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Word Count: 1,180
Conformity refers to the tendency for people to change their perceptions opinions and behaviour in ways that are consistent with group norms People do not always make individual decisions the majority of the time they look to others to guide their thoughts and actions When looking to others there are two main factors that people may pay attention to Firstly they may be interested in what society says they should do or think in a particular situation The second factor that may be taken into consideration is what other people would actually do in a certain situation This essay will look at the different research done into conformity It will also use this research to explain the different theories that psychologists have formed as to why people feel the need that they need to comply when they are in a group situation Psychologists have put forward many theories as to why people conform and have completed studies to try to confirm their ideas Two of the first people to actually put a name to and explain why people conform were Deutsch and Gerard in 1955 as cited in Gross Richard 1996 They said that people conform when in a group because the group can have two types of influence normative influence and informational influence Normative influence is when an individual conforms because of a fear of rejection by the group even though they do not necessarily believe the groups views Informational influence is when different members of the group all put their thoughts in and you begin to believe and agree with them Kelman 1958 agreed with normative influence although he did not have a name for it Kelman along with Mann 1969 also believed in informational influence although they called it internalisation Cottrell also put forward a theory as to why people conform He proposed the evaluation apprehension model This says that approval and disapproval are dependent on others evaluations of us which is
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