Social Influence revision - Paper 1

  • Created by: char3112
  • Created on: 02-06-18 17:59



COMPLIANCE - When an individual directly changes their behaviour and attitudes as a result of a direct request.

INTERNALISATION - When an individual changes both their public and private view

IDENTIFICATION - When an individual changes and adopts their behaviour and attitudes to fit into a group

Solomon and Asch - Lab study of 123 male US students.

Seven male participants sat around a table and were display cards that consisted of vertical lines of different lengths and were asked to identify the line that matched the standard line on another card.

He found that 32% of participants conformed on critical trials. 74% conformed atleast once. 26% never conformed once but felt uncomfortable doing so.

-Asch increased group size and found that with 3 confederates conformity to the wrong answer rose to 31.8% but the addition of more confederates made little difference.

-The presence of a dissening confederate led to reduced conformity, whether the dissenter was giving the right or wrong answers conformity was 25%. Unamity.

-Conformity increased under the increasing difficulty of the tasks, as people became unsure of the correct answer they turned to who they believed to be right.

On 12 of the 18 trials confederates were told to give the same wrong answer. On the 12 critical trials 36.8% of the responses given by the real participants were incorrect. Without confederates giving the wrong answer the participants were 99.9% correct with their judgement.


- Asch' study could be seen as era dependant (specific to the 1950's) as in America it was an especially conformist time so it made sense to conform to established social norms whereas present day America is not as conformist as it once was. So generalising the findings to the present day would be wrong as this may no longer outline reasons for current conformity.

- Asch' study is also culturally biased as it took place only in America. America was found to be one of the highest conforming countires so generalising Asch's findings to other countries would be wrong. So it lacks cross cultural validity.

- Participants were not aware of real aims of study as they were told it was a test for vision. However it was a experiment for conformity therefore they could not give full informed consent as a result of deception. 



Deutsch& Gerrard 1955

- We have a need to be right and when we do not know the answer we conform to those who we believe are right

- known as internalisation (private and public acceptance)


Deutsch& Gerrard 1955

- We have a need for social acceptance and approval

- Known as compliance (private disagreement, public acceptance)


- Found that the cognitive conflict between knowing the right answer but having to fit into a group in Aschs procedure created stress but this was reduced by conforming.

- This is known as cognitive dissonance an unpleasant stress feeling,


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