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Flashcards in Conformity to social roles Deck (15)
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Define social norms

Expected ways in which individuals should behave, which varies from situation to situation


Define social roles

The parts individuals play as members of a social group, which meet the expectations of that situation


Which type of conformity is conformity to social roles?

Identification; individuals accept the role publically and privately, but the role changes with the situation


What is conformity to social roles useful for?

It is useful as a way of understanding and predicting social behaviour, which gives a reassuring sense of order to our social interactions


What did Zimbardo seek to understand with his Stanford Prison experiment?

The brutal and dehumanising behaviour found in prisons on a regular basis


What question was Zimbardo trying to answer with his study?

Is this dehumanising behaviour caused by nature or the environment?


How did Zimbardo select his participants?

They were a volunteer sample who had responded to a newspaper ad. The university students were then tested and the 21 most physically and mentally stable were randomly allocated to the role of a guard or prisoner


What is de-individuation and give an example of this in Zimbardo's study

A state in which individuals have lower self-awareness and a weaker sense of personal responsibility for their actions. This may result from the relative anonymity of being part of a crowd, and this is seen in Zimbardo's study because the prisoners began to refer to themselves by their number, not their name


How many prisoners did Zimbardo have to release due to severe psychological side-effects?



How long was Zimbardo's study supposed to run for and how long did it actually run for?

It was supposed to run for 14 days but it only ran for 6


What did Zimbardo conclude?

Individuals conform readily to the social roles demanded of them by the environment even when these roles override an individual's moral beliefs


What is dehumanisation?

Degrading people by lessening their human qualities, such as the guards taunting the prisoners and behaving sadistically towards them


What percentage of conversations inside Zimbardo’s prison were about life outside the prison?



What practical implications did Zimbardo's study have?

Altered the training of guards and removed the use of numbers instead of names


What are some problems with Zimbardo's study?

Lacks research support - other reproductions have found different results (BBC)

Also, he underestimated dispositional influences - not all of the guards were violent