Chapter 8

Chapter 8 - Chapter 8: Conformity, Compliance and Obedience...

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Chapter 8: Conformity, Compliance and Obedience There are 3 kinds of social influence: conformity, compliance and obedience. They are all changes in behavior that is caused by other people. Conformity refers to any change in behaviour caused by another person or group. Compliance refers to a change in behaviour that is requested by another person or group. Obedience refers to a change in behaviour that is ordered by another person or group. Why do we conform? We conform for 2 reasons, which are captured by the terms informational influence and normative influence. Informational influence occurs when people are influenced by others because of a desire to be correct and to obtain valid information. This kind of influence reflects that people often rely on others as a source of information. Normative influence occurs when people are influenced by others to gain rewards or to avoid punishment. They might want to be liked to avoid conflict. Both of these can occur simultaneously. We often want to please other people (normative) whose judgments we seek (informational). Sherif’s Autokinetic Effect Studies: Muzafer Sherif did his research on conformity as addressing the development of social norms. A social norm is a rule or guideline about what behaviours are proper or improper. They can be formal such as laws and contracts, or informal, such as customs and traditions. The reward for following a norm is social acceptance. The punishment is social rejection. They are a source of conformity. The Autokinetic affect occurs in a darkened room, when a stationary point of light appears to move periodically. It is really an allusion. It occurs because there is no other visual frame of reference available to locate the light and also because of rapid movement of your eye. Sherif conducted a study, which asked 19 men to repot how far the light appeared to move. There was a very wide rage of perceived movement. In the second study, he got people in groups of 2 or 3 to do the same thing, first alone and then second with the group. When they were alone, a wide range of movement was perceived. When they were making judgments in groups, the perceived movement began to converge. In one of the best-known autokinetic experiments, participants were put in groups of 2. Only one member was naïve about the procedure and the other one was instructed to vary his judgments. First they made their judgments together and then the naïve participant was tested alone. The results: the naïve participant’s responses were close to the first trials form the group. Thus, the arbitrary standard introduced by the confederate established a group norm, and the norm influenced the naïve persons. Multigenerational Norms
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This note was uploaded on 10/12/2009 for the course MIT 2000 taught by Professor Da during the Spring '09 term at Acadia.

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Chapter 8 - Chapter 8: Conformity, Compliance and Obedience...

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