What is Conformity Bias?

In brief, conformity bias is the human tendency to behave like others around them rather than utilizing their particular judgement. Even when we know better, and especially when a large number of individuals appear to have the same perspective or attitude,

According to studies, people are more inclined to act sociable or helpful if they see others doing the same. Similarly, if a group of individuals form a judgement about something, we are more likely to reach the same conclusion, even though our perceptions differ.

Conformity bias within business

There are situations when conformity might help you advance professionally, such as following a particular code of behaviour or embodying a specific set of ideals. However, creativity and innovation are hampered when team members and applicants comply with what they perceive is expected rather than what they believe is correct. In other words, how can a company develop and progress if no one is ready to shake things up?

Companies that enable their workers to be their authentic selves and openly express their opinions typically benefit from diverse ideas and insights. This acceptance and appreciation of differing viewpoints may promote employee engagement, foster innovation, and increase customer satisfaction—a win-win situation for any business.

There are four types of conformity bias:

Another approach to thinking about Conformity is in four categories, which may overlap:

  • Compliance conformity occurs when we disagree internally yet accept influence to achieve favour and avoid condemnation.

  • Internalization refers to the genuine internal acceptance of standards that are consistent with one's personal beliefs and intrinsic incentive systems.

  • Identification occurs when people actively embrace group norms to retain group membership, whether or not they agree inwardly.

  • Ingratiation conformity, like compliance, arises when someone follows the norm for personal or societal advantage.

Unconscious Bias in Hiring Caused by Conformational Behavior

Given that most employment procedures involve a collaborative effort from recruiters, HR professionals, hiring managers, potential coworkers, and other critical stakeholders, the prevalence and influence of Conformity Bias is substantial. Because a decision-maker unconsciously seeks to be correct, accepted, or appreciated, this leads to neglecting well-qualified prospects and employing poorly qualified persons.

Ways to Overcome Workplace Conformity Bias

When possible, use objective data. Skill evaluation tools give neutral information about candidates' chances of success in a job to talent decision-makers. When this evidence is considered early in decision-making, it decreases the opportunity for erroneous social conformity bias to lead to incorrect conclusions.

Conduct interviews in a structured manner. Structured interviews provide uniform questions for all candidates and objective answer analysis. In this manner, a decision-maker evaluates interview performance based on statistics rather than a debate or unconscious peer pressure.

Before discussing the applicant, write down your observations from the interview.

Many businesses find it challenging to adopt an adequately organized interview process, and groupthink and peer pressure may undermine talks even when they do. To reduce the impact of conformity bias in the workplace, compel interviewers to immediately capture their impressions of the candidate. A technique like this allows the decision-maker to examine the applicant without misleading societal pressures.