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Flashcards in Social Influence Deck (178)
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What is Conformity?

Conformity is a change is a person's behaviour or opinions as a result of real or imagined pressure from a person or group of people.


What are the different types of conformity?



Who suggested that there are three ways in which people conform to the opinion of the majority?

Herbert kelman


What is internalisation?

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


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 part of it. But we don't necessarily agree with everything the majority believes.


What is Compliance?

A superficial and temporary type of conformity where we outwardly go along with the majority view, but privately disagree with it. The change in our behaviour only lasts as long as the group is monitoring us.


What did Morton Deutsch and Harold Gerard say the two main reasons are that people conform?

Informational Social influence
Normative social influences


What are informational social influence and normative social influence based on?

The two central human needs the need to be right and the need to be liked.


What is informational social influence?

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


What could informational social influence lead to?



What situations are informational social influence likely to occur?

New situations (so you don't know what is right)

Situations with some ambiguity (isn't clear what is right)

Crisis situations where decisions have to be made quickly

When one person is regarded as being more of an expert


Is informational social influence a cognitive process or emotional process?

Cognitive because it is to with what you think.


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.


What can Normative social influence lead to?



Where is normative social influence likely to occur?

Situations with strangers where you may feel concerned about rejection.

May occur with people you know because we are most concerned about the social approval of our friends

More prominent in stressful situations where people have a greater need for social support.


What research study supports Informational social influence causing conformity?

Lucas et al 2006


What was the Lucas et al 2006 study?

Lucas et al 2006 asked students to given answers to mathematical problems that were easy or more difficult. There was greater conformity to incorrect answers when they were difficult rather than when they were easier ones.


What does the Lucas et al 2006 study tell us?

The study shows that people conform in situations where they feel they don't know the answer, which is exactly the outcome predicted by the Informational social influence explanation.

We look to other people and assume they know better than us and must be right.


What are nAfilliators?

These are people who have a greater need for affiliation a need for being in a relationship with others.


What type of people are less affected by normative social influences?

People who are less concerned with being liked and are less affected by normative social influences than nAffilators.


What research supports that people high in need of affiliation were more likely to conform?

McGhee and Teevan 1967


What does McGhee and Teevan 1967 research show?

That students high in need of affiliation were more likely to conform.

This shows that the desire to be liked underlies conformity for some people more than others. Therefore there are individual differences in the way people respond.


What was Asch's experiment?

Asch conducted one of the most famous laboratory experiments examining conformity. He wanted to examine the extent to which social pressure from a majority, could affect a person to conform


What was the findings from Asch's experiment?

The naive participant gave a wrong answer 36.8% of te time. Overall 25% of the participants did not conform on any trials which means that 75% conformed at least once.


What is the Asch effect?

The extent to which participants conform even when the situation is unambiguous


What does unambiguous mean?

Admitting of no doubt or misunderstanding; having only one meaning or interpretation and leading to only one conclusion


What were the three variations Asch did to his experiment?

Group size
Task difficulty


What is a confederate?

An actor who participates in a psychological experiment pretending to be a subject but in actuality working for the researcher.


What is the group size and how did it affect conformity in Asch's experiment?

Asch increased the size of the group by adding more confederates, thus increasing the size of the majority. Conformity increased with the group size, but only up to a point, leveling of when the majority was greater than three.


What is unanimity and how did it affect conformity in Asch's experiment?

The extent to which all the members of a group agree. In Asch's studies, the majority was unanimous when all the confederates selected the same comparison line. This produced the greatest conformity in the naive participants.