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Describe and criticise two studies from psychological research on either conformity or obedience
Conformity involves a change in behaviour or opinion in order to fit in with a group. This may be family or peers (a membership group) or it may be pop and sports stars (a reference group). This group can be either a majority or a minority group. (S-cool Student Site)
Two processes have been identified in causing people to conform (Deutsch and Gerard (1955)), these are normative influence which often comes from peer pressure such as fear of rejection and wanting approval and informational influence which is the fear of looking unintelligent and believing others know better especially with something unfamiliar or difficult.
There have been many studies done by psychologists into why people conform two examples of which are Zimbardo et al (1973) and Moscovici et al (1969) which are described as follows:
Zimbardos aim in his Stamford prison experiment was to examine conformity to social roles and expectations in other words to see the effect of making 'good', 'normal' people into prisoners and prison guards.
The procedure for the experiment was that twenty-four middle class male
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