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A change in a person's behaviour or opinions as a result of real or imagined pressure from a person or group of people



A deep type of conformity when we take the majority view because we accept it as correct. It leads to a far reaching and permanent change in behaviour, even when the group is absent



A moderate type of conformity where we act in the same way as the group because we value it and want to be part of it. But we don't agree with everything the majority believes



A superficial and temporary type of conformity where we outwardly go along with the majority view, but privately disagree with it. The change in our behaviour only lasts as long as the group is monitoring us


Informational Social Influence

An explanation of conformity that says we agree with the opinion of the majority because we belive it's correct. We accept it because we want to be correct as well. This may lead to internalisation


Normative Social Influence

An explanation of conformity that says we agree with the opinion of the majority because we want to be accepted,gain social approval and be liked. This may lead to compliance


Group Size

Asch increased the size of the group by adding more confederates, this increasing the size of the majority



The extent to which all group members agree


Task Difficulty

Asch' s line judging task is more difficult when it becomes harder to work out the correct answer


Social Roles

The "parts" people play as members of various social roles. These are accompanied by expectations we and others have of what is appropriate behaviour in each role



A form of social influence in which an individual follows a direct order. The person issuing the order is usually a figure of authority who has the power to punish when obedient behaviour is not forthcoming



The physical closeness or distance of an authority figure to the person they are giving the order to



The place where an order is issued. The relevant factor that influence obedience is the status of prestige associated with the location



People in positions of authority often have a specific outfit that is symbolic of their authority. This indicates to the rest of us who is entitled to expect our obedience


Agentic State

A mental state where we feel no personal responsibility for our behaviour because we believe yourself to be acting for an authority figure. This frees us from the demands of our conscious and allows us to obey even a destructive authority figure


Legitimacy of Authority

An explanation for obedience which suggests that we are more likely to obey people who we perceive to have authority over us. This authority is justified by the individuals power within the social hierarchy


Dispostional Explanation

Any explanation of behaviour that highlights the importance of the individuals personality. Such explanations are often contrasted with situational variables


Authoritarian Personality

A type of personality that Adorno argued was especially susceptible to obeying people in authority. Such individuals are also thought to be submissive to those of a higher status and dismissive of interiors


Resistance to Social Influence

Refers to the ability of people to withstand the social pressure to conform to the majority or to obey authority. This ability to withstand social pressure is influenced by both situational and dispostional factors


Social Support

The presence of people who resist pressures to conform or obey can help others to do the same. These people act as models to show others that resistance to social influence is possible


Locus of Control

Refers to the sense we each have about what directs events in our lives. Internals believe that they are mostly responsible for what happens to them. Externals belive it is mainly a matter of luck or other outside forces


Minority Influence

A form of social influence in which a minority of people persuade others to adopt their believes,attitudes or behaviours. Leads to internalisation or conversion



Minority influence is most effective if the minority keeps the same beliefs, both over time and between all individuals of the group. It's effective as it draws attention



Minority influence is more powerful if the minority demonstrates dedication to the cause. This is effective as it shows the minority is not acting out of self interest



Relentless consistency could be counter productive if it is seen by the majority as unbending and unreasonable. Therefore minority influence is more effective if the minority show flexibility by accepting the possibility of compromise


Social Influence

The process by which individuals and groups change each other's attitudes and behaviours


Social Change

This occurs when whole societies rather than just individuals adopt new attitudes,beliefs and ways of doing things


Two Process Theory

In relation to social influence, used to describe the two process that describe conformity, NSI and ISI



People who have a need for affiliation