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Asch's 1951 study on majority influence.
Aims
¤To determine whether a majority can influence a minority even when the situation is
unambiguous.
¤To find the effects of majority influence even if it's apparently obvious that the majority
have responded incorrectly.
Procedure
¤Seven people all sat looking at a display. In turn they had to say aloud
which line was the same length as the stimulus.
¤Six of the participants were confederates of the experimenter and all
gave the same (incorrect) answer.…read more

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Conclusions
¤A majority can influence a minority even in an unambiguous situation in which the correct
answer is obvious.
¤Asch showed convincingly that pressure to conform in terms of majority influence is much
stronger than had been thought previously.
¤However, on about two-thirds of the crucial trials the genuine participant gave the correct
answer, so many people did manage to resist majority influence.
Criticisms
¤ Asch's results lack temporal validity.…read more

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Majority influence is when an individual adopts the beliefs of the most common/dominant
group as a result of group pressure. This can be because the individual wants to be right
(conversion), or because they want to fit in (compliance).
Why people conform:
*People may conform because they want to be right. If a person is in an ambiguous
situation they may look to the judgment of the majority to help them come to their own
answer.…read more

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An individual's behaviour can be predicted in terms of three factors:
Strength: Numbers of people present or consistency of message from one person.
Status + Knowledge: People are equally influenced by many amateurs or one expert.
Immediacy: How close you are to someone psychologically or physically.
A combination of those 3 factors, and the extent of them, results in either majority or
minority influence.…read more

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Majority influence is when a person goes along with the most common/dominant group
because they want to fit in, and so they comply- even if they don't necessarily personally
agree.
Minority influence is when a person yields to the less common/dominant group, which is
usually because they internalise what the minority believes and change their personal
opinion.
Obedience is when a person does as they are told, usually by an authority or somebody who
is of higher status.…read more

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Aims
¤To determine whether a minority can influence a majority of naive participants, and thus
reverse the usual direction of social influence.
¤Moscovici aimed to determine the conditions necessary for minority influence to occur. In
particular the necessity for them to be consistent in their opinions.
Procedure
¤Participants were all female and pre-tested for colour blindness. Lab experiment in a
controlled condition. Six participants were shown 36 slides (diff. Shades of blue) and were
asked to determine the colour of them.…read more

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The fact that minorities are more persuasive when they're consistent has implications for
people in leadership positions who are hoping to influence the majority.
Criticisms
¤The research lacked experimental realism, because the set up was not believable. The slide
test was artificial and may have yielded demand characteristics .Therefore the experiment
may have lacked internal validity, as the conversion may not have been a genuine effect.
¤The research lacked mundane realism, as the set up had no relevance to real life.…read more

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Obedience to authority:
When a person behaves as they are instructed, usually by an individual of authority/higher
status. This usually occurs within a hierarchy; with the person giving the order is of a higher
status than the person receiving it. Obedience occurs because the individual feels they must
obey. Unlikely a change in opinion will occur.
Factors as to why people obey:
·Legitimacy of authority: The perception that the person giving the order has the right to
tell us what to do.…read more

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Milgram's 1963 study on obedience to authority
Aims
¤Milgram aimed to investigate how willing participants were to obey authority when asked
to inflict pain on another person.
¤He aimed to see whether he could set up a situation in which participants were more
obedient to authority than was generally believed to be the case.
¤Milgram wanted to test the hypothesis "Germans were different," following the atrocities
they cause in WWII.…read more

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