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SOCIAL INFLUENCE

DEFINITIONS

Social influence: The influence of a group or individual to change the attitudes or behaviours of
others.

Conformity: Yielding to group pressures which lead to a change in a person's attitudes and/or
behaviours.

Internalisation: When you go along with others because you have accepted their point of…

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Lack of ecological validity ­ in an artificial environment so results can't be generalised to real
life.

Deception ­ the participants weren't aware that the light wasn't actually moving.

Research by Asch in an Unambiguous Situation...

123 male participants who were required to look at a line and match its…

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A non-unanimous majority (when 1 confederate have the correct answer) ­ Asch found
that conformity levels dropped to 5% when the participant had one supportive
confederate who did not conform and gave the correct answer.
Being from an individualistic culture ­ Replications of Asch's research has found that
conformity levels…

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Sherif's study also supports this.

OBEDIENCE

Obedience = a type of social influence whereby somebody acts in response to a direct order from
a figure perceived to be in authority.

Research by Milgram...

Aim = to investigate the extent to which `normal' members of the public would obey an
unjust…

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Variations of Milgram's study...

Milgram carried out several variations of his original experiment and identified two main ways in
which obedience to authority could be reduced.

Making the learners' suffering more visible to Reducing the authority or influence of the
the teacher... experimenter...
66% of participants were obedient when the…

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Society teaches us that if a figure has legitimate authority then it is assumed they have the power
and right to give orders and that these orders should be obeyed without question. Obedience
therefore occurs because those obeying trust the legitimate authority of the authority figure.

Example In Bickman's study…

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Explanations of Independent Behaviour...

Some explanations can only explain resistance to obedience whilst others only explain resistance
to conformity and others can explain both.

Situational Factors...

WHEN THE LEVEL OF PERCEIVED AUTHORITY IS LOW:

This refers to the level of authority a figure is perceived to have. Research shows that…

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Achievement focused. Low self esteem.
Those from an individualistic Those from a collectivist
culture are most likely to have culture are most likely to have
an internal locus of control. an external locus of control.
Males are most likely to have an Females are most likely to
internal locus of…

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confederates called some slides green and some blue 3) a control condition with no
confederates.
In the consistent condition 8% of participants conformed to the minority.
In the in-consistent condition only 1% of participants conformed.
In the control condition the number of participants who said green was minor.
It was…

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A Historical Example in 1903 the majority view was that women should not be given the right to
vote. In response to this the Suffragettes were formed to instigate social change. To do this they
adopted many of the behavioural characteristics needed:

Commitment ­ Emily Davison made a sacrifice for…

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