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Conformity- Psychology

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Ryan Morton

on 30 January 2013

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Transcript of Conformity- Psychology

Definition Asch's Study Zimbardo's (Stanford prison) Experiment Conformity to social roles Factors why people might conform... - Size of the group - the bigger the group the more pressure there is so people conform.

-Status of group members - if someone is of higher authority/status, people are more likely to conform to avoid confrontation/ consequences.

- Group strength - unanimity means it is harder to disagree when there are more people.

-Need for approval or low self esteem - People are less confident in their own opinion so will conform. Conformity This is changing your behavior, or belief to go along with the majority due to group pressure. ( real or imagine) Different types of conformity.... 1. Informational- this is being motivated by the desire to be correct. This leads to internalisation, which is when a person's private beliefs change along with public behavior.

2. Normative- this is being motivated by the need to fit in with the group. This leads to compliance, which is when a person's public behavior differs from private beliefs. Examples.... Informational- Internalisation. If a person is unsure of an answer to a question in class, then they will look to everyone else's answer, and change theirs to match the groups. Normative- Compliance. This would be laughing at a joke on the outside, which you do not find funny on the inside, in order to fit in. A participant was put into a group of confederates and was told to identify lines of the same size to complete a 'visual perception study'. the confederates were asked to give the wrong answer to see whether the participants would conform by agreeing with the group norm. The correct answer was always obvious but 74% of participants conformed at least once. Evaluation - Poor Ecological Validity. The experiment was not realistic (identifying the lines of the same length) and so cannot be applied to everyday life. - Lab experiment. This produces demand characteristics as the answers are obvious and the confederates still say the wrong answers. -Sample bias. Asch only used male participants so results cannot be generalised to women. 25 student volunteers were placed into a makeshift prison in the basement of the psychology department in Stanford University. The 2 week experiment was called off after only 6 days due to the extreme effects it had on the participants and Zimbardo. The results showed that the guards conformed to their roles and took advantage of the prisoners by exercising their control over them. This could be due to the authority they felt from their uniforms.
The prisoners conformed due to lack of identity from smocks and absence of their names. It could also be due to fear of authority figures (guards). Evaluation.... - It was unethical because of the extreme distress felt by the participants.

- The students were all male so the sample was biased and the results can't be generalised.

+It was ecologically valid as the experiment took place in real life conditions.
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