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PSYCH 2C03 (188)


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Jennifer Ostovich

CHAPTER SIX What is Conformity?  At times bad  At times good  At times inconsequential  Moral: we choose labels to suit our values and judgments  Labels both evaluate and describe, they are inescapable Conformity: change in behaviour or belief to accord with others  Not just acting as other people act; it is also being affected by how they act  Acting differently from the way you would act alone  How do you know? Key is whether your behaviour and beliegs would be the same apart from the group Varieties of conformity 1) Compliance, 2) obedience, 3) acceptance Compliance (outward conformity) Obedience Acceptance (inward conformity) We conform to an expectation or When our compliance is Sometimes we genuinely believe request without really believing in to an explicit (clear and in what the group has persuaded what we are doing obvious) command us to do  Ex. Putting on a necktie or dress, though we dislike doing so **complying to reap an award or Acting in accord with a Involves both acting and avoid punishment** direct order believing in accord with social pressure Involves publicly acting in accord with social pressure while privately Acceptance sometimes follows disagreeing compliance (attitudes follow behaviour What are the Classic Conformity and Obedience Studies?  Potency of social forces and nature of evil Sherif's studies of NORM FORMATION Muzafer Sherif (1935, 1937)  Wondered if it was possible to observe the emergence of a social norm in the laboratory  Wanted to experiment with the social phenomenon of norm formation  Participants seated in dark room  Pinpoint of light appears 5m ahead  At first, nothing happens, then erratically moves and disappears  Guess how far it moved  No way to judge distance so you say uncertainly "15cm"  Repeated again, you reply "25cm"  Your estimates continue to avg about 20cm  Next day you return , joined by 2 others who had the same experience day before. 1) light goes off and the other two people offer best guesses from day before "5cm" and "2cm". A bit taken back 1st participant replies "15cm" Results  Men whom Sherif tested changed their estimates markedly  Group norm typically emerged (the norm was false. Light never moved!) (Figure 6-1)  Autokinetic (self-motion) phenomenon- optical illusion  Sherif uses this technique to answer questions about people's suggestibility  People who were retested a year later: estimates again diverge or would they continue to follow group norm? method  They continued to support the group norm  Cultures seeming power to perpetuate (make something last) false beliefs Robert Jacobs and Donald Campbell (1961)  Studied transmission of false beliefs  Used Autokinetic Phenomenon  Confederate gave a inflated estimate of how far the light omved, confederate left experiment and was repl
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