Discuss and evaluate studies into conformity.

Authors Avatar

Discuss and evaluate studies into conformity.

In this essay I will describe four studies of conformity, these being Jenness, Sherif, Asch and Zimbado.

I shall begin with the definition of conformity “individuals show conformity when they behave in ways that are expected by other members of a group.” This simply means, that a person when in a group acts in favour of the rest of the group whether it be in ecologically valid surroundings or otherwise.  

Conformity exists because of social influence, which is the power of a person or group to change a particular view in favour of themselves or the group.

There are many ways in which we can conform. Some are useful, others are not. For example traffic jams, if there was no conformity there would be cars in every direction and chaos would be inevitable. Alternatively conformity can cause problems if what the particular nation, country or person is conforming to is wrong one example would be the holocaust.

There are many plausible reasons why people conform. One being that the person does not want to go against the views of others. To been seen as a troublesome or a nuisance. The psychological term being compliance. Perhaps the person would simply want to be accepted into a group (normative influence). There could also be the feeling that the people around you have superior knowledge to yourself. Thus making the person feel as though they have no right to argue (informational social influence).

Join now!

The first study would be Jenness in 1932. Jenness asked students to estimate the number of beans in a bottle. Taking individuals estimates first then placed the individuals into groups and asked them to discuss their estimates. Once the findings had been calculate he found that the students in particular groups would conform to a group average. According to Jenness in a situation where the answer was unknown they listened to their peers and would in his view conform. This demonstrates informational social influence also Compliance.

His research was criticised since for one the experiment was not ...

This is a preview of the whole essay