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Matthew J Hornsey Louise Majkut Deborah J Terry and Blake M McKimmie of the University of Queensland performed two conformity experiments on university students These experiments were done too measure the influence of group norms on students attitudes Experiment one involved 205 university students who rated themselves as being pro-gay law reform The students were given numerous questions that asked them to rate the moral basis for their attitude and what they believed societys attitude was Following the questioning the participants were told that the study is ongoing and previous students have been questioned on the same issues this was done to manipulate group norm They were told previous students were completely for pro-gay law reform or completely against it The final test that the students were given they were questioned regarding the likelihood of them expressing their support through either public intentions or private intentions Predictions were made that participants would more likely show private support when they had the support of a group however it was felt that conformity would occur with willingness to display public support In experiment two 110 University of Queensland students stated that they were in favor of a government apology to Aborigines they were told that previous students were either supportive or non-supportive of a government apology After receiving this information students were questioned as to whether they would show public or private support on this social issue Predictions were made that group support would be essential to those with those with a low moral basis for attitudes yet those with a strong moral basis would show no conformity Basically predictions were accurate in both experiments students that were keener on private support had a lower moral basis and would be more likely to show private support when group support was apparent The students
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