This article investigates the role of attributional thinking in generating resistance to pressures toward conformity in the illicit consumption of drugs and alcohol. The results of four studies regarding how conformity influences illicit drug and alcohol consumption among high school and college students are reported. In study 1 more than two-thirds of the respondents reported concern for the implications of their own dissent or compliance regarding the reactions of their peers. Study 2 demonstrated a significant relationship between high school students' attributional thinking concerning a peer group's illicit beer consumption and conformity, expressed as intentions to drink the beer. In study 3, in-depth interviews with high school students provided insight into the realism of the conformity scenarios used in the research and the types of conformity pressures experienced by young people. In study 4, locus of causality, an abstract attributional dimension, and several specific attributions were shown to be significantly associated with conformity in the consumption of marijuana.
Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 19, Issue 1, 1992, pages 1-13.
© 1992 by Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.