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Social Influence
Conformity

Social Influence ­ is the process by which our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are
influenced by other people.
Conformity ­ is the tendency to change what we do, think or say in response to the
influence of real or imagined pressure from a majority group.

Kelman said…

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Asch also varied his task.

He found the more difficult the task, the more likely people were to conform.
A small majority of 12 gave very little conformity, however under the pressure of
3, conformity jumped to 30%. Further increases in size had little effect.
Conformity levels dropped significantly with…

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We may look at how other people are acting for clues and copy them. This
conforming in behaviour and attitude so it internalisation.

Strengths ­
It's supported by Asch's study, participants conformed when they didn't want to stand
out.
Garandeau and Cillessen ­ found children with low quality friendships could…

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Obedience

Obedience is following an order because someone who has perceived authority told
you to. You obey because of a fear of punishment.

The difference between conformity and obedience is that the source of the social
influence is different. Conformity is likely to peer pressure whereas obedience someone
is likely…

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Lab Experiment ­ lacks external validity, however, extraneous variables were
controlled so cause and effect can be proved. This also means that it can easily
be replicated so therefore it's reliable.
Hofling ­ more realistic experiment, fake doctors asked nurses to administer
drugs over the phone and 21 out of…

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Mandel ­ to say holocaust perpetrators were just obeying orders is distressing for those
who were affected and means that they aren't responsible for their crimes.

Real World Application ­ Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the abusive behaviour of the
guards to the prisoners were gradual, with an unconcerned…

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Resisting Obedience

Status ­ the status of the authority figure is key. In a run down office people are
less likely to obey than in a posh lab.
Moral Considerations ­ Kohlberg ­ participants who resisted obeying has
higher moral principles.
Individual Differences ­ those who are less educated and…

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