psychpost | 8/19/2011 12:42:00 AM
Conformity: Behaving according to the to real or imagined expectations of other, even against one's own wishes.
When does it happen? Confusion due to lack of information
Informational Social Influence: Phenomenon where people assume the actions of others reflect the correct behavior for a given situation.This can lead to Private Acceptance (You believe it) and/or Public Acceptance (You comply to the group).
A famous Social Psychology experiment where we see the effect of Conformity in groups is known as the Asch Line Study.
In this experiment the participant is placed with a group of 6 other "participants" who are actually confederates (planted by the experimenter). The participant was told that (s)he would be participating in a "vision test". The participants would be given a line and choose the line that is the same as the given line.
|Obviously it's C right?|
Would the participant give the correct answer or conform to the group's obviously incorrect answer? 76% of the participants succumbed to the pressure of the group and also answered incorrectly.
This experiment shows us something very important about group dynamics, that people are afraid to "rock the boat" even when the correct answer is obvious. Social Psychology study also reveals that there are many other ways that a group can produce behavior that is not logical. I will get to those in another post but they are known as "Process Loss" if you would like to do some research on it.
I will most likely be writing more posts following this on how groups affect decision making but I am currently busy with university school work and studying at the moment.
PHOTO CREDIT: Kheel Center (Flickr)