This includes detailed information on:

-Conformity, Kelman, Asch, Smith and Bond, Perrin and Spencer, Zimbardo, Moscovici, Normative social influence, Informational social influence, Social Impact Theory, Obedience, Milgram, Orne and Holland, Why do people obey?, Resiting pressures to conform, Resisting pressures to obey, Locus of control, Rotter, Moscovici et al, Social Crytoamnesia.


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  • Created by: Summer
  • Created on: 13-05-12 00:25

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Conformity = When we adjust out behaviour/opinions to match more closely to the
behaviours/opinions of a majority of others. Conformity can be both public and
Defined 3 types of conformity:
1) Compliance: publically conforming to the behaviour/view of a group but privately
maintaining your own view.
2) Internalisation: A true conversion of private views to match those of the group.
A behaviour/view becomes part of your own belief system.
3) Identification: Conform publically and privately but this change is temporary.
How does compliance differ from internalisation?
= Compliance is when a person publically changes their behaviour/view when in a group but
then when their at home (private) they keep their own view. But internalisation is when a
person truly converges their private view to match the rest of the group's views. So the main
difference is that compliance is just public but internalisation is public and private.
Ash ­ Line Experiment
-Aim: to see how the `lone' (real) participant would react to the behaviour of the
confederates. Asch wanted to see if the people would stick to what they believed to be
right or to cave into the pressure of the majority and go along with that decision.
-Procedure: 123 male American undergraduates used. Asch showed a series of lines to
the participants around a table. Participants always answered in the same order (real
participant answered second to last). The confederates (actors) were told to all give the
same wrong answer for 12/18 of the trials.

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In 12 critical trials 36.8% of the responses made true by the participants were incorrect.
They conformed to the incorrect responses given by the other group members.
-1/4 of participants never conformed on any trial.
-To show that the stimulus lines weren't ambiguous. Ash conducted a control trial with
no confederates giving the wrong answers.…read more

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Perrin and Spencer
Carried out Asch's experiment in the 1970's in the UK. They used male students
studying science and engineering. Conformity levels dropped as in the 1970's few
people conformed.
In a different experiment Perrin and Spencer used youths on probation, as the
real participants and the confederates were probation officers. Conformity was
high here, just like Asch's experiment.
Smith and Bond
Carried out a meta-analysis. They analysed conformity studies between 1952 and
1994. 133 studies were carried out in 17 countries.…read more

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He highlighted the importance of minority influence in bringing about social change.
Historical minorities need to be active and consistent in their position to create
Aim: To investigate whether a consistent minority could influence a majority.
Procedure: 32 groups of 6 women in each. 2 women were confederates (each slide
was a different shade of blue). In once condition the confederates described every
slide as green, in another condition the confederates said green 24 times and blue 12
times.…read more

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Social impact theory:
Explained why people conform in some situations but not others, based on 3
1) Number = the greater the number the greater the influence.
2) Strength = the more important the majority is to the individual the
greater their influence.
3) Immediacy = any one individual will have less influence in a larger group.
-Obedience = A type of social influence which causes a person to act in response to an
order given by another person.…read more

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Everybody went to 300 volts.
-35% disobeyed and didn't finish to 450 volts.
Evaluating Milgram's study:
Orne and Holland
Argue that the participants in the experiment were going along with the act (demand
characteristics). Milgram argued that in films of the experiment the participants were
clearly stressed. Also, in a questionnaire afterwards the majority of participants
believed they were giving real shocks. They claim that Milgrams lab experiment has
little resemblance to real life situations where obedience is needed. Giving electric
shocks lacks realism.…read more

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Resisting pressures to obey ­
-Status: Question the motives and status of authority.
-Removal of buffers: Disobedience increases when you can see your actions.
-Disobedient models (social support) ­ Seeing others disobey encourages
-Reactance ­ Attempts to restrict a person's choice can sometimes produce a
boomerang effect.
Locus of Control:
Idea was put forward by Rotter. The term Locus of control refers to a persons perception of
personal control over their behaviour.…read more


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