The term conformity in popular psychology refers to the tendency of an individual to comply with an established set of standards or rules. It typically manifests itself in the instances of regular, expected behavior that matches the patterns exhibited by the majority of society. Interestingly, people are prone to perceive themselves as non-conforming, which contradicts the existing psychological research on this topic. In truth, withstanding the pressure exhibited by the environment might be exceptionally difficult, and few can follow through with it consistently.
Solomon Asch’s study of conformity was conducted through a series of tests that involved both informed participants and unaware subjects of the experiments. They were then met presented with vision tests, where the informed group members were told beforehand which answers to pick, thus forming a pre-determined majority. Thus, Asch was able to study the true subjects’ reactions, finding out how likely they were to change their initial answers to match the results of the majority (Kyrlitsias & Michael‐Grigoriou, 2018). The experiments have shown that nearly three-quarters of the subjects adapted their answers to fit with the group at least one time.
The concept of groupthink can be characterized as a need for cohesion and clarity within an established group of people. It is a dynamic phenomenon that emerges from a desire for consensus within a collective (Fox, 2019). I have experienced groupthink when working on a team project, where the majority wants the assignment to be completed as rapidly as possible. This pattern is damaging for any group that tries to generate an original and multidimensional solution to a problem since it eliminates the benefits that come from exploring different points of view. Thus, we tried to make sure that team discussion genuinely influence the workflow, with everyone’s opinions being accounted for.
Fox, S. (2019). Addressing the influence of groupthink during ideation concerned with new applications of technology in society. Technology in Society, 57, 86-94, Web.
Kyrlitsias, C., & Michael‐Grigoriou, D. (2018). Asch conformity experiment using immersive virtual reality. Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds, 29(5), p.1804, Web.