• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent does research into conformity allow us to make predictions on individual behaviour?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Bethan Brady, I.B 1. To what extent does research into conformity allow us to make predictions on individual behaviour? Conformity is the tendency to change your beliefs, attitude or behaviour based on the actions of those around you. There are two main types of conformity-compliance and internalisation. Compliance is where you change your behaviour too fit your peers, although your belief may not change, as shown in Asch?s experiment (the essay will explore this experiment more). Where-as internalisation is where your beliefs change as well as your behaviour. A good example of this is when a person becomes vegetarian because your peers believe that harming animals is wrong. This deep behaviour is what leads to an attitude change. People are believed to conform for two main reasons, too fit into the group they are with(normative influence) and because they believe the rest of the group is more informed than themselves (informational influence). Asch?s experiment was too monitor?s people?s behaviour when the rest of the group gave completely incorrect answers. ...read more.

Middle

All the participants in Asch?s experiment were male, in the same age range, and from university. From this alone it could be suggested that the experiment doesn?t allow us to make predictions on an individual?s behaviour, because the sample of participants was so narrow. The experiment also lacked ecological validity. It was so unlikely to happen in everyday life, that again, it?s impossible to predict an individual?s behaviour from it. In 1980 Perrin and Spencer carried out the same experiment as Asch but with British Engineering, Mathematics and Chemistry students in a university. These results were a complete contrast to Asch?s with only one trail within 396 trials with a case of someone conforming. Perrin and Spencer also carried out the experiment again with young offenders as participants and probation officers as confederates. These results mimicked the original experiment. This could be because of the fear between the participants to the probation officers. From looking at these variations of the same experiment, the idea of being able to predict a person?s behaviour is unlikely. ...read more.

Conclusion

The participants genuinely believed that their peers were correct, because the experiment was so ambiguous it is very hard to determine whether this experiment could actually predict people?s future behaviour. Sherif also had similar flaws in his experiment too Asch?s. Sherif only used men. This could raise the question that if women had been used as well would there be less or more evidence of conformity? In conclusion, research into conformity does not allow us to make a prediction of a person?s future behaviour. A major flaw in previous experiments is that they lack ecological validity. How can an experiment of judging line length or judging the movement of a light help us predict a person?s future behaviour? The complete lack of ecological validity makes predicting a person?s behaviour from it impossible. Also, in previous experiments, the sample of participants has always been very narrow. The majority of previous experiments have been done on male university students; this again, backs up the idea that you can?t predict a person?s future behaviour. From just two experiments you can see that predicting a person?s future behaviour from previous conformity research is an impossible thing to do. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Psychology essays

  1. Describe the role of situational and dispositional factors in explaining behaviour.

    The criticism of the study is the following: Laboratory experiments increase internal validity. If the internal validity is high, the conclusions made are a correct interpretation, and the variables defined are accurately and appropriately manipulated and measured in a representative sample.

  2. Revision notes on the Development of Moral Behaviour

    Heinz's wife was dying from a special form of cancer but there was one drug that could save her.

  1. This experiment investigated the effect of the presence of others on the number of ...

    A renowned study on social facilitation was conducted by Floyd Allport in 1920. Participants were asked to perform a variety of tasks under two different conditions. Some subjects had to work on the task while sitting around a table, isolated from the rest of the participants.

  2. Describe and evaluate the experiment as a research methodology.

    and change something around them, like their environment. The setting can also be chosen between a laboratory setting and a field experiment, which are experiments conducted in the natural environment of the chosen participant. Field experiments tend to be less artificial but it is much harder to control variables accurately.

  1. Psychology IB Abnormal Notes and Essay Plans

    someone back to a state of mental health effectively and to use an eclectic approach. Evaluate psychological research relevant to the study of abnormal behavior Introduction 1. Different types of psychological research studies used to study abnormal behavior 1. When researchers are gathering the symptoms of a disorder, they look for 1.

  2. Psychology Essay To what extent does localisation and plasticity contribute to behaviour?

    The experiment was also said to treat the individual epileptics, however the ethics of the experiment may be questioned; the patients did not necessarily volunteer for the experiment and they may have made a loss from the surgery. The method also had some issues ? Only 11 people were tested,

  1. To what extent is positive education in classroom settings successful in enhancing students happiness?

    Furthermore the study only showed a correlation between happiness and lifespan, but not the cause and effect. This means that it did not show how character strengths influenced happiness, but it only found a correlation between these to factors. To think that it did, would be to commit the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc.

  2. Psychology IB Abnormality Notes

    someone back to a state of mental health effectively and to use an eclectic approach. Evaluate psychological research relevant to the study of abnormal behavior Introduction 1. Different types of psychological research studies used to study abnormal behavior 1. When researchers are gathering the symptoms of a disorder, they look for 1.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work