In a complex multivariate study designed to explore the interactive effects of frequently demonstrated determinants of conforming behavior, both predispositional personality factors and situational conditional factors were investigated within a common framework. Two predispositional factors tendencies to respond to potential social influencers as sources of information, and as generators of norms for conventional or acceptable behavior and four situational factors task ambiguity, prestige of the influencer, goal-set in executing the task, and degree of commitment to discuss and defend expressed judgments were investigated. Observations of conforming behavior of 160 college students under various combinations of these conditions were made in contrived groups exposed to influence on their judgments of word synonyms in a paper-and-pencil test. The greatest significance of the investigation lies in the demonstration of considerable mutual interdependence among the factors investigated. A secondary contribution is derived from findings which suggest the nature of particular conditions under which particular variables especially personality factors operate differentially in governing the occurrence of conformity. Finally, there are several implications which support the differentiation of multiple motivational bases underlying the occurrence of overt conforming responses. Author
Technical rept. no. 7,
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