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Mark my essay for AQA psychology a-level social influnce (16 marker)

This is a 16 marker for socila influnce that i have wrote. I think its a bit lengthy and i dont have support on how to shorten my essays to focus on the key points as i am doing my alevels as an external canidate and my teachers have decide not to help

Outline and evaluate milligrams research of obedience (16 marker)

Social influence is a situation or individual that affects a person behaviour. Conformity is the way an individual processes and accepts social influence. Psychologist Milgram conducted a study to test conformity to obedience. He did this by conducting a laboratory experiment using 40 volunteer male students from yale university and paid them just for showing up. Participants where matched with a confederate which is someone working with the researchers undercover and have full knowledge of the experiment. Participants were randomly assigned the role of teacher or learner, but this was rigged so the confederate would always be the learner and the real participant would be the teacher. The task involved the teacher asking the learner a series of questions and shocking them when they would answer incorrectly the voltage would also increase the more the learner answered the questions wrong. However, the learner was not actually being shocked just acting as they were so the participants thought they were. The results showed that all the learners went up to the 300 volts and 65% issued the max voltage. This study illustrates how seemingly upstanding men from prestigious universities quickly conformed to obedience. This study has good control variables because it is a laboratory experiment meaning that it can easily be replicated and determine a cause and effect as other variables are unlikely to affect the results. However, because it is a laboratory experimenting it lacks ecological validity as it is unlikely people are going to shock other for not knowing answers. This study may also have an issue with internal validity as participants may have known the confederate wasn't actually being shocked and therefore felt no issue counting the study. There is also an issue of ethics as participants were not told the real reason for the experiment so where not able to consent to this. Furthermore, participants may have been distressed as they thought the confederate was actually being shocked. Participants may have also thought because they were paid just to show up, they had to continue with the study and did not have the option to stop which affects the validity of the study as it may not have been conformity to obedience but conformity to social roles as they have been “paid to fulfil a role”. Psychologist have also argued that milligrams study cannot be generalised as it involves only men, and they are from yale university, which does not represent the general majority of society as it doesn't consider woman or people with average jobs.

Milligrams study also investigated situational factors affecting his study of conformity to obedience by looking at, group size, presence of allies, location of experiment, proximity to authority, proximity to victim. He found that when the participants had to be in the same room with the victim conformity rates fell to 40% and when they had to touch the shock panel conformity rates fell to 30%. When there were 2 confederates acting as teachers alongside the participants conformity rates fell and when the participants were taking orders from the authority who was in a different room using a phone to communicate conformity rates fell to 23%. When the experiment happened in rundown buildings instead of private companies issuing the max voltage fell to 48%. Although Milgram has been praised by psychologist for investigating situational factors affecting conformity to obedience, he can be criticised for not investigating dispositional factors. For example, psychologist Adorno argues that strict parents who raise their child to follow obedience unquestioningly create an authoritarian personality which makes them more likely to conform to obedience, Adorno also provides support for their claim by creating an f-scale which measures how strongly people express traits of an authoritarian personality, and research shows that people who issued the max voltage in milligrams study had a more authoritarian traits.

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