Conformity is a result of social influence where people adopt the behaviours, attitudes and values of a group, many people feel they are independent, however they are nerveless go along with what the group they hang around with do,(the social norms). Social norms are how we are expected to act, for example say please and thank you. Kelman said that there were three types of conformity; these were compliance, where you publicly conform to the behaviour or views of other, but then privately agree to what you believe, such as if you agree in smoking, you could publicly agree but then privately disagree. Identification is where you take on other views and behaviours of a group both publicly and privately because you want to be part of the group. However these views are not always long term and if the person left the group their behaviour and views might go back to how they were before and internalization, this is where the person values and behaviours have changed for long term, for example religion.
We may stereotype all priests to be pedophiles based on personal experience or a news story and not judge the person by his own merit and actual social characteristics. Thus, we may misjudge others, if we are not careful to examine everyone as an individual instead of grouping people into preconceived categories. We have expectations of people based on our notions of who they should be according to society instead of individuality. The disadvantages of these tendencies are that we may be less likely to access and accept an individual for who they
People often compare themselves to others to feel more socially accepted or to set themselves apart from others. Others perceive us how we perceive ourselves. Having higher self-esteem causes others to pick up on that confidence and they themselves have confidence in you. If you are constantly worried about what you say or if you are concerned about what others think you project the idea in people head that you have low self-esteem. Others pick up on your negative energy and can use this against you.
Prejudice is adverse opinions derived from a stereotype against an individual or specific group. Prejudice, simply stated, means to prejudge an individual or group. Stereotyping is assigning similar characteristics to an individual in a specific group despite variations among the group’s members. Stereotyping can occur for numerous reasons. Usually, an individual will stereotype another person or group simply because there has been no firsthand knowledge.
People make judgments the second they set eyes on others and the effects of first impressions can often be misleading. Judging the people we meet before we even speak to them sets ones demeanor towards that person. If one finds them to be friendly and outgoing in public one may be more likely strike up a conversation with that person. On the other hand if one see’s someone as a threat or perhaps a bum, one will likely pass by and pretend they don’t even see them. A person who judges others often be fooled by what they see.
This is called Compliance. Mark will look to see what the other soldiers decide to do and conform because he will feel that the others have more knowledge than him. This may be because of low self-esteem and lack of intelligence. Asch (1951) conducted an experiment that will support this theory. Asch’s aim of the experiment was to investigate if people conform to the judgments of others in situations where the judgements are clearly wrong.
Although we may not notice it is often that when discussing different groups of individuals we are influenced by the stereotypes significant to each group. Although we as individuals often try not to let stereotypes influence our opinions or beliefs, I must say we are all subject to some form of prejudices if allow stereotypes to influence us. Take for example Politicians, Tattooed Individuals, Feminist, and Senior Citizens these are all groups of people who are often found stereotyped in one way or another, stereotypes being positive or negative for each of these specific groups. Stereotypes are often used in defining a group although “a stereotype is a thought or image about a group of people based on little or no evidence.” (Moore & Parker P.122) For example many individuals feel that Politicians are all gifted educationally when in fact there is no evidence to prove if each politician is truly gifted or not. Many individuals feel that tattoos are for second class citizens or criminals when in fact for some it is simply a hobby or dedication to a lost family member, child, or a way to label themselves with something meaningful for them.
Discrimination is when someone singles out someone or something because of characteristics they may have. Discrimination is different from stereotyping and prejudice because you may treat someone differently because of a characteristic they may. Whereas with stereotyping you automatically assume someone is a certain way because of how they may look. The way they dress could be an example of stereotyping, and prejudice is when you may not like someone because of your beliefs. Discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping tend to get confused a lot of times, because people doesn’t know the true meaning of each word.
Everyone has their own image of how individuals or groups of people should be portrayed. Also many people don’t realize that they are stereotyping, it may just be a habit. People are also raised to look at an individual and classify them into a certain group. Stereotyping cannot be avoided, it is an image that society has constituted to classify individuals to groups of people. Looking back, I realize that we have been raised in a society that substitutes a person’s lifestyle and personal choices to a stereotype.
People very often change their attitudes and behaviors to conform to the attitudes and behaviors of people they are around. One of the reasons for this conformity of attitude and behavior change is that we are highly concerned with what others think of us. Conforming to the normality of others is our normal human attempt to obtain information we do not have so we in essence are relying on that normality to be a reasonable strategy especially when we are uncertain about how we should be acting. The unfortunate aspect to this is we more often than not usually are misinterpreting how the typical person acts in certain situations, which in the end will contribute to other problems within our own behavior. As humans we possess an integral predisposition to imitate the actions of our family, and friends that are around us.