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It is similar to normative influence, but is motivated by the need for social rewards rather than the threat of rejection, i.e., group pressure does not enter the decision to conform.: Sherif used a lab experiment to study conformity.
In contrast eastern cultures (such as Asian countries) are more likely to value the needs of the family and other social groups before their own.
They are known as collectivist cultures and are more likely to conform.
This occurs 'when an individual accepts influence because the content of the induced behavior - the ideas and actions of which it is composed - is intrinsically rewarding.
He adopts the induced behavior because it is congruent [consistent] with his value system' (Kelman, 1958, p. Internalisation always involves public and private conformity.
This is often referred to as groupthink: a pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics, which ignores realistic appraisal of other courses of action.
Unwillingness to conform carries the risk of social rejection.
Participants were then asked to estimate the number on their own again to find whether their initial estimates had altered based on the influence of the majority.
Jenness then interviewed the participants individually again, and asked if they would like to change their original estimates, or stay with the group's estimate.
He used the autokinetic effect – this is where a small spot of light (projected onto a screen) in a dark room will appear to move, even though it is still (i.e. It was discovered that when participants were individually tested their estimates on how far the light moved varied considerably (e.g. The participants were then tested in groups of three.
Sherif manipulated the composition of the group by putting together two people whose estimate of the light movement when alone was very similar, and one person whose estimate was very different.