Conformity and Obedience

Report
Conformity and Obedience
Dr. Sanchez
Majority Influence:
Having an Ally in Dissent
• When there was an ally in Asch’s study,
conformity dropped by almost 80%.
• Why does having an ally reduce majority
influence on our behavior?
– More difficult to stand alone than with others
– Any dissent can reduce the normative
pressures to conform.
Majority Influence and
Gender Differences
• IV: Masculine, Feminine, or Stereotype
Neutral Q’s
• DV: Percent agreeing w/majority response
• Results?
– Men conformed more to feminine qs
– Women conformed more to masculine qs
– No difference on neutral items
Majority Influence and
Gender Differences
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Conceptual IV: Social Pressure
IV: Public v. Private
DV: Percent agreeing w/majority response
Results?
– Men conformed less
– Women conformed more
• Why?
Majority Influence and
Gender Differences
• Sex differences appear to depend on:
– How comfortable people are with the
experimental task.
– Type of social pressure people face.
Majority Influence and Culture
• Cultures differ in the extent to which
people adhere to social norms.
• What determines whether a culture
becomes individualistic or collectivistic?
– The complexity of the society.
– The affluence of the society.
– The heterogeneity of the society.
Individualistic / Collectivistic
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US
Australia
Great Britain
Canada
Netherlands
• Asia
• Africa
• South America
Non-Conformists
• Asch’s study = 63% did not conform!!!
Minority Influence
• Def. Process by which dissenters produce
change
• Moscovici: Nonconformists derive power
from the style of their behavior.
– “Consistent dissent” approach
– “The color study”
• Why?
Minority Influence
• Hollander: Minorities influence by first
accumulating idiosyncrasy credits.
– “First conform, then dissent” strategy.
• Why?
How Does Minority Influence
Work?
• Does minority influence work just like the
process of conformity?
• Dual Process Approach
– Because of their power and control, majorities
elicit public conformity through normative
pressures.
– Because seen as seriously committed to their
views, minorities produce private conformity,
or conversion.
Majority vs. Minority Influence
• Relative impact of each depends on whether the
judgment that is being made is objective or
subjective.
– Fact = Majority Rules
– Opinion = Minority & Majority influence
• The relative effects of majority and minority
viewpoints depend on how conformity is
measured.
– Direct, public measures vs. more indirect, private
measures of conformity.
• Benefits of minority influence
Obedience
• Behavior change produced by the
commands of authority
• Remember:
– Compliance is a behavior change elicited by a
direct request
– Conformity is a change of perceptions,
opinions, or behaviors in ways that are
consistent with group norms
Milgram’s Research: Forces of
Destructive Obedience
• Conducted his experiments during the
time that Adolph Eichmann was being tried
for Nazi war crimes.
• Symbols of authority
• His unorthodox methods have been the
subject of much ethical debate.
The Prods Used in Milgram’s
Experiment
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“Please continue (or please go on).”
“The experiment requires that you continue.”
“It is absolutely essential that you continue.”
“You have no other choice; you must
go on.”
Milgram’s Baseline Results
The Obedient Participant
• No gender differences observed in level of
obedience.
• Milgram’s basic findings have been
replicated in several different countries
and among different age groups.
• Milgram’s participants were tormented by
experience.
Are We All Nazis?
• No, an individual’s character can make a
difference.
• Authoritarian Personality: Submissive
toward figures of authority but aggressive
toward subordinates.

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