Psychology Unit 2: Social Influence Exam Questions and Answers
1. Zach really doesn't like horror films, but all his friends do. Whenever they go to the cinema together they always choose to watch a horror film.
a). What type of conformity does Zach's behaviour demonstrate? (1 mark)
b) Outline the findings of one study which demonstrates this type of conformity. (4 marks)
Ans) Asch found that 74% of his 123 participants gave what they knew to be wrong answers at least once on a line judgement task. Because participants knew the answer to be wrong but still conformed, they were showing compliance. On trials where there was an unambigious difference in the lines, nearly two thirds of participants did not conform, suggesting that the pressure to conform is not so strong that people can't resist it.
2. Everyone seems to think that Emma is funny - she makes people laugh with her jokes. Except Kate. Kate doesn't think that Emma is funny at all. She still laughs at her jokes though.
Use what you have learned about why people conform to explain Kate's behaviour. (4 marks)
Ans) Kate is demonstrating a kind of social influence called normative social influence. This means that people conform because of a need they have to be accepted as a member of a group. The need for acceptance and approval from her group means that Kate goes along with the group norm - that Emma is funny - and engages in behaviours which allows her to `fit in`.
3. At the start of the experiment the participant met a man called Mr Wallis, who was then hooked up to a shock generator. Mr Wallis was in fact a confederate (someone who is part of a experiment). The participant sat in another room and tested Mr Wallis on word pairs. When he got one wrong, the participant was to give him an electric shock. This increased from 15 to 450 volts as more incorrect answers were given. There was no actual shock given. A pre-recorded sound played, indicating Mr Wallis in varying degrees of pain, until after 315 volts there was silence. Another confederate called `Mr Williams`, wearing a lab coat, encouraged the participant to continue.
a) Identify one ethical issue which arises from this research. (1 mark)
b) Suggest how you might deal with the ethical issue identified in (a). (3 marks)
Ans) Deception can be most simply dealt with by fully disclosing the nature of the study before hand. In other words, don't lie! Unfortunately, doing this will often make a study impossible to do. In this case, some deception might be acceptable, provided that participants are fully informed about the study after the…