Majority Influence

Majority Influence within Psychology.

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Social Psychology ­ Majority Influence
Kelman said that there were 3 types of conformity:
- Compliance ­ going along with others to avoid disapproval.
- Internalisation ­ going along with others because you have accepted their view because it is
consistent with your own.
- Identification ­ going along with others because you have accepted their view, but only to be liked
by them.
Asch ­ Majority influence.
123 students were tested. He showed a series of lines to participants around a table with the real
participants answering last or second to last with confederates answering incorrectly.
34% of the real participant's responses were incorrect.
¼ of the participants never conformed on any of the trials.
He interviewed participants and found that their conformity was due to distortion of perception, distortion
of judgement or distortion of action.
Asch did variations to find that:
- size of majority matters to a point.
- The difficulty of the task is important.
- Unanimity of the majority is important.
Spencer et al. ­ Asch carried out his experiment in America during the 1950s during the outbreak of
Mcarthyism where there was a very strong anticommunist feeling amongst the US public where people
were afraid to be different.
Crutchfield ­ Asch's research was timeconsuming and uneconomical and the tasks carried out were not
like 'reallife situations'.


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