July 9, 2012
Dismissing your own individual opinions to reach group consensus, now that’s negative peer pressure! Peer pressure will always be a problem and can affect anyone. I say that because no matter where you’re from or who you are, peer pressure is lurking about. Anytime you’re pressured to do something and your conscience is telling you not to do it, and you follow through with the task anyway, that is dismissing your opinion just to please other group members. Not wanting to be ostracized by others is the basis of conformity. Peer pressure doesn’t discriminate against race, nationality, or social class. It’s like a plague waiting to spread like wildfire throughout your school, your workplace, even your home-life. Some may think that’s too dramatic, but I envision it as the horrid truth. The article “Group Minds,” written by Doris Lessing, comes from her series of the 1985 Massey Lectures. Lessing declares “When we're in a group, we tend to think as that group does: we may even have joined the group to find "like-minded" people. But we also find our thinking changing because we belong to a group.” I believe that no one realizes that their opinions are at risk of becoming dismissed just because they want to fit. The new-comers insist on becoming accepted, and as a result of that, we tend to forget about our own opinions, whether we agree or not.
The article “Group Minds”, explains that humans are biologically wired to find groups of “like-minded” people. According to Lessing, once a person has found a group and begins to create bonds with other group members, a person are likely to be subjected to the untold truth of having their opinions changed. Lessing points that group members find the need to be obedient to the others and never question the group leader. Some may say that Lessing exaggerates her portrait of the people living in the west, although; several experiments: including the Milgrim test proved...