Why People Conform

A new study says we copy other people unintentionally, not as result of social pressure but of simpler forces that make decisions seem ours.

The study published in the journal psychological science questions a 1950s’ research by Solomon Arch, which found that people tend to deny the evidence of their own senses just to copy others. The new study is hereby giving new reasons to why people conform.

Diana Kim, one of the study’s authors says people conform (copy each others) not as a result of social pressure; behavioural decisions are a kind of ‘mental average’ of our own past behaviour plus that of other people.

“Social psychology has always explained conformity from social perspectives: group pressure, desire to belong to the group, belief in the group’s superior knowledge, etc,” Kim said.

The aim of the present study was to test whether even simpler mechanisms may account for at least some conformity effects.”

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The authors confirm that people device for themselves ways to behave in a situation by recalling other people’s behavior in the same situation.

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