Essay on Conformity and Political Control

Essay on Conformity and Political Control

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The political system in the United States of America is ruled by a two party system that is currently fighting for control of the economy and government. In the last century the country has been involved in several conflicts including two world wars and the cold war, which permanently instilled fear and terror in the American psyche. After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, the economy was brought to the edge of failure leaving a bi-partisan political system with the attitude that there is either a democratic or republican solution to the many problems Americans face as a nation. Due to the fact that there is so much at stake, both political parties have resorted to tactics that prey on the fact that human beings usually conform to others. Although there are many explicit forms of conformity, there are also implicit forms of conformity that affect the attitudes and behavior of people on a subconscious level.
The major problem with the modern bi-partisan political system is that it is fundamentally built on the idea that people will conform to others that are associated with them socially. Chartrand and Bargh completed one of the more famous experiments on conformity in 1999 where they were able to illustrate that people mimicked the reactions of others just by observing them on camera from another room (Kassin, 1999, p.253). Chartrand and Bargh were able to illustrate that people will mimic the mannerisms of other around them on an unconscious level (Chartrand, 1999, p.894). The significant finding of this experiment is that the behaviors that were mimicked unconsciously. The phenomena of people unconsciously mimicking others on larger social scale can have a disturbing effect on the political atmosphere in America.

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...n, S., Fein, S., Markus, R. (2011). Social Psychology. California: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Griskevicius, V., Goldstein, N. J., Mortensen, C. R., Cialdini, R. B., & Kenrick, D. T. (2006). Going along versus going alone: When fundamental motives facilitate strategic (non)conformity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(2), 281-294. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.91.2.281
Velden, F., Beersma, B., & De Dreu, C. W. (2007). Majority and minority influence in group negotiation: The moderating effects of social motivation and decision rules. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(1), 259-268. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.92.1.259
Pronin, E., Berger, J., & Molouki, S. (2007). Alone in a crowd of sheep: Asymmetric perceptions of conformity and their roots in an introspection illusion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(4), 585-595. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.92.4.585

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