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Psychology AS social influence lesson 4

Conformity of social roles

Amanda Lane

on 9 March 2015

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Transcript of Psychology AS social influence lesson 4

AS Psychology Social Influence
Conformity to social roles
(Not sausage rolls)
Lesson Objective:
To understand the importance of Zimbardo's research into conformity of social roles
What are 'social roles'?
They're not sausage rolls...
What social roles do you engage in?
Social roles are positions held within society that have an expectation on behaviour and conduct.
How are these positions in society expected to behave?
Zimbardo (1973) wanted to investigate levels of conformity to social roles: How people can adapt to new roles in terms of socially expected behaviour
He used a simulated prison set up to see what extent people would conform to new social roles of prison guards and prisoners.
What is the expected behaviour of a prison guard?
What is the stereotypical prisoner?
Why do you think Zimbardo chose a prison simulation?
Using the information from the video and the handout answer these questions!
1) How did Zimbardo select his participants?

2) What was the significance of the uniforms?

3) What was the relationship between the prisoners and guards like on the 1st day?

4) Why did this relationship change after the 1st day?

5) Describe what happened between the prisoners and guards from a psychological point of view.

6) Is this an example of normative or informational social influence? Explain your answer.

7) Does this experiment show Compliance, Identification or Internalisation? Explain your answer.
Zimbardo's experiment has been criticised for being 'unethical'. What does this mean and why is it unethical?
Ethics are moral principles and rules on behaviour. Because there is no universal law on ethics, these have to be decided by high ranking governing bodies such as the BPS (British Psychological Society).
Ethical violations of Zimbardo's experiment:
Harm to participants
No independent surveillance
Deceit of participants
Critics of Zimbardo state that the participants displayed 'DEMAND CHARACTERISITCS'
The participants behaved in a way that they thought was expected of them by the researcher.
How does this impact on the experiment?
Full transcript