Social Question

CherrySempai's avatar

What acts of conformity do you see in everyday life?

Asked by CherrySempai (1139points) September 12th, 2010
21 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

I’m in a psychology class this semester, and we’re talking about social conformity right now. I find it really interesting just noticing all the little things during the day that show everyone conforming to something.

So, I wanted to see what everyone else sees, and thought I would share my question. :) How do you see people conforming every day?

People are even conforming when trying to not conform.

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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Obeying traffic signals is an act of conformity. Albeit, it’s a necessary one, but it’s still conformity.

marinelife's avatar

People picking up dog poop.

People going out to coffee houses and buying coffee.

People wearing brand name clothing.

I could go on and on.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Going to work on a daily basis.

le_inferno's avatar

People wearing gender-based clothing, facing the doors of the elevator instead of the back, sitting quietly in class and taking notes, raising your hand in class…

perspicacious's avatar

How are you? Fine.

Try answering this question with “horrible.” People don’t know how to respond to that.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Gender roles, laughing at what others think are crazy people, turning their nose up at the homeless, pretending to be religious/patriotic to sound like the group, small talk, flirting using lines out of Maxim or Cosmo, etc, etc. Also, you should read this.

CherrySempai's avatar

@perspicacious Wouldn’t they ask what’s wrong? Haha, that’s how I react at least.

@le_inferno We talked about the elevator thing, too. Which is weird, because I’ve been using an elevator in the last few weeks and I always face sideways with my back against the wall because I don’t want to look like I’m ignoring people. I guess that’s my own way of conforming. But my teacher told us all to do an experiment to take one step into the elevator, face everyone and put our hands on our hips with our chins up (kind of like a superman stance?) to see how they react. :) I’m looking forward to it.

AmWiser's avatar

Wearing seat belts.

anartist's avatar

Eating breakfast food at breakfast and dinner foods at dinner instead of mixing it up.
Conforming [within an acceptable range] to the dress codes of one’s workplace.
And, more interestingly, conforming to dress codes of friendship without knowing it. Maybe the clothes help make the friendship.

I watch people on the street a lot and often see two or more friends probably going out to lunch or something, and they all are wearing variations of the same thing, like sleeveless pastel print dresses and low heels [and I think secretaries going out to lunch together] or guys in very casual clothes that look somewhat sweaty and dirty and I think ‘construction workers on break’ even if they aren’t wearing hard- hats, or families that looked like they bought their clothes in the same store, or lovers that are dressed identically, etc. I think the conformity of costume is fascinating in all its permutations, and will reflect other conformities, such as ideas, types of places to live, attitude towards animals, television, politics etc.

Coloma's avatar


I might just try that too, I love psych experiments. lol

Cruiser's avatar

Cutting your grass to keep your property respectable….putting out your recycle bins once a week…turning the music down after 10 PM and not cutting the grass before 7 am…not parking in handicap parking spaces as much as you may want to…not strangling the next door neighbor as much as you may want to.

Coloma's avatar


All the things I don’t have to do because I live in the country. I would have a hard time adapting to the urban jungle again with all it’s conformities. lol

Cruiser's avatar

Well laaa dee daa miss country girl @Coloma! I get to watch my neighbors out my family room window….<<razzz>> ;))

perspicacious's avatar

@CherrySempai Actually we did this when I took Psych 101. It was amazing how people are not prepared to really respond to an answer other than fine. It’s just a trained response with no meaning. When someone says “thank you” to you, try saying “ok, but I didn’t really want to help you” or “you’re not welcome.” You’ll freak people out.

Ben_Dover's avatar

People who don’t rock the boat. Who refuse to stand up and say no to the evil folks running the US.

mrrich724's avatar

Going to work every day just to buy stuff and keep it in our house.

I wish I could do it but I guess I’m too socialized to bring myself to it: I have some friends from other countries who work a few months a year, save up all their money by doing things like living with their family (parents etc) and then have several 10’s of thousands of dollars to just travel for the next 6 months. They see the world!

But we go to work all year . . . to buy stuff.

sandalman's avatar

Well, students often are reluctant to answer questions in class, because they’re afraid of looking stupid.

Coloma's avatar



Yes, well, I have my challenges, just came in from a on & off all day search over 10 acres for my missing cat. I am sure he was snatched by the coyotes, I am terribly sad. Always tradeoffs.

CherrySempai's avatar

@perspicacious Haha, I’m going to have to try that out. I guess it’s just a personal thing for me to never say “fine.” I stick to things like wonderful, fabulous, dreadful, I’m not very happy to be alive right now, and things like that.

@mrrich724 Wow, your friends sound amazing! I doubt my parents would want me living with them for that long…and I have a love for electronics…but I would love to do that. :)

@sandalman I think I’m one of those students, but I don’t answer more because I don’t like voicing my opinion in front of a lot of people (my largest class is 20, though, and I’m still frightened…) The other students at my university don’t seem to have that problem, though. :(

@Cruiser Do you ever cut your lawn in funky patterns? My parents have now forbidden me to mow the lawn (something I love to do) because I always make a different design than line, diagonals, or boxes. I always thought my dad was just to lazy to make something fun, but apparently that is another form of conforming?

chocolatechip's avatar


Why would you face the back of the elevator instead of the doors?

Cruiser's avatar

@Coloma Awwww…so sorry to hear about your kitty! I have coyotes here too and a female has taken to my yard for her mid-day rest area.

@CherrySempai Yes I have and for the last 20 years I throw a summer party where I cut a 9 hole miniature golf course in my front lawn complete with hazards and obstacles and even a windmill made out of a ceiling fan!

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