You are on page 1of 5

Submitting to Majority

The Human Insecurity
A man once approached me and said ‘I am but one voice in a crowd‘;
I replied to him ‘Than you are one step ahead of the rest’

Everybody wants to fit in. In a classist society if you are not one of the
elites, you are no one. From social clubs at school to church groups every
Sunday, people often find themselves striving to become accepted by their peers
and recognized as one of them. It is the ancient concept of peer-pressure, the
social pressure an individual feels to adapt to a groups ideal. The concept is
based in the overwhelming insecurities of humanity; no one can feel confident in
his or her own ideas unless those ideas are shared with someone else. Most
groups come with a set standard of thinking, the ideas that are believed to be
held by all individuals in the group. It is not that uncommon that this standard is
not true for many members in the group, but they will comply to the majority out
of fear that they are the only ones who think differently. This is not to say that all
people will conform to majority, there are several variables that would influence
the likelihood of group conformity, such as group size, number of dissenters, the
attractiveness of the group, and various personal characteristics. Experiments
by individuals such as Solomon Asch illustrate, quite accurately, that people tend
to go with the majority rather than dare venture on their own (SAC). People tend
to conform to the implicit and explicit norms of a group, succumbing to the all
mighty majority.
In some cases the mere size or nature of the group will cause a tendency

such as a football team or 4H club. larger groups lead to more conformity. know what is going on. meaning the members want to be liked. Therefore the group can have strong influences over the individual in this way. Human insecurity creates a doubt that one’s personal skill does not match that of their peers. No one looks to the new guy for sage-like advice. The person who has been around the longest should obviously. This is due to the idea of seniority. and would rather be among them than against them. When an individual is afraid of not being liked based on his answer. they will conform. conformity is a result of a lack of self-identity. when the members want to be conform. in the individual’s mind. those within tend to hold their membership in high regards and fear losing their status within the groups. Groups with a difficult entry process or specialized groups that focus on something with which the individual identifies with both hold high rates of conformity (“Conformity“). than that must be the way that he is supposed to . naturally. the very first person added to the group has the most influence. When an individual is afraid of being wrong. In a group with which the individual identifies with. with ever member added afterwards having less influence than the one before (Clarke 86). These influences can either be normative. so in an effort to preserve their status within the group. because there would be more people who would potentially not like you (Clarke 85). The individual believes that since other members in the group (who all hold personal similarities to the individual) act this way. The attractiveness of a group can also play a strong role. People find strength in numbers. or informative. In an honors club or other scholastic excellence club.

It can be said that it leads to sex at a young age and the overabundance of teen pregnancy.act as well. at the bar. No one wants to brake the ice by going against the grain. It has been used as the reasoning behind violence and crime. however. but once that line has been crossed. As stated before. men tend to be more stubborn. Every individual is different. in the park. and high in the desire to control the events in their lives are less likely to conform than their counterparts (Clarke 80-85). low self-monitors. People who are cognitively complex. For example. is to get that one individual to speak up when everyone in the group is waiting for someone else to do it. Females are more likely to conform than males. assertive. but no one is free from it. It is not that often that someone will. This is not to say that everyone is prone to conformity. at work. . it becomes easier for people to follow. In school. It has been labeled the fuel behind the tobacco industry. and not everyone is as susceptible. But not too many people have realized that it controls their everyday lives. The presence of even one person who will agree with the individual drastically reduce the likelihood of conformity (Southerly). at home. There are several personal factors that influence someone likelihood to conform. due to lack of self-identity and self-esteem associated with maturing. teenagers are more likely to conform than those older than them. people find strength in numbers. It is a problem that has been around for a long time. The problem. and this can sometimes work in someone’s favor. on the road. It has been said to control the sales and use of narcotics.

and like they say: “monkey see.htm. It is the nature of humanity to see something (“I see a bird“). http://www. March-Group Publishing. claiming a product is “popular”) is such an effective influential tactic.g. and out at the Date Accessed: April 30. WORKS CITED Clarke. There is no escape from peer-pressure. monkey do”. “Peer-Pressure Today”.(80-86) “Conformity”.at the bowling alley. proclaim it as fact (“That is a bird“).uk/text/psycho7. Alder. Society breeds copycats. and reflect it upon themselves (“How can I be like a bird?”). New York:1995.barquentine. legions of people who try to be like everyone else. Everyone sees actions as more appropriate when others are doing it. The world is full of monkeys. .freeserve.. This is why social proof (e. 2001. the majority is always there. Online.

Solomon Asch Center.fsu. 2001. Online.upenn.htm. Date Accessed: April 30. “Conformity”.umd. . Bill. 2001. Date Accessed: April 30. http://www.Southerly. “Solomon Asch”.