Social Influences

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Social Influences

Zajonc developed social facilitation and social interference

Presence of others leads to increased arousal/awareness, this then causes an improvement in performance of simple tasks which require a dominant response: SOCIAL FACILITATION. Also causes an impairment in the performance of complex tasks which require a non dominant response: SOCIAL INTERFERENCE

  • Linked social facilitation and interference with arousal levels
  • We may experience distraction or evaluation apprehension - increase arousal
  • High arousal improves simple or well learned tasks
  • High arousal inhibits complex or poorly learned tasks

Why might the presence of others motivate us?

  • innate tendency for arousal in the presence of others
  • evaluation apprehension
  • distraction-conflict
  • evokes challenge reaction when resources are sufficient, threat reaction when insufficient
  • Social facilitation and interference occur when an individuals performance is easily identifiable.
  • Social Loafing - individual performance unable to be identified.

Everyday implications of social psychology

  • Social influence occurs as jurors deliberate/make decision
  • Jury usually pick the verdict favoured by majority of members prior to deliberation
  • Higher status jurors more influential

Social Influence and groups - peer pressure

  • Social Identity Theory (Tajfel and Turner)
  • The self-concept is developed by group membership
  • Social categorisation - individuals classify people, including themself, into groups
  • Social identification - accepting as self-stereotyping the qualities attributed to ones group - de personalisation. 
  • Self-concept/social identity
  • Self esteem depends upon the individuals personal qualities and the values of the group to which they belong
  • Ingroup vs Outgroup bias - by self rating ones group…


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