Why People Conform

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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There have and are many theories on why people conform. One of the earliest psychologists to make an experiment and prove it was Deusch. His experiement was based on lines. He had participants observe three lines and match another line in a box to one of the three lines. There were several people who were informed to try to make others confrom to an obviously wrong answer. After the experiment when confronted, the people who conformed said that they feared ridicule' and ' didnt want to look like a fool'. This shows that people confrom to gain social acceptance. Once these people conformed they were 'accepted' into a sort of group, even though they knew that their answer was the wrong one.

People also conform to ideal roles in society. A famous experiment called the stanford prison experiment shows that people conform to the norms of society.

Twelve people were choosen to participate in this experiment. Nine were choosen to be prisoners and were arrested in their house, strip searched and put into cells. Six who were guards were issued regualtion uniforms. This experiment was supposed to last for two weeks while it only lasted for six days. The guards in this experiment quickly took on the role that guards are sterotyed to have, they became agressive with the prisoners and making basic rights ( like using the toilet) a privlage. While the prisoners also became increaseingly agressive, threatening the guards and increasingly hostile.

People conform to gain socail acceptance, they conform due to a lack of confidance, and they confrom to fit certain social roles.



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