- Explanations to resistance to social influence
- This refers to the ability to withstand the social pressure to conform to the majority or to obey to authority. This ability to withstand social pressure is influenced by situational and dispositional factors.
- Social support can also help people to resist obedience. The pressure to obey can be reduced if there is another person who disobeys. Milgram’s experiment – obedience rates dropped from 65% to 10% when the genuine participant was joined by a confederate who disobeyed. The other persons disobedience acts as a “model” for the participant to copy, freeing him from acting from his own conscience.
- Evaluation (AO3)
- Social support can help to resist conformity. The pressure to conform can be reduced if there are other people there who are not conforming. As shown in Asch`s research the person does not have the “right” answer but simply not following the majority appears to enable a person to follow their own conscience. This person acts as a “model”. The social support offered by the ally led to a reduction in conformity from 33% to just 5.5%. the presence of an ally provides the individual with an independent assessment of reality that makes the feel more confident in their decision and better able to stand up to the majority. However, Asch`s research also showed that if this non-conforming person starts conforming again, so does the naïve p. the effect of dissent is not long lasting.
to support resistance to conformity
- Research supports the role of dissenting peers in resisting conformity. Allen and Levine found conformity decreased when there was one dissenter in an Asch type study. It one condition a confederate answered first, giving the right answer, while other confederates all gave the same wrong answer. The real p always answered fifth. In the second condition the condition the confederate answered fourth. Support was significantly more effectively in position 1 than in position 4. Allen and Levine suggests that by answering correctly first confirms the p`s own judgement and procedures an initial commitment that endures even when other group members disagree. This supports the view that resistance isn’t just motivated by following others but enables someone to be free from the pressure of the group and therefore means the explanation of social support has reliability.
- Another strength is research evidence for dissenting peers in resisting obedience. Gamson found higher levels of resistance in their study than Milgram. P`s answered an advert to take part in a summary run by a PR firm. P`s met in a hotel and were paid $10 of 2 hours’ work. They were asked to consider a case of an employee who supposedly behaved immorally. It became clear that the company wanted some videotaped support for their views, altogether 33 groups took part and 29 refused to sign. In Gamsons study, 29 out of 33 groups (88%) rebelled. This shows that peers support is linked to greater resistance and further supports the view that social support can led to resistance to obedience.
- Rotter first proposed the concept of locus of control. It is concerned with internal VS external locus of control. Some people believe that the things that happen to them are largely controlled by themselves. People with an internal LOC are much more likely to be independent. This is because they believe that they have power over what happens in their own behaviour. If they were to harm someone they would blame themselves; this motivates them to act independently. Other people have a tendency that things happen without their control, if they did well in an exam they might they might say it was because they used a good textbook/didn’t do well- blames it on the textbook.
to social influence - LOC
- People who have an internal locus of control are more likely to resist pressures to conform or obey. This is because if a person takes responsibility for their own actions and experiences, then they are more likely to base their decisions on their own beliefs and thus resist pressures from others. Another explanation for the link with greater resistance is that people with a high internal LOC tend to be more self-confident, more achievement-orientated, have higher intelligence and have less need for social approval. These personality traits lead to greater resistance to social influence.
- Evaluation (AO3)
- There is research to support the locus of control. Research evidence supports the link between LOC and resistance to obedience. Holland repeated Milgram’s baseline study and measured whether participants were internals did not continue to the highest stock level. Whereas, only 23% of externals did not continue. In other words, internals showed greater authority. Therefore, research support of this nature increases the validity of the LOC explanation and our confidence that it can explain resistance.
- However, not all research supports the link between LOC and resistance. Twenge analysed data from American obedience studies over a 40-year period. The data showed that, over this time span, people became more resistant to obedience but also more external. If resistance were linked to an internal locus of control, we would expect people to have become more internal. Therefore, this challenges the link between internal locus of control and increasing resistant behaviour. However, it is possible that the results are due to a changing society where many things are out of personal control.
- Research to support
to support resistance to conformity