Variables affecting conformity (A01)

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  • Variables Affecting Conformity (A01)
    • Asch (1958)
      • Aim of the experiment: To find out whether conformity occurs in a situation where the correct answer is obvious
      • 1) A naive participant is brought into the lab along with 6 stooges (fake participants)
      • 2) Each naive participant took part in 18 trials (questions / goes)
      • 3) 12/18 trials were critical trials
      • Statistics from the experiment
        • Overall conformity: 36.8%
        • Conformity in at least one trial: 75%
        • Conformity in at least 6 trials: 50%
        • Conformity in every trial: 5%
        • Non-Conformity in all trials: 25%
      • It's a Laboratory Experiment with low population validity, low mundane realism and high temporal validity
    • 1) Group size
      • '3 is the magic number' - Conformity jumps to 30% when surrounded by 3 other people
      • Size of majority affects conformity
      • Campbell and Fairey (1989)
        • The type of judgement and the motivation of the individual  can affect whether group size affects conformity
          • 1) If the judgement is subjective (opinionated)and the individual is concerned about fitting in then the larger the majority the more likely they are to conform
          • 2) when there is a correct response and the individual is concerned about being correct, then the views of just one or two others will be sufficiant
    • 2) Unanimity (agreement) of the Majority
      • The lone dissenter
        • Unanimous- as one
        • If right, conformity drops to 5.5%
        • If wrong, conformity drops to 9%
    • 3) The Difficulty of the Task
      • Lucas et al (2006)
        • The influence of the task difficulty is moderated by the self-efficacy (confidence) of the individual
        • 1) When participants were exposed to Asch's experiment , high self-efficacy participants remained more independent than low self-efficacy participants
        • 2) Situational differences and individual differences are both important in determining conformity
      • Conformity increases when the task is too difficult


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