Effect of Gender and Personality Type on the Level of Conformity

 Introduction

Humans conform. Humans have the tendency to listen, evaluate and makes judgments based on their analysis of the situation. However, our ability to judge changes when it comes to conformity; we Conform, with little or no reflection. We simply adopt many functionless and meaningless fads of those around us. As human, we not only conform to random fashions but also conform to the opinions held b majority of people that we tend to believe are better than us (Haun, D. B., & Tomasello, M., 2011). Experimentally proven demonstration explains that individuals deliberately give false responses to conform to the flawed majority has sparked in the decades of researches and scientific discourse (Asch, 1956; Cialdini, R., & Goldstein, N., 2004). In contrast to the conformity in choosing a random fashion what majority follows, it has been called as strong conformity. Despite of the fact that conformity generally has a negative meaning attached to it, it also serves significant function in the transmission of the human culture by promoting quick and stable within group uniformity (Henrich, N., & Henrich, J., 2007).

Gender role and associated rules and standards basically guide normative behaviors that are acceptable to society. These roles guides and constrains masculine and feminine behaviors that are socially acceptable (Mahalik, 2000). In the similar way, social norms influences people to adapt and engage in specific socially acceptable behaviors and when male and females operate in same fashion as they are being expected too, then they are more socially adaptable o the environment they live in. As a result, males and females come to learn what is expected of them when living their gendered lives (Mahalik, J. R., Locke, B. D., Ludlow, L. H., Diemer, M. A., Scott, R. P., Gottfried, M., & Freitas, G., 2003). Similarly, Gender conformity is construct first discussed late 19’s within the field of psychology by Kohlberg (1966) as necessary for the healthy development. However, this claim was later criticized by feminist psychologist for associating a particular behavior to only one gender and also by associating gender conformity with rigidity and also highlighting the fact that the cost of gender conformity is particularly attached by to the females (Bem, 1993; Katz, P.A. and Ksansnak, K.R., 1994). Similarly, to explain the gender conformity, Kessler and McKenna (1978) in their analysis of transsexual accounts of gender in social interaction linked the gender conformity and non-conformity. Their experiment proved that the transgender and non-transgender folks were alike and concluded that gender is no a natural reality rather it is social construct and gender role is a social accomplishment preserved in binary gender system that is male and female.

Theoretically explained phenomenon of masculinity femininity actually broadens the study of the relationships between the personality and psychosocial factors involved between men and women as the personality difference among the gender are solely predicted by the social environment and assigned gender roles. Although, the study of gender in association to the personality type is a widely discussed domain as many researchers have explained how the gender roles have specified personality traits and variability of the personality type among males and females (Balgiu, 2003).

Researches on personality differences between men and women using Eysenck and Big Five model, many researchers claimed that males and females are similar in many regards but not in all personality traits (Maccoby, E. E., & Jacklin, C. N., 1974; Feingold, 1994; Lynn, R., & Martin, T., 1997; Costa, P. T., Terracciano, A., & McCrae, R. R., 2001). Millon (1990) suggested that evolutionary concepts are insufficient to distinguish and shape sex differences, contending that personality characteristics are the result of cultural values and social learning as much as of genes and biological factors. Therefore, the differences between men and women are the outcome of biological and sociocultural factors. The conceptual framework of personality style captures the diversity of the stable behaviors that human tends to depict I their normal day to day lives. Contrary to the view regarding the personality traits, personality styles are the dimension subjected to change with the passage of time. These personality styles emphasizes on how people tend to live their live, adapt in the unusual environment, given the complexity of this adaption.

The study aims to investigate the effect of gender and personality type on conformity. These three variables were experimented altogether to understand that to what extent the personality type, such as extroversion or introversion predicts the increase or decrease in the conformity score and how much level of conformity variates among male and females. Based on the review of literature, we choose gender, personality type and conformity to gender roles inventory as they provide a unique perspective for the study. Specifically, we suggest that there is a meaningful difference between the personality type and conformity scores between men and women (Hypothesis 1), however, gender is a determining factor in development of personality (Akrami, N., Ekehammar, B., & Yang-Wallentin, F., 2011). Men differ from women in conforming regardless of personality type (Hypothesis 2). Finally, the level of conformity varies among the introversion and extroversion (Hypothesis 3).

 

Methodology

 

Participants

The study included 200 participants (100 males and 100 females) making it easier to create two different groups segregating among males and females to keep the number of participant same in each comparison. The final sample selected was total 180 participants (n=180), 90 males and 90 females. In the final group, the mean age for males and females was 27.99 (SD=8.246) and 22.90 (SD=5.167), respectively, ranging from 18 years to 37 years in females and from 18 years to 45 years in males. All the participants ranged on their intellectual level from 91-130 which was normal IQ for all the participants stating their intellectual capabilities in normal range.

Design

The methodology will be Quantitative Research Methodology, as Horna (1994) stated that quantitative research methodology tends to assume that the human behaviors can be explained and understand in terms of social facts that can be deduced through different methodology (Amaratunga, D., Baldry, D., Sarshar, M., & Newton, R. , 2002).  To understand the quantitative research methodology, it is important to comprehend and given an appropriate overview of the research is all about (Apuke, 2017). It is a holistic step (Williams, 2011) that deals with quantifying and analysis of the variables in order to the get results of the desired questions (Apuke, 2017) as it involves the utilization of numerical data using specific statistical technique to answer the questions such as who, what, how much, when, how many and how.

The purposed quantitative research design will be the Survey method as the research question implies to analyze that how the gender impact the intensity, symptoms, rate, and coping mechanisms of depression so conducting a survey to collect the organized information. According to Sukamolson (2007) Survey Research includes the utilization of the scientific sampling method with a structured questionnaire to measure a given population’s characteristics by using scientific method.

Procedure

The study was conducted on a nonrandom sample of voluntary participants ranging in a variety of age. The survey was administered on the participants belonging to different backgrounds, working professionals from health related and social service, and students studying psychology or social sciences course in university. The participants gave informed consent after being briefed about the aim of investigation, also, a description of the study was provided to participants. Alternatives, such as right to withdraw from any part of the study without consequences were also guaranteed. The participants were informed about the risk and benefits of the study and promised anonymity of their data. Participants were requested to be as honest as possible. The time to complete the survey questionnaire was 45 minutes.

 

Results

(Hypothesis 1)

There is a meaningful difference between the personality type and conformity scores between men and women.

The results obtained for men and women meaningful difference was compared using the ANOVA test. The effected size was tested by using SPSS ANOVA. The results showed that there is a significant difference between the personality type and conformity scores for males as (F(1,88)= 18.204, p=0.000). The ANOVA test revealed that the conformity scores in introvert males (M= 18.028, SD= 3.551) was less than the extroverted males (M= 21.104, SD=3.295).  However, the result obtained from females participants had no significant difference among the personality type and conformity score (F(1,88)=0.54, p=0.817). The results of hypothesis 1 was partially supported predicting that personality type thus affect the conformity score in males stating extroverted males tends to conform more than the introverted males, whereas, the personality type shows little or no significant effect on females. Hence, females’ conformity does not rely on the personality type.

(see Table 1 & 2)

Gender/ Personality Type Introvert Extrovert
Mean Standard Deviation Mean Standard Deviation
Male 18.028 3.551 21.104 3.295
Female 19.34 3.99 19.53 3.96

Table 1 Gender & personality type

 

ANOVAa
Conformity score
Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
Between Groups .849 1 .849 .054 .817
Within Groups 1393.251 88 15.832
Total 1394.100 89
Gender = Female
Conformity score
Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
Between Groups 212.545 1 212.545 18.204 .000
Within Groups 1027.455 88 11.676
Total 1240.000 89
Gender = Male

Table 2 Conformity Score

(Hypothesis 2)

Men differ from women in conforming regardless of personality type

The result of this hypothesis that whether conformity varies among then gender or rather there is a difference among the conformity of men and women was test by using ANOVA. The results predicted that there is a no significant difference between the conformity score among male and females F (1, 178) = 0.166, p=0.685. The result of Hypothesis 2 does not support the claim that Men differ in conformity scores from women as result predicts no difference among them.

ANOVA
Conformity score
Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
Between Groups 2.450 1 2.450 .166 .685
Within Groups 2634.100 178 14.798
Total 2636.550 179

 

 

 

(Hypothesis 3)

The level of conformity varies among the introversion and extroversion

The level of conformity among the personality type was tested through ANOVA. The result indicated that there is a significant difference among the level of conformity between the personality type (F (1, 178) = 8.602, p=0.004). The result showed that the difference in conformity score predicted that introverts (M=18.719, SD= 3.825) and extroverts was (M=20.362, SD= 3.692). The result completely supported the hypothesis 3 as they level of conformity score varied among the introverts and extroverts as the extroverts tends to conform easily with others which may be due to multiple other factors as well.

 

ANOVA
Conformity score
Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
Between Groups 121.540 1 121.540 8.602 .004
Within Groups 2515.010 178 14.129
Total 2636.550 179

 

 

Discussion

 

Conformity serves a critically important function in the society as it plays a valuable role in the transmission of the human culture by promoting quick, stable and immediate in-group uniformity to stabilize the diversity in the community (Boyd, R., & Richerson, P., 2009; Henrich, 1998; Henrich, N., & Henrich, J., 2007; Richerson, P., & Boyd, R., 2005).  Researcher Van Schaik et al. (2003) stated that no other animal exhibits conformity the way human being does. According to him, even the other greater apes, having the most cognitively flexible nonhuman animals display a smaller number of stable behavioral differences across the group.

The study was situated in the context of analyzing how much the conformity score varies among the gender and personality type. The differences found between the males and females with extroverted and introverted personality type in the study (Hypothesis 1) predicted the general trend that was closely related to the previous findings (Bonilla-Campos, A., & Castro-Solano, A., 2000). The study stated the women already have more organized orientation toward the pessimism and are generally more fulfilling toward the needs of others. Similarly, their thinking patterns are trained to follow their personal values and feelings and their behavior is more styled into being shy and fearful of the social rejection thus they have an innate tendency to bond quickly to the defined boundaries and thus readily conform to the society norms despite of being the introvert or extrovert. They tendency to relate with others and conformity to the societal norms have nothing to do anything with being introvert or extrovert in case of females as they are nurtured in such ways (Sánchez-López, M. P., Cuéllar-Flores, I., Limiñana, R., & Corbalán, J., 2012). However, this trend changes when it comes to males. Men, in general are motivationally oriented toward the optimism and thinking about themselves, satisfying their need before of others. Thinking pattern in men are more toward evaluating things logically and are more reflexives in processing information present around them thus their personality plays an important role in the variation among conformity scores. As extroverted men sought to have more social attention and may be more demanding and manipulative or manipulated in a social relationship thus stating that extroverted men tends to conform more readily then the introverted men. The personality differences among males tends to utilize the level of conformity among them as males who are more social and have many social relationships tends to easily conform then those who have restricted social surroundings (Sánchez-López, M. P., Cuéllar-Flores, I., Limiñana, R., & Corbalán, J., 2012).

Regarding the effect of gender o the conformity regardless of being introvert or extrovert (hypothesis 2), the results confirmed that gender has no effect on the conformity score being men and women negating the hypothesis altogether. Similarly, many researches do claim that females who conform less tend to have less difference in personality types with men. The impact of gender in the social influences and conformity has not been completely understood by the researchers (Eagly, 1983). It will be argued in many articles that relation between gender and conformity has been documented in the research literature on sex differences as well as in the literature on stereotypes about male and female behavior .Studies of both types have pointed to greater influence by men and greater influence ability of women, although in laboratory experiments these sex differences in behavior typically are very small. However, the present analysis does not claim any of the researches true. Thus, it can be concluded that the conformity affect both genders equally, the level of conformity may differ at individual level but collectively it affects both genders equally.

Lastly, the effect of personality type on conformity score (hypothesis 3), the results showed that the compliance to certain norms may results because of having certain personality type. The result indicated that extroverts tends to conform more as due to being more socially active and influenced by their social surrounding more quickly as compare  to the introverts because of the fact that they tends to have less people around them thus it reduced the social pressure for them to conform.

Together, the results clearly indicated that the social learning of gender and personality type plays an important role in defining conformity to gender norms. This would mean, the greater or lower compliance to given set of norm is widely dependent to the personality types and thus regardless of sex, the degree of conformity to these norms establishes differences between people, even within the same sex. Hence, we can state that our data suggest that gender socialization and personality type plays an important role in understanding conformity between men and women.

 

Conclusion

However, in this study, personality types predict conformity. It confirms importance of applying a multidimensional approach to the study of gender roles and differences between men and women, which furthers our understanding of the diversity of gender role norms (DiDonato, M. D., & Berenbaum, S. A., 2011). The findings suggested that the personality type affect the level of conformity in the presented sample. It could not be stated that it completely predicts whole populations. However, the study does explain that level of conformity is not affected by being either males or females explaining that conformity may depend on other multiple factors such as social interactions, level of suggestibility, or other factors. But solely gender does not explain that conformity is more in males or females. Concluding the fact that conformity occurs regardless of the gender one belongs. However, personality types do affect the conformity score as having more social relations increases the likelihood to be more complaint toward one’s social setup than having lesser would do.

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