Resisting pressure to conform

Resisting pressure to conform

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Resisting pressure to conform

In some cases people are not influenced by the majority. Psychological research has suggested several explanations for how people resist pressure to conform. There have been three explanations put forward of how people resist pressure to conform.

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Locus of control

This refers to the amount of percieved control people have. Locus of Control is measured on a scale with the two extremes at either end. A person with an interal locus of control will see themselves as in control of their life events that take place. A person with an external locus of control will see themselves as being at the mercy of external forces such as luck and fate. Rotter claimed that those with an internal locus of control are more likely to resist pressure to obey. Research has uncovered a number of characteristics that are relevant to they study of independant behaviour:

  • High internals are active seekers of information that is useful to them and so are less likely to rely on opinions of others
  • High internals tend to be more achievement orientated and consequently are more likely to become leaders and entrepreneurs.
  • High internals are better able to resist the use of force or intimidation from others.
  • High internals will be more independant.
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Locus of control (A02)

Empirical evidence, MORTON & MANN - parents who didnt encourage independence in their children later tend to have adolescents with external LoC.

Contradictory evidence:
TWENGE - changes between 1960 and 2002, became more independant, more external as well as independant, opposite of what Rotter said, no link.

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If someone already dissents

If someone in the majority has already dissented for the majority view or action. This gives you the confidence to not conform too. In a variation of his original study, Asch introduced a rebellious stooge who dissented from the majority. Asch found the rate of conformity dropped from 37% to 9%. Suggesting that if someone else dissents, you are more likely to resist pressure to conform.

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If someone already dissents (A02)

Empirical evidence, ALLEN AND LEVINE - conformity dropped on visual tasks even if rebellious stooge wore thick glasses and admitted sight problems, credibility.

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Creative dissenters

This explanation involves a personality type and claims that if you have these characteristics, you are more likely to be able to resist the pressure to conform. This explanation was put foward by Maslach who claimed that Creative dissenters have high self esteem; low anxiety in social situations and a strong tendency to be individual.

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Creative dissenters (A02)

Support, ASCH - questionned Pps who didnt conform, shown individuality, low anxiety, high self esteem in social situations, credibility.

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