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15 Cards in this Set

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Hofling (1966)
Hofling (1966)
Hofling (1966) conducted a field experiment on obedience in the nurse-physician relationship. In the natural hospital setting, nurses were ordered by unknown doctors to administer what could have been a dangerous dose of a (fictional) drug to their patients. In spite of official guidelines forbidding administration in such circumstances, Hofling found that 21 out of the 22 nurses would have given the patient an overdose of medicine.
Sherif (1935)
Sherif (1935)
Sherif (1935) used a lab experiment to study conformity. He used the autokinetic effect – a small still spot of light in a darkened room will appear to move.
Sherif found that when participants were individually tested their estimates on how far the light moved varied (20cm to 80cm). The participants were then tested in groups of three – putting together two people whose estimate of the light movement when alone was very similar, and one person whose estimate was very different. Each person in the group had to say aloud how far they thought the light had moved.
Sherif found that over numerous estimates (trials) of the movement of light, the group converged to a common estimate. This showed that people would always try to come to an agreement rather than make individual judgments. The results show that when in an ambiguous situation, a person will look to others (who know more/better) for guidance (i.e. adopt the group norm).
Martin & Hewstone (1996)
Martin & Hewstone (1996)
Martin & Hewstone (1996) reported that minority influence led to more creative and novel judgements than majority influence, supporting the idea that minority influence is a force for innovation and social change.
Milgram (1963)
Milgram (1963)
Milgram (1963) conducted an experiment where a volunteer sample of 40 males aged 20–50 years was obtained to take part in a supposed study of memory and learning at Yale University. Participants were tested individually, with a rigged draw ensuring that the participant was always the ‘teacher’ and a confederate (fake) participant the ‘learner’. A confederate ‘experimenter’ wearing a laboratory coat was seemingly in charge.The learner was strapped into a chair in an adjoining room and the teacher instructed to give an electric ‘shock’ to the learner each time a question was answered incorrectly. The ‘shocks’ were actually fake but the teacher was given a real 45-volt shock to convince him they were real. The learner was initially agreeable and the fake shocks went up in 15-volt increments from 0 to 450 volts. Any time the teacher considered not continuing the experimenter used verbal prods, such as ‘you have no choice, you must go on’, to command the teacher to carry on.
Avtgis (1998)
Avtgis (1998)
Avtgis (1998) conducted a meta-analysis of locus of control and conformity studies, finding that those with high external LOC were more persuadable and prone to conformity, which implies that differences in LOC are related to differences in levels of conformist behaviour.
Jones & Kavanagh (1996)
Jones & Kavanagh (1996)
Jones & Kavanagh (1996) found that individuals with low external locus of control were more able to resist obeying immoral authority figures. This suggests an explanation for corporate fraud, where lower-status workers with high external locus of control are more susceptible to obeying orders to perform illegal actions.
Moscovici et al. (1969)
Moscovici et al. (1969)
Moscovici et al. (1969) investigated the role of minority group influence by testing 32 groups of 6 female participants, of whom 2 in each group were confederates. Each group was shown 36 blue slides of different intensities, with participants stating the colours of the slides out aloud and in front of the rest of the group. Condition 1 — the 2 confederates consistently claimed all the slides were green. Condition 2 — the 2 confederates were inconsistent, claiming 12 slides were blue and 24 were green. Condition 3 — the 2 confederates claimed all the slides were green, but the real participants gave their answers privately
• Results — In condition one 8.42% of participants agreed with the minority, with 32% agreeing on at least one occasion, while in condition two only 1.2% of participants agreed with the minority. Interestingly in condition three there was greater private agreement with the minority than in public.
• Conclusions — minority groups can influence majority opinion.
Twenge et al. (2004)
Twenge et al. (2004)
Twenge et al. (2004) reported that Americans have developed higher levels of external locus of control due to higher incidences of suicide, divorce and mental illness. This implies that Americans are becoming less independent in their behaviour and thus less resistant to conformity and obedience.
Allen & Levine (1971)
Allen & Levine (1971)
Allen & Levine (1971) found conformity rates decreased on a task involving visual judgements, even if the dissenter wore glasses with thick lenses and confessed to having problems with vision, which indicates that conformity is reduced even if dissenters do not appear particularly skilled or competent. This again suggests it is the act of dissenting that is important, as it gives moral support to other people to dissent from the majority opinion.
Moghaddam (1998)
Moghaddam (1998)
Moghaddam (1998) found that the Japanese conform more than Americans and have higher levels of external locus of control, which suggests that cultural differences in conformity rates may be attributable to differences in LOC.
Shute (1975)
Shute (1975)
Shute (1975) exposed undergraduate students to peers expressing negative or positive views to drug-taking, finding that participants with an internal locus of control were more able to resist conforming to peers with pro-drug attitudes. This supports the view that having high internal LOC increases resistance to conformity.
Bond & Smith (1996)
Bond & Smith (1996)
Bond & Smith (1996) performed a meta-analysis of 134 Asch replications from 17 countries to compare conformity rates across different cultures. They also compared 97 replications performed in the USA at different times. A steady decline in conformity over time was found within the USA and independent cultures showed lower conformity rates than collectivist ones. This suggests that conformity reflects the degree of independence within a culture and that conformity rates reflect social change within a given culture over time.
Perrin & Spencer (1981)
Perrin & Spencer (1981)
Perrin & Spencer (1981) found only a 0.25% conformity rate using the Asch paradigm on British science students. This may be because science students are taught to question things. When the researchers repeated the study on institutionalised young offenders, a group who lacked independent thought, a conformity rate similar to Asch’s was found.
Asch (1955)
Asch (1955)
Asch (1955) investigated the extent to which individuals conform to an obviously wrong answer. One hundred and twenty-three male students were tested individually in groups of seven to nine confederates, the real participant answering last or second last. Participants had to select which of three stimulus lines matched a comparison line. On 12 out of 18 trials the confederates gave an identical incorrect answer. An overall conformity rate of 32% was found, with 75% of participants conforming at least once. 25% never conformed and 5% conformed on all 12 occasions. The findings suggest normative social influence occurs, involving public, but not private, acceptance of others’ opinions (compliance) in order to avoid ridicule/rejection.
Eagly & Carli (1981)
Eagly & Carli (1981)
Eagly & Carli (1981), like Jenness, found women to be more conformist, which suggests that men display more independent behaviour. However Eagly & Chrvala (1986) found that older women are more conformist than older men, but that younger women are no more conformist than younger men, which implies that factors other than gender, such as age, may be involved.