Social Influence

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  • Social Influence
    • Informational
      • Look to others  for how to behave in a strange situation
    • Normative
      • being liked
      • Peer  pressure
      • avoid riducule
      • part of a group
    • Conformity
      • Compliance
        • Social Comparisson
        • Reward/avoid punishment
        • Separate  private views
        • temporary
      • Identification
        • Adopt  accepted actions and beliefs
        • influencer
        • personal views change
      • Internalisation
        • it is right
        • fully accepting beliefs all the time
      • Studies of conformity
        • Majority influence
          • Asch 1956
            • Method
              • 6 confederates + 1 true participant
              • Shown 3 comparison lines and a standard line -  asked to match standard line to one of the comparison lines
              • confederates gave unanimous wrong answer on 12 of 18 trials
            • Conclusion
              • there is often strong group pressure to conform, especially if majority is unanimous
            • Findings
              • 26% never conformed but experienced tension and doubt
              • 74% of participants conformed on at least one of the trials
                • most conforming participants experienced a distortion of judgement
            • Evaluation
              • Ethics are not present
                • true participants were deceived by Asch
                  • results would have been effected if true aim was revealed
              • Product of the time
                • Perrin + Smith  (1980): Replication - 1 conforming response out of 396 trials
                  • 1950's America was non-conformist
              • Most people remained independent instead of conforming
                • 68% remained independent where majority was wrong
                  • we should be celebrating the independence  of human beings
              • Does not account for other cultures
                • Smith + Bond (1998) meta-analysis on collectivist and individualists - collectivists showed highest levels of conformity
                  • task lacks meaning so they would not have come across it before and so be more likely to conform
            • Variations
              • Self-efficacy
                • Albert Bandura: How confident you feel in you abilities
                • low self-efficacy = more likely to conform
                • high self-efficacy = less likely to conform
                • Lucas (2006): replication maths task - high self-efficacy didn't conform in low or high difficulty tasks where low self-efficacy did conform
              • Majority
                • 5% increase from 1 confederate, 36% from 3 confederates - no effect after 3
              • Ally
                • less likely to comply if participants thought the ally was truthful and honest
        • The Stanford prison experiment
          • setting
            • prison built in basement of Stanford university
          • sample
            • male
            • white
            • 24
            • middle class
            • college students
            • volunteer sampling
              • newspaper advert
            • questionnaires
          • prisoners
            • smock
              • humiliate
            • ID numbers
              • de-humanise
            • nounderwear
              • take away basic human rights
            • chain + lock around ankle
              • reminder of oppressiveness of environment
          • guards
            • khaki shirt + trousers
            • whistle + baton
              • symbols of power and control
            • reflecting sunglasses
              • no eye contact
          • Results
            • terminated after 6 days
              • 5 prisoners released early due to extreme emotional depression
                • demonstrates powerful effect roles can have on people's behavior
          • evaluation
            • Zimbardo collected qualitative data using a variety of methods
              • covert and overt observations used, interviews and questionnaires
                • qualitative data is good because it's full of description and usually contains a lot of useful info - access to thoughts and feelings - freedom to express selves - helps to capture true complexity of behavior in situation
            • unrepresentative sample used
              • 24 male participants who were same age, white, middle class college students
                • sample contains individuals with unique set of characteristics- difficult to generalize findings to population - females, ethnicity, age not included - low ecological validity
            • high ecological validity
              • participants arrested from their homes and booked into prison in realistic fashion, couldn't just walk out, uniforms, Zimbardo included, field experiment
                • Zimbardo visited prisons to make simulation look as real as possible - generalizing results to prison situations, useful in telling us about how people react in real life

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