Overview Booklet: AS AQA Spec A 'Social Psychology'

I created this booklet during my course to help me revise. If you're aiming for a grade B or so, this booklet is about your level.

I think it's the formatting, the way it looks, which makes it easy to remember. There aren't any chunks of text to wade through, it's mostly in bulletpoints and pretty boxes.

I hope it's useful. :)

The format of this booklet is .doc, so can be opened in Word 2003 onwards. :)

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Preview of Overview Booklet: AS AQA Spec A 'Social Psychology'

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AS Psychology Notes
Social Psychology: Social Influence
Trait Theory
Majority Influence
Minority Influence
Explanations of Conformity
Normative Influence:
Informational Influence:
Social Impact Theory (Latané):
Obedience to Authority
Validity of research into Obedience
The Obedience Alibi
Reasons for Obedience
Resisting Pressures to Conform
Moral Considerations
The Nonconformist Personality
Resisting Pressure to Obey
Moral Considerations
Social Heroism
Individual Differences
Locus of Control
Attributional Style
The Dimensions of a "Personality"

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Implications For Social Change
Social Psychology: Social Influence
What affects the way we behave?
The environment / Authority / Social Status / Moral Choices?
Trait Theory
Trait theory is the commonly held view that people are either `good', or `bad'. For example, if a
person is thought to be generous, selfless and kind they are a `good' person. However this has
been proven incorrect as people can be all of these different things at different times.
It is the situational context which determines our behaviour.…read more

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These reasons can be linked to Kelman's three types of conformity (1958):
Going along with the Belief changes to the Your views change to
majority view despite view of the majority. become part of a group.
Behaviour changes but Behaviour changes and Behaviour changes and
beliefs do not. beliefs change too. beliefs change too.
Apologising when you don't Being converted to a different Supporting a popular football
mean it. religion. team.…read more

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Minority Influence
This is when a person or small group of people change the behaviour / attitudes / opinions of a
larger group of people in the absence of sanctioned authority.
Moscovici (1969)
To determine whether a minority can influence a majority of naïve participants. Moscovici
aimed to determine the conditions necessary for this to occur, in particular the importance of
consistency in the influence of the minority.
Each condition consisted of 6 participants but in that 6 there were 2 confederates (the minority).…read more

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Use of confederates Moscovici's participants were all women.
Unambiguous task (easy/obvious) Asch's participants were all men.
Critical trials Different variations of the experiment
Private responses increased conformity. were carried out in each study.
No ordering effects.
Explanations of Conformity
Normative Influence:
Compliance is the result of normative influence. The person's beliefs do not change but their
behaviour does.
Humans are a social species and they do not wish to appear deviant. Humans do not wish
to be isolated.…read more

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Milgram and his colleagues expected 4% of people to deliver the 450v shock. However 65% of
participants went to the maximum voltage. 12.5% of participants stopped at 300v `Danger: Severe
Milgram's study gave strong evidence for the argument that it is not a person's disposition,
temperament or personality that governs their obedience and moral choices. It is the situation and
context.…read more

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Validity of research into Obedience
`Participants have learned not to trust scientists' (Orne & Holland, 1968).
However Sheridan and King (1972) carried out an experiment with genuine shocks to a puppy.
100% of female participants obeyed to the maximum (nonlethal) voltage and 54% completed the
Hofling et al (1966) did an experiment to test obedience in real life situations.…read more

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Resisting Pressures to Conform
Allen & Levine (1971)
In one variation of Asch's study the confederate dissenter had very poor vision (indicated by thick
glasses). This example is invalid social support, as supposed to valid social support. Both
conditions decreased conformity compared to the condition with no dissenter however the invalid
social support showed less decrease than the condition of valid social support.
Moral Considerations
People will conform to a majority even when they know the majority view is wrong.…read more

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