addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgooglegroupshelp-with-circleimageimagesinstagramlinklocation-pinm-swarmSearchmailmessagesminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1ShapeoutlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonShapeShapeShapeShapeImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruserwarningyahoo

Springfield Freethinkers Message Board General Discussion › Conformity/Nonconformity; Obedience to Authority; Gender Conformity; Confo

Conformity/Nonconformity; Obedience to Authority; Gender Conformity; Conforming to Nonconformity etc.

Don W.
user 12446118
Springfield, MO
Post #: 1,244
The issue of Conformity is a broad topic, but an important one, for anyone at all concerned about the retention of individuality in our culture. Many people seem to agree that some level of conformity is necessary for society to function. Others are concerned that an insistence on conformity erodes individuality.

Several studies have been done on the behavior of conformity. You'll find some examples in this psychology paper on Social Influence. This is an example of a theory of the behavior of conformity:

Social Impact Theory

This theory proposes that a person’s behaviour can be predicted in terms of three factors: I’ll use the Iraqi debate as a contemporary example:


A message is stronger if it is repeated by a lot of people who are all in agreement. This equates to Moscovici’s ‘consistency.’ You are more likely to be convinced that War on Iraq is right if all of your friends are in agreement.

Status and knowledge

The message will be strengthened if the person doing the convincing is an expert in the field. A person who has lived under the Saddam Regime is likely to be more convincing than a politician who has never visited the area.


The message will have more impact if it comes from friends rather than a strangers. Your friend trying to convince you of the need for war is going to have more impact than a bloke you’ve just met in the pub.

Some tentative findings from all this research are:

Personality, intelligence and gender

Students are found to be less conformist. This could be due to higher intelligence or to education that teaches independent thought and inquiry.

People who are measured high in ‘desire for personal control’ are less conformist than those measured lower.

Eagly & Carli (1981) found that women tend to be more conformist than men.

No one is more interested in promoting conformity than advertisers. Their ultimate goal in life is to convince everyone to be unthinking sheep and buy their products...prefferably in very large quantities. tongue

A couple of advertising strategies relying on conformity are presented in this paper. Probably the most common one is known as the Foot in the Door Technique:

The Foot-in-the-Door Technique (FITD) I

A person is more likely to agree to a larger request after agreeing to perform a smaller request than if the larger request is made by itself

A study by Freedman and Fraser (1966) was one of the first demonstrations of the foot-in-the-door technique (FITD)

Reasons why the FIDT technique works:

Self-perception hypothesis

Agreeing to the small request leads to subtle shifts in self perception: you come to see yourself as the type of person who helps

Agree to second, larger request, to be consistent with new self-image

In keeping with the above finding that women tend to be somewhat more conformist is some situations, it was discovered that conformity plays an important part in the aggression of women toward other women. You'll find it in this abstract. Here's the heart of it:

The purpose of the present study was to assess the influence of masculine and feminine gender role conformity on direct physical aggression in women. One-hundred eighty four women were recruited to compete in a sham aggression paradigm against either a hyperfeminine (gender role conforming) or hypofeminine (gender role violating) confederate woman. Results indicated that women evinced more physical aggression toward a hypofeminine woman than toward her hyperfeminine counterpart.

In other words, women tend to slam other women who don't fall in line with the socially accepted feminine norm. I've seen this myself many times.

Feel free to get a discussion going about some of this here or come to the Skeptics at the Coffeehouse meetup Monday November 5th at Big Momma's and join in the fun.
A former member
Post #: 42
the ladies at work hate me because I do not conform at all to their standards..but then again, I don't conform to many people's stadards either...ah well
A former member
Post #: 2,117
the ladies at work hate me because I do not conform at all to their standards..but then again, I don't conform to many people's standards either...ah well
No!...they are jealous of you, because you have TRUE standards and they have none of their own.
A former member
Post #: 43
ah, but they do have standards, my good man....they are Christians, they attend church, most I know have said they go to James River Assembly, or one of their other satellite churches....

back to the topic at hand:

my supervisor hates that I "hide" my toolbars, hates that my mouse is on the left, she can't sit in my chair because she says she feels like she is sitting on the floor. She hates my green ink pen, she hates my orange highlighter, she hates my fruit and veggies on Food Day.

My co-workers hate my Asian dragon clothing, because they feel like I am wearing demons and hexing the place. They don't like my Snake pendants, because that is my Chinese animal, and they feel like a snake is the lowest creature on the Earth, equating this to being of low character and sneaky. But, of course, not one of them have ever asked me what the Snake really means, and I do not expect them to, because it is not their culture.

The ladies have always told me that I will "never catch a man if you don't cook, or don't drive, or don't grow your hair out, or be more feminine". One co-worker went so far as to suggest that I might be confused about my gender, seeing that I can wear a dress and heels, but yet curse like a sailor and be a Marine some years ago. That I can talk football and baseball, but not bake a pie, or make simple me, a skillet is just another weapon...

I should stop now, I have so many more insults these ladies have said to me over the years, you all would be sitting here all night.

Oh, it doesn't stop at work either: I don't drive, so I ride the bus. I cannot count how many times men pull over to the side of the road and say: "hey, baby, c'mere, sucky sucky 5 dollars", or "hey baby, wanna date"? One fine citizen of Springfield even went so far to insinuate "I bet you married a Marine for your green card"....Christians, my ass....

one more: I have tried dating in this town, the men I have met either want to challenge me to a fight to prove that I really am a Marine, to show them some secret kungfu moves...or they want a "happy ending" and are disappointed when I don't "put out". They want Susie Homemaker and go hunting and fishing...neither of which is me, and so, I rest my case to prove that I am about as non-conforming as anyone can be in this area.
A former member
Post #: 2,118

My co-workers hate my Asian dragon clothing
WHAT??? wear dragon clothing??? I hate you...are you not aware the Asian dragons are on the endangered species list??? From what I understand they only use the skins of baby dragons under one year of age (before their first molt).
Springfield, MO
Post #: 22
You sound like an awesome person, Nan! cool
A former member
Post #: 44

My co-workers hate my Asian dragon clothing
WHAT??? wear dragon clothing??? I hate you...are you not aware the Asian dragons are on the endangered species list??? From what I understand they only use the skins of baby dragons under one year of age (before their first molt).

Asian dragons do not molt, the ones that molt are medieval dragons...there are major differences between Asian and medieval dragons, but that is a discussion for another topic. I don't want to de-rail Don's thread.
A former member
Post #: 45
You sound like an awesome person, Nan! cool

me, awesome? Gasp! Oh, don't let people hear you say that, especially not the ladies at work. You'll be shunned and excluded just from even speaking to me...

btw, not sure you all know this, there is a small movement going around to boycott Walmart because they sell cheap Chinese-made products. Since I am also Chinese-made, you ought to boycott me one citizen said to me a few weeks ago: "go back to China where you came from, and take yer Walmarts with you"........I shit you not, that came out of his mouth...

you all had a discussion a bit ago about Oriental Trading Company and their little Halloween toys instead of candy. I've been buying certain things from them for years, good stuff...
A former member
Post #: 2,119
....I've been buying certain things from them for years, good stuff...
What??? They sell adult novelties, Where TF did I put that catalog? (snicker,snicker)
A former member
Post #: 20
Hey Nan. Where do you work?? I have always had problems with people in general, women a bit more than men. I do wear skirts, have long hair, and do a bit of baking. It takes more than that. You need to do those things a certain way with the right attitude. Something I don't care to do. You must be mature if you are female. Don't get too excited about the "wrong" things. You should like"pretty" things, not leeches or snakes or ticks.

The christians want you to like Thomas Kinkaide and scented candles.You need babies. Babies and children are just new people and people are not too exciting, so why should really new people be so great. And besides, they get too loud. I know, I'm a woman, I should just naturally love the idea of babies. I do like kittens. They have pointy ears.

I never have figured out the whole fitting in thing and I don't think I want to. There is a lot of freedom being odd. I can spend my time with the wrong people, date whom I want, wear T-shirts with ticks on them, read what I want, and put a pink glittered George Washington in a sardine can on my wall instead of a pretty pastoral scene.

Having said all of that, I do want to say I'm not immune to the conformity bug. I feel hurt and left out, I sometimes hesitate to do things that will attract attention, I have a lot of self doubt. It's not easy to do what you want. If I had the ability to conform better maybe I would. Maybe my life would be easier. But ultra-conformist always seem to be missing out on something. You have to be very judgemental and dislike a lot of other people. It is human nature to do that to a certain degree. Conformity is natural. But so is Syphilis and who wants that?
Powered by mvnForum

Springfield, MO

Founded Nov 13, 2008

Help support your Meetup

Chip in


Board of Directors, Janis Haynes, Pam Adelmann, Todd

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy