Social influence

What is conformity?
When your attitudes, beliefs or behaviours are changed due to the presence of a majority group.
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What are the three types of conformity?
Compliance, internalisation & identification.
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Compliance
An individual follows everyone else to avoid being disapproved of by the group.
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Identification
They choose to follow the group because they want to be associated with that particular group.
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Internalisation
An individual will follow a group to get recognition and acceptance for their views.
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Explanation for conformity: normative social influence
An individual conforms with the expectations of the majority in order to gain approval or to avoid social disapproval.
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Explanation for conformity: informtional social influence
The result o the desie to be right; looking to others as a way of gaining evidence about reality.
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Evaluation of types & explanations for conformity: distinguishing between compliance & internalisation
Hard to measurepublic compliance & private acceptance. It's possible to accept in public, but it can dissipate later when in private, as they have forgotten information or they've received new information.
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Evaluation of types & explanations for conformity: research supportfor normative influence
Linkenbach & Perkins - found that adolescents exposed to the message that the majority of their age group did not smoke were subsequently less likelyto take up smokin.
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Asch (1956): procedure
123 US males. Look at 3 lines of different lengths & ompare to 1 standard line; which one matched. 12/18 trials, confederates give the same incorrect answer.
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Asch (1956): findings
12 critical trials: 33% conformed (wrong answer). 25% never conformed.
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Asch (1956): conclusions
Some decisions were influenced by the majority.
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Evaluation of Asch: reliability
Used a standardised procedure which means that the findings can be replicated, increasing their reliability.
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Evaluation of Asch: internal validity
There was no ambiguity in the task and therefore he was measuring conformity and not people's ability to perceive small differences in length, giving it internal validity.
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Evaluation of Asch: ethics
The participants were deceived as they thought it was a visual perception task.
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What are the 3 variables affecting conformity?
Group size, unanimity & task difficulty.
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Group size
Asch: the rate of conformity increased as the size of the majorit infuence increased.
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Unanimity
Asch: breaking the group's unanimous position that was the major factor in conformity reduction.
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Task difficulty
Asch: as the difficulty of the task increased, the conformity increased.
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Zimbardo (1973): procedure
Mock prison. 24 US male students. Prisoners/guards. Prisoners arrested, uniform, ID number. Guards in uniform, whistle, clubs, reflective sunglasses.
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Zimbardo (1973): findings
Prisoners became passive & negative; guards became aggressive. 5 left early due to stress. Lasted 6 days. Guards showed authority throughout.
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Zimbardo (1973): conclusions
Both guards and prisoners conformed to their social roles quickly due to the situation that they were in.
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Evaluation of Zimbardo: consent
This was given, but participants were not fully informed. E.g. prisoners were not aware they would be arrested at home.
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Evaluation of Zimbardo: ethics
There were severe reactions by the prisoners. Psychological & physical harm for the prisoners from the guards.
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Evaluation of Zimbardo: observer bias
Zimbardo has since admitted he lost his objectivity as the prison governor and got too involved.
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Milgram (1963): procedure
40 men. Newspaper advertisement; volunteer. Laboratory. Prompts from experimenter who wore a lab coat. Voltage levels from 15 volts to a maximum of 450 volts (15v increments). The learner (confederate) is pretending to be shocked & sound distressed.
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Milgram (1963): findings
Tension participants. 100% went to 300v. 65% went to 450v.
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Milgram (1963): conclusions
People are surprisingly obedient to authority even when being told to inflict pain for no good reason.
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Evaluation of Milgram: internal validity
Milgram appeared to have created a situation which the participas believed to be true as evidenced by their strong reactions.
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Evaluation of Milgram: informed consent
There was no informed consent, and the participants ere very stressed and not protected, although they met the unharmed learner at the end.
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Evaluation of Milgram: low external validity
The task did not reflect real life obedience.
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What are the 3 situational factors in obedience?
Proximity, location & the power of uniform.
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Proximity
Milgram: obedience levels fell to 40% as the acher was now able txperience the learner's anguish more directly when in the same room.
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Location
Milgram: several participants remarked that the location of the study gave them confidence in the integrity of those involved and said they wouldn't have shocked the learner if elsewhere.
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The power of uniform
Milgram: laboratory coat. Easily recognisable, convey power and authority.
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What is agentic state?
A person sees themself as an agent for carrying out another person's wishes.
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What is autonomous state?
The thought that we show free will and make our own choices and decisions.
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What is legitimate authority?
A person who is perceived to be in a position of social control within a situation.
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Study - Hofling (1966): procedure
Confederate doctor rang a ward and asked the nurse to give twice the marked safe dose of an unknown drug. 'Astroten' to a patien
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Study - Hofling (1966): findings
21/22 nurses obeyethe orders against the hospital rules. Control group: said they wouldn't have said yes to giving the drug.
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Study - Hofling (1966): conclusions
The power of hierarchy in hospitals was a bigger influence on nurses than following hospital rules.
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Evaluation of Hofling: ecological validity
Used a natural setting.
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Evaluation of Hofling: hard to measure
Autonomy and agency are concepts that are hard to measure and define. They vary depending on the situation.
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What is the authoritarian personality?
A distinct personality pattern characterised by strict adherence to conventional values and a belief in absolute obedience or submission to authority.
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What is meant by dispositional?
Explanations of behaviours such as obedience emphasise them being caused by an individual's own personal characteristics rather than situational influences within the environment.
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What is the F scale?
A measure of authoritarian traits or tendencies.
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What is meant by right-wing authoritarianism?
A cluster of personality variables that are associated with a 'right-wing' attitude to life.
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Evaluation of the authoritarian personality: research evidence for the authoritarian/obedience link
Studies have reported that more authoritarian participants are more obedient inMilgram-type obedience situations. Yet the sdies tend to suffer from a good deal of suspicion on whether the shocks were real or not.
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Evaluation of the authoritarian personality: the social context is more important
Relying on an explanation of obedience based purely on authoritariansm lacks the flexibility to acount for the variations in personality.
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What is locus of control?
People differ in their beliefs about whether the outcomes of their actions are dependent on what they do or on events outside their personal control.
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What is internal locus of control?
Actions dependent on what they do.
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What is internality?
Individuals who tend to believe that there responsible for their behaviour and experience rather than external forces.
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What is external locus of control?
Actions dependent on events outside their personal control.
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What is externality?
Individuals who tend to believe that their behaviour and experience is caused by events outside their control.
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Evaluation of locus of control: validity
The LoC self-report inventory has been standardised and used over vast samples, increasing its validity.
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Evaluation of locus of control: Twenge
Found that external locus people have increased in number over time, but resistance to hority has increased as well which sheds some doubt on the concept.
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What is social support?
The perception that an individual has assistance available from other people, and that they are part of a supportive network.
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Evaluation of social support: support may not have to be valid to be effective
Both conditions of Allen & Levine's study reduced the amount of conformity, t the valid social supporter had much more impact, showing that an ally is helpful in resisting conformity, but more so if they are perceived as offering valid social support
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What is meant by minority influence?
A form of social influence where members of the rity group change their beliefs/behaviours as a result of their exposure to a persuasive minority.
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What is meant by commitment?
The degree to which members of a minority are dedicated to a partiicular cause or acitvity. The greater the commitment, the greater the influence.
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What is meant by consistency?
Minority influence is only effective provided there is stability in the expressed position over time & agreement among different members of the minority.
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What is meant by flexibility?
A willingness to be flexible and to compromise when expressing a position.
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Moscovici (1969): procedure
Groups of 4 participants & 2 confederates. Estimate clolour of 36 slides; same colour (blue), but different shades. Confederates said green for 1 condition.
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Moscovici (1969): findings
Participants conformed when green was said on 8.42% of the trials. 32% said green in the consistent condition.
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Moscovici (1969): conclusions
Small changes, but they are significant. They show that a minority can sway t majority even when absent as long as consistency is maintained.
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Evaluation of Moscovici: artificial
Used artificial laboratory experiments so lack ecological validity and internal validity.
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Evaluation of Moscovici: ethics
Ethical issue of deceit as they were told it was a visual peception task.
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Evaluation of Moscovici: another condition
In another condition, Moscovici found that getting his participants to write their answers privately after exposure to the minority view maintained the conformity effect even in its absence.
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What is meant by social change?
Occurs when a society or section of society adopts a new belief or way of behaving which then becomes widely accepted as the norm.
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What is meant by social norms interventions?
Attempt to correct misperceptions of the normative behaviour of peers in an attempt to change the risky behaviour of a target population.
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What are the 5 stages of social change?
Drawing attention to an issue; cognitive conflict; consistency of position; the augmentation pinciple; he snowball effect.
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Evaluation of social change: time
The time for minority influence to work is often very long because groups tend to conform to the majority position.
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Evaluation of social change: social norms interventions can backfire
Social norms interventions using the majority influence can sometimes backfire, encouraging those who already behave in a socially acceptable way to conform to the majority and drop their high standards.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Compliance, internalisation & identification.

Back

What are the three types of conformity?

Card 3

Front

An individual follows everyone else to avoid being disapproved of by the group.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

They choose to follow the group because they want to be associated with that particular group.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

An individual will follow a group to get recognition and acceptance for their views.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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