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73 Cards in this Set

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What is conformity?

- A change in a person's behaviour/opinions due to real/imagined social pressure

What are the types of conformity proposed by Herbert Kelman?

- Internalisation


- Identification


- Compliance

What is the internalisation type of conformity?

- Deep conformity/accept majority view as correct/permanent change in behaviour/opinion even when group is absent

What is the identification type of conformity?

- Moderate conformity/act like a group we value and want to be a part of/publicly change opinions/behaviour when privately disagree

What is the compliance type of conformity?

- Superficial/temporary conformity/go along with majority view/privately disagree/group pressure stops=change stops

What do Morton Deutsch and Harold Gerard propose as an explanation for conformity?

A two-process theory involving informational social influence (ISI) and normative social influence (NSI)

What is informational social influence (ISI)?

- Agree with majority=we believe they're correct/we desire to be correct too/leads to internalisation/likely in new/difficult situations

What is normative social influence (NSI)?

- Agree with majority to be accepted/desire to be liked [social approval]/leads to compliance

What are the evaluation points for the types and explanations of conformity?

S: Lucas=children answered aloud maths problems=conformity: difficult>easy


W: nAffiliators=not applicable to everyone=can't generalise


W: difficult to identify NSI/ISI=doubt two independet processes=less validity/reliability


S: Asch=participants said wrong answer=afraid of disapproval

What was the procedure for Asch's research into conformity?

- Participants shown 'standard line' and 3 'comparison lines'/correct answer obvious/participants asked to match the standard/group=naive participant+6-8 confederates/naive participant last/18 trials, 12 trials=confederates answered wrong

What were the findings for Asch's research into conformity?

- Naive participant=25% did not conform, 75% did/Asch effect=extent of conformity in trivial task/participant post-interview=conformed to avoid rejection (NSI)

What were Asch's variations in research into conformity?

- Group size


- Unanimity


- Task difficulty


- Private answers

How does group size affect the extent of conformity?

- 3 confederates=conformity up by 31.8%;more confederates=small difference


- small majority=no conformity;large majority=no need

How does unanimity affect the extent of conformity?

- Disagreeing confederate=reduced conformity (25% average)


- participant could behave more independently

How does task difficulty affect the extent of conformity?

- More similar line length=conformity increased


- Greater ISI effect when the task is harder

How do private answers affect the extent of conformity?

- Written answers=conformity down 2/3=less pressure=less NSI effect

What are the evaluation points of Asch's research into conformity?

W: Perrin/Spencer=recreated on UK engineering students [396 trials=one conformer]= Asch effect not consistent


W: trivial task=demand characteristics=lack validity/doesn't reflect everyday life


W: Only tested US men=women/collectivist cultures more conformist


S: replicated 1000s times=same findings=high reliability

What was the aim of Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment?

Whether people will conform to new social roles (situation=behaviour)

What was the procedure for the Stanford Prison Experiment?

- Participants=emotional stable male Stanford Uni psych students;randomly allocated role of prisoner/guard;unexpectedly arrested at home;deindividuation (referred to by number)/spent 23 hours a day locked in cells;prison guards=uniforms,sticks,mirrored glasses;meant to last 2 weeks

What were the results from the Stanford Prison Experiment?

- Stopped after 6 days;guards became brutal;day 2=prisoners rebelled,guards became harsher (harrassment);prisoners became depressed/anxious;one prisoner released=psychological disorder;one prisoner one hunger strike=force fed=shunned by prisoners;guards identified closely with their role;prisoners did as told

What was the conclusion drawn from the Stanford Prison Experiment?

- The situation caused participants to conform to social roles by changing their behaviour

What is deindividuation?

When you become so immersed in the norms of the group you lose your sense of identity/personal responsibility

What are the evaluation points of Zimbardo's research?

S: emotionally stable/random assign=rule out personality=internal validity=confidence


W: Banuazizi/Mohavedi=play-acting on stereotypes=lack of realism [Zimbardo=90% convos abt prison life]


W: Exaggerates situation/minimises personality


W: Reicher/Haslam=BBC replication=not same results

What are the ethical issues of Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment?

Informed consent: Participants volunteered/couldn't fully consent to everything


Deception: Informed their rights would be taken/were not told they would be arrested by surprise


Right to withdraw: Told they could leave/prison environment made it feel impossible (respond as superintendent)


Protection from harm: weren't protected from psychological harm [couldn't be predicted]

What is obedience?

- Form of social influence where a person follows a direct order from an authority figure who can punish disobedience

What was the aim of Stanley Milgram's research?

After the events of the Holohaust Milgram aimed to investigate whether the German's were more obedient

What was the procedure of Milgram's obedience study?

40 male participants (recruited=newspaper ad/flyers);participants between 20-50 from range of jobs;paid $4.50;in Yale Uni lab;fixed draw:confederate=learner/participant=teacher; experimenter=actor in lab coat;participants told they could leave at anytime;learner strapped to chair/wired with electrodes=shocked when wrong[not real];15-450 volts=learner no response after 315;4 prods for teacher unsure

What were the finding of Milgram's obedience study?

No participants stopped below 300 volts;12.5% stopped at 300 volts;65% continued to highest 450 volts;qualitative data:participants showed extreme tension (sweat, tremble etc.);Prior: 14 psych students predicted no more than 3% would go to 450 volts (findings unexpected);all participants debriefed, assured behaviour was normal;follow up questionnaire=84% glad to have participated

What are the evaluation points for Milgram's obedience study?

W: Didn't believe shocks=lack internal validity [Sheridan/King=real shocks=same behaviour]


S: Holfing=21/22 nurses obeyed doctor demands=external validity


S: Le Jeu de La Mort replicated=80% max 460 volts=similar behaviour=support


W: Only white male Americans (unrepresentative) [participant backgrounds mixed/replicated in other cultures]

What are the ethical issue with Milgram's obedience study?

Deception: Believed role allocation random/real shocks=could affect behaviour [necessary for internal/ecological validity;participants debriefed]


Protection from harm: Adequate proportions not taken;participants exposed to extreme distress [follow-up questionnaire=84% glad to take part]


Right to withdraw: Money/prods=no right to withdraw [made clear participants would still be paid if they didn't continue]

How does proximity affect the extent of obedience?

- teacher/learner in same room=obedience 65% to 40%


- touch proximity (teacher forced learners hand on electroshock plate) [30%]


- remote instruction (instructions by telephone) [20.5%]

How does the location affect the extent of obedience?

- Yale Uni to run down building=obedience 65% to 47.5%


- less professional=takes away legitimacy of authority

How does uniform affect the extent of obedience?

- experimenter replaced with ordinary member of public (confederate in everyday clothes);obedience down 20%


- ordinary clothes=no legitimacy of authority=less pressure to obey

What are the evaluation points of the situational variables of Milgram's research?

S: Bickman uniform NYC experiment=supports uniform authority


W: participants worked out procedure was fake=unclear if results are genuine


S: Obedience 90% Spanish students=not limited to US males


S: highly controlled/replicated 1000+ participants=accuracy up


What is the agentic state?

- A mental state where you feel no personal responsibility for behaviour because you're acting on behalf of an authority figure. Frees us from conscience and allows us to obey a destructive authority figure

What is the autonomous state?

- Opposite of agentic state/person is free to behave on their own principles so feels a sense of responsibility for their own actionsW

What is the agentic shift?

- Autonomy to 'agency'/Milgram=occurs when person sees another as a figure of authority (greater power=position in social hierarchy)

What are binding factors?

- Aspects of the situation which allow a person to ignore/minimise damaging effect of their behaviour (shifting responsibility to victim/denying the damage)

What is the legitimacy of authority?

- Authority figures are allowed to exercise social power over others (agreed by society)


- some granted power to punish powers=we give up our independence and hand control to authority figures we trust to use their power appropriately

What is destructive authority?

- Authority figures who use their legitimate powers for destructive purposes (ordering people to behave dangerous/cruel)

What are the evaluation points of social-psychological factors causing obedience?

S: Students showed Milgram study/blamed experimenter=recognised legitimate authority


W: Doesn't explain why some participants don't obey=limited explanation


S: Cross-cultural research=increase validity


W: Mandel [German Battalion incident]=can't apply to all situations=lacks validity


S: Practical applications [My Lai Massacre]

What is the authoritarian personality?

Adorno: Type of personality susceptible to obeying authority (submissive to high status, dismissive to inferiors)

What was the procedure for Adorno's authoritarian personality study?

Studied 2000+ M/C white Americans' unconscious attitudes to other racial groups;developed several scales to investigate (F-scale to measure authoritarian personality);items from F-scale include 'obedience and respect for authority are the most important values children should learn'

What were the findings for Adorno's authoritarian personality study?

People with authoritarian leanings (high F-scale score) identified with 'strong' people and looked down on 'weak';very conscious of status;showed respect to higher status;authoritarian=cognitive style (distinct categories of people with fixed stereotypes);positive correlation between authoritarianism and prejudice


What are the characteristics of an authoritarian personality?

Extreme respect/submissiveness to authority;looked down on those with inferior status;conventional attitudes to sex, race, gender;inflexible outlook;everything either right or wrong

What is the origin of the authoritarian personality?

- In childhood from harsh parenting (strict discipline/absolute authority/high standards/severe criticism/conditional love)


- creates resentment/hostility child cannot express to parents=displaced to weaker people


- psychodynamic explanation

What are the evaluation points of the dispositional explanations of obedience?

W: link only correlation not causal=may be third factor (low level education)=lacks validity


W: Can't explain mass obedience (Germany)=alternative explanations more realistic


W: F-scale based on right-wing ideology=cannot account for obedience for all political views


W: F-scale items in same direction=acquiescers=lacks validity


W: Adorno conducted interviews themselves=demand characteristics

What is resistance to social influence?

The ability to withstand social pressure to conform/obey. Influenced by both situational and dispositional factors

What is social support?

Presence of people who resist conform/obey pressures, helping others do the same

How does social support enables people to resist conformity?

- Pressure to conform reduced by non-conformer


- e.g Asch experiment


- non-conformer conforms=so does participant

How does social support enable people to resist obedience?

- obey pressure reduced when other person disobeys


- e.g Milgram: participant + confederate=obedience 10%


- freedom of conscience

What is the locus of control?

- Julian Rotter: the sense we each have about what directs events in our lives

What if a person has an internal locus of control?

- They believe things that things that happen are largely controlled by themselves

What if a person has an external locus of control?

- They believe things that happen are out of their control (luck/outside forces)

How does an internal locus of control enable a person to resist social influence?

- internal: more likely to resist pressure to conform/obey


- take personal responsibility for actions=base actions on own beliefs


- more self confident=less need for social approval

What are the evaluation points for the resistance of social influence?

S: Asch type study;dissenter=lower conformity;occurred when dissenter wasn't in a position to judge (bad vision)


S: Milgram type study;participants in groups=higher resistance;88% rebelled



What are the evaluation points for the locus of control?

S: Milgram's study;measured internal/external;37% internals not give highest shock;LOC link to obedience=increase validity


W: Twinge: Analysed data from US obedience studies;showed people are more external


W: Rotter: LOC only comes to play in novel situations;little influence over behaviour in familiar situations (previous experiences more important)

What is minority influence?

- The form of social influence where one/few people influence the beliefs/behaviours of others


- Leads to internalisation

Describe Serge Moscovici's study on minority influence.

- blue/green slide study=group of 6 judge slides;two confederates consistently said slides were green;32% gave same answer as minority on 1st trial;2nd group=inconsistent minority=agreement 1.25%


- Control: No confederates=wrong answer 0.25%

What are the main processes in minority influence identified by Moscovici?

- Consistency


- Commitment


- Flexibility


- The process of change


- The Snowball effect

How does consistency aid minority influence?

- Minority keep same beliefs over time (diachronic consistency) and people (synchronic consistency)


- other people start to rethink their own views

How does commitment aid minority influence?

- extreme activities/personal sacrifices demonstrate dedication


- draws attention from others to their cause (augmentation principle)


- shows minority is not acting out of self-interest

How does flexibility aid minority influence?

- relentless consistency can be negative (rigid)


- minority need to be able to adapt their view/accept compromise

What is the process of change in minority influence?

- Consistency/commitment/flexibility cause deeper processing, and some of the majority are converted to the minority view

What is the Snowball effect in minority influence?

- One person converts to the minority view=more people convert=faster rate of conversion


- gradually the minority view becomes the majority view

What are the evaluative points for minority influence?



S: Wood: 100 study meta-analysis=consistent minorities most influential=validity


S: Martin: participants given a viewpoint (support measured);1 group=minority agree with message;2 group=majority agree;exposed to conflicting view (attitudes measured)


W: Moscovici/Asch study artificial=doesn't reflect how minorities attempt to change majority in real life


S: variation of Moscovici's study:participants responses written=minority agreement greater


W: real-life social influence situations more complex=difference between minority/majority more than numbers

What is social influence?

The process by which individuals/groups change each other's attitudes/behaviours


- includes conformity/obedience/minority influence

What is social change?

- When whole societies adopt new attitudes/beliefs/ways of doing things


- e.g. gay rights/women's suffrage/environmental issues

What are the stages of social change?

- drawing attention


- consistency


- deeper processing


- augmentation principle


- The Snowball effect


- social cryptomnesia

What is social cryptomnesia?

- people have a memory that change occurred but don't remember how

What lessons about social change do we learn from Asch's research into conformity?

- confederate broke majority power, cause others to dissent


- environment campaigns exploit conformity=appeal to NSI=provide info of what other people are doing


- social change encouraged by drawing attention to what majority are doing

What lessons about social change do we learn from Milgram's research into obedience?

- confederate teacher refuses to shock learner=obedience down


- obedience creates social change through gradual commitment


- small instruction obeyed, harder to resister bigger one, drift into new behaviour

What are the evaluative points of social influence and social change?

S: Nolan: investigated social influence processes would reduce energy consumption;hung messages (used NSI)


W: Diane Mackie: disagrees;majority influence may create deeper processing if you don't share views


W: Bashier: investigated why people resist social change even when necessary(viewed negatively)


W: (Moscovici/Milgram/Asch)methodology issues=decrease validity=undermine link