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Title: The positive conformity experiment: judgments and decisions in cohesive groups under the pressure of positive attitudes

Authors: Xhimi Hysa; Mario Calabrese; Alberto Bilotta; Francesca Iandolo

Addresses: Epoka University, Rr. Tiranë-Rinas, Km. 12 1032 Vorë Tirana, Albania ' Sapienza University of Rome, Via del Castro Laurenziano, 9, 00161 Roma RM, Italy ' Sapienza University of Rome, Via del Castro Laurenziano, 9, 00161 Roma RM, Italy ' Sapienza University of Rome, Via del Castro Laurenziano, 9, 00161 Roma RM, Italy

Abstract: In classical conformity experiments, the conformity has been defined as a negative phenomenon or as a distortion of judgment under the group pressure. Furthermore, experiments are mainly performed within social aggregates rather than on groups, and even less on cohesive ones. This study aims to reshape positively the conformity while happening within cohesive groups. It shows how the positive social pressure of cohesive group members, intended as an influence based on optimism, can cause to the less optimistic group member a positive conformity. The present research relies on a quasi-experimental design in a cross-cultural setting. It considers the positive influence within groups of family members belonging to family businesses that are cohesive in terms of values. Both 'positive conformity' as a concept and 'positive conformity experiment' as a procedure are originated in this study. Findings show that out of 129 naïve, 54 conformed totally, 46 partially, and 29 resisted.

Keywords: positive conformity; positive conformity experiment; PCE; picture apperception value test; PAVT; optimism; cohesiveness; family business.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMDM.2021.112354

International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 2021 Vol.20 No.1, pp.1 - 28

Received: 31 Oct 2019
Accepted: 21 Apr 2020

Published online: 23 Dec 2020 *

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