Social Psychology: Conformity to Majority Influence Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Social Psychology: Conformity to Majority Influence Deck (15):

What are the 3 types of Conformity

> Compliance
> Internalisation
> Identification


What is Compliance?

Compliance is publicly conforming to the behaviour or views in a group but privately maintaining one's own views.


What is Internalisation?

Internalization is a conversion or true change of private views to match those of the group.


What is Identification?

Identification is adopting the views or behaviour or views of a group both publicly and privately because you value membership of that group. However the new attitudes and behaviours are often temporary and not maintained on leaving the group.


Name a study that does Research into Majority Influence

Asch (1956)


What did Asch do?

123 Male American undergraduates were tested. Asch showed a series of lines to participants seated around a table. participants always answered in the same order. The confederates were asked to give the wrong answer on 12 out of 18 tasks.


What did Asch Find?

In 12 of the tasks 36.8% of the responses made by true participants were incorrect, showing they conformed to the incorrect responses given by the unanimous decision of the other group members.


Name 3 Variations of Asch's study

> Difficulty of the task
> Size of the Majority
> The Unanimity of the Majority


How does the size of the majority have an effect on conformity?

Asch found that there was little conformity when the participant was in a group of 1 or 2 individuals. However under a majority of three conformity rates jumped to about 30%


How does the difficulty of the task have an effect on conformity?

Asch made the differences between the lines much smaller, making the task harder than the original study. This increased the level of conformity.


How did the unanimity of the majority affect conformity levels?

Asch found through giving his participants just one supporter in the tasks, that their conformity levels dropped significantly from 32% to 5.5%. Concluding that the break in the group's consensus was the major factor in conformity reduction.


Name 2 criticisms of Asch's Study

> McCarthyism was the anti-communist movement during the 1950s and Asch's study took place during this period. Perrin and Spencer repeated Asch's study using English engineering students in the late 70s and found only one conforming response out of 396 trials.
> Only one trial in Asch's found a unanimous conforming response. Only 36.8% of the participants conformed, the rest, two thirds of the participants stuck to their own opinion despite being outnumbered by the majority. Asch's study therefore demonstrated an tendency to show independence.


Name the study that looked at culture and conformity

Smith and Bond


What did Smith and Bond do?

They did a meta analysis looking at 133 studies


What did Smith and Bond find?

They found that levels of conformity had declined steadily since Asch's studies in the 1950s. Collectivist Countries (e.g. Japan or Israel) tended to show higher levels of conformity than the individualistic ones (e.g. US or UK) The impact of cultural vairables on conformity levels was greater than any other variable (such as gender e.g. Eagly and Carli)