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Flashcards in Social influence Deck (76)
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what was the aim of Asch's study?

to investigate conformity in group pressure in unambiguous situations, through ppts responses


what was the method of Asch's study?

- 123 male students tested in a group
- groups of 6 to 8 confederates
- two cards were presents, one standard line, and 3 comparison lines
- they had to match the standard line with one of the 3 comparison lines.
- confederates went last or next to last
- 18 trials, 12 were critical (where the confederates gave the wrong answer)


what were the results of Asch's study?

- on critical trials, the ppts gave the wrong answer 1/3 of the time (agreeing with the confederates)
- 25% of the ppts never gave the wrong answer


what was the conclusion of Asch's study?

- people are influenced by group pressure.
- though there was a high level of independence despite group pressure


one evaluation of Asch's study?

- (weakness) it only reflects conformity in the 1950s in the USA
- Perrin and spencer repeated the study in 1980 in the UK and found just one conforming response in 396 trials
- this suggests that the Asch effect is not consistent over time.


another evaluation of Asch's study?

- (weakness) they had an artificial task
- the task was trivial and strangers were involved so it doesn't reflect everyday situations.
- results conducted cannot explain more serious world conformity situations


EXTRA: evaluation of Asch's study?

- (weakness) Asch's research is more reflective of conformity in individualist cultures.
- studies conducted in collectivist countries (like china) produce higher conformity rates than in individualist countries (like the USA and UK) (bond and smith)
- suggests that Asch's study cannot be generalised to collectivist countries.


what do social (factors) mean?

conformity occurs because of real or imagined pressure from others


how is group size a social factor?

- the more people, the more pressure to conform
-Asch found, more than 3 confederates made a little difference (2 confederates 13.6%) (3 confederates 31.8%)


how is anonymity a social factor?

- when writing answers down conformity was lower (because they were anonymous)


how is task difficulty a social factor?

- task difficulty: if comparison lines are more similar to the standard line, the task becomes harder, and conformity increases.


evaluation of group size

- depends on the task, when no obvious answer then no conformity unless more than 8 ppt were in group


evaluation of anonymity

- if ppts are friends and opinion is anonymous conformity is higher (Huang and li)


evaluation of task difficulty

- people with expertise are less affected by task difficulty


what do dispositional (factors) mean?

the characteristics of a person


how is personality a dispositional factor?

-internal locus of control leads to lower conformity.
- burger and cooper found internals, less likely to agree with confederates ratings of the cartoon.


how is expertise a dispositional factor?

- more knowledgeable people, conform less
- Lucas found math experts less likely to conform to other's answers on maths problems.


evaluation of personality

- control is less important in familiar situations (rotter)


evaluation of expertise

- no single factor to explain conformity, e.g. maths experts may conform in a group of strangers in order to be liked


what was the aim of Milgram's study?

to investigate if people obey an unreasonable order (to deliver electric shocks)


what was the method of Milgram's study?

- 40 male (20-50 age) volunteered
- 'teacher' pared with 'learner' (confederate)
- teacher instructed by the experimenter to give a shock if the learner answered a question incorrectly
-experimenter gave 'prods' to continue.
-intensity increased from 15 to 450 volts


what were the results of Milgram's study?

- no participants stopped below 300 volts
- 5 stopped at 300 volts when the learner pounded on the wall (12.5%)
-65% continued to 450 colts
-participants showed extreme tension e.g 3 had seizures.


what was the conclusion of Milgram's study?

obedience has little to do with dispostion
- factors in the situatiion made it difficult to disobey e.g experimenter wearing a coat (authority figure)


one evaluation of Milgram's study?

- (weakness) lacked realism
- participants may not believed the shock was real.
- ppts voiced suspicious about the shocks (perry)
- this suggests that milgran participants just went along and werent really obeying orders


another evaluation of Milgram's study?

- (strength) it is supported by other research
- sheridan and king found 100% females followed orders to give a fatal shock to a puppy.
- suggests that Milgram's results were not faked but represented a genuine obdedience.


EXTRA: one evaluation of Milgram's study?

- (weakness) the study has ethetical issues
-milgram ppts experiencsed considerable sidstress
-he could have caused psychological damage to his ppts
-because they thought they were causing pain to the learner
-this suggests that whether his research should have been carried out or not


what is the agentic state (social factors of Milgram's agency theory)?

followers orders with no responsibility


what is the autonomous state (social factors of Milgram's agency theory)?

makes their own free choice + feel responsible for their own actions


what is the agentic shift (social factors of Milgram's agency theory)?

- moving from making their own choice (autonomous state) to following orders (agentic state)
- occurs when someone is in authority


how does culture affect obedience?

- in the social hierarchy, societies have a hierarchy with some people having more authority than others
- hierarchy depends on society and socialisation