Conformity

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  • Conformity
    • Types
      • Internalisation
        • When a person generally accepts the group norms.  change.
          • Results in a private and public
          • The changes persist even without the presence of other group members
      • Identification
        • When a person conforms to the behaviour/ opinions of a group because there is something about the group that the person values.
          • Results in a public change but not necessarily a public change
          • They identify with the group so they want to be part of it.
      • Compliance
        • Simply going along with others
          • Public change but not a private change
          • Particular behaviour or opinion stops as soon as the group pressure stops
    • Explanations
      • Informational social influence
        • ISI
          • About who has better information- You or the rest of the group?
            • When a person copies other people to fit in because they think that they are right
          • Ex. You may not know the answer to a question in class. But if most of the class agrees on one answer, you accept that answer because you feel they are likely to be right
          • Cognitive process because it is to do with what you think
          • Likely to happen in situations that are new to a person or situations where there is some ambiguity so it isn't clear what is right
      • Normative social influence
        • NSI
          • About what is normal or typical behaviour for a social group
            • People do not like to look foolish and prefer to gain social approval rather than be rejected
          • Emotional rather than a cognitive process
          • Most likely to occur in situations with strangers where you may feel concerned about rejection
            • May be more pronounced in stressful situations where people have a greater need for social support
    • Evaluations
      • Research support for ISI
        • Lucas et al. (2006)
          • Asked students to gove answers to mathematical problems that were easy or more difficult. There was greater conformity to incorrect answers when they were difficult rather than when they were easier ones.
          • The study shows that people conform in situations where they feel they don't know the answer, which is exactly the outcome predicted by the ISI explanation.
            • We look to other people and assume they know better than us and must be right.
      • Individual differences in NSI
        • Some research shows that NSI does not affect everyone's behaviour in the same way
          • For example: people who are less concerned with being liked are less affected by NSI than those who care more about being liked.
            • nAffiliators- Are people who have a greater need for being in a relationship with others.
              • For example: McGhee and Teevan (1967) found that students high in need of affiliation were more likely to conform. This shows that the desire to be liked underlies conformity for some people more than others.
                • Therefore there are individual differences in the way people respond
      • ISI and NSI work together
        • The idea of Deutsch and Gerrard's 'two process' approach is that behaviour is either due to NSI or ISI
          • But the truth is that more often both processes are involved.
            • For example conformity is reduced when there is one other dissenting participent in the Asch experiment. This dissenter may reduce the power of NSI (because the dissenter provides social support) or ISI (because there is an alternative source of information)

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