Minority influence including reference to consistency, commitment and flexibility. The role of social influence processes in social change.

AO1, Description – Resistance of Social Influence:Definition of Resistance of Social Influence- The ways in which individuals attempt to withstand perceived attempts to threaten freedom of choice. For what reasons are able to stay independent and not conform or obey. There are two explanations of why people resist Social Influence:

Variations of Milgram’s Study into Obedience

Milgram carried out a number of variations of his original obedience study in order to see how changes to; location, the way the authority figure is dressed, participant personality and proximity can affect the degree of obedience to an ‘authority figure.’

Explanations of obedience

It is easy to deny personal responsibility when orders come from a figure of authority because it can be assumed that they will take ultimate responsibility. In these instances, we become ‘agents’ of an external authority. According to Milgram, obedience occurs as a result of a conflict between 2 opposing sets of demands:

Research into Obedience Milgram (1964)

One of the most influential pieces of research into obedience is undoubtedly from Stanley Milgram (his electric shock study). Milgram was the son of Polish refugees and wanted to show that, when in the presence of an authority figure, any individual would follow instructions blindly rather than stand up to an authority figure and resist their commands.

Variables Affecting Conformity

Variables Affecting Conformity: After Asch’s original study, he decided to carry out a number of further investigations to see which variables would affect the levels of conformity among participants. Have a look at the table below – the situational variables are the factors that Asch manipulated in the experiment to see if they would affect the levels of conformity.