Conformity and Deviation

Conformity and Deviation

Conformity and Deviation

Conformity and Deviation

Excerpt

Back about 1700, William Penn wrote in "Some Fruits of Solitude": "It is reasonable to concur where conscience does not forbid a compliance; for conformity is at least a civil virtue. But we should only press it in necessaries, the rest may prove a snare and a temptation to break society. But above all, it is a weakness in Religion and Government, where it is carried to things of an indifferent nature. . . . Liberty is always the price of it. Such conformists have little to boast of, and therefore the less reason to reproach others that have more latitude."

Thus concern with conformity is not new on the American scene. What is new is the ever-growing body of experimental evidence on the subject, a direct result of the pioneering work of Solomon Asch and Muzafer Sherif. Accordingly, a symposium on conformity and deviation was organized with the aim of presenting the latest theoretical and experimental contributions of leaders in this area of research, including pioneers Asch and Sherif. The symposium was held at Louisiana State University in March, 1960, and the present book is the result. This collection of hitherto unpublished papers includes the most recent research developments in the social psychological facets of conformity and deviation as a matter of course and, as a matter of increasing significance, certain clinical-experimental investigations as well.

In large part, this assembly of social scientists was made possible by the financial support of the Louisiana State De partment of Hospitals . . .

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