31. Talk about preconceived notions -- the other night I met one of my friends for a drink that I hadn't seen in a long time so we had to do a lot of catching up. Well, it turns out that my friend is dating a man named Gus. Gus is supposed to be very nice and distinguished looking. The whole time my friend was telling me how great he was all I could do is smile. She finally asked me what was wrong. I replied nothing but all I could think of was that Gus was a donkey (jackass). Now I had never met this man but I associated the name with the only Gus I have encountered. Gus was a donkey on a Walt Disney movie who kicked field goals. Since this was the only Gus I knew I was having extreme difficulty with the word "distinguished." It did not fit into my implicit personably tract. If she had said "unique," maybe even "winning," there might have been a connection of sorts.
32. Just a short quiz on how powerful the situation and/or the environment is to one. You often hear a quote like this "outside of work my boss/peer/subordinate is a lot of fun." Why are statements like that made? Because in many cases we (all) are a different person. For a boss their is no pressure to get the job done. For a peer there is no need to claw (competition is over). For a subordinate there is no reason to dislike her job/boss/rules, etc. The situation indeed is very powerful and many times dictates our behavior -- what people expect from us.
33. I recently found myself a victim of the primacy effect. I have a friend that I've known for almost 30 years. We talk fairly often on the phone, but seldom see each other. Her son, Jim, became engaged to be married last year around Thanksgiving. My friend doesn't care for her future daughter-in-law and has confided in me regarding her concerns many times. She's too loud, she's inconsiderate, she trapped Jim, all she cares about are sports, she'll never have time or the desire to have children for him, her parents are crude, and of course, she doesn't love him. Three weeks ago, Pat called me and asked me to meet her at her son's church in Fox Valley. (Jim is in the ministry and is presently serving an internship with the church.) I didn't realize until I got there, the reason behind the invitation. She wanted me to meet Jim's fiancee'.
She was just like Pat had described her. She was too loud and not very friendly. She was definitely not Jim's type. She wasn't even pretty. What did he see in her? She certainly did not react appropriately towards me. After all, I'm one of his mother's oldest and dearest friends.
Later Pat seemed reassured when I genuinely agreed with her assessment of Jan. She wanted confirmation from me that Jan did not fit her schema for Jim's wife and I complied. In retrospect, I realize that the deck had been stacked against Jan with the primacy information provided by my friend. I was prepared not to like her. The sad part, is that armed with my reinforcement, Pat convinced Jim that he should break his engagement. The good part is that the marriage is back on. If Jim thinks she's that special, maybe she is.
34. I hate the name Marvin. I've always hated the name. It doesn't sound masculine. It sounds like his mother must have hated him. When I hear it, my implicit personality theory says "spoiled brat." In my mind, there are no good cognitions associated with the name. Since I never knew a Marvin when I was growing up, I don't know why I have such strong feelings about the name. If anyone would have told me that someday I would be married to a Marvin, I would have told them they were off their rocker. But that's exactly what happened. However, I still dislike the name so much, that sometimes my mind refuses to let my mouth say it. I can't tell you how many times I've slipped and called him Norman. I have never dated a Norman, so I don't know why my mind insists on substituting that name, but it does. As you can imagine, my husband fails to see any humor in this.
At any rate, my husband is a very kind and generous man. He is not at all like the schema that I continue to associate with his name. In order to maintain a feeling of consistency, and to relieve dissonance regarding the conflict between my attitude and actions, I've convinced myself that my husband is an exception to the rule.
35. Before I married and assumed a Jewish name, I did not realize that the prejudice would be so strong. We are resented almost everywhere we go. It began with my friends. Shortly after we were married, they began to fall away. Even my children from my previous marriage feel uncomfortable around my husband, just simply because he's Jewish. My former in-laws act as if I died. They never ask the children about me and quickly change the subject if one of them mentions my name.
Then there's the clerks in stores when they see my name (obviously Jewish) on my credit cards. We're all supposed to be rich, spoiled princesses. Our husbands got rich through unscrupulous business practices. Sometimes they can be very surly. The churches are not much better. They see us as Christ killers and the word "Jew" definitely bears a negative connotation. It's either hurled from the pulpit or whispered in private.
I say "we" rather loosely because I'm a Christian and attend church regularly. I'm also a member of a synagogue, that I attend infrequently with my husband. I've heard a lot of snide remarks and I've learned a lot about how these people cope. They're not perfect, but I don't know anyone who is. There's a lot of truth in that old saying about walking in someone's shoes before you judge them. I've been doing it for several years now and I have quite a different perspective. Unfortunately, as long as stereotypes are perpetuated from generation to generation, few people will ever view life through a Jew's eyes and the prejudice will continue.
36. When my daughter went to Arizona four years ago to look for a job, I jokingly said, "don't bring home any Indians." I wish I hadn't said that. Aimee is now in love with an American Indian (I'm not sure which tribe) she met on a rafting trip down the Colorado River. Ben works as a guide in the Grand Canyon during the summer when he isn't teaching school. "Ain't that something!" I thought all "real" Indians sat around campfires and smoked peace pipes or paddled their canoes.
I didn't think I was prejudiced. After all, my father was supposed to have been one-quarter Sioux Indian. However, I have to admit that even though I have never met Ben, I don't want Aimee to marry him. She tells me that he's tall, overweight, ugly, and very dark skinned. If that isn't enough to warm a mother's heart, he's also almost as old as I am. I'm not sure whether it's ugly grandchildren that has me worried or if it's the prospect of a birth announcement proclaiming the arrival of "Running Deer" or "Little Flower." Somehow I never envisioned life in a tepee for my daughter. One of her father's passions when she was small was backyard bonfires and boats. Maybe I should blame him.
Aimee is not a rebellious daughter. We've discussed the situation thoroughly. She really believes he's a wonderful person with many good qualities. Maybe, in the long run, I'll see it her way and I'll smoke the peace pipe with him ... I might even share my "Geritol."
The above comments reflect my stereotype of the American Indian. Furthermore, I chose to blame her father, an external source, rather than deal with my dissonance over the possibility that I might have been the one who influenced her choice.
37. I used to do a lot of singing. I sang in choirs, quartets, trios and did solo performances as well. Mostly in church settings, but I also did solo work when I sang in the Bell Lab's choir. Since I was the soprano with the highest range, the other members depended on me to carry the high notes. If I didn't hit them, nobody did. I found that after several performances, my voice would begin to show the strain and it became necessary for me to conserve it. Therefore, when we were singing in an average range, I would only mouth the words. I could do this because I knew that the others would continue to sing. However, as we approached the bars that I was to sing, I found that the crescendo of all of our voices together helped me to do a better job.
That was not the case when I sang in smaller groups. When I was the "only" soprano, social loafing was not allowed. If I hadn't sung every note, the harmony would have been badly distorted. Not wanting to experience their disapproval or our mutual humiliation, I had a greater incentive to do my part.
38. I noticed recently that Channel 11 uses the foot-in-the-door
technique to solicit subscribers to their network. They could send out fliers or they could just tell people from time to time that the station needs and wants their subscriptions. However, they ask their viewers to make a "commitment." They ask the viewers to call them (an insignificant request). Once they have made the call and committed themselves to a specific amount, their need to be consistent "should" motivate them to complete the pledge by sending the money. Evidently, it doesn't work 100% of the time, because recently they have encouraged people to take their "credit cards" to the phone with them. Charging the subscription eliminates the possibility of procrastination or retraction of the commitment. They also use the social consensus technique by letting the viewers view the busy operators and hear the phones ring. If viewers believe that other people are subscribing, they are more likely to comply with the request.
39. I feel "out of control!" As the Spring Quarter comes to a close, I'm worried that I can't bring it all together. There's so much to do. I feel dissonance when I try to study. Sometimes it is so overwhelming that I can't concentrate. What shall I work on first. In which class do I have the best chance. In which class will it make very little difference how much I study.
My husband is frustrated and confused. He can't understand why I'm so irritable. He can't understand why I don't want to go anywhere. He's starting going places without me. I don't like that. That bothers me too.
Then there's my home. I haven't dusted or vacuumed in weeks. I've managed to keep up with the laundry and subsistence meals, but I have things in my refrigerator that are undoubtedly three months old. That's not like me. I'm violating my self perception, which is causing more dissonance.
I have completely neglected my friends since I've been in school. I hope they will forgive me when this is all over. I hope there will be someone left to come to my graduation?
Worst of all, I'm paying a good deal of money to be tortured this way. Am I a masochist? Why else would I inflict such punishment on myself. I could be back on that good-paying easy job that I detested so much. That's it; that's why I'm doing this! I want the second half of my life to be more rewarding.
If I can only hold onto an "illusion of control" for one more week, I'll be a North Central College Senior.
40. Another observation was the choice of drinks. When Marvin and I arrived, the first two couples were having a soft drink. We asked for the same, just as the last couple to arrive did. However, when we were seated in the restaurant, the first person ordered a cocktail. Everyone then ordered a cocktail. As part of a group, we acquiesced to the group consensus, regardless of what our personal preference might have been.
41. A week ago I went to a wedding. It was an unusual wedding to say the least. Classical guitar was played instead of the traditional wedding music. Instead of the attendants descending down the aisle one at a time, they just sort of floated in from the sides of the sanctuary. The bride was escorted down the aisle before we knew it, because we were all waiting for the "Bridal March" to begin. Another unusual thing was that the guests were given bird seed to throw at the couple instead of rice.
However, the most unusual thing was the groom's behavior. I've heard grooms sing to their brides, and read poetry to their brides, but Jim was the first bridegroom I've ever seen cry all the way through the ceremony. Of course, we were all trying to figure out why. His lower jaw began quivering the moment he took his place at the front of the church. Then his nose got red, as his eyes filled with tears. Most of the guests probably attributed his behavior to internal causes, i.e., his love for Jan, although just before her father stepped aside, he had a little chat with Jim. He might have been asking him if he wanted to change his mind. During the special music, which was prerecorded, Jim was visibly sobbing. When they faced each other to repeat their vows, the tears were streaming down both faces. By that time my husband was giving me rather puzzled looks.
Since Jim's mother is one of my best friends, I was privy to information the others didn't have. I knew that his parents were on the verge of divorce and speculated that maybe they had announced plans to go through with it shortly before the ceremony. Or maybe Jim was upset because he knew he was marrying against his parents' wishes. At any rate, when the ceremony ended, the couple stopped where the parents were seated to give them hugs. Jim was able to keep his composure when he hugged her parents, but when it came to his, he broke down and began sobbing again. He was sobbing so hard that the receiving line had to be delayed almost an hour. That's when I was sure that his behavior was associated with his parents (an external cause). I've know Jim all of his life, and he's definitely not the crying type. He's usually the life of the party, so this was highly distinctive behavior.
I'm happy to say that I was wrong about his parents; no announcement was made. Maybe he was overcome with love. None of us will know for sure until they get back from their honeymoon --maybe not even then.
42. Illusory causation. Before I write about this, I want you to know that I know that what I did had no effect on the outcome. Why I did it, I don't know?
This afternoon, I had an hour or two of free time that I did not want to put homework into. Instead I played rummy with my R.A. Since we didn't have a table, we played on the floor. While playing, I was laying on my right side. I was also winning (1 or 4 hands). They my arm got tired, so I switched sides. I then lost the next two hands. Noticing that I hadn't lost until I switched arms, I went back to the way I started. I also won the next 2 hands to win.
As a note, the same night (in fact, we just finished about l/2 hour ago) I played my R.A. again. I also layed on my right side. I lost. I had started out assuming causation, but was shown to be wrong by losing.
43. Today while I was on the phone, I was told about a classic case of reactance. This is something that my brother suffers from often, just like he was a little kid (but he's 18). On Tuesday, my brother had to go to some place in Hillcrest to sign up for his classes. He's going to attend S.I.U., however, there was this place up here for the northern students to sign up at so they wouldn't have to drive to Carbondale.
Now I know my brother pretty well. He loves tennis. He hates bowling. Just like us, they have to take a P.E. class, so he decided that he wanted bowling. This was before he found out that tennis was available. Then he finds out he can take tennis, but bowling is filled. He had a spaz. He now wanted bowling more than he wanted tennis. When I asked him why, he said it was because he couldn't get into bowling. Oh well, that's my brother.
44. In my Industrial Labor Relations class, we are currently doing a group project. The class is divided into two sides, 8 people on the management side, and 12 people on the union side (I'm on management). What we are trying to do is to renegotiate the labor contract between a union and a slaughter house (that is in financial trouble).
This class has brought to light many examples for me to write about. The first one that comes to mind deals with social loafing. In both groups, it is present. But, after a talk with a friend on the union team, I found out that it is more prevalent on their team. This is probably due to their larger number. What also encourages this is that we are graded as teams, and the teacher never even looks up unless someone makes reference to a chart. Unless the teacher remembers the voices of the people who spoke, those who didn't will remain anonymous. A third factor that encourages the social loafing is that on both sides, there are people who really want to get good grades (me among them). The other side has two people in particular that I know desperately want an A so much that they seem to be doing the whole project. On our side, pretty much everyone wants an A, and only 1 person could be accused of social loafing (missed two important classes and does as little as possible).
45. Last night I noticed, and participated, in a case where there is greater persuasiveness when there are a greater number of sources. My girlfriend and I were going to a party. We tried to get my roommate to go, but he said no, despite my continuous attempts. So we left. We then met up with several other people who were also going, so I decided that I would try to use them to get Chris to go. That worked, he came with.
However, was he merely persuaded, or did he conform due to some kind of normative influence? There are facts to support both. On one side, he could have been persuaded after learning that there would be a lot of single women there, one in particular that he likes. But for the other side, the people who helped Vic and I also seemed rather sad (they were acting) when Chris said no, and one girl even said that she would be hurt if he didn't go. Persuaded or influenced? I guess I'll never know.
46. Did you ever wonder how rumors get started? I think that it is an example of both the primacy and vividness effect. Rumors usually start by someone saying "Guess what I saw..." The reason they must say that is because it is a vivid image to them, plus it is usually only the beginning of an encounter that people see. I recently was put through an example of these. On Saturday, I was talking to a girl named Kim at a party. At around midnight, we both left the party and went to her room. This one girl (a friend of my girlfriend) saw me do this. However, she didn't see me leave 2 minutes later with my cassette in my hand. This one girl, however, immediately ran and told Vickie that I was screwing around on her. This was because she saw something that seemed weird to her, plus it was the first info she saw. The fact that she saw me in the lounge, alone, 5 minutes later didn't change the fact that the info was there. Vickie believes me, however.
47. Fishbein and Ajzen say that our behavior roughly equals our behavioral intentions. They go on to say that our behavioral intentions equal our weighted attitudes plus our weighted social norms. I find this easy to relate to the use of steroids. In the summer, in the gym where I work out, there are several football players who go through a cycle of steroids just before season. The pressure to do the drugs is high because it is so accepted in the gym. I feel I refrained because my attitude toward the use of steroids was so strong coupled with my motivation to comply with the social norm was extremely low. I therefore refrained from steroids because that was my behavioral intention.
48. We said social facilitation is the fact that people's presence will affect our performance. We said that it caused an increase in drive which resulted in the emitting of the dominate response. We went even further to say that the dominant response was doing the task correctly if it was easy or incorrectly if the task was difficult. This in mind I thought back to high school sports. I participated in football, basketball and baseball in high school. While I did well in both football and baseball I always had problems with basketball.
I originally had problems with basketball and I always had to work harder in basketball than any other sport. I became what was called a practice player. I always had great practices but I never had a great game. We practiced with about 30 people in the gym but we played in front of crowds that averaged around 5,500 people. We played sectionals in front of 12,000 every year. These people being there caused a definite evaluation apprehension which increased my drive. This increase in drive generally brought about the response of missing a shot or making a bad pass that, in practice, would have been easy.
There was one exception to this bad play. I was always a good free-throw shooter. In my junior year we were down by 1 with about a minute left in a sectional game. I was fouled in the shot and got two free throws. The other team called time-out to let met think about the shots. During the time-out I heard an announcement that I will never forget, "In our record crowd of 12,536 we want to welcome Head Coach of Indiana University, Bob Knight." At this point evaluation apprehension went way up as did my drive. At this point I was worried. Because of the dominant response I was lucky enough to hit both but I never heard from coach Knight. This task was easy for me, therefore the correct response was to hit both. I'm still glad I was a decent free-throw shooter.
49. When we discussed the idea that we make friends with those close to us this made me think of the floor that I live on now. Last year when we saw who was going to live on our floor we were very upset. Our end of the hall was all football players but the other end was all soccer players. Normally football hates soccer. At first things were a little tense but after a while some friendships developed. Because they were close it was easy to see if they wanted to go eat or go out or something and we found out they aren't as bad as we thought. If they didn't live close we would probably hate them still.
50. Physical attractiveness is another good status indicator. How many times do you see successful politicians that are painfully homely. Big Jim Thompson's size may have something to do with his political success. I think physical attractiveness is our biases revisited under the category of leadership traits!
51. On a former chapter's subject, I thought the talks between Reagan and Gorbachev produced some interesting results. Each negotiator came out of the meetings blaming the other party, a good example of the self serving bias we discussed earlier. Each came up with numerous excuses unrelated to their particular performance, putting the blame on the other party or external factors. I thought the attached comic expressed this concept nicely.
52. A couple of other former chapter thoughts: I was reading an article on Mary Decker in the Tribune on Sunday and noticed the "control" issue surfacing throughout. Mary was training for the Olympics and she and her husband were deciding whether or not to have a child. Their decision ended up being yes. Because of race schedules they had only one month in which conception could take place and she could still have time to deliver, recover, and begin training again. She and her husband flew to Hawaii and in fact she became pregnant during that time. The point of the story in the planning and in her comments about being pregnant was control. She had decided when to get pregnant and she did (lucky Mary). Many others who plan something like this to coincide with work and school schedules are not as successful and the disappointment related to that has to do with control. The feeling is We're doing all the things we're supposed to do, now why aren't "we" pregnant. It's funny the number of conversations like this I've had with women whose biological clock is ticking away.
Another interesting comment Mary made in the article was that when she was pregnant all of a sudden there was this person inside her controlling her body. She couldn't do the same things, this person demanded more of her (nutrition, sleep, etc.) and her body grew in a way that was for the most part, out of her control. I found it very interesting to read this story because it pointed out to me some psychological concepts I had never associated with pregnancy. Also, as my biological clock ticks away and results at this point are none, it make me understand some of the reasons underlying the frustrations people (we) feel when things don't go exactly as we like to plan them.
53. Competition and aggression seem very closely related to me, and my husband and I are proof. About 10 months ago on a really, really cold February night we decided to start a game of Gin Rummy. We decided on a nice round number of 25,000 to play to --we figured we'd be on about our third child by the time we finished (we have 0 now).
During the long winter months we'd play cards for an hour or so, two to three nights a week. Well, needless to say, what started out as a friendly game each night ended up in stoned silence. Depending on who was winning at the time, that was the person who was up; the other partner was very low.
The competition and aggression came from the denial of a goal for one of us, namely to win. Last night we played for two hours after retiring the scoreboard for the summer. Sure enough, by the end of the round we were barely on speaking terms the competition was so intense. I was beating Bill by over 1,000 points when we started. He finally broke the 1,000 lead and he wanted stop. I made up the rule that you had to give a five hand notice, he reluctantly agreed, and I proceeded to whip him the next three hands. Look -- I'm even using aggressive words telling the story!
Thank God he's such a nice guy. Any normal person would have strangled me!
54. Reading in the text about actors, observers, and perceived locus of control got me remembering about an incident that happened last month. We were driving home from St. Louis to Naperville. It was a bright, clear summer morning. Everything seemed fine until my husband noticed that a red car was "following" us. If we were in the right lane, the red car was also in the right lane. If we changed lanes, the red car also changed lanes. If we speeded up, the red car speeded up. If we slowed down, the red car slowed down. This went on for about an hour. We got off the highway finally grateful to get some gas and loose our shadow. Fifteen minutes later we were back on the highway when my husband said the red car was following us again. I couldn't believe it was the same one but it was. At this point although we responded to the threat in different ways (my husband wanted to pull over and tear him limb from limb while I wanted to find a police car), we both perceived the cause of his behavior to be internal. This guy to our observations was a bona fide crackpot. He was the type of person who liked to scare people and probably did it often unlike normal people. (Low consistency, high consensus, and low distinctiveness bring us to the internal cause of behavior.) After another hour of the "follow-the-leader" game, I couldn't take one more minute. I made an excuse about why we had to exit immediately. We cut across both lanes of traffic onto the exit ramp and lost our friend for good. The relief was overwhelming. Sitting here now I wonder if there could have been external causes for his behavior. Somehow the internal cause seems more plausible still today.
55. I discovered an example of the reactance theory in my own life this past summer. My family wants a dog for a pet. I haven't been too thrilled by the idea all along. I finally agreed, only if it was a Pembrooke Welsh Corgi. Corgis are a rather uncommon breed and I figured we probably wouldn't find one at any of the shelters. At the first shelter we went to, the employees had never heard of the breed. Much to my delight and the rest of the family's dismay, they doubted if they would ever receive a dog like that into the shelter system for disposal.
At the second shelter, though, the receptionist knew exactly what we were talking about. She rechecked her records and informed us that we missed getting a Corgi by a few days. They had just had one in their possession the previous week. I remember thinking, "Oh, no! We were so close." Now I really wanted the dog badly.
We spent the rest of the day checking at other shelters but to no avail. It's been 3 months and still no more Corgi. I've spent considerable time checking with breeders and shelters. My husband keeps wondering out loud why if I don't want a dog, am I going through all this work.
I think this whole situation also has something to do with relative deprivation. I've gotten numerous books from the library about Corgis. Seeing them with their owners makes me feel deprived. If they can have a dog, why can't I? I'd be just as good an owner. (Gosh, we've already even built the dog house!) Although some owners of Corgis wouldn't necessarily be in our reference group -- for example, Queen Elizabeth owns 3 Corgis, -- many of the owners look like "regular folks." These are people that could definitely fit in our reference group for comparison. I guess I'll continue to feel "deprived" until we get one.
56. As I was arguing with my daughter today, several concepts that we discussed in class came to my mind. My daughter has been having problems completing her work at school and also producing quality work.
She is in the fourth grade and is studying the states and their capitals. I found myself telling her all about how when I was in the fourth grade I won a prize for being the only one to name all 50 states and capitals correctly. This is clearly an example of the vividness effect. Other than the fact that my teacher's name was Mrs. Tighe and that Marilyn Timmerberg vomited all over her desk the day before Christmas vacation, I couldn't really recall too much else about that year in school.
As she was explaining to me all the numerous reasons why her work wasn't completed, I kept telling her that those were just excuses. If she really applied herself, she could get her work done. This is an example of the self-serving bias. I placed my "success" at naming the states and capitals on internal causes, how hard I had studied. And typical of the example, I was placing her "failure" on internal causes, just not trying hard enough. Even though I knew I was doing this, it was very difficult for me to put the blame on the external causes.
57. "For me I think the point of 'Peggy Sue' is how memory often lies. Peggy Sue is bitter that her husband left her for another woman. She's bitter about that, and she has built it up in her mind that he never loved her. But she goes back in time and she rediscovers that he really did love her. Her memory is disturbed in a valuable way by the experience. The point is that for a lot of the things we believe about our life, it would be a good idea to go back and check the facts."
I found the above comments in a movie review. This reminded me of material that we covered about memory. Here is a good example of how the facts got distorted over time. Not all of us can go back in time, in fact, none of us. But if we did, I think we'd find the facts of the past different from the opinions we've created today. Some would have greater differences than others but very few would be exactly.
58. The other commercial is presented by the National Safety Council. It uses an emotional approach. A father is re-creating how he decided to cut his grass one morning and let his daughter follow behind him while he mowed. A rock flies up striking the little girl in the eye. After a brief emergency room scene, the father says, "My little girl will never see out of her left eye again." His grief and his daughter's visual impairment are emotionally-moving reasons persuading parents to use caution when mowing the lawn.
59. I found myself half-believing two illusions of causation earlier this week. This is our third home. The first two homes both were sold the year after we built a deck in the back yard. This year we built a deck in the back yard of this third house. I told my husband that we'll be moving next year for sure. Building decks causes us to move.
This leads on to my second illusion of causation. We have lived in three houses and I have gone through three pregnancies -- one pregnancy in each house. Therefore, since we are going to move next year, I will also be getting pregnant next year. Moving into a new house causes me to get pregnant.
Then again, perhaps I could combine the two illusions into one and just state that building decks cause pregnancies. I know none of this is true, that it's all merely coincidence. (At least, I hope it is.)
60. In class we discussed that being in a group leads to deindividuation. I recently watched the movie "To Kill A Mockingbird." In it, there is a scene where a mob has gathered at the jail. They want to lynch a black man who they believe has raped a white woman. The men in the mob are acting together in a ugly unison of threats and violence until the little daughter of the man trying to stop the mob speaks up. She calls out to one of the men in the mob by name, reminding him who she is, reminding him of his visits to their house, reminding him that she plays with his son, etc. The man finds these statements embarrassing. They increase his self-awareness and strip away the mob mentality that he was a part of. He can no longer hide behind the mob as the blame for the violence. He now can see the responsibility on his shoulders not just diffused on others. All of this causes him to announce in a loud voice that he's leaving and thinks the other mob members should do the same, which they do. This was a good example of how social loafing was reduced.
It also was a good example of stereotyping. The white men share an oversimplified schema about black men. To them, all blacks are bad no matter how overwhelming the evidence is proving this black man is innocent.