Today's Topics

* Persuasion
    - Attitude Inoculation
    - Reactance Theory
* Conformity
    - Social Impact Theory
    - Minority Influence

Attitude Inoculation

* You can make people immune to the persuasive attempts of others

* How?  Expose them to small doses of attitudes against their position

* Example: College information sessions where they warn you about what rival schools will say

Reactance Theory

* Persuasion can also backfire

* When people feel their freedom and independence is restricted, they often go out of their way to do the forbidden behavior

* Example: Almost everything your parents ever told you when you were in high school

Social Impact Theory

* Whether or not you conform depends on three key issues:

* Strength of the group, or how important it is to you

* Immediacy, or how close the group is to you physically during the influence attempt

* Size of the group

Social Impact Theory: Group Strength

* The more important to you the group is, the more likely you are to conform

* A fraternity/sorority you spent a great deal of time and effort to join would be likely to elicit conformity

* The study group your professor assigned you to against your will is not

Social Impact Theory: Group Immediacy

* The more immediate a group's presence is, the more likely it is to elicit conformity

* If youíre in the room and a vote is conducted via a show of hands, conformity seems likely

* If the vote is taken via email, the pressure to conform is much weaker

Social Impact Theory: Group Size

* Groups of 3 or more are most likely to elicit conformity

* Beyond group size, unanimity is also important since a small, unanimous group can be more powerful than a large, fragmented one

Minority Influence

* Minority individuals/perspectives must be consistent in order to be compelling

* Minority individuals cannot exert normative pressures since they are not the "norm," so the influence is informational in nature when it does occur

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