PSY440H5 Lecture Notes - Solomon Asch, Ecological Validity, Mccarthyism

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Conformity = a change in behaviour due to presence of others where there is no direct request to comply. N. b. this is different from obedience (next section in notes) obedience = when social influence takes place due to a direct request by a figure of authority. Most research on majority influence took place in 1950s/1960s when ethical constraints were nothing like what they are today. The most famous of these was conducted by asch (1956). Many musicians and writers were accused of being communists and put out of work. Although by 1954 the mccarthyism fervour had died down people remained fearful of dissent. There are different reasons why we might conform: Normative conformity: because we don"t want to stand out from the crowd e. g. pretending to like a song so that others in your group think you are cool. You might not necessarily agree with the group therefore conformity is characterised by compliance rather than internalisation.

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