Moral Conformity under Different Forms of Virtual Pressure

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Abstract

The article presents the results of a study aimed at investigating the influence of two forms of virtual group pressure (depersonalized and personalized) on the manifestation of moral conformity. The experimental material consisted of two types of moral scenarios, where participants were asked to assess the acceptability of certain behaviors. Depersonalized pressure was implemented by informing participants, filling out an online form, about the percentage of people responding in a certain way to the presented moral scenarios. As for the personalized form of pressure, a situation simulating interactions among individuals in instant messaging systems (messengers) was utilized. The study involved 112 participants, with 20 of them forming the pilot study sample and 92 — the main experimental sample. The results indicate that social pressure in the virtual environment leads to the emergence of a conforming response, with personalized pressure in real-time having a stronger influence than passive exposure to depersonalized data. The obtained results are explained within the framework of the biological theory of social pressure, which views conforming behavior as a strategy to optimize metabolic costs. The manifestation of a conforming response for both types of moral scenarios and the absence of gender differences in its expression suggest the potential universality of this strategy.

General Information

Keywords: moral conformity, virtual group pressure, depersonalized pressure, personalized pressure, social influence, virtual environment

Journal rubric: Psychology of Digital Reality

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/exppsy.2024170108

Funding. The reported study was funded by the Russian Science Foundation, project № 23-28-00771, https://rscf.ru/project/23-28-00771/.

Received: 28.07.2023

Accepted:

For citation: Fedorov A.A., Rakhmanov A.S. Moral Conformity under Different Forms of Virtual Pressure. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2024. Vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 118–130. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2024170108. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Alexandr A. Fedorov, PhD in Psychology, associate professor, Head of the Section of Clinical Psychology, Leading Researcher of the Laboratory of Moral Behavior, Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1272-7859, e-mail: fedleks@yandex.ru

Abdulaziz S. Rakhmanov, Bachelor of Psychology, Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0007-1861-5408, e-mail: raxmanov445@gmail.com

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