Social Psychology

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Social Psychology . Lesson 3. Minority Influence . Suggest cases of minority influence in action Outline Moscovici’s study of minority influence Explore and discuss factors affecting minority influence Evaluate Moscovici’s research
Social Psychology Lesson 3Minority Influence
  • Suggest cases of minority influence in action
  • Outline Moscovici’s study of minority influence
  • Explore and discuss factors affecting minority influence
  • Evaluate Moscovici’s research
  • To understand minority influence and its supporting research.
  • Give evaluation to why people conform and its supporting research.
  • Lesson objectives:
  • What is Minority Influence?How do we explain?
  • Suffragette movement
  • Christianity
  • Nazism
  • Green movement
  • of minority and MoscoviciHe believed we shouldn’t focus on the idea of a powerful majority (as its not historically reality) Consistency- Consistency is recognized as ‘resolution, certainty, clarity of definition and coherence’ minority views must be consistent and it this consistency that can cause conflict and conformity causing the a change of idea’s and opinionsNot dogmatic – they must not appear dogmatic by rigidly reiterating the same arguments. They need to demonstrate a degree of flexibilityMoscovici et al (1969) – Aim
  • To see whether a consistent minority of participants could influence a majority to give an incorrect answer in a colour perception test.
  • Procedure
  • 172 participants. No colour blindness.
  • Six participants at a time were asked to estimate the colour of 36 slides.
  • All the slides were blue, but of differing brightness.
  • Two of the six participants were accomplices of the experimenter.
  • Procedure
  • Two conditions:
  • Consistent: the two accomplices called the slides green on all the trials
  • Inconsistent: the two accomplices called the slides green 24 times, and blue 12 times
  • Findings
  • Participants in the consistent condition yielded and called the slides green in 8.4% of the trials
  • 32% of participants in the consistent condition reported a green slide at least once
  • Participants in the inconsistent condition yielded and called the slides green in only 1.3% of the trials
  • Conclusion
  • Minorities can influence a majority in certain circumstances
  • Consistency was found to be the most important factor
  • Flexibility
  • Commitment
  • Relevance – time for change
  • Informational social influence
  • Internalisation (conversion)
  • Evaluation?
  • Laboratory study
  • All female participants
  • All American participants
  • Ethics… deception, informed consent, right to withdraw, debrief?
  • Variations Answers When allowed to write there answers in private rather than public. The results showed that it was peoples reluctance to be seen aligning themselves with a deviant minority in public. Supporting Research
  • Wood (94)
  • Studied 97 cases of minority influence, finding that minorities who were perceived as being epically consistent in their positions were particular influential.
  • SHOWS that most people will not a line themselves with a deviant minority as they don’t want to be perceived as deviant minority themselves.
  • Also SHOWING: majority group members were more likely to admit being influenced by minority privately than publicly.
  • Why Do we People Conform to Minority Influence
  • Conversation Theory Moscovici (1980)
  • Exposure to idea that is different (contradicts) to the held idea, can create conflict so people conform on mass.
  • Individuals are motivated to reduce that conflict.
  • Examine minority arguments it understand why it’s a different opinion.
  • Why do people yield to a minority?
  • Consistency – two types
  • Intra-individual – where a person maintains a consistent position over time
  • Inter-individual – where there is agreement among members of the minority group
  • Snowball effect – once a few members of a majority start to move towards the minority position, then the influence of the minority begins to gather momentum more people gradually pay attention to the potential correctness of the minority view
  • Evaluation of Conversation Theory
  • Mackie (1987)
  • Challenges Moscovici – he claimed that majority gives shows more message processing and analysing. We tend to believe we share a majority view (false consensus effect) So…when here is a conflict we process it carefully to understand why.
  • The case is opposite for minorities – he argues people don’t waste time understanding them and therefore, don’t deeply think about it.
  • When is internalisation more likely
  • Depends on ‘in group’ or ‘out group’
  • In group = similar to the majorityOut group = people who are different from the majorityMartin (2006) in groups have more influence on public responses, out groups have as much if not more when responses are private. Nemeth 2003
  • Minority influence lies in its ability to stimulate thought so, over time, people may be converted, for good or ill, to new ways of thinking and behaving. So he created 3 ways to create minority influence.
  • Minorities must actively support different opinions, but they must be consistent, to promote internalisation. (dithering)
  • Even with consistency and commitment, influence is not certain. (labelled an idiot)
  • Exposure to minority viewpoint to a valuable stimulus for the majority. (thinking on all sides)
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