Social psychology studies seek to identify and explain the myriad variables that affect people’s actions. This paper will explore conformity, the phenomena in which people tend to adopt the beliefs and behaviors of the majority, which can be quite complicated. This paper will address three different causes of conformity and link them to one of the four fundamental theoretical views introduced in Chapter 1 of the textbook. The paper’s concluding section will discuss the possibility of compatibility between these hypotheses. The paper will compare the merits of each theory and use examples to illustrate our points. The presentation will emphasize that social psychology is multi-determined, meaning that several factors might interact to produce a certain behavior. This can be completed by dissertation helpers.
Reason 1: Normative Social Influence
The need for social approval and acceptance is a major motivator of conformity. People may want to fit in with the crowd, so they feel included and can get their peers’ approval. One example is how people will change their political ideas to fit in with their friends with different views or change their style to fit in with their peers. The sociocultural viewpoint considers the impact of cultural values and social standards on individual conduct. It is possible for the need to fit in socially to overcome an individual’s commitment to their principles and ideas (dissertation proposal, 2004). Individuals can boost their chances of being liked and accepted by the group at large by conforming to the norms of that group. There are potential drawbacks to complying with social standards, such as the erosion of individuality and the spread of bad cultural norms.
Reason 2: Informational Social Influence
One of the main causes of compliance is the social influence of information. The pursuit of truth and precision drives this form of persuasion. People follow the group’s lead when they do not know what to do. Thus, when they do not know what to do, they go to others in the group for advice. It is common for people to comply through informational social influence because they assume the group knows more than they do. The Asch conformity experiments illustrate this type of the informative social influence. Participants in these studies were shown a line and asked to choose the best match out of three alternatives. When the research’s confederates offered erroneous answers on purpose, study participants generally went along with the group’s wrong assessment, even if it ran counter to their own. The cognitive school of social psychology is where the concept of “social influence through information” is most at home (Reimer et al., 2020). It places an emphasis on how mental operations like perceiving, thinking, and remembering influence actions. People’s views and perceptions of the world affect how they respond to informational social influence and comply with norms. Because they wish to be consistent in their ideas and actions, they may conform to the group because they believe that the group has more knowledge or competence than they have.
Reason 3: Group Identity
The third factor contributing to the prevalence of conformity is the importance people place on their sense of group identity. When people want to feel accepted and a part of a group, they may conform to the standards set by the members of that group. One can, for instance, adopt the required attire to fit in with a certain group. The social identity approach includes studies of group identification because it emphasizes how membership in a social group can shape an individual’s sense of who they are and how they see the world. This point of view stresses the significance of social identity and how it influences how people feel and act concerning their own and other social groups. Conflicts between groups can be sparked by the very nature of group identification, such as when one group’s values and customs directly oppose another (Reimer et al., 2020). By appreciating the function of group identification in inducing conformity, we can gain useful information for managing and reducing intergroup conflicts as discussed by master’s dissertation help.
Compatibility of Reasons
The three motivations for conformity are not incompatible; they can all act in concert to shape an individual’s actions, attitudes, and worldview. A person could, for instance, conform to societal standards to both fits in (normative influence) and verify their ideas (correctness) (informational influence). Moreover, the need to be accepted by one’s peers and to have a sense of belonging to a group (group identity) may further strengthen the pressure to conform. There are times, though, when these motives for conformity cannot coexist. Normative social influence can cause people to adopt harmful or inaccurate group norms, such as those of a group that promotes dangerous activities (Reimer et al., 2020). In these situations, it may be more important for people to rely on informational social influence to assist them in fighting the urge to conform. However, people may value group conformity more than accuracy, so they may voice their disagreements only if they have strong feelings about something. The three causes of conformity discussed above are not exclusive of one another and can work together. Although there may be tension between normative social influence, informational social impact, and group identification, these factors often work together to shed light on how people behave in social settings.
There are several causes of conformity, including social pressure (both normative and informational) and a strong sense of belonging to a particular group. There are times when these factors are at odds with one another, even though they often work in tandem. To better understand how people, act in social circumstances and create strategies to promote the independence of thought and diversity among members of groups, it is helpful first to have a firm grasp on the various causes of conformity.