Social Influence II

Social Influence II
I. Experiments in Social Influence
1. Obedience
2. Conformity
Obedience -- Nazis in WWII…..those that
served as executioners of the Jews said they
were not responsible for the deaths b/c they
were just following orders.
Prompted Milgram (1963, 1965) to study
Conformity – Asch – Line studies (normative)
Why conform? Early on it was thought that
conformity was a personality trait but few
people conform all the time, and everyone
does conform some of the time.
1. Information – when we don’t know
how to act or what to believe, you turn
to others for answers. Informational
social influence……if a major storm
happens people talk with their
neighbors and friends about
(autokinetic experiments).
2. Normative social influence—fear of
rejections from a group for those that
don’t follow norm……public
compliance but not private acceptance.
(Asch studies)
Autokinetic Effect – effect whereby a
stationary point of light in a dark room
appears to move. (Informational)
Factors that affect Conformity
1. Situational – a) more conformity when
ambiguous or difficult judgments are
-----b) size of the group….more
conformity up to about 4 people….
-----c) unanimity – more conformity
with unanimity of opinion.
2. Personal factors – culture…attraction
to the group …….group cohesion--measure of individual members’
attraction to the group.
3. Gender ----women conform more on
masculine tasks and men more on
feminine tasks.
Social Impact Theory – social force felt by a
person is a function of strength, immediacy,
and number of sources present……..just like
physical impact (example light falling on a
table is a function of the strength of the lights,
their distance, and their number. (SIN)
Deviation and Resistance to Social Influence
---2 Types Anti-conformity – doing the
exact opposite of what the person observes
others doing. (Reactance)
 Independence – making up one’s own
mind about how to act and not simply
responding to group pressure
Why do people not conform (3 theories)
1. Reactance – if a persons freedom to
perform certain behaviors is threatened
he/she will experience motivational
arousal aimed at regaining the
freedom…..a form of anti-conformity
2. Desire to be unique—most societies find
some form of uniqueness desirable.
Standing out from the crowd by not
conforming---a form of independence.
3. De-individuation--- lose our individuality
in a crowd and act in ways we normally
would not……a form of independence