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Flashcards in Social Deck (54):

Outline Sherif's (1935) conformity study

Studied the autokinetic effect. Ptps were tested 1 at a time and then in groups of 3. They had to say how much the light moved and in what direction. When 3 individuals were together they produced similar judgements and he group norms replaced the personal norms.
Another condition = started in groups of 3 and then tested on own, group norm developed within group and his norm continued when tested on own.
As ptps had no way of knowing correct answers they were likely to conform


What were the3 types of conformity proposed by Kelman (1958)?



Outline compliance

Individuals go along with the group in order to gain their approval or avoid disapproval. Fitting in is seen as desirable so this motivates conformity. Compliance does not result in any change to individuals underlying attitude, only views and behaviours they express in public.


Outline internalisation

Individuals go along with group because of an acceptance of their view. Particularly likely if group is trustworthy. Can lead to acceptance of groups point of view publicly and privately.


Outline identification

May accept influence as they want to be associated with another person or group and by adopting the groups attitudes and behaviours they eel more part of it. Has elements of compliance and internalisation as individual accepts the attitudes and behaviours as true (internalisation) but with a purpose of adopting them to be accepted by the group (compliance).


According to Deutsch and Gerard (1955) what are the 2 explanations for conformity?



Outline normative social influence

To gain approval and avoid disapproval - wanting to be liked by other group members. Affects public opinions but not private opinions.


Outline informational social influence

When an individual accepts information from others as evidence about reality. Involved majority influence due to perceived superior knowledge or judgement of others. Changes private and public opinion.


What are the evaluation points for types and explanations of conformity?

Difficulty in distinguishing between compliance and internalisation
Research support for normative influence
Research support for informational influence
Normative influence may not be detected
Informational influence is moderated by type of task


Give research support for normative social influence

Linkenbach and Perkins (2003) found that adolescents exposed to the message that majority of their age peers did not smoke were subsequently less likely to take up smoking.
Schultz et al (2008) found that hotel guests exposed to the normative message that 75% of guests reused their towels each day reduced their own towel use by 25%.


Give research support for informational social influence

Wittenbrink and Henley (1996) found participants exposed to negative information about African Americans later reported more negative beliefs about a black individual.
Feint et al (2007) demonstrated how judgements of candidate performance in US presidential debates could be influenced by knowledge of others reactions. Produced shifts in ptps judgements of candidates performance.


What are the difficulties in distinguishing between compliance and internalisation?

Complicated in how we define and measure public compliance and private acceptance. E.g public agreeing yet private disagreeing must show compliance but acceptance could occur in public but then forget so is not the same in private.


Outline how normative influence may not be detected

Nolan et al (2008) investigated whether people detected the influence of social norms on their energy conservation behaviour. When asked about what factors influenced their own energy conservation, people believed behaviour of neighbours had the least impact on own energy conservation yet results showed it had the strongest impact. Suggests people rely on beliefs about what should motivate behaviour and under-detect impact of normative influence.


Outline how informational influence is moderated by type of task

Majorities should exert greater influence on social rather than physical reality and this is what research has shown.


Outline the procedure of Asch (1956) conformity study

123 male US undergraduates tested. Asked to look at 3 lines of different lengths. Took it in turn to call out which line was the same length as the standard line. All confederates and ptps answered second to last. On 12/18 trials confederates asked to give same incorrect answer.


What were the findings of Asch's (1956) conformity study?

On critical trials the average conformity rate was (participants agreed with incorrect responses on 1/3 of trials). 1/20 conformed on all critical trials. 1/4 never conformed on any trials.


What are the limitations of Asch's conformity study?

Carried out in US in late 1940s a time where conformity rates were high.
Asch failed to explain why there was so much conformity and why there were individual differences.
Participants were all male college students therefore not generalisable to others.
Raises ethical issues - ptps did not give fully informed consent because they were misled by aspects of procedure and placed in embarrassing position.


What 3 variables were tested in the variations of Asch's study?

Group size
Task difficulty


Outline findings of Asch's group size variation study?

Little conformity when majority consisted of 1 or 2 confederates. When there were 3 confederates conformity response jumped to 30%. Further increase of majority did not further increase conformity.


Outline findings of Asch's unanimity variation study?

When the real ptp was given support or another participant or confederate giving right answer conformity significantly dropped dropping percentage of wrong answers from 33 to 5.5%.
When lone dissenter gave answer different from majority and true answer conformity rates dropped to 9%.


Outline findings of Asch's task difficulty variation

Asch made differences between line lengths smaller - this increased levels of conformity.
Lucas et al (2006) found influence if task difficulty is moderated by self-efficacy, when exposed to maths qus in Asch-type task, high efficacy ptps (confident in abilities) remained more independent than low efficacy ptps. Shows situational differences (task difficulty) and individual differences are both important.


Outline cultural differences in conformity

Smith et al (2006) analysed results of Asch type studies across cultures. Average conformity rate across cultures was 31.2%. Average conformity rate for individualistic cultures was about 25% where as for collectivist cultures it was 37%. Collectivist cultures = communities.


Outline a limitation of conformity studies and group size

Bond (2005) suggests a limitation is that studies have only used a limited range of majority sizes. No other studies than Asch have used a majority larger than 9 in other studies it ranges between 2 -4. Suggests we know very little about the effect of larger majority sizes on conformity levels.


What is the procedure for Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment

Mock prison in basement at Stanford uni. Male student volunteers were psychologically and physically screened and 24 most stable were assigned either prisoner or guard. Guards referred to prisoners by ID numbers, prisoners were allowed 3 meals a day, supervised toilet trips and 2 visits per week. Guards issued uniform, whistle, clubs and wore reflective sunglasses.


What were he findings of Zimbardo's prison study?

Guards gee increasingly tyrannical and abusive towards prisoners. Some guards so enthusiastic they offered to do extra hours without pay. Participants seemed to forget it was a study. When one prisoner had enough he asked for parole rather than to withdraw from study. 5 prisoners had to be released early sue to extreme reactions. Study terminated after 6 days. Study demonstrated that both guards and prisoners conformed to their social roles. Guards became increasingly cruel and prisoners became increasingly passive. (Deindividuation)


What are the limitations of Zimbardo's study?

Mock prison is very different from real prison - ptps knew they had not committed a crime. Artificial sent up produced effects from participant reactivity due to play acting however abuse went beyond this.
All guards were male, if situation was only what mattered you would have the same results with female guards.
Individual differences in guards - 1/3 were brutal
Did not compare personalities to see if that made a difference


Outline Reicher and Haslams (2006) prison study

Replicated version of zimbardos prison study with different findings. Guards did not identify with their social role but prisoners increasingly identified with theirs. Could be due to knowing they would be seen by millions of TV viewers reducing mundane realism.


Outline Milgram (1963) study

Confederates = experimenter and learner
Ptps = testing learner on ability to remember word pairs, instructed to give increasing electric shocks at every wrong answer - started at 15V increasing 15v each time until 450v.
Teacher and learner in separate rooms.
If teacher asked to stop experimenter gave prods 'you must continue'.
65% of ptps went to max shock level.
All ptps went at least up to 300v.


What 3 situational factors effect obedience

Power of uniform


How did proximity affect befriends findings?

Same room as learner - obedience fell to 40%.
Touch proximity study - teacher forced learners hand onto shock plate - fell to 30%.
Experimenter giving orders over telephone - 21% went to max shock level. Some repeatedly gave weakest shock.


How did location effect obedience findings?

Conducted in psychology lab at Yale - location gave confidence and integrity.
Moved to run down office in Connecticut - obedience rate dropped to 48%.


How did uniform effect obedience findings?

Bushman (1988) - female researcher dressed n police uniform, business wear or beggar stopped people in street and asked them to give change to male researcher for parking.
Uniform - 72%, business - 48% , beggar - 52% obedience.


Evaluate obedience to authority

Ethical issues - deceived ptps so impossible informed consent and questionable right to withdraw due to prods.
Internal validity - lack of realism - Orne and Holland (1968) - ptps in psychological studies have learned to distrust experimenters - milgrams ptps skepticle is shocks were real.
Individual differences - female condition - tension in females that went to max shock level was higher than for males.
Lacks mundane realism
Lacks population validity - andocentric.


What is the agentic state?

People who obey authority and believe that the authority is responsible for the consequences of their actions.


Why do people adopt agentic state?

To maintain positive self image - no longer their responsibility so they are guilt free.
Don't want to appear arrogant or rude by leaving experiment.


What is legitimacy of authority?

A person who is perceived to be in a position of social control within a situation
- needed for a person to shift into agentic state


Evaluate agentic state and legitimacy of authority

Agentic state or cruel - milgram detected signs of cruelty among his ptps.
Legitimacy of authority explanation and real life obedience - positive consequences = responding to police in emergency. Negative = harming others.
Agentic state is oversimplified - assumes ptps ignore learner and so experience little distress.
Tilker (1970) - less obedience to authority when ptps were told they were responsible.


What is the authoritarian personality

Adorno et al (1950) - someone who is more likely to be obedient and prejudice.


What characteristics does someone with an authoritarian personality possess?

Rigid beliefs and conventional values
General hostility towards other groups
Intolerance of ambiguity
Submissive attitude towards authority figures


What is the F scale?

A fascism scale which measures the attitudes of the authoritarian personality


According to Altemeyer (1981) what are the 3 variables referring to right wing authoritarianism?

Conventionalism - adherence to conventional norms/values.
Authoritarian aggression - aggressive towards people who violate these norms.
Authoritarianism submission - uncritical submission to legitimate authorities.


Evaluate the authoritarian personality

Research evidence - Milgram (1974) higher scorers on F scale gave stronger shocks than low scorers - personality plays part in determining obedience.
Social context is also important - proximity, location and presence of disobedient peers = primary cause of partisans disobedience rather than dispositional factors.
Differences between authoritarianism and obedient participants - unlikely that all the obedient participants in milgrams study grew up in a harsh environment with strict parents.


What is social support?

The perception that an individual has assistance available from other people.
Asch (1956) - with social support, majority influence can be resisted.


What did milgram find in his variation with social support

Participant in team of 3 testing learner (2 confederates) - one after another refused to continue shocks.
-10% participants continues to maximum shock


What is locus of control?

Different beliefs about if the outcomes of our actions are dependent on what we do (internal) or events out of personal control (external).


Outline personalities of internal and external locus of control

Internal = display independence in thought and behaviour, rely less on opinions of others and better resist social influence.
External = more positive and more likely to accept influence of others.


Evaluate resistance to social influence

Social support may not have to be valid to be accepted - Allen and Levine (1971) - support from someone with glasses and normal vision, both reduced conformity but normal vision had bigger impact.
Reicher et al (2012) - argued level of obedience depends on who participants identify with.
Avtgis (1998) - meta analysis on locus of control, internal locus of control showed strong tendency to show less social influence and majority influence than externals.


What conditions did moscovici argue conversion is most likely to occur under

Consistency - minority must be consistent in opinion.
Flexibility - mustn't appear to be rigid or dogmatic
Commitment - leads people to rethink their position.
Relevance - more successful if their views are in line with social trends


Outline moscovicis key study on minority influence

4 naive ptps and 2 confederates.
Shown a series of blue slides varying in intensity - asked to judge colour of each slide.
Consistent condition - confederates repeatedly called the slide green.
Inconsistent condition - called slides green in 2/3 trails and blue on 1/3
Control - blue throughout.
Consistent - ptps said green on over 8% of trials
Inconsistent - very little influence
In second task participants in consistent condition judged more discs to be green.


What three conformity effects did wood et al (1994) find based on moscovicis dual process theory

Public influence - individuals behaviour in front of the group is influenced by others views. Mostly when majorities influence minorities.
Direct private influence - there is a change in the individuals private opinions about the issue - when minorities influence majorities.
Indirect private influence - individuals private opinions about related issues change - when majorities influence minorities.


Evaluate minority influence

Research support for flexibility - Nemeth and Brilmayer (1987) - jury discussing compensation for ski lift accident, confederate who refused to change point of view = no effect, however confederate who compromised exerted influence.
Moscovivi did not attach importance to relationship between minority and majority, minority regarded by the majority as part of the ingroup will exert more influence than a minority regarded as part of the out group.


Describe how social change is brought about by minority influence

1 - draw attention to issue.
2 - cognitive conflict - create conflict between what majority members currently believe and position advocated by minority.
3- consistency of position - more effective when argument expressed consistently.
4-augmentation principle - if minority is willing to suffer they are seen as more committed and taken more seriously.
5- the snowball effect - minority influence is initially small but spreads widely as more people consider the issues until it is wide scale social change.


Give some we'll known examples of social change

The suffragettes
Civil rights movement


What is social cryptoamnesia?

Accepted social change in which the source of the minority influence instrumental in producing that change has been forgotten