The Theory Of Social Psychology Essay
In any social set-up, members have a natural proclivity to conform to the general norms of the group in order to be accepted. This phenomenon was demonstrated by Solomon Ash in 1955 through a simple experiment. He put participants in a group and asked them to answer a series of simple questions whose answers seem obvious to everyone. It was observed that when other group members had chosen a wrong answer for a very easy question, the remaining member of the group was likely to go for the wrong answer and leave out the right answer that they knew. In such a situation, a person deliberately chooses the wrong answer in order to conform to what the rest of the group has chosen.
Several other studies have been carried out with the aim of giving explanations as to why humans have a strong need to conform to social norms, even when sometimes it might not be their inner desire. There are several reasons why people choose to conform when in various social settings. The fear of rejection, coupled with the need for social approval, is one of the major reasons why people choose to conform to social norms. It is better to be part of the group than be singled out for exclusion. This is called normative social influence.
Berns et al (2005) conducted a study to determine why people conform as a result of normative social influence. They used a functional MRI to study the brains activity of participants who were out through a test similar to the Ash tests. Participants’…