To prepare for this discussion, please read Chapter 8 of your textbook (Feenstra, 2013). In addition, read Milestones in the Psychological Analysis of Social Influence (Crano, 2000) and watch Prudential: Everybody’s Doing It (2013). Finally, review Instructor Guidance and Announcements. In this discussion, you will consider social influences on your own behavior. Be sure to use your own academic voice and apply in-text citations appropriately throughout your post.
- Consider your own social behavior and the various normative and informational social influences you encounter in everyday life. Then, complete the following activities.
- Appraise your behavior. For 24 hours, keep a log of every behavior in which you engage that is due to conformity or obedience.
- Selectone of the following:
- Choose one mundane behavior from your log that is based on a social norm. Violate this norm. Be sure you are not breaking any rules or laws or putting yourself at risk in any way. Here is a link to a number of examples, but feel free to come up with your own (or google search for additional ideas): http://www.radford.edu/~jaspelme/social/examples_of_norm_violations.htm
- Spend 24 hours living “A Day of Nonconformity”, living each minute as uninfluenced as possible (without infringing on the rights of others). Strive to be your true, unfettered self.
- Examine your social influence log and your experience living a day of nonconformity/violating a social norm. Include the following in your summary:
- To what extent is your everyday behavior shaped by social influence?
- How do people react when you do not conform/obey? What factors influence people to follow?
Post your initial response of 250 words or more by Day 3 (Thursday). Respond to at least two of your peers by Day 7 (Monday). You are encouraged to post one or more of your required replies early each week (e.g., by Saturday) to stimulate more meaningful and interactive discourse in the discussion forum. In addition, strive to provide a response to classmates who replied to your initial post and/or the Instructor (if applicable). Peer responses may vary in length but should be carefully crafted and insightful. Below are some suggestions to assist your thinking.
Guided Response: Reply to at least two or more peers overall. The goal of the discussion forum is to foster continual dialogue, similar to what might occur in a verbal face-to-face exchange. Consider the following in your responses:
- What about your peer’s experience was most surprising?
- How would you have reacted to the nonconformity of your peer?
But as they varied conditions with a small group of workers in an experimental test room, they noted that group dynamics—not lighting, temperature, breaks, and so on—determined performance.
Sherif et al. were able to reduce conflict during the study by taking advantage of such mechanisms as decategorization, recategorization, and mutual intergroup differentiation.
- Do you love group work or hate it? Formulate your position by synthesizing your own experiences, relating specific course concepts and research findings that support the merit of your view.
- For example, if you believe “two heads are better than one”, you might summarize work on the value of brainstorming. If, however, you think “too many cooks spoil the broth”, you might relate the negative impact of groupthink. Any concept in the chapter is appropriate to utilize for this discussion, and you may discuss more than one if applicable.
- Explain how you might use this knowledge to influence other members and improve the overall function of a group in which you have been/are currently/will be a member