"conformity" Asch and Sherif

the two main studies into obedience, at gcse level. the studies were performed by Asch and Sherif

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study 1 "conformity" Asch 1955

Aim: do judgements of other people affect the decision of an individual on a simple task.

method: a group of seven to nine college students(all male) were assembled in a classroom, they were told it was a "psychological experiment" about visual judgements, all but one in each group were confederates. There were 123 participants in total. The experimentor would hold up two cards, and asked the group which line on the right hand card was the same length as line x on the left hand card. Each person answered in turn, with the onfederates answering first, in the firsttwo trials, the confederates stated the correct answer, on the third trial, the confederates would state the incorrect answer.there were 18 trials in total for each participant, 12 of which, the confederates would answer incorectly.

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study 1 "conformity" Asch 1955 "results"

Results: in the triain the trials where the confederates gave the correct answer, the participants gave the correct answer over 99% of the time, but in the trials where the confederates gave incorrect answers, the partcipants got 36.8% of thier answers wrong. also only 25% of the participants never once conformed to a wrong answer.

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study 2 (conformity) sherif 1935

aim: do people change thier individual view, once placed in a group situation

method: sherif tested conformity via an illusion called the autokinetic effect the effect is simple. participants entered a darkened room where they could see a dot of light, they were asked to estimate how far it moved. the light never actually did move, although the majority of participants stated that it did, Why? our eyes are constantly moving, to keep our retina active and working, but with nothing to focus on in the dark, the constant shifting of the human eye gives the illusion of movement.Once the participant had given thier estimation of movement(of which they did several times),they were placed in groups. During thier time in a group they were asked to discuss just how far the light had moved/ However, sherif had slected people who had reported large movement, medium movement and a small movement. After the discussion, sherif asked the paticipants to re-estiamte how far they thought the light had moved.

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study 2 (conformity) sherif 1935 "results"

individual results were very consistent in thier estimations, before bieng put into a group to discuss the movement of the light. however, estimations changed after discussion. A group norm effect tended to occur. this is because people changed thier estimations after disussion. those who had large estimations of movement reduced it after discussion. Those who stated thier was little movement increased thier estimations after discussion.

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