Publicly conforming to the behaviour or views of others in a group but privately mainting own views.
The person conforms publicly and privatley because they have internalised and accepted the views of the group.
Asch's study on conforming.
- Tested conformity under non ambigious conditions.
- Created a task of matching the length of a line to one of three other lines.
- In the experiment only one real participant was tested at a time.
- The participant was surrounded by 7 confederets who had been told to give the same wrong answer 12 out of the 18 trials.
- The real subject was 2nd to last to answer.
- The average rate of conforming was 32%.
- 74% conformed at least once.
- 26% never conformed.
Variations on Asch.
- Increasing the group size - Found little increase above 3 or 4, although other studies have found larger groups will increase conformity but at a decreasing rate.
- Providing support for the subject - When provided with an ally that agreed with the subject conformity dropped to 55%.
- Increasing difficulty of task - When the comparison lines were made closer in length, conformity increased.
- When the subject could write down their answer conformity dropped.
- Subjects were decieved.
- Not ecologically valid.
- Fatigue effect.
- Lacks population validity.
Perrin & Spencer.
- Replicated Asch's study on British students.
- Used maths and engeneering students.
- In 396 trials they found only one conforming response.
- The participants knowledge of their course can make them feel they know the correct answer.
- Achieved similar rates of conformity to Asch.
Normative social influence.
- Need to be accepted by others and make a faveourable impression on them.
- This results in complience because we change our behaviour or articulate views publicly in order to be accepted but privatley we do not.
- Perrin & Spencer - Unemployed, black youths from a racially tense part of London. They were more likely to conform to a mojirty made up from other black youths when experimenter was white.
Informative social influences.
- When individuals accept the majoritys point of view.
- This results in internalisation because both privatley and public attitudes and behaviour changes.
- This is most likely to occur with a persuasive minority and majority, when the situation is ambigious, situation in crisis, believe others to be 'experts.'
- Sherrifs experiment shows an ambigious situation were people will look to others to decide what to do.
- Allen - Intellegence is a big factor,intellegent individuals are more self-confident and so are less likeyly to conform.
- Mass psychnogenic illness - I.S.I can explain hpw illness symptons spread rapidly among group members even when theres no psyical course.
Zimarbo - Obedience.
- Set up a mock prison in a basement of Stanford university.
- Recruited 24 male students from volunteers, uing a variety of psychological tests to select those who were the most stable, with no violent or anti-ocial tendencies.
- He randomly allocated each student to the role of prisoner or guard.
- Prisoners were arrested at their homes in the early morning, taken to prison, searched, de-loused and dressed in smock uniforms. They were referred to by numbers.
- The guards were given a uniforms, a night stick and dark glasses. They were instructed to keep the prisoners under control but to use no phsyical violence.
- Within a day the prisoners rebelled and ripped off their numbers. The guards responded by locking them in their cells nd confiscating their blankets.
- As the experiment continued, the punishmentss gave by the guards escalated. Prisoners were humiliated, deprived of sleep, and made to carry out roll-call in the night.
- On participant went on a hunger strike in protest to the treatment and was force fed by the guards and locked in a dark cupboard.
- The prisoners rapidly became depressed and some showing serious stress-related reactions to the experience.
- The experiement which was intended to run for 2 weeks, was called off after 6 days.
Milgram's study on obedience.
- Subjects were chose from a volenteer sample.
- 40 males between 20-50 from a range of occupations in a study of learning at yale univeristy and paid $4.50.
- Theres was an experimenter, a learner, and a teacher. The learner was a confederete, the teacher the participant.
- The participant (Teacher) asked the learner questions, if the learner answerd wrong they recieved an electric shock wgich increased the intensity each answer.
- However the learner was not actually getting shopcked it was a tape player.
- The participant was also told the shocks would cause no permanent tissue damage and given a triall of 45 volts.
- There was no further reply from the learner after 300 volts.
- If at any point the participant shown reluctence to administer the shocks the experimenter would command them to continue with standardised prompts ranging from please continue.
- 65% of participants continued to the max shock level of 450 volts, no subjecty stopped before 300.
- The participant was then fully debriefed as to the real nature of the experiment and re-introduced to the leaner.
- Subjects were not protected from harm and however did have the right to withdraw, just not easily.
- 63% - Remote victim condition - The victim in a seperate room and no feedback until a bang on the wall at 300 volts. No subject stopped before 300 volts.
- 62.5% - Vocal feedback - with the verbal protestations, screams, wall pounding and omnious silence after 300 volts only a few stopped before 300 volts.
- 92.5% - 2 Teacher condition - The subject was paired with another teacher (A confederete.) who actually deliverd the shocks while the subjects read out words.
- 47.5% - Shift of setting - The experiment was moved to a set of run down offices other than Yale.
- 40% - Proximity condition - Learner moved into the same room so the teacher could see his agonised reactions.
- 30% - Touch proximity condition - The teacher had to force the learners hand down onto a shock plate when he refused to participant after 150 volts.
- 20% - Absent experimenter - The experimenter has to leave and give instructions over the phone, many subjects created and missed out shocks or gave less voltage.
- 10% - Social support - 2 confederates were also teachers but soon refused to obey, most subjects stopped very soon after the others.
Field experiments on obedience - Bickman (1974).
- Investigated obedience on the streets of New York.
- He revealed that when an experimenter was dressed in a guard's uniform and told passers-by to pick up paper bags or give a coin to a stranger there was 80% obedience, compared to 40% when the experimenter was dressed more 'normally'.
- A milkman's uniform however, did not have the same effect as a guard's on obedience.
Explanations of obedience.
- Legitimate authority - We respect people who hold positions of power and are more likely to obey them - shows in Milgrams change of venue.
- Gradual commitment - Small acts of evil build up to larger acts of evil - The electric shocks were given in ISV increments so once participants started giving small amounts of shockjs they found it harder to stop.
- Agency theory - People don't feel responsible for actions as they were told to. People usually behave independentally and aware of concequences. Sometimes may enter an agentic state - see themselves as a agent for someone else and are not respnsible for actions - The experimenter said it's his responsibility so participants believed they wouldn't be responsible and continued.
- Buffers - Anything that prevents the individual from having to confront the concequences of their actions. When taken the obedience levels would go again - participants couldn't see the leaner, when teacher and learner in the same room obedience levels dropped.
Internal Validity -
Issues within the study - does it actually measure obedience to authority.
External Validity -
Can the feelings be generalised beyond this particular situation.
Explanations for resisting pressures to conform.
Desire for individuation -
A01- Wanting an individual identity. Sense of uniqueness. Occurs when this outweighs desire to conform.
A02 - Snyder & Fromkin (1980) -
- Led 1 group of American students to believe that their attitudes were different from normal.
- Then led another group to believe that their attitudes were identicle to normal.
- 2nd group had there identity stolen so resisted conformity pressures due to wanting to assert individuall.
- This shows people resist conforming when made to think they are like others as they want there own sense of uniqueness.
Explanations for resisting pressures to conform.
Prior commitment -
A01 - When people publicly commit themselves to a position, they are less likely to change their opinions than if they hold this position only in private. This is perhaps due to not wanting to appear indeclusie and change one's perseption due to a heartfelt belief that they are correctley and moraly right.
A02 - Asch variation - A variation on Asch's study demonstrates the power of commitment. Participants gave judgement prior to a 'public reveal' where by others gave a unanimous wrong answer. When offerd to change, the majority declined. This is from the fear of being indeclusive.
Explanations for resisting pressures to conform.
A01 - When we are aware that we should resist this may not be enough and we looks for allies - this helps build confidence as you are no longer facing a unanimous majority.
A02 - Asch - Support comes from Asch's research - When Asch introduced a confederate who also went against the majority - this caused conformity to drop below 10% Asch found that even when then confederate gives a different wrong answer, conformity levels still dropped.
Explanations for resisting pressures to obey.
Disobedient role model -0
A01 - Exposing people to the actions of disobedient models (i.e refusing to obey) encourages disobedience in those who agree with the motives of the devient people or simpally using them as a catalyst to disobey for their own reasoning - following people.
A02 - Milgram variation - When confederate participants refused to give shocks, the real participants refused to give shocks 90% of the time.
Explanations for resisting pressures to obey.
Questioning the status and legitimacy of the person giving the order -
A01 - Questioning the reasoning behind authority figures prevents and automatic tendency to obey blindly, as their 'power' over you is in doubt.
A02 - Milgram's variation - When transfered to a run-down office block, the obedience dropped. The lack of appropriate surroundings made it easier to question how legitimate the authority of the experimenter was, obedience dropped to 48%.
Explanations for resisting pressures to obey.
Feeling empathetic/sympathy -
A01 - Honest feelings of care are superior to the feelin that they must obey in some people. They believe in the greater good of man. Therefor if someone of authority goes against belief of greater good they will not obey, regardless of status or authority. Moral compass.
A02 - Milgram's variation - When participants were in the same room (Buffer was removed) teachers had a better understanding of the learners experiences - they felt more personally responsible. In a follow up a participant said that she had grown up in Nazi Germany and did not wish to inflict that pain on someone else.
Locus of control.
Feel a stronger sense of control over their lives than people with an external locus of control. This means they are more likely to exhibit independant behaviour.
Believe others have an influence on their lives and control. Less likely ot be independent.
Oliner and Oliner (1988) -
- Interviewed 2 groups of non-Jewish people who had lived through the holocaust and Nazi Germany.
- They compared 406 people who had protected and rescued Jews from the Nazis and 126 people who had not done this.
- Oliner and Oliner found that the group that rescued the Jews had scores demonstrating an internal locus of control.
Real life social change.
Rosa parks and the Montgomery bus bpycott.
- In 1955 as she rode the bus home from work the bus driver moved toward the back of the bus and demanded that 4 black people relinquish their seats to the white people, the 3 black men near her moved, but refused to give up her seat.
- Rosa Parks was then arrested for violating the Montgomery City code, after 24 hours she was bailed out by Edgar Nixon.
- Nixon and Jo Ann Robinson generated over 35,000 copies of a flyer announcing a bycott of the buses.
- Blacks made up 75% of the bus riders and all blacks were asked to remain out of any form of bus transportation.
- During a carpool made up of 300 cars was set up, black taxi drivers charged 10 cents per ride.
- The boycott lasted for a total of 381 days.
- Pressure increased until a law was passed that black bus passengers were aloud to sit anywere in 1956.
Minority & Majority.
- Sometimes we will conform to the behaviour to the minority rather than the majority.
- Internalisation is necessary for this to happen, we must take on the beliefs of the minority.
- To influence other the minority needs to be consistent and provide persuasive arguements.
Moscovici et al -
- Carried out a colour perspective test.
- 172 participants.
- Groups of 6 people were brought together, 4 real participants and 2 confederates.
- Shown a series of 36 slides of different shades of blue and asked to name the colour they see aloud.
- In one condition (the consistent condition) the confederates called all 36 slides green. Under this condition just over 8% of the real participants moved to the minority position and called the slides green.
- In the second (inconsistent) condition, the confederates called 24 out of 36 of the slides green and the move to the minority position was around 1.25%.
Minortys aaffecting majoirtys.
Minority's can afect majoritys by -
Flexibility- e.g Rosa Parks.
Commitment - e.g Rosa Parks commited to what they wanted.
Consistency - e.g Moscovici - more people conformed in the cosistance than non constistant.
Snow ball effect - A few people form the majoirty join the minority, larger amounts join and overtime minority is new majority.
Cronic - Long period of time/ongoing.
e.g money, work.
Accute - Short period of time - Limited event.
e.g loss of something, death of loved one.
Autonomic nervous system.
Parasympathetic - Sympathetic -
Constricts pupil. Dilates pupil.
Inhibits heart. Acclerates heart.
Constricts bronchi. Relaxes bronchi.
Hypothalamous identifys stressor -
Pituitary gland activates the sympathetic branch by dilating pupils, accelarating the heart, and relaxing the bronchi ready for flight or fight -
The adrenal medula is stimulated to produce adrenaline and norodrenaline -
When the stressor is gone the parasympathetic branch switches on through the ANS and everything returns to normal.
The pituitary adrenal pathway.
Stresser activates the hypothalamous -
The pituitary gland secretes ACTH to the adrenal cortext -
The adrenal cortex satimulates the release of corticostoids into the blood system which facilitates the release of cortisol to help the body produce more energy.
The immune system.
Cohen et al
Aim - To investigate the role of general life stress on vunerability to the common cold.
Method - Natural experiment.
394 participants completed questionnaires on the number of stressful life events they had experienced in the previous year, as well as how stressed they felt and their experience of negative emotions (depression and hostility). These scores were combined into a stress index. Participants were then exposed to low doses of the common cold virus.
Results - 82% of participants became infected with the virus. The chance of developing a cold was found to be significantly correlated with stress index scores (i.e the higher the score, the more likey they were to become infected).
Conclusion - That life stress and negative emotions reduce the effectiveness of our immune system, leaving participants less able to resist viral infections.
Evaluation of Cohen at al.
Strengths - Natural experimnent. Ecologically valid. Consent and debreifing. Generalisable, used alot of participants. No demand characteristics. Applicable. Questionnaires are reliable.
Weaknesses - Cant control all variables. Protection from harm - did meet ethical guidlines. Questionnaire may not be answered truely, lacks validity. Not easily replicated. Not easily replicated. Not really a right to withdraw. Questionnaire - Social desirability/demand characteristics. Alot of extraneus variables.
Effect of stress on immune system - Kiecolt-Glaser
Aim - To see if exam stress reduces functioning of the immune system.
Procedure - 75 medical students were used in this natural experiment. Blood samples were taken one month before examinations (low stress) and during examinations (high stress). T cell lymphocyte activity in the blood was measured. Students completed questionnaires to assess the amount of life stresses being experienced.
Results - Found cell activity was significally reduced in high stress samples. The greatest reductions were in students reporting higher levels of social isolation.
Conclusion - Concluded that examination stress reduces immune function making people potentially more vunerable to illness and infections. The effects are more noticeable in students experiencing higher levels of isolation.
Evaluation - Kiecolt-Glaser et al.
The experiment is high in ecological validity as their in their natural place and variables are not controlled.
With natural experiments it is not possible to establish cause and effect as they may have stress in other parts of life.
T-cells are a good way of measuring the effects of stress as T cells stimulate the immune system.
The sample is only small and on medical students so it can't be applied to others.
Life changes, stress and illness.
Rahe et al - Life changes and Illness.
Looking at the relationship between life changes, stress and illness.
- 2500 male US navy personnel's filled in the SRRS for the previous 6 months.
- They were followed up over the following 7 months on tour of duty and all stress-related ilness's were recorded producing an overall illness score.
- They found a positive correlation of 0.118 between LCU scores and illness socres. Rahe concluded that there is a relationship between life events and the development of stress-related illness.
Evaluation of Rahe et al.
Daily hassels and uplifts.
The relatively minor frustrations and annoyances of everyday life. Their emotional effects are fairly short lived. But if they develop over a period of time this could affect our well being, this could result in a more serious stress reactions such as anxiety and depression.
Positive events that occur in the course of the day. They could counteract the negative effects of hassels and help lower our stress levels and improve our perfomance.
Daily hassels, stress and illness - DeLongis et al
- Participants were asked to complete 4 questionnaires once a month for a period of a year.
- There were 100 participants from around San Francisco area, aged between 45 and 64.
- They were predominantly well educated and had high income.
- The findings were that both the frequency and intensity of hassels were significantly correlated with overall health status and bodily symptoms.
- Daily uplfits had little effect on health.
- They also found no relationship between life events and health during the study, although there was a relationship for life events recorded for the 2 and a half years before the study.
- A relationship was also found between daily hassels and health.
Evaluation of DeLongis.
- Reliable - questionnaires use are easily repplicable.
- Applicable - useful to look at stress further and apply to life.
- Longtitudnial - this makes the study have an increase in validity.
- Social desirability - less likely to be shown if the questionnaire are over a long period people become more thruthfull the longer the time.
- Can't be generalised as it is non-representative, because participants were all from San-Francisco - Ethnocentric.
- All in a later age range can't be applied to younger people - Non generalisable.
Workplace stress is a major cause of stress.
Considered the relationship between job demand (workload), job control (decision latitude) and job strain (stress). He concluded that jobs with high demand and low control, are more stressful than low demand and high control. Research supports the idea that a combination of high demand and low control is the most stressful combination, but also shows that these relationships can be modified by other factors, such as social support.
Workplace stress - Marmot et al (1997).
- Marmot et al analysed data from over 7,000 participants in the Whitehall 2 study.
- Participants were followed up over five years.
- All were free of heart problems when the the study began.
- The data showed similiar differences in heart disease to Whitehall 1, with the rate in the lowest grades being 1.5 times the rate in the highest grades.
- When the researches analysed the data in detail they found that risk factors such as smoking, obesity and hypertension could account for some of the increase in lower grades.
- The study was largely based on self-report questionnaires, which raised issues of biased responding by participants, for instance underestimating risk factors such as smoking.
- Some factors that were not measured may have contributed to the results. E.g, workers in lower grades may have in common some characteristic that makes them vulnerable to heart disease but that was not measured in the study.
Ethics and evaluation of marmot.
There is little risk of psychological harm in this type of questionnaire study of workplace stress, although informed consentr and debriefing should be routine.
The link between stress and illness is purely correlational, the more stressed you are at a work place, the higher your likely to get an illness.
Individual differences are often not taken into account, may other stress than just at work.
There are sample issues with some studies into workplace stress, in this study participants are all goverment civil servants, even though it's both male and female it is difficult to generalise the results to other groups of workers.
Personality - Type A & Type B.
Type A - Stressed... Competitive... Hostile&Aggressive... Time urgent... When introduced to a stressor, more likely to react faster.
Type B - Laid back... Patient... Express feelings... Relaxed.
Friedmand and Rosenmand (1974) -
- To investigate the links between Type A behaviour patterns and cardivascular disease.
- Using structured interviews, 3200 men aged 39-59 were categorised as Type A & B.
- Assesment based on answers to interview and behaviour during interview.
- The men were healthy (no CHD) at the begining.
- The sample was followed up for 8.5 years to asses lifestyle.
- At the endof the study 257 men developed CHD 70% of those were from the Type A group. These results were significant even when risk factors such as smoking and obesity were taken into account.
Evaluation - Friedmand and Rosenmand (1974).
- A good thing about using correlations is their ethical as we don't need to manipulate things ourselves. They show the relationship between 2 variables.
- Mischel (1968) says that how we behave is defined by the situation.
- F&R only studied men/woman stereotypically have closer, more supportive relationships with others which helps buffers stress.
- Williams et al (2003) - Not personality type but the behaviours such as impatience increased the high blood pressure risk.
Control - Hardy people see themselves as being in charge of their life, not controlled by outside factors which they cannot control.
Commitment - Hardy people are involved in the world around them and have a sense of purpose.
Challenge - Hardy people see challenges as problems to be overcome rather than as stressors.
Kobasa & Maddi (1977).
- Some people are more psychologically 'hard' than others.
- Some people show a range of characteristics that provide a defence against negative effects on stress.
- Kobasa devised questionnaires to assess control, commitment, and challenge, in the study found that people with high scores on these dimensions reported fewer stress-related symptons.
- This work was mainly on male white-collar workers and you can argue that it lacked ecological validity. Findings were supported by later studies and in particular by Beasley et al (2003) who investigated the ffects of life stress in university students who scored more highly on hardiness showed reduced levels of psychological distress.
- Correlations data - Negative correlations, shows correlation between high scores and stress related symptons.
- Some research support.
- Problems with confounding factors and ristricted factors.
- The use of questionnaires.
Reliable. Social desirability.
No ethical issues. Interpretation.
- Enhances the action of GABA.
- GABA is a neurotransmitter and the body's natural form of anxiety relief.
- When the neurons in the brain respond to this neurotransmitter, it has a quieting effect on them.
- The neurons do this by reacting with GABA receptors on the outside of recieving neurons.
- The GABA then locks into these receptors and opens a channel which increases the flow of chloride ions into the neuron.
- Chloride ions make it harder for the neuron to be stimulated by other transmitters and so therefore slows down it's activity, making the person feel more relaxed.
- Stress causes an arousal of the symphatic nervous system (SNS) and this can lead to raised heart rate and blood pressure.
- This can cause -
Cardiovascular disorders. Reduction in the effectiveness of the immune system functioning.
- They reduce the activity of adrenaline and norodrenaline which are responsible for preparing the body for flight or fight response.
- They travel around the body via the bloodstream. They bind to receptors on the cells of the heart and other parts of the body which are usually stimulated during this arousal. They prevent the cells from receiving the message to response to stress.
- By blocking these receptors, it is harder to stimulate the cells. E.g harder for the heart to get the message to beat faster.
Evaluation of the use of drugs as a physiological
- A key strength is that there is controlled research evidence which shows that drug treatments are an effective way to reduce stress - Kahn followed 250 patients who were diagnosed with high levels of stress over an 8 week period. He found that BZ's were more effective at reducing stress compared to a placebo.
- An advantage of drugs is taht they are easy to use and often have immediate effects - the drugs are quick and fast working were councilling takes a longer period of time.
- A key weakness of drug treatments is that many have negative side effects - they can produce feelings of tiredness, sedation and impaired motor coordination. There is also evidence for memory impairment especially during long term treatment.
- Weakness - There are ethical issues associated with the use of drugs, due to their addictive properties - fully informed consent should be obtained before they are prescribed.
Autonomic physiological responses.
- Individual hooked up to a machine which measures your stress, when the machine flashes or beeps stress levels are present. The people are taught calming methods to use when stressed.
- Advantage - You can't become dependent on it.
- Disadvantage - Not practicle.
Stress inoculation therapy (SIT).
Conceptualisation - The cognitive preperation stage. Therapists talk with client about stress response and exploires how stressful situations are about and dealt with. Client identifys and expresses feelings and fears and is educated about stress and its effects.
Skill acquisition and rehearsel - Client learns basic behavioural and cognitive skills e.g taught to relax, or observes a model, also positive coping statements, other skills will be tailored to the needs.
Application and follow-through - Client is guided through progressively more threateninhg situations to prepare for real world follwo up sessions are held periodically.
Evaluation of SIT.
Strengths - There's evidence which shows it is effective method to manage stress - Michenbaum - Compared SIT with other treatments for stress, including systematic desensitisation, on a number of snake phobic's. He found that SIT was significantly more successful at reducing the phobia and also that it helped clients better deal with different future stressful events. This shows SIT is an effective therapy for current problems but that it also protects against future stressors.
SIT is effective in long term - it provides a client with cognitive skills and behaviours which can be applied to future stresful situations as well as current stressors. The effectivness of the treatment therefore continues well beyond the completion of the therapy, which is an advantage over many drug treatments.
Evaluation of SIT.
Weakness's - Does not have immediate positive effects and has to be delivered by well trained indiviudals - a course of SIT is time consuming and often takes weeks before positive effects start to be seen. SIT is also a complex therapy which requires a great deal of input from trained proffesional therapists.
SIT may not be appropriate for all clients - People who want imediate impact and arn't commited.
Focusing - Therapist encourages the client to fucs on the physiological symptons associated with stressful situations. This helps identify the source of stress. The therapist will also help them acquire new skills and strategies for coping with stress.
Reconstructing stressful situations - The client is encouraged to think about recent stressful situations, and in particular how they might have turned out better and how they might have turned out worse. This is a cognitive stratagie to encourage the client towards a realistic apraisel of life stress and how they can cope with it. Realiswing things could have been worse should help them feel more positive and optamistic.
Self-improvement - To improve the clients sense of self-efficiency, the therapist will suggest taking on managable sources of stress, this may involve skills training similar to stage 2 of SIT. The experience of coping with these will increase the sense of self-efficiency and even though there will always be stressors around, the client should feel more optimistic about dealing with them.
Evaluation of hardiness training.
- It should provide the client with an increased sense of self-efficiency and this should enable them to deal with future stressful situations better.
- As with any CBT approach, hardiness training targets both apraisel of sources of stress and thropug training the resources available for them, in this way it therotically reduces the gap between demands and coping resources.
- Hardiness tarining requires time, commitment and money therefore may not be aprropriate to everybody.
- Effective long term.
- Studies have shown the effectiveness of hardiness training in improving health and performance in working adults and in students.