Social Influence On Conformism

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Social influence is the change in an individual’s behaviour, opinion and emotions resulting from what others may do or feel. People are substantially influenced by other members of society, this is most effective when an individual is being watched by other people or when acting to reach a common goal as those around. Despite the society we live in granting each individual the freedom to own their own set of thoughts and opinions social influence still occurs. The presence of others (real or imagined) triggers the desire to conform and individuals tend to imitate/behave like others. The primary inspiration responsible for this conformity is associated with informational and normative influences. Nonetheless there are a number of other mechanisms …show more content…
Psychological research suggests that the presence of another person or persons has a considerable effect on the quality of the person’s performance on a task. This attitude is often the individual’s aspiration to be right and make the right choices and attain social acceptance. Conformity is unusually common and extremely observable in everyday life. People tend to dress and behave like others, and even share their beliefs. What mechanisms make people s conformist? Experimental research has proven to be the most informative source of knowledge about conformists and conformist mechanisms. Deutsch and Gerard (1955) were of the many pioneers of research on conformity, they suggested two mechanisms; normative and informational influences. Normative influence is conforming due to wanting to be accepted by others, the need to be approved of by other people and the fear of being disliked. This individual usually accepts these views/behaviours publically but rejects them privately. On the other hand informational influence occurs when an individual conforms due to having a lack of knowledge on a matter and looking to others for guidance. This such conformity leads to feelings of self-esteem and self-approval. Asch (1951) found that people would put forward answers even though they were unsure if they were correct simply because someone else had influenced these answered on them. Asch’s experiment involved the discrimination of the lengths of lines. The participants were given one card which had one line and a second card which had three lines on it, they were then asked to identify which of the three lines on the second card was equal in length to the line on the first card. The experiment was set up so that only one of the participants was a subject in the experiment and the others were in fact following