Study on the factors that affect conformity

Conformity has made significant impacts in the areas of social psychology because it caused the radical understanding of group pressure on, not only personal levels, but also on levels of a group as a whole as it is seen portrayed in history. The term 'conformity' can be often be thought as an action that is the succumbing of your person towards a group of people. Ergo, conformity can be discussed as a result of either group pressure, due to the desire of approval or concern with rejection, which is layed out in the normative sociable id theory, or self-association and recognition, which is outlined in the cultural identification theory, within an organization. Both Solomon Asch and Philip Zimbardo have conducted experiments, respectively to the ideas, in support of the ideas - with both outlining the factors that impact conformity.

One factor that may influence conformity could be the social identification theory, which was suggested by Tajfel and Turner in 1979; it was mainly developed to dissect and understand the psychology behind intergroup discrimination. Essentially, it was made to explain why and exactly how people identify themselves, and respond, as an associate of particular group. The public identity theory states that simply studying the psychology of individuals at the average person level is, perhaps, futile because it is important to broaden the horizons and study individuals when they identify themselves in terms of being a part of a group. Communities to which we belong are called our in-groups while teams to which we don't belong are termed our out-groups. The primary idea of the social individuality theory is that people often utilize account of an organization as a device that they derive their self-esteem; however, regular membership, alone, is not sufficient for an satisfactory self-esteem. To acquire self-esteem, people often 'deceive' themselves into thinking they belong to the right group. You will discover four parts to the sociable identity theory, which include categorization, identification, contrast, and mental health distinctiveness. Categorization is the that notion that people have a tendency to categorize, sometimes subconsciously, other people surrounding them and themselves into a variety of groups; this aids in a person's belief about their identities and others' as they create multiple categories to put people under. Identification is when humans identify themselves as users of a certain group and utilize their account as a derivative of their self-esteems; the out-groups to which we do not belong are identified as something foreign (THEM) even as we seek asylum inside our in-group (US) - to which we affiliate ourselves with. Contrast is an integral factor to the public personality theory; when folks have picked an in-group, they start comparing themselves. People are usually in favor of their in-group and tend to use positive remarks when talking about their in-group while, conversely, they have a tendency to use negative remarks when referring to their out-groups; this is, perhaps, a result of the need to increase one's self-esteem as people encompass a need to believe that they have got chosen the right in-group - resulting in the necessitated dissimilarity from other teams. Lastly, psychological distinctiveness is the theory that people support the need to be unique within and between interpersonal groups, or within and between their in-group and out-groups, respectively; people also have a desire to be perceived positively and much more superior when in comparison to others - another factor that aids in the increase of your respective self-esteem.

An test that depicts the interpersonal identity theory doing his thing will be the infamous Stanford Jail experiment, that was conducted by psychologist Philip Zimbardo in 1971. The purpose of this test was to unravel the effects prison settings would have on prisoners; he attempted to depict the actual fact that guards can be hugely engrossed in times and all rational thought dissipates as tendencies may be conducted predicated on the misconception that it is what's required. For the experiment, Zimbardo altered the basement of the psychology building of Stanford School into a makeshift jail. The selected individuals contains 24, usually white and middle-class, male members were presumed to be of excellent mental and physical shape. 12 individuals were designated the assignments of guards; these were provided with uniforms, night time sticks, and glasses, which dehumanized them. These members were instructed to respond like real jail guards and were to dispense punishment, apart from physical contact, as if in a genuine jail. The other 12 individuals became prisoners; they were provided with sack-like clothing, plus they were each given a number to replace their names. These prisoners also chronically wore a chain on their ankles as a constant reminder of their place. The prisoners had to eat and sleep within the prison as the guards run on shifts. During the first couple of days of the test, the prisoners rebelled contrary to the guards by revolting and barricading themselves in their cells; in the beginning, the guards had difficulty suppressing these revolts but soon developed new means in doing so. The results of the test were that the prisoners were bought to perform degrading duties such as executing strenuous exercises, washing the toilet pan with their toothbrushes, and enduring public humiliation. They soon learned that disobedience would earn them harsh punishment; however, behavior also triggered the guards to ridicule the prisoners for being too obedient. Amenities such as using the toilet or sleeping on mattresses (that have been confiscated consequently of the barricading) soon became privileges. Several days after the kick off of the test, a fresh participant was brought in to replace the two previously discharged individuals. The new participant was also rebellious and started refusing foods; however, the guards were now adept in crushing this rebellious streak and positioned him into solitary confinement frequently. The guards also gave the other prisoners a choice: quit their blankets to help their fellow inmate or keep their blankets and he stays in there. Astonishingly, the prisoners find the former as they were now docile and looked at this newcomer as a troublemaker. The two week experiment emerged to the abrupt halt after only 6 times, when an outsider protested about the mental steadiness and harm inflicted on the prisoners. Zimbardo concluded that, when given a role that can be played, it is much too possible for a person to slip into figure and forget who these were initially, and this, given a situation, they react based on the situation rather than through the procedure of rationalization; this was depicted when the prisoners started out introducing themselves by their quantities rather than their brands.

The Stanford Jail experiment strongly helps the social personal information theory because the results were that, given the problem, the participants were quick to identify themselves with a particular group (prisoner or guard) and compared themselves to be more superior or second-rate. One major strength of the experiment would be that the test had a high amount of ecological validity; this would be because of the several facts with one being that Zimbardo made the procedure of the arrest extremely realistic as he previously them arrested, acquired their mug shot taken, and had their fingerprints on document. Another factor that added to the high ecological validity is the makeshift prison setting up, though these were temporary skin cells, they provided the setting up and atmosphere a real jail would encompass - providing for exactness to some extent as the members were not merely placed into a lab, but rather, these were within an environment that was an extremely realistic prison setting. The previous factor that contributes to the high ecological validity would be the fact that Zimbardo provided his individuals with authentic uniforms. The prisoner's lanky clothing along with their chains created a sense of inferiority; the guards using their pristine uniforms, evening stick, and glasses dehumanized them as it generates a feeling of authority. Another strength of this experiment would be the actual fact so it has a higher amount of control. This might be a consequence of the fact that the participants were arbitrarily allocated their assignments of either prisoner or officer through the process of selective and tight conditions for the members; the arbitrary allocation indicates high control because there was no bias or foul play that could have led to confounding factors for the test. This experiment has a high amount of control also due to way with which the data was accumulated. Zimbardo didn't only use one fashion to gather his data; he crosschecked his data using several ways of accumulation. He gathered his data through the use of interviews with the participants after the test was halted, questionnaires about their sentiments, and observations which were either discreet or unconcealed to minimize confounding parameters as action may alter if participants realize they are really being observed. One limitation of this study is the ethical things to consider this experiment includes. One ethical consideration that could be raised is the protection from harm. Safeguard from harm means that the participants' subconscious and physiological areas weren't to be broken. This, however, was violated as two individuals were discharged consequently of mental instability and, studies exhibit, numerous others suffered from emotional distress for a long time to come. Another limitation of the study would be generalizability. The participants of this experiment were only guys who were around 24 years old and from the center class of society; this creates a problem in generalizability to females or persons of other ages because of the fact that men in their early 20's may tend to be more harmful towards others than females or folks of other age range are, ergo, the conclusions might not be capable of generalizing itself to females or older people or people from a different course in modern culture.

As a result of Philip Zimbardo's Stanford Prison experiment, the interpersonal identity theory, utilized as a factor of impact in conformity, can be said to encompass both strengths and constraints. This theory influences conformity as the postulated assertions within the theory manifest within the procedure of conformity - providing for an enormous influence on conformity and performs a substantial role in sociable psychology. One of these of a durability within this theory would be the fact that the Stanford Jail experiment facilitates the social id theory and the ways with which it influences conformity because results of the behaviors of the experiment can be explained by the idea. Zimbardo's experiment depicts Tajfel's public id theory and backs it up with numerical data; this is significant since it allows research workers or learners to own hard data to carefully turn towards if indeed they were ever studying this test or replicating it. Furthermore, the Stanford Jail test depicts the communal personal information theory, as one factor that affects conformity, at play as the behaviours of the individuals transformed. As the test progressed, the prisoners and guards developed different teams, or categorization based on the social identity theory; because of this of categorization, intergroup discrimination, or terrible treatment within the experiment, occurred. This is described by the public personal information theory because the guards and prisoners experienced categorized themselves as either guards, or prisoners, and every individual had identified himself with either group. The step after both categorization and identification would be comparability. Due to the circumstances, the guards were the power in the situation, and they arrived to perceive themselves as superior compared to the prisoners because they often times compared their in-group (the guards) using their out-groups (the prisoners) and often reached excellent results of these group consequently of recognition; ergo, in line with the theory, the guards derived their self-esteem from demeaning the prisoners, their out-group, by causing themselves feel better about their relationship with other guards, their in-group. The very last and last step of the tendencies layed out in the test would be mental distinctiveness, where in fact the guards tried to be unique; in the test, the guards achieved this by concocting various techniques of their own to psychologically torture the prisoners into conformity. Conversely, one example of a limitation the social identity theory encompasses is the actual fact that there could be some problems in generalizing the theory to every individual worldwide; there could be some constraints in generalizing all areas of the idea to various civilizations and their associates. This may be due to the fact that every culture holds differing principles and making use of all aspects of the idea may prove to be difficult. Customers of civilizations, which do not stress individualism around Western civilizations do, though they may categorize themselves into in-groups and out-groups, will have a higher rate of conformity are they are more collectivistic and carry a propensity to explain themselves, basically, by group regular membership - ergo, leading to the actual fact that they might be more submissive than the results the study yielded. This limitation is the consequence of the same restriction found in Zimbardo's Prison Experiment. The generalizability problem of the Stanford Prison experiment was the fact that the sample group the experimenters got were of mainly white men of the center class who have been around 24 yrs. old. Therefore, there may be some generalizing problems of the sociable identification theory as, within the experiment, the males with their mid-twenties have categorize and identify themselves into two differing groups and in a manner that the group that got more power performed the comparability and recognized themselves as superior, resulting in the internal torture of the second group; this is a challenge in the application of the theory because given another situation in the same environment, however, with a sample of any different group of people, such as folks from a very collectivistic culture, where the individual self is basically defined by account of a group, the social personal information theory might not exactly be entirely suitable to them because of this to the fact that they may act in a new manner in the given situation, including the fact that they may conform early on without all the pointless mental torture into distribution on the behalf of the more powerful group because group account is kept highly by them and the government bodies might not learn how to totally exercise their power. This factor does not declare that the social personality theory does not work completely, but it basically proposes that, within cultures or societies that stress collectivism and cooperation, conformity will happen at an increased rate than in ethnicities that stress individualism.

Another theory that is a factor which may influence conformity will be the normative social effect theory, which was released by Deutsch and Gerard in 1955. The normative communal influence theory states that, within every individual, a need to affiliate oneself with a specific group exists and may lead to the fact that, given a probably embarrassing situation for the average person, and clashes between their notion and the group's belief occur, the average person may be coerced into complying and agreeing with the group to be able to squeeze in. This need of popularity serves as a being produced from the development of teamwork; the odds of survival have a tendency to increase whenever a group works collectively. However, in order to work effectively as an organization, the group must be in unison with decisions, beliefs, and opinions; ergo, the necessity of acceptance is due to the unison of views of the group and an individual works towards obtaining that to feel a sense of owned by the team. The primary idea of the normative cultural influence theory is that, because of the innate need for us to be accepted within an organization, when we notice other people's actions that are recurrent and regular, we often have a compulsion to emulate them - especially individuals with a lesser self-esteem or insufficient self-confidence as they tend to not have confidence in their own thoughts and tend to be embarrassed by them. Essentially, the idea is approximately individuals behaving similarly to the group in order to be accepted and also to evade rejection. In addition, the idea also depicts the fact that, given a situation where an individual is placed in several strangers, they are more likely to produce to the group's view out of fear of rejection or bringing down the group morale; however, this can be affected by some factors that include the relations between an individual and the group and the amount of users within the group. Furthermore, the normative cultural effect theory also describes the actual fact that, the folks who have a tendency to comply, in addition to missing self-confidence, tend to seek the endorsement of others within an organization, and that, despite the fact that the simple truth is staring at them, they may submit to the group's decision with the belief that perhaps their own view is wrong and that the group's decision is right; however, a lot of people may agree with the fact out of compliance - they change their habit to suit that of the group's but not their own viewpoints, which they keep undisclosed. They comply to your choice publically, nonetheless they do not acknowledge it privately.

The test conducted by Solomon Asch in 1951 about conformity is a study that supports the normative public influence theory. The purpose of this experiment was to discover the scope to which the choices of individuals would be affected by the majority in a palpably evident task. This test depicts the fact that folks could be pressured into selecting erroneous selections scheduled to peer pressure when the most evident choice is staring right at them. The decided on participants of this experiment were 123 man college students. During the experiment, a group was formed by inserting one participant in several confederates; these were seated in a semi-circle format around a stand with the participant always being the last or second to last person to provide their answer. The participants had to execute a simple lines test where that they had to complement a line's period with another range within a group of lines. Within the experiment, there was a control group - one where all the confederates responded to correctly in order to allow the members to feel relaxed rather than pressured. However, in the other groups, the confederates were told to answer improperly. The confederates were instructed to answer improperly of the 12 tracks out of 18; they also were instructed to answer correctly, initially, and, steadily, shift into responding to incorrectly so as to not incite dubious among the subjects. Asch provided the confederates with answers carefully calibrated so as it would add peer pressure onto the topics. The findings of this experiment were particularly interesting; the control group experienced a 99% of all participants answering properly - with the 1% being a probable experimental problem. However, in the other teams, where the confederates were disputed with the answers, the members were found to be able to suppress the need to conform and were most likely to follow their answers. Conversely, when the confederates were unanimous about their incorrect answers, the participants were much more likely to be influenced by peer pressure and proceeded to go along with the group and the results had over 1/3 of the members answering incorrectly. It was concluded that it is harder never to conform if the participants were completely by themselves using their answers. Once the individuals were interviewed, almost all replied that they sensed uneasy about their incorrect answers but got conformed because they didn't want to feel ashamed or presumed that the group was better educated than they were - with even some admitting that they thought they really were incorrect and that the group's answer was right.

There are several talents and limitations to Asch's experiment on conformity; it also facilitates the normative interpersonal influence theory since it depicts the fact that, given a probably disturbing situation for the members, compliance took place as almost all of them travelled with the group's impression, despite it being blatantly erroneous. One strength of this experiment would be the actual fact that there is a higher amount of control during the process. The members were split into various teams to ensure that the confounding parameters were minimized. Through the experiment, there was not just one group where in fact the confederates answered improperly, but rather, there have been several categories, each with varying number of confederates who replied incorrectly, to permit for much more control from the results because, then, the experimenters could find out if the varying independent parameters affected the reliant variables. Furthermore, Asch also included a control, where all the confederates were asked to answer effectively to allow the individuals to answer at ease, group which also offers the high amount of control and for mention of the other organizations where he improved the independent variables, which were the varying amount of confederates answering improperly. This contributes to the high amount of control of the test because Asch repeated his process with various groups of variables, where in fact the variety of confederates who responded incorrectly varied, to create the best results where the confounding variables were minimized as much as possible, and he then likened the results from these replicated techniques with his handled one to observe how the results differed. One restriction of the experiment would be due to the fact that it was done in a lab setting, ergo resulting in the reduced ecological validity of the study. The test asked the participants to judge the length of varied lines - an man-made process indeed as people do not go around everyday judging the measures of lines. Another factor that contributed to the reduced ecological validity would be the way with which the participants were placed into groups - it was unnatural; it is not natural that individuals are put within sets of confederates, all of whom were instructed to answer incorrectly intentionally. Another restriction this experiment includes would be issues with generalizability. The sample the data was extracted from for this analysis was from man university students. The members were only men, which provide generalizability problems to females, and were only college or university students, which provide generalizability problems to people from other age groups. Females may become more questioning than men are, so they could have acted in a different way than guys do, given an uncomfortable situation where they could potentially conform. The elderly have the advantage of being more experiences, rendering them wiser - therefore, they are more likely to stick to their answers than the university students had; more youthful people may be more naive and tend to be vunerable to conformity as they are quite gullible - therefore, they could be more likely to conform than the individuals did. Because of this, results from this experiment may have predicaments in being generalized to the female race and people of elderly or younger ages.

The normative interpersonal influence theory can be said to contain both advantages and limitations. One of these of this is the fact that Asch's lines experiment supports the normative sociable effect with numerical, or hard, data to be backed up with; this is important because it allows for recommendations to be made, if there was ever before a need, or if the test were to be replicated. In addition, the normative communal influence can be depicted by Asch's test as many regions of the experiment outline the various aspects of the theory. For example, Asch purposefully arranged the confederates and the main one participant into a semi-circle with the participant always being seated either previous or second to last, to provide their answers; this was to energize the factor of whether the participant would adhere to the group's decision as they compare their leads to that of the group's. This is actually the normative social affect at play as the idea claims, given a probably embarrassing situation, individuals are more likely to comply with the group and use the group's decision as their own, which was portrayed by the experiment as 2/3 of the members conformed to the group's answer - regardless of the blatant difference between your answers. Another facet of the idea portrayed would be the necessity for social approval. When located into an organization, individuals have a trend to crave public acceptance and avoid rejection from the group. This is also depicted by the results of the participants' patterns and the major figures of the results because of the normative social impact theory being truly a significant factor in conformity. Members were found to conform even more when all the confederates were unanimous about their, though mysterious to the participant, incorrect answers; this can be explained by the aspect because the members changed their answer, or conformed to the group's decision, consequently of appearing like a fool - out of the need to be accepted by the interpersonal group they were put in. Conversely, there's also limitations of the normative interpersonal influence theory. One such exemplory case of a restriction would be the fact that there could be some difficulty in generalizing this normative public influence theory to every single human being; there could be potential individual differences in the suggestibility of making use of this theory as a worldwide factor that affects conformity. This restriction manifests within the Asch test as the results of the experiment, where in fact the confederates answered improperly to stimulate conformity, exhibited the fact that around 2/3 of the individuals conformed; it is clear that, as 2/3 conformed, around 1/3 of the participants did not conform, which displays the actual fact that the normative public influence, which expresses that individuals are more likely to conform to be socially accepted, was not generalized or applied to 1/3 of the subject matter. This displays the restriction within the idea because it suggests that the normative public influence theory was not imminent in the manners of 1/3 of the members, thus displaying the actual fact that the theory had not been generalized to every single person, and that there were specific differences in the use of the idea. This does not to claim that the normative cultural influence can not work, but, somewhat, it is to convey the fact that not all individuals would subject themselves to, or have the results of, the normative interpersonal influence theory.

As a result of these two factors, the social personality theory and the normative communal influence theory, conformity is inspired in similar and differing ways. One similarity of the two factors would be the actual fact that they both screen the fact that individuals tend to conform to avoid rejection or looking such as a fool in addition to having a dependence on belonging. This is depicted in the Stanford Prison experiment, in support of the social identification theory, as the individuals each recognized themselves with the particular group they relate themselves with, then they behaved in a way that suggests they wanted to avoid rejection or denunciation; the prisoners who acted out or were not the same as the others within their particular group were chosen on by the guards, therefore, they steadily grew into distribution to avoid this outcast difference. Also, the necessity for belonging to a specific group was also exhibited in a single particular event when the other prisoners refused to give up their blankets for the main one prisoner, who was simply not inclined to conform, to be freed from solitary confinement- showing the fact that the other prisoners conformed out of fear of rejection like that one prisoner and clustered as one group that refused to disentangle. Furthermore, the similarity is also depicted in Asch's test. When Asch purposefully put the members as the previous, or second to previous, person to answer the question to the collection test, he discovered that over fifty percent of the members conformed from what the majority of the group experienced answered. This is the depiction of the normative social impact theory, as a factor of conformity, as the members conformed for concern with rejection and want of popularity by the band of, though anonymous to the members, confederates. Also, the individuals' manners can be reported to be a result of the actual fact that they necessitated a sense of owned by an organization by conforming to the group's answer because the participant didn't want to feel overlooked or be the outcast, leading to them being the eccentric ones - ergo, they conformed as a result of the need for a feeling of owned by the group.

Conversely, there are dissimilarities in the way that these two factors effect conformity. The difference of the two factors would be the many types of conformity they encompass. The public identification theory, for example, depicts the id type of conformity. This type of conformity can be defined as the sort of conformity where individuals conform to a particular group as a result of connection or id as their in-group; it is stated that conformity rates are higher whenever a more striking romance is more serious between the individual and the group. Identification was depicted by the interpersonal identification theory through the Stanford Jail Experiment. A good example of an occurrence would be a couple of days after the start of the experiment, when the prisoners and guards experienced period to categorize and identify themselves with a specific group; all the prisoners experienced learned to be submissive while all the guards acquired discovered to be dominating and aggressive - this depicts identification because the individuals experienced associated themselves with a particular group and got conformed compared to that group's behaviors therefore of identification due to the fact that they found out an organization to which the participants could identify as their in-group. Another type of conformity would be conformity. This sort of conformity can be explained as: individuals tend to conform, when they are pressured into doing so, after acknowledging the majority's answer and missing confidence in their own ideas, however, this kind of conformity is usually done without a change of frame of mind - therefore, there's a clash between someone's attitude and behavior, or cognitive dissonance; this also happens more often when folks are placed in possibly embarrassing situations. Compliance was depicted in Asch's experiment when the participants were interviewed later on, with most of them admitting that they had a different thoughts and opinions from that of the group's but gone along anyways therefore of indecision of their own answers. This can be explained as the actual fact that the participants were located in potentially uncomfortable situations when their thoughts may have differed from the group's view. This is compliance because, when positioned at the end of the collection to answer, the members had the possibility to consider the majority's answer and lacked assurance in their own thoughts, resulting in their pressured change of answer with out a change of frame of mind; the unchanged frame of mind is known due to the interview performed later on - depicting the clash in attitude and behavior.

Various tests, which less difficult both the social identity theory and the normative communal affect theory with hard data really well, make for a pretty good debate for both theories stating the actual fact they are major factors in influencing conformity. Through Zimbardo's analysis, it can be seen that the mere categorization the individuals into various communities can create intergroup discrimination and submission as they affiliate themselves with a specific group; also, the fact that individuals tend to favor one's in-group is quite evident in this experiment. In Asch's analysis, despite having the answer right in front of the participants, most of them altered their response to suit that of the teams in order to match in- depicting another aspect conformity through the normative interpersonal influence theory because they fear rejection and need a sense of belonging. So, it can be concluded that, from both these ideas and tests and their results, although there could be some problems in applying Tajfel's social identity theory to cultures which promote collaboration and equality a lot more than Western cultures, the social identification is quite valid in being a factor that affects conformity since it exhibits the actual fact that folks identify with a specific group and conform with that one associated group; on the other hands, regardless of the normative social influence theory not having the ability to be generalized to each and every individual due to some individual differences, the normative public influence theory continues to be quite valid in being a factor that affects conformity since it does screen individuals conforming out of fear of rejection or possessing a have to be accepted. The social id theory and the normative public effect theory play important assignments in many interactions within conformity; they help explicate the countless ways with which people derive their identification from owned by a group and why individuals conform to be able to squeeze in.

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)