Social conformity persists at least one day in 6-year-old children

Sai Sun, Rongjun Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Humans have a tendency to forgo their own attitudes or beliefs in order to better align with the interests of a majority, a behavioral process known as conformity. Social conformity has been widely studied among adults and adolescents, whereas experimental studies on the impact of peer influence among young children have been relatively limited. The current study aims to investigate both short-term and sustained conforming behaviors among children in situations of relatively low social pressure. Forty-one children aged 5 to 6 years rated the attractiveness of 90 faces presented serially followed by witnessing a group rating in the absence of peers. Subsequently, second judgement was made after 30 minutes (Experiment 1). Results show that 6-year-old children tended to conform to their peers when group ratings differed from their own ratings, while younger children did not. In Experiment 2, children were required to make the second judgment one day after exposure to group ratings. Similarly, children aged 6 years exhibited a sustained conformity effect even after one day. Our findings suggest that 6-year-old children spontaneously change their private opinions under implicit social influence from peers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39588
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • General


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