Social Psych 3

Conformity is a type of social influence
involving a change in belief in order to fit
in with a group (Also known as majority
Three types of conformity developed by
Man (1969):
1. Normative Conformity- yielding to group
pressure because a person wants to fit in
with a group.
2. Informational Conformity- occurs when a
person lacks knowledge and looks to a
group for guidance.
3. Ingratiational Conformity- a person
conforms to impress or gain favor/
acceptance from other people.
Three types of conformity developed by
Kelman (1958):
1. Compliance- Publicly changing behavior
to fit in with the group while privately
2. Internalization- Publicly changing behavior
to fit in with the group and also agreeing
with them privately.
3. Identification- conforming to the
expectations of a social role.
Deutsch and Gerard (1955) created the
Dual Process Dependency Model and the
Normative Social Influence.
› DPDM: Where people conform out of a desire to
be like and accepted.
› NSI: people conform out of a desire to be right.
Turner developed a theory that states that
the dual process dependency model
underestimates the psychological
importance of group membership (like
Solomon Asch (1951) conducted an experiment to investigate
the extent to which social pressure from a group could affect a
person to conform.
 Using the line judgment task, Asch put a naive participant in a
room with four to six confederates. The confederates had
agreed in advance what their responses would be when
presented with the line task. The real participant did not know
this and was led to believe that the other seven participants
were also real participants like themselves. Each person in the
room had to state aloud which comparison line (A, B or C) was
most like the target line.
 The answer was always obvious. The real participant sat at the
end of the row and gave his or her answer last.
 In some trials, the seven confederates gave the wrong answer.
There were 18 trials in total and the confederates gave the
wrong answer on 12 trails (called the critical trials). Asch was
interested to see if the real participant would conform to the
majority view.
Results: Asch measured the number of times each participant
conformed to the majority view. On average, about one
third (32%) of the participants who were placed in this
situation went along and conformed. Over the 12 critical
trials about 75% of participants conformed at least once and
25% of participant never conformed.
Asch deceived the student volunteers claiming
they were taking part in a 'vision' test; the real
purpose was to see how the 'naive' participant
would react to the behavior of the
Perrin and Spencer (1980) carried out an exact
replication of the original Asch experiment
using British engineering, mathematics and
chemistry students as participants. The results
were clear cut: on only one out of 396 trials did
a participant conform with the incorrect
majority. This shows the Asch experiment has
poor reliability.
One main reason why people conform in
society is because we have been taught
to all our lives in the form of rules.
 Solomon Asch and Muzafer Sherif credit
conformity to uncertainty in unfamiliar
situations. If someone is in a situation
where they are unsure of what to do,
they conform to the ways of the people
around them.
› This is called informative conformity
In other situations, people conform to
escape ridicule, much like if you were
the only one in the room that believed
differently from everyone else on a
certain subject.
 Asch and Sherif also credit conformity to
a person’s want to make a good
impression on those around them.
› This is normative conformity.