Social psychologists investigate how individuals can affect each other and impact their behavior. Social psychologists attempt to understand this behavior through . This includes the real, imagined, or symbolic presence of other people. We usually adapt our behavior to a current situation; this is known as . Generally, behavior depends heavily on two factors; and . One psychologist, Theodore Newcomb, studied how social norms affect political views on a college campus. He found that not only did the social norms of the campus society change many young, influential students’ political views for their four years at college, but the norms also persisted into adulthood. Twenty years later, graduated liberals had married liberals and were living liberal lives. This study showed that social norms can have both a powerful and lasting impression on people.
The is a classic example of social roles and social norms. In the Stanford prison experiment, no one was told their role, but they knew how to behave due to the preexisting they had developed. Sometimes, however, people make decisions based on by changing their behavior, attitude, and opinion to match those of others. found that people will conform to a group majority; he called this the . Asch also realized three factors that affect the individual to give in to group pressure: the size of the group, the presence of someone dissenting from the majority, and the size of the discrepancy between the right answer and the majority's choice. Below is a video of conformity at work at Arundel. Several students were told to look up at the ceiling. Others followed suit.