AQA AS Psychology (7181) Revision Booklet Social Influence

  • Created by: psycholog
  • Created on: 06-04-18 16:05

AQA AS Psychology: Revision Booklet

Paper 1: Section A - Social Influence

Key Details

  • Marks - 72 marks. (24 marks for Social Influence)

  • Percentage -  50% of AS. (16.6% for Social Influence)

  • Time - 1 hour 30 minutes. (30 minutes for Social Influence)

Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology

Section A: Social Influence

  • Conformity: Types and Explanations

  • Conformity: Asch’s Research

  • Conformity to social roles: Zimbardo’s Research

  • Obedience: Milgram’s Research

  • Obedience: Situational Variables

  • Obedience: Social-psychological Factors

  • Obedience: Dispositional Explanations

  • Resistance to social influence

  • Minority influence

  • Social influence and social change

Conformity: Types and Explanations

What is social influence, conformity and majority influence?

Social Influence -The process by which an individual’s attitudes, beliefs or behaviour are modified by the presence or action of others.

Conformity -Yielding to group pressure or the tendency to change what we do (behaviour), think or say (attitudes) in response to the influence of others. The pressure to conform can be real or imagined.

Majority Influence -An individual is said to conform if he or she chooses a course of action that is favoured by the majority of other group members or is considered socially acceptable.

What are the types of conformity?

Kelman (1958) suggested that there are three ways in which people conform to the opinion of a majority:

Internalisation -A deep type of conformity where we take on the majority view because we accept it as correct. It leads to a far-reaching and permanent change in behaviour, even when the group is absent. For example changing religions.

Identification - A moderate type of conformity where we act in the same way with the group because we value it and want to be part of it. But we don’t necessarily agree with everything the majority believes. For example, saying that you don't like someone when with a group of friends but then you realise that they are not that bad later on.

Compliance - A superficial and temporary type of conformity where we outwardly go along with the majority view, but privately disagree with it. The change in our behaviour only lasts as long as the group is monitoring us. For example pretending to like a type of music when with your friends.

What are the explanations of conformity?

Deutsch and Gerard (1955) developed a two-process theory, arguing that there are two main reasons people conform. They are based on two central human needs: the need to be right (ISI), and the need to be liked (NSI).

Informational social influence (ISI) -An explanation of conformity that says we agree with the opinion of the majority because we believe it is correct. We accept it because we want to be correct as well. This may lead to internalisation or identification.

Normative social influence (NSI) -An explanation of conformity that says we agree with the opinion of the majority because we want to be accepted, gain social approval and be liked. This may lead to compliance.

When are we most likely to conform


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