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Video transcript

alright let's dive right into the last topic that we're going to look at under self-identity so in this video we're going to take a look at how imitation roles reference groups and culture are all parts of social influence and this falls under the branch of social psychology so social influence is a major topic in social psychology and it looks at how individual thoughts actions and feelings are influenced by social groups so here's our individual and these houses represent the social groups or society in which the individual interacts so imitation is the first topic that we're going to look at an imitation is referred to or as a type of individual social influence so it's just right imitation in here imitation is basically one of the most basic forms of social behavior it's one we're copying someone else and it begins with an understanding that there's a difference between others and ourselves so other psychologists have argued that this understanding in difference between ourselves our own bodies and others doesn't occur until a few months or maybe even a few years into childhood while other theorists say it happens once we are born now in 1977 one man named Andrew meltzoff published a study that questioned the theory that said an understanding between self and others happens a few months after birth so picture yourself playing with a tiny baby let's draw our tiny baby down here so picture yourself playing with him or her and picture and now to be more specific the babies between 12 and 21 days old okay so now stick out your tongue at the baby what happens well I'm sure the baby copied you and stuck out their tongue that's the experiment that melts often and he found that babies were really imitating the experimenter so there was this connection this imitation between individuals so the baby was really sticking out their tongue versus opening their mouth for some other reason so here's the next question was this true imitation or was it something that can't be considered social interaction well now picture yourself playing with the baby again this time imagine yourself opening your mouth what is the baby do well the baby you should also open their mouth they don't stick out their tongue this time so by this situation we know the baby wasn't getting excited just by our presence so meltzoff had to ensure that this imitation was in a reflex either or just the baby being conditioned by our presence so when the baby had a pacifier in their mouth while the experimenter stuck out their tongue the baby's still imitated them after the pacifier was taken out a short time later in the last condition in this experiment was that the experimenters facial expressions had to be blink during the time the baby was responding because of subtle differences had to be controlled just in case to ensure that true imitation was actually occurring so we've even seen this numerous studies new numerous experiments have been replicated many many times and we've even seen this in baby monkeys that are also a social species just like us so from very early on like I said between 12 and 21 days of age these babies have a concept of themselves of their own bodies in relation to others and can copy other people so basically this suggests that we are born with a built-in capacity to imitate others so much of what we learn early on is from each other it suggests a built-in social mechanism which is critical for our species so I'm not going to get too much into detail on this next word I'm going to bring up called mirror neurons because it's much more physiological but these mirror neurons have also fascinated scientists because basically what they do is when one fires when we act another is fired when we observe the same action performed by another person so essentially these neurons are mirroring the behavior of the other and they have been found in areas of our brain such as the somatosensory cortex and the motor and premotor cortex so that can be helpful in understanding imitation further the next individual aspect of social influence is the importance of roles so we all have many roles in lot in our life through and we can represent this through all the different hats we probably wear maybe we're a brother or sister a doctor or teacher a friend a social worker whatever it may be we have different roles we don't usually we don't just have one role and depend in they define who we are and what we do so with each social role we adopt different behavior changes to fit the expectation that both we and others the other part is very important have of that role so maybe another word you've heard and that's more familiar is the term social norm so social norms are the accepted standards of behavior of social groups their norms defining appropriate behavior for every social group and as individual moves from one to the next to the next their behavior is also going to change accordingly so norms are really important because they provide order in society and we use it to guide and direct our behavior as appropriate so we conform to the expectations of others we respond to their approval when we play our role as well so it's like a big thumbs up and then we have we get the disapproval from others when we perform our roles badly so the presence of these others these other people who can fall under these different houses over here so the presence of these other people seem to also make a difference in setting up expectations now we don't expect people to behave randomly and just do random things but to behave in a certain way in a certain situation that fits that role and usually we have these expectations even more when the roles are strongly stereotyped so there was this famous experiment done called the Philip Zimbardo Stanford and Prison Experiment sorry and it's actually highly controversial but it explains this role of roles so for a lack of a better role term it explains this concept of social roles a lot better so here's the prison so in this example being in a prison environment caused the participants who are role playing as guards in this study to be a lot more authoritative sadistic and even they felt they have the power to do what they wanted to the prisoners very vulgar things they just felt they had that power due to their role and the people playing the prisoners begin to feel submissive timid scared towards the guards and they even would suck up to the guards by tattletaling on the other prisoners as a result of the role-playing so these were the expectations of the prisoners or the expectations they thought they had and so they tried fulfilling those roles for approval by the guards now this prison environment was an important factor in creating the guards brutal behavior as well so you see that interaction between the environment already in an individual now none of the participants who acted as guards showed these sadistic tendencies before the study so that just shows how roles can play an important part in our behaviors and attitudes now moving on towards group influence we have a term called reference groups now reference groups you may have heard of them as well as a term from social psychology identifying the group to which people refer or make reference and evaluating themselves so it's any group to which we can go to our person refers to and through the group's beliefs or their attitudes or there are pavers so we are constantly looking for these Journal groups that align with our own beliefs attitudes and behaviors and we're going to refer to them when we want to form or make a decision to influence our own beliefs attitudes and behaviors so for example someone may refer to a social science students reference group when we're trying to decide what political party to vote for during election another could be referring to a feminists reference group when we're deciding whether or not to change our name after marriage if you're female so why are these reference groups important well any person or group that serves as a point of comparison for an individual in the formation of general or specific values influences our social decisions so have you ever done shopping for a gift or out to buy a new car you're going to bring your reference group with you what I mean by this is not a whole posse of people you may you may bring someone that you look up to like a parent to ask for advice but subconsciously we have these attitudes and beliefs formed and it's where we seek to get this advice or to satisfy the expectations of others to be like someone we admire or to get some sort of approval to some degree so these reference groups set some level of aspiration so we can just write that to remember and the last but not least part of social influence is called culture and socialization and we can this seems like a very broad um concept which it is but basically we can refer to the socio-cultural theory to help explain the influence that those around us have on our development on a broader scale so it looks at the important contributions that society these houses these people around us make to this individual development it emphasizes the interaction between developing people and the culture in which we live so all of these interactions are important whether it's between individuals or a group of people whatever it may be our parents our peers our neighbors teacher is co-workers they all influence our social identity development and on an even larger scale the country in which we live the language the communities in which we live the attitudes and values of the groups you belong to they all affect our behaviors and learning as individuals in this large social