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Transcript of Social Influence
Why do we conform?
Line comparison task
One naive participant placed amongst group of 6-8 confederates.
Took part in line comparison task.
Confederates gave minority wrong answer.
Hypothesis predicted that participants would conform to majority wrong answer.
What is conformity?
A shift in an individual's behaviour without being asked to change.
Yielding to group pressure.
Gross, R. (2010).
The science of mind and behaviour
. (6th ed). (pp 400-412). London: Hodder Education.
Martin, G., Carlson, N. R., & Bukist, W. (2013).
. (5th ed). (pp. 624- 632). London: Pearson
Hogan, P. (2001). The Culture of Conformism :
Understanding Social Consent
. Durham [N.C.]: Duke University Press
Dickerson, P. (2011).
London: Person Education.
Caitlin Halfpenny & Elliot Bowen
Stationary spot of light that appears to move.
Participants asked to estimate how far the light had moved, then asked while amongst a group.
When asked in the context of a group the participants conformed to a group estimate of distance.
Ambiguous task; there was no right or wrong answer to the extent to which the stationary spot of light appeared to move.
Auto Kinetic Effect
Participants gave wrong answers 36.8% of the time.
Overall, 83% of participants gave the majority wrong answer all of the time.
Whilst 75% of the participants conformed to the wrong answer at least once.
Smith & Bond (1988)
Cross cultural studies develop Asch's original study.
Individualist (USA) vs. Collectivist (Japan).
Emphasis on different social values.
Varies in conformity rates.
After reviewing 133 studies in 17 countries they concluded that collectivist societies
are more conformist than individualist
Explanations of conformity
Suggested that conformity could be best explained by social roles.
Participants randomly allocated to 'prison' or 'guard' .
Found that participants quickly adopted their assigned roles and conformed to the social context in which they were placed.
Asch (1951) conclusions
Deutsch & Gerard (1955)
Explanations of conformity
Explained why people conform through two distinctions of social influence.
Informational social influence
Normative social influence
Distortion of perception
Distortion of judgement
Normative/informational social influence
Liked within a social group-deemed favourable