Social Influence

Chloe Woods
Flashcards by , created almost 4 years ago

AS - Level Psychology Flashcards on Social Influence, created by Chloe Woods on 02/03/2016.

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Chloe Woods
Created by Chloe Woods almost 4 years ago
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Question Answer
Conformity Conformity
Conformity Key Terms -Social Influence: the influence of a group or individual to change the attitudes or behaviours of others -Majority Social Influence: The influence of a large group to change the attitudes and/or behaviours of a small group or an individual Conformity Key Terms -Minority Social Influence: The influence of an individual or small group to change the attitudes and behaviours of a large group -Conformity Yielding to group pressures which leads to a change in a person's attitudes and/or behaviours
Kelman (1958) suggested there were different types of conformity: -conforms both publicly AND privately (changing behaviours and attitudes) -Conforms publicly but NOT privately (change behaviours but not attitudes) Internalisation- When you go along with others because you have accepted their point of view as their own. Occurs when the individual conforms to the majority or minority after adopting their attitudes and behaviours of the majority or minority. Is the deepest and most permanent type of conformity, sometimes referred to as true conformity.
Compliance- When you go along with others in public, but privately have not changed personal opinions. Occurs when an individual conforms to behaviours of majority, but not attitudes. Involves public conformity only, usually only temporary, stops when there is no group pressure. Identification- Occurs when an individual adjusts their behaviours+attitudes to those of a group, because membership to that group is desirable. Involves a change in attitude+behaviour whilst a member of the group. Public+private change whilst a member of the group. Usually only temporary conformity and the change in behaviour+attitude is not maintained when they leave the group.
Asch (1951/1955) Using 123 male, students in America (who were American, volunteers were told the study was a perception of lines and they had to answer which line (A/B/C) matched the standard line. There was only one actual participant in each group, the rest were confederates (actors who assisted the researcher) who were all told to give the ame incorrect answer on various questions. the result was 32%/37% of participants conformed (74% of participants conformed at least once). He concluded their main reason was not wanting to gain the groups disapproval.
Strength of Asch This study can be praised for ease of replication. This is because it was a highly controlled lab study with a standardised procedure of a standard line and three comparison lines.It was also well documented, and some of the studies were filmed. This is a strength because it increases the study's validity. Weakness of Asch This study can be criticised for having low ecological validity. This is because they were in an artificial environment where they did not feel comfortable. They were also performing a task which they would not do in day to day life (matching lines is not an everyday conformity task). Although they did not know what the study was on, they still knew it was a study and may have altered their behaviour. This is a weakness because we cannot generalise the findings to everyday real life settings.
Factors affecting conformity -size of group -task difficulty -unanimity Size of group: Conformity rates increase as the size of the majority increases, but there is a point where further increases in the size of the majority does not lead to further increases in conformity. Asch found that when there was 1 participant and 1 confederate conformity levels were very low (around 3%) with 2 confederates it increased to around 13% and with 3+ confederates it rose to 32%.
Task difficulty (task ambiguity): Greater conformity rates are seen when the task difficulty increases as the right answer becomes less obvious. Asch increased the task difficulty by making the comparison lines more similar to each other and found this lead to an increase in conformity levels. Unanimity: conformity rates decline when the majority does not all agree. Asch found if there was one confederate who went against the other confederates, conformity dropped from 32% to around 5%.
Obedience Obedience-A form of social influence in which an individual follows a direct order. The person issuing the order is usually a figure of authority, who has the power to punish when obedient behaviour is not forthcoming.
Obedience Characteristics -Direct order from someone perceived to be authority -Occurs within a hierarchy. An individual feels that the person above them has the right to prescribe that behaviour -Emphasis on power: linking ones own status to another individual's status Obedience Characteristics -The behaviour adopted differs from the behaviour of the authority figure -There is a fear of punishment and belief in the legitimacy of authority -Participants embrace obedience as an explanation for their behaviour
Milgram's Original Obedience Study 1963) Milgram was looking for the answer as to why the German population had followed Hitler's orders and allowed the slaughter of over 10 million Jews, Gypsies and other social groups during WW2. Milgram's Procedure The experiment took place at Yale University and involved 40, male participants, aged between 25-50 who were found using a volunteer sample, by advertising in a newspaper. The participants were told they were involved in a lab experiment on punishment and learning.
Milgram's Procedure The genuine participants were paired with a confederate (Known as Mr Wallace). The experiment was fixed so that each time the genuine participant would be the teacher and the confederate would be the learner. The confederate also reported to suffer from a heart condition, but was told the shocks were harmless Milgram's Procedure The participant was given a small shock to show him they were real, but this was only done to make the experiment more believable. The teacher and learner were sat in separate room, the teacher sat in the room with an examiner and the learner sat in a room alone.
Milgram's Procedure The teacher was told to begin a word association test, if the learner got an answer wrong the teacher was told to shock them. After each wrong answer he was told to increase the voltage of the electric shock. The voltage started at 15 volts and went up to 450 volts. Milgram's Procedure The genuine participant did not know the shocks were fake until the end of the experiment. During the experiment if the participant showed signs of wanting to leave they were given a 'prod' from the examiner to encourage them to carry on with the experiment
Milgram's Findings -65% of participants went up to 450 volts -100% of participants got to 300 volts -There were clear effects on the participants who showed signs of severe stress, leading to some having uncontrollable seizures. Milgram's Conclusion People will blindly obey orders from those they perceive to be authority figures even if it involves harming another human being.
Milgram's Methodological Criticisms -Milgram's study can be criticised for having low population validity. This is because there were only 40 participants, all males who were between the ages of 25-50 (adults). This is bad because it cannot be generalised to wider populations die to there being no women of younger participants involved. Milgram's Methodological Criticisms +Milgram's study can be praised for control over variables. This is because Milgram controlled the participants age, gender, and the standardised procedure, which was using the same confederate and the environment was the same for everyone. This is good because it increases the validity of the results.