Conformity (Social Psychology)

Definition – according to Crutchfield: ‘Conformity is ‘….yielding to group pressures’. A more developed definition of conformity is given by Zimbardo and Leippe ‘….a change in belief or behaviour in response to real or imagined group pressure when there is no direct request to comply with the group nor any reason to justify the behaviour change’.

Group Pressure: Groups may be formal or informal. The individual will usually admire, value or aspire to be like a group member(s), and as a consequence the individual is pressured to conform.

ISI = Informational Social Influence
ISI states that: people need to evaluate ideas and attitudes and in turn to confirm that these are correct.

NSI = Normative Social Influence
The argument is that we need to feel accepted by others and to make a favourable impression on others. We conform in order to gain social approval and to avoid rejection.

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