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This chapter presents the different related literature and studies; both local and foreign, which supports the researchers on this study. It is also a review of the existing literature relevant to the topic of social conformity among adolescents. A. Related Literature (Foreign)
Adolescent’s social conformity can be described as the influence exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change his or her attitudes, values, or behaviors to conform to the group. A person affected by conformity may or may not want to belong to these groups. They may also recognize dissociative groups that they do not wish to belong to, and therefore adopt behaviors in opposition to those of the group (Adams, 1996). In the same vein, according to Harris (1998), conformity can cause people to do things they would not normally do, (e.g., use of alcohol, drugs, smoke, have a job, have children and buy expensive items). Additionally, while pressure from peer groups is undoubtedly influential, most teens choose friends that share common views about behaviors such as drinking or drug use. Pruitt (1999) stated that “the ‘good kid’ who falls in with the bad crowd is the exception, not the rule.”
Undergraff (2001) stated that adolescents spend more than half of their time in the company of their peers, and therefore it is not surprising that peers play an influential role in the adolescents’ lives. He added that credibility, authority, power and the influence of peers are greater during adolescence stage than any other time in life. Similarly Omeogun (2002) argued that the peer group is the unit of social life during adolescence; therefore, the adolescent’s personality is influenced by his/her social life and his/her group.
Experiences with peers constitute an important developmental context for adolescents (Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 2006). Adolescent’s experiences with peers occur on several different levels: general interactions with peers, friendships, and in groups. Social competence reflects a child’s capacity to engage successfully with peers at different levels. Related Studies (Foreign)
The classic work on conformity is the experiment conducted by Asch (1946). Subjects were placed in groups whose other members were secretly confederates of the researcher; they were asked to estimate the geometric length of a line by matching it with one of three lines after some of the other group members had given their opinion one at a time. In cases when the confederates unanimously endorsed a clearly wrong comparison line, about one-third of the tested subjects conformed to the wrong judgement of the false majority. Individuals in the control group (not under social pressure) answered correctly with a few exceptions.
Since then, social psychologists have developed several theories of conformity A conducted study among adolescents show findings supporting the notion that peer factors shows an important influence to the youth and consequences of adolescence just prior to entering college. (Wood et al, 2004). Moreover, on the longitudinal study (Bartholow, Sher, Krull, 2003) indicates that the related attitudes and behaviors of peers are significantly correlated with personal attitudes and behaviors of adolescents, a relationship that is most probably the result of both selection and socialization. “I find that social ties affect the role of an adolescent to conform. In addition, individual’s gains utility simply by making the same choice on their preferred group”, which explained by Basit Zafar, (2009), on his conducted study on New York entitled ‘An Experimental Investigation Why Individuals Conform’