Social Influence

  • Created by: Tigs22
  • Created on: 23-05-18 17:40
What is conformity?
The convergence of an individual's thoughts, feelings or behaviours towards a group norm.
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What are the types of conformity?
Internalisation(own private beliefs change), Identification(identify with group so publically conform), Compliance(go along with others- superficial)
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Two explanations of conformity
Normative social influence, Informational Social influence
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What is Normative social influence?
Conforming to gain social approval or acceptance, yielding to group pressure, to avoid rejection. EMOTIONAL
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Informational Social influence
When you lack knowledge and unsure how to act- occurs in ambiguous situations, COGNITIVE
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What effect does ambiguity have?
increases ISI
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Study of ambiguity
SHERIF- used autokinetic effect (sport of light in dark room seems to move). Asked ppts how far it moved (cm). Alone: varied 20-80cm. Groups of 3 w/2 similar answers and one diff: 1 diff changed answer
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Eval of ISI and NSI
GOOD- research support of ISI and NSI. BAD-individual differences- nAffiliators don't feel the need to conform so it depends on the person. NSI&ISI often happen together in real life- hard to distinguish, lab experiments
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Study of ISI
LUCAS ET AL- students given easy or difficult maths questions, more conformity on harder qs.
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Study of NSI
ASCH(1951)-123 male american undergrad ppts shown 2 cards. one=standard line one=3 different comparison lines. obvious correct line. group=6confeds, 1naive ppt. confeds got qs right at start, then started to lie, all giving same wrong answer(12/18qs)
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Ppts conformed to 36.8% of qs. 75% conformed at least once. When debreifed, ppts said they did it due to NSI.
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What were Asch's 3 variations?
Group size, Unanimity, task difficulty
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Group size
When majority was 2 or 3, low conformity. 3 or more = 30% increase
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If there is one dissenter, conformity decreases to 5%
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Task difficulty
When lines were more similar, conformity rose -ISI. those w/more self-efficacy less likely to conform.(engineering students)
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Eval of Asch
Temporal validity- carried out in conformist era (50s). Perrin&Spencer repeated in Uk- only 1/396 conformed. Artificial task & situation- demand characteristics, low ecological validity, ungeneralisable, sample bias
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Cultural differences- western= individualist culture. studies in collectivist culture- more conformity. Ethics- deceived.
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Conformity to social roles study and aim
Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment(1973)-testing situational hypothesis that people conform due to environment not dispoition
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24,white,middle class, american males. chosen as the most mentally stable, mature and least antisocial out of 75 ppts- randomly assigned prisoner or guard
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Guards breifed to 'maintain reasonable degree of order' 'simulate prison environment' 'within ethical considerations'-not allowed physical punishment/agression. Prisoners arrested at home, stripped, deloused, blindfolded, called by number.
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Prisoner's daily routine heavily regulated, divided form guards, strict rules, guards controlled everything, even toilet and food and sleep.
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Guards- khaki trousers and shirt, baton, cuffs, reflective shades. Prisoners- smocks, no underwear, lock and chain, stocking caps, shower shoes
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effects of uniforms
prisoners- emasculation, loss of identity, deindividuation. Both- dehumanisation
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stopped after 6 days instead of 14. Guards punished and humiliated prisoners- threatened their psychological health, suffered mental and emotional distress. Day 2-rebellion, guards fought back. 3rd day-acted passively and helplessly, depressed
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When one prisoner temporarily stopped from leaving- major psychological shift- pathological prisoner syndrome:one went insane and so left- got replaced- new one rebelled- others turned against him. Guards enjoyed power
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proves situational hypothesis- occurred due to environment- in just 6 days
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Positive Eval
Control- stable ppts. Realistic prison- mundane realism- arrested e.t.c.-found 90% convos about prison life- not outside
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Negative eval
Just plat acting- stereotypes, cool hand luke- not conforming. Over exaggerated power of situation-only 1/2 guards aggressive. Ethics- protection of ppts, right to withdraw, humiliation, informed consent, sample bais,
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Replication study
BBC study in 2013 Reicher&Haslam- different findings, prisoners took control and harrassed guards- guards didnt identify.
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Zimbardo's arguments
Signed consent forms, stopped early, approved by navy, worth it for results
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Obedience study
Milgram(1963)-test how far ppts will obey when they are causing harm. Method-40 male volunteers.20-50ys. Told it as a test of memory. Drew sticks (rigged) for role. Ppts always got teacher. Saw learner be rigged to shock machine.
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procedure continued
ppts had to shock learner for every wrong answer (15v slight shock-450v danger severe). at 300v learner screamed and hit wall- then no response. Prods used if ppt unsure
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What were the prods?
Please continue, the experiment requires you to continue, you must continue, you have no other choice
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100% went to 300v, 12.5% stopped at 300v. 65% went to 450V (2/3). Qualitative data: trembling, stutter, sweat, groan, 3 had seizures.
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Positive eval
external validity- reflects real life authority. Mundane realism- 70% said they believed it. Ethics- 84% said glad they did it
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Supporting study
Le Jeu de la Mort- French documentary replicated it- 21/22 obeyed.
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Negative eval
Ethics- deception, protection of ppts, right to withdraw. sample bias. low internal valdity- mundane realism, could be due to social idenity- identified w/experimentor
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the aim of milgram's Situational Variables
place a numerical value on rate of obedience. Show situational variables explain obedience better than disposition
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3 variations?
Proximity, Location, Uniform
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Proximity variation
physical closeness- teacher and learner in same room - 40%. Touch proximity-forced hand on plate-30%. Experimentor gave orders over phone-remote proximity-20.5%
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Yale Uni-65% Run down office in town- 47.5%
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Original- lab coat. Casual clothes-20%
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Uniform supporting study
Bickman-tested ecological validity of it- did it in real world. Confeds dressed as police man, milkman, civilian. Gave NYC pedestrians (153) orders e.g. pick up this bag. Police-80%, milkman-40%, civilian, 40%
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Positive Eval of situational variables
controlled studies- replicable. Replicable in other cultures-MIRANDA-Spain. - cross cultural replication
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Negative eval
Smith&Bond say spain isn't very different. Lacks internal validity- mundane realism- BUT they were stressed. Obedience Alibi- switched responsibility to experimenter.
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What are the two social-psychological factors of obedience?
Agentic state and legitimacy of authority
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What is agentic state?
When we act as an agent of someone in authority. Easier to deny personal responsibility- they told them to do it- their responsibility.
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What is the opposite?
Autonomous state- direct own behaviour and take responsibility
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What is the agentic shift?
When people shift from autonomous state to agentic state after confronted by authourity
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What are binding factors?
Factors that explain why people remain in agentic state despite distress: aspects of situation that reduce moral strain e.g. 'he's fine' 'his fault for volunteering'
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Eval of agentic state?
GOOD-supporting study- Blass&Schmitt-showed students video of milgram's study. all said experimenter was responsible. BAD-limited explanation- doesn't explain why 1/3 didn't obey ... could be due to personality
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What is legitimacy of authority?
We are more likely to obey those with authority which is justified by power and position
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3 parts of legitimacy of authority
Legitimacy of system (e.g school,army,gov). Legitimacy of authority within system (their position in hierarchy). Legitimacy of orders (teacher asking you to wash their car)
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Eval of legitimacy of authority
GOOD- cultural differences- explains why in some cultures authority is more accepted (Aus-18%, germany-80%). Explains how obedience can lead to war crimes-application
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Dispositional Factor
Authoritarian personality-ADORNO et al.
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2000+ middle class, white americans. tested w/F-scale to measure Authoritarian persosnality.
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Example of questions of Fascism scale
obedience and respect are the 2 most important values kids should learn
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high scorers on f-scale identfied as 'strong' people, aware of status, excessive respect to authority, dismissiveness to lower statuses, positive correlation between Authoritarian personality and prejudice
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Authoritarian characteristics (other than already mentioned)
Traditional attitudes towards sex, gender and race. Need of powerful leaders. Inflexible outlook. Everything is right or wrong. Uncomfortable w/uncertainty
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What is the origin of a authoritarian personality?
Formed in childhood, strict discipline, expectation of complete loyalty, impossibly high standards, conditional love, criticism- LEADS TO hostility, can't express feelings - displaced onto others- scapegoating
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Positive eval
Study- milgram&elms- highly obedient-scored highly.
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milgram&elms- just correlation. Social identity seems more likely-unlikely whole nazi state was authoritarian- but identified,
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political bias-only measures right wing- left wing has similar aspects (complete obedience)- so not comprehensible explanation across political spectrum, methological problem- worded in same direction(measure tendency to agree w/all-acquiescence bias
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What is minority influence?
When a minority group of people reject the norm of a group a persuades the majority to move to the position of the minority-likely leads to internalisation
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Moscovici-Blue slide, green slide. Ppts given eye tests. Placed in group of 4ppts and 2 confeds. Had to look at 36 blue slides(different shades) and say if they are green or blue.
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If minority was consistent- majority gave same answers as minority 8.42% of time. If inconsistent (2/3)- 1.25%. CONTROL GROUP(no confeds)-0.25% said green
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What 3 factors that affect minority influence
Consistency, commitment, flexibility
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How does consistency influence it?
Over time it increases people's interest and they rethink. Diachronic synchrony- say same thing for long time.
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May do extreme activities- draws attention- augmentation principle
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Nemeth: if the minority is seen as inflexible majority less likely to change
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Flexibility study
Nemeth: mock jury- 3ppts , 1 confed. Had to decide on how much compensation to give ski lift accident victim. When confed wouldn't budge from v.low amount- majority stuck together. When confed compromised- so did majority
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What is the process of change?
Consistency-deeper processing-commitment-augmentation principle-flexible-snowball effect-social cryptomnesia
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Positive eval of minority influence
Research support-Moscovici. Wood et al- meta analysis of 100 studies:most influential when consistent. Internalisation support- moscovici found higher agreement when they wrote down answers.
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Negative eval
Artificial tasks- lack external validity- real life more complicated. Some may not want to convert publically
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What is social change?
When whole societies adopt new attitudes, beliefs and behaviours.
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6 steps to social change
Consistency-deeper processing-commitment-augmentation principle-flexible-snowball effect-social cryptomnesia
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What does conformity research tell us about social change?
Asch- one dissenter breaks majority- allows others to change- leads to social change. NSI- campaigns say what everyone else is doing- others conform
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What does obedience research tell us about social change?
Milgram- taught us disobedient parteners help others disobey.
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Positive eval of social change
NSI support- Nolan- reduce energy campaign- hung messages on doors 1 week for a month. Some said others was reducing energy, some didn't mention others. The 'most people' group- significant reduction in energy usage
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Negative eval
Nemeth- the effects of minority influence are indirect (only affects minor issue- not major one) and delayed (takes ages for it to have an effect). Majorities focus on how deviant minority is, not their message. don't wanna be associated w/them.
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Negative eval
explantaions all rely on Asch, Milgram and Moscovici- can all be evaluated negatively- validity
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Card 2


What are the types of conformity?


Internalisation(own private beliefs change), Identification(identify with group so publically conform), Compliance(go along with others- superficial)

Card 3


Two explanations of conformity


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Card 4


What is Normative social influence?


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Card 5


Informational Social influence


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