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Social influence.

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Presentation on theme: "Social influence."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social influence

2 What is conformity? ‘A change in behaviour or belief as a result of real or imagined group pressure’ Definition for 2 AO1 Mention whether private beliefs are changed or not and whether the change is long lasting. Give an example.

3 Types of conformity Compliance Identification Internalisation
Shallowest Refers to instances where a person may agree in public with a group of people but the person actually privately disagrees with the group’s viewpoint or behaviour. This type of conformity therefore does not lead to a change in a person’s private beliefs and is temporary. Compliance Refers to instances when the individual takes on the views of a group they join or they admire. It does not necessarily result in a change of a person’s private beliefs. Identification refers to instances where a person behaves or agrees with a group of people because they have actually accepted the group’s point of view or beliefs. This type of conformity does result in a change in the persons’ private beliefs and attitudes as a result it may have longer lasting effects than public compliance (conversion). Internalisation The blue buttons take you to the studies relevant to the type of conformity. The red button takes you to slide 10 “why do we conform” Deepest

4 Studies into compliance
Sherif (1935) Asch (1951)

5 Asch’s Results

6 Variations At one point the experiment was modified to determine if the size of the group affected the participants’ reactions. (the confederate group varied in size from one to fifteen) The button takes you back to slide 3

7 Studies into minority influence Internalisation
Moscovici (1969) Clark (1998/1999) The button takes you back to slide 3

8 Conditions for Conversion
Consistency The minority must be consistent in their opinion Flexibility The minority must not appear to be rigid & dogmatic Relevance The minority will be more successful if their views are in line with social trends Commitment A committed minority will lead people to rethink their position.

9 Study into identification
Zimbardo (1973)

10 Why do we conform? Normative influence Informational social influence
This refers to instances where someone conforms in order to fit in and gain approval or avoid disapproval from other group members. Leads to conformity. Informational social influence This refers to instances where people conform because they are uncertain about what to do in a particular situation, so they look to others for guidance. This explanation tends to lead to internalisation.

11 Factors influencing conformity
Size of the majority How did the results change when Asch changed the number of confederates? Gender: Larsen et al. (1979) Males conform more in higher status groups, Women conform more in peer groups Factors influencing conformity Culture: Smith and Bond (1996) Individual characteristics: confidence Perrin & Spencer (1981) The importance of time When Asch carried out his research, the USA was very conservative, schools were more hierarchical than they are now

12 Obedience “a person who carries out orders that are given by a legitimate authority figure.’

13 Dressed with a laboratory coat
Milgram’s study Experimenter: Dressed with a laboratory coat Sample: 40 male, American participants with various educational backgrounds Recruited by advertisement in local paper, paid $4 Task: The Ps were ordered to give the learner an electric shock if he made a mistake in the pairs of words he had to learn from 15v to 459v in steps of 15 v PS told that the experiment was aimed to find out the effects of punishment on learning

14 Ethics of Milgram’s study
Psychological harm (stress during the study) and learning something unpleasant about themselves but a year later did not present any long-lasting effects. Most said they were pleased that they had taken part. Protection of participants The participants gave consent to take part but it was not informed consent as they were not told the real aim of the study. Consent The participants could withdraw before reaching 450V and 35% of them did but the experimenter put them to continue using prods such as “the experiment require that you continue” and “you have no choice”. Withdrawal

15 Ethics of Milgram’s study
The participants were told that the study was about the effect of punishment on learning and it was in fact about obedience. The participants did not know that Mr Wallace (the learner) was a confederate. They were told that they administering real electric shocks when they were not. Deception The participants were debriefed thoroughly and met Mr Wallace the learner. They were also assessed by a psychiatrist a year later. Debriefing Milgram did not break any ethical guidelines as they had not been created


17 Why do people obey? Gradual commitment Agency theory Buffers
Perception of legitimate authority Personality factors

18 Gradual commitment Also referred to as the ‘foot in the door phenomenon’. This refers to instances where a person might show some sort of commitment to a particular task e.g. by starting something and then as they continue it becomes harder to back down/change their mind. .....v 450v 90v 105v 60v 75v 45v 30v 15v

19 Agency theory Milgram explained the behaviour of his participants by suggesting that people actually have two states of behaviour when they are in a social situation: • The autonomous state – people act according to their own values, and they take responsibility for the results of those actions. • The agentic state – people allow others to direct their actions, and the pass off the responsibility for the consequences to the person giving the orders. In other words, they act as agents for another person’s will. Milgram suggested that two things must be in place in order for a person to enter the agentic state: • The person giving the orders is perceived as being qualified to direct other people’s behaviour. That is, they are seen as legitimate. • The person being ordered about is able to believe that the authority will accept responsibility for what happens.

20 Buffers Any aspects of a situation that protects people from having to confront the consequences of their actions. What aspect of the situation acted as a buffer in the original experiment? When the participant was ordered to hold the “learner’s hand on the shock plate only 30% of the Ps went up to 450v. Use the concept of buffers to explain this result.

21 Perception of legitimate authority
We feel obligated to those in power because we respect their credentials and assume that they know what they are doing. What evidence is there that this factor influenced the participants? Hofling(‘66) study,Bickman (1974) support the importance of legitimate authority.

22 Personality factors Authoritarian personality Upbringing:
Traits found in authoritarian personality Hostile to people seen as inferior Intolerant of ambiguity Servile to people seen as superior Unwilling to introspect Contemptuous of weakness Upholder of conventional values Rigid and inflexible Upbringing: Harsh, punishing , disciplinarian upbringing Little affection shown Latent hostility towards parents Unconscious hostility towards parents displaced onto minority groups and /or projected onto these groups (the authoritarian fells threatened by them)

23 Independent behaviour
Individuals behave independently when they act according to their own values, they might conform or obey but only if they agree with the norms or orders. Two categories of factors influence independent behaviour. Situational factors: factors relating tot he situation they are in. Dispositional factors: factors relating to the individual i.e. Locus of control

24 Situational factors Gradual commitment Size of the majority Buffers
Perception of legitimate authority Reactance In exam: Describe the factor (AO1) Quote some research evidence i.e. Variations of Milgram’s experiment or Asch (AO2)

25 Dispositional factors
Locus of control Gender Moral development Personality factors

26 Locus of Control The extent to which an individual believes they are in control of their destiny (internal LOC) or are at the mercy of events (external LOC) Key characteristics of individuals with a high internal locus of control: They tend to be active seekers of information and are less likely to rely on the opinions of others (this would imply that such individuals are less likely to conform) They also tend to be more achievement-oriented and as a result are more likely to be leaders. They are also better able to resist coercion (control) from others (this implies that they are less likely to obey).

27 Gender In Milgram’s research, females obeyed at the same rates as males. However, other studies show that females can be less obedient than men. For instance, Kilham and Mann (1974) found that Australian females (10% obedience rate) were less obedient than men (40% obedience rate) in a Milgram-type procedure.

28 Moral development The extent to which individuals take into account moral values, the impact of their decisions and actions on others and on society as a whole. The higher the moral development the more likely an individual is to act independently.

29 Personality Crutchfield (1955) proposed that people who are more likely to show independent behaviour have higher self-esteem and intelligence, and less need for social approval, than people who obey/conform. People who score low in the need for social approval (measured by the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale) are more likely to show independent behaviour than those high on the scale (Crowne and Marlowe, 1964). People who are more likely to show independent behaviour score higher on a social responsibility scale than people who conform/obey (Elms and Milgram, 1974).

30 Social change “When society adopts a new
belief or way of behaving which then becomes widely accepted as the norm” Examples of recent social change: Ban on smoking in public places Recycling

31 Majority vs Minority Influence
Majorities maintain the status quo, promoting uniformity and exerting pressure on those deviating Minority influence is associated with change & innovation as the ideas cause a social conflict For minority influence to work there must be a conversion in those from the majority

32 Conditions for Conversion
Consistency The minority must be consistent in their opinion Flexibility The minority must not appear to be rigid & dogmatic Relevance The minority will be more successful if their views are in line with social trends Commitment A committed minority will lead people to rethink their position.

33 Snow ball effect This occurs when a minority convert a small group of people to their views, this small group convert other people. Over a period of time the original minority view can become the view of the majority.

34 Social crypto amnesia Minority ideas are assimilated into the majority viewpoint without those in the majority remembering where the ideas came from. This often happens when the minority ideas are so strongly associated with the source that to adopt the message risks assuming the negative identity of the source.

35 Social change Informational social influence
i.e. Effects of smoke inhalation on health Internalisation: conversion of a few people who then become a minority. Conditions for Conversion Snowball effect: The minority becomes the majority Compliance to the majority norm. Normative social influence Crypto amnesia

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