Psychology - Social Influence

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Social Influence
The effect other people have on our behaviour.
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A change in a persons behaviour or opinions as a result of group pressure.
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Conformity Study - Asch; Aim
Wanted to know whether people could be influenced by other peoples opinions to give an answer they knew to be wrong so it would be possible to see if people were conforming.
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Asch; Method
Participants were shown sets of four lines. They had to say whether line A, B or C was the same length as the test line. When tested alone, participants rarely made a mistake. However, when with a group who were instructed to give wrong answer.
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Asch; Results
32% of trials where rest of group gave wrong answer so did the participants. 74% of the participants gave at least one wrong answer.
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Asch; Conclusion
Thos who gave incorrect answers said they knew they were wrong but did not want to go against the rest of group. This demonstrates conformity.
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Implications of Conformity
Decision making in a jury. Hard to disagree with majority
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Following the orders of someone we believe to have authority.
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Obedience Study - Milgram; Aim
To see how far people would obey an unreasonable order.
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Milgram; Method
Participants were made to believe they were giving an electric shock to a 'learner' every time they got an answer wrong. Shock increased each time. Participant heard a groan in pain which was a recording. The experimenter would make them carry on.
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Milgram; Results
All participants went to 300 volts and 65% went all the way to 450 volts.
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Milgram; Conclusion
People are prepared to obey extraordinary orders if they think the person giving them is in a position of authority.
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Implications of Obedience
Provide explanation for why the space shutter exploded when it could have been prevented. They were persuaded by authority figures to say nothing about the breakage.
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The state of losing our sense of individuality and becoming less aware of our own responsibility for our actions.
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Diendividuation Study - Zimbardo; Aim
To see if people in big city behave in a more antisocial what than people in a small town.
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Zimbardo; Method
He parked a car in each place as if it had broken down and observed what people did as they passed by.
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Zimbardo; Results
In New York people immediately began stealing parts off the car and within 2 weeks there was little left. In small town only time someone touched the car was to lower to bonnet to stop engine getting wet.
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Zimbardo; Conclusion
The deindividuation caused by living in a big city leads to an increase in antisocial behaviour.
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Factors Affecting Deindividuation
Being able to hide one's identity, wearing a uniform and being part of a gang or clearly identifiable group.
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Implications of Deindividuation
Wearing a uniform makes it harder to act independently.
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Social Loafing
Putting less effort into doing something when you are with others doing the same thing.
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Social Loafing Study - Latané et al; Aim
To see whether being in a group would have an effect on how much effort participants put into a task.
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Latané et al; Method
Researchers asked participants to clap as loudly as they could while alone or in group. Each participant wore headphones so they couldn't hear the others.
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Latané et al; Results
The larger the group size the less noise the participants made.
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Latané et al; Conclusion
People put left effort into doing something when they know others are contributing effort to the same task than when they are the only one.
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Factors Affecting Social Loafing
Size of group, Nature or task and culture.
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Implication of Social Loafing
Team games and presentations in groups.
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Bystander Intervention - Latané and Darley; Aim
To see if people are less likely to react in an emergency when there are others present.
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Latané and Darley; Method
Participants sat in a room either alone or in 3's whilst completing a questionnaire. Smoke began pouring into the room.
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Latané and Darley; Results
75% sitting alone went to tel someone within 6 minutes, whereas 38% in a group did.
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Latané and Darley; Conclusion
If there are other people around it will make it less likely that you react in an emergency.
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Bystander Intervention - Piliavin; Aim
To see if the appearance of the victim would influence helping behaviour.
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Piliavin; Method
An actor pretended to collapse in a train carriage. His appearance was altered several times and the amount of help received was recorded by an observer.
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Piliavin; Results
When the victim carries a walking stick he received help within 70 secs 90% of the time. When he has an ugly facial scar it dropped to 60%. When he appeared drunk it was 60%.
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Piliavin; Conclusion
The appearance of the person needing help will affect whether and how quickly they get help.
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Bystander Intervention - Batson et al; Aim
To discover if the similarity of a victim to the bystander will affect whether or not they receive help.
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Batson et al; Method
Participants watched a women who they thought was receiving electric shocks. Each participant was made to think the women was either like themselves or not like themselves. They were then given the opportunity to take the womens place.
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Batson et al; Results
More participants were prepared to take the place of the women they thought to be similar to themselves than dissimilar.
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Batson et al; Conclusion
People are more likely to offer help to someone they feel is similar to themselves in some way. Batson claimed it is because we feel great empathy for people like ourselves and it causes distress to see them suffer.
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Bystander Intervention - Schroeder et al; Aim
To explore different reasons for bystanders not helping.
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Schroeder; Method
They studied the finding and conclusions from many previous pieced of research.
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Schroeder; Results
They were able to provide alternative explanations for why bystanders did nothing to help when others were present.
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Schroder; Conclusion
Bystanders are distressed and concerned about victims but when other people are present they believe that someone else might be more capable of helping.
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Implications of Bystander Intervention
When someone is committing a crime, if there are lots of people around it is unlikely someone will do something.
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A change in a persons behaviour or opinions as a result of group pressure.

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Conformity Study - Asch; Aim


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Asch; Method


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Asch; Results


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