Sherif's study on conformity

  • Created by: MollyL20
  • Created on: 10-09-20 17:00
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  • Sherif (1935)
    • Aim
      • Demonstrate the people conform to groups norms when they are put into ambiguous situations
    • Method
      • A lab experiment
      • Used the auto kinetic effect (visual illusion meaning the was no clear answer, making it ambigious)
      • Participants were individually tested on their estimates of how fat the light had moved
      • Then put into groups of 3, He manipulated the the composition by putting 2 people with similar scores and one with a jurastic difference of their score
      • Each person had to say their answer aloud
    • Results
      • Most of the time the group converged to a group estimate.
      • The person with the estimate which was greatly different, conformed to the view of the others
      • Sherif said that most of the time people tended to conform and come to a group agreement
    • Conclusion
      • When in an ambigious situation, a person will look to others for guidance. They may lack the appropriate infomation
    • Evaluation
      • Strengths
        • Lab- In a controlled setting, is replicatable
        • It paved the way for further studies on conformity, as it was the first
      • Weaknesses
        • Lab- Artificial meaning it has a lack of ecological validity
        • Participants may figure out the aim and have demand characteristics
        • It was ambiguous meaning there wasn't a clear answer
        • Ethical issues
          • Deception- Deceived the participants as they only disclosed that it was an eye test, nothing to do with conformity


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