Ab Social Influence

social influence

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  • Created by: hannah
  • Created on: 15-04-12 08:36


-Conformity is when the behaviour of an individual or small group is influenced by a dominant group TENDANCY TO ADOPT BEHAVIOUR FOR SMOOTH RUNNING 

-Compliance is... going along with majority even if you don't share their views (do this to appear 'normal'- normative influence)- to prevent rejection from the group

- Internalisation is... following majority and accepting their views, you've 'internalised' their views so they are now your own (happen in unfamiliar situation where you don't know what the 'correct' way is, look to others for information 'informational influence')- thought to be enduring

- Identification is.... you value being a member of the group so you take on beliefs privately and publicly (temporary) 

- Resistance to conformity ..
- Independence- do/wear etcwhat you want
- Anti conformity- oppose norms HOWEVER seen as conformity as analysing group to see what not to do 

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Asch Research on conformity

- he asked student volunteers to take part in vision test... all other members of test were confederates- PURPOSE TO SEE HOW LONE'REAL' PERSON WOULD REACT TO OTHER INCORRECT ANSWERS

- findings... 38% of real participants responses were incorrect  and only 25% only stuck to their own... even though the answer was obvious

+ other evidence shows that without confederates participants made mistake 1% of the time

- cannot generalise as not real life situation (would not happen in real world)
- ethically wrong- did not know they were being tricked

Why did people conform? 1) distortion of perception 2) distortion of judgement 3) distortion of action

Why do we conform? 1) want to be liked (normative influence) 2) want to be right (informational influence) 

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ZIMBARDO- more research on conformity

- experimenting whether the role given would determine your behaviour

- PROCEDURES... advertisement asked for male volunteers and offered $15 a day (most stable 24 men selected), mock prison set up in uni basement, prisoners arrested at home and put in prison cell
- Prisoners in prison 24 hours a day, guards had shifts, 3 meals allowed, guards had clubs.

- FINDINGS... guards grew tyrannical  ( woke prisoners in the night and got them to clean toilets), guards offered to extra hours without pay, abandoned after 6 days, 30% of guards acted cruel and rough. 

- Conclusions... Demonstrates both guards and prisoners conform to social roles, situational factors seem to be more important that dispositional ones as they became easily brutal when in setting.

WEAK- thought they were playing a game, not true to life, psychological harm!!!!! 

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Obedience< conform to someone with more authority

- type of social influence whereby someone acts in response to a direct order from a figure of perceived authority

- the authority figure gives an order and the subordinate figure does what they are told

- obedience to authority is a more direct process than conformity to majority influence

- In obedience, individual may have less choice as whether they comply or not with a direct order from a person of authority or higher status

. less free will
. authority/power gradient
. consequence- praise or punishment

Legitimate authority- weapons, uniform, schools, hospitals etc 

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Milgrams electric shock test

- whether ordinary people will obey a legitimate authority figure, even when required to injure someone

- Procedures... 40 males participants, gives (fake) electric shock to confederate behind wall. Teacher told to administer shock increasing voltage each time wrong answer given. 

- Participants would refuse so Milgram used prods 1) Please continue, 2) The experiment requires you to continue, 3) It is absolutely essential that you continue, 4) You have no other choice you must go on

- Findings... 65% of people went up to 450 volts, 100% went up to 300 volts

proximity of victim ( no wall) - obedience rate dropped to 40%
proximity of experimenter (in other room) - dropped to 21%
presence of allies (support) - dropped to 10%
teacher discretion (choose shock) - dropped to 2.5% (1 person)

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More research on obedience

- Hofling (1966) tested obedience in real life settings (nurses in a hospital)
- Nurses were telephoned by 'Dr Smith' and asked to give 20mg of unknown drug to patients. They were not allowed to take orders over the phone and it was double the recommended dosage.
- Findings... 21 out of 22 (95%) nurses gave the drug

Limitations- Rank and Jacobson asked nurses to carry out irregular order on a known drug (more real life) and 89% refused. 

Why do we OBEY?

- Gradual commitment - hard to resist once you obey it is hard to give a reason to stop
- Agentic shift- do not feel responsible as acting as someones agent so perhaps not too bothered on consequences 
- Buffers - Cannot see victim, dont feel pain/ responsible (theres a wall between)
- Justifying obedience - science based, experiment requires their contribution  

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ETHICAL ISSUES- is the benefit greater than the co

1) CONSENT- participant is fully informed about risks and benefits and gives their informed consent (not fully consented< deceived however sometimes necessary)
- Presumptive Consent- ask a group about the situation of deceiving and see if the majority think it is OK or not
- Prior general Consent- ask the people to be used in exp and ask them on views of deceiving. Only use people that agree.  

(Zimbardo deceived as did not fully inform, but did debriefing sessions for years after, Milgram did not inform of the real aim however couldn't as they would act differently)

2) Right to Withdraw- participant should b able to withdraw themselves and data without penalty 

3) Protection from harm- leave investigation in same state as they arrived

4) Debriefing- everyone should be offered debriefing sessions and told true aims and to check any harm caused.  

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Locus of Control (LoC) by Rotter

- Rotter proposed that you have an internal and external loc and the sense that you can influence what happens to you!
- INTERNAL- you are responsible for own action. What you contribute. 
- EXTERNAL- what happens is down to luck or fate. No personal influence
e.g. internal... I passed my exam because I revised all the subjects well
External.... I passed my exam because I got the questions I revised for

- People with internal loc are less likely to be obedient and conformist as they are responsible for their own actions and can control
- People with external loc are more likely to be obedient and conformist as they rely on others and blame others

+ Anderson and Schneier found people with a more internal loc were likely to be leaders and Twenge found that loc scores became more external in young americans in 1960-2002 as depression and poor school achievement
- HOWEVER, loc is not a strong expl for obedience, situational factors are just as important. 

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Authoritarian Personality

- Adorno found links between personality and prejudice. He developed the fascism scale which measured characteristics like conventionality, aggression, toughness, superstition. Scale was successful in identifying people that were prejudice and obedient. 
- SAMPLE QUESTIONS 1) people can be divided into two groups, strong and weak. 2) a good leader should be strict 

- Prejudice people agree with statements and were also shown to be more obedient. (Miller asked participants to give themselves electric shocks. Those who scored highly were more likely to shock themselves)

- Blass found that more authoritarian students were more likely than others to consider the experimenter in Milgrams study to be responsible for harming rather than the naive teachers. 

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Research into Minority influence

- Moscovici (1969) criticised the idea that majority influence is so important. 
- argument was that if everyone conforms to a majority, we would all think and behave in the same way and nothing would change and most maj influences are due to minorities changing e.g. women/ black people should be equal

aims- see whether consistent minority of people could influence a majority

procedures- 172 participants all with good eye sight put into groups of 6 (all female), shown 36 coloured slides all different shades of blue
- consistent trail the confed's called green slide all the time
- inconsistent trial the confeds called green 24 times.

findings- participants in consistent trial called green 8.4% and 32% said green at least once, inconsistent called green 1.25%

conclusions- important to behave consistently otherwise not credible, must be agreement between minority members, people may be reluctant to publicly agree as deviant, inconsistent minorities lack influence as groundless.  

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More into minority research

- CONVERSION THEORY- when there is a minority people closely analyse and as a result they are likely to internalise the message being processed and perhaps take on the views. 

- Mackie challenged this by claiming the majority view produced more message processing. She argued that people are not inclined to waste time trying to process why minorities think a different way. 

- Martin found that you are more likely to agree with people from the same group (ingroup).

- Nemeth summarised research into minority influences and found...
1) must be principled and committed
2) even when committed etc the view may be disliked and seen as deviant and rejected
3) can be a long process to get influence
4) minority view points are important as can lead to more clarity and creativity in majority.  

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Implications for social change

-Social Change occurs when a society as a whole adopts a new belief which becomes the 'norm' e.g. homosexuality, female gender roles

1) Mouttappa found that conformity to parents, teachers etc was a protective factor against vulnerability to alcohol/ drugs.
2) Rosa Parks 1955, a black american woman sat in white reserved area on bus and refused to move and she got arrested. Year later, US supreme court ruled against segregation and 9 years on civil rights act ended segregation. (illustrates impact of single person with confidence to disobey)
3)Private Joe Darby described abuses in Abu Graib prison and these were stopped

Process- 1) Minority is principled and consistent can express views (be confident and tolerant of majority)
2) Individuals of majority become persuaded by strength of minority arguments (those of high internal loc as have high self confidence to agree with minority) 

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More process of social influence

- can happen out of awareness- process called social cryptoamensia
- THEN they influence their peers and a 'snow ball effect' happens
- continues that eventually a minority becomes a majority

(could lead to legislation being changed like what happened in Rosa Parks case)

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