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Social Psychology

Social psychology studies how people's thoughts, feeling and behaviour are affected by the
presence of others (how we affect and are affected by others.)

CONFORMITY- yielding to group pressure (imaginary and physical pressure)

Types of conformity

-Compliance: Yielding to group pressure. Going along with majority behaviour without agreeing…

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Hofling/ Sheridan and King

Explanations for obedience

Gradual Commitment- Agreeing to something gradually, in small steps, where it's harder to refuse
the next request. Also known as the foot-in-the-door effect

Milgram Link- as ppts have already given lower level shocks, it becomes hard to resist the
experiment's requirements- committed themselves,…

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Lacks temporal validity as age is not always applicable (politics questions for 16 year olds)

Resistance to conformity

Role of Allies- in Asch's study, if the naïve ppt heard a dissenter disagreeing with the majority wrong
answer on critical trials, conformity dropped sharply.

Allen and Levine '71- found that conformity…

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E.g. suffragettes- held constant rallies, consistent in their arguments- led to the snowball effect

Behavioural styles of influential minorities

Consistency- consistent in opposition
Not dogmatic- demonstrate a degree of flexibility
Be acting from principle- not out of self interest
Have made sacrifices in order to maintain their position
Attention grabbing…

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MINORITY INFLUENCE doesn't necessarily lead to social change- may only stimulate the majority to
consider social change (think more creatively.)

How social influence research helps us to understand social change

Obedience- If someone wants to achieve social change by making people obey, it will be more
successful if they use…


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