Social processes that influence human behavior

How the Presence of Others Affects Individual Behavior (PSY)

  • Social facilitation: people perform simple tasks better when in the presence of others. Eg. you can hike longer when with other people, or you study better when you have a study buddy. This rule does not apply for complex tasks since you might get nervous and mess up.
  • Deindividuation: this is basically mob mentality. When you're in a mob, you're not longer an individual thinker, and you'll end up doing bad stuff that you won't if you were alone. Eg. You usually don't steal, but one day you're in the middle of a mob looting a store, you are more likely to loot also.
  • Bystander effect: someone get's attacked, and all the bystanders do nothing. The more bystanders there are, the less likely someone helps out.
  • Social loafing: you pitch in less effort on a group project than an individual project.
  • Social control (SOC): ways to prevent anarchy
    • informal control: unenforced social norms. Eg. You don't tell jokes at a funeral.
    • formal control: stuff you can be prosecuted for. Such as vandalism.
  • Peer pressure (PSY, SOC): you want to be accepted by society, so you do stuff that your peers do.
  • Conformity (PSY, SOC): Changing your behavior because of peer pressure.
  • Obedience (PSY, SOC): Changing your behavior because of authority.

Group Decision-making Processes (PSY, SOC)

  • Group polarization (PSY): when you're in a group, you tend to make more extreme decisions, do more extreme things. For example, a group of liberals discussing over issues - the conversation will get more and more liberal.
  • Groupthink: when you're in a group, you tend to go with the flow and shut away your individual reasoning. This leads to poor decision making as a group.

Normative and Non-normative Behavior (SOC)

  • Social norms (PSY, SOC)
    • Sanctions (SOC): punishment for not conforming to social norms. Eg. Shame and ridicule of the individual.
    • Folkways, mores, and taboos (SOC)
      • Folkway: a casual social norm. Eg. Burping at a dinner table.
      • Mores: a more coercive social norm than folkways. Eg. Going out naked.
      • Taboo: most severe social norm. Eg. Incest.
    • Anomie (SOC): the lack or undermining of social norms. Eg. Individualism, social inequity, isolation.
  • Deviance: violation of social norms.
    • Perspectives on deviance (e.g., differential association, labeling theory, strain theory)
      • Differential association: associating with deviant people causes you to become deviant too. This can promote social change.
      • labeling theory: labeling people affects their self image, and can lead to either more conformity or deviance. For example, labeling someone as a pothead can either cause them to stop smoking because they are ashamed of being a pothead. Or, they can embrace the label and say, yep, that's what I do.
      • Strain theory: social structure can pressure people to commit crime. Eg. A lower class at the bottom of society, with all the discrimination associated with it, pressures that individual to steal.
  • Aspects of collective behavior (e.g., fads, mass hysteria, riots)
    • Fad: a short-lived trend, a "thing". Eg. Beanie babies.
    • Mass hysteria: rumors and fears affecting a group of people. Eg. Witch hunt.
    • Riot: a group of people vandalize the streets because of they are not happy at society.

Socialization (PSY, SOC)

  • Agents of socialization (e.g., the family, mass media, peers, workplace): you learn the norms of society by interacting with these agents.