Research studies Conformity

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  • Created by: 09mkhan2
  • Created on: 07-01-15 10:53

ASCH CONFORMITY EXPERIMENT

Asch (1951) created what is now known as a classic experiment in social psychology, whereby there was an obvious answer to a line judgment task.  If the participant gave a wrong answer it would be clear that this was due to group pressure.

AIM OF THE EXPEIMENT

Asch (1951) conducted an experiment to investigate the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform.

Conform/Conformity: To obey, follow or compy to the standards of a majority group in order to fit in.

Example:

You play a new video game with your friends and you dont think it is good but your friends think it is absoulutely amazing. You might be tempted to conform by pretending to agree with their judgement or opinion on the video game rather than being the odd one out of the group.

METHOD OF THE EXPERIMENT

Asch used a lab experiment to study conformity, whereby 50 male students from Swarthmore College in the USA participated in a vision test. Using a line judgment task, Asch put a naive participant in a room with seven associates.

The associates had agreed in advance what their answers would be when they were presented with the line task.  The real participant did not know this and was led to believe that the other seven participants were also real participants like himself.

Each person in the room had to state aloud which comparison line (A, B or C) was most like the target line. The answer was always obvious.  The real participant sat at the end of the row and gave his or her answer last.

There were 18 trials in total and the associates gave the wrong answer on 12 trails…

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