Factors Influencing Conformity and Obedience Essay

Factors Influencing Conformity and Obedience Essay

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Factors Influencing Conformity and Obedience

The object of this paper is to critically evaluate factors influencing
conformity and obedience. I intend to do this by researching
conformity and obedience, using books and the Internet. I also hope to
briefly write about relevant case studies, by psychologists such as
Milgram and Baumrind, and include real life examples to present a
well-informed essay. Conformity and obedience are both forms of social
influence which is described as "the process by which an individuals
attitudes, beliefs or behaviours are modified by the presence or
actions of others" Cardwell,Clarke, Meldrum, 1996. This can be
described in easier terms, for example, it is how others influence us,
in the way we talk and act, and what we believe is right and wrong.
There are many ways this can be achieved, including influence by mere
presence, persuasion and charm to encourage us to behave according to
social norms. However, there is also force and silent treatment to
"discourage unwanted behaviour". Rathus, 1990. An example of social
influence is the bystander effect. Psychologists have researched and
found that at the scene of an accident, the more people there are, the
less likely it is that someone will help as "crowds tend to diffuse
responsibility" Rathus, 1990. This term originates from an incident in
New York, 1964.Kitty Genovese was murdered in front of nearly twenty
of her neighbours, not one of them offering any help to prevent this
tragedy. This is a popular study among psychologists, and numerous
books have been written, mainly concluding that when we are alone we
have a clearer picture of the situation, and ...


... middle of paper ...


...fferent roles and conformed to different societies when travelling
abroad it is polite and you discover different cultures.

Overall, my research has shown me that there are many factors why we
conform, depending on the situation and the individual. When
conducting experiments it is difficult to determine validity as
everybody can interpret the results differently. "Research finding
don't have any meaning until they are interpreted, and these
interpretations are not demanded by the findings themselves" Gergen,
Cultsock, Internet, 2001.

It is very important to remember ethical issues, as they are paramount
in all experiments. From my research, I can conclude that it seems
that generally people conform to be accepted and so as not to be
different. However, they obey as society expects it and authority
enforces it.

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