Every time I go to make some shopping with my dear mom I observe something very strange. I always thought that it must be a coincidence but it happens every time to us. When we enter a shop my mom`s attention gets captured by different products, so she takes a closer look at those.
In the moment she decides to step to the region with the desired product usually no person is there. She reaches for the product to look at it, and in meanwhile I do not from where a crowd of people arrives around her who suddenly seems to have the same interest for the product. People trying to even touch the product before my mom has taken it into her hands, they take two or three products into their baskets, and it all ends up with my mom hardly making it out of the middle of the crowd.
Other times we have seen that when she is looking at some products and someone else appears also interested in the same one and my mother puts it down and leaves the region the other also looses one`s interest and leaves suddenly the space.
Sometimes like in the shopping situation we people behave like a herd of sheep. We watch around us and see how the other people behave and orient ourselves according to what they are doing. We use them as a source of information, to get to know how to behave correctly. We enter a shop and first of all we get confused, because we do not know what the shop exactly contains, what new offers it makes, what new advantageous products there are… So we watch what others do, inform us by their behavior and do the same kind of stuff. We act in conformity with the others – this is called so in psychology.
The next time you go shopping take a closer look at what people are doing around you, and maybe you will discover the same effect. If you like to find out more interesting details about conformity in our daily life, please have a look at the book “Social Psychology” by Aronson and Colleagues.