Reply to discussion questions:
1. The perfect example of the social influence of conformity “changing one’s behavior to match the responses or actions of others, to fit in with those around us” (Social Psychology, chapter 6) in my life would be when I was a teenager, I permed my hair and ratted my bangs up really tall because that was the “style”. The kids at school looked that way, as well as the people on tv at the time. I look back at my pictures and almost die laughing. I ask my mom all the time why she let me leave the house looking like that and she says, “it was the style, everyone did their hair like that” and it’s true. I’m not really sure if there was that much “pressure” for me to do my hair that way, but I wanted to fit in and look “cool”. Being an adult and looking back at those pictures helps me to think about the styles a little more now and ask myself if I really want to “fit in” that bad. It’s a lot easier for me to do my own style and be more comfortable now that I’ve become an adult and gotten a lot stronger in my sense of self, so yes, I could prevent it now if I wanted to, I believe.
2. I’ve chosen to explore the social influence conformity. As defined by our text, conformity is the act of “changing one’s behavior to match the responses or actions of others, to fit in with those around us.” (Kendrick, n. D) A prime example of conformity within my life is observing the students who walk through the halls at school, especially the females. While they all vary with race and ethnicities, their clothing style and hair styles are all similar. I can’t help but thinking they all dress the same because it’s what’s “in”, however it’s disheartening because self-expression is important. However, I think back to my days being their age, and remember getting bullied and ridiculed because my clothes weren’t from major stores and I had bangs (definitely not the style). If I had conformed I could’ve avoided years of distress, though as an adult and looking back, I’m glad I had my own style. Could I prevent it from happening now? Unfortunately, I don’t believe so, as we’re easily effected by the opinions of others and sometimes following others is easier than the emotional abuse that comes from nonconformity.