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Flashcards in Social Influence in everyday life Deck (35):

Independent Behaviour: What is independent behaviour?

Resisting the pressures to conform or obey


Independent Behaviour: What is counter conformity?

Takes place when a person acts in opposition to rules or group norms. What happens depends on what the group is doing.


Independent Behaviour: What are the factors influencing people to disobey?

-Situational Factors;
-Authority of the experimenter is challenged.
-Anything that increases our sense of personal responsibility
-Social support of group solidarity
-High levels of self-esteem
-Group size


Independent Behaviour: Why does the authority of the experimenter being challenged make it more likely for people to disobey?

If we think the authority is less legitimate, we are less likely to obey because we either know better or now have no reason to obey if they are of no higher authority than ourselves.
-An example is Gretchen Brandt (medical technician), who challenged the experimenter in the Milgram study when she had enough knowledge to realise the shocks they were asking her to give were dangerous and could cause serious harm to the learner.


Independent Behaviour: Why does anything that increases our personal responsibility make it more likely for people to disobey?

Anything that increases our sense of personal responsibility will also increase our resistance to obedience. An example in Milgram's experiment is when the participants were in close proximity to the learner or having to force their hand down. This makes people feel more personally reliable and less willing to obey, giving serious shocks.


Independent Behaviour: Why does the social support of group solidarity make it more likely for people to disobey?

The social support of group solidarity often helps people resist instructions, for example, it is easier to refuse to conform or obey if you have an ally (Asch, Milgram). When Milgram gave a participant a supporter who refused to follow the instructions, rates of obedience drastically reduced.


Independent Behaviour: Why does having high levels of self-esteem make it more likely for people to disobey?

Asch reported that independent individuals had high levels of self-confidence about their own abilities and were able to resist mental pressure from the majority. High levels of self-esteem have been confirmed as an important element in maintaining independence in the face of external pressures.
-Perrin and Spencer (1980) carried out conformity tests involving mathematics, engineering and science students as participants. They found conformity on only one trial out of 396. Presumably these participants were accustomed to make judgements and had the skills, confidence and experience to maintain their judgements even in the face of fierce pressure to conform to the judgements of others.


Independent Behaviour: Why does group size influence whether people obey or disobey?

In general, the bigger the majority, the more influential it is. Meaning it is easier to resist conforming when there was fewer people to influence you.
-In Asch (1956), with only two confederates, conformity rate was 14%. With three it rose to 32%.


Independent Behaviour: Why do people resist pressures to conform?

-Desire for individuation
-Desire to maintain control
-Internal local of control
-Support of a colleague
-Prior commitment
-Dispositional factors
-Models of independence/non-conformity
-Exposure to dissent


Independent Behaviour: Why is the desire for individuation a reason people resist conformity?

Many people often resist pressures to conform to assert their individuality.
-Deeply held beliefs often motivate individuals to resist pressure to conform or obey wrongful authority. In addition, these individuals are inclined to take responsibility for their own actions.


Independent Behaviour: Why is the desire for control a reason people resist conformity?

We like to think we can control events in our lives, this opposes the idea of yielding to social influence
-Burger (1992); people with a high need for personal control are more likely to resist conformity pressures than those with a lower need.


Independent Behaviour: What is locus of control?

Rotter (1966)
-Locus of control is the extent to which people believe they have control over events in their life affecting them and their successes and failures.
-It is measures on the IE scale.


Independent Behaviour: What is internal locus of control?

-Exerting person control over events.
-They believe they are the ones making things happen.
-Take responsibility for their actions
-Confident and tend not to need social approval (Perrin and Spencer)
-Less likely to conform and more likely to behave independently.


Independent Behaviour: What is external locus of control?

-Other forces are in control, such as luck or fate
-Victim of circumstances, just waiting for things to happen
-Less likely to resist social pressures.
-More likely to conform and less likely to behave independently.


Independent Behaviour: What are the criticisms of locus of control?

+Reliable methodology
+Give qualitative results
-Simplistic explanation of a complex subject (reductionist)
-Gender stereotypes
-Men are more external, women are internal, socially sensitive, suggesting women can't work independently.


Independent Behaviour: Why is the support of a colleague a reason people resist conformity?

If there is another person sharing the same view of disobedience it is easier to disobey and resist conformity because you have social support and so feel less like an outsider as there is more than one people also resisting conformity.


Independent Behaviour: Why is prior commitment a reason people resist conformity?

Once publically committed to an idea, people are less likely to change their position than if their initial opinion was kept private, to prevent them looking inconsistent.


Independent Behaviour: Why are models of independence a reason people resist conformity?

When people see examples of people acting independently, they are more inclined to act that way themselves as they have seen it before.


Independent Behaviour: Why is exposure to dissent a reason people resist conformity?

If we experience a minority view, we may assume that the opinion held is wrong, simply because it is held be a minority. As time goes on and we remain exposed to the minority view, people may begin to regard the minority view as a real alternative. They are encouraged to question their beliefs and opinions about the issue, and therefore independently behave.


Independent Behaviour: Why is reactance a reason people resist conformity?

The response of individuals to attempts to limit their freedom of choice. Reactance is more likely if the perceived restriction on freedom is given by an authority figure, and if it is 'requested' aggressively, people are more likely to disobey.


Independent Behaviour: Who researched resistance to obeying?

Gamson et al (1982)


Minority Influence: What is minority influence?

Minority influence occurs when a minority rejects the established norm of the majority to move to the position of the minority.


Minority Influence: Who researched minority influence?

Moscovici (1969)


Minority Influence: What did Moscovici discover about when minorities were most influential?

Minorities are most effective if they are;
-Consistent over time
-Consistent within the group (all giving same opinion and view)
-Inconsistent responses leaf to majority not listening.


Minority Influence: What is conversion theory?

Moscovici (1980, 1985) argued that conversion occurs when the majority is influenced by the views of the minority. Conversion typically affects private beliefs more than public behaviour. Individuals within the majority might still appear to go along with the majority, but privately their opinions have changed.


Minority Influence: What conditions does Moscovici argue conversion is most likely to occur?

-Consistency: The minority must appear consistent in their opinion.
-Flexibility: The minority mustn't appear to be rigid or dogmatic.
-Commitment: A committed minority will lead people to re-think their position and so produce conversion.
-Relevance: The minority will be more successful if their views are in line with social trends.


Minority Influence: What must minorities be if they are to influence the majority (behavioural style)?

-Committed (sacrifice)
-Respected and respectable
-Have no vested interest (autonomy)
-Sometimes represent interests and goals of majority


Minority Influence: What is the difference between majority influence and minority influence?

-Majorities influence minorities quickly through compliance, only publically not privately.
-Minorities influence majorities more slowly through conversion (the majority gradually change their private opinions before their public behaviour), which can cause majority internalisation.


Minority Influence: Do all minorities create important influence?

Nemeth (1986)
-Even when a minority view is seen to be wrong it can have an important influence in creating productive thinking among majority members of a society and social change can result.
-An example of a wrong minority is a group that uses terrorism to get its message heard. Although the terrorist group may be dismissed as extremist and evil, its message gets heard by many and inequalities or injustices may be addressed by the majority.


Minority Influence: What is the snowball effect?

Van Avermaet (1996)
-The snowball effect describes one way in which minorities convert majorities. Members of the majority slowly move towards the minority, and as the minority grows in size gradually picks up momentum so that more and more majority members convert to the minority opinion. Eventually the minority grows into a snowball so large that it becomes the majority.


Minority Influence: What is an in-group?

Term used to describe people like us


Minority Influence: What is an out-group?

Consists of people that do not share the same characteristics as us.


Minority Influence: Are we easily influenced by members of our in-group or an out-group?

Hogg and Vaughan (1998)
-Argue that we are most likely to be influenced by members of our in-group than we are by members of an out-group.
-E.g. upper class, similar age


Minority Influence: What is social cyptoamnesia?

Perez et al (1995)
-When social change occurs in a society, the attitude or opinion because an integral part of the society's culture, and the source of the minority influence that led to it is generally forgotten. The forgetting of the source of social change is called social cryptoamnesia.
-Very few women who vote in the UK consciously thank the Suffragettes for the fact that they can vote, rather women voting is now a normal and expected part of society.


Minority Influence: What is the process of a minority influencing the majority?

-Minority discuss and agree change, coming up with reasons.
-Communicate ideas to the majority, being consistent, persuasive, committed etc.
-Individuals listen to knowledgeable minority and change mine (Informational SI)
-Minority grows, as people change their minds. Internalisation, first private but then public.
-More people join in (Normative SI, jumping on the bandwagon, don't want to feel left out)
-Minority grows, Snowball Effect, beliefs become widely held
-Becomes majority, pushes for change
-Laws changed, people begin obeying.
-Social Cryptoamnesia sometimes occurs, meaning people forget original source.