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Social Conformity in Online Environments: A Comparison Between Text and Video

, , , , , , , , Indiana Wesleyan University, United States

E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in Montréal, Quebec, Canada ISBN 978-1-880094-98-3 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), San Diego, CA


Social conformity is defined as movement from one’s own position to a contradictory position based on the expressed positions of others in a group (Cialdini & Trost, 1998). Asch (1955) discovered that roughly one-third of participants went against their judgment to agree with an incorrect response of confederates in their group. Additional studies since then have elucidated the factors associated with conformity in the physical world; however, research on social conformity in online environments is still evolving. Using Google+ Hangout, this experimental study examined social conformity in both synchronous textual and video online environments. Although no statistical difference was found between the two groups, participants in both conditions conformed. Interestingly, participants were equally likely to conform in the text condition as in the video condition. This project adds to the general literature on conformity, as well as direction for future research.


Devers, C., Steenbergh, T., Devers, E., Brighton, R., Ayers, B., Carmichael, E., Keen, J. & Hannum, P. (2012). Social Conformity in Online Environments: A Comparison Between Text and Video. In T. Bastiaens & G. Marks (Eds.), Proceedings of E-Learn 2012--World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 1 (pp. 1777-1781). Montréal, Quebec, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved December 14, 2018 from .

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