Someone recently bought our

students are currently browsing our notes.


Norms Behaviour Notes

Psychology Notes > Social Psychology (2nd year) Notes

This is an extract of our Norms Behaviour document, which we sell as part of our Social Psychology (2nd year) Notes collection written by the top tier of Durham University students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Social Psychology (2nd year) Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Norms and behaviour
Activating norms to guide behaviour
Once norms are formed by group consensus they act as behavioural standards
Norms are made accessible by:
Cialdini et al., 1990:
Placed handbills on car windshields  either irrelevant or straightforward antilittering message
More handbills thrown to ground for irrelevant than straightforward message
Environmental cues communicate the norms appropriate in that environment
Eg silence in libraries reminds us to be quiet
Cialdini et al., 1990:
More Ps littered in a dirty environment than a pristine environment
 prevailing norms impact behaviour
Those who saw a confederate littering in the clean environment littered even less than those in the same environment with no confederate
Those who saw a confederate littering in a dirty environment littered more
 made the norm implied by the environment more accessible
Aarts, 2003: Ps shown pictures of a library used softer voices in a later speech task


Rutchick, 2010:
US citizens who voted in churches cast more votes for more conservative parties and were more likely to reject same-sex marriage
Learn and see what others do
Goldstein et al., 2008:
Collected data on towel re-usage at a hotel
Some guests received message in hotel telling them to reduce towel usage
Other guests received: '75% fellow guests/citizens reuse their towel'
All in-group norm messages yielded more towel re-usage than the control message
Litt et al., 2012: even just wishing to belong to a group makes people more likely to follow the group's norms

Deindividuatio n

Whatever makes a group more salient activates its norms  the more members are present, the more accessible the norm
The state in which group norms or social identity dominates individual identity
Ie loss of sense of personal identity
 Facilitated by anonymity, wearing uniforms, being in a crowd of group members
Social Identity Model  anonymity changes the salience of personal vs social identity

Increases accessibility of group norms Norms and behaviour

Decreases accessibility of personal standards
Can produce negative or positive behaviour

LeBon, 1947: being anonymous changes rules of human behaviour  more antisocial
Zimbardo, 1973: Stanford prison experiment
Guards became abusive and degrading
 stripping people of identity triggers extreme, antisocial behaviour, especially when one group has power over another
BUT Postmes & Spears, 1998:
Deindividuation increases whatever behaviour is typical of the group  normative rather than antisocial behaviour  join in with what everyone else is doing eg helping
EQ victims
Johnson & Downing, 1979:
Ps wore nurse-like uniforms (activating prosocial norms) or Klan-like robes (activating antisocial norms)
Faces concealed (promoting deindividuation) or not
Allowed to give shocks to another person for failing a story
 anonymous Ps delivered higher shocks than identifiable Ps - not responsible for actions
 anonymous nurses delivered low shocks when they were unidentifiable
 when social identity is uppermost, people will follow the group norm
Norm-driven behaviour:
Guards were given direct reminders of appropriate guard behaviour
Realistic environment provided cues to normative behaviour
Guards = in-group vs out-group prisoners
Anonymous prisoners and guards - less responsibility for actions
 act in accordance with group


Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Social Psychology (2nd year) Notes.