Conformity

post by Douglas_Reay · 2012-11-02T19:02:40.723Z · score: 8 (9 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 3 comments

A rather good 10 minute YouTube video presenting the results of several papers relevant to how conformity affects our thinking:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrNIuFrso8I

 

The papers mentioned are:

Sherif, M. (1935). A study of some social factors in perception. Archives of Psychology, 27(187), pp.17-22.

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.
Asch, S.E. (1955). Opinions and social pressure. Scientific American, 193(5), pp.31-35.

Berns, G.S., Chappelow, J., Zink, C.F., Pagnoni, G., Martin-Skurski, M.E., and Richards, J. (2005) 'Neurobiological Correlates of Social Conformity and Independence During Mental Rotation' Biological Psychiatry, 58(3), pp.245-253.

Weaver, K., Garcia, S.M., Schwarz, N., & Miller, D.T. (2007) Inferring the popularity of an opinion from its familiarity: A repetitive voice can sound like a chorus. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(5), 821-833.

 

What techniques do other posters, here on LessWrong, use to monitor and counter these effects in their lives?

The video also lists some of the advantages to a society of having a certain amount of this effect in place.   Does anyone here conform too little?

3 comments

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comment by jimrandomh · 2012-11-03T01:19:38.507Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

What techniques do other posters, here on LessWrong, use to monitor and counter these [conformity] effects in their lives?

Do something conspicuous, bizarre, and inconsequential, to establish yourself as a noncomformist, then take advantage of the self-consistency effect and the social expectation that you will continue to be weird. For example, I sometimes wear a cloak.

comment by John_Maxwell (John_Maxwell_IV) · 2012-11-02T21:52:13.704Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What techniques do other posters, here on LessWrong, use to monitor and counter these effects in their lives?

An obvious technique, which was mentioned in the video, is habituation: deliberately don't conform on things and it becomes easier.

I thought the point about how having something repeated by a single person is just as good as having many people say it was interesting. This seems like weak evidence that affirmations work, 'cause there's a chance that it wouldn't matter if you were the one repeating the thing to yourself.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-11-02T20:49:16.178Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

See also the relevant OB post.