Social Psychology: Group Information Processing, Deindividuation, Altruism, Bystander Effect, and…

Social Psychology: Group Information Processing, Deindividuation, Altruism, Bystander Effect, and…


And that diffusion of responsibility leads to some very interesting things in group processing, which is why they don’t want
psychologists all on juries. Even though they call them
anyway. Even though I may have to go and serve, they’ll probably let me go because I
know that diffusion of responsibility will cause group polarization. Because I’m not personally responsible.
What you see is in groups. Whatever is the prevailing opinion, it
doesn’t get debated objectively, it becomes stronger. With more people
agreeing you have that conformity effect. And it’s not me
making decisions, it’s us making decisions. Now I’m not personally responsible for making a severe decision.
We came to the decision. Group think is something that is a compound word
without a hyphen in our jargon. And it happens the desire for group
harmony overrides the need for objective
discussion, suppresses dissent. People don’t dissent
because they don’t want to rock the boat. There’s a discomfort
in rocking the boat for most people. Now some people got a personality, they’re always
devil’s advocate. They don’t mind agitating everybody else. But
most of us like to be liked remember? We like other people to like us, its easier
to go along to get along, and people do that. So if you want to have
objectivity you gotta be mindful of these group effects. So it turns out that this happens in all kinds of
situations. I don’t know if you were going to take a test on this concept, if somebody was to offer you the example of a group of people, home owners
association, getting together and they say “let’s plant some bushes out
by the opening of the subdivision,” and everybody likes the person who puts forward the idea. And some
person’s thinking, “well gosh, in couple years they’ll grow up and they’ll obscure our
view, and we won’t be able see down either side because the bushes will obstruct our view, and maybe that’s not
such a good idea but, but because nobody seems to be objecting,
because nobody else seems to have a problem with it, because everybody likes what’s going
on, they tend to go along to get along. Even though they have reservations, just
like in Asch’s lie experiment, they just go along. So the group decisions may, well I didn’t decide it,
I thought that there was a problem with it, did you voice that problem? Well no, but I figured if it was a problem other people would have voiced it. And there you have that issue, the risky
shift then, is the tendency for a group decision
to be riskier than the average decision made by individual group members. Jurys are subject to this. The pressure is to
find a unanimous decision, or you don’t go home. You don’t go home until you come up with
the unanimous decision or until we figure it’s been so long
that we will allow a hung jury. The pressure’s to just agree, even if you
don’t, even if you have subtle reservations in
criminal cases it’s beyond the shadow of a doubt do you know how hard it is to established right? If it was beyond
a shadow of a doubt we probably wouldn’t be a trial. There probably would have plea bargained. If we’re at trial, there’s probably some doubts, otherwise, the defense would never mount a defense.
They wouldn’t bring it to trial. So now there’s gray areas but there’s this
idea that you have to agree. Space shuttle challenger blew-up. Blew up in mid-air while millions watched on TV. Horrifying
tragedy. it took them while to figure out what it
was, but it turned out they knew that was a problem. O rings, external fuel tanks, and the
temperature launched that day. The pressure on NASA to launch was great,
the social pressure, they were behind schedule, they’re over budget,
There’s engineer says those O-rings trouble me. In fact there there’s a number of them.
They trouble us. Because under certain conditions they
might fail. But what had happened every time before hand?
Success. success, success, success, we had already
delayed it, we’ve delayed again, it’s now a very, very,
cool morning, and ya’ll know what happens to materials on
cold mornings? They contract. They had actually discussed this. But the group, including higher-ups, having discussed it, reached the decision… we have to be a go for launch. Everything that we’ve worked for is now
being called into question. We need to do this, and by making that
risky decision it was tragedy. But it wasn’t one person being a total ass, totally disregarding
the safety, they all cared about the safety of the
astronauts, right? They were deeply concerned they
just were able to overlook this one thing that turned out to be the
only thing that mattered that day because of this process. How do riots start? ever say to yourself, “man I’d like to get in a riot.” I sure would like to be in a riot. You
think you could even start a riot if you wanted to? Yea, some of you might be able to. Riots are the seemingly organic things that just come out…..not nowhere. There’s usually a lot of pressure, a lot of tension, a lot of other variables going on. I am going to finish up with this, y’all hang with me, we’ve got four minutes total left, but if you
could hang with me a minute or two longer, we’ll be done with this material
today. But in a crowd you’re less identifiable. It’s harder to know who you are. When you
see these giant riots at sports stadiums, or after the big game is over and the team won
and in they’re flipping over cars, or the team lost and they’re flipping over
cars right. When you finally get people accountable, individuals,
because now we have things like cameras everywhere, right. Before you got caught up in a riot,
nobody ever knew you were in a riot, but now they can find you, and when you pull
these people in for questioning they don’t go, “you know what I love rioting man, I’m a riot…mo..f..” What do they say? They say, “I don’t know what happened, I got caught up in the moment.” I got
caught up in the moment I’m not like that. I don’t usually do
things like that. I don’t know what came over me. It wasn’t
really me that night. Maybe I had a few drinks, but everybody else
was doing it, and I got caught up in the moment. People
do things they wouldn’t normally do on alcohol, in large crowds, and behind masks. There’s good
research that shows just putting on a mask people will behave differently if they can’t be identified. When you’re
in a giant crowd, and the crowd’s acting a certain way it’s very easy. The bystander effect
comes from diffusion of responsibility. There’s a book out on this, Kitty
Genovese’s incidents now and I bought it. It was told poorly the
first time, not accurately by the news source that did it,
but here’s the thing: this woman was murdered. It took 32 minutes. At least around 38
people or so heard it, or saw it, give me a minute if you don’t mind, we’re still two minutes before the end of class. Usually we end two minutes before the end
of class. And didn’t do anything. At one point somebody
yelled out the window and the guy ran away. And you know what he did? No cops came, he came back and continued to stabbed her to death. She didn’t die at the scene, she died later
on the way to the hospital. And the story got out and the story got told like this. All these people in New York
watched this person get killed they didn’t do anything. Bystander apathy, people just don’t care. Living in the big
city desensitizes you, makes you less of a human being, and that
was the explanation for a lot of people. The bystander apathy. We call it bystander effect now
because it turns out you can make it happen. In experimental
situations it’s the way human beings behave. Not
everybody saw what was happening, not everybody knew what to make of it,
not everybody was sure they heard what they heard, that they were hearing something, maybe it was an argument between lovers, and it’s nothing I’m supposed to get my.. you know, mind your own business kind of a thing.
People didn’t know what to make of it, it was an ambiguous situation. So Latane & Darley created an ambiguous
situation and put people in it experimentally. they don’t know that they’re is it
experimentally. A smoke filled room study. You can find it on YouTube, what happens? You go into a room to fill out some surveys,
and through the vent, smoke starts coming in. Smoke starts coming in the room. Now, smoke comes in the room, you think, well I’ll get up and talk to somebody about that. I’m going to say something. And if people were alone, they did just that. They did just that. But the mere presence
of other people, diffusion of responsibility, the people in
three-person groups took on average 4 minutes before they did
anything. At that point you’ve got peak response
levels in the other group of one person. And only ten percent did. By the time here six minutes in, not even half the people
have even mentioned this. What do you see when you have an
emergency? You see other people standing around doing what? Nothing. Well then there may not be an
emergency so let me hit you with this real quick How many people had red cross for first-aid training? Certified in it. What do they tell you do? Here’s the thing you do. If you notice an emergency, you don’t treat it as ambiguous. You go up to
the person, it’s your job, you’ve been trained to do it, you carry a card that says you are doing it,
and you go and ask them, “sir, maam, are you okay? Are you okay?” Right, you take
take responsibility. In other words the training tells you it’s your job to interpret whether
it’s an emergency or not, and here’s thing. When people are around, its not that they don’t care, it’s that they don’t know what to do or
think somebody else is more qualified to do it, or they’re not sure something’s up. What do they tell you to do when you know somebody’s down and they’re hurt? They say this, this, you call 911 and you go get the AED
machine. And guess what happens when you do that? They do it. Social influence. You all have a great day, that’s all we’re going to hit.

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