The audience effect otherwise known as social facilitation is the effect the passive presence of a spectator will effect a person’s behaviour. For example people are more likely to wash their hands in a public bathroom if they aren’t alone. Travis (1925, cited Simply Psychology 2011) produced an experiment whereby 20 participants had to complete a hand eye coordination test both on their own and whilst being watched 16 out of 20 participants produced better results in the watched condition.
The co action effect is when a person’s performance is positively affected when surrounded by other people performing the same task for example children produce better work when in a class environment with other children than when at home working alone. The effect was first perceived by Norman Triplett in 1898, when comparing how well cyclists did when racing against each other vs when competing. He noted that independent cyclists where slower than those who are competing.
Majority Influence (conformity) is the behaviour of the majority affecting the behaviour of the few. Asch (1951, cited AP Psychology 2014) composed an experiment to find out if participants would conform to majority influence when the majority is obviously wrong. He tested 123 male undergraduates and found that 74% of participants knowingly gave the wrong answer at least once in order to conform to majority influence as they wanted to avoid the confederates’ disapproval. Majority Influence can be further influenced dependant on group size, unanimity, task difficulty, gender and personality.
A persons roles can also influence a person’s behaviour for example a person would be more easily influenced to do something by a police officer than a member of the community. In 1973 Zimbardo produced the Stanford prison experiment, to find out whether brutality among guards was due to sadistic personalities or environment. Normal people were put into a prison environment and given either the role of...