Asch- Aims and Context/ methodology

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Whats were Asch's aims?
1) To find out if people tend to conform to, or agree with, the view of the majority, and to bow to group pressure. 2) To investigate this in an unambiguous situation where right/wrong answers are clear.
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What is the historical context that this study can be placed in?
Carried out after WW2 as psychologists were keen to prevent events like the Holocaust from happening again. These events happened cause people bowed to social pressure, and wanted to "fit in with the crowd". (McCarthyism)
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What did Sherif (1936) do in his study?
He completed a study which involved pps judging how far a light moved in the dark (which was actually still- autokinetic effect). A few days later they got into groups to decide how far it had moved. The 4 pps reached a common (middle) estimate.
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Who was Jenness?
A study 'estimating beans in a jar' which looked at conformity in ambiguous situations. (Asch saw this as a problem so wanted to look at unambiguous situations- would people still look to others for guidance?)
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Reliability
:-) Scientific so repeatable and consistent. Contorlled conditions eg. the lines were always the same as was the position of the 'true' pp.
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External Validity
:-( didn't paint a true picture of real life conformity. Artificial lab conditions, with an artificial task (judging lines). People do not have to judge lengths repeatedly in the real world with strangers.
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Sampling
:-) 123 is large :-( all male student volunteers so bias as all from one narrow social group. Not representative so can't generalise findings. Could this be a benefit?
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Data
:-) Quantitative data eg. 36.8% of pps conformed in the critical trials. Comparisons eg. between different group sizes. Lead to statistical testing. :-) Qualitative data eg. Interveiws. Depth and detail.
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Ethics
:-( pps didn't give full consent as told it was a study for visual judgement not conformity (although this did reduce demand characteristics). Harm- pps may have become distressed when faced with social pressure.
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What is the historical context that this study can be placed in?

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Carried out after WW2 as psychologists were keen to prevent events like the Holocaust from happening again. These events happened cause people bowed to social pressure, and wanted to "fit in with the crowd". (McCarthyism)

Card 3

Front

What did Sherif (1936) do in his study?

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Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

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Who was Jenness?

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Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

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Reliability

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