Good Example Of Social Conformity, Aggression, AND Ethical Research Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Aggression, Conformity, Psychology, Sociology, Crime, Validity, Criminal Justice, Experiment

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2023/04/10

3.1 Define and explain social conformity.
According to the book Enforcing social conformity: A theory of authoritarianism (2003), Feldman defined the term social conformity as a sort of social impact that come up with the change of conduct or belief so as to fit in a group. Social conformity is divided into two parts: Normative conformity and informational Conformity (p.44). Normative Conformity, take place due to the need of one being accepted or liked; while informational conformity, happens due to the need of being corrected.
3.2 Explain the conformity experiments of Sherif, Asch, and Zimbardo.
Participants of the Sherif's experiment had to suggest how far the pinpoint of light moved within some time. They sat in a dark room. A pinpoint of light, indeed, did not move. On the first day, the participant evaluated the distance being only in the presence of the experimenter. On the second day, the participant estimated the distance again, but one did it in the presence of the other two (fake) participants. For example, on the first day, the participant said that the point of light moved by 8 inches. On the second day, the same participant changed one`s suggestion because other two participants said that the pinpoint shifted by two and one inches. And after several experimental days, the first participant give the similar answer as two other participants who said that pinpoint move by 2 and 1 inch (Smith, & Haslam,2012).
Participants of Asch`s experiment sat in the audience. The experimenters showed them two cards. There were shown one vertical line on the first card and three vertical lines different lengths on the second card. The task for the participants was to indicate which of three lines had the same length as the line represented on the first card (Smith, & Haslam,2012).
Stanford Prison Experiment is a psychological experiment that was conducted in 1971 by psychologist Philip Zimbardo. This experiment is a psychological study of human response to the restriction of liberty. In addition to this, it also tested their response to the conditions of life in prison and the impact of the imposed social role in behavior (Smith, & Haslam,2012).
Volunteers played the roles of guards and prisoners. Prisoners and guards rapidly adapted to their roles, and, contrary to expectations, dangerous situations began to emerge.Researchers criticized the famous Milgram`s experiment for violating certain ethical principles. Milgram studied how much people could be obedient to authority in a situation where to obey meant to violate moral principles.
3.3 Discuss the practical issue (for example, ecological validity) and ethics within this research.
Ecological validity means the degree to which the discoveries of a research study can be summed up to real-life settings. There are two types of Ecological validity, internal and external ecological validity. Internal validity can be characterized as the extent to which the independent variable brings changes viewed in the dependent variable as examined in the study. While, external validity refers to the degree at which the result of the study can be simplified to the world at large (Bornstein, 1999).
4.1 Define and explain aggression in relation to Psychological theories.
In psychology, the phrase aggression means a range of practices that can bring about both psychological and physical damage to oneself, others or objects around. The occupancy of aggression can occur in various ways, such as mentally, verbally and physically. However, psychologists differentiate types of aggression in terms of its different purposes as well as based on their resultant effects (Buss, 1961).
There are two kinds of aggressions namely: Impulsive aggression and Instrumental aggression. Impulsive aggression is also referred to as affective aggression, and it is depicted by solid emotions, especially anger. This kind of aggression is not deliberate and usually occurs in the heat of the movement.
Instrumental aggression also referred to as predatory aggression is characterized by behaviors that are projected to attain a bigger goal. This kind of aggression is gently planned and normally occurs as a means to an end (Buss, 1961).
4.2 Explain how aggression might be reduced in relation to psychological research.
According to Bushman e al (2010), there are two forms of reducing aggression, namely, catharsis and punishment. Catharsis refers to the method that reduces aggression together with other negative feelings through physical activity or other actions. For instance, to reduce the feeling of aggression one can run, pound nails or engage in physical exercises.
On the other part, punishment is being considered as a way of reducing aggression, the result can be either positive or negative. In a negative way, it denies another person pleasure, while in a positive way we punish someone for one's misconduct through imposing pain on the person.
In Bushman and Huesmann (2010) article, punishment can be necessary if it is prompt, intensive, justified, and consistent. Though, it has been doubted by various scholars whether punishment is an efficient way of decreasing aggression. This is because it has been noted that many of the individuals who have been punished by their parents while in childhood level, develop a form of aggression when they become adults (Bushman et al2010, p. 855).


Anderson, C.A., Shibuya, A., Ihori, N., Swing, E.L., Bushman, B.J., Sakamoto, A., Rothstein, H.R. and Saleem, M., 2010. Violent video game effects on aggression, empathy, and prosocial behavior in eastern and western countries: a meta-analytic review. Psychological bulletin, 136(2), p.151.
Bornstein, B.H., 1999. The ecological validity of jury simulations: Is the jury still out?. Law and Human Behavior, 23(1), p.75.
Buss, A.H., 1961. The psychology of aggression.
Feldman, S., 2003. Enforcing social conformity: A theory of authoritarianism.Political psychology, pp.41-74.
Sigel, I.E. and Hooper, F.H., 1968. Logical Thinking in Children; Research Based on Piaget's Theory.
Smith, J.R. and Haslam, S.A., 2012. Social psychology: revisiting the classic studies. SAGE Publications.

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