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Social Interaction A behavior is always to be taken transactionally, i.e., never as of the organism alone, any more than of the environment alone, but always as of the organic-environmental situation, with organisms and environmental objects taken as equally its aspect. (Dewey & Bentley, 1949) What is social behaviour? Behavior oriented towards other selves. Such behavior apprehends another as a perceiving, thinking, moral, intentional, and behaving person; considers the intentional or rational meaning of the other's field of expression; involves expectations about the other's acts and actions; and manifests an intention to invoke in another self certain experiences and intentions. What differentiates social from nonsocial behavior, then, is whether another self is taken into account in one's acts, actions, or practices. Interaction & Interdependence a dynamic, changing sequence of social actions between individuals (or groups) who modify their actions and reactions according to the actions by their interaction partner(s) i.e., events in which people attach meaning to a situation, interpret what others are meaning, and respond accordingly. How people influence each other unintentionally How do people influence each other’s behaviour just by interacting? 1. Social facilitation: rely more on spontaneous habitual reactions when others present 2. Social loafing: expend less effort when working with others Why do people fulfill each other’s expectancies? 3. Self-fulfilling prophecies: act in a way that causes others to fulfill even erroneous expectations What determines whether people cooperate with each other? 4. Cooperation vs. competition: pursue self- interests even where mutual cooperation best strategy 5. Social dilemmas: find it difficult to conserve dwindling resources instead of free-for-all Social Facilitation Tendency to perform simple/well-learned tasks better when others present Zajonc 1965 drive theory – strengthening of dominant responses in presence of others 1st expt. – Triplett 1898 children & fishing lines more energy if another present, can impair or facilitate performance Why? Five psychological states that contribute to tendency to perform easy tasks better & difficult tasks worse when other present 1. Arousal & increased drive – enhances dominant response 2. Evaluation apprehension (Cottrell 1968) Rely on spontaneous habitual responses 3. Distraction conflict Narrow attention – overloads cognitive system – arousal - rely on spontaneous habitual responses 4. Self-presentation Show off if confident, get flustered if lose confidence 5. Self-awareness (ideal vs. actual self) Social Loafing (Ringelmann 1800’s) Drive reduction Freedom from negative evaluation (personal identity & social identity ) Dispensable contributions (free rider effect – importance of what we expect others to do) Importance of outcomes Social Impact Theory (Latané 1981) “any of the great variety of changes in physiological states and subjective feelings, motives and emotions, cognitions and beliefs, values and behavior, that occur in an individual, human or animal, as a result of the real, implied, or imagined presence or actions of other individuals” (Latané, 1981, p. 343). Model of social forces (pressures from other people) acting on individuals i = f (sin) It predicts that conformity will increase with increasing strength, immediacy and the number of influence in a group Strength - the intensity of each social force - reflected by one’s social status, power and credibility: the greater the power difference between sources and target, the more influence they have on the target - leads to a greater likelihood to conform. Immediacy - the physical or psychological closeness of each social force to target: if the target perceives the physical and psychological distance of the sources of influence to be close to him or her, the greater the probability that he or she will conform to the social influences. Number - the quantity of social forces present: more sources trying to influence a target (e.g. ten friends) will produce a better result, compared to fewer sources of influences (e.g. one friend). Bystander effect Latane & Darley 1968 (Kitty Genovese case) the greater the number/status of people present, the more they influence our behaviour Facilitation: ↑ with no. of sources operating on target Loafing: ↑ with no. of targets receiving influence Number & strength (conformity, imitation, crowding, arousal, stage fright, helping in emergencies, tipping…) Normative social influence Informational social influence Dynamic Social Impact Theory Latane’s revised model - the spread of social influence in populations. predicts the group-level consequences of individual influence processes in spatially distributed populations of people interacting with each other. Identified four tendencies in group: Consolidation: over time, the majority grows in size and the minority dwindles in size Clustering: people are more influenced by their closest neighbors, and so clusters of group members with similar opinions emerge in group.[dyads, triads …] Correlation: Over time the group members’ opinions on other issues, even one that are not discussed in the group, converge, so that their opinions on a variety of matters are correlated . Continuing diversity: Because of clustering, members of minorities are often shielded from the influence attempts of the majority, and their beliefs continue on within the group Expectations Behavioural confirmation: people treated differently because of others’ expectations behave in line with expectations Confirming stereotypes: we want to acquire information about new person, search preferentially Knowledge more useful when it confirms rather than disconfirms our expectations Person who is target of perception behaves ambiguously or as treated (Snyder study) Important application: teacher expectations (Rosenthal study) 3 stages Perceiver’s initial expectations Differential treatment Target’s reactions Why co-operate? 4 key variables co-operation 1. Interpersonal dispositions 2. Beliefs regarding others’ behaviours 3. Relationship specific features 4. Social norms Dyadic competition: Co-operate on group goals vs. satisfy individual needs Co-operative behaviour with group size Interactions between groups less cooperative than between individuals The Prisoner’s dilemma: Self-interest dictates competition but most beneficial long-term strategy is cooperation The classic prisoner's dilemma Two suspects, you and another person, are arrested by the police. The police have insufficient evidence for a conviction, and having separated both of you, visit each of you and offer the same deal: if you confess and your accomplice remains silent, he gets the full 10-year sentence and you go free. If he confesses and you remain silent, you get the full 10-year sentence and he goes free. If you both stay silent, all they can do is give you both 6 months for a minor charge. If you both confess, you each get 6 years. Confessing is a dominant strategy for both players. No matter what the other player's choice is, you can always reduce your sentence by confessing. Unfortunately for the prisoners, this leads to a poor outcome where both confess and both get heavy jail sentences. This is the core of the dilemma. Gender differences – men compete more than women (Knight & Dubro 1984) Groups compete more than individuals Social dilemmas – Immediate payoff for participant favours competition but cooperation better long term Potential for dictatorship (when resources decreasing rapidly, willing to sacrifice individual control, freedom) Benefits of knowledge Morality and trust (small groups feel more moral obligation) Reading Cialdini, R.B. (2005) Basic social influence is underestimated. Psychological Inquiry,16(4), 158-161. Rosenthal, R. & Jacobson, L.F. (1968) Teacher expectations for the disadvantaged. Scientific American, 218(4). Snyder, M., Tanke, E.D. & Berscheid, E. (1977) Social perception and interpersonal behaviour: On the self- fulfilling nature of social stereotypes. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology. Manning, R., Levine, M., & Collins, A. (2007). The Kitty Genovese murder and the social psychology of helping: The parable of the 38 witnesses. American Psychologist, 62, 555- 562. Darley, J. M. & Latané, B. (1968). Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 377-383.
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