Psychology > Unit 2 > Social Influence > Conformity

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  • Created by: Danny
  • Created on: 27-01-10 21:10

Psychology > Unit 2 > Social Influence > Conformity

Types of conformity:

Compliance: Individual accepts publicly, but not privately, They go along with the majority to achieve a favourable reaction from them.

Internalisation: Individual examines own beliefs with other group members to see if they are wrong or correct. The individual accepts or disagrees with the groups view both publicly and privately.

Key Terms:

Social Influence: How thoughts, feelings and behaviour of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of others.

Conformity (Majority Influence): The tendency for people to adopt the behaviour, attitudes and values of other members of a group.

Studies into conformity:

1) Jenesse (1932)

2) Ash (1951)

3) Sherif (1935)



1) Jenesse (1932)


  • Students had to guess how many beans were in a jar
  • They discussed their estimates in a group
  • Students had to give individual estimates again
  • Found that individual estimates converged to group norm
  • This may be because of an ambiguous stimulus (no obvious right or wrong answer)


Lab Experiment; Determine cause + effects

Variable are easy to control


Lab Experiment; Demand characteristics

Lacks ecological validity

Ambiguous stimulus



2) Asch (1951)


  • Pps (participants) looked at 3 lines of different length, they where then shown a standard line and where asked which one of the 3 lines is the same as the standard
  • Pps where 123 American male undergraduates


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