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Evaluate research on conformity to group norms

Psychology sociocultural level of analysis
by

Beth Standing

on 12 December 2012

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Transcript of Evaluate research on conformity to group norms

Conformity Normative Conformity Evaluate research on conformity to group norms Informational
Conformity Definition Definition Studies A definition The pressure to act the same way as other people; this occurs especially in large groups. People feel the need to conform to fit in with the crowd. Informational conformity is where someone goes along with the crowd when a situation is ambiguous . For example, if they do not know the answer to a question and it seems that other people do they will comply with their behaviour, trusting the opinion of the majority. Unlike informational conformity, normative conformity is where the situation is not
ambiguous. People may still conform with the majority even if they know the answer is wrong as they do not want to stand out from the crowd or draw attention to themselves. Informational conformity Normative conformity Who? What? When? How? Muzafer Sherif A founder of social psychology 1936 He incorporated the autokinetic effect in his study on conformity. What is the autokinetic effect? What is the autokinetic effect? The autokinetic effect is the illusion that light moves when it is actually stationery. Then he placed a group of 2 or 3 participants in the same dark room and again projected the light on the wall. The light was turned on and off and the participants were asked, as a group, to decide whether the light had moved. He first observed the autokinetic effect when participants were in a room by themselves. They soon established that the participants developed their own norms for the judgement (2-6 inches). Participants who had first estimated a more extreme movement of 2 or 6 inches soon conformed and changed their judgement to be more on a middle ground (such as 4 inches), so as to fit in with the estimations of others. What did it show? Group norms are agreed-upon standards of behaviour. Sherif's experiment showed group norms are established through interaction of individuals and the leveling-off of extreme opinions. The result is a consensus agreement that tends to be a compromise...even if it is wrong. Group norms are agreed-upon standards of behaviour. Sherif's experiment showed group norms are established through interaction of individuals and the leveling-off of extreme opinions. The result is a consensus agreement that tends to be a compromise...even if it is wrong. Who? When? What? How? Solomon Asch He was an American psychologist and pioneer in social psychology. 1951 Will we still conform to the wrong answer even if the correct answer is obvious? He showed a group of participants these two pictures and asked them which was the closest to the reference: At first the participants will stand their ground if the other people say the wrong answer and they know the correct answer. After a few times they start to go along with the wrong answer because of the pressure. They conform to the group norm because they do not want to stand out from the crowd. In a group of 7 people:
32% conformity overall
74% conformed at least once Evaluation of Asch's study Positive Negative The data is rich because he did varied experiments. For example, they looked at how the conformity dropped considerably when there was one other non conformist. There is clear cause and effect because it is an experiment. It's replicable It's objective It's measurable Cultural differences need to be considered. Collectivist cultures (such as China) are more likely to conform. Individualist cultures (such as the United Kingdom) are less likely to conform. Quiz time!
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