Social Influence - AQA A PSYA2

Includes all topics on the specification for Social Influence for the AQA A Psychology exam board. Can probably be used for other exam boards but I'd check your spec first. 

  • Conformity (majority influence) - why people conform, Asch etc 
  • Types of conformity 
  • Obedience - why people obey, Milgram etc
  • Independant behaviour - locus of control, resisting obedience and conformity 
  • research into social change and minority influence. 
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  • Created by: Sophie
  • Created on: 10-04-14 10:55
Preview of Social Influence - AQA A PSYA2

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Minority Influence 11/01/2014 15:34
Social influence - describes how the behaviour of one person affects
the behaviour of another.
Majority influence ­ when the behaviour of a large number of people
affects the behaviour of a smaller group of people, resulting in
Kelman identified three types of conformity
Compliance ­ going along with others to gain their approval
(agreeing publically but disagreeing privately)
Internalisation ­ going along with others because you have
accepted their opinions and believe them too (agreeing both
publically and privately)
Identification ­ going along with other because you have
accepted their opinions, but only because you want to be liked
by them. Change of belief/behaviour is only temporary.

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Minority Influence 11/01/2014 15:34
to see if participants would conform to majority influence when
it was clear the majority was wrong.
123 male American undergraduates tested.
Series of lines shown to participants who were asked which line
out of the three matched the `standard line'.
All but one participant were confederates who purposely gave
the same wrong answer on 12 of the 18 critical trials. They
were each asked in turn with the real participant answering
36.…read more

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Minority Influence 11/01/2014 15:34
Ethics ­ Deception ­ the participant didn't know the real
purpose of the experiment or that the other participants were
o Lack of informed consent ­ didn't have this right at the
start of the study as they didn't know the real purpose.
Real world applications ­ Asch's research can be applied to
the jury.…read more

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Minority Influence 11/01/2014 15:34
Normative Social Influence (NSI)
Reason why conform is because we want to be liked and
accepted by a group and in order to achieve this we agree with
other's views.
Doesn't always indicate true agreement as person is most likely
just complying (e.g. Asch's study ­ participant privately
disagreed with the estimate yet still conformed and gave the
same answer as the rest of the group.…read more

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Minority Influence 11/01/2014 15:34
Obedience ­ a form of social influence where someone acts in
response to a direct order from an authority figure.
To test whether ordinary people will obey a legitimate authority
figure even when required to harm an innocent person.
40 male participants ­ advertised for people to take part in a
study of how punishment affects learning. Participants were
paid $4.50 to take part even if they withdrew from the study.…read more

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Minority Influence 11/01/2014 15:34
Presence of allies ­ 3 participants (two confederates) shared the
task of teacher. 1 read the list of words, the other told the learner
whether he was wrong or right and the real participant delivered the
shocks. When confederates refused to continue, nearly all
participants stopped. 10% went to 450V. Participants used
disobedience of their peers to free themselves from causing further
harm to the learner.
Increasing teacher's discretion ­ level of shocks delivered was left
to the teacher to decide.…read more

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Minority Influence 11/01/2014 15:34
Gradual commitment ­ Mlgram. Small changes, only 15V
difference between each shock means we might not realise the
change. Also once the participant was obeying the researcher it
is hard to back out and start to disobey, known as the `foot in
the door' technique.
Agentic shift ­ where we allow someone else to direct out
actions and we become `agents' for them.…read more

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Minority Influence 11/01/2014 15:34
Independent Behaviour ­ behaving in a way that shows freedom
from any control or influence of other group members.
Resisting Pressures to Conform
The role of allies ­ E.g. Ash's study. Gives you more confidence
in your own opinion if they give the same answer. Even an ally
who gives a wrong answer, but different to the majority,
increases the level of resistance to conformity.…read more

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Minority Influence 11/01/2014 15:34
Twenge et al's meta analysis found that young Americans are
becoming more external, meaning they are more likely to
conform and obey.
Twenge et al suggests the increase of social changes
corresponds with the increase of externality as young people
see many aspects of their lives as beyond their control.
This is a strength as research has shown a historical trend with
locus of control and helps us to understand trends in society.
E.g.…read more

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Minority Influence 11/01/2014 15:34
Moscovici et al
Aim ­ to see whether a consistent minority of participants
could influence a majority to give an incorrect answer in a
colour perception test.
Procedure ­ 32 groups of 6 women, 2 from each group were
confederates. Group was shown 36 blue coloured slides varying
in intensity. Participants were asked to verbally describe the
colour of each slide with the confederates answering first. The
confederates consistently said the slides were green.…read more


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