Conformity: How Important Is It to YOU to Fit In?

When Dr. Solomon Asch designed his experiment to measure conformity, he genuinely believed most test subjects in his experiments would not conform. Asch was very surprised when such a large number of test subjects did in fact conform.

The well-known Solomon Asch Experiments exploring conformity consistently determined that 32% of test subjects wanted to conform most of the time and fit in with the people around them, and they did not want to be seen as ‘boat rockers,’ or to stand out at all. While 32% is not a huge number of people, it is nearly one third of a large group, and that still makes it a notable amount, though not a majority.

The Asch Experiments also showed consistently that 75% of test subjects wanted to fit in some of the time with the people around them more than they wanted to stand out or be seen as different. That is a very large portion of a group of people – three quarters of a group.

The Asch Experiments also showed that 5% of the test subjects always went along with the crowd.

Experiments in Conformity

Do you think for yourself?  Or do you think what your friends and family think to get their approval and to avoid rocking the boat?
Do you think for yourself? Or do you think what your friends and family think to get their approval and to avoid rocking the boat? | Source
Dr. Solomon Asch who conducted many experiments on the subject of conformity.
Dr. Solomon Asch who conducted many experiments on the subject of conformity. | Source

How Important Is It to YOU to FIt In?

Are you a conformist?

  • I think for myself all the way.
  • I pretend I agree with most of my friends and other people to get along. Disagreement and controversy make me uncomfortable.
  • People do better in this world when they agree. I don't like to be the one who stands out because I'm different.
  • I think the majority is usually right and often conform to their beliefs for that reason.
  • I'm a boat rocker. People should think a lot harder than most of them do, and be a lot better informed than most of them are, before taking a stance.
See results without voting

Findings From These Experiments Suggest Several Things

* Circumstances determine behavior more than personality or character. When not influenced by 4 or more people, test subjects were more inclined to answer questions correctly during the experiment, although just three other people with a differing opinion was often enough to sway many test subjects. However, when 4 or more people that the test subject thought were test subjects like themselves answered a question incorrectly, the actual test subject gave a wrong answer also.

32% of the time, even when test subjects knew the correct answer, and knew the answer they were giving was wrong, they went along with the majority in the group. Apparently 4 is the magic number that sways the most people to go along with a particular group of people, right or wrong.

* The results of the experiments suggest that in addition to being strongly influenced by the people around them, most test subjects placed more importance on fitting in with the people around them than on reporting accurate information. This in turn would transfer to placing ‘fitting in,’ or conforming to a group’s standards, as more important to an individual than everything else.

It would seem that to a lot of people, fitting in with one’s classmates, friends, family, or coworkers, even when they are wrong, is of greater personal importance than succeeding at something that matters and that could make a big difference in their own lives. It could affect whether or not they choose to get good grades, use illegal drugs, or engage in other negative or positive behaviors.

* The other participants in the experiments were actually part of the experiments and were purposely giving wrong answers to test the reaction of the test subject. How much more influence might friends, neighbors, coworkers, and real classmates have on these test subjects and in turn on people in general?

Results of the Asch Experiments strongly suggest that most people are more comfortable conforming with whatever group that they happen to be in whether that group is right or wrong. It is my conclusion that if that group consisted of classmates, family, coworkers, friends, or even acquaintances, the compulsion to conform would be much stronger.

Fitting In With the People Around You

The reason a fad of any kind takes hold is because people feel more comfortable conforming. The reason many people do what they do is not because they are being individualistic, but because they are influenced by the people around them and they want to fit in with those people. Many people do not like to stand out from the crowd and prefer instead to be just like everyone else.

People like to say they think for themselves and do what they believe is right, but in fact most people choose to go along with the crowd. One does not have to conduct an experiment to prove this.

If a person is living amongst Republicans, they are likely to take on the Republican persona, likewise if they are living amongst Democrats or Libertarians. If many or most of one’s friends are animal rights advocates, one is more likely to become interested in animal rights and to promote that agenda.

The reason people want to fit in is not only because they feel more comfortable as one of the group, but also because if they do not conform to the group, the group will reject them. So there fears of what will happen to them if they do not conform are not unfounded.

A person who does not conform to society’s rules will find it harder to get and keep a job, or to make sales if they are sales people. These are just two examples of why people conform. Nonconformists will even find it harder to be successful on hubpages.com if they do not conform to what the majority of hubbers here, or the more vocal hubbers here, approve of.

The adage, “be yourself,” only safely applies if “yourself” is pretty much like everyone else. If “yourself” is not mostly like everyone else, being yourself will likely be a painful and punishing experience.

A short explanation of how conformity wins the day as time passes, even with people who refused to conform initially.

© 2012 C E Clark

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Comments 73 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 9 months ago from North Texas Author

Steve Smith, thank you for stopping by!


Steve Smith 9 months ago

Fit in at all times. wear grey and black clothes if you are a man. keep your voice down in public. obey authority. always have your mobile with you everywhere you go. never wear bright colours that distract others. follow your neighbours trends and only listen to music through headphones at home and in public - keep it low. comply with the requests of companies by phone and/or face to face. if others don't approve of what your doing, do what they tell you to do. follow the government the media and the newspapers. they will tell you what you must do. never complain about things and certainly not your neighbours. strive to conform and fit in as much as possible. one comment from a person about your apperance and change it straight away. tradition and routine should never be broken and it only matters wht others think especially your neighbours and certainly your superiors. rules are meant to be obeyed. same time everyday with everything you do.


Petersfield 12 months ago

I always conform, especially when i am outside.

Society is our judge and authority must be obeyed.

Head down and shut up is my way.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 17 months ago from North Texas Author

Mary (Tillsontitan), you may have given me an idea for a new article. I'm chewing it over, thinking about it. Because I know the answer to your question from my psych and sociology studies. I'm just wondering if I can present the answer without making a lot of people angry. ;) For some reason a lot of people who read my articles think they are based on my opinion, which many hubs by other writers are. I like to provide credible sources for what I write, and I try to keep my own opinions out of it. I do better some times than other times in that area. :)

Thank you for reading and commenting on this article! And for the votes. And for the thought food! :)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 17 months ago from North Texas Author

Paul Kuehn, thank you for reading/commenting, sharing your experience on this issue, voting on this hub, and sharing it on FB and with your followers!

Sounds to me like your coworkers or associates should have been apologizing to you and to their students and their student's families, and more.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 17 months ago from New York

As always, I found this very interesting. What I also found interesting is just about every commenter said they are nonconformists. Does this mean your title attracts nonconformists because it's not important for them to fit in? Interesting!

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 17 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Once again you have written an awesome article which is very interesting and useful to read. Yes, if you are studying or working with a group of people it is so necessary to conform no matter whether what people are doing is good or bad. I made the mistake of publishing some articles on Hubpages which I later deleted four years ago. These articles were very critical of my teaching coworkers because many of them weren't professional in their teaching and had fake degrees. When my coworkers learned that I had written the articles, I was public enemy number one for almost a year even though I had apologized many times and deleted all of the critical hubs. Voted up and sharing on Facebook and with HP followers.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 19 months ago from North Texas Author

Michael-Milec, thank you for taking time to write your thoughts and experience so extensively on this issue!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 19 months ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for thinking of me and voting on and sharing this article when you must have so much on your mind. Blessings and hugs for you both . . .


Au fait profile image

Au fait 19 months ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for thinking of me and voting on and sharing this article when you must have so much on your mind. Blessings and hugs for you both . . .


Michael-Milec profile image

Michael-Milec 19 months ago

Hello aufait.

Great article based on scientific research- never known to me before- now proves to me that when "I don't care " what others think of me if I do not go/ agree with the crowd-- is plainly OK, because "I do care" for more important to me - the way of righteousness. Since my youth ( at fifteen supporting myself away from home) I found myself in the world offering wrong choices while the One I belong to taught and instructed me right and safe way to live happy.

True, I never reach the highest potential the world offers; as a teenager I was promised a highest 'heavens' the Communism offers, only if denied God and family values... Later on - even more after my socially popular religious degree kept me for awhile in a visible position, my ' fame' was terminated because as is written " God ought to be obeyed more than men..." - I couldn't compromise.

Not conforming to society's rules kept me on alert to accept any job / on job training and create a self-employment with a desirable product thus creating circle of friendship/ clientele fitting in comfortably where the importance wasn't a personal preference 'what you think and where you belong.)

Having lived this long, looking back in my life there were periods of painful and "punishing" experiences. Interestingly every time we as a family came out victoriously , purer and stronger spiritually knowing that everyone in this social system has those moments of trials and temptations and if yielding, then consequences offered are less favorable concerning the eternity...

Voting up, beautiful and interesting.

Peace with us.

michael


Au fait profile image

Au fait 19 months ago from North Texas Author

Paula (fpherj48), thank you for your kind support. Yes, I think sometimes somebody does need to say those things that aren't very popular to hear. Everyone needs to do what they feel comfortable doing. Sometimes people need to step out of their comfort zone because the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The idea that people should never complain makes no sense. It only guarantees the same old same old.

Thank you again for your supportive remarks.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 19 months ago

I came back to share this important article again while I am waiting for Honey Bunny to come back from another test.

Voted up, ABI and Shared

Blessings and Hugs


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 19 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

C.E.....every point you make is valid and vital. Standing up and being heard on such issues absolutely must be done. In these cases, I've been known to go full speed ahead and like you, I find myself on the "unpopular/minority side." Oh well, such is life. SOME ONE needs to have the guts and make the noise! Thanks Au fait. Peace, Paula


Au fait profile image

Au fait 19 months ago from North Texas Author

Paul (fpherj48), thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject, for your high praise, and for voting on, pinning, and sharing this article.

It's hard for me to see people the same way when I know at every opportunity they go into the voting booth and vote for me to die. People who have no access to healthcare, as I've pointed out in at least one of my articles on poverty, do not live as long as they might with no healthcare. They are often miserable while awaiting that end as well.

Voting against universal healthcare is a vote for the status quo -- more than 50,000 people die in the U.S. because of no access to healthcare. The Affordable Care Act has changed that somewhat, but people are whining and screaming about it because they liked it the old way -- 50,000 is a nice round number so why mess with it, eh?

Governors in most Red states have refused to expand Medicaid as required by the Affordable Care Act, so people there can rest easy that the death toll is as usual, or possibly higher as a result. People who have no access to healthcare, like myself, often die never even knowing what was wrong. Those people who voted for that to happen may hear the results of the autopsy and rejoice, but the victim of our society will not.

Likewise the great desire of many to refuse poor people food or anything at all, even passing laws making it illegal to help poor people, homeless people. I have a hard time being around people like that and as you might imagine, in the state of Texas I spend a lot of time alone.

Thanks again for taking time to read and comment!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 19 months ago from North Texas Author

Patricia (pstraubie48), thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts on these studies. Also for the votes, the pin and the share, and always, for the angels.

I have done a quick edit on this article as I noted it was written in a confusing way, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention, though it wasn't intentional.

Many, many of these experiments were conducted by Dr. Asch. One of them included 132 participants. No telling how many the others included, but I'm sure there were several hundred all told. I did state that there were several experiments and used the plural in every case I think. I also said, "in this study" when referring to the 132, meaning that specific experiment included 132 participants, but it was only one of many experiments.

If it isn't enough that Asch conducted the experiment many times, the experiment has been conducted many many times by others also, to make sure the results are consistent. Results are not taken seriously unless people other than the original experimenter can conduct an experiment exactly the same way and get the same results. Even today it is conducted for practice and to see if over time anything has changed. As our society changes, the importance of fitting in may change as well, as you rightly pointed out.

Experiments and studies do not make their way into psychology textbooks until they have been repeated many times with very similar results. Results are not considered consistent and therefore dependable unless they have been achieved by the exact same methods many many times by different experimenters. The Asch experiments on conformity are well known and major concepts in psychology.

That said, while 5% of the participants of the Asch experiments always conformed, 75% conformed at least once, and 32% conformed most of the time. The conditions under which people were tested that got the highest (most) results for conformng were stated. When at least 4 people answered or voted a particular way the test subject went along with them in most cases.

None of the above percentages are 100% as I'm sure you noted. That means there were people participating in the experiment who did not conform. People tend to want to believe results are invalid and useless if even one person behaves in a different way. That couldn't be further from the truth.

Knowing that a third to a half or more of all people are likely to react or behave a certain way to specific stimulus is a very powerful tool.

Government and big business have been using psychological concepts and experimental findings to control people for decades now -- because they work. They're so good at it most people don't even realize they're being manipulated.

I agree that conforming can be dangerous to one's health and one's well being and I've been a boat rocker all my life, which is why even on HubPages I'm Ms. Popularity (I'm being facetious here). I will never understand why people do things that undermine their own best interests, but for some reason many many people do. These studies showed that even when the test subject knew the correct answer and that 3-4 of the other people were giving the wrong answer, s/he would give the wrong answer to fit in. Go figure . . .

Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts and share and pin and especially for sending the angels.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 19 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Au fait.....Another excellent hub on an interesting topic! Your creativity definitely keeps flowing.

As far back as I can recall, I have been perhaps too independent and most assuredly a non-conformist. I find this can be both a positive as well as a negative, wherein I may need to keep alert to this.

I refuse to argue simply for the sake of argument, so when & if I am at stark odds with someone, I will usually avoid confrontations.

It is most intriguing to me to try to determine which individuals are one or the other. Spending a good amount of time with them, usually exposes their true nature where "needing to fit in" comes to the surface.

Of course I will "bend" now & then for the sake of getting along, but I'm always careful to state my honest feelings & opinions in any case.

I happen to believe it's always vital to be who we truly are and live our own constitution, most especially with loved ones. I am confident that family & closest of friends can love one another even when they have opposing views on many subjects.

When it comes to strangers, it's only important to me to be polite and respectful and say as little as possible about our vast differences.

Great work as always, C.E!...........UP+++shared & pinned.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 19 months ago from sunny Florida

Hi AuFait

To conform or not to conform...aaah therein lies the question after all.

I actually am one of those who tends to 'march to the beat of my own drum' and in some respects will swim up stream. But it has not caused me conflict at work or with relationships. Just as I accept others for their unique ideas and feelings whether they align with mine or not, I have found that has been the case with my life.

It seems the sampling was very small for this study...I wonder if it were repeated with a very large sampling after many years passed, how would the results turn out.

Conforming may make life easier but it causes one to deny their true feelings and beliefs if they are contrary to the norm.

Conforming on small things that are inconsequential is okay I suppose but not so for the BIG issues that come our way in my humble opinion.

thoughprovoking and interesting, Au Fait.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

Voted up++++ and shared Pinned to Awesome HubPages


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Alphadogg16, I tend to be of that attitude for the most part too. After all, the whole world isn't gonna love you no matter who you are or what you do. I have tried various different methods, and the results are all the same, so I figure I may as well be who I am and save all that effort and energy trying to be more like people think I should be. Thank you for commenting and for the compliment!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Marie Flint, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Suzettenaples, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this subject. I agree with what you say. We are not all the same and it is easier for some people to stand up to peer pressure than others, and easier for some people to stand against the tide than others, and so it goes. As with everything, there are 2 sides. Sometimes conformity works well, other times not so much. Hope you're having a pleasant start to your week!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Mary615, thank you for reading and commenting on this article and for the votes and share! I believe you hit the nail on the head. I learned in PSYC that people like people like themselves despite the proverb 'opposites attract.' Opposites attract in regard to magnets, but beyond that, people are more comfortable and happier around people who like what they like, do what they do, and think what they think. At least that's what studies show.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Delores Monet, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this subject. Most humans are social creatures and so they would prefer to fit in rather than not. Research shows that some people will even sabotage their own best interests to that end.

Lots of people like to think they are not conformists, but most are conformists. Nearly all of us conform to the majority of social rules. Those of us who truly do not conform very often tend to hold the Ms. or Mr. Popularity titles like myself. No one wants to get too close lest they be mistaken for nonconformists and boat rockers themselves. :)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Pamela Kinnaird W, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. All of us conform to extent with social rules etc., but I think many people do also like to be unique and special in their own way. I am always looking for things that are different and not the run-of-the-mill sort of things. While it's nice to fit in, in some ways it's also nice to feel like an original rather than a photocopy. Appreciate your sharing your thoughts on this subject!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Pamela Kinnaird W, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. All of us conform to extent with social rules etc., but I think many people do also like to be unique and special in their own way. I am always looking for things that are different and not the run-of-the-mill sort of things. While it's nice to fit in, in some ways it's also nice to feel like an original rather than a photocopy. Appreciate your sharing your thoughts on this subject!


Alphadogg16 profile image

Alphadogg16 2 years ago from Texas

I do not conform nor do I ever try to, period, you either like me or you don't, simple as that. Interesting & thought provoking topic, thumbs up on your hub Au Fait.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 2 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Because I place a greater focus on my inner life, the need to "fit in" is minimal. Good topic.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

No, I am not a conformist, but then there is a price to pay for nonconformity. I think that is why so many conform. I have never been much for giving in to peer pressure, but there are different personalities that think that is best. Not everyone is meant to be a nonconformist - someone has to follow the great ideas of the nonconformist. This is a very thought-provoking hub. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

I think most people would say they are non-conforming people (including myself), but when you come right down to it, most of us try to conform just for the sake of having friends and co workers who will like us more if we are more like them!

I enjoyed watching the videos, too.

Great article on human behavior. Voted UP, etc. and shared.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 2 years ago from East Coast, United States

I think that we all like to believe we are different and would not follow the herd. But in actuality, most of us do. We have social rules most of us follow. I wonder if it's an old thing, something in us left over from early times when fitting in was a matter of survival. If you wandered off, you might get eaten or lost. Blending in the herd like an average gazelle before the eyes of a bunch of hungry lions....


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 2 years ago from Maui and Arizona

When I saw this title of your hub, I immediately wanted to read it because it's a subject close to my heart. I'm not a conforming person and I try to reign it in sometimes, but can't very much. Very interesting hub, Au fait. I understand myself -- due to childhood and other factors -- plus I'm not influenced by media because we don't watch television and are very choosy about what we do decide to watch occasionally. Voting way up and sharing.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Danext, thank you for commenting. I tend to agree with you as I like to be different and sometimes the price of fitting in is too high IMHO. However, societal pressures are often more than most people can bear and most people do feel more comfortable fitting in, even if it is to their own detriment.


Danext profile image

Danext 2 years ago from Tanzania

I like Albert Einstein's quote above.....for me personally, i don't like to fit in, always want to be different....nice article...


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for commenting Deborah-Diane. It is important to lots of people to fit in, so much so that they sometimes/often undermine/sacrifice what is in their own best interests.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

Isn't it amazing how important it is for us to fit in with the people around us? Fascinating!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by moonlake!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Interesting hub I watch all news stations and don't believe much of what any of them say. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Sharing with followers and voted up.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Deborah-Diane for reading and sharing your thoughts on this issue. News agencies have always been biased, from the beginning of time, regardless of whether they are television, radio, newspapers, magazines, etc. When I had a TV I used to like to listen to the news on several stations for the same reason you do, which I think is very wise on your part.

MSNBC and CNN are a mix of conservative and liberal, ABC is mainly liberal, and CBS is conservative. PBS is good, but every news source is biased to some extent so that should always be kept in mind. If you know which way they lean you can often understand why they are saying what they are saying and how they are saying it.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

Fascinating. You are so correct that our thoughts and opinions are constantly being manipulated. Most of the time we aren't even aware of it. I find it interesting how people in the same neighborhood and socioeconomic group can have different views of current events based on the news station that they watch. Obviously, we are being manipulated and may not be aware of it. I try to watch a variety of news stations in order to minimize this.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W, for reading and commenting on my hub. Social psychology is my favorite area of PSYC because it studies why people behave the way they do and teaches how people are manipulated. I think everyone should learn about social PSCY because I believe when people are aware that advertisers, big business, and even our government are manipulating them and learn how that is being done, they will be better able to control the extent to which they are being manipulated.

If you realize the thoughts you believe are not really your own thoughts but thoughts you have as a result of manipulation, you are more likely to stop and re-think. It's like knowing that the reason you are sick all the time is because you are continually exposed to a particular antigen. The solution is to avoid that antigen.

With thought and opinion manipulation it's a little more complicated, but if you know a certain message is designed to create certain feelings and thoughts, and if you know how it's doing that, you are better able prevent yourself from succumbing to those feelings and thoughts and instead thinking things through more objectively.

I thought we were following each other too, and now we are! Thanks for the follow also.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

This was such an interesting hub! I was unaware of that experiment but it certainly explains why few people break out and rise above poor environments. Just imagine what it must be like to walk to and from school with gangs on the streets and drugs readily available and then getting back home with no safe place to study. Some people make it and they must have great strength of character and drive as well as surely being nonconformist in their beliefs.

It is rather sad to think that just 4 people can have such a great influence upon others even when the person KNOWS the correct answer. I definitely fit the nonconformist category with regard to changing an answer just to "fit in." No way would I consider doing that!

Up votes and sharing.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

ytsenoh: Thank you for your comments. I, too, and a nonconformist. It has its price, but sometimes the cost of conforming is higher.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Olde Cashmere: Thank you for your comments. So glad you enjoyed. I, too, have always been a nonconformist. Being a nonconformist has its ups and downs, that's for sure.


ytsenoh profile image

ytsenoh 4 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

Thanks for this read on an interesting subject. I've always viewed myself as a non-conformist because I've always subscribed to having your own mind. I'm not talking about social behaviors that are positive, etiquette, etc. I don't follow trends, although I'm very much aware of which ones exist or change. I feel people do not generally go against the grain or cross their own personal boundaries because of comfort issues. I think if there's a positive experience in front of you and you want to have it, then by all means have it, regardless of what your next door neighbor would do or not do. Be who YOU are. Voted this up.


Olde Cashmere profile image

Olde Cashmere 4 years ago from Michigan, United States

This was a fascinating hub and I enjoyed the research and strong writing on your part. Conforming was never my strong suit, I've tended to always go my own way which has led me into some odd situations but also great ones. Thank you for an awesome hub, voted up, shared, interesting, and awesome :)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

gmwilliams: Thank you for your comments and compliments. Social PSYC is my favorite area of PSYC.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

I was a sociology and history major in college. Since I have graduated from college almost four decades ago, I have read many books on psychology. I love your hubs, particularly this one. You are welcome and I look forward to reading more of your hubs.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

gmwilliams: Thank you again for your comments. My hat will not fit for at least the rest of this day as a result! There was some research, but I learned a lot about this subject in the classroom as well. It falls under social psychology, which is my favorite area -- why people behave the way they do.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

Au fait, this is a very well researched hub and excellent as usual. Besides being comfortable, many people conform because they believe that there is security in belonging. Many people want to belong as it makes them feel valuable. Also, there are many extrinsic and intrinsic rewards to conformity such as validation by others. People yearn to be validated. You have presented another excellent hub and I shall look forward to reading more of your hubs. You are a person after my own heart.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Bob, you just never can tell . . .


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Bob: Afraid I think both Freud and Darwin were a little goofy.

Do agree that living things evolve, just not from fish to monkeys to humans. If they evolved in that manner, why do we not see them doing so today? Also, why are humans not evolving into still higher beings if that is how evolution works? Higher beings as in something totally different akin to the difference between apes and humans? Not simply more knowledgeable humans. I think humans are becoming more evolved where knowledge is concerned, but not morphing into other creatures.

I think humans have evolved since the stone age, although sometimes I seriously question my own belief on this (being a snot here), but evolving from fish or apes? That's a very hard sell with me. No one has made that sale to me so far.

Freud is a more complicated issue. I love thunder storms. The more lightening that snaps and flashes, and the more the thunder crashes and shakes the whole building, the better I like it. What do you suppose Freud would make of that, Bob?


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Karanda: Good for you being yourelf! Thank you for commenting!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

My Esoteric: Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub.

I have read your hub that you refer to in your comments, and shared it with my followers, etc. You should have named it specifically in your comments so that my readers could go to it and read it for themselves. It seems to me that your hub shows how some people are doing pretty much what the 'teachers' in the Milgram experient did -- following orders without question and having little or no understanding of the issues.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

bryanbaldwin: Thank you for your comments. You are correct, one can do more from inside than outside. Most people aren't looking for or expecting adversity from within.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Sooner28: Agree with you completely. In fact, the Bible even states that the majority is never right. Thank you for adding your insights. They are much appreciated!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Quality Content: Thank you for your comments and for adding to the discussion!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

I think that final exclamation point in the above comment was aimed at me! (!)

Bob


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

My Minds Eye53: Thank you for your comments and for adding to the discussion!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Dear: Dismissing Freud so casually when talking of human psychology is like doing the same for Darwin when discussing evolution.

(She loves me, she loves me not!)

Bob


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Brett: I'm pretty much the same way. But sometimes even the sweetest demeanor doesn't work. Thank you for your comments and for adding to the discussion!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Shyron: Thank you for your comments. I'm glad you stick to your values. We should all do that more.


Karanda profile image

Karanda 4 years ago from Australia

Conformity has never been my strong suit. Being 'myself' has not actually led to a painful or punishing experience but it has taught me to get stronger and persist with my values regardless of what anyone else thinks.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

Yes Au Fait, very interesting hub! To follow @Sooner's comment, I wonder how the results of Dr. Asch's experiment correlate to the Right-wing Authoritarian survey and research of Dr. Altemyer (I have a hub on it). Those who score high on the RWA survey tend to be conformist.


bryanbaldwin profile image

bryanbaldwin 4 years ago from Los Angeles

To quote one of my favorite movies...

"You can do a helluva lot more damage inside the system then out"

SLC Punk.


Sooner28 4 years ago

Great hub. "The reason a fad of any kind takes hold is because people feel more comfortable conforming. The reason many people do what they do is not because they are being individualistic, but because they are influenced by the people around them and they want to fit in with those people. Many people do not like to stand out from the crowd and prefer instead to be just like everyone else."

This is accurate. This is why people who seemed to be moral participated in the Holocaust, or why more Americans did not protest when the Japanese in this country were put in internment camps; or recently when it was found that the Bush administration engaged in torture, the American populace did not react more harshly . It is utterly pathetic that more people do not even make an attempt to think for themselves.

As an agnostic, I credit Christianity for instilling the belief in me that the crowd is often wrong (even though most religion is about the herd mentality, I will leave this slightly paradoxical notion aside here). It teaches that the world goes one way, and the good Christian should not follow it. The good Christian should follow Jesus and be moral, despite what everyone around them is doing.

I live in a state (Oklahoma) that is majority Christian and Republican, and I'm one of the most liberal people you will ever meet. Evidence does matter, and people have to question everything, including people they like, such as a favorite teacher or pastor. Unfortunately, most conservatives generally tend to favor obedience to authority, as shown in psychological studies, so I have no confidence in certain groups of the population ever breaking the chains of conformity.


QualityContent profile image

QualityContent 4 years ago

Good hub. Here is how I feel on this subject.

I have never conformed to anything and I never will. I am classic non-conformist.

I have found success on Hubpages being myself and writing what I want, within the rules of course. So your note of not having success does not hold water.

I am quite happy as a non-conformist in society. I like being an individual. I won't go out of my way to "fit in" with something unless it suits me.

I am not a drone follower, I am me. I will not comply. Voted up.


My Minds Eye53 profile image

My Minds Eye53 4 years ago from Tennessee

I have never been a fad follower. Much to the dismay of other members of my family. Mt sisters were always trying to "correct" me. Didn't work, I always did my own thing and was considered the odd ball of the family. Ok by me. None of them can write or paint like me.

Interesting hub. voted up


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Up and interesting. While I enjoy being around select friends, I don't worry too much about fitting in. I like what I like and don't believe in being fake or lying to fit in. I won't follow fashions unless I like them. However, surprisingly I have rarely had a problem with work, making friends or doing well ... I believe because I am polite about being different lol.

Socially shared, up and interestin.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago

I like to fit in with, with my family, friends and co-workers. But only if it does not compromise my beliefes.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Sherry: Thank you for your comments. Agree that people need to take inventory once in a while and think about why they do what they do and whether or not it makes sense.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

The things you mention are good additions to why people conform. Me and Freud don't always see eye-to-eye. I don't give him a lot of thought, actually.

Thank you for adding your comments to the conversation!


Sherry Hewins profile image

Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

Thanks for such a good explanation of a phenomenon we all see every day. I think it is helpful for us to recognize the pressure we feel to conform and the influence it has on our thoughts, feeling and actions.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

This article made me feel uncomfortable. There would seem to be a lot of added (or lessened) reasons to conform not mentioned herein. Fear of reprisal, Material gain, Sexual interest, etc., etc.

I notice admen seem to be aware of these findings as they often use groups to "persuade" the viewers.

You dream about Freud last night!?

Bob

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