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Psychology Social Jessica Goodman

Social Psychology
Social influence is the process whereby people directly or indirectly influence the
thoughts, feelings and actions of others.

Social influence can include obvious attempts by individuals to change the
attitudes and/or behaviours of others.
o Through persuasion, making
It can also include more…

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Psychology Social Jessica Goodman

y ­ Asch
Aim To investigate the extent to which individuals will conform to a
majority who give obviously wrong answers.
Procedur 123 American males student volunteers took part they thought
e it was a visual perception test.
Ps placed in groups with…

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Psychology Social Jessica Goodman

Sherif's Conformity & the autokinetic effect experiment (1935)
o Single point of light in dark room seems to move subjects are
unable to keep eyes perfectly still & in the dark there is no point of
o 1.) Ps asked to estimate how far they…

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Psychology Social Jessica Goodman

Real life example of obedience: After WWII psychologists focused their
attention on the holocaust where, under the Nazis, German citizens followed
orders that caused the murder of 6 million people, such as Jews, Gypsies and
the disabled.

al study of


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Psychology Social Jessica Goodman

Standard procedure 65% Baseline figure
Victim is silent 100% Highest rate of obedience
Study in run-down 48% Yale uni, where first held had some
office block effect in giving a sense of legitimacy
Victim in same room as 40% Increased proximity decreases
teacher obedience
Teacher forces…

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Psychology Social Jessica Goodman

We give up personal responsibility, the autonomous state (where we see
ourselves personally responsible for our actions) and transfer
responsibility onto the authority figure.

Personal responsibility

Anything detracting from the authority figure's power increases feeling of
personal responsibility.
o This is seen in Milgram's remote authority…

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Psychology Social Jessica Goodman

to believe their attitudes were identical to the norm. Those who had their
identity `stolen' resisted conformity pressures due to wanting to assort

Desire to maintain control
o Desire to control the majority of one's personal life event therefore
yielding to normative social influence hinders…

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Psychology Social Jessica Goodman

o People of low status in a group (such as newcomers) are motivated
to fit in, so are more likely to conform.
Other factors in independent behaviour against conformity:
Systematic processing
o People are less likely to obey if they can consider what they have…

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Psychology Social Jessica Goodman

authority & power. Without this, levels of obedience were
indifferent to internally controlled people.
Authority was irrelevant in the lack of obedience to internal
Attributional style
o The meanings an individual attributes to people's behaviour & the
way they experience life events.
o Behaviour is…

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Psychology Social Jessica Goodman

An individual exposed to an argument different to majority produces
To reduce conflict they examine the minority's argument to see why they
have different opinions to the majority.
Factors in minority influence:
o Size of minority
Spencer & Perrin (1998)
o Consistency of minority


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