I wanna be just like you

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Conformity - the act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to group norms. So why do people want to be like everyone else? The textbook says that social pressure plays a role in conforming to be like others.

When you were growing up did you ever do something like your friends and get in trouble? Your mom always said the same thing... "If _____ jumped off a bridge, would you?" Answering that question with "Depends, how high is the bridge?" probably isn't the answer your mom is looking for.

According to a study by Gregory Berns and his colleagues, participants went along with the other's answers 41 percent of the time, regardless of whether the answer was right or wrong.

The textbook describes different individual, cultural and gender differences that contribute to conformity. People with low self-esteem are more prone to conforming, as well as Asians. In the past, women have been known to conform more than men. Nowadays gender plays little to no role in conformity.

So why conform? People always post things on Facebook and other social media sites saying that they want to be original but end up falling in line and doing things just like everyone else.

"You were born an original, don't die a copy."

conformity.jpg

7 Comments

This blog was very interesting. I like to think that if I were put in the study by Gregory Burns I would stick to my own answers, but I feel that eventually I would conform to the groups' answers. It makes sense to me that people with low self-esteem would be more likely to conform because they would want to be like everyone else to defer attention off of themselves. It also makes sense to me that women were more likely to conform than men, but I still believe that even today, women are still more likely than men to do what everyone else is doing.

I feel like a lot of people conform not only because of their self esteem but because straying out and being one that is different is just a way to cause conflict which a lot of people just would more readily avoid. I also believe that women may be more apt to conform than men because of this same idea. Being a non confrontational person myself, and a woman, I know there are many times when I have felt that straying away from the norm may cause conflict and that is something that just isn't worth it to me. I feel men are biologically more prepared for this conflict and more apt to non-conformity because of it.

I for some reason really enjoyed this picture, but I still want to know why we all conform. I know we want to be "part of" the group but if we know its wrong then why do we continue. I know that we are social creatures but can we see any other examples in other species?

I think conforming is looked down upon by American society--people feel proud to identify themselves as "non-comformists." So much so, in fact, that you could almost argue it's being conformist to be so anti-conformist. Maybe it's because, since we Americans place such high value on individuality, the idea of conforming sounds repulsive, or an indicator of weak character. I'm not sure. Personally, I don't think conforming is always bad--it depends on the situation, who you are, and of course what your overall intentions and life-goals are. But if I pick a certain color shirt because my friends are picking the same color, I personally don't think that's that big a deal. If I decide on a career just because all my friends are doing it, then I would say I need to re-evaluate why I'm making the decisions that I am, because big thinks, like what you want to do for the rest of your life, should be based off of what YOU want, now what everyone else is doing.

As we said in discussion, conformity is adaptive and not always bad (following traffic laws).

One thing I'm a little guilty of conforming to (trying to) is the pace of technology. It's nearly impossible to keep up with, but we have to try right?
I'll just call my woman-based conformity agreeableness.

Does anyone think Pintrest is a platform for conformity? Seems like it's hard to keep secret sources secret anymore. Unique is now being conformed to.

I feel the reason that most people conform is because they want to fit in with everyone else and don't want to stand out. People will usually do pretty much anything to fit in and be liked, when in reality you just have to be yourself. Like the videos we watched in discussion people would answer the question wrong even though they knew that was not the right answer. Even if they did answer it right they lacked confidence and were getting uncomfortable because they didn't like being different then everyone else. I totally agree with the quote you have: "You were born an original, don't die a copy." You should just be yourself and people will like you for you not pretending to be something your not.

I think the reason that Asian prefer conformity more that westerners is not becasue of asian's low self-esteem. I think the correct reason is because Asians emphasize collectivism from long time ago. Asian think everyone doing the same thing or having the same opinion is very important. Also, they emphasize harmony in the community. This means that asian loves tuning many different opinion and be peacefully harmonized.

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This page contains a single entry by forre086 published on April 21, 2012 7:02 PM.

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