Section A - Social Influence
03 Outline and evaluate [4 marks]
Suggested Answer: Normative social influence is when a person conforms to be accepted and to feel that they belong to the group. Here a person conforms because it is socially rewarding, or to avoid social rejection; for example, to avoid feeling like they don’t ‘fit in’. Furthermore, nNormative Social Influence is usually associated with compliance.
Asch’s (1951) study into conformity (see below) provides research support for normative social influence. He found that many of the participants went along with the obviously wrong answers of the other group members. When asked by Asch in post-experimental interviews why they did this, participants said that they changed their answer to avoid disapproval from the rest of the group, which clearly support the idea of normative social influence as an explanation for conformity.
Please Note: These answers have been produced without the knowledge of the mark scheme and merely reflect my attempt at producing a model answer on the day of the exam.
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