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Social Psychology Revision Summary

AQA A Social Psychology Revision Summary
by

Sally Evans

on 21 April 2013

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Transcript of Social Psychology Revision Summary

Social Psychology Revision Summary Independent
Behaviour Normative Social Influence (COMPLIANCE)
This is when an individual acts in the same way as the majority without actually accepting their point of view
Humans are a social species, we want to be accepted by the majority and we fear rejection
Fear forms the basis of normative social influence Types of Conformity Why do People Conform? Obedience
and why people obey Internalisation
the views of a group are internalised (taken on at a deep level) and they become part of the person's own way of viewing the world. This is also known as conversion. Compliance
a person conforms (publicly) with the views or behaviours expressed by others in the group but privately they disagree. Compliance is also used to describe the process of going along with the requests of another person while disagreeing with them. Conformity
An individual is said to conform if they choose a course of action that is favoured by the majority of other group members..

A definition:
"Yielding to group pressure" Crutchfield (1962) Asch (1951)
Participants are presented with a target line and asked to estimate which of 3 lines match the original line length
Only 1 person in the group is a genunine particiapant, the others are stooges
The genuine participants gives their answer next to last, on 12/18 trials the stooges consistent give the wrong answer
This resulted in 32% conformity and every trial and 74% conformity on at least 1 trial
This demonstrates evidence of
COMPLIANCE/ NORMATIVE SOCIAL INFLUENCE Sherif (1935)
Made use of something called the Autokinetic effect in which you view a point of light in total darkness
The light apears to move around erractically and participants are asked to estimate the distance the light has travelled
Participants were asked to first make an individual estimate outloud in front of a group of 2-3 and then reach a group decision
When giving an idividual response, estimates varied widely but over a 100 trials the judgements of the individuals and the groups started to converge
This demonstrates evidence of COMPLIANCE/ INFORMATIONAL SOCIAL INFLUENCE Strengths
Lab experiments are easy to replicate making them reliable
Can infer cause and effect - provide support for the concepts of compliance and internalisation Weaknesses
Lab experiments are low in ecological validity - both tasks were unusual and there was no right or wrong answer in the Sherif study
Historial context - more recent studies have shown that we are less conforming today (Perrin and Spencer) Informational Social Influence (INTERNALISATION)
This is when individuals go along with he majority because they genuinely believe they are right
When the majority has more information than the individual
This tends to result in the individual conforming in both behaviour and attitude (public and private) EXAM LINK
Sumita recently moved with her family to a new town and started school there. As you probably know, it is difficult when you go to a new school because everyone has friends and you just want people to like you. The girls in Sumita's class all wear very short skirts and Sumita thinks she should dress like this in order to fot in, but she doesn't like short skirts because her family prefer less revealing clothes. Use the concepts of conformity, compliance and internalisation to explain Sumita's behaviour. (6 marks) Because Sumita has just started her new school, she will explerience considerable pressure to fit in, i.e. to conform. Asch found that people are likely to conform out of desire to fit in and be accpeted by the majority (compliance) even though it may go against their true beliefs. By wearing a short skirt she will fit in and be accpeted, but this doesn't ,eam she agrees with the practice of wearing short skirts. It is possible that the majority of women in her family wear much less revaling clothes for religious and cultural reasons, and this is a practice that she accpets as being the right thing to do when with her family (internalisation). Lachlans answer. Conformity is going along with the majority. Sumita is doing this by wearing a short skirt. Compliance is doing things to be accepted. She believes she will be accepted if she wears a short skirt. Internalisation is when you do something because you believe what the majority tell you, e.g. the majority may convince her that short skirts are far more fashionable that what she usually wears. Rosie's answer. Lachlan's answer is excellent, making reference to psychological reserach and using his psychological knowledgeto explain all three concepts, full 6 marks. Rosie has explained the meaning of each term and tried to link this meaning to Sumita's behaviour. Rosie's answer is reasonable for conformity and compliance (although neither is very detailed) but becomes muddled with the final term, internalisation. The question stem makes it clear that Sumita has not internalised the behaviour. Rosie's answer gains 4 out of 6 marks. CULTURAL VARIATIONS
Smith and Bond (1998) reviewed 31 studies and found that people in collectivist cultures show higher levels of conformity than those that live in individualist culture. HISTORICAL CONTEXT
Perrin and Spencer (1981) replicated Asch’s experiment using British students and found only 1 conforming response in 396 trials. GROUP SIZE
Asch (1956) found that just 1 other group member agreeing with the judgement of the genuine pp reduced conformity to 5.5% A Definition:
‘Complying with the demands of an authority figure’ MILGRAM (1963)
AIM: To invesitgate obedience to authority
METHOD: Lab experiment
PARTCICPANTS: 40 male volunteers from a newspaper advert, all paid to take part
PROCEDURE: PP are told the study is about the effects of punishment on learning. They are allocated to the role teacher (this was rigged) and a stooged played the part of a learner. The teacher is required to allocate electric shocks, increasing in intensity from 15-450 volts each time the learner gives an incorrect response in a 'word pairs' task. At 300 volts the learner shouts out in pain and fails to make a response thereafter. If the participants asked to withdrawn the experimenter and authority figures gives 1 of 4 scripted replies, such as 'please go on'
RESULTS: 65% of participants were fully obedient and went up to 450 volts
100% of participants were prepared to give a 300 volt schock to a stranger Strengths
Milgram's study was high in control and easy yo replicate
Can be considered useful as it provides an explanation of the atrocities of the Holocaust
Milgram did debrief his participants and in follow up interviews 85% said they were glad that they took part Weaknesses
Milgram's study is considered low in ecology validity as teachers do not usually give out electic shocks
Milgram's study is unethical as participants were not protected from harm, some even has a seizure Explanations of why people obey ...
Agentic state - this is where we shift personal responsibility onto an authority figure
Authoritarian personality - those that hold conventional viewpoints tend to be more obedient
Situational factors - such as, the presence of the authority figure, the location of prestigous Yale University all contributed to the high lever of obedience ‘Independent behaviour takes place when a person does not conform to group norms or resists obeying an authority figure’ MORAL DEVELOPMENT
Kohlberg hypothesised that individuals with a higher level of moral development are less likely to obey orders
Kohlberg used a series of hypothetical moral dilemmas to judge moral development
There was no right or wrong answer, Kohlberg was interested in the reasons for your decision LINK TO OBEDIENCE ...
Kohlberg used these same moral dilemmas on some of Milgram’s participants
He found that those with a higher level of moral reasoning (e.g. valued the importance of justice over social order) were less likely to obey
Those will low levels of moral reasoning obeyed fully PERSONALITY
Adorno studied over 2000 American students from white middle class backgrounds to establish their political views and their early childhood experience
From this he developed the F scale was used to measure the ‘authoritarian personality’, this is characterised by, intolerance to others, belief in structure
Is obedient and submissive to those they see as being in authority LINK TO OBEDIENCE ...
Milgram carried out interviews with a sub-sample of his participants
Those with an authoritarian personality type were those that were fully obedient, just as Adorno would predict. LOCUS OF CONTROL
Rotter (1975) suggested that our beliefs about causality can be placed on a continuum whereby an external locus of control reflects a belief that behaviour is caused by things beyond our control and an internal locus of control reflects the belief that we have control over our own destiny and our behaviour is the result of the choices that we make. LINK TO OBEDIENCE ...
Those with an internal LoC are more likely to show independent behaviour because …
They tend to find information for themselves and make up their own minds – therefore less influenced by others
More likely to become leaders therefore don’t have to obey and conform
More able to resist coercion – they don’t like being ‘pushed around’ EXAM QUESTION
Jack and Tom both enjoy listening to opinion programmes on the TV. Jack is easily swayed by the arguements presented but Tom us more cautious and rarely changes his mind. Suggest TWO reasons why Tom and Jack behave differently in terms of their independent behaviour. Refer to psychological research in your answer. (3 marks + 3 marks) Some people are able to resist pressures to conform and behave independently. Asch found that on more important tasks that were personally relevant to the individual (e.g. tasks that had a moral component), people were more likely to maintain their independence.
A second reason is because of locus of control. People who are more internal in their locus of control act more independently because they are responsible for their actions, whereas people who are more external just trust luck.
Ken's Answer People differ in terms of their locus of control. Tom is likely to be high in interanlity and thus rely less on thw opinions of others and so be more likely to behave independently.
Morton and Mann (1998) found that parents who do not encourage independence in their children, tend later to have adolecents who develop an external locus of control.
Some people have an attributional style that makes them behave more independently. Those with aq positive attributional style are more likely to take credit for their successes yet see failures as caused more by external factors.
Anderson (1999) found that members of individualist cultures, which emphasise independence, tend to attribute failure to external forces in an effort to maintain a positive view of their own ability. Barbie's answer. Ken has managed to provide two answers which are based on psychology but not fully linked to the stem of the question, therefore each of them is worth 2 out of 3 marks.
Barbie's first answer is excellent and well linked to the stem, so the full 3 marks. In her second answer she appears to have forgotten the actual question and provided too much detail about the reserach and nothing anout what this reserach tells us, so 2 out of 3 marks. Social Change Social change occurs when a society as a whole adopts new beliefs or ways of behaving which then becomes widely accepted as the 'norm' Techniques that increase social change through minority influence
COMMUNICATION - the group have a good understanding of their own arguements and can communicate them to others
CONSISTENCY - by being consistent the minority are harder for the majority to ignore
CONFIDENCE - demands attention and will have more of an impact The Civil Rights Movement in the USA in the 1950's and 60s brought about a change in racists laws and practices. Why was the campaign successful?
The movement included people who were good communicators such as Martin Luther King
They were consistent in their message - to achieve civil rights for black people
They were confident - MLK believed that he was doing was God's work 'Psychologists can explain the precesses underlying social change, using their reserach on social influence but can also suggest how we can use this knowledge'
Outline and evaluate implications for social change of research into social influence
[12 marks] MODEL ANSWER

Research into minority influence has implication for social change. Being exposed to the views of a deviant minority (such as the suffragettes) draws the majority's attention to the views they are expressing. If the minority are consistent in these views over time, then the majority takes them more seriously. The suffragettes were consistent in their arguments for votes for women over many years, through lobbying and education. The impact of the minority position is increased if the minority is seen to suffer for their views (the augmentation principle). In the case of the suffragettes, many were imprisoned and went on hunger strike, so people started to take them seriously. Once a few politicians started to accept the views of the suffragettes, this led to a snowball effect as more and more people defected to the minority position, and wide scale social change occurred.

The external validity of minority influence as an explanation of social change was demonstrated by an analysis of Gandhi's 'salt march' in the 1930s. Research has claimed that the power of a minority's position is strengthened if they are seen as suffering for their beliefs. The influence of Gandhi and his followers was strengthened because of their willingness to suffer physical attacks without retaliation. In fact, Gandhi appeared aware of this form of influence because he would not allow women to join the march because he believed this would inhibit the British from attacking the marchers.

One practical application of research into social change is that it helps us to understand how we can change societies attitudes. For example, if you want to change people's attitudes about the use of animals in research, you would demonstrate consistency and also a willingness to suffer for your cause. However, injuring others would mean that public sympathies may lie with the victims rather than the animal rights movement. It is better, like Gandhi, to remain above violence and then people will listen to you

Full 12 marks
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