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Leah Williams

on 15 February 2013

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Conformity By Vera Gavrilovic
and Leah Williams Normative Conformity Conformity (referent informational influence) What is it? Study: Abrams (1990) Extra Information Definition Extra Information Conformity in a non-ambiguous situation (Asch, 1951) Real Life Examples: Youtube take in this influence Conformity in an ambiguous situation-Sherif (1935) Informational Influence Informational Conformity yep.. If you are driving and everyone is rubbernecking at an accident, then you feel inclined to slow down to also gawk, even if you believe it's rude.
Even though the boy secretly despises video games, he feigns interest on the playground when talk turns to the latest installment of Final Fantasy or Madden.
If you notice that everyone in Allen gets Starbucks, then you could grow an urge for a coffee from there (I suggest the tall skinny caramel macchiato) so that you are feel accepted. This influence is much more likely to occur in highly homogenous groups, ambiguous situations, and when the subject is highly concerned with unwanted attention, the perceptions of others, and when the need to be accepted is high (Aronson et al., 2005, ).
Normative social influence is often referred to as peer pressure, however this term significantly underestimates the power of this phenomena.
Normative social influence has been used to explain a variety of behaviors, thought processes, and attitudes including juvenile delinquency (Haynie & Osgood, 2005), patterns of food intake and eating disorders (Holman et al., 2005), jury decisions (Prager, 1996), and political views (Price et al., 2006). This social influence underlies our conformity to
other people's expectations in fear of disapproval
and rejection. This gives us little concern about the accuracy of beliefs we express or the soundness of our
actions. Researchers replicated Asch's experiment with psychology students and confederates. The participants were led to beleive that the confederates were psychology students from another university (ingroup condition) or history students from their own university.
The 18 trial sequence consisted 9 correct and 9 incorrect responses by the confederates. It was found that 100% of the confederates conformed at least once when they thought the confederates belonged to their ingroup. For the participants who thought the confederates belonged to an outgroup, their corresponding percentage was 50%.
The researchers clearly showed that the participants' conformity depended on the extent of the extent to which they viewed their ingroup members. Additional Factors Affecting Conformity:
Situational Factors and Cultural Norms to six confederates and the real subjects always went
last. 12 out of 18 trials,confederates answered wrong
Participants went along with the group consensus 37% of the critical trial; 76% conformed at least once; only 24% remained independent Created the Asch paradigm experimental technique:
participants thought were in a visual perception study
to indicate which of three comparison lines equal to a
standard line
Control group (alone) found task easy
Main condition, participants stated answers aloud to How This Study Exhibits Normative Influences:
- Participants consistently chose the confederates' answer despite the correct answer being obvious

The stimuli used were ambiguous and no need for disambiguating information.

At all times, participants' behavior was public

Most participants explained their conformity in terms of the desire to be accepted by the rest of the group http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1252544/normative_social_influence.html • This is when we accept the views and attitudes of others as valid evidence about how things are in a particular situation. (because having an accurate perception of reality is important.)
• Viewed as valid sources of information, especially our validity of perceptions, beliefs, and feelings.
• In the study: because reality was ambiguous, participants used the other’s estimates to remove the ambiguity-social norms developed as a result of change in people’s beliefs. •relies on autokinetic effect (makes a stationary light seem like it’s moving) Participants were led to believe that the experiment was investigating visual perception. They had to make 100 judgments as to how far the light seemed to have moved.
The participants made their judgments and their estimates converged towards a standard estimate or personal norm.
• Over the next few days, the participants were joined by two other participants. They called out their estimates and soon the participants’ estimates echoed other’s estimates within the group. A common group emerged, or social norm, which was considered the average of the estimates.
The participants denied that their estimates were influenced by others in their groups.
• A third study was conducted and again the participants’ estimates showed a continued adherence to the group norm established in the previous experiment. Private acceptance: occurs when we genuinely believe the other person is right which leads to changes in beliefs, values, etc.
Public compliance: occurs when we copy others because we fear ridicule or rejection if we behave otherwise. It refers to our reason to conform as a desire to belong. We are more likely to conform to the norms of groups we believe we belong to and identify with. Hogg (2010) identified specific points about referent informational influence:
-People conform as group members, not to avoid social disapproval or validate physical reality.
-People conform to a norm. They use other people as a reference on what the appropriate ingroup norm is in a certain setting. This notion forms the basis of SIT explanations of conformity. From the SIT perspective, conformity is not just a matter of adhering to any social norms but has more to do with adhering to a person's ingroup norms. Because the from is an internalized representation, people can conform to it in the absence of surveillance. Situational Factors Group Think( Janis, 1972): Background- Researchers wanted to explain why certain decisions were made during President Kennedy's administration over the Cuban invasion and a number of US foreign policy decisions.

Factors effect conformity-
strong need to reach a consensus
decision urgency
high group cohesiveness, especially when defined in terms of social identity
*This has similar factors to group polarization (Baron, 2005). However, they have different situational determinants. Group Polarization and Conformity Factors-
Strong, explicit need to reach a consensus
Preference within group, for the same side of the argument
*Baron(2005) claims these help informational and norminative influences intensify.
Also, an ingroup's social identity is defined in relation to an outgroup Esser and Lindoerfe(1989) Turner et al. (1992) Hogg and Hains (1998) Cultural Norms Objective culture involves visible characteristics like dress style, uses of technology, and cuisine. (Triandis,2002)
Subjective culture is relevant to conformity because it refers to the beliefs, norms, and values a group considers important to pass on to future generations. This includes moral codes, religious beliefs, and social etiquette. (Triandis, 2002)

Cultural norms contribute to fundamental and long lasting social identities. *They help regulate behavior according to a group's beliefs of acceptable and unacceptable thinking, feeling, and behaving. Asch's conformity studies are viewed as cases of situational control over behavior (Sabini et al., 2001)
Conformity is high even in settings involving no ambiguity and involves tasks of easy nature. In Hogg and Vaughan(2008), 76% participants showed conformity under these circumstances
Asch found that majority size didn't have much effect beyond a minimal number. This was debated by Latane (1981), who used the SIT theory to show that the larger the group, the larger the effect. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC51QZWePSY&feature=player_detailpage
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