Social influence

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  • Created on: 19-05-14 09:51
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Social Influence
Conformity- process of yielding to majority influence, tendency to change what we do (behaviour) or
think and say (attitude) in response to the influence of others or social pressure, can be real or
Type of conformity:
Compliance- publicly informing to behaviour but privately maintaining one's own views
Internalisation- true change of private views to match those of the group, become part of self-value
and not dependent on presence of the group
Why do people conform?
Normative social influence- strong desire to be liked/accepted as member of that
group, this produces compliance
Informational social influence- change behaviour/ideas in order to be right, look to others
who we believe to be correct occurring particularly in novel/ambiguous situations this
produces internalisation
Normative social influence Informational social influence
Motivation for change-wants to fit and become Motivation for change-unsure of correct
accepted answer/behaviour so conform in order to be
Type of conformity- compliance Type of conformity-internalisation
Example study- Asch, gave wrong answer and Example study- Sherif, when given ambiguous
yield to majority influence as didn't want to task look to others for correct answer
stand out
Studies into conformity-
Sherif- informational social influence
Estimated distance of dot of light on black background (autokinetic effect), first estimate individually
(relatively stable but variation between), then group of 3 judgement until group
norm emerged- show estimates changed and group norm developed and when
alone consistent with norm- when given ambiguous task look for other for
! High internal validity-laboratory conditions so high control of extraneous variables so cause and
effect can be established
X Low external validity-lacks realism as artificial task so difficult to generalise findings

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X Ethical issue of lack of protection from harm- participants anxious/distressed and may feel
Asch- majority influence
Take part in perception of line length, 50 American male college students, sat with 6 other
confederates, sat in second to last seat, call out which of 3 line lengths were the
same as standard line, confederates gave wrong answers 12/18 trials, participants
conformed 32%, 74% conform at least once, 26% never conformed, when
debriefed said conform as not want to stand out
High internal validity-…read more

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Conclusion-under situations people go against morale and obey demands of authority, if put in
subordinate position then people lose feeling of empathy, compassion and morality
! High internal validity-conducted in controlled environment, strict control over extraneous variables
so cause and effect can be established
X Criticised for lacking external validity- situation has little resemblance to real life situation so
findings cannot be generalised to wider population
X Lacks population validity- only white American males so findings only apply to this sample
Ethical issues-
Use…read more

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Teacher paired with a Obedience soared when 92.5%
confederate who threw someone else did dirty work
Conclusions from variations: people are less likely to be independent when: do not feel instructions
have legitimate authority, have to see consequences of their actions/proximity, person giving
instructions isn't around to see follow-through.…read more

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Socialised by democratic parents- as give their own choice also improved self-esteem so have
confidence to conform (Nadler, correlation lower scored of authoritarianism and less conformity)
Resisting pressures to obey
Autonomous state- feel responsible for their own actions (Milgram, more likely to disobey authority
figure when closer proximity to the victim, more likely to obey when other flick the switch)
Questioning motives and status of authority- if person doesn't have legitimate authority then people
more likely to disobey (Milgram in office block obedience fell to…read more

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Findings- Consistent condition, called green 8.42% trials, Inconsistent condition called green 1.…read more


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