Presentation on theme: "C82SAD Social Influence I: Obedience and Conformity"— Presentation transcript:
1 C82SAD Social Influence I: Obedience and Conformity
2 Power and InfluencePower is the capacity or ability to exert influence (Hogg & Vaughan, 2005)Raven’s (1965) Sources of Power:Reward powerCoercive powerInformational powerExpert powerLegitimate powerReferent power
3 Power and InfluenceNo real attempts to support reward and coercive power, assumed (Collins & Raven, 1969)Information can potentially have the power to influence but not all information, depends on a number of factors e.g. source authority (see persuasion)Good example: Bochner & Insko (1966) experiment on sleep using a Nobel prize-winner vs. YMCA instructorLegitimate power is based on obedience (see later)
4 Power and Influence Other models of power provided by Moscovici (1976) Power vs influencePower = control by domination that produces compliance and submissionInfluence = process of changing attitudes, persuasion is a form of influencePeople in power need not resort to ‘influence’; they have it alreadyPower is also a social ‘role’, people take on the role of ‘leader’ and can influence group members
5 Power and InfluenceStanford prison experiment (Haney, Banks, & Zimbardo, 1973)UG students volunteered to participate in the study 2-week studyRandomly assigned to roles of prisoners and guardsGuards given power over prisoners – control of resources, mete out rewards and punishment
6 Power and InfluenceEntire basement of Stanford University Psychology Department used to setup a ‘mock’ prisonPrisoners were ‘arrested’ at their residences, made to wear prison issue uniforms (‘dresses’), placed in cells, limited freedom to exercise, interactGuards observed to resort to tyranny and anti-social behaviours to keep prisoners in line
7 Power and InfluenceBrutality of the ‘guards’ and suffering of the prisoners resulted in the experiment being abandoned after only 6 daysSuggestion that guards were depersonalised in the group and their ‘role’ losing their individualityTherefore ‘tyranny’ was ‘embedded’ in the psychology of powerful groups – group of people in ‘social roles’ create ‘group norms’ and comply with themGroup norms = acceptable beliefs and behaviours in a group
8 Criticisms of The Stanford Prison Experiment 1. Findings not been fully reported in scientific publications, can only be evaluated through limited footage and website material2. Evidence of resistance by the prisoners and some of the majority of the guards did not act tyrannically has largely been ignored3. Claims that guard tyranny was a spontaneous product of the role and the norms were overstated, Zimbardo’s leadership may have been influential“Guard aggression was emitted simply as a consequence of being in the uniform of a guard and asserting the power inherent in that role” (Haney et al., 1973, p. 62)
9 Criticisms of The Stanford Prison Experiment It seems that Zimbardo’s briefing of the guards gave them some license to behave tyrannically:“You can create in the Prisoners feelings of boredom, as sense of fear to some degree, you can create a notion of arbitrariness that their life is totally controlled by us, by the system, you, me and they’ll have no privacy…They have no freedom of action they can do nothing, say nothing that we don’t permit. We’re going to take away their individuality in various ways. In general what this all leads to is a sense of powerlessness” (Zimbardo, 1989)
10 Psychology of Tyranny: ‘The Experiment’ Do all powerful groups resort to tyranny (as the Stanford Prison experiment suggests)?Haslam and Reicher (2003) conducted an additional experiment to study whether Zimbardo’s findings could be replicatedGave minimal instructions to participants about ‘roles’ of ‘guard’ and ‘prisoner’
11 Psychology of Tyranny: ‘The Experiment’ Set of ‘rules’ including non-violenceControl and power over resources, punishment given to ‘guards’ – would they be prepared to use them?Careful control over experiment at all times – ethical considerations
12 Psychology of Tyranny: ‘The Experiment’ Findings of the experiment:Power can be exerted through clear and consistent dissent and group ‘impermeability’Interpretation of roles and internalisation of group norms important (‘prisoners’ initially more consistent and cohesive than ‘guards’)Guard ‘control’ initially satisfactory through use of ‘promotion’Cohesive ‘prisoner’ group exploit the inconsistent, uncohesive ‘guard’ group to exert power
13 Social Influence Processes Obedience and ComplianceMilgram (1963): Classic but controversial study of compliance under duress from an ‘expert’ experimenterNear lethal electric shocks applied to ‘stooge’ connected to apparatus in mock learning study.Milgram (1974) explained that subjects felt under pressure but did not believe that the experimenter would allow harm to come to ‘stooge’.‘Nothing is bleaker than the sight of a person striving yet not fully able to control his own behaviour in a situation of consequence to him’ (Milgram, 1974, pp. xiii) .
14 Milgram’s studies Sample to participants at 45 Volts 75V: Ugh! 150V: Get me out of here! My heart’s starting to bother me! I refuse to go on! Let me out!180V: I can’t stand the pain!220V: Let me out! Let me out!270V: Agonised screams300V: Refuse to answer and agonised screams315V: Intensely agonised screams345V on: SilenceThroughout: if the participant was hesitating, the experimenter told him/her to go on.
15 What would you predict?% Subjects AdministeringShock to Confederate
16 Social Influence Processes Obedience and ComplianceMilgram’s study replicated in both male and female groupsReplicated in many countries:Spain and Holland = 90% compliance rate (Meeus & Raaijmakers, 1986)Italy, Germany, Austria = 80% (Mantell, 1971)Australian men = 40%, Australian women = 16% (Kilham & Mann, 1974)
17 Social Influence Processes Obedience and Compliance: ExplanationsOne explanation is that people have committed themselves to an action that was difficult to overturnImmediacy is an influential factor – how close a person is to the ‘learner’:Unseen and unheard: 100% compliancePounding on the wall: 62.5%Visible during experiment: 40%Holding hand to electrode: 30%!
18 Social Influence Processes Obedience and Compliance: ExplanationsCultural norms also influentialSmith and Bond (1998) recognised a significant cultural variation in conformityCollectivist cultural norms places more importance on the group, interdependent view of the self (e.g., Asia, Africa)Individualist norms are oriented about the individual, independent view of the self (e.g., North America, Western Europe)Bond and Smith’s (1996) meta-analysis of 133 studies using Asch’s paradigm found that conformity was significantly higher in collectivist cultures.
19 Social Influence Processes Obedience and Compliance: ExplanationsLegitimacy of power: Yale University, lab coated experimenter, Milgram saw a reduction when the experiment was conducted in ‘industrial setting’Experiments had implications for people’s obedience without considering:What is being askedConsequences for othersCould this experiment be done today?
20 Social Influence Processes Obedience and Compliance: ExplanationsRecent studies using the ‘Milgram paradigm’ use perceptions of ‘teacher’Experimental participant views scenes (vignettes) of the Milgram experiment on a video (actually played by actors)Known as ‘person-perception vignette methodology’Perceptions of teacher behaviours is the dependent variableLevy and Collins (1989) and Collins and Brief (1995) ratings of teacher behaviours during Milgram paradigmPolite, violent, and control dissenters to the experiment
21 Social Influence Processes Other classic studies on compliance and normative influenceSherif (1935): Individual vs. group condition in ‘moving light’ or ‘autokinetic’ experiment. In group conditions there was a tendency for estimates to converge and individual re-tests suggested internalization of the group normAsch (1952): Line comparison experiment, conflicting perceptual information and social pressure
22 Social Influence Processes Sherif (1935): Condition (a) starting alone then group situationInches of estimatedmovement
23 Social Influence Processes Sherif (1935): Condition (b) starting alone then group situationInches of estimatedmovement
24 Social Influence Processes How groups change the way we behaveAsch (1952): Classic experiment examining normative influence effects.Estimation of line lengths by individual in group comprised of experimenter’s confederates
25 Social Influence Processes How groups change the way we behaveResults: 37% gave erroneous errors compared to 0.7% in control group. Powerful effects of conformity but dependent upon a number of factors:The ambiguity of the taskThe group structure (one or more ‘deviants’)Individual differencesCultural expectations of conformity
26 Theories of Social Influence Social influence is affected by NORMATIVE influence e.g. Asch’s (1952) experimentsNORMATIVE influence is conforming to the positive expectations of others = behavioural compliance in group contextsINFORMATIONAL influence refers to the adoption of objective/external sources of information (Deutch & Gerrard, 1955)
28 Theories of Social Influence Effects Normative and Informational Influence on Group BehaviourTurner et al. (1987) suggested that ‘self-stereotyping’ occurs for individual group members using informational and normative influences in tandem
29 Group PolarizationPolarization refers to the enhancement of the dominant group perception or opinion after discussion/negotiation (Moscovici & Zavalloni, 1969)People become more polarized from initial starting position e.g. Myers and Bishop (1970) prejudice levels after a group discussion
30 Three Theoretical Explanations Group PolarizationThree Theoretical ExplanationsNormative influence: People maintain their beliefs in the socially desirable direction so as not to ‘stand out’Informational influence: (Isenberg, 1986) New information is made available and the shift is a function of the proportion of arguments in favour of one side, their clarity and novelty.Social Identity: (Turner et al., 1989) People construct a ‘group norm’ and then conform to that norm, results in a polarised ‘in-group’ norm. Processes of self-categorisation and deindividuation occur.
31 Minority vs. Majority Minority Influence Moscovici (1969) demonstrated that a minority can influence the majority perceptions if the minority were consistent and perceived as viable (couldn’t be explained away in terms of dogma, eccentric, weird)Mugny & Papastamou (1980) found that minority groups can be influential if their message is consistent yet flexible and open to reach compromises c.f. Film about jurors “12 Angry Men”
32 Experimental condition (Type of minority influence) Minority vs. MajorityMinority InfluenceConformity (% ‘green’ responses)Experimental condition(Type of minority influence)Moscovici et al. (1969)