Conformity Rebellion Essay

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Galileo, Lincoln, Freud all advanced minority positions and eventually induced the majority to adopt their beliefs.

Deviant behavior is a potential threat to the group's effectiveness.

NOTE: Has relevance for the Kurt Waldheim situation, and others.

NOTE: This has real implications in the nuclear age, where you can kill people thousands of miles away.

You will continue to hold beliefs similar to the SO as long as he remains important to you, he still holds the same beliefs, and those beliefs are not challenged by counter-opinions that are more convincing. he says A, the group says B, and the right answer is C) conformity drops sharply.

If the SOs beliefs change or he becomes less important to you, your beliefs can change. A fellow dissenter exerts a powerful freeing effect from the influence of the majority. There are different theories about the effect of status on conformity. Homans takes the view that both high and low status individuals conform less than those intermediate in status.If a member's behavior departs from group norms, but points to new ways to more fully realize the group's goals, the changes may be accepted by group members..If a member tries to force a change in the group goals, he or she will likely meet with resistance.Question: When is independent behavior likely to produce changes rather than meet with suppression by the majority?Answer: Have to distinguish between group norms, and the goals that underlie those norms.On the level of compliance, many experimenters see little difference between animals and humans, because all organisms respond to rewards and punishments. Rather, we adopt a particular behavior because it puts us in a satisfying relationship to the person or persons with whom we are identifying. Internalization is motivated by a desire to be right. Compliance is the least enduring and has the least effect on the individual, because people comply merely to gain reward or to avoid punishment. Continuous reward or punishment is not necessary for identification.We do come to believe in the opinions and values we adopt, though not very strongly. If the person who provides the influence is perceived to be trustworthy and of good judgment, we accept the belief he or she advocates and we integrate it into our belief system. Rewards and punishments are very important means to get people to learn and to perform specific activities but are limited as techniques of social influence because they must be ever present to be effective - unless the individual discovers some additional reason for continuing the behavior. All that is needed is the individual's desire to be like that person. Any puncturing of unanimity makes it easier to defy the group (even if the other defier is an idiot! In fact, even if one other person gives an incorrect response that is different from the error the others are making (i.e.One theory says that high-status persons are relatively free to violate minor norms provided they do not interfere with the attainment of the group's goals.At the same time, high-status persons are punished more severely than low-status persons if they breach important norms and thereby impede progress toward the group's goals.If either identification or internalization had been involved, the conforming behavior would have persisted in private (NOTE: Subjects gave different answers when responses were not public.) 6. We tend to make the fundamental attribution error when looking at such things - but Milgram said "The most fundamental lesson of our study is that ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process." 4. Some research confirms this, but other research does not.Circumstances can increase the permanence of conformity produced by compliance or identification. People looked at stationary light - and then formed a group consensus as to how far the light moved. Later showed a suggestion could continue through five or more generations of participants. Asch believed intelligent people would not conform when they could readily see the truth for themselves. Most of the subjects who yielded to the majority concluded their own perceptions were inaccurate. A number of subjects admitted that they had not reported what they had in fact seen. These studies show compliance can take precedence over one's own moral senses. Milgram found lower status types obeyed orders more readily. The greater the publicity and surveillance associated with the behavior, the greater the conformity. Milgram found closer they physically were to the victim, less likely they were to obey. sometimes the victim was in another room, sometimes in the same room, and sometimes the teacher actually had to press the victim's arm against the shocker).


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