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What is conformity and what 3 things can it result in?
- Conformity: changing one's behaviour/beliefs in response to explicit or implicit pressure from others (imagined or not)
- 3 consequences:
- 1. compliance
- 2. obedience
- 3. conversion/acceptance
3 major studies in conformity
- Sheriff (1935) - informational social influence (lacks knowledge)
- a. autoknetic effect of pinpoint of light and estimate how much it moves
- b. v. different estimates at first, but group norm emerges over time
- Asch (1955)- normative social influence (knows answer but compliance)
- a. standard line and 3 comparison lines (which one matches standard line?)
- b. chose correct one only 63% of time
- Milgram (1965) - obedience
- a. 63% of 'teachers' went beyong 450v --> much higher than predicted
Milgram's study. Some other findings.
- Proximity of expermenter: obedience drops (21%) when experimenter distant
- Proximity of learner: if learner cannot be seen or heard --> almost 100% obedience
- touch condition --> obedience reduced massively
- Group pressure: 2 disobedient --> drops to 10%
- 2 obedient --> 93%
Milgram also changed some other aspects of experiment what were they and the findings.
- Legitimacy: Yale prestigeous --> storefront, obedience drops but still 48%
- Step-by-step involvement: participants not asked to go highest level immediately
- Release from responsibility: experimenter responsible
Because of ethical considerations, there have been replications that are more ethical. List.
- Burger (2009): capping shock at 150v (80% will go all the way once they reach 150)
- Virtual reality (Slater): realistic (start talking to learner avatar) --> skin conductance rose more for seen avatar than unseen
Zimbardo's prison experiment and controversies.
- 1. fitted rhetoric of Hannah Arendt (1963) about 'banality of evil' surrounding Adolf Eichmann's trial
- 2. However, historians & psychologists challenged this --> cannot simply be explained by 'evilness of situation'
- Evidence that Eichmann hated Jews and fantatical bully
- 3. Importance for person-situation effect
- 4. Burger: blind obedience not most important (strongest instruction had 100% resistance)
- 5. ALSO: cohort effect
- 6. People choose to bein certain positions
- Carnahan & McFarland: much less people volunteer for 'pscyhological study of prison life' and those who do have systematic personality difference to other normal ones
What conditions produce maximum conformity?
- Task: difficult; participant feel insecure
- Group: group size (Asch 5 more than 2, but not after 5)
- Status: higher-status people have more impact; lower-status more likely to conform (blue collar vs professor)
- Personality: weak but exists (low self esteem; low IQ; high anxiety) --> we must remember the bidirectional person-situation fit though (Buss)
- Culture: individualistic vs collectivist (Markus and Kitayama)
Reasons for conforming. Who came up with the 2 types of social influence already mentioned? What are they?
- Deutsch and Gerard (1955)
- Informational social influence
- Normative social influence
Resisting social pressure.
- when infleunce attempts are blatant
- asserting own uniqueness
- Allen (1975): replaced one confederate in Asch sudy with dissenter --> conformity drastically reduced
- Individual sharing isolated viewpoint helps resist influence even if viewpoint is not shared
Minority social influence.
- Moscovici (1976)
- cannot be explained by same priciples explaining majority influence
- lies in their consistent and clear behavioural style
- consistency: diachronic (stability over time); synchronic (interindividual consistency)
Moscovici's observed difference of process of majority vs minority influence.
- social comparison process
- normative response of group
- any private acceptance short-lived
- validation process (why are we here)
- privately infleunced by not necessriy public compliance