Explanations for conformity

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Normative social influence evaluation

Normative scoial influence is supported by research on adolescent smoking. Linkenbach and Perkins found that adolescents who were told that most of their peers didn't smoke were less likely to start smoking themselves. This supports the claim that people shape their behaviour to fit in with their peer group.

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Informational social influence evaluation

Informational social influence helps to explain how social sterotypesdevelop.Wittenbrink and Henley found people exposed to a negative, but supposedly majority view about African Americans later reported more negative views about a black individual.This suggests we are shaped by others when we beleieve they know more about an issue than us.

It also explains how political opinions are shaped. Fein found judgements about presidential candidates in a debate  were influenced by how others were supposedly acting towards  them suggesting the influence by others when we believe they are more informed than us.

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