Candid Camera gag (1962) reveals the pressure to conform to group behavior

[Video Link] Open Culture posted a Candid Camera prank about group pressure in the uncomfortable confines of an elevator.  Philip Zimbardo, who conducted the Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971, wrote about this gag on his website:

One of the most popular scenarios in the long history of Alan Funt’s ingenious Candid Camera programs is “Face The Rear.” An elevator is rigged so that after an unsuspecting person enters, four Candid Camera staff enter, and one by one they all face the rear. The doors close and then reopen; now revealing that the passenger had conformed and is now also facing the rear. Doors close and reopen, and everyone is facing sideways, and then face the other way. We laugh that these people are manipulated like puppets on invisible strings, but this scenario makes us aware of the number of situations in which we mindlessly follow the dictates of group norms and situational forces.

The Power of Conformity

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