Every individual is born with its own individuality, behavior and perceptions. Each of them have particular motives, ambitions, perception and abilities. The behavior of each individual is influenced by several factors. The behavior is molded according to oneself and the influence from others. The factors that influence individual’s behavior are the personal factors, environmental factors, organizational behavior, biographical factors etc. In the particular essay a description about how the individual behaviour is affected by the co action effects and audience effects; the three process of social influence are compliance, identification and internalization; the idea of conformity, the types of conformity; the theories and the research of Miligram on the obedience, the ethical issues of Miligram’s research; the independent behavior of an individual, how it decreases or increases and the evaluation of the researches.
Individual’s performance is dependent on his/her behavior. Social facilitation is known as the improvement in the performance of an individual by the mere presence of others. It consists of two kinds of social facilitation. First is the coaction effects and the audience effects. The evidences and researches on social facilitation concern the extent to which a given piece of an individual's behavior is affected by the real, imagined or implied presence of others. The theory suggests that the mere or imagined presence of people in social situations creates an atmosphere of evaluation. The co-action effect is the effect that increases the task performance by the mere presence of others doing the same work. The co action effect comes to operation when an individual works more efficiently in a library or an office as compared to home where it is equally (McLeod, 2011). Social facilitation occurs not only in the presence of a co-actor but also in the presence of a passive spectator/audience. This is known as the audience effect. Studies found that the presence of an audience facilitated subjects' multiplication performance by increasing the number of simple multiplications completed. It was found out well trained workers works more better in the presence of spectators. Evidences also show that with some individual there is opposite audience effect, the performance is decreased and more number of trials are required by such people. The extent of social facilitation or inhibition depends upon the nature of the interaction between the task and the performer (Thompson, 2009). It is not the presence that is important, social facilitation depends upon the apprehension of being evaluated by others. The approval and disapproval are often dependent on others’ evaluations and so the presence of others triggers an acquired arousal drive based on evaluation anxiety.
Social influences majorly occur when the individual’s opinion, emotions or the behaviors are affected by the others. The social influences occurs in various forms and can be seen if form of conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales and marketing. two psychological needs that lead humans to conform to the expectations of others (Mugny et al, 2008). They are two psychological needs of a human being the need to be right (informational social influence), and the need to be liked (normative social influence) According to psychologist, Herbert Kelman there are three broad varieties of social influence or the process of attitude change. These are:
Compliance is the act of responding favorably to an explicit or implicit request offered by others. It is the change of the behavior not necessarily an attitude change. An individual can comply due to reasons like mere obedience or by holding one’s thought due to social pressure (Aronson, 2010). The satisfaction derived from compliance is due to the feeling of being influenced by the acceptance by others. Identification is the change of attitude or behavior due to the influence of someone that is liked. For example the advertisements that are done by celebrities to market the products take up the advantage of this phenomena (Sussman & Gifford, 2013). The desired relationship relationship that the identifier relates with the behavior or attitude change is the reward according to Kelman. Third is Internalization which is the process of accepting a set of norms that are established by people or groups which are influential to the individual. The individual accepts the influence because the content of the influence accepted is intrinsically rewarding. It is congruent with the individual’s value system, and according to Kelman the “reward” of internalization is “the content of the new behavior”.
There is another type of social influence called conformity. Conformity is a type of social influence which involves change of believe or behavior so as to oneself in a group. It is the essential social mechanism existing in the society. Examples of the conformity are driving on the left side of the road, whenever meeting anyone greeting them with hello, forming a line at the counters, eating with a spoon. This conformed behavior are expected by us and are bound to others and oneself too. However it does not mean that individual can not live independently and have independent behaviour, but these social norms are essential mechanism for social change. Examples of failure to conform which has led to social change include the suffragette movement, civil rights activists in countries with oppressive regimes, and fashion trend-setters (Haugh & Vaughan, 2005). Two types of conformity are there informational conformity (also called internalization) and normative conformity (also called compliance). The compliance conformity tells a public conformity to a group majority or a norm while the individual continues to privately disagree or dissent, holding on to their original beliefs or an alternative set of beliefs differing from the majority. Compliance appears as conformity but there is a division between the public and the private self. Example of it is an individual posing straight in front of public but in reality is a gay (Cialdini & Goldstein, 2004). Internalisation conformity is the outward as well as inward behaviour. In this an individual takes up the view points of a group and makes them their own views. In this they conforms as they have believe in the group’s view points (Forsyth, 2013). For example adapting vegetarian food habits as the people around believes that harming animal is wrong.
There are so many theories performed to study that why does the people conform. One theory of conformism is based on the Solomon Asch conformity experiments (Milligram & Stanley, 2003). This theory describes the fundamental relationship among the reference groups and person. It tells that if an individual is incapable or not expert to follow a decision especially in a situational crisis leaves the decision to the group and its hierarchy and obeys there actions and views (Blass & Thomas, 2004). One of it is Milgram experiment based on the obedience to the authority figures. It was performed by Yale University. They measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience. Milgram's experiments suggested that the millions of accomplices were merely following orders, despite violating their moral beliefs. The interpretation of the Milligram experiment was that he came up with agentic state theory. It states that essence of the obedience comes up with the fact that an individual views itself as a instrument to carry out the wishes of the another individual and therefore they do not take them responsible for the actions done by them (Wu & William, 2007).
Milgram was interested in researching how far people would go in obeying an instruction if it involved harming another person. Stanley Milgram was interested in how easily ordinary people could be influenced into committing atrocitiesThe Milgram Shock Experiment was raised against the ethic questions. The questions were against the ethics of scientific experimentation as the extreme emotional stress and inflicted insight was suffered by the participants. The ethical questions raised by the people against the Miligram experiment were as follows:
Deception – the individual’s who participated believed that they shocking a real person, and were e fact the learner was a conedfederate of Milgram's.
Protection of participants: The individual were exposed to high stress situations that may cause psychological harm to them. Many of the participants were visibly distressed. They faced so much of stress that they trembled, sweated, laughed in nervousness, bit their nails. 3 of the participants had had uncontrollable seizures. To defend himself Miligram said these stressful conditions were of short duration (Parker & Ian, 2000).
Right to Withdrawal : The experiment did not had any options like the right to withdrawal any time whenever required. The The experimenter gave four verbal prods which essentially discouraged withdrawal from the experiment:Please continue, The experiment requires that you continue, It is absolutely essential that you continue, You have no other choice, you must go on.
Milgram in defense said that the study was about obedience so orders were necessary (Shanab & Yahaya, 2008).
Independent behaviour are the beahviour’s in which an individual resist pressure to conform to the majority or resists the pressures to obey the orders given up by authority. It is not basically what can be said anti conformity that is actively acting against the orders but it is conforming oneself. An example of independent behavior is a person actively behaving in a way in which he does what he feel is right and the actions that pleases him are performed. This kind of behaviour is sometime same as the behaviour of the majority (Elizabeth, Minton & Lyn, 2014). They can also be a person who follows the order if he feels that the order is right and justified in case any time they feel the order is not justified they disobey the orders. The individual behavior is increased when orders are given to them, especially the ones by which they disagree and they feel that particular orders are not justified. In such cases they adopt independent behavior and or whatever they want to do. The independent behavior decreases when the orders given to them are the ones to which the individual agrees, he/she feels the orders given are right and according to them they are justified perfectly. In such cases the individual goes with the majority and follow the orders but however in a way somewhere or the other he is acting independently also by following the orders and going on with the majority (Levitis, Daniel; William,Lidicker, & Freund , 2009). This is merely due to the fact that the view points of the majority as well as the view points in his mind are exactly the same. Independent behavior is a trait that is seen in individual who feel that they are right.
There are various limitations on the researches that were performed for the independent behaviour of the individuals. The first limitation is that the researches lacks a ecological validity as they were performed under the artificial circumstances and in the lab conditions. Thus they fail to give the findings of a real life setting as, as people do not usually receive orders to hurt another person in real life. The findings are sometime biased as they focus on a particular group especially and thus fail to provide the findings based on the majority. The researches posed artificial situation and are far away from the real life situations. The participants some were knew that they are not in real time situations so it lacked the findings that would be purely restricted to the human behavior. The findings which came up were some what imaginary and molded up (Sherman & Gokrin, 2008). The researches didn’t give the idea about how to judge the independent behavior like in what circumstances that individual behavior can be permanently changed. All the situations created have low possibilities to happen in real life thus the participants ideas and the actions were more of imaginary and descripted ones. They researches fail to give the participants the felling or real life situations.
Summing up it can be said the individual behavior is a mixture of the individual thoughts idea, views and the perception or the view points that an individual forms when he/she is influenced by a person or a group. The social facilitation is the only thing which can improves an individual’s behavior as he /she knows that he/she will be judged accordingly (Forges & William, 2001). The researches that have been performed are able to tell us and predict the behavior of the human according to the situation to some extend. The social influence and norms has bound humans to follow the social rules and conform the social ideas as they live in a society and are not allowed to breach the social norms. A milligram experiment based on obedience tells the hidden reality that why individual’s obey. Although this research has gained some ethical questions but it was beneficial. The independent behavior of an individual is the behavior that is dependent on one’s own choice, preferences and to the things by which the individual is pleased.
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