Discuss Research Into the Influence That Individual Differences Have on Independent Behaviour.

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Discuss research into the influence that individual differences have on independent behaviour.

Individual differences contribute greatly to influencing independent behaviour. An internal or external locus of control can affect someone’s actions, as well as someone’s self esteem, and their reaction to authoritarianism. Rotter created a questionnaire designed to show whether someone had an internal or an external locus of control. Internals perceive that what happens to them is under their own control, whereas externals believe it to be determined mainly by situational factors. The theory that stems from this is that internals will be less likely to obey or conform, because they will automatically blame themselves for the consequences. Therefore, externals will be much more likely to obey and conform, as they will easily blame someone else, and various external factors. For example, in Milgram’s experiment, the experimenter would constantly tell the participant that he or she takes full responsibility for the consequences, therefore reinforcing a participant’s external locus of control. This theory has been proven in various experiments. It has been found that individuals with internal locus of control would be more likely than those with external locus of control to show independent behaviour in situations such as those created by Asch and Milgram. Research evidence for individuals showing more independence in conformity tasks also points to the conclusion that someone with an internal locus of control will be more likely to show independent behaviour. Miller found that participants with an external locus of control were likely to respond to an experimenter with a high authority, and obey orders for tasks, and even went as far as giving themselves electric shocks as a response to the authority. He found also, that the participants with the internal locus of control did not respond to the supposed authority of the experimenter, and still did not show...
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