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Types of conformity:

-COMPLIANCE- a person may agree in public but in private they may disagree with
the groups view point

-INTERNALISATION- a person agrees or believes what the group believes
because they have come to share the same view point. E.g. Vegetarianism.

Explanations of conformity:


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Gaining a partner- when one of the confederates said the right answer then the
conformity levels dropped to 8.7%

Zimbardo - Stanford Prison Experiment

Aim: To investigate how readily people would conform to the roles of guard and prisoner in
a role-playing exercise that simulated prison life.

Procedure: Zimbardo used…

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BBC- Haslam and Reicher prison study

This was similar to Zimbardo study. The role of superintendent was independent of the

Aim: to see if the guards would abuse their positions as guards and whether the prisoners
would rebel or succumb to the pressure.

Findings: guards were uncomfortable about exercising…

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AGENCY THEORY- when we obey we experience an agentic shift. We move from an autonomous
state to the agentic state.

PERSONALITY FACTORS- certain personalities may lead someone to obey more than the normal
person. Such as an authoritarian personality.

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Milgram's study on obedience.

Aim: Milgram (1963) was interested in researching how far people would go in obeying an
instruction if it involved harming another person. Stanley Milgram was interested in how
easily ordinary people could be influenced into committing atrocities for example, Germans
in WWII.

Procedure: Volunteers were recruited…

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Resisting obedience

Milgram's study...

o situational factors- the proximity of the authority figure.

o personal characteristics- one woman didn't obey because it reminded her of a
concentration camp

o internal locus of control- people with this personality tend to be less obedient.

Gamson's study

Aim: To understand whether or not…

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Locus of control

Twenge et al (2004)

Twenge et al found that Americans are becoming increasingly external LOC. Between
1960 and 2002 students scored increasingly higher scores on external LOC. The
researchers believe this to be bad! High external LOC is correlated with poor school
achievement, depression and less self-control.…

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Moscovic et al- the blue green study.

Aim: To investigate the effects of a consistent minority on a majority. Moscovici (1969)
conducted a re-run of Asch's experiment, but in reverse. Instead of one subject amongst a
majority of confederates, he placed two confederates together with four genuine
participants. The participants…


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