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Social Influences on Conformity

I would like to write an essay on social influence conformity and how it is exhibited in society. I want to use one real-life example in my essay, which will help to understand discussed question with more details.

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First of all it is necessary to define two terms “conformity” and “social influence” and then to connect them with each other. According to Wood (2000) “social influence is the change in behavior that one person causes in another, intentionally or unintentionally, as a result of the way the changed person perceives themselves in relationship to the influencer, other people and society in general.”  Social influence is divided in three main areas: conformity, compliance and obedience. Conformity as a main object of our research and it can be defined as personal changes in attitude or even behavior in relate to other people behavior, attempt to be more like others. Conformity can be presented on different stages of our life and thoughts, changing our values and beliefs, and making our behavior similar to our admired idols.

I want to mention that the level of obvious social pressure, associated with these three above stated categories, increases as a man passes from conformity to compliance and, finally, to the obedience. The conformity is exhibited in society in various ways and it is implied by the change of conduct so that it corresponded reactions or actions of others, to the conduct of people, circumferential us. Taking as example one situation we will illustrate social influence in the frames of conformity. Going on an evening-party or concert, you, probably, will ask: “How will be people dressed there?” Let’s imagine that you come in shorts and sport shirt, while all around will be in evening suits, or vice versa, let’s imagine that you appear solemnly dressed, when all other in frivolous dresses. Discomfort which majority will feel from you causes a strong desire to correspond to a situation. Such conformism is fully natural and here is no opened social pressure; let even nobody will never take you aside and will not say: “you unsuitably got dressed”, but you can be of own volition changed clothes in something, more proper a place and time.

Thus, it will be good to mention for the conclusion that surroundings of the identically adjusted people can have a strong influence on interpretation of reality and it will change personal attitude to it. Conformity makes our behavior more socialized, because due to this notion we try to follow the rules of our society, to follow social norms and regulate our behavior in compliance with place and people who are around us.



Wood, W. (2000). “ATTITUDE CHANGE: Persuasion and Social Influence.” Annual Review of Psychology.



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