By most definitions, if we are persuaded by an individual, we are said to be obedient to that individual. If we are persuaded by a group, we are said to have conformed to that group’s objectives. Compare and contrast the core differences between these two concepts. In what ways do group and individual persuasion techniques differ? As social beings, why are we naturally prone to conformity and obedience?
Please review Solomon Asch’s (1958) study of conformity. The results of this study, demonstrate how many of the individual participants conformed to the group despite the fact that the group was clearly wrong, and the individuals were clearly right. In addition, watch the video on the ABC New Primetime: Milgram Experiment Update video. Through this experiment we observe how perceptions of authority directly influence obedience. For example, even when the action ordered by the authority figure caused physical harm, the participants were still obedient. What are some explanations for this type of behavior? Can you think of an example of when you disregarded your own desires or values for the sake of obedience or conformity?
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