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The psychological explanation of conformity

Guandong Song (Northeastern University), Qinhai Ma (Northeastern University), Fangfei Wu (Shenyang Jianzhu University), Lin Li (Northeastern University)
Cite this article:  Song, G., Ma, Q., Wu, F., & Li, L. (2012). The psychological explanation of conformity. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 40, 1365-1372.
Publication date: September 2012


Conformity occurs when the subject demonstrates the same behavior or attitude as the object. The subject is the individual who conforms. The object(s) may be individuals, groups, organizations, policies, rules and regulations, or the experience or natural instinct of the subject. Conformity is divided into 2 categories: irrational conformity (herd behavior) and rational conformity (abidance, compliance, and obedience). In this study we explain the meaning of abidance, compliance, obedience, and herd behavior. The conclusions have implications in the fields of commerce, education, service, politics, management, religion, and more.

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