Social Control and Peer Pressure – How the Presence of Others Affects Individual Behavior (PSY, SOC)

by Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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    00:00 Now, Social Control.

    00:04 Here’s another thing that is related to a group. That we’re going to look at how the social factors behind this group will actually help change individual behavior.

    00:15 Now, the group is controlling or leading your individual behavior.

    00:19 So, we’re going to look at two different types.

    00:22 The first one being informal.

    00:24 Here is internalization of norms and values shaped by a group standard.

    00:27 So, the analogy is a whole bunch of people at work are always wearing a suit and tie.

    00:35 Now you know that that’s basically what they do.

    00:37 You know that the norm for the group and so when you go to work and if you show up in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, you’re really not fitting with that group.

    00:46 And so that group has indirectly controlled your norms and values.

    00:51 This is used quite commonly; I know ways of thinking and ways of behaving.

    00:56 It’s not necessarily just your clothes, it can be in a lot of different things.

    01:00 Now, Formal, is when now we’re getting more regulation.

    01:04 and we’re getting in a government and police involved.

    01:06 so we say, external rules or sanctions applied by government or other bodies create order.

    01:11 So now, as the society, I’m controlling your behavior because I have applied this social control, formal social control.

    01:19 You need to walk on this side of the road, you need to be driving on this side of the road, you need to do this, you need to do that, you need to travel at a certain of speed, you need to wear shoes [0:01:27,7].

    01:28 These are different things that can be applied as formal rules or sanctions.

    01:33 And as a result, it shapes and controls your behavior.

    01:36 Peer pressure, I think we’ve all experienced peer pressure, is where a group or individual encourages others to change their attitudes, values or behaviors to conform.

    01:46 So, let’s simplify that down to saying, basically, a group will tell you in really using social pressure help guide you in terms of encouraging your changes in your attitudes and behaviors.

    01:58 Very common in our society, I think we are subject to a lot of peer pressure and we actually impart a lot of peer pressure.

    02:06 Now, social groups affected can include those who are part of a formal or informal group or cliques.

    02:13 So, let’s think of that, having metal group band, or that goth group at school.

    02:19 and everybody wears black.

    02:20 and if you want to be part of that group, the peer pressure is associated with that group, you have to wear all black, you have to get a couple of piercings, at least a couple of tattoos.

    02:28 Now you can be served part of this group.

    02:31 It can be things like ways of thinking, at work, or different cliques.

    02:36 The associated groups are, where you want to avoid associating and behave counter to group norms.

    02:43 So, what you’re doing here is you wanna act a certain way so that you want to not associate yourself with the norm.

    02:52 So say, back to my goth example, if the bulk of people wear suits and ties, well-groomed and are attending your school.

    03:00 You don’t want to be part of that, you want actually to dissociate yourself from that.

    03:03 and so you create your own group and that group is actually distancing themselves from the norm.

    03:09 So we say counter to the social norms.

    03:12 Certain factors can contribute to the effect of this in peer pressure including age, gender, culture and group size.

    03:19 Let’s backtrack and slow that down.

    03:21 Let’s take a look at; if you’re a little bit older, you tend to be a little more resistant to peer pressure as opposed to being a youngster, or your highly influenced by those around you, you’re more likely to change your behaviors to fit in.

    03:35 Gender can also have a huge impact.

    03:38 Cultures as well, lot of cultures, there’s cultural peer pressure, you do things in a certain way.

    03:44 Certain cultures say, you need to get married by a certain age, you need to marry a certain type of person that will really, really influence the decisions that you make; it might not want to be the decisions that you want to make but because of the peer pressure afflicted by your culture, you end up doing that.

    03:58 And the last one is group size.

    04:00 Again, the larger the group size, the more powerful the peer pressure that can be applied.

    04:05 or to say just one person.

    04:07 Another thing that’s not represented here is actually the connectivity or the value of the relationship.

    04:12 So the peer pressure instilled by say, your mother and father versus the neighbor down the street that you barely see.

    04:19 When your parents tell you to do something, they carry a little bit more weight versus the person you occasionally see.

    04:25 and they mention something, they might not carry the same value.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Social Control and Peer Pressure – How the Presence of Others Affects Individual Behavior (PSY, SOC) by Tarry Ahuja, PhD is from the course Social Processes That Influence Human Behavior.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Regulation of behavior as a means of enforcing conformity and compliance to established norms and guidelines
    2. The tendency for people in a group to put less effort into the task when the effort is pooled rather than being responsible for individual contributions
    3. A group of people wanting harmony or conformity that leads to a deterioration in moral values
    4. A decreased level of self-evaluation within a group causing uninhibited behavior, which can be influenced by a feeling of anonymity
    5. Members of a group changing their opinions from a moderate to a more extreme position
    1. Putting out a cigarette after seeing a no-smoking sign
    2. A physician wearing scrubs instead of a suit and tie
    3. Working with other lawyers to put together a case for court
    4. Children ostracizing a new student for not being similar to them
    5. Buying a large coffee because of an ongoing sale for large hot beverages
    1. Sanctions
    2. Approval
    3. Agreement
    4. Free choice
    5. Equity
    1. Membership and dissociative groups
    2. Associative and dissociative groups
    3. Internal and external groups
    4. Membership and exclusionary groups
    5. Orderly and rebel groups

    Author of lecture Social Control and Peer Pressure – How the Presence of Others Affects Individual Behavior (PSY, SOC)

     Tarry Ahuja, PhD

    Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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