AQA Psychology - Social influence


1.1 Types of conformity and explanations of confor

Conformity: Occurs when individual accepts influence for favourable reaction, in terms of adopting views/behaviours. 

Compliance: Individual goes along with group for approval, when exposed to their views/behaviours they engage in social comparison, in order to adjust self to fit in, this is the motivation, this only results in views/behaviours they express in public.

Internalisation: Individual when exposed to views of group engages in validatin process to see if the majority is right, which is more likely if group is trustworthy, this can lead to acceptance of views publically and privately 

Indentifcation: Individual accepts influennce for assosiation, by doing so they feel ore part of it, individual accepts views/behaviours as correct (internalisation), but purpose is to be accepted (compliance. 

Differences: Motivation for compliance is to fit in but for internalisation it's to give the best response. 

Normative social influnce: Form of influence where individual conforms with expectations of majority to gain approval and avoid social dissaproval 

Informational social influence: Form of influence, forms from desire to be right, looking for others for evidence about reality, more likely in ambigious situations. 

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1.2 Variables affecting conformity - A01

Asch (1956): Procedure: 123 male US undergraduates, seating round tables, took turns to state which line out of three matched the 'standard' line, real participant answering second to last, on 12/18 trails (critical) confederates gave same incorrect answer Finding - average conformity rate 33%, 25%  never conformed, 50% conformed on 6 or more, 5% conformed on all 12, in control group without confederates only 1% of time wrong, post interviews confirmed that participants conformed to avoid dissaproval 

Group size: Asch found 30% conformity rate with 3 confederates, below little conformity and above little increase. Campbell & Fairey (1989) say when the answer is ambigious the larger the majority the higher the conformity but when there's definite answer 2 or 3 others is sufficient. 

Unanimity of majoirty: Asch said if participant given support of other on answer conformity dropped to 5.5%, if answer give by other was different from other and majoirty conformity would drop to 9%.

Difficulty of task: When Asch increased similarity in lines conformity increased. Lucas et al. (2006) found high self-efficacy conformed less than low self-efficacy individuals. 

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1.3 Conformity to social roles - A01

The Standford Prison Experiment - Zimbardo (1973): Procedure - Mock prison in Standford University, 24 most stable selected as 'prisoner' or 'guard'. Prisoners arrested, given uniform and ID number, guards referred to prisions by numbers, and were given uniforms, clubs, whistles and reflective sunglasses. Findings: Participants appeared to forget they were acting, when they thought they weren't being watched they still conformed, guards became incresingly tyrannical and abusive, they forced prisoners to carry out degrading activities, five prisoners released early due to crying, rage and acute anxiety, study terminated after 6 days (planned for 2 weeks).

The BBC Prison Study - Reicher & Haslam (2006): Procedure - Randomly assigned men to prsion or guard and obesereved behaviourr in created 'prison', 15 males divided into 5 groups, where matched as closely as possible on key personality variables, 1 guard and 2 prisoners in each group, study run for 8 days. Findings: Paritcipants didn't conform automatically, over the course prisoners increasingly identified as group and challenge guards, guards failed to identifiy which made imposing authority difficulty, this collapsed the prisoner-guard system. 

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1.4 Situational variables affecting obedience - A0

Milgram (1963): Procedure - 40 participants, over series of conditions, each varying in some aspect of sitution to calculate its affect on obedience, told it was about how punishment affects learning, two confederates being 'experimenter' and 'other participant', real and fake participant drew fixed lots to determine 'teacher' and 'learner', fixed so real was always teacher. Teacher tesed learner on ability to remember word pair, every wrong answer increased the shock voltage by 15volts starting from 15volts to 450. In voice feeback study the learner gave mainly wrong answers and starting responding at 300volts, if teacher asked to stop he was prodded by 'experimenter' to continue. Findings - Psychiatrists predicted few would go beyond 150volts, 1 in 1000 would go to 450volts, results show 65% went to 450volts, 100% reacched 300volts, only 12.5% stopped there. 

Proximity:In proximity study, teacher and learner in same room, obedience fell to 40%, in touch promity condition obedience went to 30%, when teacher absent from room, giving instructions over phone obedience fell to 21%.

Location: In run-down office in Bridgeport, obedience rate dropped to 48%.

Power of uniform: Bushman (1988) had obedience rates of 72% obedience, when woman asking for change for metre, was in police officer uniform, 48% for business executive and 52% for begger. 

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1.5 Agentic state and legitimacy of authority - A0

Agentic state: Self-image - when people adopt agentic-state may be to maintain positive self-image, once participant is in agentic state they loss responsibilty so no longer reflects self-image. Binding factors - The response from backing out of an experiment breaks the comminent the participant has made to the experimenter, this binds the subject into obedience. 

Legtimacy of authority: Definition of the situation - tedency for people to accept definitions of situation that are provided by legitimate authority, although participant performs action the authority defines its meaning, assuring participant that their action is fine. Requiring an institution - For authority figure to be percieved as legitimate thye must occur within an institutional structure, for example an experimenter must have a lab. 

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1.6 The authoritarian personality - A01

The F Scale: Used by Adorno et al (1950), contained statements that if agreed with indicated an Authoritarain Personality, rigid thinkers, saw world as black and white, and enforced strict adherence to social rules and hierarchies. Adorna et al. (1950) also found those who scored high had tedency of parents with authoritarian style, growing up with particular social system leads to assumption that, that is norm. 

Right-wing authoritarianism: Altermeyer (1981) idetified three personality characterisits that predispose people to obedience: Conventionalism, Authoritarian agression and Authoritarian submission. Altermeyer found correlation between RWA and level of shocks participants gave themselves 

Elms & Milgram (1966): Procedure - Found 20 'obedient' and 20 'defiant' participants to Milgrams (1963) study, each completed MMPI scale, and F Scale to measure authoritarianism, also asked open-ended questions about childhood, 'experimenter' and 'learner'. Findings - Little difference on MMPI, higher authortiarianism for 'odedient' participants. Obedient participants reported to be less close to fathers during childhood, and described them in negative way. Obedient participants saw 'experimenter' as admirable authority figure and learner as less so, this didn't follow for 'defiant' participants. 

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1.7 Resistance to social influence - A01

Social support and resisitng conformity: Asch (1956) found presence of social support, through ally giving same correct answer, dropped conformity from 33% to 5.5%, important aspect of social support is that the breaking of unanimity of majority suggests other, equally legitimate, ways of responding. ally provides confidence to stand up to majoirty. 

Social support and resisting obedience: Dissobedient peers act as roles models on which individual can model own behaviour. In Milgram variations. participant was on

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1.8 Minority influence - A01

Minority influence and behavioural style: Consistency: Nemeth (2010) claims there must be reason why minority takes positions it does and is constitency confident, this leads to other reassessing situation and issue after assuming minority is in error. Commitment: It suggests certainty, confidence and courage in the face of hostile majority, joining majority is worst for individuals thereore the greater shown the commitment to greater the likelihood of persuasion. Flexibility: Mugny (1982) said minority is powerless against majoirty so they must negotiate rather than enforce, rigid majoirty risks being percieved as dogmatic, however too flexibile minorities may be seen as inconsistent, neither approach is massively affect but some degree of flexibility is more effective than done. 

Moscovici et al. (1969): Procedure - Group of 4 naive and 2 confederates, shown blue slides that varied in intensity and asked to judge colour, in 'consisitent' condition, confederates called all slides 'green', and in 'inconsisitent' called 2/3 slides 'green'. Findings - 'consistent' majority leads to 8% participants saying 'green', 'inconsistent' very little influence. After participants given 16 discs to distinguish 'blue' or 'green', 6 non ambigious, participants in 'consistent' trial made state more dics 'green' than 'blue', most effective on those that didn't go along with minority in first experiment, suggesting initial influence is more private than public. 

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1.9 Social influence processes in social change -

Social change through minority influence: 1.Drawing attention to an issue - minorities draw majorities attention with different views, creating conflict that majority want to remove, sufferagettes used educational and militant tactics to highlight women were denied same rights as men. 2. Cognitive conflict - Minortity create conflict between majoirty of those who do and do not support causing deeper thought on issue. Suffragettes created conflict between the current on only men being able to vote, and votes for women, some supported and others dismissed. 3. Consistency of position - Higher consistency makes minority more influential. Suffragettes were consistent, protests, political lobbying and role in WW1 convinced right to vote. 4. The augmentation principle - If minority willing to suffer they're more commited so taken more seriously, suffragettes risked imprisonment and death, increasing power. 5, The snowball effect - when small effects spread widely enough to reach a 'tipping point', it become a wide-scale social change, universal suffrage was accepted by majoirty of UK. 

Social norms through majority influence: Social norms interventions - identifying widespread misconception, perception correction strategies used to comminicate actual norm in the hope that recipients with moderte own behaviours to match peers. 'Most of us don't drink and drive' - Survey reported 20.3% of Montana young aduls have driven an hour after drinking, 92% believed majority had so, by reporting '4/5 don't drink and drive' reduced prevelence of drinking and driving to 13.7% compared to countries not running campain. 

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