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Chapter 2 ­ Social Influence
This is all around us in our lives, through advertisements and conversations. Sometimes we
are even unaware that it is occurring for example in conforming to social norms of society.
In this chapter we look at the reasons why people conform and why people obey.…

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The study of Asch
In 1951 Asch was one of the first psychologists to investigate social influence and why people tend
to obey, would participants still conform if they were actively placed in a normative situation;

Perrin and Spenser repeated the study of Asch using 33 male participants who studied…

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play, Zimbardo asked participants to act as if it was a real life situation. Zimbardo wanted to find out
if the brutal reports of prison guards harming prisoners was due to a sadistic personality
(dispositional explanation) or to do with the prison environment (a situational experiment)

Obedience to Authority

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Throughout history several horrific events of obedience have occurred. For example in world war
two, the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and ethnic cleansing in Rwanda. What Milgram wanted to find
out is what induces people to obey their leader's orders to torture and kill innocent human beings?
He proposed…

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that to another human and feel stupid that they were deceived. There was a lack of informed
consent as the participants did not know what the true purpose of the study was. Mandel (1998)
criticized Milgram by saying applying the findings to a simple experiment and portrays them with the…

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Gradual Commitment The gradual way in which PP's became sucked into giving a greater
level of shocks is an important feature. This is also known as the foot in
the door technique there is a desire to appear consistent, therefore
once we start something which is fairly small it is…

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ways to stop ourselves being swept away with inappropriate social norm is to take time to
think about what we are doing and to become aware of what type of normative social
influence is operating
5. Find social support ­ in any situation, finding an ally or several allies will…

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Level one Preconvention Morality Children and criminals
Punishment and personal interest

Level Two Conventional Most average People
Expectations of others
Laws of Society

Level Three Post Conventional
Universal Ethical Principles Jesus Christ

Locus of Control: This was devised by Rotter in 1966. Different people's beliefs and expectations
control different events…

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Foot in the Door This relies on informational techniques and is used by lots of sales
people and charities. there is a desire to appear consistent, therefore
once we start something which is fairly small it is very hard to stop
Increased empathy You can understand experiences through your own…


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