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Solomon Asch and the Social Conformity Theory

Who was the theorist and how have his theories changed our world?

Natalie Brown

on 18 September 2012

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Transcript of Solomon Asch and the Social Conformity Theory

Solomon Asch Social and cognitive psychologist
Polish (born in Warsaw)
Lived September 14, 1907 - February 20, 1996
Famous in the 1950s for the Asch Line Experiments Some Things You Should Know The Social Conformity Theory Normative Social Influence: People will conform publicly in order to obtain social rewards and avoid social punishment
Two factors of social conformity are need for approval and fear of rejection
Characterized by public compliance, but not necessarily private acceptance of the behavior and attitudes of the group
Social conformity is higher within an in-group Participants: 123 male in groups of 5-7
Only one person in each group was a participant
Participants never answered first
Each question was called a trial
Asch's hypothesis stated that the majority of participants would give the right answer even when pressured to conform; he was WRONG Sidenotes About the Experiment Results 25% did not conform to any trial
75% conformed on one trial
5% conformed during every trial
37% conformity of subjects averaged over critical trials
One cohort had no effect, two cohorts have minimal effect, and three or more have a large effect
Men showed half the effect of women A psychological phenomenon in which people do something because others are doing it, despite their own beliefs, which they might override or ignore The Bandwagon Effect -Parties or candidates who are proclaimed as more likely to succeed get more voters
- Due to different time zones in the states the results from the east are broadcast, and affect the voters in the west
-During the American Presidential Primary elections all of the states vote on different days over the course of months, with certain states going first and other last.
By winning in the early states the “Big Mo” is achieved The Bandwagon Effect in Politics A "prankster joke" that was a popular method of bullying in the 1960s, using the social conformity theory No Soap Radio 1. A confederate approaches a victim and begins to tell a joke
2. The second confederate pretends to overhear the joke and cracks up at the punch line.
3. The joke makes absolutely no sense
4. The victim will have one of two reactions: feigned understanding or obvious misunderstanding
5. If the individual feigns understanding the confederates ask them to explain the joke Steps So how many of you pretended you understood, or were honest about confusion. Why? Thank you for listening! The Ups and Downs of Social Conformity Pros of Social Conformity Social Cohesion
Growth of the Human Population The Downsides of Social Conformity It does not encourage the right behavior, simply the behavior of the majority. We marginalize those who do not conform to the social norms We marginalize those who do not conform to social behavior It does not encourage the right behavior, but the behavior of the majority
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