Resistance to Social Influence, Majority and Minority Influence

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  • Social Influence
    • Explanations of resistance to social influence
      • Social Support
        • this is when someone agrees with or behaves in the same way as us
        • conformity can be reduced when a dissenter doesn't appear very compentent
      • Locus of Control
        • Julian Rotter
          • we either have an internal or external locus of control
            • an internal locus of control means we see ourselves in control of what happens to us
            • an external locus of control means we see ourselves to be victims of events outside our control
        • Blass found those with an internal locus of control were more able to resist obedience than those with an external locus of control. those with an internal LoC were especially resistant if they thought they were being manipulated to obey
        • Moghaddam found Japanese people conform more easily than Americans and more Japanese people have an external locus of control
    • Minority Influence
      • this is a type of social influence that motivates individuals to reject established majority group norms
      • occurs through conversion
        • this is when the new belief or behaviour is accepted both publicly and privately
      • minority influence takes longer to achieve than majority influence due to the long process of social cryptoamnesia or 'the snowball effect'
        • this is the gradual process of a small group gathering enough support to become the majority group
      • consistency
        • a minority is most effective if they keep the same beliefs over time and between all individuals
        • Moscovici found when a minority are consistent in their own opinion they gained more support
          • put participants into 2 groups and had to say is slides were either green or blue. one group of confederates were consistent in giving the incorrect answer and the other group was inconsistent
            • when they were consistent 8% of participants agreed with them
            • when they were inconsistent 1% agreed with them
      • commiment
        • a minority is more powerful if they demonstrate dedication to their position
        • Xie set up an experiment where they developed their own social network. each participant held a traditional view on a given topic but were open to other views. they then added some committed individuals who held an alternative view
          • after discussing the topic the opinion began to shift. Xie discovered a tipping point and that only 10% of committed opinion holders was necessary to tip the majority
            • a tipping point is the number of people needed a change of majority opinion to a majority opinion
      • flexibility
        • relentless consistency can be counter-productive if it seen by the majority as unreasonable. minority influence is more effective if they show flexibility by accepting the possibility of compromise
        • Nemeth created groups of three participants and one confederate (minority), they had to decide how much compensation to give the victim of a ski lift accident. when he was consistent he had no effect but when he compromised the opinion changed
    • social influence processes for social change
      • social change is the way in which society develops through big shifts in people's attitudes, beliefs and behaviours
      • majority influence
        • Perkins and Berkowitz state if that people tend to believe that something is the norm then they will alter their behaviour to fit that norm
        • behaviour is based on the perceived norm instead of the actual norm
          • perceived norm is that they think others believe
          • the actual norm is their real beliefs
      • minority influence
        • a minority can bring about social change by drawing the majority's attention to an issue
        • when a minority gain attention conversion can begin to occur and some members of the majority will begin to consider why the alternative viewpoint is held. in a way innovation occurs and new behaviours and ideas become adopted as mainstream processes


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