Conformity with Beliefs Essay

Conformity with Beliefs Essay

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As a critical state of mind in social psychology, conformity has been studied as an insight to how the presence of other people can force an individual to go against the norms of society towards the adopted norms of another individual. This is evident during the 19th century where Solomon Asch and Muzafer Sherif investigated the phenomenon of conformity and its effects on human behaviour. However, neither of these individuals could explain how perception can be altered without the physical presence of an individual. This is significant today with my own experiences where I have conformed to certain ideas through the information provided by an authority figure. Initially, with the improvement in technology; the development of the modern computer and the Internet, a person can express their ideas without physical contact. This is apparent through the use of; blogs, social networking and YouTube, which aids a person in expressing their opinion in a way that persuades the general public to abandon their own ideas and adopt their own.
One way that this is apparent in my life is through my experiences with being persuaded by information, which caused me to adopt erroneous beliefs about my surroundings. My primary example is from when I emigrated from the Republic of Malta to Canada, where through my own fears I imagined that the environment would mimic that of stereotypes associated with Canada. Another experience was upon my return to Malta after a decade of living in Canada and believing that Malta was significantly different than when I had left. Therefore, through an analysis of my own experiences it will be determined that in order for conformity to occur the person must be persuaded to adopt an idea outside of their norm, ulti...


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...ces is the principle of cognitive heuristics. Cognitive heuristics are mental shortcuts that we make when we process information. These mental shortcuts can lead to erroneous beliefs, which are also caused by information or a lack of (Wittlesea and Williams, 2001).
In conclusion, conformity does not only occur when there is the physical presence of someone persuading an individual to adopt his or her beliefs. In today’s society with all the technological advantages available, physical contact is no longer needed to force people to conform to their beliefs. For example the Egyptian revolt against president Honsi Mubarak in 2011 was instigated by Twitter the Egyptian people to rise up against their oppressive leader. If not for the Twitter, the already discontented Egyptian’s would not have conformed to the idea that change was necessary for their nation to progress.

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