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Independent Behaviour. Resisting Conformity and Resisting Obedience. Independent Behaviour. In some cases, individuals can resist pressures to conform or obey and can maintain independent behaviour

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Independent behaviour

Independent Behaviour

Resisting Conformity and Resisting Obedience


Independent behaviour1
Independent Behaviour

In some cases, individualscanresist pressures to conform or obey and canmaintainindependentbehaviour

The role of personality has been studied and in particular a concept known as locus of control


Locus of control
Locus of Control

Locus of Control refers to a person’s perception of personal control over their own behaviour

It is measured along a dimension of ‘high internal’ to ‘high external’


Internal vs external
Internal Vs External

  • Amanda doesn’t bother applying for the position of Head Girl because she feels she is not popular enough to win.

  • Isobel checks her horoscope every day to see if she is going to have a good or a bad day.

  • Richard feels confident that he will get

    the job he applied for because he

    has good exam results and did

    well in the interview.


How does LOC affect conformity/obedience?

  • High internals are active seekers of information that is useful to them, so rely less on the opinions of others (unlike externals)

  • High internals are more achievement- oriented and so more likely to become leaders

  • High internals are better able to

    resist coercion from others


Resistance to conformity exposure to dissent
Resistance to Conformity: Exposure to Dissent

Imagine a society where everyone thinks the same…

What would happen if they were suddenly exposed to alternative ideas…?


Resistance to conformity nemeth 1986
Resistance to Conformity: Nemeth (1986)

Nemeth argues that if we are exposed to a different viewpoint, it is more likely to make us think about it, even if it is the view of a minority.

E.g. the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and women’s suffrage.


Resistance to conformity reactance theory
Resistance to Conformity: Reactance Theory

Reactance is where we change our views to a position opposite to that expected.

For example, a CD with an explicit content warning might sell more.

Bushman & Stack (1996) see such items as “forbidden fruit”.

They measured peoples levels of “reactance” (i.e. high or low) and showed them warning labels, finding that they tend to influence whether or not a high reactance person will watch a film etc. or not.


Resistance to conformity psychosocial identity
Resistance to Conformity: Psychosocial Identity

Mugny (1980) argues we are more likely to resist conformity if the minority group is one we identify with.

If we feel we share a “psychosocial identity” with them, it doesn’t matter that we are doing something socially unacceptable by going with the minority.


Resistance to conformity group unanimity
Resistance to Conformity: Group Unanimity

If the majority is not unanimous on their views then conformity is reduced.

Asch found with just one other member of the group giving the correct answer, the conformity of the participant went down to 5.5%.


Resistance to obedience personality
Resistance to Obedience:Personality

Instead of Milgram’ssituational explanation of obedience, we can take a dispositional explanation, which would argue that personalities differ and can influence levels of obedience.

Milgram (1974) identified the “authoritarian personality” as one more likely to obey as they are intolerant of others, like structure and are submissive to authority.


Resistance to obedience
Resistance to obedience

Page 201

In your notes use the subtitle “Techniques for increasing resistance to obedience”

Copy out the technique column and then write the explanation column in your own words.


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