Social Theories (obedience, personality and prejudice) Flashcards Preview

Psychology Paper 1 > Social Theories (obedience, personality and prejudice) > Flashcards

Flashcards in Social Theories (obedience, personality and prejudice) Deck (35)
Loading flashcards...
1
Q

Describe the agency theory of obedience. (8 key words)

A
  1. Heirarchical society- a system of social order that is ranked from top to bottom
  2. Socialisation- the process by which we learn the rules and norms of society through socialising agents
  3. Authority figure
  4. Agentic state- obeying an authority figure whilst accepting no responsibility
  5. Autonomous state- uses own free will to act accepting full responsibility
  6. Agentic shift- where an individual gradually moves from an autonomous state to an agentic state
  7. Moral strain- disagreeing with what youre told to do but doing so anyway
  8. Defence mechanisms- a way for the mind to protect us from being consciously aware of difficult thoughts and feelings
2
Q

Evaluate the agency theory of obedience in terms of supporting research. (Hofling)

A
  • Hofling (1966) conducted a field experiment in a real hospital using nurses on a real shift.
  • A confederate doctor demanded that the nurses administer an overdose
  • 21 out of 22 nurses obeyed
  • Shows that the nurses were in an agentic state and followed the orders of their authority figure.
3
Q

Evaluate the agency theory of obedience in terms of supporting research. (Milgram)

A
  • Laboratory experiment to study obedience and authority figures
  • Milgram found 60% obedience in his original experiment
  • In his variation “Ordinary Man gives Orders’ the status was removed from the authority figure
  • Obedience fell to 20%
  • Provides support as it shows that obedience was higher with the increased status of the authority figure
4
Q

Evaluate the agency theory of obedience in terms of criticisms of the research (Milgram)

A
  • Milgram lacks mundane realism as it was a laboratory experiment (low ecological validity) and the task wasn’t reflective of everyday life (low task validity). This could limit the application of the theory to real life
  • However, the use of a lab experiment ensures high levels of reliability as it followed a standardised procedure. For example, how the teacher and learner were selected and the five responses given by the experimenter.
  • This helps the theory to be more credible as it has scientific research to support it.
5
Q

Evaluate the agency theory of obedience in terms of criticisms of the research (Hofling)

A
  • Hofling took place in a natural environment for the participants which makes it high in mundane realism
  • High level of obedience found in an environment and task that is high in ecological validity
  • This makes the agency theory credible
6
Q

Evaluate the agency theory of obedience in terms of applications

A
  • Helps to explain the Holocaust. Theory would explain that the soldiers were in an agentic state. The soldiers experienced moral strain.
7
Q

Evaluate the agency theory of obedience in terms of a different theory.

A
  • Social impact theory of obedience (explain further)
8
Q

Evaluate the agency theory of obedience, conclusion.

A
  • It is good becasue it explains the Holocaust and why society continues to follow orders in a heirarchical way
  • However it can be said to be reductionist as it fails to account for the situaton
9
Q

Describe the social impact theory of obedience (7 key words)

A
  1. Sources- the people who provide the influence on others
  2. Targets- the people who get influenced
  3. Strength- determined by status, authority or age. We are more likely to be influenced by someone of a high status
  4. Immediacy- determined by proximity or distance (psychologically, socially or physically)
  5. Number- ratio of targets to sources. We are likely to be influence by numerous sources
  6. Multiplicative effect- strength, immedicay and number have a bigger impact all together
  7. Divisional effect- the number of targets to be influenced affects the impact of the source
10
Q

Evaluate the social impact theory in terms of supporting research.

A
  • Support from Milgram’s two stooges variation. Two confederates refused to obey the orders to deliver the harmful shocks.
  • Presence of the stooges lowered obedience and therefore demonstrates the divisional effect of one source on many targets
11
Q

Evaluate the social impact theory in terms of criticisms of the research (bad).

A
  • Research by Milgram lacks ecological validity as it was conducted in a laboratory. It was also low in task validity as the task was unrealistic as the participant was required to administer electric shocks when a word pair was recalled incorrectly.
  • Findings can’t be applied to real life which limity the applicability of the theory
12
Q

Evaluate the social impact theory in terms of criticisms of the research (good).

A
  • Highly controlled lab experiment made the results highly reliable as he used a standardised procedure.
  • This included the number of stooges and the phrases that they spoke.
  • Cause and effect relationship giving the theory credibility.
13
Q

Evaluate the social impact theory in terms of a different theory.

A
  • Authoritarian personality theory which takes in to consideration internal attributes of a person
  • Makes the social impact theory reductionist for ignoring personality.
14
Q

Evaluate the social impact theory in terms of application

A
  • Can explain football hooliganism
  • When surrounded by rebellious peers we may be less inclined to follow authority (divisional effect)
15
Q

Evaluate the social impact theory in terms of reductionism.

A
  • It ignores the impact of wider society and oversimplifies the nature of human interaction. Fails to recognise individual differences.
16
Q

Describe Rotters (1966) theory of personality, Locus of Control. (3 key words)

A
  1. Internal locus of control- someone who feels in control and so are likely to take responsibility for their actions and be more disobedient.
  2. External locus of control- feels as though fate has placed them in that particular moment in time and accept no responsibility and likely to blindly obey orders
  3. Rotters personality theory- a five point likurt scale including statements such as ‘you cannot fool your destiny’
17
Q

Evaluate Rotters (1966) theory of personality in terms of supporting research

A
  • Support comes from Holland (1967) who used Milgram’s electric shock experiment to investigate the link between locus of control and obedience but found no link
  • Blass reanalysed Hollands data and found that people with an internal locus of control were more resistant to obeying
18
Q

Evaluate Rotters (1966) theory of personality in terms of opposing research

A
  • Schurz (1985). He used 56 Austrian participants and asked them to administer increasingly painful bursts of ultrasound to a learner. He found no link between locus of control and obedience
  • However he did find that participants with an internal locus of control took more responsibility for their actions
19
Q

Evaluate Rotters (1966) theory of personality in terms of validity.

A
  • The Rotter scale does not allow us to accurately predict individuals behaviour in a given situation. Measuring locus of control with a questionnaire or interview could lead to social desireability bias which means that people may answer questions on a survey in a manner that will be viewed more favourably by others. This reduces validity
20
Q

Evaluate Rotters (1966) theory of personality in terms of a key assumption.

A
  • The assumption that individuals whose behaviour is controlled by internal factors will always be made resistant to social influence isn’t true.
  • For example criminals who are uncaring and violent in nature wouldn’t have challenged Milgrams orders as they would have ejoyed it.
21
Q

Evaluate Rotters (1966) theory of personality in terms of application

A
  • Can explain why some Germans protected and sheltered the Jewish people during the Holocaust
  • Oliner and Oliner (1988) interviewed 406 Germans who sheltered Jews from the Nazis and compared them to a sample of non-rescuers.
  • The rescuers had an internal locus of control and high social responsibility
22
Q

Describe Adorno’s theory of personality (5 Key ideas)

A
  1. Authoritarian personality- people with an authoritarian personality are more likely to be obedient
  2. Who did he study? 2000 college students and other American, non-Jewish middle class citizens as well as the case studies of Nazis
  3. F-scale- a five point likurt scale where participants had to rate how much they agreed with statements such as ‘If people would talk less and work more, everybody would be better off’
  4. Score highly on F-scale- would be hostile to outgroups, obsession with rank and status, submissive to authority figures and aggressive
  5. Psychodynamic concepts- personality stems from childhood. If a child grows up with parents who demanded impossibly high standards they then view the world as full of people who are inferior
23
Q

Describe the social identity theory of prejudice (6 key words/concepts)

A
  1. Groups- mere existance of groups is enough to cause prejudice. Humans have a central tendency to form groups as historicaly it was easier to hunt etc
  2. Stereotying- can be defined as forming an opinion/label about a group without much if any knowledge about them
  3. Exaggerate- we exaggerate the differences between groups and the similarities of those in the same group
  4. Self image- in order to increase our self image we hold prejudical views about other groups
  5. Ingroup- the group to which you belong, we feel a sense of loyalty towards them
  6. Outgroup- the group that we don’t identify with and hold prejudical views about
24
Q

Evaluate the social identity theory in terms of supporting research (Sherif)

A
  • Research support from Sherif (outline the procedure)
  • The boys characterised their groups in the first stage by choosing a leader and creating names for their groups ‘Eagles and Rattlers’
  • They went on to describe their group more fvourably which demonstrates that the boys needed to increase their self esteem and did so by increasing their self worth
25
Q

Evaluate the social identity theory in terms of supporting research (Tajfel)

A
  • Tajfel found that when a group of boys were asked to assign rewards and punishments to a group to which they belonged and a group that they didn’t, they awarded their own group higher.
  • They did this to maximise the gap between the two groups and to favour their ingroup. This supports SIT.
26
Q

Evaluate the social identity theory in terms of opposing research.

A
  • Sherif found that the boys didn’t start fighting (showing extreme prejudice) until they were in competition with eachother in phase two.
  • Therefore it wasn’t the creation of groups that led to the prejudice.
27
Q

Evaluate the social identity theory in terms of criticisms of the research.

A
  • High in ecological validity as it took place in a natural environment for the boys. They were at a summer camp which they already were attending and the tasks that they had to complete were typical of being at camp.
  • Low generalisability as the samele was young boys
28
Q

Evaluate the social identity theory in terms of a different theory.

A
  • Realistic conflict theory (explain)
29
Q

Evaluate the social identity theory in terms of application.

A
  • Helps us to understand a potential cause for prejudice and as a result, ways that it can be reduced.
  • In schools, children form friendship groups which can be based on many things. If schools had enforced uniforms, there is less chance of categorisation and therefore prejudice
30
Q

Evaluate the social identity theory in terms of reductionism.

A
  • doesn’t take in to account historical matters or personal differences.
  • Limited explanation of a very complicated issue
31
Q

Describe the realistic conflict theory

A
  1. Intergroup hostility- can arise as a result of conflicting goals and competition over limited resources
  2. Zero sum fate- when only one group is able to ‘win’ the resources. The length and severity of the conflict is based upon the percieved value and shortage of the given resources.
  3. Evolution- originally we used to compete for survival by competing against others. This is the basis of evolution and survival of the fittest.
  4. SIT- links to the social identity theory as it involves an in-group and an out-group
  5. Superordinate goals- can help to reduce prejudice
32
Q

Evaluate the realistic conflict theory in terms of supporting research.

A
  • Research support from Sherif (outline the procedure)
  • The boys were randomly assigned to two groups who then competed against eachother and prejudice and conflict developed quickly.
  • The boys burnt eachothers flags and called eachother names
  • This demonstrates that competition can lead to prejudice and discrimination
33
Q

Evaluate the realistic conflict theory in terms of criticisms of the research.

A
  • Sherif had reduced validity of the research as the two groups had been created artificially which doesnt reflect situations such as inner city gangs or football hooliganism
  • Low in generalisability as only white, middle class boys age 11 were used
34
Q

Evaluate the realistic conflict theory in terms of opposing research.

A
  • Tylerman and Spencer (1983)
  • Observed scouts that knew eachother compete in their annual camp. They found that competition remained friendly throughout and friendships were not affected
35
Q

Evaluate the realistic conflict theory in terms of practical applications

A
  • This explanation for prejudice offers a way to reduce prejudice by introducing superordinate goals
  • The Aronson jigsaw technique can be used in schools