Articles

Conformity and Acsh’s Experiment

Conformity Conformity – involves a change of behaviour or opinion in order to fit in with a group. What is it? When people “go along” with the majority/minority opinion or behaviour. Conformity involves social influence Why People Conform? Compliance [ASCH] Conform to the group norm to avoid punishment. Normative [ASCH] Peer pressure, Scared of rejection. Informational [SHERIF] [...]

Read Article ›

Sherif’s Experiment (1935)

Experimentation: SHERIF (1935) The auto kinetic effect: In this experiment, a single point of light in a dark room seems to move. In the experiment, the subjects are unable to keep their eyes perfectly still and, in the dark, there is no point of reference. Sherif conducted two versions of this experiment: 1. Individuals were [...]

Read Article ›

Crutchfield’s Experiment

Experimentation: CRUTCHFIELD Aim Observe the effect on private to public conformity Method: Participants placed in booths of their own in a private atmosphere Asked to agree and disagree Aware of answer of others too – after they had been manipulated by the experimenter Results Conformity changed depending on task Conclusion Conformity varied depending on the [...]

Read Article ›

Minority Influence and Moscovici’s Study

Minority Influence Main factors: consistency and confidence A minority group can also strongly influence an individual, this is more likely when the minority are the ‘in group’, possibly due to social status or age, or they are acting out of principle and have made personal sacrifices in the pursuit of their beliefs. Moscovici designed an [...]

Read Article ›

Obedience and Milgram’s Study

Obedience: Following someone else’s instructions. Perhaps they are an authority figure. Obedience is not as general as conformity, it is related to specific instruction from another person. Why people obey? Milgram proposed the agentic theory: When we act as the agent of someone in authority we find it easy to deny personal responsibility for our actions [...]

Read Article ›

Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment

Researchers, led by Philip Zimbardo, created a mock prison in 1973 in a laboratory basement, using as subjects 21 healthy male undergraduate volunteers (Haney, Banks, & Zimbardo, 1973). Each person was to receive $15 a day for 2 weeks. Nine of the students were randomly selected to be “prisoners,” while the rest were divided into [...]

Read Article ›

Social Cognition

The Schema Theory A schema can be defined as a cognitive structure, which represents a person’s knowledge in a specific area. For e.g., you have a schema about what is involved in studying psychology, what sort of things happens in classes, where to find information etc. This schema allows you to build up on your previous [...]

Read Article ›

Cultural Differences in Social Perception

There has been quite a bit of research carried out with regards to differences between cultures, and how we perceive other people. Argyle (1978) discovered that Japanese people were more prone to explain the behaviours of others in terms of situational factors, where as others, such as the English used dispositional explanations which related to [...]

Read Article ›