Social Influence: Conformity

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  • Conformity
    • Types of conformity
      • Internalisation
        • Occurs when a person genuinely accepts the group norms, resulting in a private and public change of opinions.
      • Identification
        • Identifying with the group so publicly changing opinions but not necessarily agreeing with the opinions.
      • Compliance
        • Going along with others in public but not changing private opinions at all.
    • Explanations for conformity
      • Informational social influence (ISI)
        • Agreeing with the opinions of the majority because we believe that it is correct. We accept the opinions because we want to be correct as well.
      • Normative social influence (NSI)
        • Agreeing with the opinions of the majority because we want to be accepted, gain social approval and be liked.
        • Individual differences in NSI mean that the desire to e liked underlies conformity for some people more than others.
    • Asch's research
      • Participants were shown a series of line and asked to match it with a range of comparison lines. Confederates all gave the wrong answer in sequence.
        • The naive participant gave a wrong answer 36.8% of the time. 25% of the participants did not conform to any of the trials. 75% conformed at least once.
        • Variations in group size, unanimity and task difficulty all increased the figure for conformity.
        • Repetition of the experiment in the UK 30 years later found that only 1/396 trials conformed, suggesting that the findings aren't generalisable across time and countries.
        • The artificial situation and task mean that the findings cannot be generalised to everyday situations.
        • Only men were tested and women are said to be more conformist
        • The naive participants were deceived.
    • Zimbardo's research
      • A mock prison was set up as a select group of students were randomly assigned either prisoner or guard roles.
        • The participants were merely acting as stereotypes of their role. Lack of realism.
        • Major ethical issues such as deception, right to withdraw and physical and psychological harm.
          • The study was stopped after 6/14 days due to psychological and physical damage. Prisoners would beat and shout at the prisoners, the prisoners rebelled and became depressed.
            • Zimbardo had control over some variables such as individual differences.This increases the internal validity.
      • The study was stopped after 6/14 days due to psychological and physical damage. Prisoners would beat and shout at the prisoners, the prisoners rebelled and became depressed.
        • Zimbardo had control over some variables such as individual differences.This increases the internal validity.

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