People will deny their own senses to fit in with others, but the effect fades with time.
The effect of social pressure lasts around three days after a person is away from the group, new research suggests.It’s well-known that people’s opinions are strongly influenced by others around them.
The classic study, conducted in the 1950s by Solomon Asch, found that people will even deny the evidence of their own senses in order to conform (see: Conforming to the Norm).
But the new Chinese study looked at the time limits for conformity after a person has left a group (Huang et al., 2014).
One of the study’s authors, Rongjun Yu of South China Normal University, explained the results:
“Our findings suggest that exposure to others’ opinions does indeed change our own private opinions — but it doesn’t change them forever.
Just like working memory can hold about 7 items and a drug can be effective for certain amount of time, social influence seems to have a limited time window for effectiveness.”