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Social influences in everyday life Explain what is meant by the term independent behaviour Demonstrate knowledge and understanding

of research studies showing independent behaviour Explain what is meant by locus of control Describe explanations of independent behaviour, including locus of control and situational factors that may explain how people resist pressures to conform and pressures to obey authority. Explain what is meant by minority influence. Demonstrate an understanding of how social influence research helps us to understand social change, including the role of minority influence in social change.

Concepts Defining terms You MUST be able to explain what is meant by the following terms: Independent behaviour Locus of control Minority influence

Studies: You MUST know at least one study to show non-conformity (e.g. Asch those who did not conform) and at least one study to show disobedience (e.g. Gamson and variations of Milgram.) Explanations of independent behaviour: You MUST know at least two explanations of how people resist pressures to conform and illustrate these with research examples. Desire for individuation o The desire to maintain a sense of individuality sometimes outweighs pressure to conform. Asch discovered that many participants who responded to majority influence with independence were less concerned with social norms than those who conformed. o Synder and Fromkin established that both extreme similarity and extreme uniqueness are unpleasant states and lead to behavioural attempts to reestablish the opposite state. Desire to maintain control Prior commitment o Once people publicly commit themselves to a position, they are less likely to change their opinions than if they hold this position only in private. o In Deutsch and Gerards 1955 variation of Aschs procedure, the nave participants gave their judgement before the majority gave a unanimous different answer. When offered the chance to reconsider, the participant almost never did, fearing to appear indecisive. This demonstrated the importance of prior commitment in resisting subsequent pressures to conform. Time to think and find social support. o Zimbardo advises that people should be mindful of how situational factors can pressurize us to conform, and we should engage critical thinking,

avoiding mindless conformity to the majority. Asking whether the action conflicts with our moral code helps us consider whether we want to compromise our opinion of ourselves to gain others approval. Zimbardo also suggests taking a future perspective and imagining what we might later think of our current conforming action. The role of allies o Asch discovered that the introduction of a confederate who also went against the majority caused conformity to drop by 10%. Having an ally appeared to build confidence and aid resistance because the participants was no longer facing a unanimous majority. The fellow dissenter provides the nave participant with an assessment of reality, making them more confident in their ability to reject the majority decision. o Asch found conformity levels dropped even when the dissenter gave a different wrong answer, which suggests that it is breaking the groups consensus 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 illustrate these with research examples. Disobedient models(e.g. Milgram 90% disobedient when disobedient models present) o Resistance was also increased with disobedient models. In Milgrams variations disobedient confederates caused 90% of the nave participants to rebel too. o The presence of disobedient models undermines the experimenters authority and makes it more likely that the individual will have the confidence to resist subsequent pressures to obey. Feeling responsible/empathy (e.g. removal of buffers) o In Milgrams study, some participants disobeyed the experimenter when they believed the learner was in distress. There was an empathetic response and a refusal to continue. o When buffers were removed participants were no longer protected, and felt more responsible. Questioning motives and status of authority (e.g. run-down office) o Questioning the motives, legitimacy and expertise of authority figures might increase resistance to automatic obedience. When Milgrams study was moved to a rundown office, participants found it easier to question the legitimacy of the experimenters instructions. As a result more participants felt 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 key factor in obedience and its resistance.

Individual differences in independent behaviour Locus of control: You MUST know how locus of control is related to independent behaviour and illustrate this with research. E.g. internal locus of control is associated with independent behaviour. Rotters locus of control refers to individual differences in peoples beliefs and expectations about what controls events in their lives. There are two extremes internal and external although most people lie between the two. Internal locus of control what happens is largely a consequence of their own ability or effort they can therefore control events in their life. People high in internality tend to display independence through thoughts and behaviour, and as active seekers of information rely less on the opinions of others. This means they are better able to resist social influence. External locus of control what happens is controlled by external factors, such as the actions of others or luck. They have a sense that things just happen to them and are largely uncontrollable. They tend to approach events with a more passive and fatalistic attitude, taking less personal responsibility for their actions. You MUST be able to evaluate the link between locus of control and independent behaviour by demonstrating how some research supports the link between internal locus of control and independent behaviour whilst other research does not. You SHOULD be able to discuss research for and against the link between internal locus of control and both non-conformity and disobedience. For example at least TWO from the following: Oliner and Oliner o Used the interview method to study two groups of non-Jewish people who had lived through the holocaust in Nazi Germany. o They compared 406 people who had protected and rescued Jews from the Nazis with 126 who had not done this. o Oliner and Oliner found that the rescuers scored higher on measures of social responsibility and had scores indicating an internal locus of control. Holland o Variations of Milgram. o Comparing obedience levels between internal and external. o He found no significant relationship between locus of control and obedience levels. Blass o Carried out a replication of Hollands study o Participants with an internal locus of control were more resistant to pressures to obey, particularly if they felt pressured or manipulated. Schurtz o Austrian study o Participants were instructed to apply increasing levels of ultrasound stimulation which they were told could cause skin damage at the highest level of a 20 step continuum. o 80% of participants pressed all 20 switches.

o Loci of control were not predictive of obedience. Williams and Warchal o Studied 30 university students who were given a range of conformity tasks based on Aschs experiment. o Each student was also assessed using Rotters locus of control. o Williams found that those who conformed the most were significantly less assertive but did not score differently on the locus of control scale. Atgis o Carried out a meta-analysis of studies which considered locus of control and conformity and found that those who scored higher on external locus of control were more easily persuaded and likely to conform that those with a low score. The average correlation was 0.37 which was statistically significant.

Overall conclusion: research suggests a link between internal locus of control and independent behaviour in that those who score higher on internal locus of control are more likely to resist pressures to conform/obey. However there is also evidence which suggests no link between locus of control and independent behaviour therefore the evidence is mixed and it is difficult to draw firm conclusions. How social influence research helps us to understand social change: You MUST be aware of TWO examples of social change e.g. Suffragette movement and how this social change came about. You MUST now at least TWO ways in which minority influence can lead to social change. (e.g. snowball effect, creating attention) You SHOULD know more ways in which a minority can have an influence and change behaviour (e.g. consistency, augmentation, dissociation) Creating attention: deviant minorities draw attention to the issues that may otherwise been ignored by the majority. If a person is exposed to an argument that contradicts the current view of the majority, this creates a conflict, which the individual is motivated to reduce. They may achieve this by looking into the argument more closely and may end up trying to understand the concept causing a conversion. Consistency: if the minority are consistent then the majority may take their position more seriously. o Intra-individual consistency where individual members of the minority maintain a consistent position over time. o Inter-individual consistency where there is agreement among the different members of the minority. Augmentation: the minorities position may be re-evaluated by the majority as the minority is seen to be willing to make sacrifices to get their point across. This increases (augments) the impact. The snowball effect: used to describe the mass movement of members of the majority toward the minority position. Once a few members of the majority start to move to the

minority position, the influence of the minority begins to gather momentum as more and more people convert to the minority position. Dissociation model: minority groups tend to influence the majority over a much longer time frame compared with majority influence. This is because the minority group position is frequently rejected because majority group members do not want to associate themselves with a deviant minority. Over time, however the ideas may be assimilated into the majority viewpoint without those in the majority remembering where those ideas first came from dissociation.

Examples suffragettes were able to produce social change by using the techniques of minority influence. They maintained their position for 15 years and were consistent in their arguments despite the majorities views. They took part in hunger strikes, and went through imprisonment. You MUST be able to apply this knowledge to everyday examples e.g. changes in smoking behaviour, attitudes and behaviour with regard to conserving energy and recycling.

You SHOULD know how majority influence results in social change (Normative social influence)

You COULD consider how obedience may result in social change (e.g. changes in the law can lead to social change e.g. smoking ban, discrimination laws)