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Definition of social change: When a society adopts a new belief or way of behaving. This then
becomes widely accepted as the norm.
Minority influence research: Moscovici `69
Re-run of Asch's study but in reverse.
Used female participants
2 confederates and 4 genuine participants in a group.
The 6 had to estimate the colour of 36 slides (all of which were blue but different shades)
Two conditions: Consistent the 2 confederates called the slides green on all 36 trails.
Inconsistent- The 2 confederates called the slides green 24 times and blue the other 12.
Findings: participants in the consistent condition called the slides green in 8.4 % of the trails
32% called the slide green at least once.
Participants in the inconsistent condition only 1.3% called the slide green.
Conclusion: Minority can influence the majority (if it is consistent)
Lacks ecological validity as it was a lab experiment meaning results cannot be applied to
(Research was gyno-centric) meaning only females were used as the sample and therefore
findings cannot be generalised.
Ethical issues: deception and lack of fully informed consent
However lab experiment means there was also of control over variables and he experiment
can be replicated.
Implications from minority influence on social change:
For minority to make an impact and cause social change, needs to be consistent.
Hitler never made an exception for Jewish individuals, he was consistent in all Jewish being
Gun and knife crime for instant hasn't cause social change (changing the law) because crime is
not consistent enough.
Examples of social change through minority influence:
Suffragettes through constant attention seeking, Rosa Parks started to change the views
on women. Resulting in women getting the vote after consistent rallies and educational
pamphlets, she and the other suffragettes were the minority compared with the men and
others who thought women should not have the right to vote.
Behavioural styles of influential minorities:
Consistent in their opposition to the majority
Not dogmatic demonstrate a degree of flexibility
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Be acting on principle, not out of self interest
Have made sacrifices in order to maintain position (time)
Why do people yield to minority influence.
The snowball effect:
When the minority succeeds in attracting enough supporters, it is transformed into
the new majority at this point the people who have not changed their opinion are the
Once the minority opinion has become the dominant position in society, people don't
even remember where the opinion originated from.…read more