). If we implicitly associate a particular ethnic group with danger, the faces of that group will attract our attention and trigger arousal (Donders et al., 2008; Dotsch & Wigboldus, 2008; Trawalter et al., 2008).

In a similar series of studies, Keith Payne (2001, 2006) and Charles Judd and colleagues (2004) found that when people are primed with a black face rather than a white one, they think of guns: they recognize a gun more quickly and it is more likely to be confused with a tool like B. a wrench, with a gun. Even though race does not affect perception, it can affect response, as people need more or less evidence before shooting (Klauer & Voss, 2008).

Jennifer Eberhardt and colleagues (2004) have shown that the reverse effect can also occur. When exposed to guns, people pay more attention to the faces of African Americans, and even law enforcement officers tend to judge stereotypically looking African Americans as criminals. These studies help explain why Amadou Diallo (a black immigrant to New York City) was shot dead 41 times by police officers in 1999 for taking his wallet out of his pocket.

It also appears that different brain regions are involved in automatic and conscious stereotyping (Correll et al., 2006; Cunningham et al., 2004; Eberhardt, 2005). Images of outgroups that evoke the most disgust (such as drug addicts and the homeless) activate brain activity in areas associated with disgust and avoidance (Harris & Fiske, 2006). This suggests that automatic bias affects primitive brain regions associated with fear, such as the amygdala, while controlled processing is more closely linked to the frontal cortex, which enables conscious thought. We also use different parts of our frontal lobe when thinking about ourselves or groups we identify with, as opposed to people we perceive as different (Jenkins et al., 2008; Mitchell et al., 2006).

Even social scientists who study prejudice seem prone to automatic bias, note Anthony Greenwald and Eric Schuh (1994). They analyzed the bias in citations of authors of social science articles by people with selected Gentile names (Erickson, McBride, etc.) and Jewish names (Goldstein, Siegel, etc.). Their analysis of nearly 30,000 citations, including 17,000 citations from bias surveys, revealed something remarkable: Compared to Jewish authors, non-Jewish authors were 40% more likely to cite non-Jewish names. (Greenwald and Schuh were unable to determine whether the Jewish authors exaggerated their Jewish counterparts, or the non-Jewish authors exaggerated their non-Jewish counterparts, or both.)

Gender bias How widespread is prejudice against women? In Chapter 5, we examine gender role norms: people's ideas about how women and men should behave. Here, we look at gender types: people's beliefs about how women and men behave. Defaults are mandatory; Stereotypes are descriptive.

GENDER STEREOTYPES Two conclusions from the research on stereotypes are undeniable: strong gender stereotypes exist and, as is often the case, stereotypes are accepted by members of the stereotyped group. Both men and women agree that you can judge the book by its sexuality.

317 prejudice

Yesterday In research, Mary Jackman and Mary Senter (1981) found that gender stereotypes were much stronger than racial stereotypes. For example, only 22% of men thought that both sexes were equally "emotional". Of the remaining 78%, those who thought women were more emotional outnumbered those who thought men were more emotional by 15 to 1. And what did women think? Their answers were identical within 1 percentage point.

Remember that stereotypes are generalizations about a group of people and can be true, false, or overgeneralized from a core of truth. In Chapter 5, we found that the average man and woman differ somewhat in social connectedness, empathy, social power, aggression, and sex drive (but not in intelligence). So do we conclude that gender stereotypes are correct? Sometimes stereotypes exaggerate differences. But not always, noted Janet Swim (1994). He found that Pennsylvania State University students' stereotypes about male and female agitation, non-verbal sensitivity, aggressiveness, etc. they were a reasonable approximation of actual gender differences.

Gender stereotypes have persisted across time and culture. John Williams and colleagues (1999, 2000) averaged data from 27 countries and found that people everywhere perceive women as more agreeable and men as more outgoing. The persistence and ubiquity of gender stereotypes has led some developmental psychologists to believe that they reflect an innate and stable reality (Lueptow et al., 1995).

Stereotypes (beliefs) are not prejudices (attitudes). Stereotypes can support prejudices. Still, one can safely believe that men and women are "different but equal". So let's look at how researchers look for gender bias.

Sexism: benevolent and hostile According to the survey researchers, attitudes towards women changed as quickly as racist attitudes. As Figure 9.3 shows, the percentage of Americans willing to vote for a female presidential candidate is approximately equal to the increase in the percentage willing to vote for a black candidate. In 1967, 56% of first-year American college students agreed that "it is better that the activities of married women be confined to the home and family"; In 2002, only 22% agreed (Astin et al., 1987; Sax et al., 2002). After that, the question of family of origin no longer seemed worth raising.

Alice Eagly and colleagues (1991) and Geoffrey Haddock and Mark Zanna (1994) also report that people do not react to women with negative emotions at the visceral level in the same way that they do to certain other groups. Most people like women more than men.

Chapter 9















FIGURE: 9.3 Change in Gender Attitudes from 1958 to 2011 Source: Gallup Poll Data (


318 Part Three Social Relations

They perceive women as more understanding, friendly and helpful. A favorable stereotype, what Eagly (1994) calls the “women are wonderful” effect, leads to positive attitudes.

But gender attitudes are often ambivalent, report Peter Click, Susan Fiske and colleagues (1996, 2007) from their surveys of 15,000 people in 19 countries. Gender attitudes often mix benevolent sexism (“women have a higher moral sense”) with hostile sexism (“once a man confesses, he ties you down”).

Question: "Misogyny" is the hatred of women. What is the equivalent word for misanthropy?

Answer This word does not exist in most dictionaries.

GENDER DISCRIMINATION Masculinity is not everything. Compared to women, men are three times more likely to commit suicide and be murdered. Almost all of them are casualties on the battlefield and on death row. You die five years early. And men with intellectual disabilities or autism make up the majority, as do students in special education programs (Baumeister, 2007; S. Pinker, 2008).

A much publicized finding about discrimination against women comes from a 1968 study in which Philip Goldberg gave Connecticut College students several short items and asked them to judge the value of each one. Sometimes a given article was attributed to a male author (eg John T. McKay) and sometimes a female author (eg Joan T. McKay). In general, articles received lower ratings when they were attributed to a woman. Right: women are discriminated against women.

Eager to demonstrate the subtle reality of gender discrimination, I obtained Goldberg's materials in 1980 and repeated the experiment with my own students. They (women and men) did not show as much tendency to devalue women's work. So Janet Swim, Eugene Borgida, Geoffrey Maruyama, and I (1989) searched the literature and corresponded with researchers to learn all we could about studies of gender bias in the evaluation of men's and women's work. To our surprise, the prejudices that occasionally surfaced were directed against both men and women. But the most common finding across 104 studies involving nearly 20,000 people was that there was no difference. In most comparisons, whether a person's job was assigned to a woman or a man did not affect the assessment of their work. Alice Eagly (1994) summarized other studies on the evaluation of women and men as managers, teachers, etc. and concluded: "The experiments did not show a general tendency to devalue women's work."

Are gender stereotypes rapidly disappearing in Western countries? Is the women's movement almost done with its work? As with racial bias, overt gender bias dies out, but subtle biases survive.

Break gender stereotypes and people might react. People look at a woman who smokes cigars and a man who cries, and they humiliate a white rapper (Phelan & Rudman, 2010). A woman who people perceive as power-hungry suffers more voter backlash than an equally power-hungry man (Okimoto & Brescoll, 2010).

In the world beyond Western democratic countries, gender discrimination is not subtle. Two-thirds of the world's out-of-school children are girls (United Nations, 1991). In some countries, discrimination extends to violence and even the prosecution of victims of rape for adultery (UN, 2006).

But the greatest violence against women can occur before birth. All over the world, people tend to prefer having young children. In the United States in 1941, 38% of prospective fathers said they would prefer a boy if they could only have one child; 24 percent preferred a girl; and 23 percent said they had no preference. In 2011, responses remained largely unchanged, with 40% still preferring a boy (Newport, 2011). With the widespread use of ultrasound to determine the sex of the fetus and the increasing availability of abortion, these preferences are affecting the numbers of boys and girls in some countries. In China, where 95% of orphans are girls (Webley, 2009), the 118 boys born for every 100 girls resulted in an excess of 32 million among 20-year-old men. These are the "bare branches" of tomorrow,

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how the Chinese think of them: singles who will have trouble finding a partner (Hvistendahl, 2009, 2010, 2011; Zhu & c. others, 2009). This "genocide of the sexes" is not just happening in China. Taiwan, Singapore, India and South Korea also have millions of 'missing women' (Abrevaya, 2009). In response, China has criminalized sex-selective abortion.

In short, open prejudice against people of color and women is far less common today than it was in the mid-20th century. However, techniques that respond to subtle bias still detect pervasive bias. And in some parts of the world, gender bias creates misery. So we need to look hard and carefully at the social, emotional, and cognitive sources of bias.

ABSTRACT: What is the nature and power of prejudice? Prejudice is a preconceived negative attitude. Stereotypes are beliefs about another group, beliefs that may be accurate, inaccurate, or exaggerated but that have a grain of truth. Discrimination is unwarranted negative behavior. Racism and sexism can be related to prejudiced attitudes or discriminatory behavior by individuals, or to oppressive (though not intentionally harmful) institutional practices. Prejudice exists in subtle and unconscious forms as well as overt and conscious forms. Researchers developed subtle and indirect research questions

Methods for assessing people's attitudes and behaviors to detect unconscious biases.

• Racial prejudice against blacks was widely accepted in the United States until the 1960s; since then it has become much less common, but it still exists.

• Prejudices against women have also diminished in recent decades. However, strong gender stereotypes and a significant amount of gender bias still exist in the United States and, to a greater extent, in other parts of the world.


Understand and examine the influences that create and perpetuate bias.

Prejudices come from several sources. It can arise from differences in social status and people's desire to justify and perpetuate those differences. It can also be learned from our parents, as they tell us what differences they consider important between people. Our social institutions can also perpetuate and support prejudice. First, consider how prejudice can work to defend self-esteem and social standing.

One principle to remember: unequal status breeds prejudice. Masters see slaves as lazy, irresponsible, unambitious people, with the same qualities that justify slavery. Historians debate the forces that create unequal status. But once these inequalities exist, prejudices help to justify the economic and social superiority of those with wealth and power. Tell me the economic relationships between any two groups and I predict attitudes between the groups. Upper-class people are more likely to see people's wealth as the results achieved through their skills and efforts, rather than the result of relationships, money, and good luck (Kraus Sx, et al., 2011). ).

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(1778-1830), "OF PREJUDICE"

Social dominance orientation A motivation to allow one's own group to dominate other social groups.

Historical examples abound. Where slavery was practiced, prejudices were strong. Nineteenth-century politicians justified imperial expansion by labeling the colonized exploited as "inferior", "vulnerable", and "a burden to bear" {G. W. Allport, 1958, pp. 204-205). Six decades ago, sociologist Helen Mayer Hacker (1951) noted how stereotypes of blacks and women helped to rationalize the subservient status of both: Many people thought that both groups were mentally slow, emotional, and primitive, and that they were "happy" . " with their subordinates. roles. . Blacks were "inferior"; Women are "weak". Blacks were well in their place; A woman's place was in the home.

Theresa Vescio and colleagues (2005) tested this reasoning. They found that powerful men who stereotype their female subordinates give them lots of praise but fewer resources, which hurts their performance. This type of paternalism allows men to assert their positions of power. Even in the laboratory, sponsorship of benevolent sexism (statements implying that women need support like the fairer sex) undermined women's cognitive performance by sowing intrusive thoughts: insecurity, worry, and low self-esteem (Dardenne et al., 2007). .

Peter Click and Susan Fiske's distinction between "hostile" and "benevolent" sexism extends to other prejudices. We see other groups as competent or sympathetic, but often not both. These two culturally universal dimensions of social perception – friendliness (warmth) and competence – were illustrated by a European comment that “Germans love Italians but don't admire them. Italians admire Germans, but they don't love them” (Cuddy et al., 2009). We generally respect competition from those with high status and like those who accept lower status. In the United States, Fiske and colleagues (1999) report that Asians, Jews, Germans, nontraditional women, assertive African Americans, and gay men are more respected but not as popular. Traditionally subordinate African Americans and Hispanics, traditional women, less masculine gay men, and people with disabilities tend to be seen as less competent but valued for their emotional, spiritual, artistic, or athletic qualities.

Some people notice and justify differences in status more than others. People with a high social dominance orientation tend to view people in terms of hierarchies. They like it when their own social groups have high status, they prefer to be at the top. A high-status dominant position also tends to promote this orientation (Guimond et al., 2003). Jim Sidanius, Felicia Pratto, and colleagues (Levin et al., 2011; Pratto et al., 1994; Sidanius et al., 2004) argue that this desire to be at the top leads individuals from high social domains to embrace prejudice and support policy . positions that justify prejudice. In fact, people with a high social dominance orientation often support strategies that maintain hierarchies, such as B. Tax cuts for the rich. They prefer professions like politics and business, which raise their status and maintain hierarchies. They shun professions like social work, which undermine hierarchies by helping disadvantaged groups. And they express more negative attitudes toward members of minorities who have strong racial identities (Kaiser & Pratt-Hyatt, 2009). Status can create prejudice, but some people work harder than others to maintain status.

Social inequalities not only generate prejudice, but also distrust. Experiments confirm this correlation: groups with unequal distribution show less trust and cooperation (Cozzolino, 2011). Societies with greater income inequality also tend to have less community health and more anxiety, obesity, homicide, teenage childbirth, drug use, prisons, and the police (Pickett & Wilkinson, 2011).

Socialization bias arises from unequal status and other social sources, including our acquired values ​​and attitudes. The influence of family socialization is evident in children's prejudices, which often reflect their mothers' prejudices (Castelli & others, 2007). Even the children's implicit racial attitudes mirror their own.

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explicit parental bias (Sinclair et al., 2004). Our families and cultures pass on all sorts of information: how to find a partner, drive cars, share tasks, and who to distrust and dislike.

THE AUTHORIZED PERSONALITY In the 1940s, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, two of whom had fled Nazi Germany, embarked on an urgent investigative mission: to uncover the psychological roots of the toxic right-wing anti-Semitism that triggered the massacre. of millions of Jews in Nazi Germany -Germany. In studies of American adults, Theodor Adorno and colleagues (1950) found that hostility toward Jews was often accompanied by hostility toward other minorities. For those who were highly biased, the prejudice didn't seem to be specific to any one group, but rather to an entire way of thinking about those who are "different." Furthermore, these ethnocentric and critical people shared certain tendencies: intolerance of weakness, punitive attitude and submissive respect for the authorities of their group, reflected in their agreement with statements such as "Obedience and respect for authority are the most important virtues of children" . "I should learn." Based on these findings, Adorno and colleagues (1950) hypothesized that these tendencies define an authoritarian personality who is particularly susceptible to prejudice and stereotypes.

Recent studies of authoritarian people's early years have shown that they are often subjected to severe discipline as children. Militant extremism, on both the political left and right, shares some common themes, such as This extremism supposedly causes those affected to repress the hostilities and impulses they project onto outside groups. Research on authoritarianism also suggests that authoritarians' insecurity predisposes them to an excessive preoccupation with power and status and an inflexible right-or-wrong way of thinking that makes ambiguity difficult to tolerate. Such people, therefore, tend to be subservient to those who have power over them and aggressive or punitive to those they consider to be of lower status than their own, i.e. "my way or the highway".

Scholars have criticized authoritarian personality research for focusing on right-wing authoritarianism and ignoring equally dogmatic left-wing authoritarianism. However, contemporary studies of right-wing authoritarians by University of Manitoba psychologist Bob Altemeyer (1988, 1992) have confirmed that there are individuals whose fears and hostilities emerge as prejudices. Your sense of self-righteousness can be combined with brutality towards perceived inferiors. Altemeyer also concludes that right-wing authoritarians tend to be "equal opportunity freaks." Different forms of prejudice (against blacks, gays and lesbians, women, Muslims, immigrants, homeless people) often coexist among the same people (Zick et al., 2008). Furthermore, authoritarian tendencies, sometimes reflected in ethnic tensions, increase in impending times of economic crisis and social unrest (Cohrs and Ibler, 2009; Doty et al., 1991; Sales, 1973).

People with a high social dominance orientation and authoritative personality stand out especially. Altemeyer (2004) reports that, unsurprisingly, these "double highs" are "among the most prejudiced individuals in our society". What is perhaps most surprising and disturbing is that they seem to exhibit the worst traits of each personality type, often manipulatively striving for status while being dogmatic and ethnocentric. Altemeyer argues that although these people are relatively rare, they are predestined to be leaders of hate groups.

Religion and Prejudice Those who profit from social inequalities and at the same time profess that "all are born equal" have to justify keeping everything as it is. What could be a stronger justification than to believe that God designed the existing social order? Of all kinds of cruel acts, William James commented, "Pity is the mask" (1902, p. 264).

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ethnocentric Belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic and cultural group and a corresponding contempt for all other groups.

authoritarian personality A personality inclined to favor obedience to authority and intolerance of outsiders and lower status groups.

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In almost all countries, leaders invoke religion to sanctify the prevailing order. The use of religion to support injustice helps explain some consistent findings about American Christianity: (1) white church members express more racial prejudice than nonmembers, and (2) those who profess fundamentalist beliefs generate more prejudice than nonmembers. those who profess more progressive beliefs. (Hall et al., 2010; Johnson et al., 2011).

Knowing the correlation between two variables, religion and prejudice, says nothing about their causal relationship. Consider three options;

• There may be no connection. Perhaps less educated people are more fundamentalist and prejudiced. (In a study of 7070 Britons, those who scored high on IQ tests at age 10 were more likely to express non-traditional and anti-racist views at age 30 [Deary et al., 2008]).

• Perhaps prejudice causes religion by leading people to develop religious ideas to support their prejudice. Hateful people can use religion, even God, to justify their contempt for another.

• Or perhaps religion creates prejudice by leading people to believe that impoverished minorities are responsible for their own status because all individuals have free will.

If religion breeds prejudice, then more religious church members should be more prejudiced. But three other findings consistently point to something else.








• Among parishioners, faithful parishioners were less biased than occasional parishioners in 24 of 26 comparisons (Batson & Ventis, 1982).

• Gordon Allport and Michael Ross (1967) found that those who see religion as an end in itself (those who agree, for example, “My religious beliefs are what really drive my whole outlook on life”) express less prejudice than those for whom religion is more a means to other ends (who agree: "One of the main reasons I'm interested in religion is that my church is an enjoyable social activity"). And those who score higher on Gallup's "spiritual engagement" index are more likely to welcome a person of a different race who moves in next door (Gallup & Jones, 1992).

• Protestant clergy and Roman Catholic priests were more supportive of the civil rights movement in the United States than were the laity (Fichter, 1968; Hadden, 1969). In Germany, in 1934, 45% of the clergy had joined the Confessing Church, organized to combat Nazi influence in the German evangelical church (Reed, 1989).

So what is the relationship between religion and prejudice? The answer we get depends on how we ask the question. If we define religiosity as belonging to a church or willingness to agree, at least superficially, with traditional religious beliefs, the more religious people are, the greater the racial prejudice. Fanatics often rationalize fanaticism with religion. But if we gauge the depth of religious commitment in several other ways, devotees are less biased; hence the religious roots of the modern civil rights movement, whose leaders included many ministers and priests. It was the faith-inspired values ​​of Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce (“Love your neighbor as yourself”) that motivated their successful campaign two centuries ago to end the slave trade and the practice of slavery in the British Empire. religion is paradoxical. It creates prejudices and destroys prejudices” (1958, p. 413).

CONFORMITY Once established, bias is largely maintained by inertia. When prejudice becomes socially acceptable, many people will follow the path of least resistance and conform to fashion. They will act not so much out of a need to hate as out of hate.

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a need to be loved and accepted. As a result, people are more likely to support (or oppose) discrimination after hearing someone else, and less likely to support women after hearing sexist humor (Ford et al., 2008; Zitek and Hebl, 2007).

In the 1950s, Thomas Pettigrew (1958) studied whites in South Africa and the southern United States. His discovery: those who conformed more to other social norms were also more prejudiced; those who were less conforming were less reflective of surrounding prejudices.

The price of nonconformity was painfully clear for ministers in Little Rock, Arkansas, where the 1954 US Supreme Court decision banning school segregation was implemented. Most ministers privately supported integration, but feared that openly supporting it would reduce membership and financial contributions (Campbell & Pettigrew, 1959). Or think of the Indiana steel workers and West Virginia coal miners of the same era. In the factories and mines, workers accepted integration. In neighborhoods, strict segregation was the norm (Minard, 1952; Reitzes, 1953). Prejudice was clearly not a manifestation of "sick" personalities, but simply of social norms.

Conformity also perpetuates gender bias. "If we come to believe that the nursery and the kitchen are the woman's natural sphere," wrote George Bernard Shaw in an 1891 essay, "then we come to believe, as English children come to believe, that a cage is the sphere nature of a parrot - because they haven't seen one anywhere else." Boys who saw women elsewhere - children of working women - expressed less stereotypical views of men and women (Hoffman, 1977). science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) experts also express more positive implicit attitudes toward STEM programs and show more effort in STEM testing (Stout et al., 2011).

There is a message of hope in all of this. If the bias is not deeply ingrained in the personality, then the bias may lessen as fashions change and new norms emerge. And has.

Social institutions (schools, government, media) can reinforce prejudices through overt measures such as segregation or through passive reinforcement of the status quo. Until the 1970s, many banks routinely denied mortgages to single women and minority applicants, with the result that most homeowners were married white couples. Likewise, political leaders can reflect and reinforce prevailing attitudes.

Schools are among the institutions most likely to reinforce dominant cultural attitudes. An analysis of stories in 134 children's books written before 1970 found that male characters outnu