Evaluating research into conforming (Asch)


Evaluating research into conforming (Asch)


  • Support of research - other studies have proven the same as Asch, such as Lucas (2006) study of conformity by using maths problems.
  • Ethical considerations - despite deception, participants were not subjected to harm. Knowing the true intentions of the study would have caused invalid data due to demand characteristics.


  • Artificiality of situation - task was trivial and lacks ecological validity (does not occur in real life). Participants also knew they were in a study so data is subject to demand characteristics. Cannot generalise to real world situations.
  • Limited application - study only included men from America. Alienates women and other cultures, especially collectivist cultures who value group over individual.
  • Countering Lucas’ study - found conformity is more complex than Asch’s study suggests. Individuals with high mathematical capability conformed less than those with low confidence.
  • Ethical issues - participants were deceived


Overall, Asch’s study into conformity has a number of disadvantages, such as lacking in ecological validity, having a limited and ethnocentric application, and lack of research into individual characteristics, which outweigh the benefits of supporting research being found. 


No comments have yet been made