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Social Influence – Resistance to Influence

1. Conformity and Obedience

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In this lecture, we think about conformity and obedience, focusing in particular on: (i) the findings of Asch and Milgram, which were hotly contested at the time; (ii) the functions of following others through conforming to social norms, without a full understanding of every aspect of the event or situation, including the establishment of schools, businesses and religions; (iii) a challenge to the notion that obedience and conformity are maladaptive behaviours, as can sometimes be the position of reviews of research in this field; (iv) efficiency and effectiveness within a social situation and/or organisation, as a result of obedience and conformity; (v) a key issue with the maintenance of social order being that, in order to change the arrangement of the social hierarchy, some individuals are required to create social disorder.


In this course, Professor Gordon Sammut (London School of Economics) explores resistance to social influence. In the first lecture, we think about the concepts of conformity and obedience. In the second lecture, we think about non-conformity and disobedience as concepts of resisting social influence. Next, we think about some key individual differences explanations for why people differ in their resistance to influence. In the fourth and final lecture, we think about the impact of situation and circumstance on resistance to influence.


Professor Gordon Sammut is a visiting fellow in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Professor Sammut’s research interests are in intercultural and intergroup relations, the theory of social representations and modalities of social influence. Some of Professor Sammut’s recent publications include 'The Psychology of social Influence: Modes and Modalities of Shifting Common Sense' (2021) and '‘Social Re-presentation for…’: An Action-Oriented Formula for Intergroup Relations Research' (2020).

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APA style

Sammut, G. (2022, June 06). Social Influence – Resistance to Influence - Conformity and Obedience [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Sammut, G. "Social Influence – Resistance to Influence – Conformity and Obedience." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 06 Jun 2022,

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