Social Influence - Psychology - Revision Notes

6723 words - 27 pages

Types of conformity
Compliance: Going along with others? In public, but privately not changing personal opinions. Individuals conform to fit in and avoid rejection. Fitting in is seen as desirable, so it motivates individuals to comply. This is the weakest type of conformity, as these behavior changes are only temporary.
Identification: When an individual conforms with a group because there is something about the group they value and want to be a part of it. They adapt to the group's attitudes and behaviors but only temporarily.
Internalization: When a person genuinely accepts the group's attitudes and beliefs. This results in both a permanent private and public change of opinion because these attitudes have been internalized. This is the most vital type of conformity, as these behavior changes are permanent.
Explanations for conformity
Normative Social Influence: it is possible to go along with the majority without accepting their views; this is called compliance. As humans are a social species, they have a fundamental need for social companionship and a fear of ridicule and rejection, which forms the basis of NSA. NSI explains why people change their behavior publicly but not privately to be liked and accepted by the majority.
Informational Social Influence: We agree with the majority's opinion because we believe it is correct. Human beings must also feel confident that their perceptions and beliefs are accurate. ISI is more likely if the situation is ambiguous and there is no clear answer. So, we look to others to gain information.
AO3: Evaluation
NSI: Research Support
There is research support for NSA. Linkenabck & Perkins found that adolescents exposed to the message that the majority of their age peers did not smoke were less likely to take up smoking themselves. Schultz found that hotel guests were exposed to the news that 75% of other guests reuse their towels daily, reducing their towel usage by 25%. These studies support the claim that people shape their behavior to fit in with their reference group.
NSI: Individual Differences
Some research shows that NSI does not affect everyone in the same way. For example, people who have little need for social approval or affiliation. Some people do not worry about not fitting in and can independently make their own decisions. McGhee and Teevan found that students who needed association were more likely to conform. This shows that the desire to be liked underlies conformity for some people more than others. Therefore, individual differences exist in how people respond to social influence.
I may not be detected.
Nolan (2008) investigated whether people detected the influence of social norms on their energy conservation behavior. When asked what factors had influenced it, people believed that their neighbors had the most negligible impact when results indicated otherwise.
ISI: Research Support
Written back & Henley found that when people were exposed to negative messages about Afri...

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