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    Recently ive had trouble answering 'explain' questions, I just did one and was wondering how many marks I would get and how to improve it. My teacher hasn't been much help so I'll refer to this. This is for social influence on AQA

    Question: 1. Explain the role of social supportin resisting social influence. (6 marks)

    Social support playsan important role in resisting both conformity and obedience. Social support iswhen one or more individuals may be present who share your views leading you toresist conforming to the majority. An example of social support could besomeone being present in a discussion where you may privately disagree withwhat your peers are saying but are too afraid of ridicule to be confident inyour point, if the person shares similar views or stands up and supports you,the likelihood that you will resist social influence will increase.Asch’s study found thatwhen social support is present, it helps the individual resist social pressureand conformity. In his study when an ally was introduced, the conformity levelsdropped to 5.5%. This shows that the presence of an ally or social supporthelps an individual gain confidence in their ideas and resist social influenceas the people had more confidence to ignore the majority and show their trueideas.Social influence canalso help an individual resist obedience. When facing an authoritative figure,an individual may be afraid to resist their authority forcing them to obey.However, if an individual has social support they are far more likely to resistobedience. For example, if they are alone in a room with a teacher they are farless likely to argue and resist obeying whereas if they have a friend presentor multiple friends they will have more confidence and will be more likely todisobey the teacher. Research has shown this, one of Milgram’s variations ofhis study consisted of the participant being in a group of 3 with 2confederates who both said no to electrifying Mr Wallace, both theseconfederates went before the participant and the amount of participants whocontinued to shock to 450V dropped to just 10%. This showed that obediencelevels drop drastically when social support is introduced meaning that presenceof an ally in situations leads individuals to disobey authority much moreeasily.
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Updated: December 8, 2015


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