Social Influence Summarised


  • Created by: 12listers
  • Created on: 16-05-19 16:23
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  • SOCIAL INFLUENCE
    • Types of conformity
      • Conformity is behaviour in accordance with socially accepted conventions.
      • Compliance- The action or fact of complying with a wish or command.
      • Identification- A persons sense of identity with someone or something
      • Internalisation- An individuals acceptance of a set of norms and values through socialisation
      • Informational social influence- When you make decisions about how to behave, you use many sources of information to help you decide.
      • Normative social influence- Conforming in order to be liked by a group, not necessarily because you believe in the things being said or done.
    • Variables affecting conformity
      • KEY STUDY: ASCH 1956
        • Procedure; 123 male undergraduates took part in a visual discrimination test alongside confederates and each took turns in calling out which line was the standard length. The confederates were told to call out the wrong answer to see if participants would conform to this
          • Findings; the average rate of conformity was 33%, 25% never conformed at all, 50% conformed in six or more trials, and 1/20 conformed in all 12 trials
      • Variables identified
        • KEY STUDY: ASCH 1956
          • Procedure; 123 male undergraduates took part in a visual discrimination test alongside confederates and each took turns in calling out which line was the standard length. The confederates were told to call out the wrong answer to see if participants would conform to this
            • Findings; the average rate of conformity was 33%, 25% never conformed at all, 50% conformed in six or more trials, and 1/20 conformed in all 12 trials
        • Group size- There was very little conformity when there was only one or two confederates
        • Unanimity of majority- When the participant had an ally conformity fell to 9% showing when unanimity broke, conformity fell.
        • Difficulty- In one variation the length of the lines were more similar making the task more difficult, this lead to increased conformity.
        • Evaluation
          • Weakness: Lacks temporal validity, the study took place in the McCarthyism period which was a strong anti-communist period in US history, conformity levels in this time were high as people were scared to to go against the majority
          • Limited research, BOND 2005, suggested that there is a limitatin in research on cnformity as there has been little research on the effect of larger groups sizes, all we know is that three is sufficient
          • Unconvincing confederates impacted the validity of ASCH'S results as it could have been difficult for the confederates to act convincingly when giving the wrong answer.
    • Conformity to social roles
      • KEY STUDY: ZIMBARDO
        • Background: Set in the aftermath of the Attica prison riots in New York
        • Procedure:Mock prison set up in the basement of Stanford University in California. It consisted of 24 stable volunteers and were randomly allocated either the role of prisoner or guard, prisoners were actually arrested from their own homes and guards were given uniform, reflective glasses, clubs and whistles.
        • Findings: There was an increase in the abuse from the guards over the first two days, prisoners made to clean toilets with bare hands, some guards volunteered to unpaid extra hours, all participants forgot that it was a study and conformed to their social roles
        • Evaluation
          • The research was unethical, it could be said that the experiment broke ethical guidelines such as the right to withdraw at anytime as some prisoners asked to leave and were stopped from doing so to make it seem like a real prison as well as psychological harm for guards and possibly physical harm in the outbreak of fights/riots
          • Experimenter bias, this is because Zimbardo himself was the prison superintendentherefore could have influenced the results in some way to support his hypothesis.
    • Explanations for conformity
      • Situational variables affecting obedience
        • KEY STUDY: MILGRAM 1963
          • Procedure: Involved 40 participants (known as the teacher) and two confederates who were the researcher and the learner. The teacher was required to test the learner on word pairs, for each incorrect answer to teacher would give the learner an electric shock which increase in increments of 15 volts up until 450 volts labelled as dangerous
          • Findings:Before the study, Milgram asked for predictions of how far participants would go until stopping, they concluded that 1/1000 would go to 450volts. instead 65% hocked at 450volts and all shocked at 300volts
        • Proximity: When the teacher and learner were in the same room, obedience fel to 40% as participants were able to feel pain and anguish more.
        • Location: Conducted at Yale University, many participants said had it been conducted elsewhere they would nt have administered shocks so high.
        • Uniform: Research has shown that uniforms can have a powerful impact on obedience as they convey power and authority.
      • Dispositional variables affecting obedience
        • The authoritarian personality
          • KEY STUDY: ELMS AND MILGRAM, follow up study using the same participants. 20 obedient participants went up to 450volts and 20 that refused to. Asked each participants to complete several personality questionnaires and were asked about relationships with parents etc
            • Obedient participants scored higher on the F-scale, concluding that more obedient participants are more authoritarian.
              • F-Scale
                • ADORNO 1950 developed a questionnaire known as the F-scale to measure authoritarian personality
                  • Argues personality factors are more imprtant that situational ones.
                • Characteristics:likes order, admires authority figure, obedient
                • ALTEMEYER 1981: Right wing authoritarian
          • Evaluation
            • MIDDENDORP AND MELEON 1990: less educated people are more obedient and authoritarian
            • BEGUE ET AL: more right wing on the political spectrum are more likely to obey the authority
      • Agentic state
        • People feel rude saying no so do things they wouldn't usually choose to d
        • Do not feel responsibility for their actions as they are acting as an agent, carrying out wishes for someone else
          • Feels like it doesn't impact their self image
      • Legitimacy of authority
        • Authority is responsible for the actions
        • Can be harmful e.g. from the military
          • Following order
            • CALLEY was ordered to kill Vietnamese civilians in a conflict and didn't feel and responsibility.
    • Resistance to social influence
      • Locus of control
        • Internal: An individuals behaviour is guided by personal decisions and actions within their control, e.g. "i failed my test because i didn't revise".
        • External: Individual believes events are out of their control and down to factors like fate, "i failed my test because my teacher doesn't like me"
        • Evaluation
          • TWENGE ET AL 2004 found that an increasing number of people are becoming external.
      • Social support
        • KEY STUDY ASCH
          • Evidence for social support reducing conformity (with an ally conformity fell from 33% to only 9%).
    • Minority influence
      • Consistency
        • MOSCOVICI said this was the most important factor in social change
      • Commitment
      • Flexibility
      • EXAMPLES: Suffragettes
    • Social change
      • Usually result of minority influence
      • EXAMPLE views on homosexuality
      • Steps to social change
        • Draw attention
        • Consistency
        • Augmentation principle
        • Commitment
        • Snowball effect
        • Duration

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