Asch Lines

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  • Asch Lines
    • Aims
      • To see if people would conform to the majority in a situation where there could be no doubt about the correct answer
    • Procedure
      • 50 male students studied
      • A pair of cards were shown to 7 people.
      • On one card was a single 'test' line and the other 3 comparison lines
      • Participants were asked to say out loud which line was equal to the test line, answers were obious
      • Only 1 of the 7 was a true participant and was last to give statement
      • Confederates were asked to be wrong on 12 out of 18 trials
    • Findings
      • On 32% of critical trials naïve participants conformed
      • 74% naïve participants conformed at least once
      • 26% of participants never conformed (still experienced fear and doubt
      • Small minority claimed they perceived the line as correct answer
    • Conclusion
      • There are conformity effects in an unambiguous situation
      • Group pressure to conform are stronger than previously thought
    • Evaluation
      • Cross Culture bias (America)
      • Only male college students. Can't generalise
      • Done in 1950's (McCarthyism) people afraid and more prone to conform
      • Not everyone conformed 2 thirds didn't.
      • Ethical Issue (Deception)


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