Social Psych Project
April 26, 2012
Peter Ustinov once said, “In America, through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice, but nothing to choose from.” This is unbelievably true as much as we try not to admit it. Society has made it where we really don’t have a choice when it comes to certain things if we want to be “normal” and liked. Although we might say we would act differently than everyone else in a hypothetical situation, when it comes down to it, we would more than likely just follow along with the behavior of everyone else. This is just whom we are as individuals- how we are wired. We don’t want to risk standing out and being ridiculed or singled out. Sure, we want to be unique and remembered, but not in any way that makes people think we are “weird.”
Conformity has been tested for several decades in several different experiments. The one we are most familiar with and read in our textbooks is Asch’s line experiment. His results showed that 75% of participants conformed at least once during the study. Even when the subject knew the rest of the group was wrong they still gave the wrong answer! The reason being possibly being because they were afraid to speak up since they were the only one who knew the right answer. There are many different factors that are linked to why people conform such as group size, group unanimity (like in the Asch example), and the desire to be liked to name a few. People often conform out of fear of being rejected or criticized.
Well, I decided to come up with my own experiment to see for my self the power that conformity has on different people. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do because I can be a bit shy so I knew it would be hard for me to be serious and not laugh while performing a certain behavior that isn’t exactly normal. I finally thought of something that wasn’t going to be so “out-there” for me. I decided that I would put up a couple signs on doors that