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What are the three situational variables affecting conformity?

Group size, unanimity, and task difficulty


Explain how group size influences conformity

Research suggests conformity rates increase as the size of the majority influence increases, but there is a point where further increases don't increase conformity further (4 or 5)


How does Asch's study support group size being a situational variable affecting conformity?

With one real participant and confederate conformity was low, increasing to 13% with two confederates and 32% with three confederates. Adding further confederates had no effect


Who performed a meta-analysis of Asch's study and found evidence for group size affecting conformity peaking at four or five?

Bond and Smith


Explain how unanimity influences conformity

Conformity rates drop when majority influence is not unanimous, even if the dissenters do not agree with the participant


How does Asch's study support unanimity as a variable affecting conformity?

If one confederate went against the other confederates and agreed with the participant, conformity dropped from 32% to 5.5%, and to 9% if the dissenter didn't agree with the participant


Explain how task difficulty influences conformity

Greater conformity rates are seen when task difficulty increases because the answer is less obvious and individuals want to be right, so they look to others for guidance


How does Asch's study support task difficulty as a variable affecting conformity?

Participants were more likely to conform to wrong answers when he increased the task difficulty


What three individual factors could influence conformity?

Gender, mood and culture


What are the two types of cultures regarding conformity?

Collectivist and individualist


In what internal state are individuals more likely to conform and why?

A good mood; possibly because they are more amenable and likely to agree with others


Which gender conforms more, why, and who suggested this?

Females; they are socialised into more submissive roles and so greater conformity might be expected of them, and they are socialised to place more emphasis on the quality of relationships with others and take responsibility for these (Eagly)