Social Psychology - Social Influence Mind Map

A mind map detailing the key ideas and evaluation points of the "Social Psychology - Social Influence" module of Unit 2 AQA A AS Psychology 

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  • Social Psychology - Social Influence
    • Conformity
      • Compliance
        • Asch
          • Participants were placed with a group of confederates all instructed to give the wrong answer to an obvious question and the rate of conformity was measured
          • Found that in 37% of the trials, participants went along with the majority's incorrect answer
            • Participants complied to avoid being different but privately knew that the answer was wrong
          • Variations
            • Difficulty of the task: Conformity increased as difficulty increased
            • Size of majority: conformity dropped when the majority was only two confederates
            • Social Support: when a confederate agreed with the participant this lead to a drop in conformity
            • Eagly and Carli on Gender: Found that men are less likely to conform because they are more assertive and independent while women may favour group harmony
            • Weisenthal et al on Confidence: Found that engineering students were less liekey to conform because they were more confident in their response
            • Smith and Bond on Culture: Conformity is higher in collectivistic cultures
          • Evaluation
            • Validity: Good control of variables
            • Ethnocentric:  Historical and cultural bias due to McCarthyism
              • Perrin and Spencer on time and era: Found that modern day conformity may be lower due to education about rights etc.
                • Evaluation
                  • Validity: Good control of variables
                  • Ethnocentric:  Historical and cultural bias due to McCarthyism
                    • Perrin and Spencer on time and era: Found that modern day conformity may be lower due to education about rights etc.
                    • Validity: Lacks validity due to the artificial groups created
                    • Results actually show more independence than conformity (two thirds vs. one third)
              • Validity: Lacks validity due to the artificial groups created
              • Results actually show more independence than conformity (two thirds vs. one third)
            • Tested normative social influence
          • Sherif
            • Participants were shown a light that appears to move and were asked to estimate the distance and direction of movement.  They were then put into groups of three to discuss and come to a consensus and they were then retested individually
            • Participants were likely to merge their estimates to be closer to the group average. Concluded that participants use other's information to help them when they are eunsure
            • Tested informational social influence
            • Evaluation
              • Ambiguous Task: Participants were deceived into thinking the light was moving when it wasn't which would be unlikely to occur in real life making the results difficult to generalise
              • Ecological Validity: Artificial setting
        • Internalisation
          • Moscovici et al
            • Condition 1) Confederates called all of the blue slides green and in 2) Confederates called some green and some blue
            • Found that participants were more likely to internalise the minority's view when they were consistent
            • Evaluation: Trivial exercise (unimportant so may not have been taken seriously) and lacked ecological validity as the task was artificial
          • Clark
            • Participants role-played a jury deciding the fate of a young man. One juror aimed to convince the others that he was innocent
            • Most important factors were found to be giving evidence and as more people defected to the other view it encouraged more participants to follow
            • Evaluation
              • Low mundane realism: as the participants were aware that the experiment was role-play and had no real-life implications
        • Identification
          • Zimbardo
            • 24 psychologically stable male students volunteered to role play a prison setting. "Guards" experienced de-individuation by being given uniforms and mirrored sunglasses. Prisoners were given numbers instead of names
            • Prisoners originally rebelled and the guards' punishments escalated until the prisoners became more passive. The experiment had to be stopped early  due to the prisoners becoming distressed.
              • Social roles were adopted quickly and the experiment shows the importance of social roles (situational factors) in influencing our behaviour
            • Evaluation
              • Individual Differences: Ignored those participants that did not behave according to their roles
              • Ethics: Many critics claimed that the experiment should have been stopped earlier
              • Observer Bias: Zimbardo ran the prison and may have become too personally involved in the situation
          • Reicher and Haslam
            • Conducted a similar "mock prison" experiment with male volunteers. Participants were tested daily for stress and depression.
            • Participants did not always fit into their social roles which suggests that they are flexible
        • Why do people conform?
          • Deutsch and Gerard: Dual-process dependency model
            • Informational Social Influence: People conform because they desire to be correct and to reduce subjective uncertainty (not being sure if we are correct unless we can confirm with others)
            • Normative Social Influence: People conform because they wish to be accepted and  liked through the approval of others. This may lead to compliance
          • Latane and Wolf: Social Impact Theory
            • The impact of a "source" is affected by: strength (the person's status/power), immediacy (the physical/social distance from the target) and number of people (as the source grows it becomes more influential)
            • Hogg and Vaughn's negatively accelerating positive function: e.g. turning a light on and then each following light makes less difference
          • Hogg and Abrahams: Social Identity Explanations
            • People feel pressure to conform because of referent informational influence (wanting to conform to the norms set by a group that we have defined ourselves as a member of)
            • Taifel commented that we may internalise the norms of our group and behave according to them even when we are not with the group
            • The meta-contrast principle is the tendency for groups to conflict with one another
        • Changing one's attitudes or behaviours under the influence of a larger group
      • Obedience
        • Milgram: Shock Experiment
          • Participant believed they were administering shocks when "learner" answered incorrectly. They were actually being measured on how high voltage they would go up to under obedience of authority
          • 65% of participants administered 450v (the highest) but none stopped before 300v when the learner began to protest. Concluded that ordinary people will obey orders against their conscience
          • Variations   Factors affecting Obedience
            • Learner proximity: when teacher and learner were together obedience dropped to 40%
            • Setting: from Yale to "seedy office", obedience dropped to 48%
            • Authority proximity: when experimenter gave orders over the phone, dropped to 23%
            • Groups: when another confederate refused to give shock, obedience dropped to 10%
            • Another confederate gives shock: obedience raised to 90%
            • Discretion: when participant could choose shock level only 2.5% went to 450v
          • Evaluation
            • Orne and Holland on Internal Validity: claimed that participants were showing demand characteristics and didn't really believe the shocks were real
              • Milgram defends that stress symptoms were shown suggesting otherwise
            • Ecological Validity: Unlikely task to be encountered in real life setting
              • However, this meant that the variables were highly controlled
            • Baumrind on Ethics: participants were not fully informed (deceived), could not withdraw and endured psychological harm (stress)
              • Milgram claimed that participants: were debriefed, could and did withdraw and 84% said they were glad to have taken part
            • Criticisms may have been aimed more to the findings of the experiment rather than the procedures
        • Hofling et al: Obedience in Nurses
          • Experimenter phoned nurses claiming to be a doctor and instructed them to administer drugs to a patient
          • Despite clear rule contradiction,  most nurses obeyed which shows that they are likely to follow orders from a legitimate authority
            • Evaluation
              • Orne and Holland on Internal Validity: claimed that participants were showing demand characteristics and didn't really believe the shocks were real
                • Milgram defends that stress symptoms were shown suggesting otherwise
              • Ecological Validity: Unlikely task to be encountered in real life setting
                • However, this meant that the variables were highly controlled
              • Baumrind on Ethics: participants were not fully informed (deceived), could not withdraw and endured psychological harm (stress)
                • Milgram claimed that participants: were debriefed, could and did withdraw and 84% said they were glad to have taken part
              • Criticisms may have been aimed more to the findings of the experiment rather than the procedures
        • Brickman et al: Uniform Study
          • An experimenter asked passers-by in New York to carry out various unusual tasks first dressed in street clothes and then dressed in a security guard's uniform
          • Found that 92% complied when he was dressed as a security guard compared to 49% when he was in street clothes
        • Why do people obey?
          • Milgram's Agency Theory: Claims that people may enter an agentic state where they lose their sense of autonomy and responsibility
          • Gradual Commitment: agreeing in small steps makes it harder to refuse the next request. Surveys showed that most participants would not have administered 450v straight away
          • Brickman's legitimate authorities: socialisation leads people to recognise legitimate authority (e.g. parents and police). Because these people are justified, they have the right to tell us what to do and this respect leads us to consider their demands more reasonable and this makes us more likely to obey
          • Buffers: separate the consequences of our actions from what we're doing. For example, in Milgram, the wall between the participant and the "learner" acts as a buffer, leading to higher obedience
        • Why do people disobey?
          • Dispositional/ Personality Factors
            • Rotter's Locus of Control: People with an internal locus of control are less likely to obey because they have a stronger sense of autonomy
            • Milgram's moral reasoning: some people have a very strong sense of morality (e.g. the participant that refused to administer any shocks)
            • Adorno's Authoritarian Personality: suggests that some people may be more obedient by nature due to strict parenting leading to a repression of hostility (that may be targeted at an ethnic/religious group)
          • Situational Factors
            • Other Participants: the presence of allies helps people to disobey authority (for example, the Gamson et al study where all participants disagreed with the authority's unreasonable request)
            • Illegitimate Authorities: e.g. in Brickman et al's study the "street clothes" were seen as illegitimate and more people resisted obedience
      • Social Influence in Everyday Life
        • Individual Differences in Independent Behaviour: Causes
          • Crutchfield on Self-esteem: those who have a low self-esteem are more likely to conform
          • Oliver and Oliver on Social Responsibility: Found that Non-Jews from WW2 that protected Jews scored higher on moral responsibility
          • Seligman on Learned Helplessness: suggests that people may respond passively when faced with stress
          • Abrahamson et al on attributional style: claim that people with a depressed attributional style see themselves as incapable of change
          • Bandura on self-efficacy: Found that individuals with high independent thought are less likely to conform
        • Nemeth and Chiles (on becoming more independent)
          • Found that exposure to a model of independent behaviour can encourage individuals to resist the pressure to conform
          • Participants were exposed to two attempts to alter their views. 1) Participants were placed into groups with one confederate and asked to judge the colour of blue slides Some confederates called all slides green and other called some slides green. 2) Another colour perception task using red slides, confederates called them orange
        • Implications for Social Change
          • Suffragette Movement: Individual women campaigned for equal rights (mainly the right to vote). They chained themselves to Downing Street and Buckingham Palace as well as using violent methods (e.g. assault and arson). The majority was influenced by their point of view and internalised their view leading to them getting the vote in 1928
          • Gay Rights: Homosexuality was originally illegal, but was decriminalised in 1967. Gays were still not equal (age of consent was higher). However, over the last decade there have been many moves towards equality and minorities have successfully changed attitudes (e.g. the Ewuality Act in 2007 included discrimination against homosexuals)
          • Martin Luther King: In 1950s America, black people did not have the same rights as white people and were segregated. MLK challenged the majority views to bring about social rights for black people. He and other activists peacefully protested (known as the Civil Rights Movement). Although originally unpopular, eventually the actions influenced the majority and equal rights laws are in place.

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