What is conformism

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What is conformism
What is conformism

Definition and meaning of conformism in modern society. The main reasons for its occurrence and development options. Manifestations of this tendency among certain groups of the population. Conformity is a concept that denotes the tendency to always imitate someone else's opinion and share extraneous views of things. It is often observed in people with a weak character and indecision in actions. Thus, a person succumbs to the influence of the environment and survives at its expense. The largest spread of such behavior was observed in countries with a totalitarian regime of power. By imposing an idea on the entire population, an ideal order and obedience is created in the state.

Reasons for the emergence of conformism

The concept of conformism has existed in our world since ancient times. One can even say that today's society is experiencing only some of its residual phenomena. The fact is that such a tendency arises mainly due to the importance of the existence of a consensus in a certain circle of people. In the environment where this morality is most supported, similar signs begin to appear. Many environmental factors can be the cause of conformity.

Personal reasons for conformity

Improper upbringing as one of the root causes of the manifestation of conformism

The tendency to quickly go over to the side of the majority is sometimes inherent in the person himself as his character trait. Of course, there are certain factors that contribute to its appearance. But they all relate specifically to a specific individual, and not to influence from the outside.

The main personal reasons for conformity are:

  • Congenital tendencies… Some types of this concept are entirely dependent on the presence of a person's genetic predisposition. From the earliest years, the child is already inclined to obedience, indecision and weakness of spirit are noticed. Such children are always obedient, support the opinions of others, and also rarely become leaders in groups and express personal preferences. Growing up, they retain all the same qualities throughout their subsequent life. Until now, it has not been possible to explain the emergence of such a dependence. It is only necessary to clearly state that such manifestations of character are deliberate, and not accidental.
  • Influence of parenting… In a large number of cases of such a forced addiction, parental influence is of great importance. The main problem is that moms and dads are trying too hard to defend their authority in front of their child. They literally suppress any attempt to be active or express an opinion. Phrases that children should not even control their personal time and space deprive them of the ability to express themselves in the future.
  • Fear of attention… In order to express any thought, you need to come to terms with the fact that someone will criticize it anyway. Someone will not like it, someone will want to argue out of cunning, but such a moment has a right to exist. Unfortunately, not every person is ready for such statements. Therefore, anticipating in advance a possible fiasco of his own idea, he prefers to keep silent about its existence at all. It is better to support someone from the outside than to risk it yourself.
  • Laziness… The worst enemy of humans is also capable of provoking conformism. In this case, the person simply does not want to independently come up with any solution to the problem or an action plan. Therefore, the most explicit of the existing options is selected.
  • Low self-esteem… The terrible insecurity that is characteristic of people with this problem does not allow them to even think about promoting their own ideas and plans. Therefore, all that remains is to cling to the most common opinion and hide in the shadow of mass. The reason is typical for both children and adults, fully formed personalities.
  • Incompetence… If a person feels a lack of knowledge in a certain area, then a reasonable decision on his part is to accept the generally accepted option. This is what most people do in situations like this. Thanks to such a move, they will not be able to find themselves in an awkward position due to incorrect judgments in the event of a fiasco, and if everything ends well, they will also be rewarded.

Social reasons for conformity

Influence of authority on manifestations of conformism

There are also reasons that, despite a person's personal opinion, contribute to his just such behavior. Making the right decision becomes a necessity in this situation because of the people and circumstances that surround him.

Thus, conformism arises for the following social reasons:

  1. Collective pressure… There is a definite relationship between the aggressiveness of people in a group and the emergence of conformism in it. The more harshly and critically in this society the opponents of collective opinion are treated, the more serious oppression it accompanies. People are intimidated by this attitude, and almost no one has the urge to express themselves. Such a group takes on the appearance of an imaginary ideality, due to the tendency to support not the best option, but the decisions of the majority.
  2. Material dependence… In some cases, conformity can be fueled by some kind of reward. Then he acquires not only psychological dependence, but also social responsibilities. Most often this happens in a work environment on the part of the superiors. People, realizing someone is wrong, still support this person, if in the end they receive some kind of payment for it.
  3. The influence of a strong leader… In pretty much every group of people, from the children's sandbox and family to employees at work, there is a clear chapter. Often such a person is able to informally lead all other people in his environment. His charisma and ambition allow him to get one hundred percent support without further ado. The rest at this time prefer to give their right to vote to him, just not to fall into the leader's disfavor.

Classification of conformism

An example of passive conformism

This psychological phenomenon is also often referred to as conformity. This inclination to maintain public opinion has found its reflection in the most diverse spheres of human life. Numerous studies in different groups of people have led to the identification of several options for this behavior.

Consider the types of conformism depending on the attitude towards a person:

  • Interior… It consists in the suppression of personal interests by the person himself. That is, his thoughts cannot become reality due to the formation of a personal conflict. The presence of any beliefs prevents attempts at self-realization and leads to the unanimous support of other people's ideas on the part of the individual.
  • External… This kind of thinking is tied to the society in which the person is. It is this that will predetermine his opinion and ambition. Sometimes people, maybe, would like to disagree with the majority, but due to some circumstances they take the opposite side. Most often it is a great authority of colleagues or fear of an opponent.

Varieties of environmental conformity:

  1. Passive… In this case, the maintenance of someone else's opinion occurs under the influence of someone from the outside. The person is under pressure to make a decision and ultimately goes over to the side of the majority.In such a process, the people themselves can rarely be called guilty, because the arguments in most cases are quite weighty.
  2. Active… With this option, it is this person who is the leader of his actions. A person himself comes up with a super-high need to support someone else's idea and purposefully follows it. There is even a separate kind of conformation called "militant". At the same time, people not only themselves pursue the idea of ​​a consensus, but also force others to think the same way.

What is conformism by awareness:

  • Deliberate… A very rare variant of conformism, in which a person understands the presence of such a feature of his behavior. Moreover, he accepts this and considers it not only normal, but also the most correct decision in this situation.
  • Unconscious… All other types of pathology are enrolled in this category. Indeed, in most cases, people do not see anything special in their actions. It seems to them that the supported decision is the most correct one, and their choice is objective. Very rarely, without a glance and comments from the outside, a person is able to change such an opinion or see something wrong in it.

The main manifestations of conformism

A close-knit team as a manifestation of conformism

Such a psychological inclination is quite easily revealed in any circle of people. But, unfortunately, this moment is always given not to the person himself, but to the observer. To this day, the whole world organizes discussions on the impact of such behavior on interpersonal relationships, in connection with which several main manifestations of conformity have been identified.

For a fairly long period of time, many team leaders are trying by any means to develop such a character trait in absolutely all employees. Moreover, its presence in a person is considered an advantage during hiring or in any other team. The thing is that it has several advantages:

  1. Building cohesion… Based on the fact that each person has a personal vision of any problem, it can be difficult to come to a consensus if necessary. But the tendency to conformation is very helpful in such situations. Then this problem almost never arises, because it is enough to have only one opinion to achieve the consent of the entire group.
  2. Accelerating adaptation… People who tend to maintain a common opinion are much quicker to join any team. It is easier for them to build relationships and start a workflow. The main thing is to follow the already existing rules and regulations, which will avoid clashes of interests and conflict situations in general.
  3. Simplifying the organization… It is much easier to lead a group of people who quickly agree with the proposed scenarios. They almost never argue and take any innovations as the norm. This plays into the hands not only of the management, but also of the rest of the employees.

Despite all the listed good features of the conformation, its negative influence also has a right to exist. This behavior can lead to the development of many bad consequences that are worth seriously considering:

  • Loss of independence… If a person for a long period of time is deprived of the need to make any decisions, then soon he will forget how to do it. It is also bad that such an “ideal” team will lose its value in the event of the loss of a leader, people simply will not be able to collect their thoughts and the work process will stop.
  • Preconditions for totalitarianism… It is impossible not to notice how important it is for any state to have one hundred percent agreement of opinions. The presented regime, like nothing else, provides for this item. After all, it is he who is able to guarantee the successful management of the state without fear of the formation of any splits or opposition opinions.The growth of conformism can make it easier for supporters of totalitarianism to come to power, which in itself is not very good.
  • Oppression of originality… The achievement of any common solution leads to the fact that in a given circle of people the possibility of the birth of a completely new thought disappears. People do not have to think about other options, so ideas and actions are stamped out. A huge number of the same opinions are created, but not a single unique one.
  • Prejudice against minorities… Maintaining conformation makes people despise those who think differently. Healthy competition between people disappears, opponents are reproached and condemned. Therefore, it becomes very difficult to form any other movement or company. People are not allowed to develop and create new directions in any areas of life.

How to express your opinion correctly

Expressing your opinion in a team

Each person has a unique way of thinking, so the results of this process will be completely different. It should always be remembered that personal opinion is an integral part of the individual as a person. Naturally, it is very important to compare your thoughts with the norms of the public, sometimes to adjust their compliance. In any case, the formation of your own view of what is happening should always come first.

Those who find this process difficult should heed some advice:

  1. Search for like-minded people… If a person is haunted by the fear of being misunderstood or uncertainty, then you need to try to find support. You can always look for someone who shares your interests. And the more people like that, the better. They will help not only to make sure that the judgments are correct, but also tell you how best to present a given thought or decision.
  2. Active action… Without trying it is impossible to know the consequences of an action. Therefore, you need to stop being afraid and move on to self-expression. To make it easier, it is worth speaking last, when everyone has already spoken. This will help you find the advantages and disadvantages of your own option. Moreover, a person can be convinced of the uniqueness of this approach.
  3. Argumentation… In order not to fall under a wave of criticism, you need to be completely confident in the accuracy of your opinion. When expressing it, you should rely on facts and reliable information. Then it will be easier to defend the point of view, and the chance for its acceptance by the environment will increase.
  4. Formation of independence… Not all of even the greatest and most famous people were recognized by society at once. Therefore, you should not be upset if at some point the environment does not understand what is being offered to him. If a person is confident in the correctness of his actions, then you need to defend this position to the end. Moreover, you cannot give up after the first failure.

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It is very rare to surprise anyone with examples of conformism in modern society. Despite the fact that its most severe variants have long been eradicated from normal life, some species continue to exist to this day. It is popular with both children, who are often influenced by the collective, and in working relationships in adulthood. This tendency has several advantages, but still carries more negative points. It must be said that coming to a single decision is positive in any situation, but it is better that it be achieved through the optimal choice.

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