2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Social Science

Walking Under the Influence: The effects of gender and social status on conformity
Katharine H. McIntyre* and Marc J. Harman
Dr. Terry Palmer, Faculty Mentor

The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of social status and gender on conformity. Earlier research presented by Gueguen and Pichot (2001) demonstrated how people are more likely to conform to a person of higher status when presented with a rule-like task. The current study tests subjects in an arbitrary setting. In this field study, subjects were exposed to one of four different confederate types: a male of high status, a male of low status, a female of high status, and a female of low status. The confederates were instructed to purposefully avoid a marked section of sidewalk, and subjects were observed as either conforming to this avoidance or disregarding the behavior, walking over the section. Researchers found that subjects were more likely to conform to the male of high status. In addition, subjects were more likely to conform to males of any status over females.

Keywords: conformity, gender, social status


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 11-2
Location: VH 1232
Time: 8:30

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