Resistance to social influence

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  • Resistance to social influence:
  • AO1:
  • Explanation 1: Social support:
  • Pressure to conform is reduced if other people aren't conforming. Asch's research showed that the dissenter doesn't have to give the 'right' answer. Simply someone else not following the majority frees others to follow their own conscience. The dissenter acts as a 'model'. Asch's research aslo showed though that if this 'non-conforming' peer starts conforming again, so does the naive participant. 
  • Pressure to obey can be reduce if another person is seen to disobey. Milgram's research: independent behaviour increased in the disobedient peer condition (from 35% to 90%). The participant may not follow the disobedent peer but the dissenter's disobediece frees the participant to act from their own conscience. 
  • Explanation 2: Locus of control (LOC):
  • Rotter described internal versus external LOC. Internals believe things that happen to them are largely controlled by themselves (doing well or badly in an exam depends on how hard you worked). Externals believe things happen outside of their control. If they fail an exam they will say that its because they had a bad teacher od had bad luck becaise th questions were hard. 
  • People differ in how they explain successes and failures but it isnt simply about being internal or external. There is a continuum: high internal at one end and high external at the other; low internal and low…


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