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Conformity h Conformity focuses upon the ways in which other people exert their influence upon us in such a way that we go along with them For example some teenagers may go along with what their friends do when they themselves would have preferred to have gone elsewhere h Conformity normally involves some kind of social pressure in which the individuals intentions conflict with those of the groups This kind of social pressure is known as conformity Below are three definitions of conformity They all have a common theme that other people bring about a change in an individual or at least induce a situation of conflict A change in a persons behaviour or opinions as a result of real or imagined Pressure from a person or group of people Aronson 1998 Yielding to a group pressures or expectations Crutchfield 1995 The tendency to allow ones opinions attitudes actions and perceptions to be affected by prevailing opinions attitudes and actions Reber 1985 h However this is hard to prove and since the 1930s this form of social influence has been studied experimentally using a variety of techniques The major experimenters in this area are Msherif S Asch RSCrutchfield and SMilgram who are all social psychologists h MUZTAFER SHERIF 1935 When a stationary spot of light is seen in a dark room it appears to move this phenomenon is known as the autokinetic effect Sherif used this effect by firstly bringing individuals into the room and asked them to estimate how far the light moved for several trials After this Sherif allowed the subjects to hear the other subjects answers and found that their answers converged and became similar Sherif had not told the people that they had to agree on the correct answer but each could hear the others estimate The light had only appeared to flicker so there was no right answer and it
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