Conformity effect sizes are smaller on the frontier

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Abstract

In recent years cultural psychology has expanded its approach to include the study of withincultural variation. The present study explored the consequences of frontier settlement forcontemporary regional variation in conformity in the USA. Consistent with the Voluntary Settlement Hypothesis, effect sizes in studies using classic experimental conformity paradigms in frontier states were found to be smaller than effect sizes in non-frontier states. Further, state-level conformity in experimental settings was found to correlate with state-level prevalence of popularnames (a behavioral indicator of conformity) suggesting that regional variation in conformity in lab settings is related to regional variation in deliberate real-world decisions that reflect a preference for conformity or uniqueness. Implications for advertising and persuasive messages are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-364
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cognition and Culture
Volume12
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

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Keywords

  • Conformity
  • culture
  • frontiers
  • regional variation
  • uniqueness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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