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What is the evaluation for agentic state?

-Blass and Schmidt (2001) showed students a film of Milgram’s study and asked them to identify who was responsible for harm to the learner. Students blamed the experiments rather than the participant. The students recognised that the participant was just carrying out the wishes of the experimenter, strengthening the agentic state explanation.

-Staub suggests that rather the agentic state being responsible for vile actions such as the Holocaust, it is the experience of carrying out acts of evil over a long time they changed the way in which individuals think and behave.


What is legitimate authority?

When someone is perceived to be in a position of social control within a situation.


What is required for legitimacy of authority to work if the authority figure's commands are potentially harmful or destructive

An institution is required. Milgram's study proposed that the institution does not have to be reputable, (moved from Yale University to a run-down building).


What is the evaluation for legitimacy of authority?

- Cultural differences: only 16% of Australians went to the top of the voltage scale (Kilham and Mann 1974); 85% of German participants did (Mantell 1971).


What is the authoritarian personality?

A distinct personality pattern characterised by strict adherence to conventional values and a belief in absolute obedience or submission to authority.


How is the authoritarian personality identified?

Using the F scale and right-wing authoritarianism.


What is the F scale?

The 'Fascism scale' used by Adorno provided an explanation on why some individuals provide very little pressure to obey.


What did Adorno find out using the F-scale on children and their upbringing?

People who scored high on a F-scale were raised by parents who used authoritarian parenting (with the use of positive punishment). And children who grew up in an authoritarian family with a strong emphasis on obedience assumed it was the norm.


What is right-wing authoritarianism?

Personality variables (conventional, authority submission and authority aggression)that are associated with a 'right-wing' attitude to life.


How did Altemeyer test the relationship between right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and obedience?

Participants were ordered to give themselves increasing levels of shock when they made mistakes on a learning task.
There was a significant correlation between RWA scores and the levels of shock participants were willing to give themselves.


What was the procedure and findings of key study: Elms and Milgram (1966)

Procedure: 20 'obedient' and 20'defiant' participants completed their F-scale and were asked open minded questions.

Findings: Higher levels of authoritarianism in obedient participants. Obedient participants reported being less close to fathers.


What is the evaluation for the authoritarian personality?

-As Right-wing views are usually associated with higher levels of obedience, we can suggest that Left-wing views are associated with lower levels of obedience.

-Milgram found that participants with lower levels of education tended to be more obedient than those with higher levels of education.


Which two ideas are associated with resistance to social influence?

Social support and locus of control.


How does the presence of social support reduces social influence?

Social support breaks unanimity and enables an individual to resist conformity from the majority. Disobedient peers act as role models. The presence of an ally proceeded the individual with an independent assessment of reality that makes them feel more confident and stand up to the majority.


How much does does social support decrease conformity or obedience ?

-Asch (1956) proposed that social support offered by an ally led to a reduction of conformity from 33% to just 5.5%.

-Milgram proposed that obedience levels dropped to 10% when two confederates defied experimenters.


What is locus of control?

The differing in beliefs about whether the actions are dependent on what they do (internal locus of control) or on events outside their personal control (external locus of control)


How does locus of control resist or accept social influence?

People with an Internal locus of control tend to be more achievement-oriented and consequently are more likely to become leaders than follow others and are active seekers of information that is useful to them and so are less likely to rely on the opinions of others. People with an external locus of control are passive and greater acceptance of influence of others.


What is the evaluation for social support?

Social support more effective when voiced from first responder in group.

Support may not have to be valid to be effective (Allen and Levine).


What is the evaluation for locus of control?

-Twenge using data from American locus of control studies from over 40 years (1960-2002) found that people have become more independent but also more external. If resistance was linked to internal loc we would expect people to have become more internal.

-Spector found that externals were more like to conform to normative social influence than internals. He also no significant association between LOC and informational social influence.

-Rotter found that LOC is only important in new situations. It has limited influence in familiar situations where previous experiences are more important.

-Twenge round that young Americans increasingly believed that their fate was determined emirs by luck and powerful others rather than their own actions.


How is minority influence effective?

With a consistent, committed and flexible style.


How were minorities MOST influential?

Wood et al,- carried out a meta analysis of 97 studies and found that minorities who were especially consistent were particularly influential.


What was the procedure and findings of key study: Moscovici (1969)?

Procedure: Groups of 4 naive participants and 2 confederates were shown blue slides varying in intensity but confederates called them green.

Findings: Consistent minority influenced naive participants to say green on 8% of trials. Inconsistent minority exerted very little influence.


What is the evaluation of minority influence?

-Nemeth and Brilmayer (1987) put a confederate forward an alternative point of view and refused to change his position had no effect on other group members. However a confederate who compromised and showed some shift towards the majority did exert influence.

-Wood et al. (1994) conducted a meta-analysis of almost 100 similar studies and found that minority’s seems as being consistent were most influential.

-Nemeth claims that people fear the lack of harmony within the group by welcoming dissent. As a result they attempt to belittle the dissenting view to try to contain it. People are made to fear being marginalised and ridiculed for having a deviant point of view which means the majority view persists.


How does society change through minority influence?

1. Drawing attention to an issue.
2. Cognitive conflict - majority group think more deeply about the issues being challenged.
3. Consistency of position - minorities tend to be most influential when they express their arguments consistently
4. The augmentation principle- If a minority appears willing to suffer for their views, they are seen as more committed and taken more seriously.
5. The snowball effect- Minority influence spreads more widely as more and more people consider the issues being promoted until it is accepted by the majority.


How does society change through majority influence?

If people perceive something as the norm, they alter their behaviour to fit that norm.


Give an example of social change through majority influence...

'Most of us don't drink and drive' campaign resulted in drink driving being reduced by 13.7%


What is the evaluation for social influence processes in social change?

-Explanations of social change rely on studies by Moscovici, Asch and Milgram. The artificially nature of the tasks do not reflect real life.

-The potential for minorities to influence social change is often limited because they are seen as deviant in the eyes of the majority. And members of the majority may avoid aligning themselves with the minority’s position because they don’t want to be seen as deviant themselves.