The Tendency of Teenagers to be Conformists and Follow the Crowd

(1) Tecnologico de Monterrey, Cuernavaca High School, Mexico

This research evaluates whether teenagers tend to keep their own opinions or be conformists and follow the opinion of the majority in a group. Group influence has been researched since the 1950s and the main findings agree that individuals will follow others in order to be accepted in a group. The degree of conformity behavior depends on the ambiguity of the situation. We hypothesized that teenagers would most likely adhere to group opinion and answer what the majority answered, even if they know that it was not the right answer, in order to be part of the group. We also believed that the degree of conformity would be high regardless of gender, but lower for less difficult tests. To investigate the degree to which teenagers in today's society surrender their own ideas and adopt the opinions of the group, we subjected a group of teenagers to the Solomon Asch visual line test with an additional math test experiment. These tests were done with the help of actors known as confederates that were asked to say the wrong answer out loud before the participant gave their answer. A total of 32 participants between 16-22 years took part in the line and math tests. The results were not as expected and showed no conformity behavior. Additionally, conformity was not correlated to gender or type of test administered (visual line vs math). Contrary to our hypothesis, teenagers did not show a conformity behavior, since only 9% of all individuals showed full conformity behavior.

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