✪✪✪ Research Into Conformity
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Asch Conformity Experiment
The Control Paradigm Posing as a "Philosophy". The dumbing down - becoming less than who we are - brings us face to face with one of the control paradigm's most powerful devices for achieving control. The control paradigm presents itself as a "philosophy", as if it's innocently telling us what's what. It even insists that its mechanistic, materialistic, control-measured picture of reality depicts the "real world" and tells us how to be practical in the world of facts and things, dogs eating dogs and sharks eating whatever.
The more our reality can be reduced to objects, this "philosophy" tells us, and the less we trouble ourselves with ideas, values and other intangibles, the more we understand the "realities" of the control universe. Adopting this philosophy as "the most practical way to maximize our personal sphere of control", we don't notice that we're made controllable in the process. To "buy into" the "philosophy" is to become controllable by its "values" of external rewards and suggested into a view of ourselves that is not true to our nature and potential as True Human Beings. But, the control paradigm isn't philosophy. It doesn't encourage free thought or dialogue. It doesn't develop our minds or souls.
It doesn't invite inquiry into its core assumptions, strategies, responses and goals. Instead, it functions as a mind-control trance. The control paradigm comes across as "the one way" to experience reality, and it doesn't make room for alternative perspectives. To do so would go against the control agenda. As a result, the control paradigm in truth has little in common with philosophy and much in common with propaganda and mind control methods - trance inducers. Responding to the need for balance in society doesn't work using closed-system thought patterns , because the nature of the game:.
Maintains a toxic order: First, if the system equilibrium is already toxic, it gets reinforced. Bad "norms" are simply perpetuated, since closed systems "run on automatic". They don't have the power of discernment. They don't evaluate systems in light of personal needs, human evolution or planetary health. Their one mandate is to "preserve the established order", even if that "order" is toxic for the people and planet. Puts systems above people : Achieving "social order" through closed-system methods put systems above people - system needs over personal needs. Systems come first. That's the message we hear in social systems, namely, preserving systems is more important than nurturing people. Closed systems say to people, "You are part of us, therefore we own you.
Who you are is incidental. You must perform the roles we assign you in the ways we require. We won't allow you to deviate. If you changed, we'd have to change, and that we won't allow. Our 'social order' would collapse". Putting the rigid structure of social systems first costs all of us. People get "chewed up" by systems. The idea of "sacrificing ourselves for the greater good" may be a laudable idea if the greater is good. But, what if it isn't? Features Control and Abuse : Closed social systems don't work because they keep order through control - force, punishment, and other power-over methods of enforcement.
But, can social harmony be forced? Is top-down control the way to achieve "social order"? Threats and intimidation cannot be the fabric of healthy social systems. They do too much violence to our inner lives, costing us our freedom. How healthy can our social system be if the people are psychological wreaks? When we are deprived of out essential powers as free, creative beings, our social systems reflect our emptiness. When do we get in return for "submission"? Not security. Being one-down in a control hierarchy isn't a secure place. When people get deprived of freedom and security while at the same time they are bound by control systems, they behave like caged animals. Intelligent beings don't do well in cages. The Nature of Reality isn't closed : Another reason closed social systems don't bring social order is that reality itself isn't a closed system.
The old scientific belief systems such as closed-entropy energy systems, also used to reinforce closed-system social control patterns, are rapidly becoming transparently false as scientific research has shown over the last few decades. No matter how much closed systems try to control variables and shut out change, reality won't be shut out. We can't make our social units into "islands of no-change", because the greater reality the context on which our systems depend is dynamic. The best way to make our paradigm "armor" invulnerable is to make it invisible.
What can't be detected by the population can't be shot down. When invisible, our paradigms avoid the risk of attack. We hide our paradigm's filtering processes under acceptable cloaking devices - and many such covers will do the trick. One way to make paradigm filters invisible is to surround ourselves with people who share our set. We align ourselves with groups who take the same paradigm for granted. Surrounded by people whose filters are familiar, ours blend in. Paradigm filters stay invisible, and we ask "What filters? When paradigm issues do manage to surface, it's to reinforce how "successful" and "right" the group's paradigm is. The official lines get repeated and the catchphrases echoed. Those who question the paradigm and don't speak its "language" are out.
It is because of this that cliques permeate paradigm-rigid societies, with each group accusing the other of being "cultish". Paradigm dynamics, or dogmatics of each group resemble what goes on in mainline churches, corporations, schools, universities, governments, labor unions and non-profit organizations. The strategy of keeping filters invisible under the cover of a group-shared paradigm turns out not to be considered aberrational behavior, but the "required norm". When Groups Support Growth - There are groups that support growth and evolution, and group-shared paradigms can be useful if they are exploring these areas involving full potential.
Working with people of like mind takes us forward by leaps and bounds. As we work with others in this way, developments emerge greater than any one person could produce. Whether group involvement supports "filter evolution" or "filter fixedness", therefore, is a matter of paradigm development. Compartmentalization of Paradigm Filters. Mechanism : Another way to keep paradigms invisible is to split our lives into compartments and to design paradigm filters for each "box". When we are convinced to split our perceptive world into separate pieces, we protect the paradigm filters we use for each piece.
In a fixed area, certain paradigm filters don't apply, and we don't mix them with filters we use for a different box. That way, we never have to ask how it all adds up; it just doesn't, and no one expects it to add up. Social Result: Lack of Consistency. We don't ask whether the values we use at work are the values we'd like our children to live at home. If we adhere to one religion or belief, we don't want to hear about the views of another. By putting walls between our filters, we protect our overall filter arrangement. We avoid filter comparisons which would inevitably bring our paradigm out into the open and subject it to revision. Some of the greatest leaps in knowledge and art - cultural paradigms - occurred when two or more societies interacted.
Control paradigm isolation of societies prevents these leaps. Box-category thinking, valuable as it is for producing specialized knowledge, prevents this type of exchange. It forbids us even to attempt to integrate our filters with wider contexts - a process which paradigm evolution demands. Another way to keep paradigm filters hidden is to "appear to be filter-free", as if "we have no paradigm, no filters, and no covers for them either. For decades, scientists and social engineers hid filters behind claims of objectivity, pretending to be "unbiased observers". Claiming to be "open" and "skeptical", while rigidly adhering to paradigm dynamics, are other ways of hiding paradigms we're not keen to question.
Sometimes, claiming to be "open" is used as a strategy to make us appear paradigm-free, which guarantees that neither we nor anyone else has a chance to look at our filters. By appearing to be "big-minded", we keep our paradigm close to the chest and off limits. Use of Covers to Block Paradigm Awareness. If we are to evolve, we need to know what paradigm we're using, so we can change it. Defensive covers block this awareness. How far are people willing to go to protect their paradigm? History shows that people will kill to protect what they "believe" to be the case. Changing paradigms, ways of thinking and perceiving the universe based on new information, can be scary for some people. No wonder the strategies for keeping paradigms in place are more developed than strategies for changing them.
One of the most potent paradigm cloaking devices individuals and societies have is the taboo. A taboo prevents the questions we dare not raise, the things we dare not do, and the ways we dare not think. When members of a society obey taboos, they pretend that aspects of their lives do not exist. Problems are not problems, and obvious sources of trouble remain off-limits for discussion, and people are manipulated into not speaking of them. People let the social system throw walls of silence around them, so the system is not threatened by hearing the truth about what we're experiencing. Most current social systems on the planet are maintained in a status quo state in this way.
Taboos About Sex - The actual function of the taboo on sexual matters in Western countries, which paradoxically exists at the same time as the maintenance of a strong focus on sexual matters, is to supplement and increase the focus on sexual matters in society. The same principles holds for gender-specific taboos, which also have the function of suppressing different factors relating to wholeness of being and expression. Many of these taboos have the function of introducing the socially complicating factors of "guilt" and "shame", and are also included in some religious paradigms. Taboos About Feelings - There is also another taboo which exists that makes feelings off-limits in some social system. People are programming "to be in control" of emotions.
Even the words "emotion" and "emotional" are cast in negative connotations, and are often used to discredit a persons viewpoint. In fact, the process of socially programming the factoring-out of emotions is highly convenient for control paradigm systems, because if we cut ourselves off from how we feel under a situation of domination, we tend to "tolerate" it more readily, and we are programmed to disregard the pain when we witness control-system abuse to others. Control system abuse is seen on television 24 hours a day and termed "entertainment", which goes to show how deeply some paradigm elements are buried.
Another phenomenon that arises is that the control paradigm feeds people with rationalizations, judgments and the ultimate ultimatum: "Things must be done this way or chaos will follow". Science Taboos - Many of the social control taboos in our society have in fact been inherited from science - what's "real" and what is not, what we can "talk about intelligently" and what is considered "superstitious" or "pseudo-science". In general, the rule is this - "if you can measure something, manipulate it, predict its function and then replicate it control the outcome of experiments on it - "it's scientific and real; if not, it's imagination or illusion. Unfortunately, this strategy reduces the idea of "knowledge" down to a matter of "control".
We are led to believe that "knowing something" means being able to "control" it -- which is the control-paradigm epistemology. We are led to grant science this "authority" and we are programmed not to question it, even if it stands in the face of mountains of observed but not reproducible, and therefore "anecdotal" evidence. Defining knowledge in terms of control raises questions. What kind of "control" does science give us? Control paradigm science inevitably disregards wider contexts, because wider contexts aren't easily "controlled". To "gain control", scientists "eliminate variables" and "constrict the field". In fact, scientists learn early in their programmed training to think in narrowly focused ways and to disregard broader contexts, thus, the most defensible Ph.
A result of this process is that using narrowed control thought processes, we find ourselves faced with wider-context problems. For example, we are stuck with nuclear waste with a half-life of , years and clouds of acid rain that kill forests. If the same money went into researching new evolutionary technologies, as the impression was given to the public in the early 's that it "would be", we wouldn't have the problems we have today. But, a public programmed to think along the same lines has simply ignored this simple idea.
A very important point to make is that the taboos that insulate control-science from its impact on society also hide its values. The directions that science and technology take involve decisions based on values - control values. Nonetheless, taboos place science above ethics. In other words, control-science taboos hide its decision-making process and the values that guide them. These values and decisions affect the course of science. The fact that some scientific research gets screened out while other research receives both funding and publication is attributed to "the natural course of scientific development", as if there is no paradigm-based filtering going on.
In fact, "there's a whole lot of filtering going on". Various "experts" dominate each field of "inquiry" and also dominate the direction and "limits" of research. They give their "positions" at "conferences", where "reputations" may be "made" or "broken", and they edit the journals. Even more telling is the funding of research by industry. There is an unspoken but real incentive to present projects that support the agenda of work being done in various industries.
Combinations of industrial, academic, and political interests influence, and even control, what should otherwise be open scientific research, in many cases research that could potentially save lives. The cancer and AIDS industries are good examples. In a paradigm of externals, externals call the shots. Instead of allowing us to be guided from the inside out a formula for anarchy, the control paradigm claims , the paradigm controls our behavior through rewards and punishments. We come to think and act like Pavlov's dog, salivating over the next bonus, a bigger kennel to call home, a fancier collar to sport, or a top dog position.
The paradigm isn't about developing our talents, abilities, or potential; it's about making us controllable by giving or withholding external rewards. To achieve this control, the paradigm grades each "thing" in a hierarchy of externals. The inner life means nothing compared to the outward characteristics indicated by our species, race, gender, age, status, group affiliation, and income. If dogs possessed the wealth of Bill Gates, for instance, they wouldn't suffer in medical experiments, just as people who have money don't work in sweatshops or sell their children into slavery.
That's the problem with externals: they're fine until they become the means for enslavement, which unfortunately they do almost immediately. When a paradigm puts external values first, consciousness dimensions are dismissed out of hand. Small wonder that the potentials of our minds and hearts-and all the values that go with them, e. A control paradigm has neither use nor place for them. Naming paradigms and their power for good or ill isn't a new insight; it's as old as philosophy. It is, however, an overlooked insight in an age that can't seem to shake a materialistic, control-obsessed paradigm-and for good reason. Reflecting on paradigms is the stuff of change, and changing paradigms is the most fundamental and powerful change we can make. To a paradigm of control, that's not welcome.
The sum total of our experience contingent on something as invisible and changeable as a philosophy? Change by paradigm shifts, which anyone can make? Powers of perception and creativity that defy rigid material boundaries? Humans as beings of immense powers and abilities? Once you let these cats out of the bag, there's no telling what mindsets and institutions might be made obsolete.
Obsolete is precisely what established institutions of power and control don't want to be. They learned from the fate of carriage and buggy whip manufacturers when cars came along. Established interests now make sure that questioning the neanderthal paradigm of burning things for energy triggers "War-of-the-Worlds" panic about destabilizing the world economy.
Even the call for improved public transit systems borders on subversive. Stiff challenges face a paradigm shift on the simple level of out-there technology, frozen at a stage that Captain Picard sometimes finds among the more primitive human civilizations he encounters. What challenges might we face if we embark on a far deeper level of questioning-on redrawing the paradigms that sort out who we are and why we're here? If the cultural paradigm's purpose is not to honor human potential but rather to make it an obedient servant to existing social structures, then nothing could be more threatening to the established order than a paradigm shift regarding our self-conceptions.
We fit into society as it is now only as long as we don't remember that we're more and here for more. The agenda for traditional psychoanalytic therapy, for instance, isn't to develop human potential; it's to keep people functional in established social structures, however miserable their lives may be and however abusive or wrong-headed the social structures. But if someone is well-adjusted to being an SS officer in Nazi concentration camps, is that person mentally healthy?
If we don't conform, adjust, fit in, and measure up, something must be wrong with us. And psychotherapy has its truth: we may well be frozen in grief or shock and not functioning at our best, but don't the social systems that shape us deserve equal scrutiny, equal critical analysis? Thankfully many therapists reject this paradigm and venture forth with their clients on the forbidden territory of meaning and human potential as well as of critiquing social structures, but it's no easy task persuading insurance companies to come along. Control institutions pay insurance companies to pay health professionals to keep people in their place, serving the established order.
Nor are school systems committed to developing the more that we are. Schools are an arm of social structures, whether religious, governmental, or economic. According to the paradigm-defined needs of those structures, tapping human potential doesn't create enough Dilberts to ensure the "efficient" running of corporate, governmental, religious, and educational hierarchies. In this century, business interests have dictated the structure of schools. Henry Ford quickly noticed that creative genius and intuitive knowing aren't useful on factory lines.
So he pioneered the "modern" school system that inculcates values and skills appropriate for 20th century work life: being punctual, obeying orders, enduring hours, weeks, and years of boring, repetitive tasks, not talking while working, not resting, keeping to the schedule at all costs. Our minds become casualties of industrialization. Our souls end up casualties as well. Trusting our own judgment, thinking for ourselves, adhering to our values, and having confidence in our innate worth don't make us good foot soldiers for my-way-or-the-highway bosses. Only people with low self-esteem are sufficiently insecure to tolerate abusive work environments. Insofar as we believe we don't deserve better, we adjust, becoming the kind of person that's required to "do the job.
Obligingly, school systems produce people with precisely the low self-esteem that's needed for worker "flexibility. That's the percentage who are required not to get A's by the bell curve system, guaranteeing that 90 percent of everyone coming out of school believe that they're incapable of excellence. Schools mirror back to students the mass message that "you're just not good enough, but if you do what you're told without question, you may get better and be rewarded. All this modern schooling goes against what we know about the human mind and how we learn-and have known for decades. Studies in learning show that we learn best when we're most relaxed, yet schools maximize stress through fear of failure.
Studies show that children learn most easily through cooperative learning, yet schools impose a competitive model. Studies also indicate that students' beliefs about their own learning abilities affect their performance-if they believe they're good learners, they learn easily; if not, learning the simplest things becomes difficult-yet schools systematically undermine students' confidence. In these and many other ways, school systems perform virtual lobotomies on our psyches, producing graduates who've long since lost their joy in learning, who believe they must be right all the time and "know it all" or be condemned to outer darkness, and who experience post-traumatic stress symptoms at the thought of having to learn new things on the job.
On Cultural Non-Commitment to Potential. Alice Miller, a champion of the potential we all possess from birth, pulls no punches in her books- For Your Own Good in particular analyzes the social, cultural agenda of shutting down our potential. As she explains, the traditional rules of child-rearing passed down from generation to generation have nothing to do with developing our potential, either emotionally, intuitively, psychologically, or intellectually. Their one agenda is control: control the child as soon as possible by any means, whether it's by punishment, humiliation, intimidation, beatings, grading, whatever it takes to break the child's will and autonomy.
The justification for this agenda is that children raised any other way won't fit into society when they grow up. According to this cultural paradigm-expressed in the rules of child-rearing-learning to forget who we are and to become what others want and expect us to be is the most important survival skill. Our potential as human beings is irrelevant, a side issue, compared to our ability to conform. Of course we're supposed to believe that social systems have our best interests at heart and that obeying them is indeed "for our own good. Marketers often rely on a number of different strategies to obtain compliance from consumers.
Some of these techniques to gain compliance include the following:. In this approach, marketers start by asking for a large commitment. When the other person refuses, they then make a smaller and more reasonable request. For example, imagine that a business owner asks you to make a large investment in a new business opportunity. After you decline the request, the business owner asks if you could at least make a small product purchase to help them out. After refusing the first offer, you might feel compelled to comply with their second appeal. In this approach, marketers start by asking for and obtaining a small commitment.
Once you have already complied with the first request, you are more likely to also comply with a second, larger request. For example, your coworker asks if you fill in for them for a day. After you say yes, they then ask if you could just continue to fill in for the rest of the week. Have you ever found yourself watching a television infomercial?
Once a product has been pitched, the seller then adds an additional offer before the potential purchaser has made a decision. This strategy involves getting a person to make a commitment and then raising the terms or stakes of that commitment. This approach involves gaining approval from the target in order to gain compliance. People are more likely to comply if they feel that the other person has already done something for them. We have been socialized to believe that if people extend kindness to us, then we should return the favor.
Researchers have found that the reciprocity effect is so strong that it can work even when the initial favor is uninvited or comes from someone we do not like. There are a number of well-known studies that have explored issues related to compliance, conformity, and obedience. Some of these include:. Psychologist Solomon Asch conducted a series of experiments to demonstrate how people conform in groups. When others in the group who were planted selected the wrong line, many participants would conform to group pressure and also select the wrong line length. Stanley Milgram 's famous and controversial obedience experiments revealed the power of authority could be used to get people to obey.
Even though the shocks were not real, the participants genuinely believed that they were shocking the other person. During the s, psychologist Philip Zimbardo conducted an experiment in which participants played the roles of guards and prisoners in a mock prison set up in the basement of the psychology department at Stanford University. Originally slated to last two weeks, the Stanford prison experiment had to be terminated after just six days after the guards began displaying abusive behavior and the prisoners became anxious and highly stressed.
The experiment demonstrated how people will comply with the expectations that come from certain social roles. Below are important factors that influence compliance:. Ever wonder what your personality type means? Sign up to find out more in our Healthy Mind newsletter. American Psychological Association. It seems as if people who were given strong pressures to not engage in the behavior were more likely to react against those directives than were people who were given a weaker message. Reactance is aroused when our ability to choose which behaviors to engage in is eliminated or threatened with elimination. The outcome of the experience of reactance is that people may not conform or obey at all and may even move their opinions or behaviors away from the desires of the influencer.
Reactance represents a desire to restore freedom that is being threatened. A child who feels that his or her parents are forcing him to eat his asparagus may react quite vehemently with a strong refusal to touch the plate. In the musical The Fantasticks , neighboring fathers set up to make the daughter of one of them and the son of the other fall in love with each other by building a fence between their properties. The fence is seen by the children as an infringement on their freedom to see each other, and as predicted by the idea of reactance, they ultimately fall in love.
In addition to helping us understand the affective determinants of conformity and of failure to conform, reactance has been observed to have its ironic effects in a number of real-world contexts. For instance, Wolf and Montgomery found that when judges give jury members instructions indicating that they absolutely must not pay any attention to particular information that had been presented in a courtroom trial because it had been ruled as inadmissible , the jurors were more likely to use that information in their judgments. In another relevant study, Kray, Reb, Galinsky, and Thompson found that when women were told that they were poor negotiators and would be unable to succeed on a negotiation task, this information led them to work even harder and to be more successful at the task.
Bartol, K. Women and men in task groups. Del Boca Eds. Bigelow, L. Skirting the issues? Experimental evidence of gender bias in IPO prospectus evaluations. Social Science Research Network. Bond, R. Psychological Bulletin, 1 , — Bornstein, R. The dependent personality: Developmental, social, and clinical perspectives. Psychological Bulletin, , 3— Brewer, M. Optimal distinctiveness, social identity, and the self. Tangney Eds. Bushman, B. Forbidden fruit versus tainted fruit: Effects of warning labels on attraction to television violence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 2 , — Eagly, A. Sex differences in influenceability. Psychological Bulletin, 85 , 86—;. Gender and social influence: A social psychological analysis.
American Psychologist, 38 , — Through the labyrinth: The truth about how women become leaders. Sex differences in conformity: Status and gender-role interpretations. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 10 , — Gender and leadership style: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, , —;. Transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles: A meta-analysis comparing men and women. Psychological Bulletin, , — Gender and the effectiveness of leaders: A meta-analysis. Gender and evaluation of leaders: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, , 3—22;.
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Sex stereotypes: Do they influence perceptions of managers? Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 10 , — Jetten, J. Strength of identification and intergroup differentiation: The influence of group norms. European Journal of Social Psychology, 27 , —;. Kim, H. Deviance or uniqueness, harmony or conformity? A cultural analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77 , — Kray, L. Stereotype reactance at the bargaining table: The effect of stereotype activation and power on claiming and creating value.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30 , — Megargee, E.Compliance is the act of research into conformity favorably to an explicit or research into conformity request offered by others. Here, we test another possibility research into conformity following the crowd reduces the experienced negative research into conformity when research into conformity group research into conformity turns Coming Of Age In The Outsiders By S. E Hinton to be a bad research into conformity. Most current social systems on the planet are maintained in research into conformity status quo state in this way. Analysts at the credit rating research into conformity Moody's have also introduced the possibility of adding social cohesion as research into conformity formal rating into their sovereign debt indices. If anything, our social systems regard human potential research into conformity an research into conformity, an annoying feature of human beings that research into conformity up the systems' otherwise efficient workings.