Social Influence - Sherif (1935)

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Social Influence - Conformity Key Studies

Sherif (1935)                                                                                          

Aim: To demonstrate that people conform to group norms when they are put in an unclear situation.

Method: Sherif used the autokinetic effect (made a spot of light appear to move, even though it didnt). He discovered that participants judgements varied considerably when on their own, Sherif then put them in groups of three , two of which had similar judgements.

Results: Sherif found that over numerous trials the group converged to a common estimate, showing the person whos estimated was greatly different conformed to the groups view.

+ Lab experiment (all variables can be controlled, any effect on DV caused by IV)

- Paricipants were being asked to judge if something was moving when it wasnt, answer was not obvious, meaning not standing out may have not been the only reason to conform

- Experiment created an artificial situation causing a lack of ecological validity 

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