Norms and conformity - summary of chapter 9 of Social Psychology by Smith, E, R (fourth edition)

Social psychologyChapter 9Norms and conformity What are social norms?Because people are profoundly influenced by others’ ideas and actions, interaction or communication causes group members’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to become more alike. Whether a judgment task is clear-cut or ambiguous, trivial or important, individual members’ views converge to form a social norm. Norms reflect the group’s generally accepted way of thinking, feeling, or acting.Social norms are similar to attitudes in that both are mental representations of appropriate ways of thinking, feeling, and acting.But whereas attitudes represent an individual’s positive or negative evaluations, norms reflect shared group evaluations of what is true or false, good or bad, appropriate or inappropriate.Descriptive social norms: agreed upon mental representations of what a group of people think, feel, or do.Injunctive social norms: agreed upon mental representations of what a group of people should think, feel or do.Most social norms have both qualities, because most people think, feel, or behave in a certain way that we think they should. When people act in the same way over and over again, they begin to think that they should act that way. Descriptive norms morph into injunctive norms.Public versus private conformityConformity: the convergence of individuals’ thoughts, feelings, or behavior toward a social norm.Occurs for two reasons:People believe that the group is rightThey want the group to accept and approve them.Most of...

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Social Psychology by Smith, E, R (fourth edition) a summary


This is a summary of the book Social Psychology by Smith. It is an introduction to social psychology and is about human behaviour in relation to groups and other humans. This book is used in the course 'Social psychology' in the first year of the study Psychology at the

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