A conformist is a person who has no personal opinion and changes views due to the actual influence of the environment or own ideas about it. A person behaving in this way submits to the values, rules, norms or characteristics of other people belonging to a given social group. You have to remember conformism is a change in behaviorto meet environmental expectations.
The Polish Language Dictionary (PWN) states that conformism is the uncritical assumption of certain norms or values as one’s own. The change can concern both the interests and the way of speaking, the style of dress, certain habits or even the use of stimulants. However, this is not a deliberate procedure. Its shape is influenced by education or certain motifs borrowed from the family home. Conformity has been studied for many years by specialists in fields such as psychology and sociology.
Conformism and opportunism – how do they differ?
An opportunist is a person who consciously adapts his behavior to his environment. Above all – he does not follow any rules that he considers constant in his life, but his behavior changes depending on current events. Most often, he chooses the best and most advantageous solutions for him at the moment. Opportunism is nothing more than a moral attitude characterized by the pursuit of applause from the crowd. A man acting in this way is therefore able to do a lot to obtain immediate benefits.
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A conformist, on the other hand, is usually unaware of his actions. He lives like this because he doesn’t know what values he believes in or what he seeks. The person designated as this is stupidly doing what the majority do. The opportunist, on the contrary, realizes that he can change his mind at any time and express an opinion that suits him better.
Conformism – types
In social psychology conformism is a very broad term. To harmonize it, several necessary classifications have been created. First, there is a division into:
- static conformismincluding behavioral change due to group membership,
- dynamic conformismincluding behavior change due to pressure and peer pressure.
Besides they exist subtypes as:
- informational conformism,
- cognitive conformity,
- normative conformism,
- social conformism.
It is also worth paying attention to the intensity levels of the described phenomenon. Conformity it can only consist in yielding to the group. It appears when a person is among the members of a given environment. Once the contacts are over, the hijacked behaviors disappear.
The second level is identification. It is manifested by the presence of certain behaviors also in situations where the group is not physically present. Identification involves changing behavior and adapting to norms, for example, of friends. The final and most intense level is introjection. A conformist of this degree, whatever the circumstances, makes the values of the group his own.
Informational conformity, what is it?
Informational conformity, that is, informative social impact is an activity that consists primarily of adaptation. This type, however, includes the motivation to change, which is the will to be right and to make the right decisions. Information conformity most often occurs when a person does not have access to objective information and therefore begins to observe others. As a result of such actions, changes in thinking, behavior and behavior occur.
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A good example is to imitate the decisions of other students during the exam. If a person does not know the answer to a question, he most often turns to his neighbor. This is because she recognizes that others know the answer better than she does. The conformism of information is also observed in offices or other institutions. When a person does not yet know a place, he watches others and reproduces their behavior, for example by queuing up behind other people.
Normative conformity – what is it?
Normative conformity it is about conforming to a group in order to be liked. Most often it is caused by a fear of rejection or a desire to be accepted. Such behavior is visible, among other things, in a situation where a person in a group of friends does not express an opinion different from the generally accepted one, for fear that others will turn their backs on him.
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This type of conformity also applies to other situations, for example men not wearing dresses because it is not the norm, while groupthink occurs between peers.
Social Conformism – What is it?
Social conformity on the other hand, from a sociological point of view, it consists in changing the look of an individual to adapt to the order in force. It is a selection of other points of view imposed by a given community. However, social conformism occurs regardless of whether the pressure from other members is real or not.or imaginary.
The reasons may be fear of standing out, self-aversion linked to low self-esteem, crowd psychology, inability to find one’s place in a given situation, and the composition of the group (when it is composed of experts).
As our guide shows, conformism can also be caused by certain character traits that make it impossible or difficult to cope with everyday situations. They include, among other things, comfort, easy living or constant conformity. People who are unable to express their own opinion and changeable people can very often encounter difficulties. All this makes them much more susceptible to outside influences.