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 • • • • 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 • • • • • 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 • • • • “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.