Psychology AQA Unit 2 Specification B Conformity

For AQA specification B psychology students (unit 2) conformity

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What is conformity?

A type of social influence in which individuals change their attitudes, belifs or behaviour in order to adhere to an existing social norm. (Baron et al 2006)

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What was Sheriff's studdy (Aim, Method, Results an

Aim- to demonstrate that people conform to group or social norms when put in an ambigous (new/unclear) situation

Method- autokinetic effect used (Participants (PPs) put in a pitch black room and asked to estimate how far a light on a projector screen moves- it doesnt really move) and the PPs were asked to judge how far the light moved, 1st individually then as a groupwhen one person was a deviant (had a complete different guess) to the other people where all like minded (guessed the same thing)

Results- over numerous estimates of the movement of the light, the group all converged to a similar figure

Conclusion- the results show that the "deviant" in the group conformed to the majority view

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What was Asch's study (Aim, Method, Results and Co

Aim- investigating the effect of an incorrect majority view on an individual exposed to this view

Method- using a line judgement task, Asch put a PP inthe same room as 7 other people (actors). The actors and the PP were asked which line was the longest line, but the actors had already secretly agreed on the same incorrect answer unknown to the PP who was always last to state their view.

Results- just over 22% gave correct answers on all occasions. 78% gave one incorrect answer and 5% of the PPs conformed on all occasions

Conclusion- people will conform to a majority view even when it is claerly wrong (groups exert pressure on the majority to conform)

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In the studies of conformity discuss ecological an

Jenness (1932): - Ecological validity (low): Not a real life situation so cannot be  generalised to how people would react in other scenarios.

                          - Sampling validity (low): only used students so is not representative of the population and cannot be genrealised

Sherif (1935): - Ecological validity (low): Not a real life situation so cannot be generalissed to how people would react in other scenarios

                      - Sampling validity (medium): Cannot geeralise as it wasnt done on a large scale. However it is slightly more representative of the population than the other studies as it wasnt only students that were used

Asch (1953): - Ecological validity (low): Not a real life situation so cannot be  generalised to how people would react in other scenarios.

                          - Sampling validity (low): only used students so is not representative of the population and cannot be genrealised

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What are the different TYPES of conformity?

Internalisation- where the individual accepts the majority group view and believes that view to be correct. Also known as private acceptance, where the person conforms because the have no idea what to do/what is right personally.

Compliance- where a person conforms to others behaviours/attitudes but doesnt belive they are right aka going along with peoples views just to "keep the peace"

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What are the different explainaitons of conformity

Normative social influence- people conform to maintatin the harmony of the group/gain acceptance or approval from others even though privately they disagree

Infomational social influence- People conform as they genuinely have no idea of the 'right answer' but see what others do/say as the majority is more likely to be right

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Comments

Alice

Thanks a lot this really helps :)

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