Lecture 10 - Conformity
Lecture 10 - Conformity PSYC 2012
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leslie Ogu on Friday February 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 2012 at George Washington University taught by Stock, M in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychlogy at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 02/26/16
Leslie Ogu PSYC 2012 02/24/2016 Conformity Conformity ➢ Def: a change in one’s behavior due to the real or imagined influence of others ○ Ex: Social norms we conform to in order to not stand out, break the pattern, and/or because they have become unwritten rules society follows ■ When driving, we all drive around the same speed when on the highway because we see others are driving a certain speed and don’t want to get honked at or cause traffic ➢ Chameleon Effect : unconsciously mimicking or adapting to the behaviors, mannerisms, and actions of the people that one is interacting with ○ Ex: When we are in an elevator, we may stand a certain way, or move to the back so more people can enter, etc ➢ Types of Conformity: ○ Informational Influence/Conformity: conforming because we believe that others’ interpretation of an ambiguous is more accurate than ours and will help us choose how to act ■ The desire/need to know the correct response in a given situation ■ Occurs when: ● The situation is ambiguous ○ Most important criterion ○ If we are not sure how to act, we look to others ● The situation is a crisis ○ When there is no time to think; must act now! ■ They probably know what they are doing ■ When it has gone wrong: ● Mass psychogenic illness similar symptoms with no known cause among a group of people ○ Ex: Tennessee high school ○ Salem witch trials ● Crisis ○ War of the Worlds ○ Normative Influence/Conformity: the influence of other people that leads us to conform to be liked and accepted ■ fear of social rejection; expected behavior ■ desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval ➢ Two Types of Acceptance: ○ Private acceptance: conforming to other people’s behavior, but not expressing it in a public way such as speaking publicly or doing public deeds ○ Public acceptance: conforming publicly without necessarily behaving in what we are doing or saying ➢ It is a response to group pressure ○ Example Experiment: Asch Line Judgement Studies (1940s) ○ Conformity can be reduced when one has an ally ○ Also depends on the importance of accuracy ➢ What factors determine whether or not we conform? ○ Group importance ■ Stronger with people we respect, care about, or identify with ○ Group cohesion (agreement as a whole) ○ Status ■ High Status = more impact on us (more conformity) ○ Public response ■ Conform more in public ○ Prior commitment ■ Less likely to conform ○ Culture ■ Collectivist cultures conform more Social Norms ➢ Descriptive Norms: perceptions of how others are behaving and what is typical (e.g., how frequently they think) ○ Young adults overestimate risky health behaviors ➢ Injunctive Norms: perceptions of approval or disapproval of behaviors ➢ Depend on exposure (e.g., peers, media) and experiences (whether positive or negative) ➢ Perception of norms predicts behavior Crafting Normative Messages ➢ Issue: messages that focus on negative behaviors as being normative (e.g., littering, alcohol use) ➢ Impact of injunctive norm against the behavior may be undermined by descriptive (behavioral) norms of the behavior ➢ Best practice: messages that include both types of norms in same directions (pro or anti) Resisting Normative Social Influence ➢ Minority influence ➢ Where a minority of group members influence the behavior or beliefs of the majority ○ consistency is key! ○ informational social influence ➢ Idiosyncrasy (a way of thought particular to an individual) credits ○ conform most of the time ○ allowed to deviate sometimes Summary ➢ People usually conform for two main reasons accuracy and acceptance ➢ Conformity isn’t really good or bad, but it can definitely lead to negative outcomes ➢ Conformity involves public compliance (through public pressures) but not necessarily private acceptance ➢ People don’t always conform. but when they don’t, they may be punished by the majority ○ seen a lot in early school years (elementary and middle school) ➢ To fight against mindless conformity: ○ recognize the power of the social situation ○ take action it often takes only one person to end other people’s conformity