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TerribleGrades
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Briefly outline and evaluate normative social influence as an explanation for conformity [4 marks]

The normative social influence (NSI) is a form of compliance and occurs due to a motivation to be accepted and liked by the majority group and to avoid social rejection or ridicule. The conforming individual may also fear punishment such as exclusion and even though they publicly agree with the group’s viewpoint, their private beliefs may differ.

However, most research into this explanation such as Asch’s study are done in controlled and artificial environments, therefore the extent to which true conformity is being measured with an explanation such as NSI and other explanations, can be questioned. Asch’s study supports the NSI explanation as it showed how participants conform to obvious answers, even in unambiguous situations for fear of being rejected by the majority group. However, Asch's study does not measure true conformity as in the experiment there was no real consequence e.g. a line judgement task / social rejection. If the consequence was more serve, this may lead to more dissenting participants and lowered conformity levels. When Asch interviewed his participants post-experiment and asked them why they conformed to an obviously wrong answer, the participants said they didn’t want to stand out (NSI), while very few genuinely believed the conforming answer was true (ISI). This shows how the normative social influence explanation is very reductionist as it does not take into account the complexity of conformity and the other factors which affect it. Furthermore, it does not take into account a person’s individual desires and motives and assumes everyone will conform the same way.

How many marks would you give this and why? What could I improve?
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Noodlzzz
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You didn't really explain the procedure of Asch's study. You repeat yourself in the last 2 sentences. What about other evaluation points - ethics? reliability? Validity? You only really made 2/3 evaluation points.
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TerribleGrades
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(Original post by Noodlzzz)
You didn't really explain the procedure of Asch's study. You repeat yourself in the last 2 sentences. What about other evaluation points - ethics? reliability? Validity? You only really made 2/3 evaluation points.
it's a 4 mark question
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Noodlzzz
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(Original post by TerribleGrades)
it's a 4 mark question
Oops my bad, though it said 8! I would still explain Asch's procedure though.
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TerribleGrades
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(Original post by Noodlzzz)
Oops my bad, though it said 8! I would still explain Asch's procedure though.
Hm, in outline and evaluate equations, there isn't really a need to input Asch's procedures as this would be waffle. If it asked to outline and evaluate 'studies' or 'research' in the question, I'd outline the procedures and use the conclusions of the study for evaluation. My teachers have said that this was the mistake with last year's and that students just recalled procedures/theories and didn't apply them to the question. I only used Asch for support/evaluation.
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Noodlzzz
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(Original post by TerribleGrades)
Hm, in outline and evaluate equations, there isn't really a need to input Asch's procedures as this would be waffle. If it asked to outline and evaluate 'studies' or 'research' in the question, I'd outline the procedures and use the conclusions of the study for evaluation. My teachers have said that this was the mistake with last year's and that students just recalled procedures and didn't apply them to the question. I only used Asch for support/evaluation.
There's one thing regurgitating methods, and another using a sentence of it to back your point. Yes you need to apply it, for sure, but a quick mention would probably help back up your point imho.
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TerribleGrades
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(Original post by Noodlzzz)
There's one thing regurgitating methods, and another using a sentence of it to back your point. Yes you need to apply it, for sure, but a quick mention would probably help back up your point imho.
Imho though, outlining the procedures of a study for this type of question in an exam is unrealistic (instead of outlining NSI), as it is time consuming. Because if I did, they may not even be mark worthy. This is where I fell down last year. I could of focused this answer on just Asch's procedures and gained little to no marks. I may only get up to writing about 123 American college students or that he used 7/8 confederates in 12 of the critical trials and might not mention anything relevant to this question. I could include the results though to support my answer, like conformity rates and such but not so much on its methodology. And even if the methodology was useful for evaluation, I'm not really evaluating the NSI explanation, but more of the study which was mentioned on last year's examiners report.

Not to mention the question uses 'briefly' and it is only a 4 marker!
Thanks for the feedback though.
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