The Orchestra - Social Psychology

Andrew - Honors Pyschology

Aspect 1: Authority

The orchestra is headed by a conductor. His authority is rarely questioned, but, unlike in the Milgram Experiment (1961), it is not likely that his authority will be completely obeyed. Orchestra members are not fully willing to do every single thing he says should be done - if this ere the case, every member would have perfect attendance. Also, unlike in the Zimbardo experiment, the leaders of each section have very little authority and therefore cannot do much to abuse it. The only real source of authority in the orchestra is the conductor and the board of directors.

Aspect 2: Conformity

Conformity is a very important part of the orchestra. Members must be appropriately dressed for events, and be dressed with some similarity to each other. Therefore, all members wear black formal dresses/suits/tuxedos. However, there is no dress code for rehearsals. Students are expected to conform rarely, but when they re expected t it is crucial for them to do so.
With respect to the Asch experiment, the only sort of conformity experienced in the orchestra is informational conformity. People may not know a specific bit of information or where to go, and may take information regarding these things blindly.

Aspect 3a: Group Dynamics (Part 1) - Group think and Polarization

The orchestra is composed of people from all over the county, representing various demographics, religions (or irreligion), and ideologies. This makes it very hard to create a cohesive "whole", which also helps to cut down on things such as group polarization. Since the group is so diverse, there is little chance for the group to isolate itself from outside and unwanted influences/views. As such, groupthink is also reduced, since the decisions made by members are not subject to the bias of only one particular group.

Aspect 3b: Group Dynamics (Part 2) - Bias

The idea of a fundamental attribution error is dependent upon the inherent bias of disposition versus environment. With regard to the actions of the Board and Conductor (it is very hard to keep track of the individual actions and discussion of each member), there is a slant to blaming the current economic situation (the environment) for whatever cuts or uptick in performance venues may occur.
With regard to self-serving biases, there is an abundance of them. During seating auditions, there is a constant nagging of people critiquing other people's work. More often than not, these critiques will go ignored or be deemed "too harsh." No one likes to hear criticism, especially in a group of more-or-less talented musicians.