Influences of Conformity and Obedience

Influences of Conformity and Obedience

Influences of Conformity and Obedience
Jamie Tyler
University of Phoenix
Social Psychology
Psych555
Prof. Kimberly Kinsey
May 7, 2012

Influences of Conformity and Obedience
“Social influence broadly encompasses any changes on beliefs, attitudes, or behavior that result from interpersonal interaction” (Fiske, 2010). There are several concepts that aid in the analysis of social influence. Two of these concepts are conformity and obedience. Conformity is the influence of the majority on an individual and obedience is the influence authority has on subordinates. Conformity and obedience are related in the fact that they both have the ability to persuade an individual or group of individuals to change his or her thoughts, actions, and behaviors, regarding a particular situation. Conformity and obedience are also related in that they can change the way individuals view others within a certain community, culture, ethnic group or environment. This paper will evaluate the effect of group influence on the self using both classical and contemporary literature, compare and contrast concepts of conformity and obedience and analyze individual and societal influences that lead to deviance from group norms.
Conformity and obedience are important factors in groups because they command members of a group to follow societal norms. Conformity is a needed concept of social influence because it can enhance members of a group sense of belonging, as well as, self esteem. Conformity can be clearly observed   when individuals are within a group setting, which puts pressure on individuals to do or say things that they would not do normally. Once a person conforms the self with a group this conformity displays a person’s devotion to the standards of the group. “Culture, gender, personality, and other factors are believed to have a great impact on how people conform themselves in group settings” (Fiske, 2010). The likelihood of people to conform can be determined by several...

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