psychology unit 2

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  • Created on: 22-04-13 19:02

zimbardo (1971)

24 college students (volounteers)

prisoner (arrest by surprise) or guard

day 2- prisoners barracade into cells & large amounts of distress shown

lasted 6 days

found- conforming to roles

ethical issues

protection of participants

informed consent

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types of conformity

compliance- agree with majority to avoid disapproval

internalisation- private opiniion changes to fit public behaviour

identification- change behaviour to fit role (adopt new beliefs, behaviour and values)

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smith and bond (1998)

meta-analysis of 31 studies using asch set up

found- differences between cultures which collectivist and which individualist

general trend- high levels of conformity in collectivis communities

3 of 21

perrin and spencer (1980)

asch set up

33 british students (maths, chemistry, engineering)

found- less conformity

repeated 1981- with young offenders and probation officers

found- similar to asch (maybe due to authority)

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asch (1951)

50 american males

told eye test

2 cards- one with 1 line, one with 3 comparison lines

1 participant per groups

18 trials per participant (12 were with the wrong answer on purpose)

found- 74% conform once,(32% conformed in all), 26% not conform

conclusion- if all give same answer, then more likely to conform


culture & gender biased


lack ecological validity

5 of 21

studies why people obey

hofling et al (1966)

instructions over phone

95% of nurses gave the lethal dose

rank & jacobson (1977)

similar to above

real name used 

2 out of 18 gave over dose

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focus on the group/ community (eastern countries)


focus on theirselves/ individual (western cutures)

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social influence

majority yield

minority yield to pressure from majority & conform

minority yield

minority pressure majority to conform 

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explanations of conformity

normative social influence

people yield to group to be accepted (compliance)

informational social influence

look & copy group behaviour as seen to be right (internalisation)

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factors to effect conformity

not one answer given- decrease

2 in majority- decrease

large majority- no effect

more difficult test- increase

write answers down- decrease

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minority study

moscovici et al (1969)

32 groups (2 confeds, 4 participants in each)

blue sides shown, asked what colour

sometimes green is given all the time, sometimes give different answers

found- consistancy influences majority more than inconsistant

conclusion- contant behaviour style can influence majority

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follow direct orders given by someone in authority



behaviour different to that of influencer

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milgram (1963)

4 american male volunteers

told punishment for learning

teacher (volunteer), learner (confederate), different room

learner to repeat word pairs, teacher gives shock if wrong

shock from 10v to 450v (which will kill)

found- all went to 300v but 65% went to 450v

conclusion- people obey even if it goes against their beiefs


decieve participants

informed consent (punishment & learning)

protection of paticipant (distress)

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variations of milgram

run down building- decrease

same room- decrease

assistant to press button- increase

force hand on shock plate- decrease

instructions over phone- decrease

2 assistants say no- decrease

14 of 21

overcome ethical issues

suggest role play- deception overcome

gain presumptive consent- informed consent

right to withdraw


keep stress to a minimum

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reasons for obedience

legitimate authority- obey someone higher than you (lab coat, uniform)

agency theory- carry out for someone else

autonomous- responsible of own actions

agentic- not responsible for actions


authoritarian- submissive to authority

psychopathic- obey as seen to be desirable to carry out this side of personality

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social influence in everyday life

independent behaviour- show independent behaviour & not of group

anti-conformity- depends on group to be completly different

people who are individual- high self esteem

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resisting to conform & obey

social support- more people not conforming, less likely to conform

time to think- more time to think, no mindless conformity

illegitimate authority- less likely to obey, no respect to authority

feeling responsible for actions- autonomous state, less likely to obey

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locus of control

how much people think they are in control

rotter (1966)

external LOC- fate & destiny, more likely to conform

internal LOC- control of actions & behaviour, likely to conform

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other LOC studies

anderson & schneier- people with internal LOC, likely to be leader of group

twenge et al- meta-analysis, america believe in fate & destiny

linz & semykina- 2600 russian emplyees,

women (external LOC)

men (internal LOC)

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how minority influence us

consistancy- stick to point no matter what (suffragettes)

augmentation principle- risk for views, more appealing to majority

snowall effect- one moves across, all start to follow

dissociation- follow message from minority but forget he minority

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