Conformity rate based on the number of trials in which naïve participants gave the same wrong answer as the confederates
No relationships have formedLong lasting ties with friends, family may cause greater conformity1950s america – certain culture and context of the era
Participants were not informed before of what they would be doing so could not withdrawWould be impossible to measure conformity of they knew beforehand
Use white boards to write the main conclusions from sherifs and aschs studies
Galileo – earth travels around the sun – very contraversial at the timeMarch 2014 – gay marriage became legalSufferegettes got the vote – Page 190 – Moscovicifrechpsychologit – 6 groups of people with 4 participants and 2 confederates.Where the 2 confederates were consistent the minority influence was higher.
Page 193 in text book24 male recruits – psychological tests to see who is most stable, with no violent tendencies or criminal backgroundPrisoners were deloused, searched and given a number – all were arrested early in the morning from their homes.Guards were given a uniform, stick or truncheon and sun glassesGuards behaviour escalated and they humiliated the prisoners, kept them awake, and force fed one prisoner
White board – key points for each study
• Distinguish between conformity, compliance,
• Explain how psychologists have investigated
different types of conformity.
• The differences in conformity shown in
different times and places.
• Social psychologists are interested in the
interaction between people rather than
• How people form relationships, form sexual
relationships, interact with strangers and how
they behave in large groups are all studied.
• We will consider the study of conformity and
of obedience – two ways in which others may
• Learning objectives
• Distinguish between conformity, compliance
• Explain how psychologists have investigated
different types of conformity.
• The differences in conformity shown in differet
times and places.
• How do we conform? Can you think of any
examples in your every day life?
• Music tastes
• People use other peoples behaviour to decide
what to do.
• Autokinetic effect – an optical illusion
• Participants were put in a darkened room, with
no visible objects and asked to focus on a
single spot of light.
• They were asked how far the light had moved
and in what direction
• This is an ambiguous task as no correct answer as
light does NOT move
• Dramatic variation in response
• Repeated experiment in groups of 3
• Sherif found that individuals changed their
individual views and converged or agreed with
with others within the group.
• Group norm was formed
• Kelman argued that there are 3 types of
• 1 Compliance
• 2 Identification
• 3 Internalisation
• These types of conformity reflect the amount of
conformity by considering research studies that
• Most superficial type
• Laugh at a joke they don’t find funny
• Their personal views do not change
• ‘going along’ with the majority
• Deeper type of conformity
• Change in personal view although may be
• Joining the army and wanting to have similar
beliefs and views in order to fit in.
• Deepest level of conformity
• Personal views are changed on a permanent
• Student at university meets another who is an
animal activist and becomes a vegetarian and
takes those beliefs with them.
• Clark (1989)
• Disagrees as in court an individual influences
the hury as a group
• Solomon Asch believed that conformity was a
rational process where people work out how
to behave from other peoples actions.
• How would people react when being
confronted with a majority who were plainly
wrong in their judgements.
• Will their own views conform to the majority?
• What do you think?
• Groups of 6 -9 people
• 1 participant in each
group and the
• 25% of participants remained independent and
gave the correct answer on each trial.
• The overall conformity rate was 37%
• 5% conformed on every trial – most conformist
• When questioned participants said they felt self
conscious and anxious about their responses and
some reported feelings of stress.
• They knew inside that they were giving incorrect
• Asch & Sherif
• Cognitive approach to social psychology
• Highly controlled to ensure social pressure can
• Asch – lacks validty due to people being
around strangers, not a real life experience
• No principal informed consent
• Stress and anxiety – unlikely to have
• What did they do?
• What did they suggest from their study?
• Asch (1951) participants personal views were not
changed in any way – this is compliance.
• Internalisation is when people take on others’
views as their own.
• Majority & Minority influence
• Minority influence – should be consistent in order
to exert an influence
• Serge Moscovici (1969) colour slides
• 1954 film
• ‘12 angry men’
• Clark wanted
to test 2
• The minority could exert its influence through
the information presented and the persuasive
nature of the minority’s argument.
• The minority could influence the majority
through changes in behaviour or ‘ deflections’
– Seeing other people change their view can
have a powerful effect on the individulas own
• 220 psychology students – 129 women / 91 men
• They were all given a 4 page booklet with a
summary of the 12 angry men.
• The booklet contained evidence of his guilt
• He had purchased a knife from a local store
• 2 witnesses – 1 man / 1 woman
• Claims the man heard him say ‘ I am going to kill
• Clark varied the information given to the
participants about the defense and their
• Minority was only successful if counter
evidence was provided.
• This supports that the information given by
the minority is important.
12 angry men
• Henry Fonda – produced in court an identical knife
that he had bought from a nearby junk shop
• The man could have seen or heard the murder as
his old age and disabilities meant it took him too
long to get to the window in the apartment
• The old woman could not have seen the
defendant as she had very bad eyesight and as not
wearing her glasses
• Simulation of a realistic situation in which
social influence takes place
• Costs of participants making an error in this
study are far less than real life jury decision
• It is questionable how far the results of this
role play can be generalised to real life jury
• The participants were all briefed and fully
understood what the task was therefore they
were not subjected to any stress or
• Much more ethically acceptable than previous
experiments by Sherif and Asch as no
deception or stress
• Identification is the third type of conformity.
• This happens when the individual takes on the
views of a group they join or admire.
• Stanford University in America
• ‘Mock’ prison in the basement over the
• Zimbardo wanted to see if the brutality found
in many prisons at the time was a
consequence of the personality of the guards
or identification with the social roles in which
they were placed.
• 24 male recruits – volunteers
• Randomly allocated roles as either guard or
• Prisoners were arrested and allocated a number
• Guards were given a uniform, night stick and
sunglasses and instructed to keep the prisoners in
check but to use no physical violence
• Called off after 6 days
• Ordinary, stable individuals can abuse power
and behave in violent and anti-social ways if
placed in a situation that facilitates this.
• Critics have called the prison ‘a living hell’
• Replication of Zimbardo’s study in UK
• 15 males aged between 22 and 44 were selected
• Randomly allocated to prisoner or guard as doe in
• Guards were unwilling to impose any authority
• Groups attempted to establish a fair and equal
The importance of time
• Reichers study was carried out 30 years after
• Volunteers are much more street wise than in
• Social models in the twenty-first century are
less clearly defined and seen differently than in
• Sample size and selection
• Modern technologies