• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Conformity and Obedience Essay

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Richard Murphy Conformity and Obedience Essay From the moment we are born we enter a society where it is the norm to conform and obey. From a very young age we learn that if we do not obey then we will suffer the consequences for these actions. People within society have a desire to be accepted and to belong; whether to a group or a family this social influence can change our thoughts, feeling and even our behaviour. So can we truly be an individual or are we pre-defined by a set of social boundaries? ?Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth? (J F. Kennedy). Kennedy feels that by conforming you are giving up your freedom as an individual to whom/what you are conforming to. In doing this you relinquish your ability to grow and have your own thoughts and act on them; whilst conforming a person cannot flourish. ...read more.


‘We conform because we believe that other’s interpretation of an ambiguous situation is more accurate than ours and will help is choose an appropriate course of action’ (Aronson, et al., 2005). This is an example of Informational social influence theory (ISI) (Muzafer Sherif, 1935), conflicting to this is Normative Influence Theory (NI) (Bibb Latané, 1980). NI is the influence from peer pressure; people can act on NI for a number of reasons. It can be for fear of rejection, a desire for approval or to show a level of loyalty to a group. Kaplan and Miller investigate and summarise theses different types of influence and which one dominates when in group discussions. ‘Groups and individuals often shift their preferences following discussion of an issue. Explanations for such shifts typically invoke either informational or normative influence processes. The former refers to influence based on sharing of facts or persuasive arguments about the issue, and the latter refers to conformity to implicit decision norms and others' preferences. ...read more.


The main difference between conformity and obedience is the consequence. Conformity is a choice; you choose whether to follow a group and you can choose the way that you dress. As individuals we invoke the right to freedom of choice; freedom to choose within a society full of boundaries and limitations. When we talk about obedience there is always a consequence, no matter how big or small if we choose not to obey then we suffer the consequence or lose out on the reward. Obeying is the act of behaving in a way that we are told; this can be by parents, teachers, police or the government. Obedience is a form of social influence where an individual acts in response to a direct order from another individual, who is usually an authority figure. It is assumed that without such an order the person would not have acted in this way. ________________ | Page ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Social Psychology essays

  1. The aim of this experiment is to find out if people will conform without ...

    This is because the results from this experiment state that the reason for people conforming is basically because they don't want to 'stick out like a sore thumb' or 'rock the boat', creating a case of public compliance rather than public acceptance.

  2. Mate Selection and Preferences Across Decades

    When asked if they had ever compared their partner to a celebrity, 77% stated no, while 23% stated they had. And when asked if they believed that opposites attracted, 43% said that they didn't know, 32% said yes, and 25% said no.

  1. Obedience means acting in response to a direct order, usually from an authority figure. ...

    if they actually wanted to carry on after the danger level of volts they didn't thinking that the experimenter and people around them will judge them as being callous so therefore stopped admitting shocks). As this experiment is unlikely to be come across in real life lacks ecological validity.

  2. The Concepts Of Conformity And Obedience

    Sherif claimed that he had shown conformity. The individuals were experiencing informational social influence. Brown (1996) criticised his work because the group only consisted of three people. He felt that three people weren't a sufficient number to warrant being classed as a group.

  1. Conformity discussion.

    It is also true that the participant's experience of society will reflect that of an individualistic nature where the emphasis is on and around the individual to have a sense of personal identity, thus reducing the likelihood of conformity. This will be done by partially replicating the Jennes jellybean study.

  2. The experiment conducted tested the theory of conformity under the influence of group pressure.

    A group consensus exists if every member of the group is willing to accept a proposal. Consensus does not imply that every member of the group really likes the proposal; it does imply that they all feel they can live with the proposal.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work