Social Psychology


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Power to the Person

Ψ  Social situations influence the individual & individuals influence social situations. They interact!

Ψ  The interaction of persons & situations occurs in at least 3 ways:

1. Social situations affect different people differently
 2. People often choose their situations
  3. People often create their situations

Ψ  The reciprocal causation between people & their situations allow us to see people as either reacting to or acting upon their environment. Each way of looking at it is correct for "We are both products & architects of our social worlds." - unknown.

   •  "The essence of reactance is rebellion." - unknown

Ψ  Psychological Reactance: People act to protect their sense of freedom. Attempts to restrict a person's freedom often produce an anti conformity "boomerang effect".

Ψ  Asserting Uniqueness: People feel uncomfortable when they appear too different from others. In Individualistic cultures like ours people also feel uncomfortable when they appear exactly like everyone else. We seek distinctiveness.

   •  "All history is a record of the power of minorities, and of minorities of one." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ψ  Minority Influence: a form of social influence, which takes place when a majority is being influenced to accept the beliefs or behavior of a minority.

Ψ  Determinants of Minority Influence:

1. Consistency: A minority that sticks to its position can become highly influential. This is largely because, even if not popular, it will soon become the focus of the debate, & the position supported by the most arguments usually wins.
2. Self-confidence: Self-assurance may raise self-doubt in others, hence prompting them to re-consider their position. This is especially true for matters of attitude, more so than for matters of fact.
3. Defection from the Majority: A persistent minority punctures any illusions of unanimity & thus allows majority members greater freedom to express their own doubts & even change position.

   •  "A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd. " - James Crook

Ψ  Leadership: "The ability of an individual to influence, motivate, & enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness & success of the organizations of which they are members."

•  Task Leaders: good at organizing work, setting standards, & goal attainment focus. Often have a directive style of leadership.

•  Social Leaders: good at building team work, mediating conflicts, & being supportive. Often have a democratic style of leadership.

Ψ  Effective Leaders:

1. engender trust by consistently sticking to their goals.
 2. exude a self-confident charisma that makes loyal followers.
  3. have a compelling vision for the future.
   4. high level communication skills.
    5. the ability to inspire.

Social Psychology
  Robert C. Gates