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Social Interaction and Influence
Lecture 3
• What is social psychology?
• Types of social influence
• Experiments on social interaction and social
• Interpersonal interaction
Social Psychology …
… looks at a wide range of social topics, including group
behavior, social perception, leadership, nonverbal
behavior, conformity, aggression and prejudice.
Social Psychology …
• The horrors of the
Holocaust led
researchers to study the
effects of social
influence, conformity
and obedience.
Social Influence …
… the influences that people have upon the
beliefs or behavior of others.
Major Types of Social Influence
Harvard psychologist, Herbert Kelman identified
three major types of social influence:
Fear and Affiliate-choice Research
• They examined the
hypothesis that
individuals facing a fearinducing situation would
spend more time
affiliating for purposes of
social comparison than
would individuals facing
either embarrassing or
ambiguous situations.
The Social Comparison Theory
(Festinger, 1954)
• Humans have a drive to evaluate
themselves by examining their
opinions and abilities in
comparison to others.
• Two main types of comparisons
exist in social comparison:
upward and downward.
Conformity …
…is the process by which an individual's attitudes,
beliefs, and behaviors are influenced by other
Asch Conformity Experiment
Milgram Experiment
• The Milgram's experiment
was a series of social
psychology experiments
which measured the
willingness of study
participants …
• … to obey an authority
figure who instructed them
to perform acts that
conflicted with their
personal conscience.
Milgram Experiment
Friendship and Love
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Birds of feather flock together
Like will to like
Men are known by the company they keep
Every Jack must have his Jill
Who keeps company with the wolf will learn
to howl
Zick Rubin’s Research
• He was interested in the connection between
love and liking.
• Results:
1)Love is a very intense form of liking
2)Love and liking are different dimensions
Factors of Interpersonal Attraction
Territory closeness
Physical attractiveness
Mutual openness
Attributional bias …
• … is a term in social psychology that refers to a
tendency to attribute one's own action to
external causes, while attributing other
people's behaviors to internal causes.
A friend didn’t show up to a meeting with
• What caused your friend not to turn up?
• What is the main reason for this event?
• Yourself?
• Another person?
• Circumstances or chance?