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It is the process of yielding to the majority influence and is defined by Myers (1999) as 'a change in the behaviour or belief as a result of real or imgined pressure.'

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Types of Conformity

Compliance: Publicly conforming to others but privatly maintaing ones own views

Identifucation: Adopting other veiws and/or behaviour of a group because you value being a member of the grou, ypon leaving the group the new attitudes and behaviours are not maintained.

Internalisation: A true change of private veiws to match those of the group. This is long lasting.

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Informational Social influence

This is based on the desire to be right. We look at others to give us the information about how to behave, espicially in new situations Informational social influence can sometimes lead to genuine and long lasting change of of belief or attitude called internalisation.

An example of ths would be in a restaurant, looking at someone on the correct way to eat and use the correct cuterly and palce settings.

Informational social influence is based on the desire to be right.

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Sherif (1935)

Sherif wanted to investigate whether a group of norm would emerge when individuals were faced with an ambiguous task.

He used an autokinetic effect. This is an optical illusion experenced when a person is placed in a totally dar kroom in which a stationary point of light appars to make the persons preceptial system has no framal preferance for it. In fact, the light remians stationary. He asked individual partcipants to judge how far the light appeared to move on a number of trials. Each individuals estimated were relativley stable but between partcipants there was a considerable variation. When the same partcipants then workd in groups of three, the partcipants announced there judgements aloud and their judgements converged until a group norm emerged. They study showed that when faced with an ambiguous situation, the partcipants looked to others in the group for guidance, that is they experenced informational social influence. Once the group norm had be estabilshed partcipants continued to use it once they were asked to make individual judgements later.

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Normative social influence

When we conform because we think that people will like us and accept us The conformity that results from the desire to be liked is sometimes called compliance. 

An example would be you like a particular band because your friends do and you want to be like by your friends

SO... Normative social influence is based on the desire to be liked. This means conformity can have a social function.

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Variations on Asch's original study

1) The nature of the task: Crutchfield (1995) found that when the task became more difficult conformity rates increased

2.) A non-unamous majority: Found that levels of conformity dropped dramtically when just one partcipant discentered from the majority and supported naive conformity.

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