Conformity%20-%20Chapt%2060

Conformity%20-%20Chapt%2060 - Conformity and Obedience...

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Conformity and Obedience Chapter 6
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What is conformity? Conformity --a change in behavior or belief as a result of real or “imagined” group pressure. It is not simply acting like others, but also being effected by how they act. You “consciously” act differently from the way you would act alone.
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What is conformity? Is conformity a bad thing? Is it good? Both? Imagine a society with absolutely no conformity or norms. Adaptive, allows us to make predictions, “greases the wheels” of society Carries a negative connotation in individualistic cultures
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Three Types of Conformity: 1. Compliance - Involves publicly acting in accord with social pressure while privately disagreeing. EX: Wearing appropriate attire to work Why do we do this? Reap a reward or avoid punishment 2. Obedience Acting in accord with a direct order or command.
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Types of Conformity contd . 3. Acceptance - involves both acting and believing in accord with social pressure (sincere inward conformity) E.g., We may decide not to drink alcohol because our society adopts a strong moral view against drinking.
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A. Classic Studies in Conformity 1. Sherif’s studies of norm formation 2. Asch’s studies of conformity
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1. Sherif’s Study: Part I Sherif (1935, 1937) wanted to examine the formation of social norms. Ss were seated in a dark room. Fifteen ft. in front of the S, a pinpoint of light appears. At first, nothing happens, then it appears to move erratically & disappears. The S has to guess how far it moved.
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The darkness of the room adds to the Ss uncertainty. The S makes a “guess.” (6 inches). The experimenter repeats the procedure & the S guesses again. With repetitions, the S reports estimates that tend to fall around an average (around 6-8 inches).
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Sherif’s Study: Part II The next day, the S returns & is joined by two others (also previous Ss). When light is presented, the other Ss give their best guesses from the day before. One says “1 inch,” the other S says, “2
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Conformity%20-%20Chapt%2060 - Conformity and Obedience...

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