Social Influences revision- 12 mark questions

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  • Created by: Alanah B
  • Created on: 19-05-14 11:38
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Social influences
CONFORMITY a change in behaviour or belief due to real or imagined group pressure
AIM: examine the extent to which pressure from others people could affect ones
PROCEDURE Showed bars to 123 American college students groups of 810
Told them he was studying visual perception had to decide which bars on the right
matched left bar
Asked students to give answers aloud
Repeated with 18 bars
All but one student were confederates told to give incorrect answers
Real subject was last but one to announce their answer
Confederates gave right answer participant rarely wrong
FINDINGS Confederates gave wrong answer participants were wrong 37% of the time
75% conformed at least once
5% conformed every time
25% never conformed
Participants `didn't want to upset the experiment', `genuinely doubted their own
judgement' and `feared rejection from confederates'
CRITICISMScarried out in the US in the 1940's/50's a time where conformity was high
and it was much less acceptable to do your own thing
Used a group of strangers conformity is much higher when participants value opinions
of group members
Ethical issues participants mislead about key concepts unable to provide full consent
Deutsch and Gerard two reasons to conform

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Informational social influencemotivated by the desire to be correct and therefore relies
on the knowledge of others e.g. participants genuinely doubted their own judgement
therefore went along with the confederates answers as they thought they were correct
Normative social influence motivated by the desire to be liked and to fit in with a group
e.g.…read more

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Most will follow authority because of socialisation from a young age we are
taught to do as we are told and agentic state people abdicated responsibility by
blaming others `I was just following orders'
CRITICISIMS arguably unbelievable study as the experimenter would not be
able to allow the shock as it could potentially kill the learner
Unethical participants were not originally allowed to withdraw
Unethical participants were exposed to psychologically stressful situations
(protection from harm)
Unethical no informed consent as the participant was deceived
OUTLINE…read more

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Asch identified 2 factors that reduce conformity conformity dropped from 37% to 5%
when one of the confederates gave the correct answer social pressure was easier to
resist if the participant was not left completely isolated
It is easier to avoid confirming when the people against you are a small group rather
than a large group increases as the group increases above three
Factors that reduce obedience were also discovered accepting personal responsibility
is really important participants who accepted responsibility gave fewer electric shocks
than…read more

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