by inkling 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • inkling

    I am not presenting this as directly relevant, or with an specific angle on the JW issue, so much as just on it's own merits as a really great take on phenomenon of social conformity:


    "We can be self defeating in our conformity: Say we have a group of people holding opinion X. Unbeknownst to the group, half of them secretly disagree. But, due to the social penalties dished out to a few individuals who have disagreed, they keep quiet. By conforming, we add to the statistics of groups we don't actually belong to, and perpetuate the idea of majorities who may not actually exist."


  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Thanks for the post. Excellent video!

    Here's the actual Asch Conformity Experiment


  • LongHairGal


    I agree with you that people want to be perceived as conforming to popular opinion. The majority is not really the majority and this is just an illusion. I have seen this with people I know who profess to have 'liberal' views when in a group professing such a thing. Then they go and say something else when these people are not around.

    I despise hypocrisy but, unfortunately, many people are just that. Hypocrites.

  • inkling
    Here's the actual Asch Conformity Experiment

    Nice, thanks!

  • inkling
    Here's the actual Asch Conformity Experiment

    Notice that having just ONE other person in the room also stand up for the right answer lowered the subject's misguided conformity from 37% down to 5%! (the "solo" error rate was 1%)

    You never know when you are that "one other" voice of reason in the room!


  • HintOfLime

    Very interesting - and I think quite applicable to users on this board. As he points out, the more you identify or agree with a group, the more susceptible you are to conforming to group opinion rather than remaining true to your own viewpoint.

    Thanks for the video! Definately food for thought.

    - Lime

  • not a captive
    not a captive

    Another effect of conformity is thatthe ones who pretend to support the prevailing "belief" undermine its value by their poor support of it in fact.

  • WTWizard

    This is why our society is stuck in the 1950s. Conformity is by and large immoral, since it prevents people from moving forward when something is proven wrong despite a few that are making money off the error. We see it in just about every area of our lives today, from the old 55 MPH speed limits, to allopathic medicine having a monopoly on health care (making it become sickness care), to no-nukes (nuclear power plants), to the global warming scam, to just about everything else that can influence mankind.

    Were we instead to ditch conformity, except to the few basic rules that are necessary to prevent the few from ruining the many, society would be free to move ahead. Someone would come up with the idea that nuclear fusion can be developed even though "the Establishment" says it cannot. Someone would put a definitive cure for cancer on the market, despite "Only a drug can cure, treat, diagnose, or prevent a disease" and the cure would actually work. We would develop new energy sources, have highways with a speed in excess of 500 MPH and no accidents, and zero unemployment with prices falling to the point where people would be paid with pride in creating new value instead of in money.

    And, religion would all go belly up.

  • Cagefighter

    Everyone wants to be liked and accepted.

  • Slidin Fast
    Slidin Fast

    It is the "Emperors new clothes" syndrome. Everybody is told that the thing is true but nobody can see it. Nobody wants to be the the first one to break ranks.

    In the case of the story even the Emperor was taken in, he didn't want to be the one who could not see it. Is this true of our dear leaders.

    Slidin Fast

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