Crutchfield Switches

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  • Crutchfield Switches
    • Aims
      • To see if the presence of others generated the pressure to conform
      • Whether certain types of people are more likely to conform
    • Procedure
      • Version of Asch experiment without face to face communication
      • Participants placed in booths with cards and switches and lights
      • Had to press switch of their choice when it was their turn
      • Told lights showed responses of others= Experimenter controlled
      • Each participant told they were last would see same light display
      • 600 participants, some with business and military backgrounds who were tested for IQ and leadership
    • Findings
      • Similar to Asch when using lines 30% conformed to wrong answer
      • When more difficult conformity increased
      • Military and Business with high IQ and leadership = lower levels of conformity
    • Evaluation
      • Supports Asch (similar method, results)
      • Ethics (Deception)
      • Has large sample size -easier to generalise
      • Lab experiment= high internal reliability (can control variable)
      • Lab experiment= low ecological reliability
    • Conclusion
      • Pressure to conform can operate without face to face communication


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