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Majority influence

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Psychology- Majority Influence A) Two psychological processes that are involved in majority influence are: Normative and informative influence. Normative influence is when somebody conforms with the majority because they feel as if they would look stupid or stand out from the crowd if they do not conform. Even if the majority is wrong and the na�ve RP knows that he is correct, he still conforms to the majority because he doesn't want to be the odd one out. Asch's study shows this because he put na�ve RPs in a group with stooges. The stooges would give the incorrect answer even if the correct answer is incredibly obvious. The na�ve RP conformed 32% of the time. This shows normative influence does exist. Informative influence is when we conform to the majority because we do not know the correct answer for ourselves, so we look at other people for the correct answer. Sherif showed this by getting participants to sit in a dark room and showed them a dot of light that would move because of the auto kinetic effect of your eyes. He told RPs to judge how far the light wobbled and to write down their answers but the answers were not similar to the other RPs. Next he told them to shout it out but when people shouted it out their answers were very similar because nobody knew the correct answer but they knew what the majority were saying. ...read more.


Asch does have internal validity because it shows how people conform under majority influence using normative influence. Evidence to suggest this is the fact that the na�ve RP conformed to the group of stooges 32% of the time and gave the incorrect answer. This shows majority influence clearly. This research does not cause anyone any ethical problems however it does make the na�ve RP uncomfortable while during the experiment; however this is expected because that is how humanity works. If the na�ve RP was more confident and believed in himself much more then this could have affected the results and stopped him from conforming to the other two stooges. This test cannot be generalised to most people because it was only tested on the na�ve RP and two other stooges and also because it lacks external validity. If the RP realised that he was being tested then the conformity rate would drop because he would stick with his answer. Sherif also tested majority influence but he used informational influence. Sherif put RPs into a dark room and showed them a small dot of light that appeared to be moving because of the auto-kinetic effect in the human's eyes objects seem to wobble because the human eyes wobble. He then asked the participants to note down how far the light wobbled. ...read more.


OHMYGOD ADELE THAT'S LIKE ME BECAUSE IM DIFFERENT AT HOME BECAUSE I HAVE TO ACT LIKE THE STRAIGHT GUY, SORRY I JUST HAD TO PUT THIS IN. HOPE YOUR IN A GOOD MOOD. ANYWAY BACK TO THE ESSAY. Zimbardo's study has aspects of external validity because it was a realistic representation of guards and prisoners who take on social roles. Prisoners and the guards took everything realistically. This occurred even when the research participants knew that everything was a fake, their social role made everything seem really realistic. This experiment definitely shows how people conform to social roles using majority influence because RPs believed that the experiment was a fake but it became a reality and they thought they were actually in a real prison. A good example of this is prisoner 416 who thought he couldn't escape so he went on a huger strike to rebel against the prison guards. There was some demand characteristics because one guard changed his behaviour to a cop that he saw on TV. That is not conforming to a social role that is acting like a different character. Some parts of the study were not ethical because the prisoners were arrested randomly and didn't know when; they also didn't know that they would be deloused. The guards mocked their genitals. The prisoners were distressed and the guards became really dominating so this experiment did cause long term psychological problems however Zimbardo sorted it by debriefing the RP's and told them exactly what had happened. ...read more.

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