Social influence - Conformity

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Social Influence - Conformity

Conformity: involves a change of behaviour or opinion in order to fit in with a group.This group can be either a majority or a minority group.

 Explanations

Normative influence: This type of influence often comes from the desire to be liked. Reasons include; fear of rejection, wanting approval, simply to be identified as part of a group and to show loyalty.

Informational social influence: This type of influence is concerned with the fear of looking unintelligent and believing others know better, especially if the task is difficult or unfamiliar.

Types                                                                                                                        Compliance: is when you agree with a group's views in public, bu when in private you no longer agree with these views

Internalisation: is when you completely take on board and agree with the groups views both in public and in private

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Social Influence - Conformity Key Studies

Asch (1951)

Aim: Investigate the extent to which social pressure from a moajority group could affect a person to conform.

Method: In groups of 8, participants judged line lengths by saying out loud which line (1,2 or 3) matched the 'standard' line, this was very easy to judge (obvious answer). Each group had only one real participant, who always gave their answer (out loud) last, meaning they heard the 7 confedirates' answers before they gave theirs.

Results: Asch found that on average about one third (32%) of the participants in each trial conformed to the clearly incorrect majority. Three quarters (75%) conformed in at least one trial.

+ Lab experiment, meaning any affect on the DV was caused directly by the IV.

- Lacks ecological validity, participants werent in a natural situation.

- One ethical issue, participants were decieved.

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