2 Conformity – Definitions and Types Social Psychology is concerned with how the social world influences our behaviour. Social Psychologists concentrate on social factors, rather than cognitive or biological aspects.What is conformity?Conformity is “A change in a persons behaviour and/or attitudes and beliefs due to real or imagined pressure from other people.Conformity can occur due to two types of influence, MAJORITY INFLUENCE and also MINORITY INFLUENCE…
3 Conformity – Types of Influence Majority InfluenceThis is when a persons behaviour changes to match that of a majority within a group.For example…This has been famously researched by Asch, Jenness and SheriffMinority InfluenceThis is a less common phenomenonIt is when a person changes their behaviour to match that of a minority in a groupAny examples?This has been famously researched by Moscovici
4 Conformity – Types of Conformity Kelman (1958) argues that we can distinguish between THREE different types of conformity:ComplianceCompliance is the most superficial form of conformity.Here, a person conforms publicly (out loud) with the views or behaviours expressed by others in the group but continues to privately disagree.EXTENSION – IDENTIFICATION – This is a deeper type of conformity that compliance, which takes place when a person is exposed to the views of others and changes their view publicly and privately to fit in with them. In order to do this, the person identifies with the group and feels a sense of membership. The person identifies to be like the person or group they admire. However, when identification takes place, the change of belief or behaviour may be temporary.InternalisationInternalisation is the deepest form of conformity.When the views of the group are internalised, they are taken on at a deep and permanent level.They become part of a person’s own way of viewing the world.
5 Application What type of conformity is being shown by Jenny? Jenny has been to see a horror film with five of her new friends from college. After the film, the group are discussing how great it was. Jenny thought the film was pretty ordinary, but joins in in praising it with the rest of the group.What type of conformity is being shown by Jenny?Why is it this type of conformity?What would need to change for this example to be another type of conformity?
6 Social Psychology Research into Conformity – Majority Influence JennesSheriffASCH
7 Research into Conformity Jeness (1932) ‘Jellybean’ studySherif (1935)‘Autokinetic effect’Both use AMBIGUOUS situations where people are unsure about the correct way to behavePPTS look to others for guidance. They accept other peoples behaviour as correct and conform by changing behaviour and underlying views.What type of conformity?
8 Evaluation of Jeness and Sherif … Generic points…+ Lab experiments… High Internal Validity … APPLY…- Lab experiments… Low ecological validity … artificial conditions so … APPLY ALSO…there was no “correct” answer in these situations. It is not very surprising that individuals rely on the judgment of others when they have no clear way of deciding what judgments to make. Soo we can’t generalise these findings to all social situations or be sure people conform in the same way then there is an obvious answer.This takes us onto Asch’s research….
9 KEY STUDY!! ASCH (1951) Asch (1951) Aim was to see if participants conformed even if the correct answer was obvious and the task was simple (so investigating compliance)Methods:Sample of 123 male participants were asked to take part in a ‘task of visual perception’Participants were placed in groups of between 7 & 9 and seated round a large table.The experimenter showed them two cards, one of a standard line and the other of a comparison line. Participants had to call out which line, 1, 2, or 3 matched the comparison line.However, Asch used confederates who were told to give the wrong answer in 12/18 trials (critical trials).The real participant was seated second to last around the table so they were exposed to the same wrong answer repeatedly before giving their own view.
10 What REASONS were given by the PPTS to explain their conformity? Key findings – Asch (1951)Conformity rates in the control group (no social influence, PPTS tested individually) was 0.7%Overall conformity (number of trials where the real ppts gave the same wrong answer as the confederates) =37%% of ppts who conformed on EVERY TRIAL =5%How many ppts did not conform at all?25%EXTRA RESULTSNumber of participants who conformed at least once was 75%CONCLUSIONS - People will conform to the majority, even if they privately disagree with the behaviour and know their answers are incorrect. This demonstrates the type of conformity known as ...What REASONS were given by the PPTS to explain their conformity?
11 Evaluation of Asch’s research Well controlled lab experimentEliminate extraneous variablesEasy to repeat procedureEstablish cause and effectThus high reliability AND high internal validitySample issuesOnly used male students – androcentric – can’t generalise conformity to the the general population. Limits overall validityArtificial Environment and Procedureparticipants may have been acting unnaturally – lacks ecological validity – can’t generalise conformity to real lifeEthical IssuesParticipants were DECIEVEDMay suffer PSYCHOLOGICAL HARM – why? Expand further and APPLY
12 Extension evaluation points A final weakness is that Asch’s results and conclusions may be ERA SPECIFIC and CULTURE BOUND….Arguably, Asch’s conclusions reflect the cultural norms of 1950s America (where conformity was often expected and nurtured). The time and place when the research was carried out might have affected the findings. In the 1950s the USA was very conservative, involved in an anticommunist witch-hunt against anyone who was thought to hold left-wing views (this became known as ‘McCarthyism’, named after the senator who spearheaded the witch-hunt) and its educational institutions were more hierarchal than they are today.These results and conclusions may not therefore apply to people in contemporary society or to people from cultures with different norms (i.e. individualistic cultures which value independence over collectivist conformity).
13 Factors which affect conformity Asch’s VARIATIONS Difficulty of the taskTask was made more difficult by using lines closer in lengthConformity increased! If there is no clear indication of how to behave, we will look to others for guidance and conformANONYMITYParticipants wrote down their answers rather than saying them out loud.Conformity dropped! Conformity is more likely if the group are physically present and if the a persons behaviour is going to be seen by othersSocial SupportPPT had a one confederate who agreed with their answersConformity dropped to 5%! We ‘trust’ our own views more if other people agree with usCULTURE and ContextPPts were young offenders, confederates were their probation officersConformity INCREASEDAlso a Replication was conducted with participants from INDIVIDUALISTIC culturesConformity dropped to 25%! Suggests social norms influence conformity and in cultures where individual achievements are valued and socialised, conformity is less likely
14 Asch Variations INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES Group SIZE – small group Real Participants were ‘intellectually less effective’ (e.g. they had a low IQ), had low self esteem, low self confidence and poor social skills. (Crutchfield, 1955)Conformity increased!Certain characteristics are associated with conformity - low S.E; low I.Q; feelings of inferiority and insecurity; need for social approval. People with these characteristics do not trust their own judgements and therefore look to others for guidance of how to behaveGroup SIZE – small groupONE confederateConformity dropped to 3%Group Size – Large GroupMajority of 15Conformity actually DROPPED slightly – why?Conclusions – pressures to conform increases as majority group size increases. However, the maximum influence is achieved with a group majority of 3-5 people
15 Social Psychology Research into Conformity – Minority Influence Moscovici n.b. This Study is most important when thinking about SOCIAL CHANGE
16 Moscovici et al 1969 Minority Influence and Internalisation Coloured Slides StudyGroups of 6 people were brought together4 real (naïve) participants and 2 confederatesThey were shown a series of 36 slides of different shades of blue and asked to name aloud the colour of the slide.Condition 1: The confederates called all 36 slides greenCondition 2 (Inconsistent): The confederates called 24/36 slides green.Condition 1 – Consistent Condition – 8% of real participants moved to the minority position.Condition 2 – Inconsistent Condition – 1.25% of real participants moved to the minority position.This study strongly suggests that minorities should be consistent in order to exert an influence.
17 Evaluation of Moscovici (1969) Moscovici’s findings have been SUPPORTED BY OTHER RESEARCHE.g. Meta analysis of 97 studies of minority influence conducted by WOOD et al concluded that minorities do exert influence if consistentMoscovici used a CONTROLLED LAB EXPERIMENTElimination of any extraneous variables, allowing cause and effect to be established, thus having high internal validity.Moscovici’s procedure has been criticised for being TOO ARTIFICIALParticipants may have been acting unnaturally and so it lacks ecological validity. Difficult to generalise findings of conforming to minority influence to everyday life.
18 Explanations of Conformity (1) THE DUAL – PROCESS DEPENDENCY MODELDEUTSCH and GERARD (1955) proposed that there are two reasons why people conformWe conform because of NORMATIVE social InfluenceWe conform because of INFORMATIONAL social influence
19 Dual Process Dependency Model NORMATIVESocial InfluenceINFORMATIONALSocial InfluenceConformity based on a desire to be liked accepted as part of a groupConformity based on a desire to be rightBECAUSE being in a group is rewarding (how?) and a group has the power to punish and exclude those who do not conformBECAUSE In an ambiguous situation we look to others for guidance about how to behave (social comparison) and copy their actions because we believe they know more than us!ISI – especially if the people are experts!This will lead to INTERNALISATION...This often leads to COMPLIANCE...This was demonstrated in the research by JENNESS and SHERIFThis was demonstrated in research by ASCH because...
20 Complete the summary tables in your workbooks – use the help boxes on this slide if you need to NORMATIVE social influenceWe have a need to be accepted and belong to a group because we know that groups can reward and punish us (e.g. by...)Compliance – which is when...SHERIF and JENNES – both found that in an ambiguous situation, participants look to others for guidance (e.g. When asked the number of jellybeans in a jar). They conformed their behaviour and changed their underlying views to match that of the group because of a need to be correct (they did not want stand out by giving an incorrect answer).ASCH – he found that participants conformed by giving an obviously incorrect answer just to fit in with the group and not stand out. They did not change their private views that their answer was incorrectInternalisation – which is when...We have a need to be correct. We conform because, in an ambiguous situation, we look to others for guidance and accept their behaviour as correct (This is especially likely if the people we are looking to are...)INFORMATIONAL social influenceDeutsch and Gerard, 1955
21 Evaluation of Normative and Informational influence There is EVIDENCE of normative and informational influenceAschEvidence of NORMATIVE social influenceSherif; Jenness; MoscoviciEvidence of INFORMATIONAL social influenceBut there are problems with this research related to their artificialityAlso, the dual process model ignores the role of individual differencesPeople with certain personality traits are more likely to conform, particularly those with a LOW IQ and LOW SELF ESTEEMREDUCTIONISTIn addition, the dual process model cannot explain why people still show conforming behaviour when the group is not presentTo explain this, consider SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORYHowever, the dual process model can help us explain a variety of difficult to understand aspects
22 Extension!EXTENSION - Read about SOCIAL IDENTITY explanations of conformity on p198&199Summarise the explanation in no more than 100 words (about a paragraph), Including reference to...Self categorisationThe emotional ties of belonging to a groupReferent influenceMeta contrast principleAt least one piece of research (very brief summary of procedure and conclusion)
23 Recap Questions Name the two different types of conformity What is the difference between normative social influence and informational social influence?Identify one researcher who studied informational social influenceWhat % of Asch’s PPTS conformed on all critical trials?Give one criticism of research into conformityIdentify TWO features of a ‘conforming personality’
24 Obedience – definition What is obedience?- “Complying with the orders or demands of another person, normally a figure of authority.”Obedience versus ConformityYou could be asked to compare Obedience and ConformityObedience and Conformity are very different. The only real similarity is that they both involve social pressure which leads to a change in behaviour.Motivation - People behave like this because of a desire to fit in with the group and to be liked and accepted (compliance) or because of a desire to be correct (internalisation)Motivation - People produce this behaviour because they are fearful of punishment or because they have belief in the person giving ordersInvolves people of different social standings and occurs in a social hierarchyNormally Involves people of similar status (e.g. peers)No personal responsibilityPeople do not see themselves as responsible for this behaviour. Instead the responsibility lies with the authority figure.Personal ResponsibilityDuring this behaviour, people see themselves as responsible for their actions
25 Key Research!!!!!! Stanley Milgram (1965) Interested in destructive obedienceInitially aimed to test his ‘Germans are different’ hypothesisVery controversial research!
26 KEY STUDY!! Milgram (1965)Milgram (1965)Milgram wanted to set up a situation in which single individuals were ordered to act against a stranger in an inhumane way and to see at what point they would refuse to obey an order.He advertised for male volunteers offering $4.50 as payment for taking part in a ‘memory and learning’ task.Methods:Stanley Milgram (1974) advertised in a local paper for men to take part in an experiment concerning memory and learning, to be conducted at the prestigious Yale University in America. 40 men, aged between 20 and 50 volunteered. They were paid $4.50 simply for turning up; payment did not depend on staying the study.When participants arrived they were told that there would be two participants, a “learner” and a “teacher”. The experimenter drew lots to see which participant would take which part. At this point you should know that this experiment was “single blind”. The participant was not told the true details of the research. The truth was that the other participant was in fact a confederate of the experimenter, and the “experimenter” was also a confederate. The true participant always ended up being given the role of the “teacher”.The “teacher” was told to give electric shocks to the “learner” every time the wrong answer was given, and the shock intensity was increased each time. In fact, the apparatus was arranged so that the learner never actually received any shocks, but the teacher did not realise this.At 180 volts, the learner yelled “I can’t stand the pain”, and by 270 volts the response had become an agonised scream. The maximum intensity of shock was 450 volts. If the teacher was unwilling to give shocks, the experimenter urged him to continue, saying such things as “it is absolutely essential that you should continue.”
27 Key findings – Milgram (1965) Participants who went to 300V on the shock generator =100%% of ppts who administered maximum shock of 450V=65%% of participants who demonstrated disobedience?35%EXTRA RESULTSNumber of participants Psychiatrists predicted would continue to 240V before the study 2.6%Participants shook, sweated and stuttered, with 14 out of 40 showing nervous laughing fitsMany of the participants repeatedly argued with the experimenter but continued to obeyCONCLUSIONS - People will act in an inhumane way towards another in order to obey commands of an authority figure.
28 Evaluation of MilgramMilgram’s study was conducted under well controlled lab conditionsSo, has high levels of internal validityHowever, there are also Issues with VALIDITYInternal validity IS questionable …Lacks external validityLacks population validityHis study suffers from a number of Ethical IssuesFor example…What JUSTIFICATIONS were given by the Milgram to argue against the criticisms his research faced?
29 Milgram’s Variations Original obedience rate = Full shocks ____ Vocal Feedback62.5%Two Teachers95%Shift of Setting45%Close proximity40%Touch Proximity30%Absent experimenter22%Social Support10%Female PPs65%
30 Real Life Obedience Research Recall, a key weakness with Milgram’s study is that it lacks ecological validity and mundane realismWhat do these terms mean?Field experiments have been conducted in an attempt to overcome these criticismsHOFLING (1966) ‘Obedience of Nurses’BICKMAN (1974) ‘Obedience in New York’
31 Field Experiments into Obedience Hofling et al (1966) – Obedience of NursesLooked at Nurses’ responses to a ‘bogus’ doctorExperimenter phone 22 nurses working along on wards and introduced himself as ‘Dr Smith’ – there was no real Dr Smith working at the hospital.Nurses were instructed to administer 20mg of a drug called ‘Astroten’ to a patient on the ward.They broke a number of rules:Nurses should not take orders over the phoneNurses should not take orders from an unknown doctorThe dosage was twice the max dosage on the bottleThe drug (fictional) was not on the ward listResults:21/22 nurses were prepared to obey and went to collect the drug and administer it to the patient.They were stopped on the way and debriefed.Bickman (1974) – Obedience in New York (the power of a uniformAsked passers-by in New York to carry out an unusual order:1. to pick up rubbish,2. Stand other side of a bus-stop sign3. Lend money to a strangerCondition 1: experimenter wore a security guard’s uniformCondition 2: experimenter wore regular street clothesBickman measured the number who obeyed the request (the DV) in each conditionResults:Condition Condition % %Bickman found that participants were most likely to obey the experimenter dressed as a guard than the milkman or civilian. This supports one of the variations of Milgram’s findings, that obedience can be related to the amount of perceived authority.
32 Evaluation of Bickman & Hofling High Ecological ValidityBecause these studies were F…… E….. We can generalise the obedience findings to real life and be sure that…However, Hofling can be criticised for having low mundane realism:The use of the drug ‘Astroten’. This drug was fictional and it was unlikely that experience nurses would come across a drug they had not heard of.The nurses were phoned when they were alone on the ward. Again, this would be unlikely to happen. In a real situation, nurses would be working with at least one other colleague and would be able to discuss an order with their workmatesRANK & JACOBSON replicated Hoflings research MORE REALISTICALLY and found under these conditions, those prepared to obey fell to 1/18. These findings imply there is a need to be cautious when interpreting the results of Hofling’s original research.Real life studies can be criticised on Ethical Grounds ….Informed Consent?Deception?Psychological Harm?
33 Explanations of why do people obey We consider two broad explanationsSituational Explanations (e.g. Agency theory)We obey due to the presence of certain environmental aspect which cause a change in our psychological stateDispositional Explanations (e.g. Authoritarian Personality theory)We obey due to internal factors (individual characteristics like personality)
34 EXPLANATIONS of Obedience SITUATIONAL explanations - AGENCY THEORY.We are obedient when we experience an AGENTIC SHIFT because of the presence of certain situational factors. These are...Presence of a L__________ A_______________who...Momentum of compliance (also known as...)Close proximity of the authority figureAll of the above factors can be seen in Milgram’s classic study OR his variation so USE THIS TO SUPPORT YOUR POINTS!!!!EvaluationEvidence (Milgram + Variations, Hofling, Bickman); Problems with evidence;Incomplete – some people do not obey when these factors are present;Ignores the role of individual differences – personality may influence obedience (see next slide)Too Deterministic
35 Dispositional Explanations of Obedience These explanations focus on...These explanations may explain why, in the same situation, some people obey while others do notAuthoritarian Personality theory (Adorno)Suggests that people with high levels of authoritarianism are more likely to be obedient to authority figuresCharacteristics of an Authoritarian personality include...Extreme Respect of authority figures and a submissive attitude towards authority figuresRacial in-group favouritism and General Hostility towards other groups (often towards minority groups)Intolerance of ambiguityRigid Beliefs in Conventional (traditional) ValuesEvaluationResearch evidenceMilgram and Elms - Milgram’s PPTS given questionnaires; those who obeyed were found to have high levels of authoritarianismUse of questionnaires to assess authoritarianism is a problem. Why?Incomplete/Reductionist – some people who obey do not have authoritarian personalities. Some people who do not obey sometimes have AP. This shows Situational factors must also be taken into accountDeterministic theory
36 Other Factors which affect obedience Legitimacy of the settingProximity of the authority figureSocial support (disobedient peer)Proximity of teacher to learnerUse Milgram’s variations to support / highlight the role of these factors
37 Independent Behaviour - Definition Independent behaviour is defined as...We have seen independent behaviour in the research we have already considered...25% of participants DID NOT CONFORM in Asch’s study35% of participants DID NOT OBEY all commands in Milgram’s study“behaviour whereby an individual resists social pressures to conform or obey”25% 35% 1
38 Types of Independent behaviour Basic types of independent behaviour are Non conformity and DisobedienceIn more detail...Anti (counter) Conformity is when a person behaves in the direct opposite way compared to a group.Reactance is when people behave in direct opposition to the orders givenWe will consider the role of SITUATIONAL factors and INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES in independent behaviourAnti conformity & Reactance not really independent behaviour as the behaviour is still influenced and dictated by the group/AF
39 Situational Factors which lead to non-conformity If the majority are STRANGERS or if they are seen as the ‘OUTGROUP’If a person has SOCIAL SUPPORTIf the MINORITY are INCONSISTENT in their behaviourSituational Factors which lead to disobedienceIf the environment or authority figure appear to be NON-LEGITIMATEIf the person has SOCIAL SUPPORT (a disobedient peer)And...Evidence to support all of these can be found in the previous research (e.g Milgram+variations, Asch+variations, Bickman)EVALUATIONEvidence (see above); Problems with Evidence; Incomplete (even when these situational factors are present, some people still obey/conform); Fails to take into account individual differences (dispositional/personality) factors
40 Independent Behaviour Explanations – The influence of INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES / PERSONALITY i.e DISPOSITONAL FACTORSPersonality factors which increase the likelihood of independent behaviour...High Self EsteemHigh IQHigh levels of social responsibilitySex (males more likely to behave independently)And an INTERNAL LOCUS OF CONTROLROTTER argues that a persons LOCUS OF CONTROL (LOC) will influence their likelihood of independent behaviourHigh INTERNAL LOCA person believes that their behaviour and events In their life are caused by......their own decisions and effortsHigh EXTERNALA person believes that their behaviour and events in their life are caused by......external factors that are out of their control, such as...
41 Internal or External LOC? Are these an indication of an INTERNAL or EXTERNAL LOC?Peter is being bullied at school. He says it must be because he is a ‘geek’Gail gets a promotion at work but she tells her friends that it only happened because her boss was in ‘a good mood’Steve misses a penalty in a cup final. When he is interviewed after the match he said the crowd were “putting him off”Geoff starts a fight with another man because he was ‘looking at him funny’Helen fails her driving test. When asked why she says she blames herself for not getting enough practiceKen failed his Unit 1 psychology exam but knows that if he revises more he will get a good grade in his resitAVTGIS (1998) concluded that people who scored highly on measures of INTERNAL Locus of Control were significantly more likely to behave independently and resist pressures to c________ and o________.This suggests that there are genuinely higher rates of conformity in ‘externals’ than ‘internals’
42 Evaluation of LOC Strengths Weaknesses Range of Supporting Evidence ELMS & MILGRAM (1974) interviewed ppts from Milgram’s original obedience study. They found that people who disobeyed and behaved independently had a HIGH INTERNAL LOCWeaknessesProblems with measurementResearch is purely correlation. What is the problem with this?There are other dispositional factors which lead to independent behaviourVery Deterministic and Incomplete Theory
43 Social Change What is Social Change? Examples of Social Change include:Rosa Parks – abolishment of apartheidEmily Pankhurst – Suffragette MovementHitler – HolocaustSocial Change occurs when a society as a whole adopts a new belief or way of behaving which then becomes widely accepted as the ‘norm’
44 The Role of Minority Influence in Social Change A minority CHALLENGES dominant social viewsThe minority must be CONSISTENT in their behaviour – other people start to take noteAt this point, some people conform because they agree with the minority views and see them as correct (I_______ social influence leading to I________)As the minority group grows, some people will join to simply fit in and because of a fear of being excluded (N____________ leading to C________)SNOWBALL effect and SOCIAL CRYPTO-AMNESIA may occurRESEARCH SUPPORT – MOSCOVICI!!!!!!
45 Implications of Obedience research for social change Obedience research and theories can also help us understand social changeFor an authority figure to bring about social change through obedience, Milgram’s research has shown us that they firstly need to appear LEGITIMATE. This can be achieved through the ways they dress, the way they talk, as well as their actions.Milgram also demonstrated that obedience is likely if there is a gradual commitment or a mementom of change. Because of this, social change can be achieved if an authority figure starts their orders SMALL and GRADUALLY builds them up.E.g. Hitler – when up for election and when he first came into Power he wouldn’t have suggested the Holocaust or he would have never got the vote….In some examples of obedience leading to social change, the social change is made more likely by creating ‘buffers’ be that physical or psychological.When social change is brought about through obedience (i.e. by dictators) the social change is often motivated by fear, for example what will happen if a person does not change and obey. E.g. German soldiers obeyed Hitler and helped bring about social change through fear of death!
46 Key Studies Jenness/Sherif ASCH + Variations MILGRAM + Variations AVTGISExamples of social change – Rosa Parks & ...Also...Be aware of the difference between...“TYPES”“EXPLANATIONS”“FACTORS WHICH AFFECT”...
Your consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.