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Deutsch and Gerard (1955)

-distinguished between ISI and NSI
-they believed this distinction was crucial to understanding majority group influence


What is informational social influence

-when someone conforms because they do not know what to do, and is based on a need to be right
-they seek information to reduce uncertainty
-look to others for guidance
-tends to involve internalisation


What is normative social influence

-altering behaviour to fit the expectations of others
-need to be liked or accepted
-person may conform publically but at a private level may disagree
-tends to involve compliance


Research for NSI?

Asch study


Research for ISI?

Sherif study


Evaluation of explanation of conformity

-some factors that increase or decrease ISI/NSI have been indentified
-it is not clear whether the effects of any given factor are due to NSI, ISI or a combination of both-no way of telling which is present. We often look to others because we do not want to be different
-assumes that NSI would be extremely common as it occurs whenever individuals seek social acceptance
-William and Sogans (1984) found much more conformity when the other group members were friends that strangers


What factors affect conformity

Situational and dispositional factors-situational are due to the social situation a person is in, whereas dispositional factors are due to the person's internal characteristics. Asch investigated three situational factors


Situational factors investigated by Asch-group size

-the bigger the majority is, the more influential it will be
-to test this, Asch (1956) conducted his conformity experiemtn with different numbers of confederates as the majority
-with only 2 confederates, the real pp conformed on only 14% of the critical trials
-with 3 confederates, conformity was 32%
-very small majorities are easier to resist than alrger ones-however influence doesn't keep increasing with the size of the majority


Situational factors investigated by Asch-unanimity/social support

-Asch ran another version of his experiment to test the effect of having a supporter in the group
-rather than the confederates forming a unanimous majority, one of the confederated agreed with the participant
-having a fellow dissenter broke the unanimity of the group, which made it easier for the pp to resist the pressure to conform-conformity rate fell to 5.5%


Situational factors investigated by Asch-task difficulty

-when Asch made the task more difficult by making the lines more similar, conformity levels increased
-people are more likely to conform if they're less confident that they're correct


Dispositional factors affecting conformity-confidence and expertise

-Asch debreifed his pps-found that confidence was a factor in the people who hadn't conformed
-if someone felt confident in their judgements, they were more able to resist group pressure
-Wisenthal et al (1976) found that if people felt competent in a task, they were less likely to conform


Dispositional factors affecting conformity-gender

-Eagly (1987) argued that men and women's different social roles explain the difference in conformity-women more concerend with group harmoney and are nmore likely to agree with others