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Conformity
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Conformity

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  • 1.  In general the first conformists were found in nature. For example Animals who combined lived, solitary ones died. Solomon Asch conducted the first and most famous experiment on conformity. The idea of the Asch experiment was to see how peoples perception would change under the peer pressure of a group; if it changed at all.
  • 2.  People conform for two main reasons: because they want to fit in with the group (normative influence) and because they believe the group is better informed than they are (informational influence).
  • 3.  Similarity in form or character; agreement Action or behaviour in correspondence with socially accepted standards, conventions, rules, or laws “the essence of conformity is yielding to group pressure” (Man, 1969)
  • 4.  Natasha and Sara are talking about how much they hate Nick. Nicole likes Nick but lies to the girls when she agrees they hate Nick too.
  • 5.  Normative - succumb to group pressure to fit in; afraid of being rejected; involves Compliance Informational - when a person is lacking knowledge, and looks for group guidance; socially compares their behaviour with the group; involves Internalization Compliance – publicly changes behaviour to fit in while privately disagreeing; conforming to majority Internalization – publicly changing behaviour to fit in with the group and agreeing with them privately Ingratiation – where a person conforms to impress or gain favour/acceptance from the group; similar to Normative influence, but is motivated by the need for social rewards than the threat of rejection; group pressure does not enter decision to conform Identification – conform to the expectations of a social role; similar to compliance, but the does not have to be a change in private opinion
  • 6.  Western Society – more known for individualism; do not easily succumb to social pressures; less likely to conform; there is a need to be different; value independence and self sufficiency Eastern Society – culture is based on groups and community; known as collectivist cultures; value need of the family and social groups; more likely to conform
  • 7.  In the Asch experiment the subject allows the answers of others to influence and change his own. At school or in everyday life we are likely to question and doubt ourselves in the presence of someone else with a different answer to the same question. For example in Math class you may feel confident about an answer when doing it yourself, however if you find out 2 of your peers received a different common answer to the same question, you are most likely going to change your own answer.
  • 8.  the StanleyMilgramexperiment is famous and a classic example of how people conform to authority figures, feeling the responsibility is not on them but rather their superior. People in the workplace are under a great amount of pressure to conform to their superiors. Take an industrial labour type of job for example. A piece of equipment may seem unsafe and your not sure how to operate it. Instead of being forward about the problem you conform; not wanting to label yourself as the only worker in a large group who is uncomfortable with that job. In this case conforming is used to keep unwanted attention of yourself in order to keep your job.
  • 9.  The experiment “a class divided” took a classroom of third graders, and had them manipulated and swayed into becoming discriminative and prejudice, based on information they had just learned from a superior. This can be used as an example of how easily conforming to a superior can take place. Simply because the teacher was in a position of power, the students believed the lies she told them even when their was obvious doubts. This type of conformity could occur a lot more than it actually does when looking at how gullible one can be when listening to someone they believe to be of superior knowledge. This type of conformity can occur very easily when dealing with the workplace, school, or even media. For example we rarely question what we see in the news, but rather take it as a matter of fact simply because the news anchor is in that position of power. Another example would be a university psychology class. Think to yourself about how easy it would be for a well respected professor to manipulate 100s of students into conforming to his ideas after one charismatic and bias lecture.

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