THE SOCIAL ANIMAL BOOK PDF

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The Social Animal Book Pdf

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Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement Darwins Lost World The Hidden History Of Animal Life The Social Animal Books by Elliot Aronson Theories of Cognitive Consistency (with R. Abelson et al. ). communities. His latest book, The. Social Animal picks up where. Bobos left off, arriving at the same conclusions by a different route. Much of the book is devoted. Free Download The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement Best Book, Download Best Book The Social Animal: The Hidden.

The Character of Kinship. The Sources of Normativity. Darwin's Lost World: The Hidden History of Animal Life. The sources of value.

Narcissism and Character Transformation: The Psychology of Narcissistic Character Disorders. The Achievement of American Liberalism.

Twosomes- Love Poems from the Animal Kingdom. Readings about The Social Animal, 11th Edition.

Personal Effects: Character-Types of the Unbelievers. The character of physical law. The Thought and Character of William James. The self-serving bias is such an example. Basically, we take credit for the good and deny the bad. On occasions, individuals go with the flow of the majority even when they otherwise have strong personal reservations. Depending on the situations individuals might even deny what seem incontrovertible evidence of the truth if the group does the same Solomon Asch experiments on line lengths.

Over the course of twelve judgement, three quarters of the individuals conformed at least once with the majority even in the face of clearly wrong opinions. The amygdala is associated with pain and emotional discomfort, telling us that going against the group is painful. It depends. 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.

In compliance the behavior changes only until the group or threat is present albeit permanence can be increased with commitment to stay within the group and if we discover our changed behavior is good for us. In identification and internalization instead the behavioral change is permanent. Skepticism goes up not just with age but also with education. Usually there is a relation between exposure, or how often we are exposed to a commercial, and to how much we believe it to be true. For example: Slogans that rhyme convince us more Clever nicknames ie.

The author summarize the research on the source of communication as such: Individuals who are both expert and trustworthy influence us. Trustworthiness and effectiveness can be increased if he argues a position opposed to his or her self-interest and does not seem to be trying to influence our opinion. It evokes an image of a row of bureaucratic men dressed in gray flannel suits, carrying identical briefcases, looking as though they had been created by a cookie cutter.

But we can use synonymous words that convey very different images. For individualist or nonconformist we can substitute deviate; for conformist we can substitute team player. Somehow, deviate does not evoke Daniel Boone on the mountaintop, and team player does not evoke the cookie cutter—produced bureaucrat.

When we look a little closer, we see an inconsistency in the way our society seems to feel about conformity team playing and nonconformity deviance. 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.

The Social Animal

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.

The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement

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.

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.

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement

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.

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.

The Social Animal: Summary & Review in PDF (Elliot Aronson 11th Ed)

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.Specifically, what was in it for Sam?

The Social Animal is a moving and nuanced intellectual adventure, a story of achievement and a defense of progress. Trustworthiness and effectiveness can be increased if he argues a position opposed to his or her self-interest and does not seem to be trying to influence our opinion.

Stay in Touch Sign up. Indeed, research on jaywalking indicates that people will conform more often to the behavior of a seemingly high-status person than to the behavior of someone who looks less respectable or less well-to-do. By now psychological biases have become such a popular hit in pop-psychology books that I will skip them here.

Thus, the Social Animal's explanations of human behavior are largely validated with citations of studies done by researchers of social psychology.

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