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Solomon Asch (1907 - 1996)
Transcript of Solomon Asch (1907 - 1996)
Asch's conformity experiments are significant in the study of social psychology because proved that:
Most people conformed because of the fear of being ridiculed or thought "peculiar" when the majority disagreed to their judgement.
Others agreed only so that their answer would not appear different
A few people said that they
believe the group's answers were correct.
In one-third of the critical trials, about 75% of participants conformed at least once, and 25% of participant never conformed. In the control group, with no pressure to conform to confederates, less than 1% of participants mistakenly gave the wrong answer.
The Conformity Experiment
Born 1907 - Warsaw Poland
Moved to America 1920
Educated at College of the City of New York, and Columbia University
Discipline - SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Famous for his conformity experiment
Solomon Eliot Asch ( 1907 – 1996)
What extent do social forces alter people's opinions?
Which aspect of the group influence is most important? The size of the majority or the unanimity?
If a person is set in a group situation in which everyone else or the majority of the group gives an answer that the person believes is wrong, the unanimity of the group’s wrong answer will cause the person to modify his answer to conform to the group.
Purpose: To see if a person can be forced by group pressure to conform against his or her own better judgment.
He placed them in groups of 5-7 confederates, and 1 participant.
He would then show a series of cards with lines they had to match.
In the beginning the confederates gave the correct answers, after the first few, they started giving the obviously wrong answers.
Many, but not all, people will conform to a decision that contradicts their own opinion if they feel pressured by the unanimity of the group.
Conformity to a group happens for two main reasons: because they want to fit in with the group (
) and because they believe the group is better informed than they are (
Factors That Increase Conformity:
Size of group
Difficulty of task
Status of the majority group (eg. your boss, your teacher, etc.) This can cause informal conformity
Factors that Decrease Conformity:
Answer in private
Limitations and Ethical Issues of the Experiment:
Biased sampling; all male participants in the same age group.
Not protected from psychological distress.
Conformity was the social norm in America in the 1950’s, but the era of individualism, ‘doing your own thing’, did not take hold until the 1960s.
Asch deceived student volunteers claiming they were taking part in a visual judgement test; the real purpose was to see how the 'naive' participant would react to the behavior of the confederates. However, deception was necessary to produce valid results
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"Asch conformity experiments." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 7 May 2014. Web. 7 July 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conformity_experiments>.
"Asch Experiment." Simply Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 July 2014. <http://www.simplypsychology.org/asch-conformity.html>.
Hawkes, Charles. Images of society: introduction to anthropology, psychology, and sociology. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2001. Print.
"Solomon Asch." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 7 July 2014. Web. 7 July 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon_Asch>.