Social Psychology: Compliance and Group Effects on Performance

Social Psychology: Compliance and Group Effects on Performance


Let’s talk about something slightly less
intense but no less important because it happens to all others as well, you want to get somebody’s compliance? Of
course you do, at times you want people’s compliance. You want them to do what you want them to do. And at times they want you to do what they want you to do. They try to get your compliance. These
right here are principles, used in sales. In fact, I told you the other day, I’ve been in three sales, high pressure sales situations, and I resisted all of them. And at the end of
the session I recommend that they all buy
the book, ‘Influence: Science & Practice,’ by Robert
Cialdini, because I know what you’re doing. I know how you’re doing it. I know why you’re doing it even if you don’t know why you’re doing it. I know why it works most of the time and
that’s where you get some practical out of these lectures. Now you know, foot in the door, door in the face, flip sides. Agreeing to a lesser
commitment we’re more likely, then, to agree to a
larger commitment. So related to low balling. Given a great
deal. So what’s a low-ball? You got a salesperson, they say here’s this brand new
awesome car, your’re interested in a brand new awesome car,
let’s say the car cost twenty-five thousand dollars list price, and they say, ‘today I could get it to you
for $18,000, $18,000, and you’re like, ‘wow that is a deep discount. And they don’t just say that, then they get you in the car, and they drive you around in
the car, and they say, man you’re going to look sharp going around in your new car. They start talking about it like it is your car. And you get back to the sales dealership office and start producing papers, and then you sign that you’re willing to
buy this car. You’ve now made a commitment to $18,000 on this car. They’ve got you in. Then the sales person says, “I’ll be right back.” Goes out, probably sits at the water cooler for a few minutes, and come back in with a forlorn face, “oh, I’m so sorry, it’s my mistake.” The manager says I’m not authorized to offer that, I screwed up, I’m not allowed to sell this car for
$18,000, the best I can do is $21,500. Now you go, “That’s a lot more than what I
just agreed to,” but, you just agreed to it. Ratcheting it up, they go well, it’s still substantially less
than 25, you’re still getting a really good deal. Guess you’re right. It is a nice car and
you’ve got people more likely then to buy it at $21,500. And then when you’ve
committed to that number, they might say, well would you like an under body coat? Would you like air condition? Would you like a radio? Would you like keys? A few little fees, a little thing here and there, and pretty soon you’re about up where
they would have offered it to you anyway, but now you’ve actually committed to buying
it. Door in the face, start with a large, unreasonable request, which is going to be turned down, but if you’re the requester you know it’s going to be turned down. And then a smaller commitment
looks much more reasonable by comparison, and if
you got consistency thing going, we all like to see ourselves as generous for example right? So if I say, “could you donate a hundred
dollars to my cause?” Most people will say, “Lord no, I don’t have a hundred dollars to spare.” I mean it’s a really worthy cause of course, I support it in
spirit, but I can’t give you a hundred
dollars for it. And they go, ‘ok, ok, well…well what about 5?’ Compared to 100, 5 seems really reasonable. And you’re more likely to get the five
than if you had come right out and asked for five to begin with. In fact there’s
a thing called “legitimization of paltry sums.” Where if you tell people, you go up asking
for money, and if you say, “even a penny would help.” It’s harder in the day of plastic, because people don’t carry so much cash, but if you would say, “even a penny would
help.” Who sees themselves as so stingy that they wouldn’t give a penny to a good cause? And guess what? They give more often, and they give more than a
penny, and they give more on average than the
control group of people just ask to give whatever they can. Legitimizing a paltry sum gets you more
compliance. It gets more of what you’re after. So if
your’re a salesperson, and you might be, remember I told you, you
people in health behavior change right? Doctors, physical therapists,
nurses, mental health, you want people to change,
you want them to comply. So compliance can be benevolent it doesn’t always have to be used in a self, uh, in a selfish way. Social facilitation, or inhibition, is related
to a thing I’ve talked about in another seminar on study skills, excuse me, anxiety, which is the Yerkes-Dotson performance, arousal graph, inverted U. You have the worst
performance at low arousal and really high arousal at the best
performances with medium arousal. Social facilitation and inhibition means
that our performance on any given task is
affected by the presence, or non present of other people. Social influence at its purest. Other
people just being there affects your abilities in a way that is
measurable. When a task is simple and well learned and you would have low arousal on it anyway knowing that your best performances
meaning arousal, having other people around actually
raises your level of arousal. If other people are watching you there’s
a social pressure to perform, it increases your arousal and you’re able
to perform better than you might have otherwise. But if a
task is complex or unfamiliar a person’s performance is hindered because of
the presence of others. So if it’s hard to do it, and other people
around you, you still get that boost in arousal, but now it’s too high because
you are already challenged to do the task, having other
people around watching you do the task puts you past the prime middle-level that you would try to
achieve. Tim Smith was a basketball player here at ETSU, and I went to a basketball game here at which he was almost guaranteed to
break a school record in points scored. And it was interesting. and I can’t attribute it directly to this because it wasn’t an experiment, but it seem to apply to me.
The whole crowd knew he was gonna make this record happen tonight. He was a stellar performer, obviously, or he
wouldn’t be in that territory to begin with. But the first half of the game, he performed poorly, he did not sink the
baskets, he did not make the simple shots. He was doing really badly and people
were getting agitated, I mean, what was happening? He knew everybody expected him to sink baskets. Now just by enough times to the hoop, he broke the
record and after that he was fine. He performed just like he had always
performed after that. The pressure to break the record was off. Where did the
pressure come from? It came from outside, everybody cheering, or uuuuuuggh, again, and inside, It’s a social inhibition that was
happening, and as soon as he went past that mark, he was
probably facilitated by everybody cheering and and being very jubilant that he had done this
amazing task. Social loafing, ya’ll know this, in group work, when people are in groups, they give less effort than they would if they were alone. Right, not everybody, there’s usually that type A+ person, all wound up anal retentive, who’s going to do all the work for the whole group to make sure they get that A, and most people are happy let him do it, right? Because most
people don’t give their full effort. They did an interesting physical task that demonstrated this well
which was tug-of-war, right? Pulling on a rope, measuring the pressure, pounds per
square inch that each individual could muster on their own pulling the rope. So you have
an objective number. What is the person capable of doing on their own? Well you get now a group of those people
together and you should know exactly what they can do as a group. Well what they found is they did far less
than that. They didn’t do what they theoretically could do
as a group, because when in a group, we do less.
There’s less responsibility placed directly on us, less social pressure to perform, and we
compensate by allowing other people to do the
things that we came to do. It’s a diffusion of responsibility. The diffusion of responsibility’s the tendency
to feel less personally responsible for a task when it’s
spread across members of a group. Now that has practical significance when
you’re actually working with members of a group in a
work environment, or in a school environment, because now you know they’re not just
being lazy, they’re being human. This is what we human beings do when in these situations with other people, we do less. If you’re pointed out as
responsible and your’re personally accountable for the
outcome you’ll do more, because now the pressure is directed at
you, but when it’s the group it’s not me it’s we. We did this, or we didn’t do
that, not me.

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