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1. Implications for social change of research into social influence “Discuss how findings from social influence research might have implications for changes in…
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  • 1. Implications for social change of research into social influence “Discuss how findings from social influence research might have implications for changes in society”
  • 2. From the research – what things do you think have changed or should be changed?
  • 3. The belief that only evil people do evil acts... • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsFEV35tW • Zimbardo....why ordinary people do evil...or good.
  • 4. The belief that only evil people do evil acts
  • 5. Stanford Prison Experiment (1971) • The Stanford prison experiment was a study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. • 24 undergraduates were selected out of 70 (after psychometric tests to ensure they were ‘good apples’) to play the roles of both guards and prisoners and live in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building. • Roles were assigned at random. • Guards wore khaki uniforms, dark glasses and carried wooden batons • No physical aggression was permitted
  • 6. Stanford Prison Experiment (1971) • They adapted to their roles well beyond that expected • The guards harassed and humiliated the prisoners and conformed to their perceived roles with such zeal the study had to be discontinued after 6 days (planned for 2 weeks) • The guards came up with new ways to humiliate the prisoners without using physical aggression – Cleaning toilets with bare hands – Not allowing sanitation buckets to be emptied – Removing prisoners mattresses – Acting out scenes • Prisoners tried to rebel, but the guards always over powered them. • Some prisoners became depressed and anxious, one prisoner had to be released after day 1, two more on day four. By day 6 the prisoner were submissive to the guards.
  • 7. The belief that only evil people do evil acts… • Zimbardo and Milgram have demonstrated this is not the case; ordinary people will commit evil acts • To reduce the likelihood of such behaviour, there is a need for all us to be aware of the circumstance that lead to blind obedience or failure to empathise with others.
  • 8. Zimbardo (2007) 10-step programme to resist unwanted influences • Admit mistakes • Be mindful • Be responsible • Assert your individuality • Respect just authority but rebel again unjust authority • Balance desire for group acceptance with value of own individuality • Be frame vigilant • Develop a balanced time perspective • Do not sacrifice freedoms for the illusion of security • Oppose unjust systems
  • 9. ‘Enlightenment effect’ • 1973, Gergen proposed ‘sophistication as to psychological principles liberates one from their behavioural implications’. • What does this mean??? • People will be less susceptible to blind obedience and unthinking conformity if they are knowledgeable about the processes involved in social influence.
  • 10. ‘Enlightenment effect’ • However Blass (2000) found no correlation between when studies of obedience were conducted and the level of obedience found • This suggests information about obedience research will not necessarily change a persons behaviour once they are in an authority-dominated situation.
  • 11. ‘Enlightenment effect’ • One of Milgram’s participants wrote in 1982: • I found it ‘easier…to recognise and avoid situations in which authority and obedience play significant roles…than…to defy authority within such situations’
  • 12. The ‘foot in the door’ technique • This technique as demonstrated in Milgram’s study shows that if you succeed in getting people to comply with a small request they may feel committed to go along with more important request subsequently. • Foot in door technique commonly used by sales people and charities • People should bear in mind this technique to try and affect change. i.e. Local authorities who want to enforce greener policies
  • 13. Implications for psychology codes and ethical guidelines • Ethics is concerned with rules or principles used to distinguish between right or wrong. • BPS has devised ethical guidelines and codes of conduct in an effort to prevent unethical practices in psychological research. • The major reason behind the development of these guidelines came from the ethical issues raised by research into social influence)
  • 14. Social change implications from research on minority influence
  • 15. Minority Influence • So far we have seen how a powerful majority can influence a minority….but what about the other way around? • Research has shown that minorities can be influential provided they adopt the appropriate style of behaviour. • If people simply went along with the majority all the time and minority views never prevailed, there would be no change, no innovation
  • 16. Minority influence • Which minority figures can you think of who instigated social change?
  • 17. Nelson Mandela Who is this?
  • 18. Rosa Parks Who is this?
  • 19. Suffragettes Who is this?
  • 20. Martin Luther King Who is this?
  • 21. Minority Influence • Small minority groups may be dismissed initially however under some circumstance and over a period of time these small groups or even individuals can eventually become very influential
  • 22. Behavioural styles of influential minorities: • Moscovici (1985) identified behavioural styles which minorities must possess if they are to exert social influence on majorities: • Consistency - must be consistent in their opposition to the majority. Consistency is recognized as ‘resolution, certainty, clarity of definition and coherence’ • Not dogmatic – they must not appear dogmatic by rigidly reiterating the same arguments. They need to demonstrate a degree of flexibility
  • 23. Behavioural styles of influential minorities: • Hogg and Vaughan claim they will be more influential if: • Acting from principle (not out of self-interest) • Have made sacrifices in order to maintain their position • Similar to the majority in terms of class, age and gender • Advocate views that are consistent with current social trends
  • 24. Why do people yield to a minority? • Consistency – two types – Intra-individual – where a person maintains a consistent position over time – Inter-individual – where there is agreement among members of the minority group • Snowball effect – once a few members of a majority start to move towards the minority position, then the influence of the minority begins to gather momentum more people gradually pay attention to the potential correctness of the minority view
  • 25. Social cryptoamnesia
  • 26. Why do people yield to a minority? • The dissociation model – Mugny and Perez (1991) and Perez et al (1995) propose that minority groups influence majority groups through a process called social cryptoamnesia, meaning that minority ideas are assimilated into the majority viewpoint without those in the majority remembering where the ideas came from. • In other words, the content and the source become dissociated. • According to this model, minority ideas are so strongly associated with their source that to adopt the message risks assuming the negative identity of the source. • If, on the other hand, the ideas can be dissociated from their source, the majority can resist overt identification with an out-group while still drawing inspiration from their ideas. • This may be why the conversion effect, generated by minority groups, is often delayed.
  • 27. Minority influence for social change • Nemeth: minority influence lies in its ability to stimulate thought so that, over time, people may be converted, for good or ill, to new ways of thinking and behaving.
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