Sample Essay

An article by Feldman in 2003 investigated the new conceptualization of authoritarian roles and how they affect the social roles and conformity of individuals. The study analyzed the effect of intolerance, the threat to social cohesiveness as well as the conflicting values of social roles and conformity which give rise to unrest and the change of an individual’s predisposition towards violent behavior and aggressive roles.

People are often seduced into evil by the incentives provided to them and the pressures that are enacted upon them in restricting situations. The most important factor therefore that determines the behavior of an individual pertains to the situation in which he is present in or the circumstances which are active at a particular time.  The restricting situations can promote conformity to different and negative roles for individuals by providing them with the ideology which justifies the values and beliefs for them under the circumstances, providing them with specific models of compliance as well as making its difficult for them to exit or come out of a particular situation. These factors influence the personal values of the individuals making them change their perception of the situation and conform to negative social roles. “Zimbardo noticed that in his own simulated jail experiment in 1971–the Stanford Prison Experiment–in which college students played the roles of prisoners or guards, and the guards became brutal and abusive toward prisoners after just six days, leading Zimbardo to prematurely end the experiment

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Essay: Academic Research on Social Conformity
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