Conformity: Asch

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  • Created by: izzy
  • Created on: 13-06-13 09:12

Asch (1951)

Asch believed that that conformity was a rational process in which people work pout how to behave from other people's actions. Sherif had found that people will change their views in an ambiguous situation when they are unsure of the 'correct' response. However, Asch wished to assess what would happen when people were confronted with a majority who were plainly wrong in their judgments, to see if they would change their own views to conform to the majority.

For this reason, he created an experimental paradigm or method to study responses to group pressure, which allowed him to manipulate a variety of variables. In the original study, he recruited 123 male students and asked them to take part in a 'task of visual perception'. They were placed in groups of between 7 and 9, and seated around a large table. The experimenter showed them two cards, one of a standard line and the other showing comparison lines, A, B or C matched the standard line in length - to which there was an easy and obvious answer. There were a total of 18 trials for each group. However, Asch used confederates who were instructed to give the same wrong answer in 12 out of the…


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