Social influence studies and evaluations

Note by eharveyhudl, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by eharveyhudl over 5 years ago


A2 level Psychology Note on Social influence studies and evaluations, created by eharveyhudl on 03/07/2015.

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Conformity (Asch 1956)Procedure: Student volunteers hired to take part in a vision test. All but one of the participants were confederates. They were asked to look at three lines of different lengths and say in turn, out loud, which one was the same length as a standard line, the real participant was always last to answer. Asch also conducted interviews to ask participants why they conformed. There was also 3 variations: difficulty (differences between line lengths made smaller which made conformity increase), size of majority (little conformity when the majority was only on or two people) and unanimity (when confederates unanimity disturbed, conformity levels dropped).Results: On 12 critical trials, 37% of responses were incorrect. The interviews revealed that people conformed for one of three reasons: they came to see the lines in the same way, they doubted whether they were correct or they went along with it to avoid disapproval. Evaluation: Asking people the length of a line is insignificant Participants did not know the aim (deception) Research is outdated, era of McCarthyism in America when there were strong anti-communist feelings and people were scared to be different

Normative influence (Schultz et al)Procedure: Gathered data from 132 hotels, with an experimental and a control condition. In the control condition, a sign informed guests of environmental benefits from reusing towels, and in the experimental condition there was a sign saying that 75% of guests choose to reuse their towels each day. Results: Guests who received the message about other guests reusing their towels, reduced their needs for fresh towels by 25%

Informational social influence (Fein et al 2007)Procedure: Participants watched films of US presidental debates, followed by majority reactions to the debate. Results: This resulted in large shifts in the judgements of the presidents performance.

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