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C82SAD: Obedience and Conformity Power and Influence Power is the capacity or ability to exert influence (Hogg & Vaughan, 2005) Ravens (1965) Sources of.

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Presentation on theme: "C82SAD: Obedience and Conformity Power and Influence Power is the capacity or ability to exert influence (Hogg & Vaughan, 2005) Ravens (1965) Sources of."— Presentation transcript:

1 C82SAD: Obedience and Conformity Power and Influence Power is the capacity or ability to exert influence (Hogg & Vaughan, 2005) Ravens (1965) Sources of Power: Reward power Coercive power Informational power Expert power Legitimate power Referent power

2 Power and Influence No 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 instructor Legitimate power is based on obedience (see later)

3 Power and Influence Other models of power provided by Moscovici (1976) Power vs influence Power = control by domination that produces compliance and submission Influence = process of changing attitudes, persuasion is a form of influence People in power need not resort to influence; they have it already Power is also a social role, people take on the role of leader and can influence group members

4 Power and Influence Stanford prison experiment (Haney, Banks, & Zimbardo, 1973) UG students volunteered to participate in the study 2-week study Randomly assigned to roles of prisoners and guards Guards given power over prisoners – control of resources, mete out rewards and punishment

5 Power and influence Entire basement of Stanford University Psychology Department used to setup a mock prison Prisoners were arrested at their residences, made to wear prison issue uniforms (dresses), placed in cells, limited freedom to exercise, interact Guards observed to resort to tyranny and anti- social behaviours to keep prisoners in line

6 Suggestion that guards were depersonalised in the group and their role losing their individuality Therefore tyranny was embedded in the psychology of powerful groups – group of people in social roles create group norms and comply with them Group norms = acceptable beliefs and behaviours in a group Brutality of the guards and suffering of the prisoners resulted in the experiment being abandoned after only 6 days Power and influence

7 Criticisms of The Stanford Prison Experiment 1. Findings not been fully reported in scientific publications, can only be evaluated through limited footage and website material 2.Evidence of resistance by the prisoners and some of the majority of the guards did not act tyrannically has largely been ignored 3. Claims that guard tyranny was a spontaneous product of the role and the norms were overstated, Zimbardos 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)

8 It seems that Zimbardos 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 theyll have no privacy…They have no freedom of action they can do nothing, say nothing that we dont permit. Were going to take away their individuality in various ways. In general what this all leads to is a sense of powerlessness (Zimbardo, 1989) Criticisms of The Stanford Prison Experiment

9 Do all powerful groups resort to tyranny (as the Stanford Prison experiment suggests)? Haslam and Reicher (2003) conducted an additional experiment to study whether Zimbardos findings could be replicated Gave minimal instructions to participants about roles of guard and prisoner Set of rules including non-violence Control and power over resources, punishment given to guards – would they be prepared to use them? Careful control over experiment at all times – ethical considerations Psychology of Tyranny: The Experiment

10 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 Psychology of Tyranny: The Experiment

11 Milgram (1963): Classic but controversial study of compliance under duress from an expert experimenter Near 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). Obedience and Compliance Social influence processes

12 What would you predict? % Subjects Administering Shock to Confederate

13 Milgrams study replicated in both male and female groups Replicated 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) Obedience and Compliance Social influence processes

14 One explanation is that people have committed themselves to an action that was difficult to overturn Immediacy is an influential factor – how close a person is to the learner: Unseen and unheard: 100% compliance Pounding on the wall: 62.5% Visible during experiment: 40% Holding hand to electrode: 30%! Obedience and Compliance: Explanations Social influence processes

15 Cultural norms also influential Smith and Bond (1998) recognised a significant cultural variation in conformity Collectivist 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 Smiths (1996) meta-analysis of 133 studies using Aschs paradigm found that conformity was significantly higher in collectivist cultures. Obedience and Compliance: Explanations Social influence processes

16 Legitimacy of power: Yale University, lab coated experimenter, Milgram saw a reduction when the experiment was conducted in industrial setting Experiments had implications for peoples obedience without considering: What is being asked Consequences for others Could this experiment be done today? Obedience and Compliance: Explanations Social influence processes

17 Recent 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 variable Levy and Collins (1989) and Collins and Brief (1995) ratings of teacher behaviours during Milgram paradigm Polite, violent, and control dissenters to the experiment Obedience and Compliance: Explanations Social influence processes

18 Other classic studies on compliance and normative influence Sherif (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 norm Asch (1952): Line comparison experiment, conflicting perceptual information and social pressure Social influence processes

19 Sherif (1935): Condition (a) starting alone then group situation Social influence processes Inches of estimated movement

20 Sherif (1935): Condition (b) starting alone then group situation Social influence processes Inches of estimated movement

21 How groups change the way we behave Asch (1952): Classic experiment examining normative influence effects. Social influence processes Estimation of line lengths by individual in group comprised of experimenters confederates

22 How groups change the way we behave Results: 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 task –The group structure (one or more deviants) –Individual differences –Cultural expectations of conformity Social influence processes

23 Social influence is affected by NORMATIVE influence e.g. Aschs (1952) experiments NORMATIVE influence is conforming to the positive expectations of others = behavioural compliance in group contexts INFORMATIONAL influence refers to the adoption of objective/external sources of information (Deutch & Gerrard, 1955) Theories of Social Influence

24 Conformity and uncertainty/ perceived pressure Source: Deutsch & Gerard (1955)

25 Effects Normative and Informational Influence on Group Behaviour Turner et al. (1987) suggested that self- stereotyping occurs for individual group members using informational and normative influences in tandem Theories of Social Influence

26 Polarization 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 Group Polarization

27 Three Theoretical Explanations Normative 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. Group Polarization

28 Minority Influence Moscovici (1969) demonstrated that a minority can influence the majority perceptions if the minority were consistent and perceived as viable (couldnt 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 Minority vs. Majority

29 Minority Influence Minority vs. Majority Conformity (% green responses) Experimental condition (Type of minority influence) Moscovici et al. (1969)

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