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Conformity, Anticonformity, and Independence: Their Dimensionality and Generality NICHD

Jackson, Douglas N.; Messick, Samuel J.; Stricker, Lawrence J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
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Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institute of Mental Health, Ontario Mental Health Foundation, Conformity, Group Dynamics, Peer Influence, Personality Traits, Psychological Studies


This study examined the dimensionality of responses to group pressure and their generality across procedures employing different kinds of social situations and experimental tasks. Two group pressure procedures were based on the Asch situation (counting clicks and responding to attitude items), and two procedures involved questionnaires with fictitious average answers (estimating probabilities of events and responding to attitude items). Conformity, anticonformity, and independence responses on each of these four procedures were factor analyzed, separately for subjects unsuspicious about the deceptions employed in these devices and for suspicious subjects. Conformity and independence appeared to represent a bipolar dimension, but anticonformity seemed to be a distinct dimension. These responses were not consistent across procedures; the devices functioned differently, particularly for the unsuspicious subjects.

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