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What does research suggest is the best way to prevent destructive types of social influence?

Training staff in institutional settings to obey/conform to official guidelines and rules, rather than malevolent authority figures and majority influences


What does resistance to social influence involve?

Disobedience and non-conformity


What are the two ways in which non-conformity occurs?

Independence - A lack of consistent movement either towards or away from social expectancy
Anti-conformity - A consistent movement away from social conformity, for instance adopting the behaviour and norms of a minority group


What are the two core explanations of resistance to social influence?

Social support and locus of control


How does social support cause resistance to social influence?

The presence of others who dissent is a strong source of defiance and breaks the agreement of the majority which reduces their impact. Also, if an individual dissents early the more likely they are to gather support


What did Ach find in relation to social support?

If there is a dissenter who answers correctly from the start, conformity drops from 32% to 5.5%, and if a dissenter speaks up later in the study conformity dropped to 8.5%


What is a disobedient model and how does this create resistance to social influence?

An individual who disagrees with the majority and the minority. They reduce the unanimity of the group, making it easier for others to disagree with the majority because they demonstrate that it is possible and how to do it


What did Milgram find in relation to disobedient models?

When two confederates refused to continue giving shocks obedience dropped to 10%, suggesting that creating a group norm of disobedience put participants under pressure to conform to the behaviour of the confederates


What is locus of control?

The extent to which individuals believe that they can control events in their lives


What is internal locus of control?

Individuals feel they are in control of their lives - things happen as a result of an individual's choices and decisions


What is external locus of control?

Things turn out a certain way regardless of their actions - things happen as a result of uncontrollable external forces


What did Spector find?

University students with a high external locus of control conformed more than those with an internal locus of control, but only in situations involving normative social influence


What did Holland find?

There was no relationship between LoC and obedience, but Blass used more precise statistical measurements and found internal LoC were more able to resist obedience


What other minor factors are involved in resistance to social influence?

Reactance, ironic deviance and status


What did Richardson find?

Where the confederates were believed to be of a higher status, participants conformed to the group decision, and the reverse was true where Confederates were believed to be of a low status


What other factors are involved in resisting obedience?

Systematic processing, morality and personality


What did Milgram find regarding morality?

One participant who did not full obey stated that he did so because he was a vicar and his disobedience had been based on his "obeying a higher authority", so a religious morality helped him disobey the experimenter


What is systematic processing?

When individuals have time to consider the consequences of their actions they are more likely to resist; for example, in the military it is expected that orders are obeyed immediately without thought


What does research suggest about personality and resistance to obedience?

Individuals who can empathise with the feelings of others are more able to resist orders with destructive consequences; Oliner and Oliner found that those who had helped rescue Jews during WWII had been brought up to emphasise helping others and empathy