PSY110- Social Psychology


Overview: what you should know

  • Attribution: The Naive Scientist
  • Attribution: Cognitive Miser
  • Attribution: Motivated Tactician
  • Attitude: How are attitudes formed?
  • Attitude: Is there a consistancy between attitudes and behaviour?
  • Attitude: How to change attitudes?
  • Prejudice: Personality types
  • Prejudice: How can we reduce prejudice?
  • Intergroup relations: intergroup theory
  • Intergroup relations: three models
  • Prosocial behaviour: origins of prosocial behaviour
  • Prosocial behaviour: situation-centered determinants of helping
  • Prosocial behaviour: perceiver-centered determinants of helping
  • Prosocial behaviour: recipient-centered determinants of helping
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The Naive Scientist

Heider argued that people are motivated by two primary needs:

1) the need to form a coherent view of the world


2) the need to gain control over their envrionment.

As naive scientists, we enjoy being able to predict the world by rationally and logically testing our hyotheses about the behaviour of others.

There are two types of attributions we make:

- Internal attribution is where we focus on internal characteristic i.e. personality and mood

- External attribtion is where we focus on external characteristis i.e. environment

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Making attributions

There are two types of theories used to make attributions:

1) The Correspondance Inference Theory

Jones and Davis argues that we make internal attributions because they assume that actions are stable factors of persnality. There are 3 ways that we determine whether to make an internal or external attribution:

  • Social desirability bias: usually people prefer to conform to social norms and avoid being deviant. Those who are deviant we would assume that this is indicative of a strong personality trait
  • Choice: behaviour that is freely choosen we assume it is a result of personality i.e. choosing to campaign for road safety.
  • Non-common effects: behaviour that has unique consequences i.e. a punch- we make internal factors

AO2: only focuses on internal instances of behaviour and making internal attributions. We need to focus on making external attributions also.

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Making attributions

The Co-variation Model: Kelley

Kelley's co-variation model focuses on multiple behaviours and external + internal factors.

There are three factors which determine whether we make an internal or an external attribition:

  • Consensus: does everyone behave in the same way as the target person?

Yes: External Attribution

No: Internal Attribution

  • Consistancy: does the target person behave like this in all social situations?

Yes: Internal Attribution

No: External Attribution

  • Distinctiveness: does the target person behave like this in all social contexts?

Yes: Internal Attribution, No: External Attribution. Evaluation: too complex; mostly we go with our 'gut feeling' and 'intuition'.

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Evaluation of naive scientist

  • They are too complex and take too much time. Usually when people want to judge the social world they go with their 'gut feeling' and 'intuition' which is much quicker.
  • Fiske and Taylor argue that we are cognitive misers- we use heuristics which are mental cognitive shortcuts when judging our social world. There take up less time than being a naive scientists
  • Kragliniski: we use up different strategies when it comes to judging our social world i.e. we are motivated tacticians
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Cognitive Miser

According to Fiske and Taylor, we are cognitive misers, which means that we use heuristics when judging out social world. Heuristics are mental cognitive shortcuts that are quick and easy to use; however, they can be more prone to errors.

Tversky and Kahnman argue that there are 2 types of heuristics which can be made:

1) The Representativeness Heuristic

We look for specific attributes that fit into a given category. For example, if we go into a library, we may look for someone who is dressed quite nerdy and with glasses because we see these specific attribututes as being representative of a librarian.

We assume that posh, preppy people who are also are polite and drink tea to be British, whereas laid back people to be from California. Therefore we look for specific characteristics or attributes of a given category.

AO2: However, ERRORS can be made- making stereotypical judgements is not always correct.

More seriously, this can lead to gender discrimiantion and stereotype threat. For example, we may assume that men should only do macho jobs whereas females should be housewives. A man may therefore feel uncomfortable applying for a job that is seen as stereotypical of a female.

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The availability heuristic

Tversky and Kahneman: The Availability Heuristic

They argue that the availability heuristic is where a person judges the probability or liklihood of an event happening based on how many examples they can think of relating to that particular event. For example, a person may not wish to get into a car because they have read many recent examples of car accidents.

The False consensus effect

According to Greene and House, the availability heuristic is responsible of a particularly robust bias known as the false consensus effect. This is the ability to assume that their own opinions are shared by other  people too. Ross et al illustrated this by asking whether people would wear a  sandwhich board for 30 mins and whether they thought  other people would also wear this sandwhich board around the campus. Results showed that 65% of people that said they would wear the sandwich board also said that 59% of their peers also would. 71% that said that they would wear it argued that around the same amount of people would also not wear it.

Why? The reason for this effect is because our attitudes and opinions are easily available to us and so we just assume that they would be shared by others.

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Evaluation of the cognitive miser

However, we are not always cognitive misers and others disagree....

  • Naive Scientists: Heider, Jones & Davis, Kelley
  • Motivated Tactician: Kraglisnki, Griffiths and Hewstone
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The motivated tactician

According to Kraglinski, the motivated tactician is where people use multiple strategies to judge social situations. For example, we could be motivated tacticians but we could also be cognitive misers.

Hewstone and Griffiths argued that there are 4 factors that determine whether we use the cognitive miser or naive scientist approach: (T I I C)

- Time: if we have lots of time we use the naive scientist approach, whereas if we have less time we become cognitive misers, since using heuristics is quick, easy and requires less cognitive effort.

- Information: if we have less information: cogntivie miser; lots of information- naive scientist

- Importance: lots of importance- naive scientis; lack of impotance- cogntivie miser

-Cognitive load: lack of cognitive load- cognitive miser; lots of cogntive load- naive scientist

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How do we form attitudes?

There are 3 ways that we can form attitudes:

  • Mere Exposure: Zajonc

Zajonc argues that there us the tendancy for individuals to develop more positive attitudes towards objects and people the more we are exposed to them. In Zajonc's clasic study, he wanted to see how people learn a foreign language; he showed participants Chinese-like characters that appeared on the screen. The amount of times they were each showed differed i.e. some we showed once, others twice, 5 times, 10, 15 and 20 times.
Zajonc then told the participants that these Chinese-like characters were actually adjectives, that were either positive or negative in connotation. He then asked them to see whether individuals had performed positive or negative attitudes towards them. It was found that there was a positive correlation between the number of times these characters were presented and how positive the attitude was.

This demonstrates that...the more we are exposed to something, the more positive attitudes that we form towards that particular stimuli.

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Supporting evidence for Zajonc

There have been many studies which have replicated Zajonc's study and have confirmed & supported his results:

  • Mita et al: in their experiment, participants were shown two photographs of themselves. One was a normal photograph and the other was a mirror image of the original photograph. The participants were then asked to rate which photograph they had preferred the most . It was found that participants had a significant tendancy to favour the mirror image print MORE than the normal image print. The reason for why we prefer the mirror print more is because we are exposed to this version of ourselves the most and so we tend to like it like it the more.
  • Sawyer: he argued that the more we are exposed to adverts the more we tend to like them and thus have the tendancy to buy the product than adverts that are less exposed to us
  • Heingartner & Hall: music (auditory stimuli) the more we are exposed to particular songs or tunes, the more positive attutudes we form towards them
  • Crandall: food stimuli; the more we are exposed to particular foods the more we like them
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Associative Learning

A second way we can form attitudes is through associative learning.

One way this can occur is through classical conditioning: Staats and Staats.

Staats and Staats argue that we form attitudes through classical conditioning, where we associate one stimuli with a particular response. In their study, they paired the national social category label 'Dutch' with negative words and the national category label 'Swedish' with positive words, or the other way around (they paired the national social category 'Dutch' with positive words and the national social category 'Swedish' with negative words'. They found that in a subsequent phase when asked to give their attitudes towards the nationality, they tend to give positive attitudes towards the Swedish nationality and negative words towards the Dutch nationality. This shows that we form attitudes based on what we emotional response we associate stimuli with.

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associative learning

Another way that we can learn through associative learning is with the operant conditioning approach.

According to Skinner, behaviour can be strenghened with rewards and weakened following punishments. Therefore, we can form positive attitudes towards people we feel as though we are rewarded in some way i.e. through praise or told us we are good looking etc (positive reinforcement).

We form negative attitudes towards those were we do not feel we receive positive reinforcements. For example, if someone laughts or riducules us we are less likely to form positive attitudes towards them.

Therefore- positive reinforcements (i.e. through praise) = positive attitudes formed

Negative reinforcements (i.e. through laughter and riducle) results in the formation of negative attitudes.

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Self-percetion theory

A third way that people can form attitudes is with the Self-Perception Theory- Bem

Bem argued that another way we can form attitudes is with the self-perception theory, where we observe OUR OWN BEHAVIOUR. This could mean by observing the opinions we form towards something. Importantly, inference of one's attitudes from behaviour is more likely to occur when someone has little or no existing knowledge about the issue at hand or does not hold a strong prior attitude towards it.

Study by Strack et al illustrated this. They asked participants to look at humorous picttures but in one condition the participant had the pen in between their teeth, and the other condition the pen was in between their lips.
It was found that participants had found the images funnier when the pen was in between their teeth because it felt as if they were smiling, whereas when it was in between their lips it was as if they were frowning.

Critcism from Zajonc who gave a physiocological explanation as to why this happens:
Smiling was a result of increased blood flow and decreased blood temperature which created positive attitudes. Frowning was a result of decreased blood flow and increased blood temperature, which created negative attitudes.

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Overall evaluation of 'attitude formation'

The three ways in which attitudes can form discussesd so far- mere exposure effect, associative learning and self-perception theory all suggest that attitude formation is a PASSIVE process that requires no conscious thought. However, this is criticised by the functional approach, where it is suggested that sometimes we engage in deliberate thought when forming an attitude and it is therefore an ACTIVE rather than passive theory.

For example, we may form some attitudes in order to gain approval from other people; therefore we are consciously aware of the different types of attitudes that we form. This can explain why some people conform to the majority, even if they do not always agree with them. The reason they do this is because they want to avoid being rediculed or excluded from the rest of the group (escpecially if we value the group membership).

Secondly, attitudes may be formed as a way of satifying our psychological needs and protecting ourself from acknolwedging a potentially damaging social comparison. For e.g. we may develop an unfavourable attitude towards a co-worker that is enjoying more success than we are.

Thirdly, we may develop an attitude towards values that are important to us i.e. developing a positive attitude towards a coffeee brand that supports the Third World fair treatment.

All the above illustrate that atittude formation is a conscious and active process- criticising A01.

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Attitude and Behaviour- is there a consistancy bet

One classic study had sparked a debate over the nature of the relationship between attitudes and behaviour. Richard LaPierre travelled around the USA with a Chinese couple and he wanted to examine intergroup attitudes and see whether attitudes would predict behaviour.

In the 1930s there is widespread discrimination in the USA towards Chinese people. LaPierre travelled around with the couple, asking 250 hotel and restaurant managers whether they would serve the couple. It was found that only 1 out of 250  managers would refuse the couple entry, showing supposedly low levels of discrimination.

He then was interested whether the behaviour was consistant with this attitude. He wrote a letter to all these managers they visited and asked them whether they would serve Chinese people. Out of the 128 replies, 90% have said they would not.

This illustrates that there is no consitancy between attitudes and behaviour.

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Attitude and Behaviour consistancy

What are the factors that determine attutude- behaviour consistancy?

  • Specificity

Fishbein and Ajzen argue that in order for there to be attitude and behaviour consistacy, they must be on the SAME LEVEL OF SPECIFICITY. In LaPierre's he asked their attitude towards the Chinese couple by saying to the managers, 'would you serve this Chinese couple'. However, this was inconsistant with behaviour, where he said 'would you serve Chinese people in general'.
This shows that in order for there to be consinsistancy between attitude and behaviours, they must be on the same level of specificity.

  • Time

Fishbein and Coombs argues that in order for there to be attitude- behaviour consistancy they need to be carried out closer to time. It was found that the longer the time between the measurement of attitude and the measurement of behaviour, the more likely that there will be inconsitancy between them since this causes the attitude to change.

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Attitude and Behaviour consistancy

  • Self- Awareness

Echabe and Garate argue that people can experience different kinds of self-awareness prior to carrying out a behaviour, and this can impact on the strength of the relationship between attitudes and behaviour.

They argue that people who are privately self-aware behave in line with their own attitude (consistancy), whereas people who are publicly self-aware behave in line with the attitude they perceive the majority of other people to hold (inconsistancy).

For example, someone may privately hold negative attitudes towards littering and therefore they avoid litering, therefore there is a consitancy between their own attitude and their behaviour.
However, when they are in public, they may actually litter or not pick up their rubbish because it appears 'cool' to not conform to society's norms. Therefore there is an inconsistancy between attitude and behaviour.

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Attitude and Behaviour consistancy

  • Attitude Strength

Holland et al argued that attitude strength is an important factor in determing the consistancy between attitudes and behaviour. He asked people's attitudes towards Greenpeace and asked them to confirm their attitudes in order to examine their strength. They then asked participants how much they would donate towards Greenpeace. It was found that the stronger the attitudes towards Greenpeace, the more likely they would donate, therefore, there was consistancy between the two.

  • Attitude Accessability

Fazio argues that the easier it is for something to come into someone's mind (i.e. the more accessible it is) the more likely that attitudes will predict behaviour.

Fazio and Williams illustrated this with a study on people's voting behaviour. They wanted to see whether participants would vote most for Reagan or Mondale. It was found that participants voted most for the president who's name they had most accessibility to.

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Attitude and Behaviour consistancy

HOWEVER, attitudes do not predict behaviour on their own and for a complete understanding of how they impact on behaviour we need to see how they interact with other antecedents. The theory of planned behaviour by Ajzen claimed that there are 3 factors that determine behavioural intention.

1) The first factor is attitudes. Attitudes are determined by one's beliefs and the consequences of performing that behaviour and the evaluation of possible future consequences of performing that behaviour.

2) The second factor is subjective norms which is determined by the perceived expectations of significant others and one's motivation to conform to these expectations.

3) The third factor is pereived control, which is determined by one's perception of how easy or difficult it is to perform the behaviour.

According to this model, these three factors combine in an interactive way to determine behavioural intention, which in turn determines behaviour.

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How can attitudes change?

Cogntive Dissonance

One way that attitudes can change is with the cognitive dissonance theory. Festinger argues that when there is an inconsistancy between attitudes and behaviours this will create dissonance, which is an unpleasant internal state that causes tension and anxiety. In order to reduce this dissonance, attitudes must change so that they are in line with the behaviour.

Study by Festinger and Carlsmith demonstrated the conditions under which cognitive dissonance will change attitudes. He used over 70 male and female participants in a study where they had to participate in boring tasks, such as emptying and refilling a tray with pegs. Since the tasks were really boring, the participants had rather negative attitudes towards them.
Each participant was then told to go and tell the person outside (confederate) that the  task was actually enjoyable and fun. Some of the participants were given $1 whereas others were given $20. After the participants had completed all these tasks, they had to give their honest opinions and claim whether the task was really enjoyable or not.

Results: it was found that participants that were paid $1 had rated the tasks as far more enjoyable and fun than participants that were paid $20.

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How can attitudes change?

Why did this happen? Because participants in the $1 condition had experienced dissonance, where they did not believe that the tasks they did were sufficient enough for the money they were given. They experienced dissonance which caused tension and anxiety. The only way to reduce these feelings was to change their attitudes to positive ones, where they favoured the task.
Participants in the $20 condition did not experience dissonance because they thought the money they were being paid was sufficient for the tasks they did- therefore rated task negatively.

What are the factors that affect dissonance?

Two factors affect the strength of the dissonance: 1) the number of dissonant beliefs, and 2) the importance attached to each belief.

There are three ways to eliminate dissonance: (1) reduce the importance of the dissonant beliefs, (2) add more consonant beliefs that outweigh the dissonant beliefs, or (3) change the dissonant beliefs so that they are no longer inconsistent.

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How can attitudes change?

Another way that attitudes could change is through persuassion.

There are two models which cause attitudes to change:

  • The Elaboration Liklihood Model: Petty and Cacioppo
  • The Heuristic- Systematic Model: Chaiken

Both of these models argue that we can change our attitudes either

- Systematically via the Central Route


- Heuristically via the Peripheral Route

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How can attitudes change?

> Systematically via the Central route

The central route focuses on the message. There are factors which make the message effective at changing someone's attitude:

  • Fear Arousal

Messages that create fear are more effective at reducing attitudes than messages that do not evoke fear. This is why many cigarrette packages have signs such as 'smoking kills' on them in order to persuade people not to smoke. However, too much fear can have the opposite effect.

  • Repetition: Campbell and Keller

They argue that the more times a message is repeatedly shown to participants the more likely that they will be persuaded to change their attitudes. For example, products were advertised, some were familiar and some unfamiliar. The number of times they were shown to participants had varied i.e. some saw the products more and some they saw less. It was found that participants had changed their attitudes to positive attitudes towards the products that were most familiar to them and repeatedly shown. Even if they had negative attitudes towards the product at first, they began to like it.

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How can we change attiitudes?

> Heuristically via the peripheral route

The peripheral route focuses on the source. Factors that determine the effectiveness of source:

  • AttractivenessChaiken

The more attractive the source is, the more likely people will be persuaded. For example, psy undergraduate students asked people to change their attitudes so that they are againts meat served at schools and they asked them to sign the petition. It was found that attitudes were changed and petitions signed the most when the source was effective.

  • Similarlity: Mackie et al

We are most likely to change our attitudes the most when they are given by people similar to us (i.e. our ingroups) compared to those that are less similar to us (i.e. outgroup members)

  • Credibility: Hovland and Weiss

We are persuaded by credible sources i.e. dentist or other credible sources

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How can attitudes change?

There are a number of factors that affect which route might be taken when people process persuasive messages:

  • Speed of speech: rapid speech make it hard to process the content of a persuasive message, so people abandon the central route in favour of the peripheral route.
  • Mood can also have an impact on what route is taken. In general, happy people use the peripheral route, while unhappy people tend to use the central route. The explanation is that happy people are most likely to be susceptible to factors such as the atractiveness of the source.
  • Differences in self-monitoring can also have an effect on which route they take. This is the degree to which someone is concerned with what other people think of them. People who are higher in self
  • There are also individual differences that make people more likely to take on one route over the other. For example, people who are higher in need for cognition tend to take the central route where they tend to be orientated towards more effortful thinking. Those who are lower in cognition are likely to take the peripheral route.
  • Humour: relevant humour leads to the central route being taken while irrelevant humour leads to the peripheral route to be taken.
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Individual differences in prejudice

The Authoritarian Personality: Adorno et al

Adorno et al argued that some people are thought to be more prejudiced than others because of the way they had been brought up. This theory was heavily influenced by the writings of Freud.

It is argued that an authoritarian personality arises as a defensive reaction agaits over-strict parenting methods. Having over-strict parents means that the child is unable to express any natural hostility towards their parents and so children transfer their aggression elsewhere ( i.e. to weaker, easier targets). This displaced aggression is therefore targeted towards minority or low-status groups.

Therefore: having overly- strict parents leads to the inability to express any natural hostility towards the parents and so this aggression is displaced towards weaker targets i.e. those of lower class and status. This showst that some people are more prejudiced than others because they had overly-strict parents.

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Individual differences in prejudice

There are many weaknesses to Adorno’s explanation of prejudice:

• Harsh parenting style does not always produce prejudice children / individuals

• Some prejudice people do not conform to the authoritarian personality type.

• Doesn’t explain why people are prejudice against certain groups and not others

  • Hyman and Sheatsley found that lower educational level was probably a better explanation of high F-scale scores than an authoritarian
  • Pettigrew found that larger Southern US states with larger black population ratios (vs. states with smaller black populations) had stronger anti-Black attitudes but high authoritarian scores. This shows that having an authoritarian personality does not always predict prejudice attitudes.
  • Personality is relatively stable over a long  life-span and cannot explain rapid, nation-wide escalation of prejudice eg. the rise of anti-Semitism in 1930s Germany.
  • Aggression is NOT always due to having authoritarian personality. It could be due to other factors i.e. Bandura's bobo doll, observing aggressive TV models, etc
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Individual differences in prejudice

Frustration - Aggression Hypothesis: Dollard et al

1. Blockage of goal achievement = frustration

2. Experience of psychological  disequilibrium and psychic tension

3. Equilibrium can only be restored  through catharsis, i.e. aggression against the  agent of the blockage or weaker targets

Example: Hovland & Sears–  Lynching of African Americans in the late 1800’s increased when the price of cotton decreased –  Low cotton prices indicated economic depression. This resulted in the experience of  frustration and they took it out on other through aggression towards the weaker targets

 From this perspective acceptance of Hitler's anti-Jewish propaganda might have been due to German economic collapse in the 1920's (frustration)

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Individual differences in prejudice


■  Frustration does not always produce aggression (e.g., accident and explanation given; Miller, 1941)

■  Frustration just one cause of aggression towards outgroups (other causes: learning aggression through modelling; Bandura, 1977), exposure to violent aggressive models etc. There are many OTHER ways that aggression can be caused

 Therefore, we cannot fully explain prejudice in terms of frustration + aggression

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Reducing prejudice

Allport's Contact Hypothesis claims that there are certain factors of contact that need to be met for contact to actually be effective:

> Social norms i.e. schools must all favour equlity. As laws change (i.e. segregation) schools must also change so that dissonance can be avoided, which is unpleasant attitudes and feelings can be avoided.

> Cooperation: contanct must involve cooperation. example of Sherif's summer camp showed how much cooperation is effective in reducing prejudice.

> Equal social status: groups must come together under equal social norms. Mackenzie et al found that when African Americans came into contact with the majority as unskilled workers, there was 90% negative attitudes towards them compared to when they went into contact as skilled workers, where there was more positive attitudes.

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Reducing prejudice

Criticism of the contact hypothesis: despite its successes the contact hypothesis has been subjected to two major criticisms

1) Lacks external validity: the first critcism is that the contact hypothesis fails to generalise beyond the immediate situation. For example, a white person may act positively towards the black person once but we cannot assume that they will show less prejudiced attitudes all the time. It could just be a one time thing and it may be that they are nice to some members of the ethnic group but are prejuiced towards other members- lacks external validity so we cannot generalise and assume that they will be less prejudiced towards all ethnic minority groups.

2) Too complex: not everyone goes through all of Allport's factors when in contact with a member of the ethnic minority.

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Reducing prejudice

Direct Contact

Pettigrew had analyzed over 3000 surveys and had argued that prejudice atttitudes can be reduced through direct contact i.e. having friends from the ethnic minority groups.

Indirect Contact (Extended Intergroup Bias): Wright et al

Firstly, there were two seperate groups and they all engaged in activities which had created cohesion with their own group. In the second phase, competition was created between groups so that they favoured their ingroup and disliked the other group. In the third phase, one member from each group was selected and told thatthey were participating in another separate study. These two members had engaged in tasks which created cooperation between, solidarity and cohesion. They all then went back to their own group to feedback what happened- which was positive.
All the members had given money at the end of each phase (at the end of phase 1, 2 and 3) where they had to divide $500 between them all.

Results: they had attributed the most amount of money to their ingroup in phase 1 and 2 whereas they gave an equal amount to the outgroup members at the end of phase 3- this shows that extended intergroup bias is effective at reducing preudice.

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Reducing prejudice

Indirect Contact

Cameron and Rutland claimed that extended contact can be successfully applied with children in educational contexts.

They asked non-disabled children between ages 5-10 years old to take part ina 6 week intervention study where it involved them being read weekly stories empathisizing both disabled and non-disabled children. There was three conditions:

  • extended intergroup bias was were the stories had focused on stories which had featured on both disabled and non-disabled children
  • depersonalized condition: stories were focused on the individual characteristics of the protagonist
  • neutral condition: stories had empathised neither on the individual nor the group membership

It was found that there was most positive attitudes and ess prejudice towards the disabled children in the extended intergroup bias condition...shows that its effective in reducing prejudice attitudes.

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Reduced prejudice

Crisp and Turner

Imagined contact is the mental stimulation of a social interaction with a member or members of an outgroup. This is where you imagine having contact with another person or people from an outgroup and it can be effective because it makes a person less apprehensive about the prospect of future contact with the group. This creates reduced anxiety and is therefore effective.

To test this: Turner et al asked young people to spend a minute imagining a positive interaction with an older stranger . One group of participants was asked to imagine having a positive encounter/ interaction with an older stranger whereas the other group was asked to imagine an outdoor scene instead.

After imagining a particular scene, it was found that participants that had imagined having a positive encounter with an older person held more positive attitudes towers elderly people in general.This shows that imagined contact is effective at reducing intergroup bias.

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Theories of intergroup relations

Code: S M S C S T (Sarunas Me So Cute ST....op )

1. Sherif's summer camp study

- looked at 20 white middle class boys that were aged 11 - 15 year old who were taking part in a summer boys camp
- the boys were separated at random into 2 groups
- the boys were involved in various of outdoor pursuits
- Sherif wanted to observe the immediate effects of group formation; in stage 1 after they were randomly assignment to their groups, they found that groups had immediately favoured their ingroup and disliked the outgroup members. They gave each other names to identify their ingroups: 'the Rascals' and 'the Eagles'.
- Phase 2: intergroup competition was introduced, where the boys were playing different games such as tug of war which created intergroup bias.
- Phase 3: Sherif wanted to introduce cooperation in order to reduce intergroup bias. They told children that the bus had broken down and they all had to work together as a group to try and get it fixed. This created positive attitutues towards outgroup members and so they were motivated to reduce intergroup bias. The Realistic group theory explains this- intergroup bias created as a result of us lacking in resouces and wanting to gain something i.e. medals, praise and awards.

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Theories of intergroup relations

2. The Minimal Group Paradigm: Tajfel

Tajfel wanted to observe what the minimal conditions were for prejudice to occur by removing any possible factors that may accentuate intergroup bias and leaving the mere categorization of ingroups and outgroups.
Tajfel created a study using primary school children by showing them abstract paintings by two abstract painters they did not know- Kandiski and Khan. They were shown a slideshow of different paintings by these two artists and for each of these paintings, participants had to note which one they had preferred.
After this, participants were then separated into 2 different groups and told whether they were in the 'Klee' or 'Kandiski' condition. They had to then complete a task in which they were required to allocate points to people in the two groups. The points represented money. Allocation was completely anonymous; participants did not know who was in which group nor to whom they were allocating the points to. They were not allowed to allocate points to themselves.

Results: it was found that there was a high tendancy for participants to allocate more points to their own ingroup members even though they did not know who was in their ingroup, they had no previous contact with them, etc. This shows evidence for intergroup bias- we have a tendancy to allocate more points to people in our own group- even if we dont know them.

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Theories of intergroup relations

Critcism of Tajfel's minimal group paradigm:

> One criticism of Tajfel's study was that allocation to the two groups was not in fact entirely minimal, but there was a basis for belief similarity that could have accounted for liking. The reason why participants may have allocated the most points to their ingroup could be because they have liked the painting that was assigned to their group. Participants could have also inferred that people were allocated to the same group as them, because they liked the same painting style and perhaps shared other beliefs in common as them. Therefore, perhaps intergroup bias in Tajfel et al's study was NOT to do with intergroup processes at all but with interpersonal processes of belief similarity.

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Theories of intergroup relations

3) Social Identity Theory- Tajfel & Turner

Tajfel and Turner argue that there is a RELATIONSHIP between GROUP and INDIVIDUAL identity. We prefer to have a positive self-concept by feeling good about ourselves. Therefore, we are motivated to do anything to incease the status of our own group because if our group does well then this raises our self-esteem.
In the minimal group paradigm, the social identity theory can explain why people have a tendancy to award more points to their own group compared with the other group. In doing so, this increases the status of the ingroup as a whole and thus the self-esteem of individual members belonging that group.

This is supported by other examples, for example, it was found that undergraduate students belonging to a football team that had won, students were more likely to wear their university jumper that day because they felt proud and had higher self esteem, therefore wanted to represent.

Supporting evidence by Marques et al- we do anything to increase the status of our group and can go as far as excluding some members from our group if they do not bring our self-esteem up.

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Theories of intergroup relations

4) The Category Differentiation Model- Doise

Doise wanted to explain the reason for intergroup bias and why we have a general tendancy to form groups- ingroup and outgroup. He argues that by doing so, this accentuates the differences between groups and accentuates the differences. According to Doise, there is that automatic tendancy to think of all people who are in the same group as you as being similar to one another and those in other groups as being different.

Therefore, the reason why we allocate more points to our ingroup is because they are similar to us- familiarty.

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Theories of intergroup relations

5) Terror Management Theory: Greenberg et al

According to this theory, humans have a strong survival instinct. Unlike animals, we also possess an intellectual capacity to realise that one day we will die and in order to avoid this terror, people adopt a cultural worldview ( a set of values, e.g. religious beliefs and social norms) that provides them with meaning in of the world and allows themto nmaintain the belief that their life has meaning, purpose and significance. People who meet the values of their cultural worldview have higher self-esteem because they are more confident and have higher self-esteem. Therefore, there is intergroup bias because people favour ingroups but not ooutgroups beause they believe they act as  threat towards their cultural viewpoint.

To test this Greenberg et al conducted a study by asking Christian and Jewish participants to form opinions of their peers after heightening the prospect of mortality salience (reminding them the prospect of their own death).
Results- intergroup bias.

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Improving intergroup relations

There are a number of different ways that we can improve intergroup relations: the common ingroup identity model, crossed categorization and multiple categorization.

1. The Common Ingroup Identity Model

According to Gaertner and Dovidio, the common ingroup identity model is one way of improving intergroup relations. This can be done through recategorization from from a two-group ('us' vs 'them') representation to a one-group representation. Since the categorization of ingroups and outgroups is the main reason for intergroup bias, by removing these categories and creating a 'we' representation, prejudice and discrimination can be reduced significantly.
Therefore, Gartner and Dovidio argue that when members of two groups form a new common ingroup identity that includes that both ingroup and outgroup members then intergroup bias will be reduced.

Why? The reasonfor this is that all people of all groups are included under one category. This can create cooperation and cohesion between all people and creating a 'we' representation means that we are all similar. By accentuating the similarities between the group members and reducing the differences between the group members this reduces intergroup bias. Since people favour their ingroups, if it includes members of the outgroup it means that they will be favoured too.

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Improving intergroup relations

The Common Ingroup Identity Model

An example to illustrate how recategorization can be effective. Sherif demonstrated that in phase 1 and 2 of his study, there was intergroup bias and competition between the two groups. This created hostility between the two groups and negative attitudes i.e. they would burn each others flags, call each other names, etc. In phase 3 of the study, Sherif reduced intergroup bias by creating cooperation and reducin the 'us' vs 'them' representation by creating one  new common ingroup identity model. When all the boys had worked together this had helped to create positive attitudes and reduce intergroup bias.

Gaertner & Dovidio: Another way that intergroup bias can be reduces is through decategorization. Decategorization is when people stop using categories to form impressions of others and instead see them as individuals. This is like moving away from thinking about others in intergroup terms to interpersonal terms or shifting from a categorical mode of perception to an individuated mode of perception.

Study to demonstrate decategorization......

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Improving intergroup relations

Decategorization study: Gaertner et al

In Gaertner et al's experiment participants either sat round a table in a segregated (AAABBB) seating, in an integrated (ABABAB) seating or by themselves as individuals. In the segregated condition, this included having ingroups and outgroup members ('us' vs 'them' mentality) and they had given each group a name, whereas in the integrated condition there was only one-group included and so participants had given each other a signle nickname for the whole group, including all the participants.

Therefore: segregated condition (AAABBB) had two groups- ingroup 'us' and outgroup 'them' representation. They had given a nickname for their own ingroup and thus favoured only these members, while having hostile feelings towards the other group.
However, in the integrated (ABABAB) condition, there were no categories and all the members were in one big group.They had given a name for the group as whole, incuding all participants.
In the individual condition, participants had individual nicknames for themselves only.

Results: there was reduced intergroup bias in the intergrated and the individual group in comparison to the segregated group. Brewer claimed that decategorization is effective since moving away from intergroup processes to interpersonal processes reduced prejudice + intergroup bias.

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Improving intergroup relations

(Continued) By reducing intergroup processes, we are able to form a new common ingroup model and see members as all belonging to one category, so this is effective at reducing intergroup bias. The reason why intergrou bias was highest in the segregated condition (AAABBB) is because the differences of outgroup members and similarities of ingroup members had been accentuated and this increased intergroup bias.
This shows that in order to reduce intergroup bias, we need to breakdown categories and move away from an intergroup process to an interpersonal process. By reducing 'us' and 'them' representations, we just see everyone as belonging to one whole category.

SUPPORT: Similarly, Worchel et al had demonstrated the effectiveness for creating a common ingroup. They argued that by asking all participants to wear the same coloured lab coats this helped to create more positive attitudes towards all members- there were no categories- they were all included- reduced intergroup bias.

Crisp and Beck also supported research and argued that blurring boundaries does have benefits, such as reducing stereotype threat. If the differences between men and women are removed women are unlikely to perceive to perceive themselves as inferior to men at maths and so will not be susceptible to stereotype threat.

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Improving intergroup relations

CRITISISM: However, reducing categories and creating one common identity is not always possible. Hewstone argued that in highly segregated settings (e.g. Northern Ireland, former Yugoslavia), there may be resistance to form a common ingroup identity.

For example, one cannot imagine Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland abandoning their group membership- an important aspect of their identity- to be known simply as 'Northern Irish'. There may be a strong resistance to changes in category boundaries where the two groups differ in size, power or status.
Similarly, British Asians may also be reluctant to accept a superordinate identity of 'British' that is dominated by the majority group and is seen as synonomous with 'white'.

Therefore, applying a common ingroup identity to two groups may be particularly problematic for individuals who highly identify with their initial group membership, because they have a desire to maintain the distinctiveness of this group. For example, Crisp and Beck found asked participants from Uniof Birmingham and Uni of Aston to indicate how much they identified themselves as a student of that uni. Next, participants were eiter assigned to a common ingroup condition or a control condition. In the common ingroup condition they were asked to think of 5 things that Uni of B students had and Aston uni students all had in common, while in the control condition participants did not read this statement.

It was found that for LOW ingroup identitfiers this common ingroup task reduced intergroup bias, for HIGH ingroup indentifies it had no effect.  

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Reducing intergroup relations

2) Crossed Categorization

An alternative approach which also involves changing the way we categorize people into groups is known as crossed categorization. This involves making two bases for group mmebership simultaneously salient. For example, for a British white person, rather than thinking about their relationship with the Asian community as just white versus Asian, they may be encouraged to think of both groups along a second categorical dimension, for example nationality (e.g. British vs French). This creates the perception of 4 subgroups: British white (sharing two categories in common) British Asian and French white and French Asian.

According to Deschamps and Doise, they argue that categorizing members into groups leads to an accentuation of the diffeences between categories and an accentuation of the similarities between them, which provides a basis for intergroup bias. However, they argued that cross-cutting groups should lead these processes to work againts each other. So when a British white person thinks about the British Asian community, there will be convergence between the categories because of the shared group membership (British), increasing the perceived similarity between Asians and British people. These processes should then minimise the tendancy to think in terms of 'us' vs 'them', and so reduces intergroup bias.

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Reducing intergroup relations

Critisism of crossed categorization:

Despite the benefits of crossed categorization for reducing prejudice, it is clear that there are criticisms. For every shared identity that is made salient, a NON-SHARED identity might also be highlighted, resulting in a potential prejudice being created.

For example, a British white person may feel more positive towards a British Asian person because they both share the British identity BUT feel more negative towards French Asians, for example, because they do not share any common identities with them.
This shows that while it is effective in highlighting the similarities between groups, it can also highlight the differences between members and so prejudice is still created.

A second criticism is that this model suggests that groups share at least one common identity. However, this may not always be possible due to the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and milti-racial world in which we live in now, where many other different and varied ways of defining ourselves and others are made available.

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Reducing intergroup relations

3) Multiple Categorization

A third way to reduce prejudice is based on encouraging people to use many different ways of categorization people, rather than tinking about others all the time in terms of race, gender or age.

According to Crisp, Hewstone and Rubin they argue that getting people to realize that people should not just be pigeonholed into just one category and that they should use mulptiple strategies to describe other people this should reduce bias.
Therefore, rather than applying a negative stereotype to someone just because they are a member of a stigmatized group, people will come to realise that social categories are fluid, flexible and dynamic and that there are many other positive and different ways which anyone can be described. This should therefore reduce intergroup bias.

Support: Crisp et al had demonstrated how social categorization is effective at reducing intergroup bias. They asked unversity students to think of a number of different ways to categorize people from a rival university, other than a simple outgroup status. It was found that students in the multiple group condition were far less prejudiced than those in the control condition. This shows that thinking of multiple ways to categorise people is more effective than just a simple categorization i.e. 'they are an outgroup'.

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Reducing intergroup theories

More support for the multiple categorization approach in reducing intergroup bias:

There has been some work applying this multiple cateogrization approach to educational settings in an attempt to develop interventions to reduce prejudice. Bigler and Liben created a task through which primary school children were taught to classify along multiple dimensions. Every day for a period of one week, participants were given one set of 12 pictures of men and women engaging in stereotypically feminime (i.e. hairstylist) and stereotypically masculine (.e. construction worker) scenry. Children then practised sorting these pictures along both gender and occupation dimensions.

It was found that children who were trained to use mutlitple classication methods showed signficantly LESS gender stereotyping than participants who had not acquired multiple classication skills. This research shows that multiplication skills may become an important thing to include in our curriculum if we are to achieve the aim of a more equal society.

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Origins of prosocial behaviour

There are three broad accounts of why we help others:

> Evolutionary perspective
> Social norms
> Modelling

1) Evolutionary perspective

According to this perpective, we are biologically predisposed to help others. We are built with an in-built tendancy to look after those around us, even if it does not have any obvious benefit for us.
According to sociobiologists, we engage in helping behaviour to ensure the survival of our genes. By helping our blood relatives, we improve their chances of survival, thus increasing the liklihood that they will survive and pass on our genes to future generations.

Criticism: Firstly, we do not only help relatives but also friends and even complete strangers. It is therefore not clear how this would increase the chances of our own genes survival.

Secondly, this approach fails to explain why people help in some situations but fail to help in other situations. Evolutionary theory would predict that we should help our blood relatives in every situation- not the case: what about child abuse?

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Origins of prosocial behaviour

2) Social Norms

Social norms reflects what is considered normal and acceptable in a given group, culture or society. There is evidene that people are rewarded for behaving in accordance to social norms (i.e. approval, social acceptance) and punished for violating social norms (e.g. disapproval, rejection).

According to Gouldner's recipricity principle we shuld help those who help us.

In contrast, the social responsibility norm holds that we should help those in need,regardless of whethey they have helped us, or are likely to be able to help us in the future. Berkowitz claimed that there is evidence that people are often willing to help othes by remaining anonymous and so do not expect to be rewarded by aproval from others.

The just-world hypothesis (Lerner & Miller) is the general belief that the world is a fair place. According to this view, good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. Therefore, we are more likely to donate to a breast cancer charity than a lung cancer charity because we believe we see the sufferer as being the blame for their lung cancer disease i.e. through smoking.

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Origins of prosocial behaviour

Evalutaion of social norms

Although social norms may play an important role in exlaining helping behaviour, not all social psychologists believe that this is key understanding of the phenomenon.

Teger argued that while we may verbally say that we will help other people, we do not necessarily act on this endorsement (i.e. there is sometimes a mismatch between attitudes and behaviour.

Second criticism is that it is NOT just social norms that determine whether people will help or not but other factors such as situational norms may also predispose someone to being helpful. For example, people may help if they OBSERVE others being helpful and thus may imitate this prosocial behaviour themselves.

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Origins of prosocial behaviour

3) Modelling: Another reason why we have a tendancy to engage in helping behaviour is that we have learnt to do so by observing the behaviour of others, a process known as modelling.

Bryan and Test investigated whether modelling would increase the liklihood of helping behaviour. In a highely realistic experiment, motorists passed a woman whose car had a flat tyre.
In the modelling condition, another car had pulled over and appeared to be helping her change her tyre.  Motorists then came across a second woman whose car had a flat type, but this time was receiving no assistance.
Results showed that motorists who had observed a model of helping behaviour (another person helping the woman with the flat tyre) were more likely to stop and help than if they observed that noone was helping the woman. This shows that observing pro-social behaviour being modelled is actually effective in encouraging people to also help.

In a similar experiment, Rushton and Campbell had female participants interact with a friendly woman, who in fact was a confederate as part of the study. As the woman  left the lab experiment, participants were asked whether they would pledge to give blood. When the confederate was asked first and signed up to give blood, 67% of participants also agreed to give blood. In contrast, when the particiapnt was asked first, only 25% said they would give blood. Modeeling= prosocial acts.

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Origins of prosocial behaviour

According to Bandura's social learning theory, observing the helping behaviour of others should increase the liklihood of our helping others- children observed how adults behaved towards the Bobo doll- when they were kind towards it, so were the children.

The mass media can also be used to increase a prosocial interaction. Greitemeyer asked participants to listen to a prosocial song or in the control condition, listen to a neutral song. A pre-test established that the lyrics of the first song were significantly more prosocial than the lyrics of the second song. In the study, after listening to one of the two songs, participants were then asked to read essays by another student who had suffered from misfortunes i.e. had a broken leg or terrible break-up and the participant was asked how empathic they had felt towards the writer. In the second study, they were asked to consider donating their particiapant fee to a charity

It was found that participants that had listened to the prosocial song were far more empathic towards the victims of misfortune and were more likely to donate money to the charity compared to participants that had listened to the less prosocial song.

This confirms findings that modelling does lead to more prosocial acts.

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Situation-centred determinants of helping

The case of Kitty Genovese had sparked much attention and research towards the bysander intervention. In 1964 New York, Genovese was attacked and stabbed multiple times. Even though her cries for help had been heard by several neighbours, neither of them had helped or even called the police.

This had case led to the development of two cases:

  • Latane and Darley's cogntive model
  • Piliavin's Bystander- Calculas Model
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1) Latane and Darley's Cognitive model

Latane and Darley proposed that a bystander goes through several cognitive stages before a making a final decision about whether or not to help a person in an emergency situation:

  • Attend to the incident: In the first instance, the bystander needs actually to notice than an incident is taking place. When we pass a potential emergency, there may be many other things going on in the envrionment which may lead us to miss the emergency altogether
  • Define the incident: After the participant has noticed that there is an emergency, they need to define it as that i.e. are they screaming? What other evidence do we have that someone is need of help? When situations are ambigous we may look for others around us to see how they behave.
  • Accept personal responsbility: whether or not the bystander decides it is their responsibility to help in the emergency may depend on whether there are other people present who might deal with the problem instead. If there is an authority figure nearby, the observer may leave them to take care of it. If there are other watchers, they may leave it to them to help.
  • Decide what to do: once the bystander had noticed the situation, realized it is an emergency and decided that they are personally responsible or dealing withit they make a decision on what to do. Do they help themselves or leave it to other bystanders to help?
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The Bystander Apathy effect

Latane and Darley tested their model experimentally by investigating whether the presence of other bystanders would influence responses to an emergency.

Participants were used in a study- an emergency situation was created were there was smoke in the room. In one of the conditions, the participant was alone completing a questionnaire and in the second condition the participant was completing the questionnaire alongside other fellow participants or confederates, who had been instructed to ignore the smoke and do nothing about it.

Latane and Darley found that people were highely influenced by those people around them. While 75% of participants who were alone raised the alarm by reporting the smoke to the experimenter, in the other room only 38% of those with two other participants took any action and only 10% of those with a confederate had taken action.

This clearly demonstrates that people will most likely take an action when they are by themselves and do not see any bystanders around. They are least likely to help when they are with others and see that they are not doing anything about it.

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Processes underlying the Bystander Apathy effect

Latane and Darley suggested that there are two basic explanations to explain why people DO NOT help.

1) Diffusion of responsibility: the presence of other people during an emergency will lead bystanders to transfer their responsiblity for helping onto others. As the study by Darley and Latane showed, it is not necessary or other bystanders to physically present in the situation, there just needs to be the knowledge that other people are aware of the emergency and this could potentially take responsibility for it. Diffusion of responsibility therefore explains why so many people did not elp in Kitty Genovese's situation. The bystanders were aware that other people were observing and aware of the emergency and so they passed on responsibility to them.

2) Audience Inhibition: people are often uncomfortable about acting in front of other people, particularly in an emergency situation where there are no clear guideleines on how to behave. As a result, people may be worried about overreacting to a situation or dealing with it the wrong way. They may be afraid of others laughing at them or thiniking badly of them, therefore to avoid this they just avoid helping altogether.

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2) Piliavin's Bystander-Calculas Model

Piliavin and colleagues also proposed why people people do no always help in an emergency. There are 3 stages which outline the stages a person goes though when they see an emergency:

1) Gaertner and Dovidio found that when observing an emergency in which a woman had been hurt by falling chairs, bystanders with an elavated heart rate helped much more quieckly than those with a less acute physiological arousal. Therefore, people with lowered physiological arousal are less likely to help.

2) It is important to label this physiological arousal as a response towards an emergency situation. This is because we may exeperience physiological arousal for instance when we see someone as attarctive, when we have a fight with someone or going on a roller coaster ride. Labelling the situation is therefore important becuase we want to help when there is an emergency.

3) Calculating the costs: people must consider two types of costs- the costs of helping and the costs of not helping. Helping someone may be costly in several ways i.e. effort and time is required to deal with the situation. However, NOT helping someone may be even more costly than actually helping them i.e. feeling extemly guilty. Therefore, since the costs of NOT helping outweight the costs of actually helping people will be more motivated to help the person, since not helping will cause them to be distressed and in blame if something bad happens to person.

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Perceiver-centered determinants of helping

Are some people more likely to help than others? Do some people have a 'better personality' or do they have a greater competence in an emergency that leads them to help?
Factors that influence whether people help or not:

  • Personality: There is some evidence for individual differences in helping behaviour that are stable over time. Eisenberg et al found for example that children that were kind and prosocial in pre-school, they were likely to continue being more prosocial during their childhood and early adulthood years.
    Bierhoff et al found that those who helped had a higher internal locus of control than non-helpers. In contrast, people who thought that they were the victims had higher external locus of control.
    Finally, Bierhoff et al also found that people with greater dispositional empathy have a greater tendancy to feel empathic towards other people and so they are more likely to help others. A study by Oliner and Oliner illustrated this- they interviewed people who helped to rescue Jews in Nazi Europe. They found that compared with a matched control group of people who did not help the Jews, those people had a higher degree of social responsibility, a greater internal locus and a higher empathy.
    This shows that personality may play an important role in determining prosocial behaviour.
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Perceiver-centered determinants of helping

  • Mood also affects ability to help others. Isen asked participants to complete a task in whic they were then told they had either performed very well or very poorly. Isen found that participants who thought they had done very well at the task were more likely to help a woman struggling to carry her books than other participants who thought they had done poorly on the tasks. This shows that positive moods and knowing you have done well can lead to more prosocial acts.

Similarly, Holloway, Tucker and Hornstein found that people who had received good news showed greater attraction to strangers and greater willingness to help, compared with people who had received bad news.

However, the effects of mood do not last very long. Isen et al demonstrated his- they delivered a free gift to residents of a town in Pennsylvania. Then between 1 - 20 minutes after the free gift they had received the residents received a phone call from a 'wrong number' and were askd if they could help a caller out by making a phone call for them. It was found that those who received the free gift and received the phone call straigt afterwards were more likely to call than if the person called about 20 minutes longer- shows that mood does not last long in causing prosocial acts.

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Perceiver-centered determinants of helping

  • Competence

If the bystander feels that they wil be able to deal competently with an emergency, they will be much more likely to help. Cramer et al had participants who were either registered nurses (high competence) or non-medical students (low-competence) wait in a corridor with a confederate. While in the corridor, they observed an accident, where the workman had falled of a ladder and was then moaning as if in pain. The confederate did not offer any help.

Results showed that the nurses who were highin competence were mch more likely to help the man than the non-medical students, who were low in competence. This shows that since they were high in competence they felt that they had the necessary skills to help the person so were more likely to enagage in the prosocial behaviour.

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Perceiver-centered determinants of helping

  • Empathy- Altruism

Batson argued that sometimes our motive for helping others is altruistic, a desire to benefit others without the expectation of anything in return. At other times, our motive for helping others is egoistic. In this case, we help someone else because it has personal benefits to us. The empathic- altruism hypothesis explains why we sometimes help others for egoistical purposes and why we sometimes help for altruistic purposes.
When we witness someone sufering, we can experience two different types of emotional reactions:

- Personal distress is a self-focused negative-state of arousal we feel when we see someone else suffering. Rather than thinking about how the person suffering is feeling, we are more concerned with how WE feel when we are observing the person suffering.

- We then feel empathic concern when we see someone suffering. This state of arousal is victim focused, involving feelings of sympathy annd compassion for the sufferer.

According to the empathy- altruism model, the more empathic concern we feel, the more altruistic will be our response.

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Perceiver-centered determinants of helping

Gender differences in helping

Eagly and Crowley conducted a meta-analysis of 172 studies on helping behaviour. They found that there were some notable differences in helping behaviour amongst men and women. There was no clear gender differences in the amount of helping behaviour engaged in; instead, men and  women appeared to enagage in different types of helping behaviour.

- Men were more likely to help women than men, whereas women were equally likely to help both females and males.

- Men were also more likely to help more strangers than women

- Women were more likely to help in everyday situations more than men i.e. help a friend out, providing emotional support and looking after children & the elderly.

In sum, men behave more prosocially in unusual, dangerous circumstances, but women are more likely to help on a day-to-day basis.

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Recipient-centered determinants of helping

There are 4 factors which may influence whether or not help is offered:

1) Similarity

Several studies have showed that we are more likely to help those who we believe are similar to us. Krebs found that when people see someone being given electric shocks, the more similar they are to the victim, the greater the physiological arousal they experience and the more altruistic they are towards the victim.

Simialrly, Emswiller et al investigated whether students in the 1970s would be more likely to help someone who is dressed the same as them. Confederates who were dressed either the same as them or in an alternative stype asked passers-by for a coin to make a phone call. Students were more likely to help the confederate who was dressed in a similar way than those that were dressed differently.

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Perceiver-centered determinants of helping

2) Group Membership

We appear to be more willing to help ingroup members more than outgroup mmebers.

Ellis and Fox found that heterosexual bystanders were more likely to help a person who was identified as heterosexual than a person who was identified as gay or lesbian.

Simialrly, Gaertner and Dovidio also found this effect with ethnic members in society. They found that white participants were more likely to help their ingroup members i.e. more white people than back.

3) Attractiveness

We are more likely to help physically attractive people. Benston et al demonstrated this effect- a researcher left completed graduate school application forms, including a photo of either an attractive student ora a relatively unattractive student. It was found that researchers were more likely to help the attractive student by sending off the materials for their application first compared to the less attractive student.

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Atributional Biases

Attributional biases: are much quicker, easier and less demanding than being a naive scientist.

Can be internal or external i.e. personality or situational factors.

1) The Fundamental Attribution Error

- focuses on making internal attributions
- assumes that all behaviours are a strong indication of a personality trait

Study: Jones and Harris

Students read essays that were either pro or anti-castro. They then had to write their own and they were told which condition to be in i.e. pro or anti.
Participants made internal attributions even though there were clear situational causes.

AO2: Criticism is that it lacks cultural validity- focuses on research in Western cultures and not in Non-Western cultures. In non western cultures they focus on external attributions because they are collectivist cultures.

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Attribution Biases

2) Actor Observer Error : Jones and Nisbett

This is where we judge our own behaviour by making external attributions. We judge the behaviour of other people by making internal attributions.

Study: Storms

2 observers and 2 actors were involved in a 5 minute role-play conversation. Had to make attributions; observers attributed the behaviour of actors as being as a result of internal factors; their own behaviour- external attribution.

3) Self-Serving Bias : Olson and Ross

As a way of protecting our self esteem. When we judge our successes we make internal attrubutions (i.e. I won because im the best) when we judge our failure we make external attributions (i.e. i failed because my teacher is rubbish).

Other ways of judging the world: motivated tactician, cognitive miser, naive scientist

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The hovland yale approach and ELM approach

Both the Hovland Yale approach and the Elaboration Liklihood Model (ELM) focus on similar things as a way of changing attitudes/ persuassion. 
 The Hovland Yale Approach : Carl Hovland set up a research team at Yale University which looked into the nature of persuasion. During his years at the university he developed the Hovland-Yale Model. This model states that there several factors that will affect how likely a change of attitude through persuasion is, after all behavioural change cannot occur without attitude change also having taken place. The three most prominent factors are the source, the message and the audience.


- Attractivness: Chaiken found that we are most persuaded by attractive than unattractive people

- Credibility: Hovland and Weiss claimed that we are most persuaded by credible sources. We trust their opinions the most than least credible sources.

- Simialrity: Mackie et al found that we are persuaded by our ingroups the most since were most like them

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The Hovland Yale approach

> The message

- most persuaded when the message creates some sort of fear arousal i.e. smoking kills

- Repetition: Campbell and Keller- when the message is repeated to us we are most persuaded by it i.e. when participants had seen familiar adverts multiple times they were most persuaded and most likely to buy the product.

Similarly, Zajonc conducted an experiment into the “mere exposure effect”. He showed participants various unfamiliar stimuli e.g. Turkish words or pictures of strangers. Some stimuli were shown to the participants more frequently than others. Afterwards, parts were asked to rate how “good” they thought they stimuli were. More positive ratings were given to the stimuli that had been more frequently shown).

-O’Keefe’s meta-analysis of research on one-sided and two-sided messages found that two-sided messages influence attitudes more than one-sided messages, as long as the two sided argument was eventually gave a solid opinion. So an argument is more effective if you show both sides of the argument, but then show why your opinion is correct.

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The Hovland Yale Approach


The audience strongly effects how likely someone is to be persuaded, for example McGuire found that more intelligent audiences are more likely to be persuaded by valid arguments because they have a longer attention span and can understand the arguments better.

The cultural differences of an audience can also affect how persuasive an argument can be. For example Wang et al found Americans prefer products that offered ‘separateness’ whereas Chinese prefer products that offered ‘togetherness’. This suggests different cultures would be more influences by messages which back up their opinions.

Intelligence, personality, gender =can affect degree of persuasion. Intelligence may increase understanding of message, but decrease agreement with it as they may spot weaknesses. Less intelligent may not fully understand message, but will agree.

(Wood and Stagner found that people of moderate intelligence and moderate self esteem are more readily persuaded than those at either end of the continuum.)

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The Elaboration Liklihood model

Just like the hovland- yale approach, the ELM approach argues that we can be persuaded:



Use the same researchers etc on message and source.

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