Fashion is a fascinating phenomenon, largely because people 

Fashion is a fascinating phenomenon, largely because people seem to conform to its dictates. Be it clothing, footwear, accessories, makeup, hairstyle, home décor, lifestyle, and even body styles, people tend to go along with the latest trends.

Fashion is a fascinating phenomenon, largely because people

Week 7: Conformity: Influencing Behavior
People conform to social pressures for various reasons; perhaps they seek acceptance and approval, or they may conform because that is their natural preference. Conformity can be a good thing (e.g., conforming to workplace protocols builds group identity and cohesiveness); however, sometimes it is hard to explain the motive to conform when conformity means enduring something unpleasant or doing something that harms others. Conformity to fashion styles is one of the many examples of how the behavior of others can influence our own. Further, social psychologists are always seeking to understand how this influence can shape the choices that individuals make.

“Beauty is pain”—this is a popular expression that grossly understates problems associated with some fashion trends. For some, wearing high heels (especially stilettos) can increase knee and hip pain and can cause lower back pain, stress fractures, blisters, corns, hammertoes, bunions, and toenail fungus (Basha, Devi, & Priya, 2018). High heels can also permanently alter the structure of the foot and the rest of the body.

Notwithstanding these problems, you will find stiletto heels are touted as the trendy footwear for women with fashion sense in most fashionable shoe stores. Indeed, millions of women everywhere wear high heels every day and love them. They are willing to spend a fortune and bear the pain. When asked why, the answer, more often than not, “they make me look thinner and my legs look longer.”

This week, you will analyze social conformity to popular trends and also examine the reasons for conforming to authority.


Basha, F. Y. S., Devi, R. G., & Priya, A. J. (2018). A survey on comparative effects of wearing high heels among long-term and short-term users. Drug Invention Today, 10(11), 2244–2248.

Learning Objectives
Students will:
·      Firstly, Analyze social conformity to popular trends
·      Secondly, Analyze reasons for conforming to authority

Learning Resources
Required Readings
Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D., Akert, R. M., & Sommers, S. R. (Eds.). (2019). Social psychology (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Chapter 8, “Conformity and Obedience: Influencing Behavior”

Note: Viewing media and interactives embedded in the electronic version of this course text is not required for this course.

Aagerup, U. (2018). Accessible luxury fashion brand building via fat discrimination. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 22(1), 2–16.doi:10.1108/JFMM-12-2016-0116

Griskevicius, V., Goldstein, N. J., Mortensen, C. R., Cialdini, R. B., & Kenrick, D. T. (2006). Going along versus going alone: When fundamental motives facilitate strategic (non)conformity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(2), 281–294.

Doliński, D., Grzyb, T., Folwarczny, M., Grzybała, P., Krzyszycha, K., Martynowska, K., & Trojanowski, J. (2017). Would you deliver an electric shock in 2015? Obedience in the experimental paradigm developed by Stanley Milgram in the 50 years following the original studies. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8(8), 927–933.

Required Media

eqivideos. (2007, December 22). Asch conformity experiment [Video file]. Retrieved from Note: This media program is approximately 4 minutes.

Professor Ross. (2017, April 14). Brain games – conformity (Standing ovations) [Video file]. Retrieved from
Discussion 1: Conformity

Fashion is a fascinating phenomenon, largely because people seem to conform to its dictates. Be it clothing, footwear, accessories, makeup, hairstyle, home décor, lifestyle, and even body styles, people tend to go along with the latest trends. Media fashion images are inescapable; at supermarket checkouts, fashion magazine covers feature perfectly dressed, coifed, accessorized women and tanned, broad-shouldered, men with six-pack abs and bulging biceps. Additionally, most people do not look like this—but they try to—as evidenced by the billions spent yearly on clothes, cosmetics, diet plans, and gym memberships.
For this Discussion, you will examine social conformity as it applies to fashion trends.

To Prepare

·         Firstly, review the Learning Resources related to conformity and think about how social psychology theory and research explains why women and men conform to the pressures of fashion, diet, body styles, and lifestyles.

By Day 3
Secondly, post Informed by social psychology theory and research, please explain why, health reasons aside, women and men conform to the pressure of fashion dictates.

By Day 5
Respond to at least one of your colleagues and, informed by social psychology theory and research, please share pressures you have experienced to conform to fashion dictates.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the social psychology theory and research. In addition to the Learning Resources, search the Walden Library and/or Internet for peer-reviewed articles to support your post and responses. Further, use proper APA format and citations, including those in the Learning Resources.

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!

Further, return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights that you have gained as a result of your colleagues’ comments.


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