Social influences

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  • Conformity
    • Asch's study: line study
      • variables: unanimity, group size, and task difficulty
      • - artificial task & task, limited application, counteracting evidence
        • + research support
    • Social influences
      • Obedience
        • Milgram: electric shock experiment
          • everyone is willing to obey orders out of fear
            • - low internal validity, alternative interpretations of findings
              • + research support, effects of Milgram's study were genuine
          • affecting variables: proximity & location
            • + research support, cross cultural replications
              • - findings cannot be applied to all cultures, low internal validity
        • agentic state - personal responsibility of our behaviours
          • autonomous state - acting upon free will
            • legitimacy of authority - we are more likely to obey people who we see as socially higher in status
          • agentic shift - shifting moral responsibility onto others within a socially higher status to ourselves
          • - limited explanation, cannot explain all disobedience
            • + research support, explains cultural differences
        • authoritarian personality - a person people will obey easily due to status
          • + research support
          • - political bias, non useful predictor of obedience, limited explanation
      • resistance to social influence
        • locus of control - internal (our fault), external (not our fault)
          • + research support
          • - contradictory evidence, limited role of LOC
        • minority influence
          • consistency, commitment, flexibility
            • + research support for consistency, research support for deeper processing
            • - limited findings, artificial tasks
    • types of conformity: internalisation (public and private), identification (fear of rejection), compliance (public only)
    • NSI: agree with opinion because of fear of rejection
      • ISI: agree with opinion for social approval  --> internalisation
        • +research support
          • - indiv differences, unclear differences
    • Zimabardo's study on social roles (Stanford Prison Experiment)
      • social roles have a strong influence on our behaviours/attitudes
        • + control with methodology, SPE replicated prison environment
          • - lack of realism, exaggerated the power of roles


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