Social And Social Influence On Behavior Essay

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Social influence Social psychologists try to understand human behavior in terms of the influence others have in producing it (Aronson, Wilson & Akert, 1994). The following passage explains specifically how social groups can influence behavior. In particular, the discussion will Center on the role groups play in the formation of social norms and social roles. With reference to experiments, the passage will show the terms and degree to which people are likely to conform under group pressure to those norms and roles. Muzafer Sherif (1935) conducted an experiment which showed the effects a group can have on the behavior of an individual. Participants were asked individually to identify how far a white dot moved on a black screen in a dark room. They were then asked to do the same task but in a group with other participants who had also completed the task independently. It was found that answers changed considerably towards a norm which they all shared. Just the presence of the group influenced the participant’s opinions. Jackobs and Campbell (1961), in a similar experiment, showed how group norms can pass through generations. They replicated the study several times replacing one old participant with a new one each time. They found that the norm found in the initial study was still prevalent over time even when the original group no longer was present. The original group established a norm which then became a social norm as it pervaded subsequent groups. However, it can be
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