ERIC Number: ED245136
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Perceived Symbols of Authority and Their Influence on Conformity.
Bushman, Brad J.
Although there are many variables that influence conformity, Bickman (1974) found that the apparel of the person making a request had a significant influence on conformity. To evaluate other factorswhicn may influence conformity (gender, age, status of the conforming subject, and altruism in conforming), 150 adult pedestrians (45% female, 71% white) participated in a replication of Bickman's dime and parking meter study on a major street in Salt Lake City, Utah. Subjects were approached by one of three men representing different authority roles and statuses (no authority dressed as a blue collar worker; status authority dressed as a businessman; and role authority dressed as a fireman), and told to give the experimenter a dime for the parking meter. Data on type of conformity and reasons for nonconformity were collected. An analysis of the results showed that conformity significantly increased as perceived authority increased. Female subjects were not significantly more altruisitc than male subjects. Older subjects (over 30 years) conformed significantly more than younger subjects in the role authority condition. No significant difference between subject status, as determined by apparel, and conformity was observed. Altruistic conformity was signficantly less as perceived authority increased, and nonconforming subjects were significantly less hostile as perceived authority increased. The latency between request and conformity decreased as perceived authority increased. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Authority Figures
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Northern Rocky Mountain Educational Research Association (1st, Jackson Hole, WY, October 13-15, 1983).