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Conformity - How can concepts of social psychology and conformity be applied to real life scenarios?

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Introduction

SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY - CONFORMITY SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY - CONFORMITY. HOW CAN CONCEPTS OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY AND CONFORMITY BE APPLIED TO REAL LIFE SCENARIOS? Conformity is one of the most important issues in psychology with regards to its relevance in society. It is a phenomenon that has always existed in modern culture, able to change people's behaviour to the extent that they are "willing to call white black" in order to mould in with the group. This subject was thoroughly investigated in the 1950s by Solomon Asch (1956). He derived a simple test where nine participants are involved. One participant is completely na�ve to the experiment, where as the other eight 'stooges' have been given prior instructions. When asked which line out of three possibilities matched most closely to an original line, the eight stooges would confidently give the wrong answer. ...read more.

Middle

If he was to yield to the group pressure this would be known as compliance, where he is going along with what the group is doing for social approval. This is an example of a normative influence. One possible outcome is that the boy, once trying cannabis for the first time, realises that he likes it. This is known as internalization, where the subject's opinion is changed (- informational influence). We can therefore see how easily compliance can lead to internalization. Yielding to group pressure can actually change somebody's opinions or behaviours towards a certain issue. In this case the boy, having yielded to the pressure from his group, has begun to like cannabis, and could very easily become someone who takes cannabis on a regular basis. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, if there was even just one fellow dissident to support the boy, his courage would be greatly increased. Another variant would be the groups own experience, or feelings towards cannabis. If the group as a whole has never done it before, and is a bit worried about it, then the boy would be worried too. Yet if the group had done it and were very confident and relaxed about doing it again, the boy would find it much harder to refuse. Of course there are these variants explained above and more that can change the scenario quite dramatically, but what is always clear, sadly, is that single people, especially young teenagers, can be influenced into compliance very easily by others in a group. Compliance in a person suggests a low self-esteem, seeking approval, and looking to others for a sense of self worth. BEN CURTIS ...read more.

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