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SOCIAL INFLUENCE Social change. So far in the topic. In the Social Influence topic so far we have looked at how an individual’s behaviour is influenced, in terms of conforming to the majority and obeying an authority figure.

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Social influence social change

SOCIAL INFLUENCESocial change


So far in the topic
So far in the topic...

In the Social Influence topic so far we have looked at how an individual’s behaviouris influenced, in terms of conforming to the majority and obeying an authority figure.

Social change is to do with how society’s behaviour (as a whole) can be influenced.


What is social change
What is social change?

When a whole society adopts a new belief or way of behaving which then becomes widely accepted as the norm.

This could be a positive or negative change.


The role of minority influence
The role of minority influence

Social change often occurs due to a persuasive minority.

What is ‘minorityinfluence?’

A form of social influence where people reject the established norm of the majority of the group members and move to the position of the minority (i.e. one person or a small group).


Real world examples
Real-world examples

Can anybody think of a real-life example of social changewhere one person or a small group have eventually converted the majority to their views or way of behaving?

  • Martin Luther King – Black Civil Rights Movement

  • Nelson Mandela/Rosa Parks – Apartheid – Racial segregation

  • The Green Movement (recycling)

  • Campaign against smoking

  • Adolf Hitler - Holocaust


Moscovici et al 1969 study on minority influence
Moscovici et al (1969)Study on minority influence

  • 6 PTs asked to say colour of 36 slides (all blue but differed in brightness).

  • 2/6 confederates.

    Two conditions:

  • Consistent: 2 confederates said green on all 36 trials.

  • Inconsistent: 2 confederates said green 24 times and blue 12 times.

    Consistent condition: PTs said green in 8.4% trials.

    Inconsistent condition: PTs said green in 1.3% trials.

    There were no green!!!

    Minority influential if consistent – key condition for social change.


Moscovici
Moscovici

  • If we went along with the majority all of the time, there would be no social change.

  • Minorities aim for CONVERSION: public and private attitude change (internalisation).

  • Use informational social influence to persuade the majority (plant seed of doubt).

  • Focus on issue, examine argument more closely and eventually convert the majority to the minorities view or behaviour.


Conditions necessary for minority to be influential
Conditions necessary for minority to be influential

A small minority can be influential and change the majority’s opinion if they adopt an appropriate style of behaviour.

  • Drawing attention to an issue

  • The role of conflict

  • Consistency

  • The augmentation principle


Drawing attention to an issue
Drawing attention to an issue

  • Being exposed to the views of a minority draws our attention to the issues they are addressing.

  • If their views are different to the ones that we (and the majority) currently hold, then this creates a conflict that we are motivated to reduce.


The role of conflict
The role of conflict

  • If views of minority are different to the views of majority, this creates a conflict.

  • Cannot simply dismiss the minority as ‘odd.’

  • Conflict remains, motivated to reduce this.

  • Examine minorities argument more closely and start thinking more deeply about the issues being challenged.


Consistency
Consistency

  • Minorities are more influential when they express their arguments consistently (over time and with each other).

  • They are taken more seriously.

  • Same position consistently = must believe it to be trueas views don’t change.

  • Wood et al (1994) – meta-analysis (97 studies), consistent minorities were particularly influential.

  • Support from Moscovici et al (1969) – slides.


The augmentation principle
The augmentation principle

  • If there are risks involved in putting forward a particular point of view (e.g. abuse from majority) then those who express those views are taken more seriously.

  • If members of minority willing to suffer for their views, the impact of their position on other group members is increased (‘augmented’).

  • Consequently more likely to be influential in bringing about social change.


Evaluation
Evaluation

Minority influence doesn’t necessarily lead to social change.

The tendency for people to go along with the crowd (public compliance) could explain why social change happens so slowly, particularly as it involves conversion (public and private change).

It could be argued that the influence of a minority is that it creates a potential for change, rather than actual change itself.


EXAM FOCUSGeneral questions on Social Change

January 2013: Explain howsocial influence research helps us to understand social change. (6 marks)

January 2012: How has social influence research helped our understanding of social change? (4 marks)

January 2010: Describe how social influence research has contributed to our understanding of social change. (6 marks)


Mark scheme general
Mark scheme: general

4-mark questions

1 mark = very brief and flawed explanation.

2 marks = basic explanation.

3 marks = reasonable explanation.

4 marks = effective explanation.

6-mark questions

1 mark = brief and flawed

2-3 marks = basic

4-5 marks = less detailed but generally accurate

6 marks = accurate and effective


Pair task
Pair task

Fill in the missing gaps for the exemplar answer to a 6-mark question on social change.


EXAM FOCUS

Scenario questions

June 2013: A small environmental group wants to encourage young people to use public transport or bicycles instead of using their cars. Using your knowledge of the role of minority influence in social change, what advice would you give to the environmental group? (6 marks)

January 2011: Using your knowledge of the psychology of social change, explain why recycling is now behaviour carried out by a majority of people in this country. (6 marks)

June 2010: Using your knowledge of the psychology of social change, explain how this social change has occurred (smoking ban in public places). (4 marks)


Social change scenarios
Social change scenarios

A02 – Analysis of unfamiliar situation and application of the psychology of social change

If you are given a scenario in the question, you must relate your answer to the scenario and use information from it to get the full 4 or 6 marks!!!

‘To access the top band, candidates must explicitly engage with the stimulus material.’


Mark scheme scenarios
Mark scheme: scenarios

4-mark questions

1 mark = very brief and flawed

2 marks = basic

3 marks = reasonable

4 marks = effective

6-mark questions

1 mark = brief and flawed

2-3 marks = basic

4-5 marks = less detailed but generally accurate

6 marks = accurate and effective


Pair task1
Pair task

In pairs, write a model answer for your scenario question.

  • Public transport/bicycles.

  • Recycling.

  • Smoking ban in public places.

    15 minutes, lined paper, all worth 6 marks.


Independent tasks revision of topic
Independent TasksRevision of topic

  • Match the experimenter to the correct study.

  • Read the statements on ‘locus of control’ and decide if they are true or false. Correct the mistakes.

  • Decide if each term/name belongs to ‘conformity’ or ‘obedience.’


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