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I think the concept of social influences as a whole is very interesting. It seems strange when I really think about it: we all have an enormous impact on each other's behavior. One of the least exciting (but in my opinion, one of the most interesting) is conformity. The Asch study, which included the lines of different lengths with confederates intentionally giving incorrect answers was huge in the exploration of conformity.
I've seen myself do things like this plenty of times. In a classroom setting, if enough people give a certain answer out loud to an instructor's question, I have and often do change my opinion. Even if what I think is the correct answer is firmly set in my mind, I'll change my opinion with ease, albeit uncertain ease. Additionally about one in three times I do that, I end up being wrong. If I would have kept my original answer, I would have been one of the few correct students. But with so many people saying something else, it's difficult not to go with the group in those types of situations.
But, I have noticed that the size of the group changes my feelings. As the size of the group increases, I feel more inclined to go with the crowd. In a group of three or so, I will more often stick with what I originally believe is correct. I might be tempted to change my mind in smaller groups, but I usually don't. Regardless, a group of people with a singular belief when I am unsure about something can be convincing. (In a classroom setting at least.) On a social scale when morals come into play, it becomes an entirely different story, which I think is to be expected. I think that peer pressure is slightly less persuasive, while it still is without a doubt effective. I think I'd like to see a study comparing a study similar to the Asch study versus a study on general peer pressure to see how conformity changes with different types of pressure.

David Iverson
Section 12

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This page contains a single entry by ivers429 published on December 5, 2011 1:25 AM.

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