Discussion 1: Conformity
Conformity and obedience are forms of social influence, one of the subfields within social psychology. Conformity research addresses the influence the group majority has on individual and group behavior. Sherif and Asch conducted seminal studies on conformity. These researchers and others provide a clear picture of the influence of a group majority on the individual and factors that influence conformity. Research also provides insights into how a minority can influence a group (Fiske, 2014).
For this Discussion, review this week’s media program, Week 6: The Virtual Office. Consider how conformity occurred in the virtual office and describe the conditions that led to conformity.
With these thoughts in mind:
Assignment a brief description of two conditions in the media that led to conformity and explain why. Using the current literature, explain one way to alter the conditions in the scenario to prevent conformity. Finally, provide an example where conformity might be good and explain why.
Asch, S. E. (1951). Effects of group pressure upon the modification and distortion of judgment. In H. Guetzkow (Ed.), Groups, leadership and men. Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Press.
Fiske, S. T. (2014). Social beings: Core motives in social psychology (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Sherif, M., & Sherif, C. W. (1953). Groups in harmony and tension. New York, NY: Harper & Row.
Another topic within the social psychology subfield of social influence is obedience.Obedience is the impact authority can have on individual behavior. Stanley Milgram pioneered the work in obedience by conducting several studies involving an authority figure and a participant who had to administer (fake) electric shocks to a “learner.” His videotaped studies produced a sobering picture of the strength of the authority figure/subordinate relationship.
For this Discussion, review this week’s media, Milgram Electric Shock Experiment Video.Consider the conditions that occurred in the video that led to obedience, and think about instances in which obedience may be harmful.
Assignment an explanation of conditions necessary for obedience to occur. Then describe one situation in which obedience is necessary and one situation in which obedience may be harmful and explain why. Use the current literature to support your response.