Age differences in response to conformity pressure for emotional and nonemotional material

Psychol Aging. 1999 Mar;14(1):170-4. doi: 10.1037//0882-7974.14.1.170.


Most theories of social influence do not consider adult development. Theoretical and empirical work in life span developmental psychology, however, suggests that age may reduce susceptibility to social influence. The present study examined age differences in social conformity for 2 classes of stimuli: judgments of geometric shapes and emotional facial expressions. As predicted, older people, compared with their younger counterparts, displayed lower rates of social conformity, and this age difference was most evident when judging emotional facial expressions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged / psychology*
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Facial Expression
  • Female
  • Freedom
  • Humans
  • Judgment / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Social Conformity*
  • Social Control, Informal
  • Social Perception