Social Influence

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Social Influence

Types of conformity

·         Compliance; conforming to a groups opinion to gain approval but the groups views are not analysed. Externally.

·         Internalisation; accepting others views because you believe the group is right and you are wrong. Internally and externally.

·         Identification; conforming to others in order to be liked by them. Behaviour only lasts as long as the group is together. Elements of compliance and internalisation.

 Explanations of conformity;

·         Normative social influence; the desire to be liked and accepted by the group. They may publically change the views by privately disagree. (Compliance)

·         Informative social influence; the desire to be right, looking to others who they believe to be right and behave similarly. (Internalisation)

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Asch's Study

Aim – to investigate whether majority group pressure is strong enough to make individuals choose clearly wrong answers

Procedure – a lab experiment using 123 American students who were shown a series of lines

      Confederates gave the same wrong answer

      Ppts always answered 2nd to last or last

Findings – 36.8% of ppts were incorrect in critical trials

       74% of ppts conformed at least once

      Only ¼ ppts never conformed

Conclusions – clearly majority did have an effect

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Asch's Study 2

Why did people conform?

Distortion of perception; they came to see the lines in the same way as the majority

Distortion of judgement; they doubted their accuracy so went with the majority

Distortion of action; they continued their own private view but changed publically to give incorrect answers

Asch’s study variations

Difficulty of task; when difficulty was increased, conformity increased

Lucas et al said high self-efficacy meant people are more independent

·         Situation and individual differences are important in determining conformity

Side of majority; when the majority is 1 or 2, there was very little conformity

                                 When majority was 3, conformity rose to 30%

                                 Further increase in size didn’t significantly increase conformity

·         This shows that size is only important up to a point

Unanimity of majority; when ppts had a confederates giving correct answers conformity dropped to

                                             5.5. %

When a ‘dissenter’ gave a different answer to majority and correct conformity dropped to 9%

·         This shows that breaking the group consensus was a major factor in reducing conformity

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