By Elliot Aronson
You can learn the phenomenal Amazon experiences of this book: http://www.amazon.com/Social-Animal-Elliot-Aronson/dp/1429233419
Recommended even for those that aren't learning psychology!
'The Social Animal' deals an creation to trendy social psychology. Elliot Aronson probes the styles and factors of human behaviour, overlaying issues as varied as conformity, obedience, politics, and advertisements.
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Extra info for The Social Animal (11th Edition)
Solomon Asch performed his classic experiment about 60 years ago. Although the results were powerful, it is tempting to dismiss his findings on the grounds that American college students are quite different now. Specifically, with the advent of computers and the Internet you might think we have grown more sophisticated and, therefore, much less susceptible to this kind of group pressure. Not so. Over the years, the Asch experiment has been successfully replicated a great many times. Just a few years ago, in a particularly striking demonstration on national television, Anthony Pratkanis9 repeated the Asch experiment precisely as Asch did it 50 years earlier.
To answer that question Andrew Quinn and Barry Schlenker16 put people through a procedure aimed at producing conformity to a poor decision. Before the conformity aspect of the experiment began, the experimenters did two things: (1) They got half their participants thinking about the importance of being as accurate as possible while getting the other half thinking about the importance of cooperation; and (2) they made it clear to half the participants in each of those two conditions that, after they made a decision, they would need to talk to their partners about their decision ARONSON11E CH02_ARONSON11E CH02 4/21/11 9:52 AM Page 25 Conformity 25 and justify having made it.
At the same time, there are many situations in which we conform to the behavior of others because their behavior is our only guide to appropriate action. In short, we often rely on other people as a means of determining reality. The scene recalled by Thurber at the beginning of this chapter gives an example of this type of conformity. According to Leon Festinger,25 when physical reality becomes increasingly uncertain, people rely more and more on “social reality”; that is, they are more likely to conform to what other people are doing, not because they fear punishment from the group but because the group’s behavior supplies them with valuable information about what is expected of them.