One thing that I found to be extremely interesting in discussion this week, was the subject of conformity. We watched that video all about how vast majority of students, all but one, were planted in the room and told to choose the wrong answers to see if the real subject would stick to their beliefs and answer with the obvious correct answer or fall into the group and answer with the incorrect response simply to not feel out of place. It was fascinating to me because, there were so few people who actually answered with the correct responses the entire time where as all the other subjects succumbed to the group pressure. Even the one man who claimed he was the most "non-conformist" and he prided himself on that fact. He actually conformed faster than most of the other participants. So, why do they all conform? the subtle pressure just seemed to be too much. It is very difficult to be the only one in the group who does not agree. When they interviewed the participants afterward they all felt the same way. It was just too hard to be the only one who did not agree. It left me with a question. Would I conform to the group pressure in that situation? Certainly the situational influences had a great impact. So what would I do...hard to say. I would like to think that I, along with the rest of the population, would not give in to the pressure. Then we can pride ourselves on our will power, but in that pressure packed situation, would I? Would you?


It seemed like the participants who prided themselves most on non-conformity were the quickest to conform. My guess is that their pride was compensating for their innate desire to fit in.
The study was really interesting because the task of observing lines on a card and comparing them was a relatively non-stressful task, yet some of the people who resisted conformation looked extremely uncomfortable and distressed. I can only imagine how stressful they would be if they were presented with a situation with moral implications.

I do not exactly know how I would act in a situation such as that. Like you, I would like to believe that I would not conform and say wrong answers, but I can understand the pressure of being wrong, and being the only one wrong each time. It's almost like in a small classroom, such as discussion, where the professor asks a question in which there is more than one answer in multiple choice form. Some students are strong and answer to the question they truly believe to be true, others answer with the question that most of the other students answer to, even if it might be wrong (sometimes these are just the lazy students in class that simply do not want to do the work to figure out the true answer). I am the type of student in a classroom to figure out the question and answer to what I feel is true, but other times, I may not be paying attention to my fullest and forget/miss what the question is so I cannot actually answer, so I conform and answer with the majority. I'm sure other students do this sometimes too!

I honestly don't know how I would act. I feel like it would have a lot to do with the ages of the people in the group who are conforming, though. If the group consists of a lot of people close to my age, I would probably conform. But if the group consisted with people younger or older than me, I would like to say I wouldn't conform. The age of the person collecting the data also would factor in. If the person collecting the data were much older than me, I can most certainly say that I would conform to the group. But if the person collecting the data is younger than me, I would probably stay true to myself. Again, I'm not entirely sure how I would act. And I'd like to say I definitely wouldn't conform but I really can't be sure.

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This page contains a single entry by sandn025 published on April 23, 2012 3:07 PM.

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