Social Change

Social Change

Social influence research has helped understand the psychological processes involved in bringing about change

Key ideas:

  • Social change is usually brought about by a minority
  • People who initiate social change usually have an internal locus of control

Key aspects a minority needs to convince a majoirty:

  • Consistency
  • Flexibility
  • Commitment

Once a minority has persuaded a small group of people, social change is brought about by the snowball effect

In the future when the minoirty opinion is now the majorities opinion, people forget the original ideas. This is known as crypto-amnesia

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Aim: Effects of consistency from the minority on the majority

Procedure: 4 Pps and 2 confederates. Shown 36 slides of different shades of blue.

Condition 1: Consistent, said they were green each time

Condition 2: Answered green 24 times and blue 12 times

Results: Pps answered green a lot more times when the minority was consistent, condition 1

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1) Informational Social Influence = Minoirty informs majority on ideas

2) Internalisation = Conversion of a few people, they take on the minorities beliefs

3) Snowball Effect = Gradually more and more people convert, minority becomes majority

4) Compliance = society complies to majoirty norm and then beliefs can become law

5) Crypto-amnesia = People forget the orignal majority view

Minority must be:

  • Consistent - The minority group should be unified in their message to be taken seriously
  • Flexible - The minority need to be able to adapt their views if possible to accomadate those who can't follow all them
  • Commited - The minority need to be prepared to pay for their beliefs to show their passion for them and to be taken seriously and make an impact
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