respond to 2 classmates post for psych course 2 1



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Providing Guidance

How would you instruct an individual to be more or less conforming, compliant, or obedient given society’s need for some conformity, compliance, and obedience, and humanity’s need to question authority at times?

Humans imitate one another automatically, often times without thought or effort (Kassin et al., 2017). People also tend to mirror one another using body language while speaking, such as scratching or crossing legs (Kassin et al., 2017).

Conformity is the process of changing views, perceptions, and actions to align with group norms (Kassin et al., 2017). Private conformity happens when a person takes on the beliefs of others, while public conformity occurs when a person changes their behaviors while maintaining their beliefs (Kassin et al., 2017).

Normative influence results in conformity when a person fears they will be seen as deviant for their behaviors (Kassin et al., 2017). Nonconformists use the power of style that includes a presentation that is forceful, persistent, and unwavering, while simultaneously appearing flexible and open minded (Kassin et al., 2017). These skills can cause the majority to notice and rethink the other opinion of the nonconformist (Kassin et al., 2017).

Cultural Differences and Conformity

It has been found that those in collectivist cultures tend to be more compliant than those in individualistic cultures (Oh, 2013). However, when looking at individuals from both collectivist and individualistic cultures, they both seem to change their opinions at the same rate when given persuasive information (Oh, 2013).

Fire Emergencies and Conformity

One study had participants watch a series of 4 fire emergency escape videos. The two groups were those who had experienced a fire situation and those who had not. Afterwards they were asked to disclose which fire escape emergency video was the best if they were trying to escape that situation. Individuals who had been exposed to a fire experience had fear activation which led to increased conformity and inferior-decision making performance (Duo et al., 2016). Those with fire experience would conform even if it was not the best choice (Duo et al., 2016).

Instructing an Individual to be Nonconforming

As mentioned before, if trying to instruct an individual to be nonconforming they must first be aware of what they are conforming to. For example: does the individual know that if they are around people who do heroin regularly it increases their chance of heroin use? Another point that was brought up in the above section is that if a person is trying to be nonconforming they need the skills to do so. Instruction would likely include skills of interpersonal effectiveness, relationship effectiveness, and self-respect.

Thank you,

Brittany King


Duo, Q., Shen, H., Zhao, J., & Gong, X. (2016). CONFORMITY BEHAVIOR DURING A FIRE DISASTER. Social Behavior and Personality, 44(2), 313-324. doi:….

Kassin, S. M., Fein, S., & Markus, H. R. (2017). Social psychology (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.



In order to instruct a person on how to be more or less conforming would to first, understand what this word means. Kassin, Fein, & Markus (2017) define conformity as the “tendency to change our perceptions, opinions, or behavior in ways that are consistent with group norms”(p. 268). There are several different types of conformity that deal with how people are influenced within their lives and society as a whole. For example. you have normative, informational, private, as well as public influence of conformity that are mentioned in the Social Psychology text. Based on this information, the focus when it comes to how society and the authority that is within our culture shows that the amount of influence can become pressure felt as well as give rise to conformity when norms are known and focused on (Kassin, Fein, and Markus, 2017).

I believe that one way a person can be instructed on how to conform to society and the authority’s need that is here would be based on an article by Claidiere and Whiten (2012). They have found that social learning can play a factor in how people can gain influence over the groups’ norm. Within this area, you have to be able to learn something new from other individuals that can lead to behavioral conformity (Claidiere & Whiten, 2012). Also, within this article, it speaks of such a thing as hyperconformity. This type of conformity rises when group differences are at a stable level and can evolve only when there is a restricted range of environmental conditions. This basically means that the type of environment that a person is in can determine what they will do when it comes to following the norms within that area. When it comes to instruction on this end, what I would do would look into the social norms that are present as well as the environment in order to provide insight on how to conform individuals’ behavior more along the time of a more positive manner versus a negative. If that means by having workshops and providing counselors that can help those that want to conform in a way that is beneficial to them receiving positive results with their lives and society as a whole would be a goal for instruction for a group.

Another article by Schneurch and Gibbons (2014), looks at the neurocognitive side of conformity. It speaks of normative conformity of how people don’t want to contradict the group but will do what is needed to be accepted by others in the group. This is something that seems to be well known when it comes to the various types of people and the groups they form. Within this article, they have found that when it comes to certain types of behavior can determine whether their would be rewards or punishments when there are negative as well as positive reinforcers of the group. Schnuerch & Gibbons (2014) have found that in order to see it from a neurocognitive point of view, there must be a signal error that must be adjusted as well as the decrease of the reward that comes from the individual’s own personal judgment of the norms within the group. This can lead to an instruction of looking into how people think about situations that can happen of the group and come up with ways to mediate any form of negativity or lack of progress that can occur.


Kassin, S, Fein, S., & Markus, H.R. (2017) Social Psychology. 10th edition. Cengage Learning: Boston, M.A.

Claidiere, N. & Whiten, A. (2012). Integrating the study of conformity and culture in humans and nonhuman animals. Psychological Bulletin. Vol. 138, No. 1, 126-145

Schneruch, R. & Gibbons, H. (2014). Neurocognitive mechanisms of social conformity. Social Psychology, Vol. 45(66), 466-478

Michelle Smith- General Psychology