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Custom Opinions and Social Pressure essay paper sample

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Social groups usually exert pressures on the members of their groups so as make them conform to certain cultural practices in a bid to fulfill some moral obligations. The role of the society in creation and development of human opinions is a question that is still significant even today. Since ancient days, psychologists have continued to study the correlation between social conditions and human cultural beliefs and practices. Psychologists during the 19th century came up with theories to explain the social phenomenon, but they were later challenged by others who had more elaborate ideas.

At the onset of this century, a new line of thought in social psychology was discovered. It was a technique that used students as subjects in experiments that generally led to considerably same results. These studies were based on assumptions that human beings are subject to external manipulation through proposition. It was further assumed that people could easily buy an idea without necessarily referring to its benefits.

A series of experiments were carried out to ascertain the effect of opinion of the majority to individual performance. These studies showed that the people, who decided to be independent in their way of thinking, did not submit to views of the majority. On the other hand, the people who chose to be compliant right from the beginning, found themselves compromising on their stand and conforming to views of the majority.

The study further established that presence of a trusted partner increased confidence of the subjects even when they were outnumbered. The experiments also showed that the opposition of an individual to group pressure depended greatly on the extent of wrong in the majority. According to the experiments, compromise in life within a group is an essential factor. However, for a compromising situation to be productive, every person is expected to give his own opinion autonomously.

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