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This makes sense because self-esteem rises when we know we are being accepted by others, and people with lower self-esteem have a greater need to belong. And people who are dependent on and who have a strong need for approval from others are also more conforming (Bornstein, 1992). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 785–800.
People who highly identify with the group that is creating the conformity are also more likely to conform to group norms, in comparison to people who don’t really care very much (Jetten, Spears, & Manstead, 1997; Terry & Hogg, 1996). Strength of identification and intergroup differentiation: The influence of group norms. The observed gender differences in conformity have social explanations—namely that women are socialized to be more caring about the desires of others—but there are also evolutionary explanations. Men may be more likely to resist conformity to demonstrate to women that they are good mates. Although we have focused to this point on the situational determinants of conformity, such as the number of people in the majority and their unanimity, we have not yet considered the question of which people are likely to conform and which people are not. In this section, we will consider how personality variables, gender, and culture influence conformity. They found that in pairs in which there was one man and one woman, the dominant man became the leader 90% of the time, but the dominant woman became the leader only 35% of the time. Transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles: A meta-analysis comparing men and women. Keep in mind, however, that the fact that men are perceived as effective leaders, and are more likely to become leaders, does not necessarily mean that they are actually better, more effective leaders than women. When the topic is sports, women tend to conform to men, whereas the opposite is true when the topic is fashion. Thus it appears that the small observed differences between men and women in conformity are due, at least in part, to informational influence. Taken together, this means that, at least when they are being observed by others, men are likely to hold their ground, act independently, and refuse to conform, whereas women are more likely to conform to the opinions of others in order to prevent social disagreement. These differences are less apparent when the conformity occurs in private (Eagly, 1978, 1983). Sex of authority role models and achievement by men and women: Leadership performance and recognition, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49, 636–653; Griskevicius, V., Goldstein, N.