Outline And Evaluate Research Into Conformity As a

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Conformity is a form of social Influence and occurs when there is an absence of any explicit order or request. Any person will yield to group pressure to comply with others. These theories are founded from research studies and show how social influences affect our behaviour in everyday life. These studies fall into three categories, informational social influence, normative social influence and conforming to social rules and expectations. In addition to those studies Kelman (1958) also suggested that conformity can result in changing our private opinions as well as our public opinions, and has three explanations. 1, Compliance is a result of group pressure, when you don’t really agree with the answer, but go along with the group anyway but when the group pressure is removed conformity stops. 2, Identification: Group membership, this is when a person conforms to an actual role, without being overly enthuastic about what is expected from them. 3, Internalisation: when a person accepts the group norms and will not change their belief if group pressure is removed. Informational social influence occurs when there is no obvious answer to a question. In this situation people often turn to each other for guidance and tend to mimic each others actions. This makes people conform to a group norm in an ambiguous situation. A study by Sherif (1935) using the autokenetic affect gave validity to his research on conformity `in human behaviour. The study began with participant being tested individually and then in groups of three in a laboratory setting. The experiment itself was very simple and consisted of a stationary spot of light on a wall in a darkened room. A question was asked on how far the light moved and in which direction. Individually the results showed personal norms, but put together, they quickly became very similar in their answers. This showed Sherif the group
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