Outline and evaluate research into majority
The high status of the university gave the study credibility and respect in the eyes of the participants, thus making them more likely to obey. This raises the question of ecological validity. Since majorities are often unconcerned about what minorities think about them, minority influence is rarely based on normative social influence.
An example of this is if someone was to go to a posh restaurant for the first time, they may be confronted with several forks and not know which one to use, so they might look to a near by person to see what fork to use first. Protection of participants - Participants were exposed to extremely stressful situations that may have the potential to cause psychological harm. Each group was shown a set of 3 lines and a separate reference line, and group members had the task of simply stating which line was the same length as the reference line. This experiment questions the importance of consistency. The teacher and learner were put into separate rooms. Research indicates that if the majority identifies with the minority, then they are more likely to take the views of the minority seriously and change their own views in line with those of the minority. They often face much more determined opposition. The differential contributions of majority and minority influence. The experiment was based on a mock jury in which groups of three participants and one confederate had to decide on the amount of compensation to be given to the victim of a ski-lift accident. Many of the participants were visibly distressed.
Also when the task was made more difficult, conformity increased. However, if they appear flexible and compromising, they are likely to be seen as less extreme, as more moderate, cooperative and reasonable.
However, in Zimbardo's defence the emotional distress experienced by the prisoners could not have been predicted from the outset. Power and status laboratory experiments are largely unable to represent and simulate the wide differences in power and status that often separate minorities and majorities.
Moscovici lage & naffrechoux (1969)
Moscovici argues that majority influence tends to be based on public compliance. A relatively small group of suffragettes argued strongly for the initially unpopular view that women should be allowed to vote. Additionally this is likely to be an example of informational social influence as participants would be uncertain about the actual number of beans in the jar. He found that when the task was carried out in a social group, the participants would report estimates of roughly the same value even though they had previously reported quite different estimates as individuals. The guards began to enjoy the power they had, and their use of aggression and harassment steadily increased as they took on the dominant role of prison guards. Conformity to Social Roles Social roles are the part people play as members of a social group e. His results and conclusions are given below: Group Size Asch altered the number of confederates in his study to see how this effected conformity. Stanford Prison Experiment AO1 Zimbardo wanted to investigate how readily people would conform to the social roles of guard and prisoner in a role-playing exercise that simulated prison life. This can lead to the majority taking the minority view seriously. This is good because it improves the reliability of the study and also helps establish a causal relationship. London: Academic Press. Each set of lines consisted of one line that was obviously the same length as the reference line, and two that were obviously different. Conforming to a social role is called identification. To answer this, Asch designed an experiment to test conformity in a situation where the correct answer was obvious. If the authority figure is distant it is easier to resistant their orders.
For example, members of women's rights, gay rights and animal rights organizations, members of pressure groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are very different from participants in laboratory experiments. Some researchers have gone further and suggested that it is not just the appearance of flexibility and compromise which is important but actual flexibility and compromise.
Evaluation of Milgram's Study AO3 A limitation is that this study lacked ecological validity as it was carried out in a lab under artificial conditions. The majority will therefore be more likely to question their own views. It also highlights how we can all be blind to obedience often doing things without question. It involves convincing the majority that the minority views are correct. Another strength of the study is that the harmful treatment of participant led to the formal recognition of ethical guidelines. Asch measured the number of times each participant conformed to the majority view. When the consistent minority the confederate argued for a very low amount and refused to change his position, he had no effect on the majority. The experiment had to be stopped early due to how dangerous and brutal it became, with three prisoners being released early due to severe psychological distress. Each group was shown a set of 3 lines and a separate reference line, and group members had the task of simply stating which line was the same length as the reference line. Each participant had to make an individual estimate, and then do the same as a group. The study was successful in showing majority influence, thus proving that individuals' behavior and beliefs can be influenced by a group. How do you think and respond to each of these minority groups and the views they put forward? Conforming to a social role is called identification.
The teacher and learner were put into separate rooms. However, Asch interviewed all of his participants following the experiment to overcome this issue. In this respect, power of numbers is important - the majority have the power to reward and punish with approval and disapproval.
In Milgram's study the experimenter was in the same room as the participant i. Four main factors have been identified as important for a minority to have an influence over a majority.
based on 36 review