AQA Psychology Unit 2- Social Influences Notes

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PSYCHOLOGY UNIT 2: SOCIAL INFLUENCE Chapter 2/3 Jemini Barchha
PSYCHOLOGY ­ SOCIAL INFLUENCE
Conformity= When conforming, individuals adopt the behaviours and/or values
of a numerically larger group (majority). Known as `majority influence'.
Examples of when behaviour changes depending on who you are with:
-Teachers
-Parents
-Extended family?
Types of Conformity
Compliance= G oing along with others to gain approval/avoid disapproval-
Changing your behaviour publicly but not privately, to fit in.
Internalisation= Re-examining your beliefs with a majority's, therefore changing behaviour
AND beliefs.
Identification= Conforming to the expectations of a social role.
Explanations of Conformity
Informational Social Influence= When an individual changes their own
viewpoint as they believe the majority are more knowledgeable and the
individual themselves do not. Both their behaviour and belief changes, privately
and publicly. This is an example of internalisation.
Normative Social Influence= When one conforms and changes their behaviour
to be accepted by a majority, however do not change their own beliefs-
privately. This is an example of compliance.
Research Studies linked to Conforming
Sherif- Autokinetic Effect
Mazafer Sherif carried out an experiment to investigate the development of
group norms and conformity to these norms
Autokinetic effect=
o Optical illusion takes place- where a stationary spot of light in a
darkened environment APPEARS to move around.
2 Groups
o 1st Group= Tested individually and then in a group
o 2Group= Tested in a group, then individually
nd
o Participant sat in a darkened room, looking at the stationary point of light
o They were told the light was moving and were asked how far it moved
o Each participant made 100 estimates before settling down to a fairly standard
pattern (Personal norm)
o =There were differences between estimates which each participant
produced- e.g. 1 inch, 10 inches
o Participants put into small groups of 2/3.
o =At first, estimates varied widely (Personal norm)
o =Estimates steadily converged into agreement
o Participants came to an agreement quicker (Group norm)
o Participants followed the group norm when faced alone.
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PSYCHOLOGY UNIT 2: SOCIAL INFLUENCE Chapter 2/3 Jemini Barchha
o =Experiment shows how group norms develop and how an individual
conforms to these norms + effect of social informational influence of
their decision.
Evaluation
Lab experiment: Lacked realism, ecological validity
Deception: Ethical issues
Majority Influence
Asch (1956)
Aim
To investigate the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could
affect a person to conform.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY UNIT 2: SOCIAL INFLUENCE Chapter 2/3 Jemini Barchha
When told, participants may have felt embarrassed- breaking the ethical
issue of protection
Describe and evaluate two explanations of conformity [12 Marks]
Asch used a lab experiment, therefore this study lacks ecological validity, this means
the procedures are unrealistic and cannot be generalised to everyday life, as they do
not judge lines that match- daily.
One explanation is normative social influence, this is when an individual conforms in
order to fit in or be accepted.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY UNIT 2: SOCIAL INFLUENCE Chapter 2/3 Jemini Barchha
-What circumstances lead people to obey authority and harm others.
Procedure
o 40 Male German soldiers
o Pilot study
o New Haven area
o Self-selecting sample: Advertisement on the newspaper $4.50
o Yale university- prestigious setting
o Teacher + Learner:
-Fixed lottery -> So the naïve participant is always the teacher
o Naïve participant + 2 confederates
1. Experimenter in a white lab coat with a clipboard
2.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY UNIT 2: SOCIAL INFLUENCE Chapter 2/3 Jemini Barchha
Deception:
-Confederates: Learner experimenter
-Shocks= Not real
-True aim
-Fixed lottery
-Debriefed them
+Counselling
+Met the learner
+Questions asked
Protection:
=Leave in the same state as entered
+Mental harm
+Psychological harm
+Physical harm
+Nervous harm
+Anxiety
+Seizure
+Dug into flesh
-Presumptive consent
+When he asked people how they would react, majority would disobey
Withdrawal:
-At the start Milgram DID tell participants they could leave.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY UNIT 2: SOCIAL INFLUENCE Chapter 2/3 Jemini Barchha
Teacher paired with another actor teachers who would both eventually
o
rebel.
o One `actor' refuses to go past 150V, the other `actor' teacher leaves at
210V
o Disobeying prods
Peer Administers Shocks: 92.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY UNIT 2: SOCIAL INFLUENCE Chapter 2/3 Jemini Barchha
-Milgram's participant's reassured that `although shocks may be painful, no
permanent tissue damage'. However, men of reserve police battalion 101
executed 38,000 Jews over 11 yrs.
The Consequences of an Obedient Alibi
-To explain such events has as a number of negative consequences.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY UNIT 2: SOCIAL INFLUENCE Chapter 2/3 Jemini Barchha
Findings
o Consistent condition:
-8.4% of the participants yielded
-32% of the participants reported a green slide atleast once
o Inconsistent condition:
-Only 1.3% of the participants described the slides as green
o Control condition:
-Only 0.…read more

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