Objective Conformity is defined as the act of adjusting one’s behavior to match the social responses of others. Patients with schizophrenia often adjust their maladaptive behaviors by conforming in group treatment settings. This study aimed to examine whether the opinions of group members influence conformity of patients with schizophrenia who attend day-hospital programs. Methods Nineteen patients with schizophrenia from four different day-hospital programs and 23 healthy controls from four different social clubs completed the homographic meaning choice task under conditions of prior exposure to the pseudo-opinions of their group members, strangers, and unknown information sources. Group influences on conformity were observed when the level of group cohesiveness was high and the level of intimacy was low across participant groups. Results Controls did not exhibit a significant effect of group influence on conformity, whereas patients were significantly influenced by their group members when making conformity-based decisions despite significantly lower intimacy and cohesiveness levels. Conclusion These findings suggest that unlike controls, patients with schizophrenia tend to respond with conformity when influenced by the opinions of their affiliated group. In patients with schizophrenia group conformity may be used to select a more accurate decision and to enhance feelings of affiliation among them.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry