Social Influence - Chapter 1

  • Created by: IB122
  • Created on: 12-10-15 11:44
A change in a person's behaviour or opinions as a result of real or imagined pressure from a person or a group of people.
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A deep type of conformity where we take on the majority view because we accept it as correct. It leads to a far-reaching and permenant change in behaviour, even when the group is absent.
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A moderate type of conformity where we act in the same with a group because we value it and want to be a part of it but we dont necessarily agree with what the majority believes.
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A superficial and temporary type of conformity where we outwardly go along with the majority view but privately disagree with it. The change in the behaviour only lasts as long as the group is present.
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Informational Social Influence (ISI)
An explanation of conformity that says we agree with the opinion of the majority because we beleieve it is correct. We accept it because we want to be correct as well, leading to internalisation.
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Normative Social Influence (NSI)
An explanation of conformity which says that we agree with the opinion of the majority because we want to be accepted, gain social approval and be liked, leading to compliance.
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Group Size
Asch increased the size of the group by adding more confederates thus increasing the majority. Conformity increased with group size but only up to a point levelling off when the majority was greater than three.
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The extent to which all the members of a group agree. In Asch's studies, the majority was unanimous when all the confederates selected the same comparison line. This produced the greatest degree of conformity in the naive participants.
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Task Difficulty
Asch's line judging task becomes more difficult when it becomes harder to work out the correct answer. Conformity increases because naive participants assume that the majority is more likely to be right.
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Social Roles
The "parts" people play as members of various social groups. Everyday examples include parent, child, student, passengers and so on. These are accompanied by expectations we and others have of what is appropriate behaviour in each role.
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A form of social influence in which an individual follows a direct order. The person issuing the order is usually a figure of authority who has the power to punish when obedient behaviour is not forthcoming.
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Situational Variables
In his research, Milgram identified several factors that he believed influenced the level of obedience shown by participants. They are all related to external circumstances rather than to the personalities of the people involved.
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The physical closeness or distance of an authority figure to the person they are giving an order to. Also refers to the physical closeness of the teacher to the victim (leanrer) in Milgram's studies.
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The place where the order is issued. The relevant factor that influences obedience is the status or prestige associated with the location.
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People in positions of authority often have a specific outfit that is symbolic of their authority, for example, police officers and judges. This indicates to the rest of us who is entitled to expect our obedience.
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Agentic State
A mental state where we feel no personal responsibility for our behaviour because we believe to be acting for an authority figure, i.e. as their agent. This frees us from the demands of our consciences and allows us to obey destructive figures.
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Legitimacy of Authority
An explanation for obedience which suggests that we are more likely to obey people who we perceive to have authority over us. This authority is justified (legitimate) by the individual's position of power within a social hierarchy.
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Dispositional Explanation
Any explanation of behaviour that highlights the importance of the individual's personality (i.e. their disposition). Such explanations are often contrasted with situational explanations
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Authoritarian Personality
A type of personality that Adorno argued who was especially susceptible to obey people and authority. Such indiciduals are also thought to be submissive to those of higher status and dismissive to inferiors.
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Resistance to Social Influence
Refers to the ability of people to withstand the social pressure, to conform to the majority or obey to authority. This ability to withstand social pressure is influenced by both situational and dispositional factors.
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Social Support
The presence of people who resist pressures to conform or obey can help others to do the same.
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Locus of control (LOC)
Refers to the sense we each have about what directs events in our lives. Internals believe they are mostly responsible for what happens to them (internal locus of control). Externals believe it is mainly a matter of luck or other outside forces.
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Minority Influence
A form of social influence in which a minority of people (sometimes just one person) persuades others to adopt their beliefs, attitudes or behaviours. Leads to internalisation or conversion in which private and public attitudes are changed.
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Minority influence is most effective if the minority keeps the same beliefs, both over time and between all the individuals that form the minority. It is effective because it draws attention to the minority view.
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Minority influence is more powerdul if the minority demonstrates dedication to their position for example by making personal sacrifices. This is effective because it shows the minority is not acting out of self-interest.
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Relentless consistency could be counter-productive if it is seen by the majority as unbending and unreasonable. Therefore minority influence is more effective if the minority show flexibility by accepting the possibility of a compromise.
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Social Influence
The process by which individuals and groups change each other's attitudes and behaviours. Includes conformity, obedience and minority influence.
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Social Change
This occurs when whole societies rather than just individuals, adopt new attitudes, beliefs and ways of doing things. Examples include accepting that Earth orbits the Sun, Women's suffrage, gay rights and environmental issues.
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A deep type of conformity where we take on the majority view because we accept it as correct. It leads to a far-reaching and permenant change in behaviour, even when the group is absent.

Card 3




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Card 5


Informational Social Influence (ISI)


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