- Created by: BreeFRANCiiS
- Created on: 28-03-17 20:09
Conformity: Types and Explanations
Internalisation - Private and public acceptance of group norms.
Identification - Change behaviour to be part of a group we identify with.
Compliance - Go along with group publicly but no private change.
Explanation of Conformity
- Informational social influence (ISI) - Conform to be right. Assume others know better than us.
- Normative social influence (NSI) - Conform to be liked or accepted by a group.
Research support for ISI - More conformity to incoreect maths answers when they were difficult, as predicted by ISI.
Individual differences in NSI - nAffilators want to be liked more.
ISI and NSI work together - Dessenter may reduce power of ISI and NSI.
- Individual differences in NSI.
- Research support for NSI.
Conformity: Asch's Research
Procedure - Confederates deliberately gave wrong answers to see if partispant would conform.
Findings - Naive participant conformed 36.8% of trials. 25% never conformed.
Variations - Conformity increased up to group size of 4. Dissenter reduced conformity. Conformity increased when task was harder.
A child of its time - Perrin and Spencer found less conformity in 1980s than in 1950s.
Artifical situation and task - Demand characteristics meant participants just played along with trivival task.
Limited applications of findings - Asch's research only conducted on American men.
- Findings only apply to certain situations.
- Ethical issuses.
Conformity to social roles: Zimbardo's Research
Procedure - Mock prison with students randomly assigned as guards or prisoners.
Findings - Guards became increasingly brutal, prisoners increasingly withdraw and depressed.
Conclusion - Participants conformed to their roles as guards or prisoners.
Control - Random assignment to roles increased internal validity.
Lack of realism - Participants were play acting their roles according to media-derived sterotypes.
Dispositional influences - Only one thrid of the guards were brutal so conclusions exaggerated.
- Lack of research support.
- Ethical issuaes.
Obedience: Milgram's Research
Procedure - Participants gave fake electric shocks to a 'learner' in obedience to instructions from the 'experimenter'.
Findings - 65% gave highest shock of 450v. 100% gave shock up to 300v. Many showed signs of anxiety.
Low internal validity - Particpants realised shock were fake. But replication with real shocks got similar results.
Good external validity - Findings generalise to other situations such as hospital qards.
Supporting replication - Game of Death found 80% gave maximum shock, plus similar behaviour to Milgram's participants.
- An alternative explanation - social identity theory.
- Ethical issues.
Obedience: Situational Variables
Proximity - Obedience decreased to 40% when teacher could hear learner, and to 30% in touch proximity condition.
Location - Obedience decreased to 47.5% when study moved to run-down office block.
Uniform - Obedience decreased to 20% when 'member of the public' was the experimenter.
Research support - Bickman showed power of uniform in field experiment.
Lack of internal validity - Some of Milgram's procedures contrived, so not genuine obedience (Orne and Holland).
Cross-cultural replications - Cross-cultural findings support Milgram. Buyt almost all studies in similar cultures to USA so not very generalisable.
- Control of variables in Milgram's variations.
- The 'obedience alibi'.
Obedience: Social-Psychological Factors - Agentic
Agentic state - Acting as agent of another.
Autonomous state - Free to act according to conscience. Switching between the two - agentic shift.
Binding factors - Allow individual to ignore the damaging effects of their obedient behaviour.
- Blass and Schmitt found that people do blame the legitmate authority for the participant's behaviour.
A limited explanation
- Cannot explain why some of Milgram's participants disobeyed or the lack of moral strain in Hofling et al.'s nurses.
Obedience: Social-Psychological Factors - Legitima
Legitimacy of authority
- Created by hierachical nature of society.
- Problems arise, e.g. Hitler.
- Explains obedience in different cultures because reflects different social hierachies.
- The 'obedience alibi' revisited.
- Real-life crimes of obedience.
Obedience: Dispostional Explanation - The Authorit
Procedure - Adorno et al. used F-scale unconscious attitudes towards other racial groups.
Finding - People with authoritarian personalities identify with the 'strong' and have fixed cognitive styles.
Authoritarian Characteristics - Extreme respect for authority and obedience to it.
Origin of the authoritarian personality - Harsh parenting creates hostility that cannot be expressed against parents so is displaced.
Research support - Some of Milgram 's obedient participants had authoritarian personalities (Elms).
Limited explanation - Can't explain increase in obedience across a whole culture. Better explanation is social identify theory.
Political bias - Equates authoritarian personality with rightwing ideology and ignores extreme left-wing authoritarianism.
- Methodological problems.
- Correlation, not causation.
Resistance to Social Influence - Social Support
- Reduced by pressence of dissenter from the group.
- Decreases in pressence of disobedient peer who acts as a model to follow.
- Conformity decreses when one person dissents even if they are not credible (Allen and Levine).
- Obedience drops when disobedient role models are present (Gamson et al.).
Resistance to Social Influence - Locus of Conrol
Locus of control - Sense of what directs events in our lives (Rotter).
Continuum - High internal at one end and high external at the other.
Resistance to social influence - People with high internal LOC are more able to resist pressures to conform or obey.
- Internals less likely to fully obey in Milgram-type procedure (Holland).
- People have become more external and more disobedient recently (Twenge et al.).
- Hard for LOC to explain.
- Limited role of locus of control.
Consistency - If the minority is consistent this attracts the attention of the majority over time.
Commitment - Augmentation principle - personal sacrifices show commitment and attract attention.
Flexiblity - Minority more convincing if they accept some counter-arguments.
The process of change - Above factors make majority think more deeply about issuses. Snowball effect - minority view gathers momentum until it become majority influence.
Research support for consistency - Moscovici's blue-green slides and Wood et al.'s meta-analysis.
Research support for depth of thought - Minority views have longer effect because they are deeply processed (Martin et al.).
Artifical tasks - Tasks often trivial so tell us little about real-life influence.
- Research support for internalisation.
- Limited real-life applications.
Social Influence and Social Change
The special role of minority influence - Minority influence is a powerful force for innovation and social change. Example, civil rights movement in the USA.
Lessons from conformity research - Normative social influence can lead to social change by drawing attention to what majority is doing.
Lessons from obedience research - Disobedient role models. Gradual commitment is how o bedience can be lead to change.
Research support - NSI valid explanation of socail change, e.g. reducing energy consumption (Nolan et al.).
Only indirectly effective - Effects of minority influence are limited because they are indirect and appear later (Nemeth).
Role of deeper processing - It is majority views that are processed more deeply than minority views, challenging central feature of minority influence.
- Barriers to social change.
- Methodological issuses.