What is majority influence?
Majority influences a majority who then conform the majority view
- Asch tested the effect of majority on a group of people sat round a table
- everyone but one were the experimenters confederates
- shown vertical lines of different lengths and asked to say which of the lines where the same as the line on the card shown.
- confederates were asked to give the wrong response to try and influence the participant
- even though the correct answer was obvious, the average subject conformed to the group response on 32% of the trials and 74% these subjects conformed at least once
What does Asch’s study show?
People’s decisions are swayed by the majority in situations where the majority are clearly making the wrong decision. This suggests that majority influence can be powerful on the minority which can lead the courtroom to vote in a way that they do not think is correct
Minority influence and or changing the beliefs and behaviour of the majority
To investigate the effects of a consistent minority on a majority
Research method & design…
Laboratory experiment using independent measures
- female participants were divided into groups, 6.2 members of the group were confederates and 4 were actual participants
- taken into a room and shown coloured slides which were all shades of blue.
- condition 1 - confederates said the slides were green
- condition 2 - confederates gave a different answer
- condition 3 - used as control with no confederates
The consistent minority had the most impact causing 8.42% of participants to conform and state that the slides were green.
The inconsistent minority had less of an influence of 1.25%
The use of consistent behavioural style by a minority exerts some influence over a majority, whereas an inconsistent styles exerts little influence
- orientation - jury will raise any issues from the trial and discuss the evidence that has been presented - two different styles: verdict based used by 30% of juries, they take a poll of votes and sort evidence into two categories OR evidence based, used by 70% of juries when hey discuss different Verdicts having reviewed all of the evidence, involves looking at all the evidence
- open conflict - jurors persuade jurors to come to a conclusion - informational social influence - where you privately accept change in your decision OR normative social influence - where you publicly conform but privately don’t internalise the decisions and views given
- reconciliation - where group check that every member is satisfied with the verdict reached