Social Psychology and Conformity

Topics: Social psychology, Milgram experiment, Stanford prison experiment Pages: 2 (716 words) Published: February 21, 2008
Conformity is all around us in this world. It is not something we are happy with, since it gives us the pressure and limits our freedom. Conformity can be sometimes useful and sometimes frustrated. Conformity is related to authority. Authority means legitimate power. There are many legitimate authorities in our daily life from our parents to teachers or politicians, who are in a higher position than we are at. We just follow what they tell us to do without questioning why we have to follow. We are obedient to these people. There is a psychological experiment that deals with the issue of obedience, by Staley Milgram. We are clearly able to say that what is wrong as an individual; however, when we get together as a group, we are no longer able to say that wrong is wrong under the pressure of an authority figure. Why does it happen? To answer this question, I will explore two aspects of conformity that might be good explanations of humanfs behavior which are to group and to authority. First aspect is that people know that conformity to a group is important in maintaining orders of social behavior. We value conformity to survive in this society. Conformity in a group requires members to change their own opinion or beliefs to match others in the group, and it involves some kind of social pressure which the individuals come into conflict with. However, humans are dependent animals, and do not want to be alone. We need to be connected each other to survive in society. For example, we make as many friends as we can so that we can help each other when some problems come up. Especially, some teenagers go along with what their friends do, for example, they imitate their friendsf clothes or hairstyle; although they themselves sometimes do not want to follow other friends. In order to be in conformity with others, people can adapt their actions to anotherfs rules. So, even though you have a completely different opinion about something from others...
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