Social Psychology

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  • Created by: Bethany
  • Created on: 23-10-14 11:07
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  • Social Psychology
    • definitions
      • Social psychology - about peoples social behaviour - based on the fact we are constantly interacting with others and our behaviour is influenced by their presence.
      • Conformity - A form of social influence where group pressure (which can be real or imagined) results in a change in behaviour
      • Normative social influence - an explanation of conformity which is as a result of people's need to be seen as part of a group and not going the against the norms of the group. The individual wants to be liked and respected by the group.
      • Informational social influence - an explanation of conformity which is a result of people's need to be right. The individual turns to others in the situation of uncertainty and conforms because others are thought to have more knowledge.
      • Social Role - a set of behaviours which are thought to be appropriate to a person in a particular situation.
    • Conformity
      • Key studies
        • Asch: NORMATIVE INFLUENCE use of lines and a control line - 37% conformed
          • Evaluation: highly controlled conditions (lab - establish cause and effect), valid as it has been repeated, not ethical due to deception. Conformity presented as bad - can be good though.
        • Sherif: INFORMATIONAL INFLUENCE shown a spot of light which appeared to move (it didn't - autokinetic effect) asked to guess how far it moved. By themselves - guesses were very different, over a series of group trails answers converged
          • Evaluation: didn't have to arrive at a group estimate so the pressure was imagined showing conformity well, not unpredictable so the study isn't showing us anything new.
        • OVERALL EVALUATION OF BOTH: both are reliable as they are in a lab (high control), both lack ecological validity, Sherif can be generalised, Asch's can't because it was only carried out with male university students, both are unethical as use of deception and Asch used confederates.
      • key Concepts
        • Normative influence
          • Occurs due to a need for social approval, why? fear of rejection, identified as part of a group + show loyalty
          • Leads to compliance - change public opinion but maintain private opinion
        • informational influence
          • Occurs due to a fear of looking unintelligent and believing others know better (difficult or unfamiliar task)
          • Leads to internalisation - change of public and private opinion
        • Factors affecting conformity
          • Increased size of majority will INCREASE CONFORMITY
            • One confederate showed no real effect, 3 showed 33% errors (addition of more after 3 had no effect)
          • Unanimity (someone agrees with you) will DECREASE CONFORMITY
            • one confederate agreeing reduced conformity to 5.5% / bad eyesight conformity still decreased but not as much
          • Difficult task will INCREASE CONFORMITY
            • British students studying chemistry thought they were competent at a task so they were les likely to conform as they didn't find the task difficult
          • Anonymity (giving a private answer) will DECREASE CONFORMITY
            • all confederates called out their answer but the participant wrote theirs down - conformity reduced to just over 12%
        • another reason why people conform is to comply with social roles.
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