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Social Psychology . Social Influence. Topics. Conformity Obedience Application to everyday behaviour. Conformity . Definition: A form of social influence in which one complies with the position of a group from exposure to that group. Examples?

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social psychology

Social Psychology

Social Influence

  • Conformity
  • Obedience
  • Application to everyday behaviour
  • Definition: A form of social influence in which one complies with the position of a group from exposure to that group.
  • Examples?
  • Tendency to adopt attitudes, values and behaviours of one of your reference group.
kelman 1958
Kelman 1958

Three types of Conformity: Compliance, Internalisation, and identification.

  • Compliance is social behaviour adopted because of the social researcher approval associated with it.
  • Internalisation- influence is accepted because it fits with personal value system.
  • Identification –The purpose of compliance is acceptance but are then internalises and accept what there doing as right
research supporting conformity asch 1956
Research supporting Conformity ASCH 1956
  • Aim: was to ask (p) to do a vision perception test.
  • Method: In any group there was one confederate. (P) asked to look at 3 straight lines then state and compare which was closet to the standard line.
  • (P) where asked to say the order of answers in which was closet to the standard line.
  • 123 UG where used and usually there answers came last or second to last.
  • Findings: 36.8% critical trials pp were incorrect.
  • 15.0% never conformed
why did the participants fail
Why did the participants fail?
  • Participants where interviewed.
  • Distortions of perception
  • Distortion of judgement (doubted their accuracy)
  • Distortion of action- Changed public behaviour but continued to trust their own judgement.
variations in asch s study
Variations in Asch’s Study

Difficulty of task!

As differences in line length became smaller conformity increased.

Lucas et al (2006) influence can be moderated by ‘self-efficacy’. PP who are confident in their own ability remain more independent. (situational & individual)

Size of majority

Asch found little pressure if ‘majority’ just 1 or 2 but once 3, conformity jumped to 30%. SIZE of majority is important but only to a certain point.

Unanimity of majority

Asch found that when the pp had support from one other (either pp or confederate) conformity fell from 32% -> 5.5 %

If they gave a wrong answer 32% -> 9.2 %

For Asch most important factor for reducing conformity was breaking group concessions

berns et al 2005 berns brains
Berns et al (2005)Berns Brains
  • Brain scans demonstrate that conformity is matched by activity in brain regions concerned with perception. ()
  • Independent judgement shows as activity in emotion centres (The limbic system)
  • Showing that other may actually lead to changes in our perception.
individual differences eagly carli 1981
Individual DifferencesEagly & Carli 1981
  • 145 Meta analysis investigations.
  • Found that Females generally complied more than Males.
  • Male researchers more likely to find gender differences possibly because of materials used.
  • Females conformed more as the were less confident – (not because they were more conformist)