conformity(redirected from Conformity (psychology))
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.
conformity(PSYCHOLOGY) behaviour controlled by group pressure. Groups have NORMS which group members are expected to abide by in order to maintain the integrity of the group. An individual feels the pressure of the group's expectations and tends to conform to them. See also SOCIAL CONTROL.
Social psychologists (e.g. ALLPORT, 1924; Sherif, 1935; Asch, 1952; Crutchfield, 1955) have investigated the effect of group pressure when the groups are impermanent and the members unknown to each other, as in an experimental situation. The degree of conformity has been found to depend on certain variables, such as the perceived prestige of the group, the amount of ambiguity in the judgements to be made, and the size of the group. These investigators also distinguish two types of conformity:
- internalization - the group's opinions are believed and internalized;
- compliance - outward agreement but internal disagreement. See also SOCIAL CONTROL.