2Social Change Definition Can be positive or negative Minority influenceMoscovici – Conversion/internalisation/ISIConditionsDrawing attention to an issueThe role of conflict – between the two viewpointsConsistencyThe augmentation principleResearch - Moscovici et al (1969)/Wood et al (1994)
3Social change exam questions January 2012: How has social influence research helped our understanding of social change? (4 marks)January 2010: Describe how social influence research has contributed to our understanding of social change. (6 marks)January 2011: Using your knowledge of the psychology of social change, explain why recycling is now behaviour carried out by a majority of people in this country. (6 marks)June 2010: Using your knowledge of the psychology of social change, explain how this social change has occurred (smoking ban in public places). (4 marks)
4Social Change Mark scheme January 20121 mark = very brief and flawed explanation.2 marks = basic explanation.3 marks = reasonable explanation.4 marks = effective explanation.January 20101 mark = brief and flawed2-3 marks = basic4-5 marks = less detailed but generally accurate6 marks = accurate and effective
5Social Change Exemplar answer Social change occurs when an individual or a small group (i.e. the minority) change the way the majority think and behave. Social change is a slow process as minorities aim for conversion (i.e. internalisation). They want the majority to change their beliefs and behaviour publicly and privately. Historically there have been many examples of social change, e.g. the Black Civil Rights Movement. Research into minority influence has shown how powerful a minority can be as long as certain conditions are met (e.g. consistency). Research to support comes from Moscovici et al (1969) and Wood et al (1994) who found that consistent minorities were particularly influential in bringing about social change. Therefore if the minority are consistent in their views, then over time the minority become the majority and social change occurs.
6Social change scenarios A02 – Analysis of unfamiliar situation and application of the psychology of social changeIf you are given a scenario in the question, you must relate your answer to the scenario and use information from it to get the full 4 or 6 marks!!!‘To access the top band, candidates must explicitly engage with the stimulus material.’
7Social Change Mark scheme June 20101 mark = very brief and flawed2 marks = basic3 marks = reasonable4 marks = effectiveJanuary 20111 mark = brief and flawed2-3 marks = basic4-5 marks = less detailed but generally accurate6 marks = accurate and effective
8Social Change Exemplar answer: January 2011 Social change occurs when an individual or a small group (i.e. the minority) change the way the majority think and behave. It is a slow process as minorities aim for conversion (i.e. internalisation). They want the majority to change their beliefs and behaviour publicly and privately. Research into minority influence (e.g. Moscovici et al, 1969) has shown how powerful a minority can be as long as certain conditions are met (e.g. consistency). In the example of recycling, while the idea started with the minority of individuals, it is now a common behaviour (of the majority). The minority drew the attention of the majority to the issue and were consistent in their arguments over a long period of time. Many schools are now actively teaching the importance of recycling and local authorities are introducing new schemes to encourage recycling. The majority of homes in this country have some form of recycling facility provided by their local authority. Therefore what was originally a minority belief, the importance of recycling, gradually became the majority behaviour and was accepted as the social norm.
10June 2010 Outline and evaluate explanations of conformity. (8 marks) A01 – 4 marks descriptionA02 – 4 marks evaluation1 mark = brief answer2 marks = basic answer3 marks = less detailed but generally accurate4 marks = accurate, detailed and effective
11A01/A02 A01 – describe what is meant by NSI or ISI (4 marks) Normative Social Influence (Compliance)Informational Social Influence (Internalisation)A02 – supporting research for NSI or ISI (4 marks)NSI – bullying, smoking, conservation behaviourISI – social stereotypes, political opinion, psychogenic illness.Asch (1956) – as long as you relate the findings to NSI or ISI!!!
12Exemplar answerA01One explanation of conformity is normative social influence. This is where an individual will behave like the majority without accepting its point of view. This is also known as compliance (public agreement but no private attitude change).A02Supporting research for normative social influence comes from anti-smoking campaigns. The campaign was aimed at year olds who were shown information on normative smoking behaviour in their age group. Only 10% of non-smokers subsequently took up smoking following exposure to a message that most children in their age group did not smoke (i.e. the norm of behaviour).
13Exemplar answerA01 One explanation of conformity is informational social influence. This is where an individual uses others as a source of information because they want to be correct and they see others as experts. This is also known as internalisation (public and private attitude change). A02 Supporting research for informational social influence comes from Wittenbrink and Henly (1996). Participants who were exposed to negative comparison information about African Americans (which they were led to believe was the view of the majority) later reported more negative beliefs about a black target individual. The participants had used the majority as a source of information and consequently this lead to a change in their beliefs and behaviour.
14Exemplar answerA02In Asch’s study, on the 12 critical trials (majority consistently gave the wrong answer), 36.8% of the responses made by the real participants were incorrect i.e. they conformed to the majority response. This provides support for normative social influence as the real participants may have just agreed with the majority to ‘fit-in’ and be accepted by the group. This could also provide support for informational social influence as the real participants may have used the majority as a source of information as they wanted to be correct.
16January 2012Explain one or more reasons why people obey authority. (6 marks)A01 application: Knowledge of why people obey1 mark = brief / flawed2-3 marks = basic4-5 marks = less detailed but generally accurate6 marks = accurate and effective
17What to include… There are several reasons why people obey: Presence of a legitimate authority.Authority takes responsibility for consequences of actions.Gradual commitment (foot-in-the-door).Agentic shift (emphasis on agentic state).Situational factors (role of buffers).Personality factors (authoritarian personality type).
18Exemplar answersOne reason people obey is due to gradual commitment. This is where you are told to do something small and gradually the orders become more extreme but by then you can’t say no. One reason people obey is due to the agentic shift. This is where people shift between the agentic state (not in control, executing another’s wishes) and the autonomous state (you are in control). One reason people obey is due to a legitimate authority. This is where experience has taught us that authority figures are trustworthy and therefore obedience is expected and appropriate.