Psychology- social, biological and cognitive dev.behaviour

As psychology includes the three subject booklets of unit 2. Social, biological and cognitive dev.behaviour

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What is conformity?

  • yelding into group pressure

Types of conformity

  • normative social influence- (complaince) the desire to be liked, accepted by group. The person conforms publicly not privately. This is a temporary change to behaviour an beliefs.
  • Informational social influence- (internalisation) the desire to be right. individual looks at others to ensure that the are not making mistakes rather are correct. this can cause a long lasting or permanent change to the persons beliefs and attitude.
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Asch's study on conformity

  • to see if participants will conform to the majority even when the correct answer is obvious
  • 123 male american student participants
  • took part in what they believed to be visual perception
  • laboratory experiment
  • they were sitted around a table of seven to nine people who in real life were confederates
  • they were to see if the line A,B,C and D were simular to the stimulus line
  • 12 out of 18 trials participants gave the wrong identical answers, the real participants sat last or last but one
  • there was a control group of 36 participants, who were tested individually on 20 trails
  • they had 3 mistakes out of 720 trails
  • on 12 critical trials- 32% conforned to wrong answers
  • 75% conformed once, 25% never conformed
  • 5% conformed to all wrong answers
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  • post experiment interview found three reasons why they conformed. 1) doubt over accuracy of judgements
  • believed their perception must be actually wrong
  • conformed publicly not privately to avoid ridicule.


  • wide individual differences in the extent to which individuals are affected by the majority influence.
  • the fact the conforms indicates they were motivated by normative social influence.
  • they conformed to gain acceptance and to avoid rejection.
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One Strength

  • laboratory experiment
  • good control over IV to see whether the majority gave the same answers or not and could measure the DV which was the participants conformed or not.
  • cause and effect was easily established. this was whether the minority could influence the majority to conform or not.
  • therefore, it is a good example of the power of the majority especially that of the normative social influence.

One Weakness

  • can be criticize because of the sample used- 123 male american participants which doesn't generalise to the rest of the population.
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Former Member


A good resource but this has nothing to do with cognitive development

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