Facebook-Conformity & Groupthink


I just finished my first prerequisite course – Fundamentals in Psychology – with an A+ I might add, and some of the concepts that we discussed in the class came to mind when I logged into the Book of the Face.


What I noticed was that Fac.e.book would make a great closed environment for a scientific social psychology study of conformity and groupthink.


Conformity – the act of yielding to social pressure; of matching attitudes, beliefs and behaviors to the group norm.


Groupthink – a phenomenon that occurs in groups where the desire for conformity; for consensus results in incorrect decision making or loss of ability for critical evaluation. The pressure to conform prevents debate; eliminates critical thinking.


FA.CE.BOOK = GROUPTHINK …A LOT and heaven forbid you are a non-conformist and/or actually apply critical thinking to a subject…more often than not you will be driven from that discussion, beat down, denigrated, insulted, blocked, unfriended. Happens all the time. If you don’t see it – perhaps you have succumbed to groupthink. You might just be conforming to the group.


Think about it. Do you just watch what others post – yeah, those opinionated post that get under your skin, that just make one-sided point without any discussion and also offer no solutions because you don’t want to rock the boat; make your friend mad; offer a solution that may raise the ire of said friend?


Do you just click like or add you affirmative comment; cosigning that picture/opinion/political piece without offering any context?


Do you enter into the discussion in the affirmative and then when someone else offers a dissenting opinion you jump down that persons throat with name calling, shade slinging and condescending quips in order to show how dumb and out of step with “mainstream” thinking that person is?


Have you ever been in the midst of an interesting yet heated debate on FB and just sat idly by saying NOT A DAMN THING in the thread while someone debating outside of  thought “norms” gets thrashed, but then contact them privately to commiserate? OH YEAH! I’ve seen that one. Heaven forbid you go against the thread norm and publicly come to the defense of the outlier. INTERESTING.


I didn’t have words to put to the phenomenon until after taking this class, debating with my classmates and watching videos of the results from some studies on conformity & obedience. Interesting stuff. Food for thought.


So…what say you? Can you see the groupthink and conformist nature of FB?