Sample Essay

The following principles play on fundamental human instincts and can be exploited both intentionally and unintentionally by professional influence agents.  Many of these may seem like obvious tactics that advertisers and influence agents will utilize to sway our opinion. However, when we are not prepared to scrutinize and resist them, these principles will often work subliminally and quite powerfully. Thus, an important part of resisting these common influence tactics is awareness of their fundamental operating principles, contexts in which they are most easily provoked, and the best methods to avoid falling prey to them.” (Zimbardo & Wang) These principles of social influence, as depicted by Cialdini pertain to the principles of reciprocity, commitment & consistency, the social proof, the element of liking, the present authority as well as the principle of scarcity.

Conformity to the different roles is not bad, however it is important to question the reason for conforming and analysis the justifications that one may have for conforming to the different social roles. This is because of the fact that “conformity can have deleterious effects if one conforms automatically without questioning of the validity of social norms. In Nazi Germany, many ordinary people did not dissent to the ongoing atrocities because few other people resisted. Similarly, in the Stanford Prison Experiment, the subjects who were randomly assigned as guards gradually adopted the behavior of cruel and demanding prison guards because that became the behavioral norm in an alien situation.” (Zimbardo & Wang)

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Essay: Impact of the Social Constructs on Conformity
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