Caving in to social pressure -- such as saying that you love a movie because friends do -- makes for good vibes about being part of a group and can produce more of the same conduct, according to a Baylor University sociological study. The finding has implications for people ranging from philanthropists to gangs, researchers said.
"The punch line is very simple: Conformity leads to positive feelings, attachments, solidarity -- and these are what motivate people to continue their behavior," said Kyle Irwin, Ph.D., an assistant professor of sociology at Baylor and lead author. The research, funded by the National Science Foundation, explores conformity and contributions for the "greater good." It is published in the sociology journal Social Forces.