Social psychology

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  • Social psychology
    • Social influence
      • The process whereby people directly or indirectly influence the thoughts, feelings and actions of others
      • Conformity
        • Yielding to the group pressure
          • Explanations
            • Normative influence
              • Informational
                • Where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect the correct behaviour in situations. Leads to private conformity-Identification or internalisation
              • We are lead to conform in order to be liked and accepted. Leads to public conformity- compliance.
            • Majority influence
              • People adopt the behaviour, attitudes and values of other members of a group. Some conformity is due to the desire to be liked (normative) others due to desire to be right (informational)
              • Asch 1951
                • Aim- to investigate the extent to which individuals will conform to a majority who is giving obviously wrong answers.
                  • Procedure- 123 american males volunteered to take part, they thought it was a visual perception test. They were placed in groups of 7-9 confederates as the 2nd to last person. Each person in the group asked which line in a group of three were the same length as a test line. Control of 36 ps were tested individually on 20 trials.
                    • Findings- Control group error rate was 0.04%. Overall  conformity rate 32%. 75% conformed at least once. 25% never conformed.
                      • Conclusion- Even in unambiguous situations, there may be a strong pressure to conform especially when there is a majority.
                        • Evaluation- Time consuming and uneconomical as only one ps at a time- lacks external validity. Unrealistic situation. Psychological harm and deceit. All male and all american.
              • Sherif 1935
                • Single point of light in a dark room, ps asked to estimate how far the dot moved, then tested them together in a group, group norm occurred  close to average of estimates they gave individually.
                  • Individuals experienced informational social influence
        • Compliance- Publicly but not privately going along with the majority influence to gain approval.
        • Identification-Public& private acceptance of majority influence to gain group acceptance.
        • Internalisation- Public& private acceptance of majority influence, due to adoption of the majority's belief system.
    • Obedience- Complying with the demands of an authority figure.
      • Obedience happens when you are told to do something, whereas conformity is doing something due to social pressure.
      • Obedience has a hierarchy of status, the person giving  the order has a higher status than those receiving the order
      • Milgram 1963
        • Aimed to see how far ps would go obeying an instruction involving the harm of other people
          • Procedure- 40 male participants were named teachers while confederates learners. The learner had to learn words and were then tested on them by the teacher. Everytime one was incorrect the teacher administered a (fake) electric shock up to 450V.
            • Whenever the ps refused to administer a shock the experimenter(dressed in white lab coat) would give them a standardised order for them to continue.
              • They found 65% of ps continued to the highest level and all ps went up to 300V
                • This shows that ordinary people will follow orders given by an authority figure, regardless of the situation. It is in our nurture to obey.
                  • Evaluation- Psychological harm to ps. Lacked internal validity. Lacked ecological validity. Only males and only one culture.
        • Variations
          • Victim is silent- 100%
          • Run down office- 48%
          • Victim in the same room as teacher- 40%
          • Teacher forced hand onto shock plate-30%
          • Experimenter not present but phones in- 20.5%
          • Teacher paired with 2 confederates who refuse-10%
          • Teacher has helped to administer shocks- 92.5%
      • Situational factors
        • Group size- the bigger the majority the more influential
        • Culture- collectivist cultures more likely to conform than individualist cultures.
        • Location-  Milgram's experiment in Yale uni showed lower obedience when moved to run down office block


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