Resisting conformity

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  • IB: Resisting pressures to conform
    • Desire to retain a sense of individuality
      • Outweigh pressures to conform, in Western cultures - people feel discomfort if they appear same as others
      • Snyder and Fromkin (1980)
        • 1 group of American students led to believe most important attitudes were different to 10,000 other students
        • Another group led to believe most important attitudes were identical to 10,000 other students
        • In a conformity study, those told they were the same were much less likely to conform than those who had been told they were individual. Students lead to believe were conforming made more effort to assert as individuals
    • Desire to mantain control
      • Like to have control over things that happen in life - does't match with yielding to social influence
      • When experiencing obvious group pressure - personal freedom threatened (however the need for control differs among people)
      • Daubman (1993)
        • High scorer on desirability of control scale and those with low, told did average on a puzzle - partner did better, some were given hints on how to do better
        • Those who scored low - more likely to accept hints, while high scorers felt worse after help offered and expressed irritation at incursion into personal control
    • Time to think/ find social support
      • Aronson (1999) one of the best ways to stop influence of social norms is to think about what we are doing, become aware of type of normative influence
      • However, not sufficient alone, fear of rejection can prevent actively resisting conformity
        • FInding an ally can build confidence and aid resistence as no longer unaminous majority (Asch 8.7% with ally)
    • Prior Commitment
      • Once people publicly commit to an opinion they are less likely to change than if it was held privately
      • Variations of Asch showed when naive participant gave judgement first, before confederates (gave wrong) and were given chance to change they never did
        • Fear of seeming indecisive encourages people


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