JOURNAL/ PERSONAL REFLECTION TWO
NAME: LEE JO YEE
STUDENT ID: 0314880
COURSE: Foundation in Natural and Built Environment (FNBE) April Intake 2013
DATE OF SUBMISSION: WEEK 12, 16th Dec 2013 (WED)
1st ENTRY: CONFORMITY
Our lecturer has introduced us this topic in an very interesting way. One of our classmate, Kelvin
Ng went to toilet. While he was away, without any explanation, she asked all of us in the class
to answer the question with B later on.
When Kelvin was back, she showed the class a very simple question: compare the lines, which
one has the same height? Obviously enough, the answer was C but each of us have followed the
orders, answered the question B , confidently. Hence, when our lecturer asked Kelvin for opinion,
he was confused and went with his answer C at first. Later on, after seeing the crowd shouting
with the answer B, he moved from C to B as well.
The situation that just occurred, it is called conformity. This experiment is known as the
Solomon Asch experiment. This is taken from the lecturer slide:
"... Asch wanted to see how often people conformed, and gave an answer they knew was wrong,
just because everyone else did. "
Our behavior is so much based on this social pressure today. One gesture, one smile, one
speaking tone and any opinion you going to share have to go through deep consideration
because it might cost you more than just reputation sometimes.
Human, despite of the high intelligence we have we still scientifically considered as an animal,
who can depress, anxious, panic and even died if we lack of social needs. In most of the time, we
change our behavior and conform to the dominant even it is not right or illegal. Some may argue
that it is an self-protection so that they would not be an odd one, would not be attacked, would
not be biased. They just follow what the crowd go, so they can be part of the society.
Let me put a very immoral infamous example: The tragedy that happened in China about the
story where a driver accidently knocked over a little girl, and 18 pedestrians passed by without
giving her a helping hand. Until the 19th pedestrian, an old auntie went on and helped her.
Later on, that auntie was praised by the government and given an amount of money as return.
However, the society said that she went on to save that little girl because of the money. Some of
them deep down there knew that it was not her intention but due to the neighborhood rumors,
they conform to them and point their fingers to that heroine.
It is all about your determination. Your intention to change and do what you want to without
giving too much attention on the external voices. Too much examples I can give to you apart
from that helping hand, our body shape, our fashion sense, our dream, our choice and etc. All of
them get judged and criticized directly or indirectly but it is us who allow others to hold the
remote control and press all the buttons they want without an objection.
Of course, it is not easy to be a dissenter, including myself. But if I have a chance, I will try to
follow my mind to choose the answer C because I knew what the fact is: the group the people try
so hard to conform to will leave them one day, and by that time, only they realize that their
identities have long gone.
2nd ENTRY: BENEFITS OF A GROUP
What is a group means to you? A group is a gang of people made up of 3-6 people (small group)
or 10-20 people (big group) who gathered together to share and achieve the same target. In many
research or investigation, it has been proved that the efficiency and performance is higher and
better when work as a group rather than a person.
There are peoples who form better or more comfortable working in solo. They would prefer that
everything is in their control and every decision is reviewed before proceed. They cannot trust
someone easily and often, have a very high expectation toward their production. I bet I am one of
them. Of course, I have to admit that working solo make you feel better but it does not make the
overall outcome to be greater than a group production. Below are the reasons:
Definitely you obtain a greater manpower to achieve a greater goal. Let say you were to organize
a concert or an event, you have a bunch of followers who you have delegated them into heads of
food and beverage, service, decoration, monetary and secretary. And you control the flow and
supervise the event on that day. Compared to the lone-wolf, who has all his idea well-planned
perfectly but no one to help him to execute. The plan will turn out to be a rubbish.
Secondly, in a group, everyone has his or her expertise. Like a group of doctors performing a
surgery, the opinions from each of them is respected and considered to make sure every part of
the body is operating on the right path. Say for example, the heart specialized surgeon plan to
take out more blood for easy operation but the brain specialized surgeon might warn that too
much blood will cause the brain fluid to be saturated. Hence, the heart surgeon only took out 30%
of it and the surgery was successful.
Thirdly, you are more convinced and committed in doing something when you are in a group.
You might procrastinate and give yourself tons of reasons when doing work whereas in a group
the peer pressure or progression would not allow you to do so. Your team members might
encourage or motivate you to move further and also advice or scold you when you try to be lazy.
It is like a mirror, when you saw someone in a group is behaving wrongly from what the group is
expected to be, we will tend to change him or her to become one. Therefore, the outcome is
better because of the group effect.