Influences of Conformity and Obedience Term Paper by scribbler

Influences of Conformity and Obedience
An examination of the social influences of conformity and obedience on the individual.
# 152633 | 1,379 words | 5 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on Apr 07, 2013 in Psychology (Social) , Sociology (General)

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The paper compares and contrasts the concepts of conformity and obedience and analyzes both a classical and contemporary study on the effect of group influence on the self. The paper examines individual and societal influences that lead to deviance from dominant group norms and finds that conformity and obedience is gained through social and cultural pressures and through a system that either rewards the individual for compliance, or punishes for failing to comply with the standardization perpetuated by group and social norms.

Group Behavior
Societal Values
Evolution of Behaviors that are Rewarded Repeatedly
Functional Values
Sherif (1936)
No Universal View of Rights and Responsibilities Exists
Summary and Conclusion

From the Paper:

"Yet another view is that held by social theorists who hold that norms develop "to encourage or curtail behaviors that are connected to survival, on either an individual level or a group level. From this view, the conformance to the norms is not "arbitrary nor trivial, since the ability to develop and communicate norms is evolutionarily adaptive and aids in our survival as a species." (Gilbert, 1998) Therefore, it can be understood that obedience and conformity are derived not only from the desire of the individual to fit in with and be accepted by the group but also from the individuals' need to survive and it is this element that ensure the obedience of the group members and particularly in a society where survival is among the top priorities of daily living. In today's contemporary world very few individuals and societies are concerned with menial survival tasks as today's individuals rarely venture into the wilderness and the hunting and foraging of contemporary times is accomplished at the local grocery store or restaurant and while other human beings are dangerous to ones' existence it is rare that one in today's' society is forced daily to defend their home and family from wild animals. Because of this, today's' primary concern with conformity and obedience is that which is focused upon the social and group norms and those which have to do with being accepted by the dominating social group in contemporary society."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cialdini, Robert B. and Trost, Melanie R. (1998) Social Influence: Social Norms, Conformity and Compliance. In: Gilbert Daniel, T. The Handbook of Social Psychology. 1998. Oxford University Press. Online available at:
  • Gilbert Daniel, T. (1998) The Handbook of Social Psychology. 1998. Oxford University Press. Online available at: es+ of+conformity+and+obedience:+group+norms&lr=&source=gbs_navlinks_s
  • Louis, Winnifred R. and Taylor, Donald M. (nd) Rights and Duties as Group Norms: Implications of Intergroup Research for the Study of Rights and Responsibilities. Online available at:
  • Forgas, Joseph P. and Williams, Kipling D. (2001) Social Influence: Direct and Indirect Processes. Psychology Press. 2001.
  • Sherif, Muzafer (1988) The Robbers Cave Experiment: Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation. Wesleyan University Press, 1988.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Influences of Conformity and Obedience (2013, April 07) Retrieved September 24, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Influences of Conformity and Obedience" 07 April 2013. Web. 24 September. 2023. <>