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Conformity CourseworkIn this research I aim to discover if or how often people will conform to other (fake) answers

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Conformity Conformity is when a person alters their behaviour so that it is similar to that of other people. There are two motives for conformity (also known as majority social influence): Normative social influence: emulating the behaviour of others to fit into a group. People may conform if they want people to like them. Informational social influence: emulating the behaviour of others in an attempt to be right. Conformity Studies Muzafer Sherif used the auto kinetic effect (an optical illusion, in which a small point of light appears to move around when shone on a wall in a dark room) in his conformity study (this is an ambiguous stimulus). When the participants were asked individually how far they thought the light moved; the answers given varied greatly (from 2 to 25cm). Participants were then put into groups of three and gave an answer In front of the other two in a series of identical tests, each time the participants were asked the answers given converged into a group norm. Afterwards the participants were tested individually again and their answers stayed close to the group norm, when asked whether they were influenced by the estimates of others the participants said that they did not feel that they had altered their estimates to fit in with others at all. ...read more.


Standardisation To succeed in eliminating the situational variables I need to standardise the experiment. 1 Give written instructions 2 Ask participants alone in a quiet room 3 Give participants a standard time looking at the container Participants I will use an opportunity sample in my study, this means that participants will be gained as and when I can find them, or when I have the opportunity to test them. I will use 30 participants, all students or lecturers (Lecturers and students in my psychology group were only used as controls) at Worcester College of Technology. Materials I will use: A pen A transparent container full of rubber bands 20 sheets (10 with high guesses on that will be given to the High group, and 10 with low guesses on that will be given to the Low group) The high sheets will have these numbers on: 700, 670, 800, 731, 950, 825. The low sheets will have these numbers on: 400, 470, 550, 342, 535, 380. Procedure 1. I will ask people that I see at college individually if they will guess how many rubber bands are in a container. ...read more.


3. To prevent this, I would ask participants in the High and Low groups if they have done a psychology course before, if they have, they would not participate in my experiment. 4. Because I found gathering all my participants together in one place and asking them into an empty room impractical, the study was not done this way, if I did the study again, I would organise it more rigorously. 5. Because I asked students in a college to participate in this study, the sample did not represent the general public, in an ideal situation, I would use people of all ages and backgrounds. What Do These Findings Mean In Real Life? The nature of this experiment is quite simplistic; any real life situation where people conform will have more elements in it that may affect a person's behaviour. However, the concept of informational social influence may explain situations such as when people watch others in an upmarket restaurant to see which piece of cutlery they are using to eat a particular type of food and copy them so that they do not look odd because they used a fish fork to eat cake, for example. ...read more.

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