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Group conformity - Essay Example

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Name of the Professor Unit Name Submission Date Group Conformity Human beings do not exist in vacuum or isolation. The society is a unit where people co-exist and their behaviors are shaped by the norms and values of the society where they belong…
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Group conformity
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Download file to see previous pages It is important to note that some may obey and adhere to the requirements of the groups where they belong while others may oppose them. Whether they oppose or conform to the standards of their groups; one thing is sure - groups affect them either socially, psychologically or even physically. This paper will explore group conformity; its meaning, types, causes and effects, experiments on the same and recommendations. At the onset of this paper, it is expedient to be well acquainted with group conformity. According to the TheFreeDictionary, conformity is defined as, “action or behavior in correspondence with socially accepted standards, convections or rules.” Group conformity can also be defined as, “yielding to group pressures” and can also be called “majority influence or group pressure” (McLeod). For people to be accepted in the various groups, they must adhere to the norms and rules and regulations of such groups, and must behave in a manner accepted by the group members. They have to alter their behaviors in a way that is acceptable to the written and unwritten codes of association of their groups. There are consequences associated with non-compliance and rewards for compliance with group norms. The consequences may include: rejection, seclusion and stigmatization. Since the consequences are unpleasant, people are forced to toe the line and follow the dictates of the group. Further, group pressure is reinforced by rewards like a psychological feeling of belonging, material benefits and acceptance. Group conformity is a great influence that alters the behaviors of people to be in line with what is expected by a group. At times people may be forced to suspend reasoning for compliance and for the survival of a group. Group conformity is a subject that has elicited a lot of debate in social sciences like psychology and it has been subdivided into various types. According to McLeod, “Man (1969) identified three types of conformity; normative, informational and ingratiational.” In normative conformity, members of the group bow to the pressures of the group to allow them to fit in pursuit of the rewards. The driving force for compliance is the fear of the consequences that can be faced in the event of disobedience. McLeod observes that in normative conformity individuals bow to the majority pressure in the public arena but internally reject them. Let’s give an illustration: in political spheres, individuals often find themselves conforming to the notion of democracy but in the real sense the minority are always dissatisfied but they just move on with the group since they lack options. It is a fact that that learning is a life-long process and an individual who lacks knowledge may choose to change behaviors to fit in a group with the aim of acquiring the same; in essence that is informational conformity (McLeod). Knowledge is a very precious commodity in life and people often endeavor to obtain it since it is associated with power. This can be practical in a learning environment where one copes with the norms and the rules of a learning institution in order to acquire knowledge. Finally, ingratiational conformity is founded on people’s strong desire to benefit from the warmth of acceptance within the group and the kindness that they can derive from group membership. McLeod notes that this conformity is similar to normative conform ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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