avoiding mindless conformity to the majority. Asking whether the actionconflicts with our moral code helps us consider whether we want tocompromise our opinion of ourselves to gain others approval. Zimbardo alsosuggests taking a future perspective and imagining what we might laterthink of our current conforming action.
The role of allies
Asch discovered that the introduction of a confederate who also wentagainst the majority caused conformity to drop by 10%. Having an allyappeared to build confidence and aid resistance because the participantswas no longer facing a unanimous majority. The fellow dissenter providesthe naïve participant with an assessment of reality, making them moreconfident in their ability to reject the majority decision.
Asch found conformity levels dropped even when the dissenter gave adifferent wrong answer, which suggests that it is breaking the groupsconsensus that is important in resisting pressures to conform.You COULD know more than two explanations of non-conformity and disobedience.You MUST know at least two explanations of how people resist pressures to obey and illustratethese with research examples.
Disobedient models(e.g. Milgram
90% disobedient when disobedient modelspresent)
Resistance was also increased with disobedient models. In Milgram’s
variations disobedient confederates caused 90% of the naïve participants torebel too.
The presence of disobedient models undermines the experimenter’s
authority and makes it more likely that the individual will have theconfidence to resist subsequent pressures to obey.
Feeling responsible/empathy (e.g. removal of buffers)
In Milgram’s study, some participants disobeyed the experimenter when
they believed the learner was in distress. There was an empathetic responseand a refusal to continue.
When buffers were removed participants were no longer protected, and feltmore responsible.
Questioning motives and status of authority (e.g. run-down office)
Questioning the motives, legitimacy and expertise of authority figures might
increase resistance to automatic obedience. When Milgram’s study was
moved to a rundown office, participants found it easier to question the
legitimacy of the experimenter’s instructions. As a result more participan
tsfelt able to resist the experimenter, and obedience levels dropped to 48%.This suggests that the status of the authority figure and the setting is a keyfactor in obedience and its resistance.