The behavior of the individuals effects their social roles as the specific punishments and rewards awarded to them based on their behavior directly influence the choice of the social role they are willing to conform to in order for attaining the rewards or avoiding the punishments. An article by Kelly and Shapiro investigated how the conformity in a specific situation can become harmful and detrimental for an individual as well as the group.
The study indicated that the conformity is usually based on the hypothesis that “a person who feels his membership in the group is highly valued by his associates, considers himself free to deviate from social norms without the usual sanctions for non-conformity being invoked. This freedom may not be exercised in the many situations where the highly valued member is satisfied with the opinions and behaviors supported by current mores. However, when one sees the limitations of prevailing norms and the advantages of social change, the person may utilize his freedom to deviate. Under these latter conditions the person will exhibit less conformity than members who feel less secure about how they are evaluated. An attempt is made experimentally to induce differences among group members in their feelings of being accepted by their fellows. Some are made to feel that they are completely accepted, and others that their acceptability is in doubt.” (Kelley & Shapiro, 1954)
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