Implications for social change of research into social influence What does research into conformity and obedience tell us about social change?
Further increases in group size do not increase conformity. With very large groups conformity actually begins to fall! Clearly research of the s! In everyday life disagreements occur over politics, religion, tastes etc.
Results do not appear to be consistent over time. Levels of conformity did fall in the late 60s when it was popular for students in particular to protest against the Vietnam War, showing low levels of conformity. The study is androcentric.
Only male participants took part and worse still, only male students. As a result we can hardly generalise to other groups of people. In fact when Eagly and Carli carried out a meta-analysis of research into conformity they found that women were more likely to conform than men.
However, they also report some bias in studies. When the researchers were male they tended to choose test material that would be more familiar to men than it would be to women, perhaps explaining some of the differences. The ethics Participants were deceived so were unable to give their informed consent.
Participants were clearly stressed and some must have been embarrassed by the procedure and suffered some loss of self esteem once they had been informed that it had all been a big con.
Lots of stooges were required to test each participant. So he devised a method of testing lots of participants quickly and cheaply.
They were sat in cubicles and questions projected onto a screen. In one corner were the answers given by other participants. In fact these were made up and often wrong. Conformity was measured by the number of times participants would go along with these incorrect answers.
Example of question used: Also worth mentioning in an essay question is the information Crutchfield found out about the personalities of conformist individuals by administering a personality test after the procedure. According to this, conformist people tend to be: Although Crutchfield found similar levels of overall conformity to Asch the reasons underlying this might be different.
Because the participant is not being directly observed there is less pressure to comply with others. However, some of the tasks are more difficult than the Asch lines and some even involve general knowledge. By donning filter glasses similar to those used for watching 3-D movies, participants can view the same display and yet see different things.
In each group, three participants wore identical glasses, with one participant wearing a different set, thereby causing them to observe that a different comparison line matched the target line.
Whereas Asch used male participants only, the new study involved both men and women. For women only, the new findings closely matched the seminal research, with the minority participant being swayed by the majority on an average of 4.
However, the male participants in the new study were not swayed by the majority view. The researchers argue that this is a strength of their new approach: However, some of these studies were on engineering students at a British University.
When the study was carried out on young men on probation the rate of conformity was similar to those reported by Asch. Cultural differences If we consider culture in broader terms rather than narrow nationalistic ways, we can break societies into two broad kinds: Bond and Smith found the following levels of conformity on Asch-like tasks: Kim and Markus suggest that failing to conform is seen as a strength in Western society whereas collectivist societies see it as deviant behaviour.
It is always worth pointing out that cultures are not homogenous i. Cultures are made up of individuals and there are big individual differences in conformity, as Asch highlighted. Cultures also contain sub-cultures such as different ethnic groupings and social classes.
Gender issue Many studies have a found a sex difference with women generally being more conformist. Maslach et al gave women tasks based on more traditional feminine characteristics and found women to be no more compliant than men!
Types of Conformity According to Kelman there are three types of conformity: However, internally you maintain your original views.
Paraphrasing Kelman, conformity occurs to gain specific reward or approval or to avoid punishment or disapproval.Nearly all early research on minority influence focused on how the majority influenced the minority, based on the assumption of many psychologists that it would be very hard for the minority to have any influence on the majority.
Not only is minority influence seen in social groups. European Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 37, Nemeth, C.J.
() Minority Influence Theory. In P. Van Lange, A. Kruglanski and T. Higgins (eds) Handbook of Theories in Social Psychology.
This shift in interest can be seen in the marked decline in the use of behavioral measures, a hallmark of work in social influence, in the decade from to in research reported in the premier journal in personality/social psychology, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Baumeister, Vohs, & .
Implications for social change of research into social influence How does minority influence lead to social change?
Psychteacher (UK) is the number one site for A level (AS and A2) psychology students. Written by experienced psychology teachers, Psychteacher (UK) aims to help make AS and A2 level psychology easier. Follow. . The social influence that is elicited by a minority group is usually more private and indirect than is influence by a majority group.
In addition, the effects of minority influence may not appear immediately. Social change occurs when a whole society adopts a new belief or behavior which then becomes widely accepted as the ‘norm’.
Social influence processes involved in social change include minority influence, internal locus of control and disobedience to authority. Social change is usually a result of minority influence. This is when a small group of people (the minority) manage to persuade the majority to .