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Social Influence
Unit 2 Psychology


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Social Influence
"Efforts made by one or more individuals to change the
attitudes, beliefs, perceptions of one or more others"
- Baron et al

- Social influence can be in the mind, and also can result in practical…

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1. Behaviour is influenced by the situation, by other
individuals, and by other groups
2. Behaviour is influenced by culture and society


Social Impact Theory
(Purple = influencer, green = target)
The strength of influence or impact will increase when:

1. The strength of the influencer increases




2. The number…

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NORMATIVE (explanation) involves:

- Need for acceptance/approval of others
- Power of others to reward to punish
- Conflict between one and others opinion
- LEADS TO COMPLIANCE (type)
- Aka private disagreement & public acceptance of other's opinion



Sheriff (1935)
- A: To investigate whether people would be influenced…

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naïve participant second to last. 6 neutral trials in which the
stooges gave the correct answer, 12 where the stooges gave the
wrong answer, and a control where 37 participants made their
judgements in private
- R: in the control condition, 0.7% errors were made, in the
experimental condition, 37%errors…

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Baron et al
Showed drawings to participants and asked them to match it with a
pair. Two conditions: one where the picture was shown for 5 seconds
and one for ½ a second. Before they were asked of their judgement,
they heard two wrong judgements from the assistants.

- Conformity…

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- Gave his participants personality and IQ tests. Found that those
less intelligent were more likely to be open to the input of others
and happy to conform
- These individual differences may explain the different levels in
conformity that Asch and Crutchfield found

Zimbardo's Prison Study
Aimed to find…

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Obedience is undesirable because:
- it lacks originality in people & their personalities
- it can put you to blame, the Holocaust, Hitler's right hand men were
prisoned for "following the rules"

Milgram's Study (electric shock, zap)
Aimed to investigate how far people will go in obeying an authority
figure.…

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2) role selection fixed, 3) aims of study, 4) shocks being real. Therefore
might have felt exploited after taking part. But Milgram argued the lies
were necessary for the study to work
- participants hadn't given proper consent, had consented for a different
aimed study
- participants not notified of…

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Validity = "the extent to which a research study measures what it was
designed to measure"

Internal Validity = "the extent to which the research study was properly
conducted, so that it produced a truthful result"
- controls (did anything else effect participants?)
- The measurements (accurate & meaningful?)
-…

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- proximity to victim
- peer administers shock/drugs

Agency Theory ­ Milgram
States that people either act autonomously ­ direct own behaviour,
taking responsibility for the consequences, cued by authority figure, or
the situation. Or agentically ­ allowing someone else to take
responsibility for their actions, learnt through schooling, and…

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