1. The best example of Ingroup/Outgroup deals with something that took place years ago. In fifth grade, a few girlfriends and I established The Bra Club. This club was exclusive to those girls who had already received their first bra. We planned all sorts of recess activities for our members. It was amazing (looking back) how quickly we all identified with the group. The boundaries setup extremely fast. You were in or out no -- in between. We in the bra club began to see those without a bra as something less than us. We also attributed non-related things, like saying something stupid to not having a bra. This illusion of causation became quite a habit. "Look she tripped. Oh, that's cause she doesn't have a bra." Stereotypes were also set up within the group. We associated the non-bras to things such as unintelligent, strange, clumsy, etc. At that time, the bra club also fell victim to false consensus. We thought that everybody thought that having a bra was the thing that made the world spin! Needless to say, my chapter of the bra club is now defunct. I'm sure somewhere the bra club exists and they are victimizing that poor non-bra, outgroup as we did!
2. I had an interesting experience with a fellow supervisor yesterday. An employee had recently promoted out of my department into his and it was about time for him to give her a 30-day review. I asked him how she was doing. He said not too well but that he really hadn't expected much from her. This surprised me because she had been a very good worker for me. I asked him why. He said that judging from the size of her personnel file I had passed along to him he was sure he was going to have problems with her performance. I asked if he had read the file. He said no, he hadn't wanted to bias his opinion of her before his first review. I guess the Rosenthal effect is at work here because he had in fact made his "biased" judgment based on file size. If he had taken the time to read through the file he would have seen that it was full of extra training documentation and notes of commendation on work performance. This had been an employee who for me had shown much initiative and continually came up with problem solutions.
3. Well, I sure caught myself today. I got ready for work this morning, drove to work, parked and walked into the building. I went through the lobby and downstairs to my floor. When I got to the bottom of the stairs I noticed that my shoes felt odd. I looked down and was absolutely aghast. I had on two different shoes! Boy, did my mind go to work trying to justify this me. First it was okay because it gets light so much later in the morning and i dress in the dark now (never mind the fact that I consciously decided not to turn the bedroom light on)... lack of consistency as I don't always do this. Second it was okay because as the day went on many people came up to me and told me they had done the same thing once (I wasn't alone!)... Consensus from coworkers helped relieve the dissonance I felt.
4. We had three other couples for dinner -- Chinese carryout. Before everyone arrived I set the table with knife/fork/spoon and chopsticks. As we started to eat three of us picked up the chopsticks rather than the forks. The group followed. After some instruction only the original three were really competent, yet all struggled on, to be part of the group. Even though frustration was high and forks were handy, none quit until there was only rice left and they absolutely could not pick it up. It wasn't until after dinner and I asked how they enjoyed eating with chopsticks that we say how strong the sense of conformity had been. The other five had really been uncomfortable, yet because no one voiced this, there was a false sense of consensus, so all followed.
The following evening one of the couples was back at our house for a meeting. We had dinner first and cleaned up the Chinese leftovers. This time I did not put out chopsticks because these two had been very uncomfortable with them the night before. As we sat down to eat, the woman asked why there were no chopsticks out. I explained. Well, I was wrong and "how could they learn if they couldn't practice?" When the choice was taken away, the chopsticks became attractive (reactance).
5. I went to an afternoon meeting with dinner after. When we arrived, name tags were given out. Some people had green dots by their names, but some had red dots. No one could really figure out why one had any particular color over the other. When we finally sat down to dinner it became clear that the dot signified your meal choice (pre-selected). It was interesting how the 10 tables of people (12 per table) had literally grouped themselves by color code. For instance our table had only one green tag meaning that person had ordered prime rib rather than orange roughy. Before all were served and knew the color reasons, one person at our table even joked to Larry calling him our "token green," so obviously we somehow gave ourselves some identity via the codes. It was also interesting that as dinner went on most of us finally had to admit that we were just conforming to the perceived norm of "healthy eating" with the fish and Larry's prime rib really did look much better to us. We had not chosen what we wanted but what we thought we should want to eat at a company function.
6. Had a good guest speaker in this week to talk about quality and customer service. His very first point in describing how to provide memorable service was to provide the customer with a "vivid" example so they always remember and associate your company with that. For instance, I was recently out of town, stopped in a store for a bottle of aspirin; went to the check out counter and found the price was not tagged on the item. The clerk turned to the manager walking by and asked for the price. The manager turned back to me and said, please accept this at no charge. This is an administrative management problem and not yours. We should have had it marked and I don't want to hold you up any longer. Sorry for the inconvenience, please come back. Was I stunned! But, as a customer I will always remember my positive experience and that vivid example will override most negatives which might occur.
7. Equity -- there's a common source of argument. Does one person doing garbage equate to the other ironing? Does one person doing laundry equate to the other vacuuming? Early on in our marriage these issues cropped up frequently. Now as I look at it, 16 years later, these just aren't issues anymore. Each does what has to be done as it needs doing. Sometimes one of us has more time than the other. Consideration of the other's needs creates the equity anymore -- not the amount of equal effort. That's where the twist builds from because you know the other person will be there for you.
8. The other ingroup I belong to is a group of secretaries. There are only four of us on the third floor so we are pretty close, at least in our opinions about the managers. There are 25 of them. If the coffee fund or candy fund turns up short of cash, it's because one of those cheap managers didn't contribute their fair share. They are all insensitive jerks! We, on the other land, are the long-suffering secretaries!
9. When I drive to work, or for that matter, when I go anywhere and I'm in a hurry and worried that I will be late, I have a sure fire way to improve my chances of being on time. In order to put on lipstick I have to be at a red light, but every time I want to put on lipstick the traffic signals always seem to stay green. So if I am in a hurry, I always take out my lipstick because I know if I do this it will cause all of the traffic lights to be green! Is this wierd or what! I guess the "what" is illusory causation.
10. When the news flash came on television describing Peter Fonda's stealing of a limousine in Chicago and being subsequently let go, my mind seized upon my "actor/actress schema!" I remarked to my husband: "How typical, only an actor could try something so arrogant and get away with it." I was referring to the schema with which I associate actors and actresses: snobbish, self-serving people who consider themselves to be above the law, above other people and exceptions to almost any rule. My schema also considers actors and actresses to have "overly-large egos" and lots of plastic surgery.
11. I think that just about any media source could be used to see social motives in action--even, believe it or not, the TABLOIDS!!!! Amusingly inaccurate as they may be, they do manage to get their mitts on some interesting material. One of their latest favorite bases for this material is the Trump divorce case.
Poor Ivana, having a cheating husband. Yes, I agree, as far as that goes, Donald was in the wrong. But how wrong? A prenuptial agreement said 25 million wrong. A contract is a contract but what amazes me is that Ivana wants to break this contract for more money! Granted, her husband has the money, but what on earth could she possibly want with more than 25 million dollars?! There are those who argue that she is merely trying to preserve the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed. Others feel she is trying to "stick it to" Donald. But I propose looking at it from a different perspective.
Let's look at this in terms of the social motives. First, Comparison. No doubt, during her marriage with Donald, Ivana had become quite accustomed to dealing with the extremely rich and powerful. With such a comparison group, it is no wonder that Ivana should feel a sense of relative depravation with a mere 25 million. To us, as members of the middle and upper-middle classes, such wealth would seem to be a windfall of enormous proportions. But we are basing our judgments upon others in our range, somewhere between the $40-100,000/year income range. However, to Ivana, one used to the multi-million dollar/year income range, it is no more unusual to want more than 25 million dollars in a divorce proceeding than it would be for us to want a $125,000 house under similar circumstances. The difference in comparison groups explains our incomprehension of Ivana's motives.
The second motive, consistency, undoubtedly comes into play also. Remember my mentioning those who theorize that Ivana is merely trying to preserve her lifestyle? Without knowing it, these people are attributing the woman's behavior to a desire for consistency. She had, most certainly, grown used to being in the lap of luxury and had probably internalized these graces as being a part of her. She herself, then, would be a rich, luxurious woman. Unfortunately, if she loses the wealth that supports her external luxury, she must feel the dissonance stemming from her belief that she deserves luxury and her lack of that luxury around her. To uphold this self-image, she needs to insure that she is surrounded by money, at least enough to be consistent with luxury.
This leads us to control. Indeed, Ivana would lose the control she had over large sums of money if she loses Donald. Granted, she may never have needed nor wanted that power when she had it, but when it is threatened, she suddenly realizes exactly how much she really wants it. In fact, it is doubtful that Ivana ever had plans to use that control and power that cash over 25 million dollars would bring, she was merely exhibiting reactance. By gum, Donald could remove fidelity from her relationship with him, but he was not going to take away her control! On another level, Ivana may be reacting to her loss of control in her relationship. Donald, by having a public affair, forced her into the position where either she would have to end their relationship or look hopelessly weak in front of the world. Donald had taken away her control of the situation. Ivana, in order to feel that she had regained control, filed for divorce and a settlement over that which the couple had agreed to.
All this leads me back to my point that tabloids, yes tabloids, America, are VALUABLE pieces of literature! In addition to giving us up to date entirely accurate and objective information, they give us a forum to discuss the 3 social motives that act as primary influences of much of our behavior!
12. One example which I have used in my journal entry earlier this term is my relationships with my female boss. Although I like to consider myself a non-prejudicial individual I find myself looking at gender stereotypes when I consider her management techniques. I have found her to be very moody and unpredictable. Because neither of my former supervisors at this corporation (who happened to be male) did not show any evidence of "mood management" I have drawn a conclusion that it is because of her gender. This is unfair and an antiquated view to hold but to be honest I have yet been able to shake this stereotypical view of her.
13. One of my first experiences with the Ingroup/Outgroup concept was when my family moved to Illinois from New York. My father's business was the reason and we all hated the idea. When we found out it was a town called "Naperville" we thought of nothing but Midwest hicks. Even when we got here we continued
to see it in this light. We had never seen so much flat land. In the early stages of this move I met one of our neighbors who owned a horse and wore cowboy boots! Voila! Our view of these citizens of this small midwest town hicks was confirmed. But, of course, as time went on we began to feel as strongly in support of the Midwest area as those that we once called hicks. I must admit that my visits back to the east (on business or pleasure) have proven me to have gained a view of the Midwest as a friendly place. "They are much snottier, more stressed out and insensitive than we!"
14. Recently I began to understand the formation of in-groups, out-groups attitude in a strange way. Although not one with much meaning or even much effect but an attitude nevertheless.
As you are aware from a previous journal entry I recently purchased a black leather cost when discussing post purchase dissonance (by the way, it still rears its head when I get the monthly bill!) At the time I was striving for uniqueness. After all my work I now realize that leather is the fashion for Chicago. What is humorous about the whole thing is that as a fellow "leather-wearer" passes another on the street there seems to be some kind of recognition and belongingness with another if it is good leather and a sense of "ugh, get that off and away from the leather-world" with those who have bought perhaps the cheaper version. It is somewhat of an us and them or in-groups, out-groups that has formed.
15. Illusory causation can also be seen as a positive. I'll always remember the golden rule "Do unto others as they would do unto you". When I consider this I realize that many times when something good comes my way I will relate it to an instance when I treated someone well in a similar situation. Driving is an instance that comes to mind. I find myself letting others in traffic with the motive that someone will do the same for me. Many times it happens and I immediately relate back to my kindness in traffic. When it doesn't I feel I have been cheated and that the other individual is not enlightened into the "good luck" way to drive.
16. Illusory Causation -- My parents have been trying to sell their house with little success. My mother finally gave into an old Catholic superstition. She buried St. Joseph (statue - of course) upside-down in the back yard! No, they have not sold it yet -- but she is waiting!
17. Our text defines interrole conflict as a tension between the requirements of two different roles that must be played at once. I find this tension exemplified in my role as fellow-employee and administrator. In my role I am called on to address issues that may seem to be a potential problem. If conflict arises as a result of addressing the issue I must find a way to manage the conflict while remaining a level-headed individual. One instance that this conflict became evident was with an employee and our attendance guidelines. This individual is a friend and does a great job but...she's recently shown some patterns of poor attendance. While trying to maintain a place of respect for this individual as a friend and the great job that she does I needed to address the problem. It seemed absurd. It seemed petty but was something that I had no way of getting out of. Of course once the discussion began (and with the assistance of being a communication major) we were able to reasonably discuss it. But the conflict that came from thinking about dealing with the problem without saying the wrong thing to set this person off was quite the challenge. Friendship within the workplace is a good example for potential interrole conflict.
18. I recall the requirements for fulfilling the male role when I left high school years ago, through informational influences I discovered that a successful male had to be employed; own a car, have his own apartment and show some evidence of potential upward mobility; for example, by attending college. He was expected to be "cool" but not a "fool". In order to fulfill that requirement he needed certain skills such as: dancing, the ability to handle his liquor, to walk with "limp" which was then and still is called, "pimping." He had to be able to use the "language of the ghetto" effectively in order to communicate with his ingroup. He absolutely had to have a vast and up-to-date wardrobe to intentionally induce a physical-attraction stereotype. His female "rap" (sweet talk) had to be together enough so that the matching phenomenon occurred frequently. He was expected to have an equitable relationship with a main lady who was "fine" and together. But he had the privilege of having more than one woman whereas she was required to stay faithful to him. In playing out her complimentary role, a female was expected to be totally devoted to one man. She was expected to live and die for her man and her children. She looked good, smelled good and felt good at all times. She demonstrated absolute dedication to him in public and never opposed him openly. She was expected to be intelligent, but not aggressive. However in public, and with the public, her behavior was expected to be appropriate for any situation that may arise. She was expected to honor her man at all times.
19. ALTRUISM (Revisited)
When my stalled in Downers Grove this past February. I had my 2 year old daughter with me and it was rather cold outside. I really didn't know what I was going to do in that situation other than walk to the nearest gas station. Fortunately for us a lady blew her horn and offered us assistance. Her altruism was greatly needed and appreciated. She spent about 4 hours with us helping to solve our problem and asked for no compensation. During the course of time I spent with her I asked her what were the situational influences that motivated her to stop and help us. She explained that I was well dressed and had the little baby with me. Also it was obvious that we were having car trouble and she was just only on her way to the shopping center which wasn't important in light of my situation.
20. ILLUSORY CAUSATION
There have been a number of times my family has received extra funds just so the car could break down. My records confirm that whenever we receive any extra cash such as tax returns, insurance settlements, even loans, one of our automobiles breaks down within a predictable interval of time. An interval that always requires a commitment of some of the newly acquired cash.
21. As I grew, I realized that there were many more expected
roles for women than I ever imagined -- and my reaction was still somewhat shocked -- but accepting the requirements and limitations. When I began to work, I genuinely thought men were smarter and therefore, the bosses. But, I was involved in the ad agency business and there were many women achieving managerial positions so I thought that everything was becoming fair and equal for women. Then, I took my first business trip. It was to Charleston, W.Va. When the plant manager met me at the airport I think he was somewhat shocked to see a woman. I'll never forget what he said... "You know, you are the first woman agency person to call on me -- and you must know something about my plant...There are no women or niggers allowed."
I almost died right there on the spot -- first of all, I was so naive that I didn't realize how prejudices were still alive and well in these "southern" states -- then, I knew I had to stand my ground or the guy would abuse me for the entire stay. So I stopped right there in my tracks and looked him square in the eye and told him I had no intention of having a sex change or of working in his parking lot for three days so he'd better make some concession for me. We got along great after that but I always remember the situation. I realized how biased my thinking was based on the limited experience I had had. I began to learn the vast difference in a woman's role in a service industry versus a manufacturing industry. There just are so few women, to this day, in manufacturing management.
22. And the biggest problem -- is that I allow it...this is
great -- I have this one manager in Columbus, Ga. Typical southern thinking -- the secretaries and the whole office call him and refer to him as Mr. Wood. He calls me Linda as he does his secretary etc. For the past 2 weeks I have phoned him and deliberately said, "Todd...." -- then, when we were in a meeting together on Monday, I referred to him as "Todd" during the discussion -- I could feel him glaring at me...
23. One of my fellow managers came to me today with a complaint about the performance of one of my subordinates. They had been in a meeting together where Tony (my subordinate) had acted very surly and obstinate about a new process we were trying to implement. John (my peer) made the comment to me that "Tony sure is an uncooperative person. You need to straighten out his attitude." I asked John if Tony was the only one to act in that manner. John replied that most others in the meeting were upset but Tony just happened to be the worst. My next thought was that Tony is usually pretty easy going and has never been upset when we've implemented a new procedure. I asked John whether he'd ever seen Tony get upset at any other meetings and John replied that he hadn't.
By using Kelley's model and considering consensus, consistency, and distinctiveness, we concluded that Tony was acting in an uncharacteristic manner and must be upset about the new procedures (an external cause).
24. My oldest son has been trying to decide for several weeks who to ask to the homecoming dance. One day he would come home and announce he was going to ask Kim. By the time we finished supper he decided to ask Jessica instead. Before bedtime he had decided to ask Sara. I think he was afraid of being turned down
and just couldn't decide who was the best bet and least likely to turn him down. Finally he came home from school one day and announced he had asked Jessica to the homecoming dance. My wife immediately said "I just knew all the time she'd be the one you would ask. I would have bet money on it." If she was so sure why didn't she offer to bet. This appears to be the old I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon.
25. When my oldest son, now 16, was younger he used to love to mow the lawn and would actually beg to do it. I was somewhat hesitant, mainly for safety reasons and would keep a close watch and let him cut a portion of the yard. Now that he's old enough to manage alone and is aware of the dangers and knows how to act in a safe manner, I told him I would pay him a weekly amount for mowing the lawn. He was very enthusiastic for about a month. Then all of a sudden his attitude changed and it became work. Sometimes I would almost have to give him a kick in the butt to get him to cut the grass. This appears to be the overjustification effect. It was fun for him until he started getting paid, but the pay changed it from fun to work.
26. In my real role as a manager, a norm is to always wear a suit. Not a sportcoat and slacks but always a suit. Last summer the company had a promotional booth at the Taste of Chicago giving away free long distance phone calls for three minutes to anywhere in the country. I volunteered to work a shift from 2-5 p.m. We were given golf shirts with the company insignia and had permission to wear shorts due to the extreme heat. I had to go to the restroom to change just before leaving but was called back to my desk for a phone call while almost out the door. You should have seen the shocked looks on people's faces as I walked
through the office in shorts and a golf shirt. Some jaws almost bounced off the ground. My violation of the dress norm was causing a great deal of dissonance for those who didn't know where I was heading. My self-consciousness probably also distorted my perception of their reaction to a degree.
27. A couple weeks ago I chaperoned a trip to Bloomington for the ISU high school marching band competition. My son's last words as we got to the high school were, "Dad, please don't embarrass me by yelling at everyone on the bus." Much to his delight I was assigned to another bus. I'm sure that each of these band members individually are fine young persons. But nowhere has deindividuation been more obvious than on that bus. Screaming, yelling, climbing over seats, and general mayhem seemed to be the order of the day. Keeping in mind what my son had said, I tried a little informational influence to get them to conform to the rules. I tried to explain how they might get hurt climbing over the seats, and how they needed to rest and conserve energy to be at their best for the competition. That didn't work very good. I didn't think normative influence would work because the group norm seemed to be acting wild and crazy. I concluded that authority influence was the only way. Several loud "SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP" 's did the trick.
28. When reading about the blacktop illusion I couldn't help but think about the Bears and Packers. After the initial emotions died down when Charles Martin body slammed Jim McMahon a couple years ago, most people, and especially the Bear players, felt the whole incident was the Green Bay coach's fault. Everyone was blaming Forrest Gregg for instilling evil in the hearts of his players and teaching them to play dirty. The Bears must have felt the players were just normal people like themselves so the Green Bay players must have been mislead by the coaching staff.
29. I witnessed and participated in two situations where gender-role stereotypes were brought out. My son plays on a traveling soccer team. It is the St. Charles team for his age group and they play against teams from other towns around northern Illinois. We have traveled from Orland Park to the southeast to Rockford to the west. The kids on these traveling teams are supposed to be the best players of their age from the areas they live in. Last week the team my son played against had a female player. She happened to be the other team's best defensive player. It was interesting hearing the parents of the players on my son's team yell at their sons for not being able to get past that girl. They made statements like "She's only a girl, you must be able to beat her." What was most interesting was that most of the comments were made by mothers -- not fathers.
30. The television program "Thirty Something" had a perfect example of how our memory can distort things. Maybe our memory doesn't actually distort but rather picks and chooses what it wants to save or emphasize. "Thirty Something" had one isolated incident that four people were present. Then they told the isolated incident four times by each individual's perception. It was amazing that no one was even close to the others retold story. It was as if each person pull one minute thing that they associated with and forgot the rest. When we consider everyone's needs are different you then see what a mess it becomes.