Why did so many MPs claim expenses which, although apparently ‘within the rules’, were clearly not morally justifiable? It has been suggested that this was a conformity effect, as research has shown that bending the rules or breaking social norms increases, sometimes doubling, if people see that others are doing this. It’s a ‘me too’ effect, or what we know as conformity. But does this social influence justify the unethical or questionable behaviour? That is a different question, and it seems that we, the public, expect our MPs to think and not just follow the herd. Read more here.
Psychology: The Online Companion