Types of conformity
· Compliance; conforming to a groups opinion to gain approval but the groups views are not analysed. Externally.
· Internalisation; accepting others views because you believe the group is right and you are wrong. Internally and externally.
· Identification; conforming to others in order to be liked by them. Behaviour only lasts as long as the group is together. Elements of compliance and internalisation.
Explanations of conformity;
· Normative social influence; the desire to be liked and accepted by the group. They may publically change the views by privately disagree. (Compliance)
· Informative social influence; the desire to be right, looking to others who they believe to be right and behave similarly. (Internalisation)
Aim – to investigate whether majority group pressure is strong enough to make individuals choose clearly wrong answers
Procedure – a lab experiment using 123 American students who were shown a series of lines
Confederates gave the same wrong answer
Ppts always answered 2nd to last or last
Findings – 36.8% of ppts were incorrect in critical trials
74% of ppts conformed at least once
Only ¼ ppts never conformed
Conclusions – clearly majority did have an effect
Asch's Study 2
Why did people conform?
Distortion of perception; they came to see the lines in the same way as the majority
Distortion of judgement; they doubted their accuracy so went with the majority
Distortion of action; they continued their own private view but changed publically to give incorrect answers
Asch’s study variations
Difficulty of task; when difficulty was increased, conformity increased
Lucas et al said high self-efficacy meant people are more independent
· Situation and individual differences are important in determining conformity
Side of majority; when the majority is 1 or 2, there was very little conformity
When majority was 3, conformity rose to 30%
Further increase in size didn’t significantly increase conformity
· This shows that size is only important up to a point
Unanimity of majority; when ppts had a confederates giving correct answers conformity dropped to
When a ‘dissenter’ gave a different answer to majority and correct conformity dropped to 9%
· This shows that breaking the group consensus was a major factor in reducing conformity