Conformity: Asch's research

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  • Conformity: Asch's research
    • What?
      • Tested conformity by showing participants three different line lengths
      • Asked participants to choose closest matching line to a fourth line
      • Confederates asked to give wrong answer to see if naive participants would conform
      • 123 American male      undergraduates
    • Findings
      • Naive participant gave wrong answer 36.8% of time
      • 25% did not conform at all
      • 75% conformed at least once
    • Variables
      • Group size: Whether amount of people affects amount of conformity. Three confederates:31.8%      More than three: Little difference
      • Unanimity: Presence of dissenter reduces conformity by a quarter. Influence of majority depends to some extent on group being unanimous
      • Task difficulty: Conformity increases when difficulty does
    • Evaluation
      • Method easy to replicate
      • Similar results found- reliable
      • Men/women may conform differently- low PV
      • Demand characteristics- low EV
      • Only American men- low PV
      • Difficult to generalise


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