Normative & Informational Social Influence Studies


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  • Created on: 07-04-11 19:18
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Key Aim/Methods/Results/Conclusion Methodological Ethical Issues
Study Issues
Anderson et A>attempted to show that women's ideal body size is related to the reliability of food How did Anderson ask Demand
al (1992) supply in a culture. It was hypothesised that in cultures where women had a reliable these women about Characteristics
food supply the ideal body size was to be slender. their ideal size Ethnocentric
M>Women from 54 countries were asked about their ideal body size in relation to the
Normative categories of slender; moderate and heavy body size. Each culture was categorised as
Social having a reliable; moderately reliable and unreliable food supply.
Influence R>It was found that women in cultures where the food supply was unreliable regarded
heavy body size as ideal. While in countries where the food supplies are very reliable,
women said their ideal body size was slender or thin.
C>Cultural norms concerning women's ideal body size are influenced by factors such
as the reliability of the availability of food. Where food supplies are very reliable, there
is evidence of normative social influence (NSI).
Baron et al A>hypothesised that conformity would be greater where people have less confidence in Ecological Sample size
(1996) their judgement. Validity>matching a Debriefing
M>In a novel variation of the Asch line judgement study, participants were shown a drawing is not an
Informational drawing of a person and then asked to match this drawing with one of the three other everyday task.
Social drawings. In 1 condition the drawing was shown for just ½ a second; in the other
Influence condition participants were shown the drawing for 5 seconds. Before being asked to
match the drawing, participants heard the wrong judgements of 2 confederates.
R>Conformity of the wrong matching of the drawing by the assistants was much
higher when the drawing was shown to the participants for just ½ a second, rather
than 5 seconds.
C>The information gained from seeing the drawing for just ½ a second is much less
than for 5 seconds. Hence when there is not sufficient information to be sure of a
judgement, informational social influence will cause people to conform more.


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