Conformity

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  • Conformity
    • Types of Conformity
      • Compliance - When an individual goes along with a group to avoid being rejected. This is just to fit in and only changes public beliefs. Weakest form
      • Identification - When you conform to the opinions or behaviour of a group because you identify with something about them. This changes public beliefs, but not private
      • Internalisation - When a person genuinely believes in and accepts and groups norm. This changes both public and private beliefs. This is the strongest form of conformity
    • Explanations for Conformity
      • Informational Social Influence - Accepting a majorities point of view due to superior knowledge or judgement causing a change in private beliefs, Leading to internalisation
        • Research Support: Lucas et al - mathematics test, individuals who rated themselves as having poor maths skills more likely to conform to wrong answer
      • Normative Social Influence - Following the crowd which occurs when an individual conforms because they want to be liked and avoid being rejected. Doesn't change private beliefs. Leads to compliance or identification
        • Research Support: Verkooijen at al - technos, hippies and skaters more likely to take drugs, than nerds, sporty and religious - more they identified with the group the more likely to conform to norms
      • Normative and Informational work together - Most people conform for both reasons - Difficult to distinguish which explanation is in play findings cannot be clearly interpreted - explanations not valid
    • Variables Affecting Conformity
      • Aim - Whether people would conform to majority even though it is obviously wrong
      • Procedure - 123 male university students, three lines - A B C and all but one were confederates who gave the right answer, but on some 'critical trials' were told to give the wrong answer - real ppt gave answer last
      • Findings - Real ppts gave wrong answer 37% of time and 75% of people conformed at least once - ppts said they conformed to avoid rejection
      • Conclusion - Found out most ppts conformed
      • Increased task difficulty - increased conformity, Increased privacy - decreased conformity, Increased unanimity - increased conformity, larger group size - increased conformity
    • Conformity to Social Roles
      • Aim - How college students would conform to roles in prison life
        • Lab experiment - can be easily replicated due to the controlled and artificial environment - this can controlled unwanted variables - extraneous variable - increases reliability and internal validity
        • Increased temporal validity - still relevant today - example - Abu Ghraib - links to prison life today - relevant in today's society
      • Procedure - 24 male university students, split into two groups of 12 decided by the flip of a coin either prisoner or guard in a fake prison
      • Findings - group of guards severely punished prisoners psychologically and physically - prisoners scarred, developed depression and had nervous breakdowns

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