Discuss factors influencing conformity
Well first of all,
there are two different types of conformity that you should be aware of:
When an individual
turns to members of a group to obtain information about what is right (e.g. when
the available information is ambiguous).
When an individual conforms in order to be accepted or liked by other
members of the group.
People have a need for social approval and acceptance.
Situational factors in conformity: group size and group unanimity:
Asch made variations of the original study by altering the amount of
confederates. When there was only one confederate the participant answered
correctly. With two confederates the minority participantís errors rose to
13.6%. With three confederates the errors jumped to 31.8%. Further increases
in confederates did not increase errors so Asch concluded that the size of
opposition is important only up to a point. Asch suggested that with larger
groups, participants may become resistant to conform if they suspect that
members of the majority are working together on purpose.
Asch introduced social support to the naive participant, either another
naive participant or a confederate who had been instructed to go along with
the naive participant. The presence of a supporter reduced errors from 35%
to around 5.5%. This is particularly the case if the supporter responds
before the majority. This effect was seen even if the supporter was more
incorrect than the majority, so it seems that breaking group unanimity is
the main factor in reducing conformity.
Also the fact that you may admire the status of the group may affect whether or
not you are more likely to conform.
Culture may also
affect whether one conforms or not:
Study to use: Asch