Eleventh Edition READINGS ABOUT The Social Animal Edited by. Joshua Aronson New York University Elliot Aronson University of California, Santa Cruz. you've twisted the drawing off to one side without being aware of it. At first you may find DRAW 50 ANIMALS Social Rules! - A Common Sense Guide to Social. I too am interested in Social Psychology books and searched the net for downloading this awesome book about human behaviour. I downloaded ' Readings.
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The Social Animal (11th edition) PDF Download, By Elliot Aronson, ISBN: , The Social Animal Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who. The Social Animal Elliot Aronson: one of the best psychology books The Social Animal: Summary & Review in PDF (Elliot Aronson 11th Ed). The Social Animal Eleventh Edition. by . There is a newer edition of this item: The Social This item:The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson Paperback $
For example, one of the bestsellers of the s was a book by John F.
Kennedy called Profiles in Courage, wherein the author praised several politicians for their courage in resisting great pressure and refusing to conform. To put it another way, Kennedy was praising people who refused to be good team players, who refused to vote or act as their parties or constituents expected them to. Nonconformists may be praised by historians or idolized in films or literature long after the fact of their nonconformity, but they are usually not held in high esteem at the time by those people to whose demands they refuse to conform.
This observation receives strong support from a number of experiments in social psychology. For example, in a classic experiment by Stanley Schachter,2 several groups of students met for a discussion of the case Conformity 15 history of a juvenile delinquent named Johnny Rocco. A typical group consisted of approximately nine participants, six of whom were real participants and three of whom were paid confederates of the experimenter.
The results clearly showed that the person who was liked most was the modal person who conformed to the group norm; the deviate was liked least. In a more recent experiment, Arie Kruglanski and Donna Webster3 found that when nonconformists voiced a dissenting opinion close to the deadline when groups were feeling the pinch to come to closure , they were rejected even more than when they voiced their dissenting opinion earlier in the discussion.
Clearly, there are situations in which conformity is highly desirable and nonconformity constitutes an unmitigated disaster. Suppose, for example, that I suddenly decide that I am fed up with being a conformist. So I hop into my car and start driving down the left-hand side of the road—not a very adaptive way of displaying my rugged individualism and not very fair to you if you happen to be driving toward me conformist-style on the same street.
Similarly, consider the rebellious teenager who smokes cigarettes, stays out late, gets tattooed, or dates a certain boy just because she knows that her parents disapprove. She is not manifesting independence so much as she is displaying anticonformity, not thinking for herself but automatically acting contrary to the desires or expectations of others.
On the other hand, I do not intend to suggest that conformity is always adaptive and nonconformity is always maladaptive.
There are compelling situations in which conformity can be disastrous and tragic. Moreover, even knowledgeable and sophisticated decision makers can fall prey to special kinds of conformity pressures inherent 16 The Social Animal in making group decisions.
In such an atmosphere, even the most barbarous activities seemed reasonable because the absence of dissent, which conveyed the illusion of unanimity, prevented any individual from entertaining the possibility that other options might exist. In normal circumstances people who turn their backs on reality are soon set straight by the mockery and criticism of those around them. In the Third Reich there were not such correctives. On the contrary, every self-deception was multiplied as in a hall of distorting mirrors, becoming a repeatedly confirmed picture of a fantastical dream world which no longer bore any relationship to the grim outside world.
In those mirrors I could see nothing but my own face reproduced many times over. Here, men in high government office—many of whom were attorneys—perjured themselves, destroyed evidence, and offered bribes without an apparent second thought.
This was due, at least in part, to the closed circle of single-mindedness that surrounded the president in the early s. This single-mindedness made deviation virtually unthinkable until after the circle had been broken.
Once the circle was broken, several people for example, Jeb Stuart Magruder, Richard Kleindienst, and Patrick Grey seemed to view their illegal behavior with astonishment, as if it were performed during some sort of bad dream. This process created an atmosphere of unreality in the White House that prevailed to the very end.
If you said it often enough, it would become true. When the press learned of the wiretaps on newsmen and White House staffers, for example, and flat denials failed, it was claimed that this was a national security matter. That was concocted as a justifi- Conformity 17 cation after the fact. But when they said it, you understand, they really believed it.
Seven astronauts, including a civilian schoolteacher, perished in a fireball of smoke and flames. The decision had been made to go ahead with the launch despite a near disaster on an earlier Challenger flight and despite strenuous objections and warnings from knowledgeable engineers about the defective O-rings at the joints of the booster rockets.
I doubt it. First, NASA had already conducted two dozen successful launches with essentially the same equipment. Second, NASA officials, like the general public, were caught up in the enthusiasm surrounding the launching of the first civilian schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe into space.
Any mention of possible system failure would have suggested a need to spend more money, a conclusion NASA found distasteful in light of its commitment to costeffectiveness and economy. Unlike NASA administrators, engineers at Morton Thiokol the company that manufactured the solid rocket boosters were not concerned about the political, economic, and public relations implications of a decision on whether to launch. All they cared about was whether the damn thing would work—and given the subfreezing temperatures at the launch site, they objected strenuously to the launch.
For them, more was at stake than a successful launch. They were in great conflict. On the one hand, as engineers, they were sensitive to the opinions of their fellow engineers.
Thus, in part, they tended to identify with the same concerns that NASA administrators did. They were relatively cohesive groups isolated from dissenting points of view. When such groups are called upon to make decisions, they often fall prey to what social psychologist Irving Janis calls groupthink. And this optimism is perpetuated when dissent is discouraged.
In the face of conformity pressures, individual group members come to doubt their own reservations and refrain from voicing dissenting opinions. Consensus seeking is so important that certain members of the group sometimes become mindguards—people who censor troublesome incoming information, as did the executives at Morton Thiokol. By citing these examples, I do not mean to suggest that individuals who make foolish, disastrous decisions should not be held accountable.
What I do intend to suggest is that it is a lot easier to conduct an inquiry and assign blame than it is to understand the psy- Conformity 19 chological processes underlying faulty decision making. But it is only through digging deeper and trying to understand these processes that we can have any hope of improving the way people make decisions and thus of reducing the frequency of disastrous decisions in the future.
What Is Conformity? Most situations are not as extreme as the examples cited above. We will attempt to zero in on the phenomenon of conformity by beginning with a less extreme and perhaps simpler illustration. Recall that Sam watched a presidential candidate on television and was favorably impressed with his sincerity. However, in the face of the unanimous opinion of his friends that the candidate was insincere, Sam acceded—verbally, at least—to their opinion. Several questions can be asked about this kind of situation: 1 What causes people to conform to group pressure?
Specifically, what was in it for Sam? Or was it the case that Sam maintained his original opinion but only modified what he said about the candidate?
If there was a change in opinion, was it permanent or merely transient? What we can do 20 The Social Animal is construct an experimental situation that is somewhat like the one in which Sam found himself, and we can control and vary the factors we think might be important. Such a basic situation was devised by Solomon Asch8 in a classic set of experiments.
The Social Animal: Summary & Review in PDF (Elliot Aronson 11th Ed)
Put yourself in the following situation: You have volunteered to participate in an experiment on perceptual judgment. You enter a room with four other participants.
The experimenter shows all of you a straight line line X. Simultaneously, he shows you three other lines for comparison lines A, B, and C. Your job is to judge which of the three lines is closest in length to line X. The judgment strikes you as being a very easy one. It is perfectly clear to you that line B is the correct answer, and when your turn comes, you will clearly say that B is the one. He also chooses line A. You begin to feel like Alice in Wonderland.
As you might imagine, the individuals who answered first were in the employ of the experimenter and were instructed to agree on an incorrect answer. The perceptual judgment it- Conformity 21 self was an incredibly easy one.
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It was so easy that, when individuals were not subjected to group pressure but were allowed to make a series of judgments of various sizes of lines while alone, there was almost a complete absence of errors.
Indeed, the task was so easy, and physical reality was so clear-cut, that Asch himself firmly believed that there would be little, if any, yielding to group pressure. But his prediction was wrong.
When faced with a majority of their fellow students agreeing on the same incorrect responses in a series of 12 judgments, approximately three-quarters of the participants conformed at least once by responding incorrectly.
Solomon Asch performed his classic experiment more than 50 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.
Resisting group pressures is very difficult and this shows up in not only on the faces of the participants, but also in their neurological activity.
These scans indicated a major difference between participants who yielded to and those who resisted group pressure. Subjects who resisted showed a great deal of activity in the amygdala, a region of the brain associated with pain and emotional discomfort. Going against the group is painful. The situation created by these experiments is especially intriguing because, unlike many situations in which we may tend to 22 The Social Animal conform, there were no explicit constraints against individuality.
In many situations, the sanctions against nonconformity are clear and unequivocal. For example, I hate to wear a tie, and under most circumstances I can get away with this minor idiosyncrasy. I can either put on the tie and eat in the restaurant or leave, open-necked and comfortable but hungry. The negative consequences of nonconformity are made very explicit. In these situations, there were no explicit rewards for conformity and no explicit punishments for deviance.
In short, what I am suggesting is that these individuals had two important goals: the goal of being correct and the goal of staying in the good graces of other people by living up to their expectations. In many circumstances, both of these goals can be satisfied by a simple action. Similarly, if others agreed with your judgment of the lengths of the lines, you could satisfy both goals by being true to your own estimate.
If you were a participant in that experiment and you initially believed that the correct answer was line B, then saying so might satisfy your desire to be correct—but it might also violate the expectations of your peers, and they might think you a bit odd.
On the other hand, choosing line A might win you the acceptance of the others, but unless you became convinced that they were correct, it would violate your desire to be right. Most people believe that they are motivated primarily by a desire to be correct but that others are motivated primarily by a desire Conformity 23 to stay in the good graces of other people. For example, when people unobtrusively observe an Asch-like conformity experiment, they typically predict that the experimental participants will conform more than they actually do.
That is, we know other people conform, but we underestimate the extent to which we can be induced to follow the group. Was Sam convinced by his fellow college students that his preferred presidential candidate was a phony, or did he simply go along with their judgment in order to be accepted while continuing to believe in the sincerity of the candidate? Because Sam is a hypothetical person, we cannot answer that question definitively.
If a participant is joined by even one ally who gives the correct response, his or her conformity to the erroneous judgment of the majority drops sharply. A fellow dissenter exerts a powerful freeing effect from the influence of the majority.
If there is unanimity, however, the actual size of the majority need not be very great for it to elicit maximum conformity from a person. In fact, the tendency for someone to conform to group pressure is about as great when the unanimous 24 The Social Animal majority consists of only 3 other people as it is when the unanimous majority is Commitment One way conformity to group pressure can be decreased is by inducing the individual to make some sort of commitment to his or her initial judgment.
Picture yourself as an umpire at a major-league baseball game. There is a close play at first base and you call the runner out—in the presence of 50, fans.
The Social Animal
After the game, the three other umpires approach you and each says that he thought the runner was safe. How likely are you to alter your judgment? Compare this with a situation like the Asch situation in which each of the three umpires calls the runner safe and then it is your turn to make a judgment. Such a comparison was made in an experiment by Morton Deutsch and Harold Gerard,14 who used the Asch paradigm and found that where there was no prior commitment as in the Asch experiment , some 25 percent of the responses conformed to the erroneous judgment of the majority.
Accountability Suppose you found yourself being subjected to group pressure while trying to make a decision. In addition, suppose that you knew that, at the end of the session, you would need to justify your decision to the other members of the group. What effect do you think that might have on your decision-making?
Research has shown that under most conditions, this kind of accountability to the group tends to increase conformity. 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 subjects in each of those two conditions that, after they made a decision, they would need to talk to their partners about their decision and justify having made it.
The results were clear. The people who Conformity 25 showed the most independence and made the best decisions were those who were oriented toward being accurate and had to explain their nonconformity to the very people whose influence they resisted. It is interesting to note that the people in this condition behaved with greater independence than those people who were oriented toward being accurate but were not held accountable.
What this suggests is that most people will go along to get along unless they know that they will be held accountable for a dumb, compliant decision. The Person and the Culture Another important factor affecting conformity involves some of the characteristics of the target person.
Specifically, individuals who have generally low self-esteem are far more likely to yield to group pressure than those with high self-esteem. Furthermore, task-specific self-esteem plays an important part in the process. If individuals are led to believe that they have little or no aptitude for the task at hand, their tendency to conform increases. Similarly, individuals who are given the opportunity to have prior success with a task like judging the lengths of lines are far less likely to conform than those who walk into the situation cold.
For example, to return to our previous illustration, if Sam had felt sure that he was liked and accepted by his acquaintances, he would have been more likely to voice disagreement than if he felt insecure in his relationship with them. This assertion receives strong support from an experiment by James Dittes and Harold Kelley18 in which college men were invited to join an attractive, prestigious group and subsequently were given information about how secure their position was in that group.
Specifically, all members of the group were informed that, at any point during the lifetime of the group, the members could remove any member in the interest of efficiency.
The group then engaged in a discussion of juvenile delinquency. After the discussion, each member was shown how the others rated him; in actuality, the members were given prearranged false feedback. Some members were led to believe they were well accepted, and others were led to believe they were not terribly popular. The results showed that, for the individuals who valued their membership in the group, those who were led to feel only moderately accepted were more likely to conform to the norms and standards set by the group than were those who were led to feel totally accepted.
There are also some important cultural differences in the tendency to go against the group. In an analysis of some experiments using the Asch procedure in 17 different countries, they found that conformity is more prevalent in collectivist societies like Japan, Norway, and China than in individualistic societies like the United States and France.
A group is more effective at inducing conformity if 1 it consists of experts, 2 the members are of high social status for example, the popular kids in a high school , or 3 the members are comparable with the individual in some way.
Thus, to go back to Sam, our hypothetical college student, I would speculate that it is more likely that Sam would conform to the pressure exerted by his acquaintances if he thought they were experts in politics and in making judgments about human relations. Similarly, he would be more likely to yield to those people if they had a lot of status or were important potential friends than if they were of no consequence to him.
Conformity works much the same way when the source of influence is an individual rather than a group. Thus, we are more likely to Conformity 27 conform to the behavior or opinions of an individual who is similar or important to us, or who appears to have expertise or authority in a given situation.
For example, research has shown that people are more willing to comply with a demand from a person wearing a uniform than with someone in civilian clothes—even when it comes to relatively trivial matters. In one study,22 pedestrians were asked to give spare change to a motorist actually one of the experimenters who was parked at an expired meter. Thus, the appearance of authority—as potently symbolized by a uniform—can lend legitimacy to a demand, thereby generating high rates of compliance.
On a broader level, popular writer Malcolm Gladwell23 suggests that major social trends often change dramatically and suddenly through the mechanism of conformity when certain kinds of respected people happen to be in the right place at the right time.
How can people who are not medical experts induce large numbers of women to get regular mammograms? The place is important.
In this instance, the tipping point happened in places where women and only women gather informally and have the leisure to talk and listen to one another. The places were beauty salons, and the connectors were beauticians. Belonging Versus Getting Information People have a powerful need to belong. Acceptance and rejection are among the most potent rewards and punishments for social animals because, in our evolutionary history, social exclusion could have 28 The Social Animal disastrous consequences—namely being cut off from the resources and protection of the group in a dangerous world.
Thus, humans who passed their genes along were those with the strong inclination to fit in with the group. The legacy of this history is that most of us will go to great lengths to avoid social exclusion.
One is that the behavior of others might convince us that our initial judgment was erroneous; the other is that conformity often secures our place within a group. This can be inferred from the fact that there was very little conformity when participants were allowed to respond privately.
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. Presenting two sides shows more objectivity, but also that the issue is controversial. On average the more one person is leaning towards the argument of the communicator, the more the one-sided argument will be effective and vice versa. Order of presentation go first or last?
If the election is imminent and there is a coffe break between speeches, speak second the primacy effect is mitigated by the break and the latency effect is strongest with the election nearby. For a complete guide on when to go first or last, check this post.
Audience Characteristics Self-esteem Individual with low self-esteem are more easily influenced than high self-esteem people. Low self-esteem people are less likely to experience internal conflict between themselves and the communicator and more likely to go along with the speaker. Political Orientation Conservative have a greater need of managing uncertainty and threats and are more influences by appeals to fear and black and white arguments.
The author says that liberal respond to more nuanced and fact-based arguments. Prior Experiences What happens before the communication impacts the influencing power of the communication. Eating good food or being in good mood are more conducive to influencing. Telling people that there will be an attempt to influence decreases the influencing power also read: Pre-Suasion.
Focus On The Message or distraction People who were distracted during the influencing message experienced more changes in their opinions.
Amount of Information Adding too much information can dilute the power of the message. When people are presented with a watered down message which they can refuse themselves, they are more able to resist a bigger influencing attack later on. Answering with violence and aggression with violence and aggression is likely to lead to a self-reinforcing cycle.
Retaliation almost always exceeds the initial offense because the pain we receive feels more intense than the pain we inflict. And even if we induce more pain than we received, we will justify each increased round of aggression by blaming the victim and convincing ourselves that they deserve it all. Also behaving aggressively increases testosterone, which in turn contributes to further escalation.
There will never be a war to end all war Click To Tweet. Women display much lower physical aggression but they seem to engage in more forms of social aggression. Nikki Crick and her associates call it relational aggression. This includes activities such as:.
The Social Animal: Summary & Review in PDF (Elliot Aronson 11th Ed)
Is the difference in gender aggression style biological or cultural? Evidence points to both biology and cultural. For example, Australians women showed greater evidence of physical aggressiveness than Swedish and Korean men. Alcohol works as a disinhibitor. It reduces social fears and makes us less cautios. But there is more than that. Alcohol also makes us more socially stupid. When something happens we respond to the earliest and most obvious cues and miss all the subtleties.
So for example if someone steps on our toes we react to the pain as if it were purposefully inflictes instead of consider the situation and the excuses that we received. The Social Animal dedicates space to the question of violence and rioting to attract media attention to social injustice. Aronson says that in an apathetic society it can work to attract attention indeed. However, violence rarely leads to a rectification of what was wrong. There will never be a riot to end all injustice Click To Tweet.
Many authors say that the best way to change our beliefs is to exposing ourselves to many instances that prove our belief wrong. Basically, they tell themselves they are just running into exceptions. One form of sexism antagonizes woman. The other one seems benevolent and seem to favor women but is actually patronizing.
Sometimes the information would be too complex for our brain otherwise, and even when it might be not, we still have a tendency to save as much cognitive power as possible. However, the specifics of prejudice are learned.
In ambiguous situations people tend to choices and attributions consistent with their stereotypes. Elliot Aronson dedicates a long chapter on prejudice, what affects prejudice and how to effectively combat prejudice. Not only we feel manipulated, but also like the praiser is attempting to limit our freedom by trying to trap us.
They will convince themselves that we must be very deserving fellas. Aronson summarizes the findings saying that praise and favors do not always have a positive effect. How they impact liking and influencing depends on the situation. But we will like average people less when they make mistakes. Evidence suggests that that the more insecure we feel, the more we will like people who like us and compliment us.
People with low confidence will also seek less attractive partners because they want to minimize the risk of rejection.
People who are more secure of themselves are less needy and less easily swayed by a smooth talker. Social exclusion and rejection cause physical symptoms while social contact can make us physically healthier. We like people who like us, but even more we like people who grow their opinion of. Thus starting from negative and going into positive is more powerful than always staying positive.
To be effective though the change must concern the same traits and it must gradual ie.: People fall in love with those who are near them. The major factor of love is proximity. The second most important one is similarity in values, attitudes, beliefs and personalities.
Sharing intimate and personal aspects of ourselves, both positive and negative, helps the development of close relationships. Honest self-disclosure strengthen relationships Click To Tweet. But in love relationships that are always stable there is little to gain because our partner already loves us. And there is much to get hurt about because our partners are so important for us that a small criticism can take us down.
How to cure this conundrum? Honesty and authenticity! Honesty is the key to long term relationships , says Aronson. There is so much information here if you want to maximize your effectiveness with people. For example:.
People donate more and even gave bigger donations. Link to Self to Retain Information We have an egocentric memory. Such as, we remember better what we think is related to us. Leveraging Cognitive Dissonance To induce positive attitudes toward an object or opinion, get people to commit themselves to the object or opinion.
If you want people to harden or soften their moral attitudes, respectively tempt without them committing or tempt them enough that they commit the deed themselves.
For example the author say that US residents in the south have a bigger sense of honor and are more likely to get into gunfights because in the past a reputation for being tough was useful to protect their kettle. Well, that might be the case indeed, but how can we be sure?
Later it says that our mind is predisposed to stereotyping -and thus prejudice- because our ancestors needed to quickly assess friends VS foes, members of a friendly tribe and members of enemy tribes. Again, these are mental lucubration that do seem to make sense, but they are not science. What if instead he asked if there were even the tiniest inborn differences among different ethnical groups? I feel The Social Animal could have made a footnote for some of those thornier aspects. Not Always Purely Scientific The author at times jump in with his opinion and views.
Some other times, it felt a bit moralistic for a scientific text. The example is the criticism on a society showing how violent solutions are both predominant and violent, like for example with Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Bond becoming negative, in his opinion cultural icons.
Small Samples in Scientific Method Explanation The last chapter of The Moral Animal is dedicated to explaining the scientific method in social psycholgoy.
The author explains that the correct method is to have two random groups which will make sure that we can only measure one variable.
However, he does not talk about size of the groups, and sometimes his examples have very small number.Rogers and Steven Prentice-Dunn He presented a discussion of three separate functions: One is the archival function; the journal serves as a permanent body of knowledge so that 50 years from now when people want to know what was going on in social psychology in the s, they can look in the back issues of the journals.
We like people who like us, but even more we like people who grow their opinion of. More specifically, he has provided me with invaluable insights and suggestions about changes to be made in both the ninth and the tenth editions of this book and has done some of the writing and integrating of the new material.
And, because redundancy is an occupational hazard in the teaching game, I must admit with a blush that it is almost certainly not the last redundancy you will need to put up with. Subjects ranged in educational level from one who had not finished elementary school, to those who had doctorate and other professional degrees. Charlie, a high-school senior, has recently moved to a new city. When reality is difficult to assess indeed individual conforms to the group not out of fear of punishment and exclusion, but because the group supplies the only viable information experiments on littering in a parking lot to show conformity to social norms: people kept the place clean if it was clean.
But when tested empirically this assumption turns out to be wrong.