Social Influence - Conformity Key Studies

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Social Influence - Conformity Key Studies

Zimbardo et al (1974)

Aim: to see whether people will conform to new social rules.

Method: Male students were recruited to act as either guards or prisoners in a mock prison. They were randomnly given the role of prisoner or guard, and their behaviour was observed. The prisoners were 'arrested' from home,  taken to 'prison' and given uniforms and numbers.

Results: Initially, guards tried to assert their authority and the prisoners stuck together. The prisners became passive and obedent whlist the prisoners began to used harsher punishments. Zimbardo clais that our social roes can influence us.

+ Controlled observation meaning good control of variables

- Artificial environment therefore results cant be generalised to real-life situations

- Some participants became very distressed, observer bias (Zimbardo ran it)


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