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Conformity Essay

Use some psychological studies of conformity to discuss reasons for conforming.
According to Leon Mann, conformity means'yielding to group pressures'. Everyone is
a member of one group or another and everyone expects members of these groups to
behave in certain ways. If you are a member of an identifiable group you are expected
to behave appropriately to it. If you don't confirm and behave appropriately you are
likely to be rejected by the group. Like stereotypes, conforming and expecting others
to conform maintains cognitive balance.
There are several kinds of conformity. Many studies of conformity took place in the
1950's which led Kelman to distinguish between compliance, internalisation and
identification. Compliance is the type of conformity where the subject goes along with
the group view, but privately disagrees with it. Internalisation is where the subject
comes to accept, and eventually believes in the group view. Identification is where the
subject accepts and believes the group view, because he or she wants to become
Leon Mann identifies normative conformity which occurs when direct group pressure
forces the individual to yield under the threat of rejection or the promise of reward.
This can occur only if someone wants to be a member of the group or the groups
attitudes or behaviour are important to the individual in some way.
Apart from normative conformity there is informational conformity which occurs
where the situation is vague or ambiguous and because the person is uncertain he or
she turns to others for evidence of the appropriate response.
Thirdly, Mann identifies ingratiational conformity which occurs where a person tries to
do whatever he or she thinks the others will approve in order to gain acceptance (if
you make yourself appear to be similar to someone else, they might come to like you).
Thefirst major research into conformity was conducted …

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