Social influence

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  • Created by: Laelle
  • Created on: 22-03-16 18:43
What is conformity?
A change in behaviour or beliefs due to the influence of the majority. Either imagined or real group pressure.
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What are the three types of conformity?
Compliance, identification + internalisation
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What is compliance?
Publicly conforming to the behaviour or beliefs of others but privately disagreeing
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What is identification?
Publicly and privately adopting the behaviour or beliefs of a group because you admire them or want to fit in
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What is internalisation?
Publicly and privately changing your behaviour and beliefs to match those of a group. This becomes your way of viewing the world and isn't dependent on the presence of the group
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What are the explanations for conformity?
Normative social influence+ informational social influence
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What are the basis of these explanations?
NSI- need to be liked & ISI- need to be right
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How does ISI explain conformity?
It's a cognitive process; when in situations that are unfamiliar/ambiguous and we don't know how to behave, we look to others
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How does NSI explain conformity?
It's an emotional process; we conform for social approval and because we think others will accept us
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What research support is there for ISI?
Lucas et al found greater conformity to incorrect answers in students when math problems were more difficult
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What did Asch's line study find in relation to ISI?
Many participants went along with the clearly wrong answer because they felt "self-conscious" and we're afraid of disapproval from others. Conformity fell when they wrote down their answers.
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What does NSI ignore?
Indidual differences; it affects people differently, people who aren't concerned about being liked are less affected than people who have a greater need to affiliation
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What was the aim of Asch's Study?
To see how much people conform to the opinion of others even in a situation where the answer is unambiguous
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What did the line study find?
Naive participants conformed 37% of the time. 25% didn't conform on any of the trials, 75% conformed at least once
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Who repeated Asch's study in 1980s with engineering students in the UK?
Perrin + Spencer
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Evaluation points for Asch's study
Low ecological validity: artificial groups, demand characteristics, limited applications of findings/population validity: males + USA
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What variations did Asch make to the conditions in a further study?
Group size, unanimity + task difficulty
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What happened when the group size was varied?
When there were only 3 confederates, conformity to the wrong answer increased to 31.8%
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What happened to conformity levels with under 3 confederates?
The group was too small for influence to be exerted
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What happened to conformity levels with more than 3 confederates?
There was little difference
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What happened in the unanimity variation?
The dissenting participants allowed the naive participant to behave more independently
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What happened to conformity levels with a dissenting confederate?
It reduced by a quarter
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What does this give evidence for?
ISI- the task was more ambiguous so participants looked to others for guidance
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What happened to the levels of conformity when the task was made harder?
It increased
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What is Zimbardo's SPE concerned with?
Conformity to social roles
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What is conformity to social roles?
Conforming to the expectations we and others have for a certain role in social groups
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What was the aim of Zimbardo's research?
To see whether prison guards behave brutally because they have sadistic personalities (their disposition) or whether it was due to the situation which causes such behvaiour
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What did the research find?
Guards + prisoners conformed to their social roles
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How did guards conform?
They became increasingly abusive towards prisoners + made them carry out degrading tasks
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How did prisoners conform?
They were submissive to the guards even when they were unaware of being watched, some even forgot that it was just a psychological study
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How many prisoners had to be removed from the study in just 2 days?
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Why were these prisoners removed?
They showed extreme reactions
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How long did it take for the study to be terminated?
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Evaluation points for Stanford Prison Experiment?
Research bias, ethical issues, demand characteristics + increased internal validity
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Why does the study have high internal validity?
Zimbardo had some control over the variables- selecting the "most emotionally stable" naive participants. so individual differences don't influence the findings.
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Why was the study approved as ethical?
No deception was involved
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Why are there ethical issues, though the study was approved as "ethical"?
Zimbardo acknowledged that it should have eben terminated before 6 days as the participants showed extreme reactions and distress
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What topic is Milgrams's study concerned with?
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What is obedience?
A type of social influence, where an individual follows a direct order from an authority figure
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What did Milgrams's what to see?
Whether ordinary Americans would obey an unjust order from a person in authority to inflict pain on another person
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How many volunteers were used?
40 male volunteers
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How much were participants paid?
$4.50 (a lot at the time)
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Where the naive participant and learner in the same room?
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What were naive participants sat in front of?
A 30 lever shock generator
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What were the volunteers deceived into thinking?
They were administering an electric shock to a learner- on a study concerning punishment in learning
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When did the confederate adminstering a 'shock'?
When the learner chose an incorrect word-pair
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What were the intervals between shocks?
Started from 15 volts- 450 volts. 15 volt intervals between
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What was the 450 volt labelled as?
Severe shock
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What happened if the participant was hesistant?
They were prodded by the researcher in a lab coat
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How many participants went to at least 300 volts?
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What percentage of participants stopped at 300 volts?
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How many participants went to the total of 450 volts?
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What did Milgram find about participants?
They showed signs of extreme anxiety and dissented verbally, but continued to obey when proded
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What cristicism did Orne + Holland have for Milgram's study?
Lacks internal validity as participants doubted whether the learner was actually suffering. This leads to demand characteristics
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Why did Perry say the study lacked internal validity?
Many participants were found to have thought the shocks were fake-so went to 450 volts not because of obedience
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How many times did Blass find no gender differences?
8 out of 9 times
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No gender differences shows what about the study?
It's high in population validity- can be generalised to the majority
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What are the 3 explanations for obedience?
Situational, Social-psychological factors + Dispositional
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What are situational variables?
Factors relating to the external circumstance
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What situational variables were tested?
Proximity, location & uniform
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How were variations tested?
One variation was systematically altered, the other extraneous variables kept the same
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What is location?
The place where the order is given. Different locations have different amounts of status and prestige
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Where was the location changed to?
From prestigious Yale University to run-down offices
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What happened to obedience levels?
Dropped from 65% to 47.5%
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Less prestige thus authority is associated with that location
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What is uniform?
Specific clothing that people in positions of authority wear, that is symbolic of their authority
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What happened when a confederate with everyday clothes gave instructions?
Obedience rate fell to 20%
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A sense of formality is lost by taking away the lab coat which symbolises authority
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What is proximity?
The physical closeness or distance between the authority figure and the person taking orders
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When did obedience rates drop to 40%?
When the teacher and learner were in the same room
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What happened when the teacher forced the learners hand onto the lever?
Obedience rates dropped to 30%
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What condition caused obedience rate to fall to 20.5%?
When the participant was given orders over the phone
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The high control over variables in variations of Milgram's study is a strength because?
It establishes cause + effect
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Why are variations of the study easy to replicate?
High control-one variable is studied, whilst others are controlled
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What is the state where a person feels they are not responsible for their own actions?
Agentic State
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Why do they believe they are not responsible?
Because they are acting on behalf of someone in authority
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Are you more or less likely to obey in this state?
More likely
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What is the autonomous state?
When a person feels independent + acts according to their own principles. They feel responsible for their actions
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The agentic-shift is what?
The shift from autonomy to agency
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Why does the agentic-shift happen?
When a person perceives someone else as more powerful because of their position in a social hirearchy
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Why is a person more likely to obey in agentic state?
They are freed from the demands of their own conscience
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What are binding factors?
Aspects of a situation that allow a person to ignore or minimise the damaging effects of their behaviour
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What do binding factors reduce?
The moral strain a person is feeling
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What strategies does a person use?
Shifting the blame to the victim or denying the damage done to victim
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How are most societies structured?
In a hierarchial way- certain people holding authority over us
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Examples of people who have 'legitimacy of authority'?
Police, bouncers, parents
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Why is their authority 'legitimate'?
Because their authority is agreed by society, so it runs smoothly
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What is destructive authority?
When legitimate authority becomes destructive
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Where is destructive authority shown in Milgram's study?
The researcher using prods to order participants against their own moral principles/consciences
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What did Adorno investigate?
The causes of the obedient personality
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Who were tested?
Over 2000 white, middle-class Americans
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What where they tested on?
Their unconscious attitudes towards other racial groups
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How where they measured?
By questionnaire, using scales (including the fascism-scale)
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What did Adorno find?
People who scored high on the F-scale, had authoritarian leanings. They were scornful of the weak + had prejudice ideas
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There is a correlation between authoritarianism and?
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What did Adorno say was the cause of the authoritarian personality?
Harsh parenting in childhood: extremely strict + high standards
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What does harsh parenting create?
Resentment and hostility
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Why can't the child directly express their feelings?
Out of fear of their parents
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What is scapegoating?
Placing this fear onto others perceived as weaker
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What are the three types of conformity?


Compliance, identification + internalisation

Card 3


What is compliance?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What is identification?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is internalisation?


Preview of the front of card 5
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