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Textbook Site for:
Social Psychology , Sixth Edition
Sharon S. Brehm - Indiana University
Saul Kassin - Williams College
Steven Fein - Williams College
Learning Objectives - Conformity

You should be able to do each of the following by the conclusion of Chapter 7.
  1. Define social influence. Define, compare, and contrast conformity, compliance, and obedience. (pp. 227-230)

  2. Compare normative with informational influence and public with private conformity. Explain each in the context of Sherif’s and Asch’s studies. (pp. 233-234)

  3. Identify and explain each of the factors that have been shown to affect levels of conformity, including group size, awareness of norms, having an ally, age, gender, and cultural influences. Identify factors that distinguish collectivistic from individualistic cultures. (pp. 234-238)

  4. Differentiate between majority and minority influence. Explain how to account for the effects of minority influence, and how majorities and minorities exert pressure to effect people’s behavior. (pp. 239-241)

  5. Describe the ways in which the discourse of making requests affects compliance, with reference to mindlessness. Explain how people may use the norm of reciprocity to encourage others to comply with their requests. (pp. 241-244)

  6. Define and explain the sequential request strategies known as the foot-in-the-door technique, low-balling, the door-in-the-face technique, and the that’s-not-all technique. Explain why each works. Refer to the principles of self-perception, commitment, perceptual contrast, and reciprocity. Address how to resist these strategies. (pp. 244-248)

  7. Explain blind obedience. Describe the procedures used in Milgram’s research on obedience to authority. Compare the predictions made about how participants would behave to what actually happened. Summarize how each of the following affected levels of obedience in the study: participants (e.g., their sex, personality), authority figure (e.g., his or her prestige, presence), proximity of victim, and experimental procedure (e.g., the roles of responsibility and gradual escalation). Explain why behavior in the Milgram study differed from that of the Gamson et al. study. (pp. 248-257)

  8. Summarize social impact theory. Identify the factors that influence a source’s strength, immediacy, and number, and the aspects of the target that facilitate resistance. Explain the relevance of this theory to conformity, compliance, and obedience. (pp. 257-259)