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A Level Psychology P1 > Social Influence > Flashcards

Flashcards in Social Influence Deck (44):

Conformity - What is conformity?

- A change in a person's behaviour or opinions as a result of real or imagined pressure from a person or group of people.


Conformity - What is compliance?

- Superficial and temporary type of conformity where we outwardly go along with the majority view, but privately disagree with it.


Conformity - What is identification?

- A moderate type of conformity where we act in the same way with the group because we value it and want to be a part of it. But we don't necessarily agree with everything the majority believes.


Conformity - What is internalisation?

- A deep type of conformity where we take on the majority view because we accept it as correct. It leads to far-reaching and permanent change in behaviour, even when the group is absent.


Conformity - What is normative social influence?

- An explanation of conformity that says we agree with the opinion of the majority because we want to be accepted, gain social approval and be liked. This may lead to compliance.


Conformity - What is informational social influence?

- An explanation of conformity that says we agree with the opinion of the majority because we believe it is correct. We accept it because we want to be correct as well. This may lead to internalisation.


Conformity - Outline the procedure of Asch's research.

- Showed participants 2 large white cards at a time.
- 1 card was a 'standard line' and on the other 3 comparison lines.
- 1/3 lines, same as standard and other 2 very wrong, asked which of 3 matched standard.
- 123 male undergrad students.
- Each participant individually tested with group of 6-8 confederates. Ppt not aware others confederates.
- 1st few trials confeds gave right answer then made errors.
- Confeds instructed to give wrong answer.


Conformity - Outline the findings of Asch's research.

- Participant gave wrong answer 36.8% of the time.
- Overall, 25% of participants didn't conform on any trials, meaning 75% conformed at least once.
- Most said they conformed to avoid rejection (NSI).


Conformity - Identify the three variations
Asch further investigated which lead to an increase or decrease in conformity.

- Group Size.
- Unanimity.
- Task Difficulty.


Conformity - Explain the effects of group size on Asch's study.

- Conformity increased with group size but only to a certain point, to which it decreased again.


Conformity - Explain the effects of unanimity on Asch's study.

- This is the extent to which all the members of a group agree.
- When another non-conforming person spoke out, this decreased conformity by 25% from when the majority was unanimous.
- Conformity higher when unanimous.


Conformity - Explain the effects of task difficulty on Asch's study.

- Conformity increases when the task is more difficult because it is harder to work out the answer, participants assume the majority is more likely to be correct. (ISI).


Conformity - What are social roles?

- The 'parts' people play as members of various social groups. Everyday examples include: parent, child, student, passenger etc.
- Accompanied by expectations we and others have of what is appropriate behaviour in each role e.g obedient.


Conformity - Outline the procedure of Zimbardo's research.

- Set up a mock prison in basement of Stanford University.
- Advertised for students willing to volunteer and selected those 'emotionally stable'.
- Randomly assigned roles of guards or prisoners.
- Prisoners arrested from homes, blindfolded, strip searched, deloused, issued a uniform and number.
- Roles heavily divided, guards worked shifts, 3 at a time.
- Guards had uniform, wooden club, handcuffs, keys and mirror shades, told had total power over prisoners.


Conformity - Outline the findings of Zimbardo's research.

- Guards took to role with enthusiasm. Behaviour became a threat to psychological and physical health of prisoners.
- Study stopped after 6 days instead of 14.
- Within 2 days prisoners rebelled against harsh treatment by guards.
- Guards constantly harassed prisoners to remind they were being watched, took chance to punish prisoners.
- After rebellion, prisoners depressed and anxious.
- 1 released on first day due to psychological disturbance and 2 more on 4th day.
- 1 went on hunger strike.
- Guards identified more closely with their role, they were brutal and aggressive.


Conformity - Outline the conclusions of Zimbardo's research.

- Revealed the power of the situation to influence people's behaviour.
- Guards, prisoners and researchers ALL conformed to their roles in the prison.


Obedience - What is 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 - Outline Milgram's study of obedience.

- 40 male participants aged 20-50, through newspaper adverts and flyers.
- Said he was looking for ppts for a study about memory.
- Confederate ended up as 'learner' and true participant was 'teacher'.
- Another confederate 'experimenter'.
- Learner strapped to chair in other room wired to electrodes. Teacher required to give increasingly severe electric shock each time learner made mistake.
- Shocks not real. Started at 15V 'slight shock' to 450V 'danger - severe shock'.
- 300V, learner pounded on wall and no response to next question.
- Experimenter prompted teacher to continue using 4 prompts which were repeated if necessary.


Obedience - Outline the findings of Milgram's study of obedience.

- No participants stopped below 300V.
- 12.5% (5 participants), stopped at 300V.
- 65% continued to highest level of 450V.
- Qualitative data collected such as observations that the participants showed signs of extreme tension, many seen to 'sweat, tremble, stutter, bite their lips, groan and dig fingernails into their nails'. 3 even had seizures.
- Findings not expected.


Obedience - What are situational variables? What are the situational variables Milgram identified.

- Milgram identified several factors that he believed influenced the level of obedience shown by participants.
- All related to the external circumstances rather than to the personalities of the people involved.
- Proximity, Location and Uniform.


Obedience - What is proximity, and what effect does it have on obedience?

- The physical closeness or distance of an authority figure to the person they're giving the order to. Also closeness of teacher and learner in Milgram's study.
- Dropped from 65% to 40% when learner and teacher in same room and down to 30% when teacher had to put learner's hand onto electroshock plate.


Obedience - What is location, and what effect does it have on obedience?

- The place where an order is issued. The relevant factor that influences obedience is the status or prestige associated with the location.
- Obedience fell to 47.5% when he conducted the study when conducted in a run-down building rather than prestige university.


Obedience - What is uniform, and what effect does it have on obedience?

- People in positions of authority often have a specific outfit that is symbolic of their authority, for example police officers and judges.
- Obedience rate dropped to 20% when the role of the experimenter was taken over by an 'ordinary member of the public', who was played by another confederate.


Obedience - What are the social-psychological factors of obedience?

- Agentic State.
- Legitimacy of Authority.


Obedience - What is agentic state?

- A mental state where we feel no personal responsibility for our behaviour because we believe ourselves to be acting from an authority figure (i.e as their agent). This frees us from demands of our consciences and allows us to obey even a destructive authority figure.
- Contrast to autonomous state (independent). Shift from autonomy to agency is called agentic shift.
- Milgram observed ppts spoke as if they wanted to quit but felt unable.


Obedience - What is legitimacy of authority?

- Suggests that we are more likely to obey people who we perceive to have authority over us. Authority is justified by individual's position of power within a social hierarchy.
- Legitimate = agreed by society.
- We're willing to give up some of our independence e.g crime.
- Learn acceptance of legitimate authority from childhood.
- However, can lead to destructive authority (e.g. Hitler/Stalin), use authority for cruel and destructive purposes. Shown in Milgram when experimenter used prods.


Obedience - What is the dispositional explanation?

- Any explanation of behaviour that highlights the importance of the individual's personality (disposition). Such explanations are often contrasted with situational explanations.


Obedience - What is the authoritarian personality?

- A type of personality that Adorno argued was especially susceptible to obeying people in authority. Such individuals are also thought t be submissive to those of higher status and dismissive of inferiors.


Obedience - Outline Adorno's procedure of the authoritarian personality.

- Over 2000 middle-class, white Americans and their unconscious attitudes towards other racial groups.
- Developed scales, including fascism scale (f-scale) which is still used to measure authoritarian personality.


Obedience - Outline Adorno's findings of the authoritarian personality.

- People with authoritarian learnings (scored high on f-scale) identified with 'strong' people and were generally contemptuous of the 'weak'.
- Conscious of own and other's status, showing excessive respect, deference and servility to those of higher status.
- Strong positive correlation between authoritarianism and prejudice.


Obedience - Outline the characteristics of the authoritarian personality.

- Especially obedient to authority.
- Extreme respect towards authority and submissiveness to it.
- Disregard people they perceive to be of an inferior social status, highly conventional attitudes towards: sex, race and gender
- Believe we need to be strong and powerful to enforce traditional values.
- Inflexible outlook and everything is either right or wrong.


Obedience - What is the origin of the authoritarian personality?

- Formed in childhood as a result of harsh parenting.
- Strict discipline, expectation of absolute loyalty, impossibly high standards and severe criticism of perceived failings.
- Characterised by conditional love = love depending on how child behaves.
- Create hostility within child can't express towards parents so displaced to others who are perceived to be weaker.


Resistance - What is resistance to social influence?

- Refers to the ability of people to withstand the social pressure to conform to the majority or to obey authority. This ability to withstand social pressure is influenced by both situational and dispositional factors.


Resistance - What is social support?

- The presence of people who resist pressures to conform or obey can help others to do the same. These people act as models to show others that resistance to social influence is possible.


Resistance - Explain social support in reference to conformity.

- Pressures to conform can be reduced if there are people present who are not conforming.
- Asch's study person not conforming doesn't have to give 'right' answer, just the fact that someone else is not following the majority appears to enable a person to be free to follow their own conscience.


Resistance - Explain social support in reference to obedience.

- Pressure to obey can be reduced if another person can be seen to disobey.
- Obedience dropped from 65% to 10% when genuine participant was joined by a disobedient confederate.
- May not copy disobedient person's behaviour but the point is the other person's disobedience acts as a 'model' for the participant to copy that frees him to act from his own conscience.


Resistance - What is locus of control?

- Refers to the sense we each have about what directs events in our lives.
- Internals = believe they're mostly responsible for what happens to them.
- Externals = believe it is mainly a matter of luck or other outside forces e.g fate.


Resistance - Explain the idea of a continuum of locus of control.

- People differ therefore it isn't just a matter of being internal or external.
- There's a continuum with high internal loc and high external loc at the other end, with low internal and external lying in between.


Resistance - Explain locus of control in regard to resisting social influence.

- People with high internal loc are more likely to be able to resist pressures to conform or obey.
- High internal loc tend to be more self-confident, more achievement-orientated, higher intelligence and less need for social approval.


Social Influence and Change - What is social influence?

- The process by which individuals and groups change each other's attitudes and behaviours. Includes conformity, obedience and minority influence.


Social Influence and Change - What is social change?

- This occurs when whole societies, rather than just individuals, adopt new attitudes, beliefs and ways of doing things, e.g. women's suffrage.


Social Influence and Change - Identify the steps involved in how minority influence creates social change.

- Drawing attention = through social proof it's happening.
- Consistency = always occurring.
- Deep processing = realise issue is wrong.
- The augmentation principle = assign greater influence to a particular cause or rationale of behaviour if there are other factors present that normally would produce a different outcome.
- The snowball effect = starts from an initial state of small significance and builds upon itself, becoming larger.
- Social cryptomnesia = people have a memory that change has occurred but don't remember how it happened.


Social Influence and Change - Outline lessons from conformity research.

- Asch's research highlighted the importance of dissent in one of his variations, in which one confederate gave correct answers throughout the procedure. This broke power of the majority encouraging others to dissent. Such dissent has potential to lead to social change.


Social Influence and Change - Outline lessons from obedience research.

- Milgram's study demonstrates the importance of disobedient role models. In the variation where a confederate teacher refuses to give shocks to the learner, the rate of obedience in the genuine participants plummeted.