When group members admit to being conformist: the role of relative intragroup status in conformity self-reports
Hornsey, Matthew J.
University of Exeter
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Five studies examined the hypothesis that people will strategically portray the self as being more group influenced the more junior they feel within the group. Among social psychologists (Study 1), ratings of self-conformity by group members were greater when the status of the participant was low than when it was high. These effects were replicated in Studies 2, 3, and 4 in which relative intragroup status was manipulated. In Study 3, the authors found junior group members described themselves as more conformist than senior members when they were addressing an ingroup audience, but when they were addressing an outgroup audience the effect disappeared. Furthermore, junior members (but not senior members) rated themselves as more conformist when they were led to believe their responses were public than when responses were private (Study 5). The discussion focuses on the strategic processes underlying low-status group members’ self-reports of group influence and the functional role of conformity in groups.
Authors' draft; final version published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Vol. 32, No. 2, 162-173