Theories Of Conformity

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Conformity is a type of social influence that causes a change in your beliefs or behaviour in response to a real or imagined social pressure. Insko et al (1985) stated that there are two main psychological reasons for why people may conform. The first reason is normative social influence which means that we conform because we want to be liked or have the approval of others or to be accepted into a group. The result of normative influence is that the person may publicly agree or go along with the behaviour but privately disagree. The second reason is informational influence. This means that we conform because we want to be right. It may happen when we are unsure/naïve of a situation and look to others for help.
A study to support this is Asch’s
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Someone with high self-esteem will have self-respect and a sense of worth and will usually think highly of themselves. People with low self-esteem will feel insecure and will lack self-confidence and worth. You need to have self-esteem when you’re in the public services as it will raise confidence levels, boost morale and help to keep motivation in a team. This is vital in life or death situations.
Everyone who joins a public service know they will be working in a team. Teamwork and mutual trust and friendship among people are very important when you’re working in the public services. All members of a team want to be accepted and be part of the team so to be able to do this they need to conform to the team’s norms. If one member doesn’t conform they may not be accepted into the team and it may also affect their morale and performance which could mean tasks that have been set may not be done or may not be to the best of their
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If the employees are well disciplined, it will mean that the job will get done quicker and with better quality. Also, if the police demonstrate obedience, they are promoting being obedient and obeying authority to younger people which may help make the community a safer place.
Respect and trust is developed through obedience which is very important when working for a public service. Colleagues need to be able to rely on each other to complete all tasks, and do them efficiently so trust and obedience play a major part in the public services.
Although being obedient and conforming can be a good thing, it can also have some consequences. This can be shown through the Hofling and Milgram experiment. The participants were obedient and didn’t want to stand out so they did as they were told. This could have just been a natural response. But, this obedience can lead to a potentially dangerous situation, which if it was real could have killed someone. This shows that even if you know the order you have been given can end a life, you still feel like you have to obey and conform. This can link to the public services as sometimes if you obey an order, it can make the situation even more dangerous, possibly because the order wasn’t thought through for