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Social Influence – Resistance to Influence

4. Situational Circumstances

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In this lecture, we think about the impact of situational circumstances on conformity and obedience, focusing in particular on: (i) the greater impact that locus of control has on novel events compared to routine ones; (ii) the contagious nature of resistance; (iii) the role of group identification within social identity theory, in resistance to influence; (iv) historic oppression of freedom of speech and protest indicating the known impact of seeing others resist on resistance; (v) the presence of a resistant other eliminating conformity in Milgram’s 1963 study; (vi) the social risks taken by a lone individual resisting, which are lessened when there are other individuals alongside them; (vii) the nature of resistance as cohesive, as it binds individuals together.


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 - Situational Circumstances [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Sammut, G. "Social Influence – Resistance to Influence – Situational Circumstances." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 06 Jun 2022,

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