Conformity Of Cult Essay

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Throughout history, members of cults have engaged in horrific activities, mainly including the suicide of themselves or murder and sacrifice of others. Researchers and the general public have always thought about what possesses people to do these types of things, and many times a reasonable answer cannot be found. Cults have one person, normally the leader, who they idolize and will do anything for. As soon as this person is established, members of the cult follow all the rules and ideas proposed by the leader. The truth of cults is that the people involved in them are simply conforming. Conformity is the concept of giving in to the normal standards that seem to have been set by the rest of the people around them. The major issue of conformity…show more content…
In relation to informational social influence, one kind of conformity, people are likely to privately accept others’ behavior and change their own to fall in line with that in order to keep themselves from standing out. They see others as a prime source of information. This type of social influence occurs in three situations relative to cults: in an ambiguous situation (for example, being a new cult member), in a crisis situation (for example, not wanting to go against the grain in fear of your death), or in a place where other people are experts (for example, those who idolize cult leaders see them as “all knowing”). For instance, the textbook mentions the mass suicide of the Jonestown cult in the middle of the 1970s. Residents of Jonestown lined up to drink a mixture of Kool-Aid and cyanide poison, even going so far as to provide their children with it as well, for their beliefs. It is unknown whether they truly wanted to die for their religion, or if they experienced the second type of conformity, normative social influence, the need to be accepted but having internal attitudes that remain
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