Saul McLeodpublishedupdated Conformity is a type of social influence involving a change in belief or behavior in order to fit in with a group. Group pressure may take different forms, for example bullying, persuasion, teasing, criticism, etc.
Rochester Institute of Technology The causes of conformity among individuals have long been debated and researched in recent decades. The research examined for this piece fits the categories of a model proposed to explain the five main motivational reasons to conform: This piece will attempt to gather evidence for these five motivations using modern research findings.
Many people imagine themselves as unique individuals unlike anyone else; indeed, we all possess specific characteristics that distinguish us from the crowd. However, despite our imaginations and wishful thinking, the majority of human beings comply with some set of societal rules most of the time.
Cars stop at red traffic lights; children and adults attend school and go to work; policemen are paid to protect our communities. These are examples of conformity for obvious reasons; without compliance with certain rules of society, the entire structure would break down.
Why, though, do individuals give in to less important reasons to conform? Why do college students play drinking games and elementary school children shun the outcast child? Correctness Simply put, individuals strive to be accurate and correct in their judgments and observations; they often rely on social cues around them to aid in interpreting a given situation.
An important study examined how an individual's motivation to be accurate was influenced by the social pressure created by a group of inaccurate individuals.
It was observed that when a task of low difficulty a task with an obvious solution was presented to a subject, the subject's motivation to perform the task correctly lessened the impact of social pressure created by a group who answered the task incorrectly.
In other words, even though everyone else answered differently, the subject knew the correct answer to the task with confidence and therefore felt less pressure to agree with the incorrect group.
|Types of Conformity||I was really interested to learn how they believed basketball allowed them to express their individuality.|
|Conformity and Group Mentality||Social norms Learning Objectives Become aware of how widespread conformity is in our lives and some of the ways each of us changes our attitudes and behavior to match the norm. Understand the two primary reasons why people often conform to perceived norms.|
|Correctness||Saul McLeodpublishedupdated Conformity is a type of social influence involving a change in belief or behavior in order to fit in with a group. Group pressure may take different forms, for example bullying, persuasion, teasing, criticism, etc.|
|Types of conformity A.|
However, when the difficulty of the task was increased considerably, the subject looked to the group for cues on how to answer. Again, the group answered incorrectly on purpose; it appears that when we are unsure of how to perform a task or how to behave, we may take comfort in agreeing with a large number of other people.
In a second study, confidence of the group was manipulated; the individual was again given a difficult task where the group answered incorrectly.
This time, the group expressed very low or no confidence in their answer to the task. It was observed that the group's lack of confidence had no significant effect on the individual subject's reliance on the group for social cues.
Another study examined levels of conformity across age groups; it was predicted that older adults would feel less impact from social pressure than would young adults.
Subjects were asked to judge geometric shapes an unemotional stimulus and facial expressions an emotional stimulus by providing them with labels from a set given to them such as circle or square for the shapes, and anger or fear for the facial expressions.
The question addressed by the researchers was whether or not the two age groups would be affected by surrounding social pressure when asked to judge the stimulus.
The hypothesis was confirmed; older adults showed less reliance on social pressure to make their judgments. It would appear that as individuals age, they gain a better sense of judgment and independence, which is augmented by their growing experience Pasupathi, In the case of this study, both age groups were concerned with being correct, but the younger group seemed to rely more on each other when making decisions.
It is clear from these experiments that people are very concerned with being correct, leading to conformity across many situations.
Social Acceptance There have been numerous studies that illustrate the ways in which human beings strive to be accepted as part of--or at least avoid being rejected by--a social group. One such study was conducted to examine multiple reasons that college students engage in the risky behavior of playing drinking games.
It was hypothesized that college students often engage in these drinking games because of an anticipated outcome, or rather, an outcome that some individuals intend to induce by participating such as new friendships, relationships, and greater popularity.
Another fascinating study examined the human fear of rejection; it was predicted that when people were asked to express their opinion on a particular topic, those who perceived themselves as holding the minority opinion would be slower to express that opinion than would the people who perceived themselves as holding the majority opinion.
Not only was this prediction found to be true, but as the perceived size of the minority group decreased, the minority individual expressed even more hesitancy in the expression of their opinion. Interestingly, this slow response did not appear to be affected by the strength of the attitude being expressed nor the knowledge that the subject would have to make their opinion publicly known.
It appears that when people feel they belong to the minority of a group they become reluctant to express their own opinions because they can foresee negative consequences of not fitting in with the majority. This demonstrates how social influence can be a powerful force affecting the expression of opinions Bassili, An interesting study was conducted to measure peoples' reactions to deviant behavior and how these reactions contributed to the maintenance of culture stereotypes.
Participants were set up to lose a competition with either a "typical" or an "atypical" man or woman. In this particular study, gender deviance was the measure of typicality; if males and females behaved in accordance with what was expected of their gender and were therefore considered "typical", researchers believed there would be relatively little backlash from the loser subject.
For instance, if a male subject lost a computer game to a female, the female would be viewed as having behaved "atypically" for her gender, and would receive greater backlash from the male subject than if he had lost to another male.
Participants were then given the opportunity to thwart these individuals so that they would be unsuccessful in future competitions. It was found that people were more willing to undermine the atypical individuals, an action ultimately resulting in the increased self-esteem of the subjects; this behavior seems to imply psychological rewards for punishing deviant behavior.
People want to preserve social order; the consequences of atypical behavior are unfavorable, so we conform--and are rewarded--for doing so. Another study conducted on the influences of social pressure on acceptance or rejection was a study in which it was hypothesized that perception of increased social pressure would weaken the connection between a person's attitude and their resulting behavior.
It was found that under conditions of no social pressure from a surrounding group, participants' attitudes appeared to be fairly good predictors of their behavior. However, as perceived social pressure was raised, it was found that attitudes were less able to predict behavior accurately.- Contagiousness of Conformity The more people already agree upon or share a particular idea, the more easily a newcomer will in turn be be converted to that idea, and the more difficult it will be for one already converted to reject that idea.
Conformity (Adapted from The Social Animal; Meyers; Michener et al.; Vander Zanden) 1. Definitions. Conformity = A change in behavior or belief as a result of real or imagined group pressure.
2. Types of conformity. A. Compliance. Publicly acting in accord with social pressure while privately disagreeing. Conformity (Adapted from The Social Animal; Meyers; Michener et al.; Vander Zanden) 1.
Definitions. Conformity = A change in behavior or belief as a result of real or imagined group pressure. 2.
Types of conformity. A. Compliance. Publicly acting in accord with social pressure while privately disagreeing.
Neural Basis of Two Kinds of Social Influence: Obedience and Conformity Ying Xie 1, Mingliang Chen 1*, Hongxia Lai 1, Wuke Zhang 1, Zhen Zhao 1 and Ch. Mahmood Anwar 2 1 School of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. Conformity is the tendency for people to change their behavior to be consistent with group norms.
Sherif and Asch conducted two classic studies that illustrate different types of influence and conformity, including informational influence, normative influence, private conformity, and public conformity. This is not to say that people of different cultures do not share ideas and beliefs.
When there are the means (i.e., translators, cultural knowledge, proximity) varying cultures have conformed to each other.