M3. Explain why conformity and obedience are important in the public services, with reference to research studies. Conformity and obedience are forms of social influence which strongly affect our behaviour is social situations, from following fashions and unwritten social norms which organise our behaviour, to committing immoral acts because we are commanded to by someone who appears to be in a position of authority. This essay looks at the similarities and differences between the three, looking specifically at the factors that influence each two. Conformity within a group entails members changing their attitudes and beliefs in order to match those of others within the group.
Explain how social influence research helps us to understand social change? (6m) Social influence is the process where behaviour, attitudes and beliefs change due to the presence or actions of others. Social influence research has helped us understand social change, there are several reasons on why people obey; majority influence, gradual commitment and legitimate authority. One explanation is majority influence. The research into conformity by Asch suggests that participants are more likely to conform to majority influence even if the answer was obvious.
Benefits come from belonging in a group, individuals may conform on the surface but disagree with the group internally. This is called compliance, going along with the majority despite knowing they are incorrect. Informational social influence; is powered by what people need or their motives. When people are unaware how to behave, think or feel in a social situation the need for conformity is the need to be safe. An example of psychological research in conformity is Asch (1951) line study, where there were varying amount of both participants and confederates and they were asked to state which line was bigger out of three.
The theory has been used to explain social phenomena such as ethnocentrism, ingroup favouritism, stereotyping, and conformity to ingroup norms. Social identification may in fact underpin some of these behaviours because social categorization can produce competitive intergroup behaviour. In the Kandinsky vs. Klee experiment the intergroup discrimination was observed by simply putting participants into groups by a preference for either Klee or Kandinsky. The experiment that was conducted by Cialdini et al. demonstrated how individual’s selfesteem is maintained by social comparison.
Social Exchange theory The social exchange theory, also known as communication theory of social exchange, proposes that people make decisions in social situations depending on the alleged costs and benefits of a relationship. This assumption stresses that people evaluate each of their social relationships to determine how they will benefit from a relationship and what a relationship may cost them (i.e. time, money, energy, stress, etc.). It also suggests that someone will typically leave a relationship if he or she perceives that the effort or cost of it outweighs any perceived advantages. This basic principal of social psychology is imbedded in economics, rational choice theory, and structuralism.
The credibility aspect of persuasion will be applied to describe a hypothetical scenario in which a person would choose to adhere to his or her original attitudes. The expertise aspect of persuasion will be applied to describe a hypothetical scenario in which a person would choose to change to his or her original attitudes. Credibility Credibility is an aspect of persuasion. It can be used to reinforce a person’s original attitudes. “People are more persuaded by highly credible communicators than by those low in credibility” (Taylor, Peplau, & Sears, 2012, p. 147).
Evaluate research studies on conformity Conformity is a type of social influence in which individuals change their attitudes or behaviour to adhere to existing social norms. Researchers identify to types of conformity – private or informative and public or normative. Private conformity refers to private acceptance of social norms, while public conformity is overt bahaviour consistent with social norms that are nor privately accepted. Why do people conform? On the one hand, people conform because they are members of social groups.
Written Assignment 1. Explain how variables such as social inter actions, cognitive processes, environmental variables, cultural context, and biological factors shape what social psychology is all about and how it is practiced. Social Psychology is based on many components such as social interactions, cognitive processes, environmental variables, cultural context, and biological factors. Social psychology explains the nature of one’s behavior and is the key element that influence the way an individual think, feel and behave. Social interactions is the process in which individuals act towards or respond to other in any given situation.
Considering the opinions of others can be used as a tool to assess the accuracy of our own conclusions. We conform because we consider that others may have correct data. Normative social influence can also cause conformity. When we are exposed to this type of social influence we mirror the conduct of others in the same situation because it is believed to be the proper normal behavior. Human beings in general do not like standing out from a crowd or feelings of rejection; so, although we logically consider the circumstance, we also are motivated to behave a
The social system of privilege is one of those that can be affected by individual paths. Allan Johnson, in his book “Privilege, Power, and Difference”, defines the two of the different paths that people can choose. The first is a path of least resistance. In every social situation there are many different ways one can act. The one that provides the least resistance is often what the majority of people choose.