- Slides: 31
Social Influence: Conformity, Compliance, Obedience Madiha Anas Lecturer Department of Applied Psychology School of Social Sciences Beaconhouse National University
Social Influence Main Determinants of Social Influence Compliance (Response to a direct request) Obedience (Response to authority) Conformtiy (Response to social norms)
What is Conformity? l Conformity – l l Or l l “a change in a person’s behaviour or belief as a result of real or imagined group norms”. (Myers, 1999) “a tendency for people to adopt the behaviour, attitudes and values of other members of a reference group”. (Zimbardo, 1995) Norms = l the rules established by a group to regulate the behaviour of its members.
l Informational Social Influence l l l We want to be right we look to others, whom we believe to be correct, to give us information about how to behave, particularly in novel or ambiguous situations. (The desire to be right) Normative Social Influence l l We want to be liked we conform because we think that others will approve and accept us. (The desire to be accepted)
Conformity: Asch CONFORMITY IN AN UNAMBIGUOUS SITUATION. l Solomon Asch (1951) carried out a study to show the pressure which peers can put on you to conform to a wrong norm. l Enter laboratory with 6 other people. Seven of you seated in a series - you are number 6. l Experimenter explains task: a single line on card on left 3 lines on card on right. l l
A B C
A B C
A B C
A B C Asch, 1951
Conformity: Asch l One line is same length as line on other card. You and other subjects need only call out, one at a time, which of the 3 lines was the same length. Simple! l You try it out. ‘A’ is obviously the correct line. The others all agree. This continues until suddenly the others all disagree with what you think is correct! l What do you do? You begin to doubt your own judgement. Nightmare. l The nightmare is the pressure to conform. Actually the other 6 subjects are stooges.
Social Influence: Compliance
Compliance l A change in behaviour and expressed attitudes in response to requests, coercion or group pressure l l Superficial, public and transitory A change in behavior due to a direct request from another person.
Compliance l l Comply with the attempt to influence. Public compliance – l effect of coercion. l Direct requests most common form of compliance and social influence. l Strategies in compliance- Cialdini (1988) l l Foot-in-the-door (Freedman & Fraser, 1966) Door-in-the-face (O’Keefer & Hale, 2001)
Why Compliance? l People make direct requests of us all the time l salespeople, l peers, l friends, l family l Honoring those (reasonable) requests helps maintain the social fabric l helping others and anticipating their help in the future makes for good social bonds
Compliance RS. 1000 RS. 950 00 8. RS The door-in-the-face technique gets people to comply with a request by presenting them first with a large request and then with a smaller, more reasonable request.
Compliance reciprocity norm: receiving anything positive from another person requires them to reciprocate in response.
Compliance l The Foot-in-the-Door Technique The foot-in-the-door technique gets people to comply with a small request, followed request. by a larger This is better for long-term compliance.
Social Influence Obedience
Obedience l l Doing something because a legitimate authority figure asked us to Less frequent than conformity or compliance l Even persons who possess authority and power generally prefer to exert it through the velvet glove l Through requests rather than orders
Obedience l l l behaving as instructed but not necessarily changing your opinions. Usually in response to individual rather than group pressure Obedience is by direction (being directed) whereas conformity is affected by example (or observation).
Why Obedience? l Many people have power over us law enforcement, l parents, l military l l Following the direct orders of a (legitimate) authority is usually not a matter of debate l when the officer asks to see your driver’s license, it’s usually prudent to obey
Obedience to Authority l. Stanley Milgram (1963, 1974, 1976) lexamined the power of obedience to authority in social psychology’s most famous laboratory experiments. l. Milgram’s results indicate l powerful tendency people have to obey authority figures even when their orders go against people’s values and morals.
Obedience l l l compliance of person is due to perceived authority of asker request is perceived as a command Milgram interested in unquestioning obedience to orders
Stanley Milgram’s Studies l Stanley Milgram (1960’s) l l The participant is the “teacher”, the confederate is the “learner” Teacher watches learner being strapped into chair -- learner expresses concern over his “heart condition” If the learner makes an error, the teacher has to ‘shock’ him…with the level of shock increasing to dangerous and deadly levels As the level of shock increases, the “teacher” can hear the learner is in obvious pain
Stanley Milgram’s Studies l Teacher to another room with experimenter l Shock generator panel – l 15 to 450 volts, l labels “slight shock” to “XXX” l Asked to give higher shocks for every mistake learner makes
Stanley Milgram (1963)
Stanley Milgram’s Studies Shock Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Switch Labels and Voltage Levels “Slight Shock” 15 30 45 60 “Moderate Shock” 75 90 105 120 “Strong Shock” 135 150 165 180 “Very Strong Shock” 195 210 225 240 Shock Level 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Switch Labels and Voltage Levels “Intense Shock” 255 270 285 300 “Extreme Intensity Shock” 315 330 345 360 “Danger: Severe Shock” 375 390 405 420 “XXX” 435 450
Stanley Milgram’s Studies l l Learner protests more and more as shock increases Experimenter continues to request obedience even if teacher is unsure 120 “Ugh! Hey this really hurts. ” 150 “Ugh! Experimenter! That’s all. get me out of here. I told you I had heart trouble. My heart’s starting to bother me now. ” 300 (agonized scream) “I absolutely refuse to answer any more. get me out of here You can’t hold me here. Get me out. ” 330 “(intense & prolonged agonized scream) “Let me out of here. My heart’s bothering me. Let me out, I tell you…”
Obedience l How many people would go to the highest shock level? l 65% of the subjects went to the end, even those that protested
Explanations for Milgram’s Results l Abnormal group of subjects? numerous replications with variety of groups shows no support l All male subjects l l People l in general are sadistic? videotapes of Milgram’s subjects show extreme distress
Critiques of Milgram Although 84% later said they were glad to have participated and fewer than 2% said they were sorry, there are still ethical issues l Do these experiments really help us understand real-world atrocities? l