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What is conformity?

A change in a person's behaviour or opinions as a result of real or imagined pressure from a person or group of people


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


What is internalisation?

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 informational social influence?

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


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. This may lead to compliance.


What is social influence?

Social influence is the process by which an individual's attitudes, beliefs or behaviours are modified by the presence of others. It affects the way we think and our actual behaviour.


Name one type of social influence



Who believed that there were different types/levels of conformity?



What are the three main types of conformity?

Compliance, identification, internalisation


What is the weakest type of conformity?



Why is it the weakest?

It is the weakest type because it's only a superficial change and is a temporary form of conformity. You change your beliefs externally but not internally as the behaviour is only shown in the presence of the group and stops as soon as the group pressure stops.


What is the strongest type of conformity?



Why is it the strongest?

Because the person genuinely accepts the group norms which results in private as well as public change of opinions/behaviours. The change is likely to be permanent because attitudes have been internalised. The change in opinions/behaviours persists even in the absence of the group members.


What is the other type of conformity?



Why is it only middling in strength?

It sometimes involves private as well as public acceptance, but is generally temporary and is not maintained when individuals leave the group.


Give an example of compliance?

Drinking/smoking with friends, supporting football teams


Give an example of identification



Give an example of internalisation

Religion/conversion, vegetarianism


Kane, Dean and Sam have started hanging out with a gang of lads from the same estate. They spend their evenings smoking,drinking and engaging in petty crime. The group is frequently in trouble with the police, something the older boys see as a 'badge of honour' as it makes them look tough. The police are also seem to always be picking on the group just because they come from a tough estate. The three boys have different reasons for joining in with the actions of the group. Dean accepts the groups view that the police target them and sees their behaviour as a way of hitting back. Kane joins in because he doesn't want to be ridiculed for being immature by the older boys and Sam admires the older boys and wants people to think of him as a member of a tough group.

Which type of conformity is each boy showing? Explain why you came to that decision.

Dean is showing internalisation as he genuinely accepts the group norms that their behaviour is a way of hitting back at the police. And is change of opinion/behaviour is private as well as public so the behaviours will persist even without the presence of the group.

Kane is showing compliance because he is only going along with the others in public so as not to look immature, his personal opinions haven't changed and he won't show the same behaviours when he group isn't there.

Sam is showing identification because he is adjusting his behaviour to that of the group as he values and admires them and wants to be part of the group to look tough.


Who developed the two process theory, arguing that there are two main reasons people conform?

Deutsch and Gerard


What are the two main explanations of conformity?

Informational social influence and normative social influence


What is the motivation underpinning normative social influence?

The desire to be liked and respected and to avoid rejection and ridicule.


What type of conformity is normative social influence likely to lead to and why?

It is likely to lead to compliance, because the best way of gaining the acceptance of others is to agree with them however this does not necessarily mean we truly agree with them.


In what situations is normative social influence most likely to happen?

Usually with strangers/peers where you feel concerned about rejection. With people you know it'll be because you want social approval.


What is the motivation underpinning informational social influence?

The desire to be right


What type of conformity does informational social influence most likely lead to do and why?

Internalisation because when people conform to ISI they tend to believe he opinions adopted. As they are uncertain what to believe, they look to the opinions of others and be converted to their viewpoint.


In what situations is informational social influence most likely to happen?

Ambiguous/unfamiliar situations where there is no clear answer. And crisis situations where decisions have to be made quickly, when one person/group is considered more expert than others.


It is Oliver's and Lola's first day at college and they are keen to make a good impression. Oliver pretends to be interested in the other students' conversation even though he finds them really boring. Lola watches other students very carefully because she wants to complete her work just like they do, to avoid making any mistakes.
Whose behaviour is being influenced by informational social influence and whose is being influenced by normative social influence?

Lola's behaviour is influenced by informational social influence because as she is ins strange situation she looking to others for guidance as she believes they know more about the situation than she does. She has a 'desire to be right' and to avoid making mistakes in her work, she believes the other students know what they're doing so copies them.
Oliver is influenced by normative social influence because he wants to fit in and gain social approval so listens to their conversations, even though he finds it boring, as an act of compliance because he doesn't want to be rejected and wants to fit in with the group.


What research study provides support for informational social influence?