SOCIAL INFLUENCE Flashcards Preview


Flashcards in SOCIAL INFLUENCE Deck (57)
Loading flashcards...

What is conformity?

The tendency of people to adopt the behaviour, attitudes and values of the majority, not because of its content but because of the approval associated with its adoption.


What are the three TYPES of conformity?



What is compliance?

When an individual accepts influence to receive a favourable reaction.


What is internalisation?

When an individual accepts influence because of the content of the attitude.


What is identification?

When an individual adopts an attitude or behaviour because they want to be identified with that group.


What are the EXPLANATIONS for conformity?

Normative Social Influence.
Informational Social Influence.


What is Normative Social Influence?

When an individual conforms with the expectations of he majority to gain approval


What is Informational Social Influence?

The desire to look right and look at the others as a way of gaining reality.


What is the evaluation for the TYPES of conformity?

-There is difficulty distinguishing compliance and internalisation.


What is the evaluation for Normative Social Influence?

Linkenbach and Perkins (2003)found that adolescents exposed to the simple message that the majority of their age peers did not smoke were less likely to take up smoking.


What is the evaluation for Informational Social Influence?

Wittenbrink and Henley (1996) found that participants exposed to negative information about African Americans (which were believed by the majority) later reported negative beliefs about a black individual.


What is a key study in Variables affecting conformity?

Asch’s line study of 1956


What was the procedure of Asch’s line study of 1956?

1. Participants viewed lines of different lengths and compared them to a standard line.

2. Groups contained confederates participants answering second to last.

3. Confederates gave same wrong answer on 12 of 18 trials.


What were the findings of Asch’s line study of 1956?

The conformity rate was approximately 33% and participants conformed to avoid disapproval. When Asch interviewed his participants later he found that they knew which answer was correct and continued to privately trust their own perceptions and judgement but changed their public behaviour to avoid disappointment.


What were the three variables affecting conformity in Asch’s line study of 1956?

Group size.
Unanimity of the majority.
Difficulty of the task.


How does group size affect conformity?

The conformity levels increased to 32% when there were 3 confederates which the same beliefs. Compared to 13% with two confederates and 3% with just one confederate


Which two experiments were used to investigate conformity to social roles?

The Stanford prison experiment and the BBC prison study.


What was the procedure of the Stanford prison experiment?

Male volunteers assigned roles of either prisoners or guards. Prisoners referred to as numbers only. Guards given uniforms and power to make rules.


What were the findings of the Stanford prison experiment?

Guards became abusive to the prisoners and prisoners conformed to their role with some showing extreme reactions of crying or rage.


What was the procedure of the BBC prison study?

Male volunteers assigned roles of prison or guards.


What were the findings of the BBC prison experiment?

Neither guards not prisoners confirmed to their assigned roles. Prisoners worked collectively to challenge authority of the guards resulting in a power shift.


What is the evaluation for conformity to social roles?

- Banuazizi and Movahedi argue that participant behaviour on the Stanford prison experiment was a response to powerful demand characteristics.

-However, Zimbardo’s data showed 90% of the prisoners conversations were about prison life. The simulation seemed real to them, increasing the study’s internal validity.


Which study is used to research on obedience?

Milgram’s study of 1963.


What is the procedure of Milgram’s study of 1963?

40 volunteers participants in each condition. Real participants acted as ‘teacher’ and confederates as ‘learner’. Teachers administered increasing shocker levels up to 450V.


What were the findings of Milgram’s study of 1963?

65% went to the maximum of 450V. All participants went to 300V.


What are the situational factors in obedience and how do they affect it?

1. Proximity - Obedience levels decrease with increasing proximity.

2. Location- Obedience levels dropped to 48% in lower-status setting.

3. Uniform- People more likely to obey someone in a uniform (Bushmen)


What is the evaluation on research on obedience?

-Ethical issues due to deception and lack of informal consent.

-Internal validity- Orne and Holland claim many participants saw through the deception.

-Milgram argued that the lab-based relationship between experimenter and participant reflected wider real-life authority relationships.


What are the two explanations of obedience?

Agentic state and legitimacy of authority.


What is agentic state?

When a person acts as an agent to carry out another person's wishes


Why do people adopt an agentic state and why do they maintain it?

Once the participant has moved into the agentic state the action is no longer their responsibility, it no longer reflects their self image. These actions are virtually guilt-free.

Binding factors such as social etiquette ensure that the person stays in the agentic state, the subject fears if he breaks off he'll appear arrogant and rude.