Types of conformity, including internalisation and
What is conformity? Conformity can be seen in many different situations. Social pressures and the behaviour of others are clearly influential. It is a form of social influence that results from exposure to the majority position and leads to compliance with that position. It is the tendency for people to adopt the behaviour, attitudes and values of other members of a reference group. There are 3 different types of conformity. Kelman (1958).
- Compliance is the most superficial type of conformity. Here, the person conforms publicly (out loud) with the views or behaviours expressed by others in the group but continues privately to disagree. Their personal views on the subject do not change. Compliance is also used to describe the process of going along with the requests of another person while disagreeing with them. Occurs when an individual accepts influence because they hope to achieve a favourable reaction from thoe around them. An attitude or behaviour is adopted not because of its content, but because of the rewards or approval associated with its adoption.
3 Types of Conformity.. continued
- Identification is a deeper type if conformity, which takes place when the individual is exposed to the views of others and changes their view publicly and privately to fit in with them. In order to do this, the person identifies with the group and feels a sense of group membership. The person identifies to be like the person or group they admire. However, when identification takes place, the change of belief or behaviour may be temporary.
- Internalisation is the deepest level of conformity. When the views of the group are internalized they are taken on a deep and permanent level and they become part of the person's own way of viewing the world or their cognitive system. People can internalise the views of a larger group (majority influence) or of a small group or individual (minority influence). Occurs when an individuals accepts influence because the content of the attitude or behaviour proposed is consistent with their own value system.