a brief description of a contemporary example from the news…

a brief description of a contemporary example from the news in which people did or did not demonstrate conformity or obedience. Use a theory discussed in Chapter 8 to explain how or why the behavior illustrates conformity or obedience. Use information from Chapter 9 to explain how being in a group might influence behaviors in your example. That is, in your example, how might group processes, characteristics, or functions explain behavior?

Title: Examining Conformity and Obedience in Contemporary Contexts

Human behavior is inherently influenced by social factors, such as conformity and obedience, which play significant roles in shaping our actions and decisions. This essay aims to analyze a recent news event, applying the principles of conformity and obedience as discussed in Chapter 8, and incorporating insights from Chapter 9 to explore the impact of group processes on behavior.

Example: The COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign

One contemporary example that can be analyzed through the lens of conformity and obedience is the rollout and reception of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns worldwide. Vaccination campaigns have witnessed varying degrees of conformity and obedience among individuals and groups, offering an insightful case study into the dynamics of social influence and collective behavior.

Conformity in the Vaccination Campaign:
In the context of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, conformity refers to the tendency of individuals to adjust their behaviors, opinions, or beliefs in line with the perceived norms or expectations of the larger social group. Various theories and experiments discussed in Chapter 8 can help explain the different manifestations of conformity observed during this period.

Firstly, Solomon Asch’s experiments on conformity highlight the powerful influence of majority opinions on an individual’s decision-making process. In relation to the vaccination campaign, individuals may conform to the prevailing social consensus by getting vaccinated, especially when faced with pressure or expectations from the larger society or community. They may do so to avoid social isolation or ostracization, as those who refuse to conform may be stigmatized as non-compliant or jeopardizing public health.

Moreover, Informational Social Influence (ISI) can elucidate why individuals conform to vaccination norms. According to this theory, individuals conform because they believe that the majority’s opinion accurately reflects reality. If trustworthy and authoritative sources present vaccination as essential for public health, individuals are inclined to conform and accept the vaccination without critically evaluating other perspectives. The prevalence of vaccination campaigns backed by scientific consensus can bolster conformity among individuals who perceive this information as credible.

Additionally, Normative Social Influence (NSI) can explain compliance with vaccination campaigns due to the desire for social acceptance, affection, and approval. Individuals may choose to conform to the expectations of their peers, family, or larger community, as not doing so could result in social rejection or disapproval. The fear of being deviant or isolated from the group encourages conformity, leading individuals to participate in vaccination campaigns irrespective of their personal beliefs.

Obedience in the Vaccination Campaign:
While conformity focuses on social influence through alignment with group norms, obedience emphasizes the compliance with authoritative figures or orders. In the context of the vaccination campaign, obedience can manifest in individuals accepting and adhering to government mandates or expert advice regarding vaccination.

Stanley Milgram’s experiments on obedience provide insights into how individuals may follow authority figures in the vaccination campaign. Milgram’s research demonstrated that people tend to obey orders even if they result in harm to others when instructed by a perceived legitimate authority. In the vaccination campaign, government officials, public health experts, and healthcare professionals assume the role of authority figures, issuing guidelines and recommending vaccination. Obedience to their directives can lead individuals to comply with vaccination requirements, trusting that these figures possess accurate knowledge and understanding of public health measures.

Group Processes in the Vaccination Campaign:
Chapter 9 explores how being in a group can influence individual behaviors, emphasizing the significance of group processes, characteristics, and functions. The vaccination campaign provides a compelling case study to examine the impact of group dynamics on individual behavior during public health crises.

Group processes, such as social facilitation and social loafing, can influence behaviors related to the vaccination campaign. The presence of others may enhance motivation and commitment to getting vaccinated through social facilitation. When individuals witness fellow group members receiving the vaccine, it can create a positive social influence that reinforces conformity and encourages others to act similarly. On the other hand, social loafing may operate when individuals rely on the collective effort of others without taking individual responsibility for getting vaccinated, leading to decreased motivation and overall compliance. Group dynamics, therefore, play an essential role in shaping behavior during the vaccination campaign.

The COVID-19 vaccination campaign exemplifies the principles of conformity and obedience, providing a rich context to explore the influence of social factors on individual behavior. Theory-based explanations derived from Chapter 8 shed light on the process of conformity and obedience in this context, while insights from Chapter 9 highlight the impact of group processes on behavior during public health campaigns. By understanding these dynamics, policymakers and stakeholders can better design communication strategies and interventions to encourage desired behaviors and achieve successful vaccination campaigns.